CONNECTING WITH COMMUNITY
WORDS & PHOTO Joshua Brosnahan
Connect Chiropractic is home to a new family returning to New Zealand, and a new concept in healthcare for the Ferrymead community.
Husband and wife team Matt Wild and Alex Skjervheim-Wild have an aim of improving the wellbeing of Cantabrians, with a magnanimous touch to their efforts.
The chiropractic couple decided to return to New Zealand to raise their daughter, Sunniva.
Matt grew up here in Christchurch, and Alex in Norway, so there was the option of both countries for raising her.
“2018 was crazy for us, really. Sunniva has unwittingly kept things together for us, as our minds were on her. We had her at the forefront of our thoughts when we came up with the concept of Connect Chiropractic.”
A desire for a healthy balance of work and life, as well as a goal to nurture their surrounding community meant their Ferrymead practice was perfect for the couple to care for Sunniva, be close to home, and
for Alex to still be able to offer her pediatric appointments when she was available.
Matt explains more of the idea behind their business.
“The message on the wall encompasses what we want to achieve – ‘A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in’.
This proverb really guides our practice. A koha system means people pay what they can afford for their care. Chiropractic services are not always affordable, achievable or accessible.
We wanted to take this out of the equation, because if we tell clients/people what they need, and they can’t afford care, they’re not going to receive the long-term benefits. They end up wasting their time and money.”
Matt adds that they’re much happier with people coming in and getting the help they need.
“People value our service, and the people who pay a lot less – well, they need it. And we’re happy with that. It’s a nice transaction. They pay for a service that is achievable for them and they get the care that they want.”
Alex also adds, “in a way, it’s almost selfish – we feel good about being more a part of society, because someone who couldn’t afford it, is now feeling healthy.”
In addition to the koha system they’ve implemented, the couple also support local community programmes – initiatives that improve health and happiness for people
in Christchurch. They hand-pick charities or organisations that resonate with them personally.
Each chiropractic appointment means you receive a ping pong ball to use as a token, and you vote for your chosen charity, by leaving your ball in a jar at the practice. The most votes at the end of the month receives a donation from the couple’s earnings.
Matt mentions that, “it’s as much about the donation, and helping those organisations thrive, but it’s to help them get known.”
It’s the happiest we’ve been, in practice. It’s a mutual exchange of love and happiness, really. People are really grateful, and we’re grateful that people see the value and ultimately see the benefits.”