Hi, I’m Emerald!
I was born in Seattle, WA and grew up in the country outside of the small town of Duvall. The type of place that had two stoplights with the main road that had mom and pop shops lining both sides.
I spent the majority of my time outside as a kid in ripped pants and bare feet. I loved climbing trees and building ramps to ride my bike over. Unfortunately, my childhood wasn’t all sunshine and green grass. With the freedom I was given as a child, it also opened the door for abuse from other children in the neighborhood. At the time I thought it was normal, only realizing when I was older the type of things that had been asked of me was entirely inappropriate and wrong.
Fast-forward a handful of years and I became heavily involved in ice hockey and raising service dogs. I loved being involved with things that took me away from a strained household that was consumed by anger, disappointment, and fear.
At the age of 12, my first service dog Hailey graduated with a man who was a youth pastor and paraplegic. It was the first time in my life that I truly felt like I was helping someone. I’ll never forget his overwhelming joy, appreciation, and gratitude for the change, companionship, and independence Hailey had brought to this gentleman’s life.
This moment in time changed my life, the way my brain functioned and perceived things, I realized that I loved this feeling. The ability to help someone in ways that were previously unimaginable to me until this point in my life. This man was suddenly empowered and able to interact with the environment in a way that he had previously been unable to. The change that occurred in both of our lives happened all because a young boy was willing to give a stranger his best friend.
During my late teens, I was still raising service dogs and over the time period of a year and a half, I was the victim of sexual assault twice. When I turned to friends, I was laughed at and told that shouldn’t complain or make a deal out of nothing since it was commonly felt that it was not possible for men to be the victim of such crimes. I turned to the only thing that I knew wouldn’t judge me or tell me my feelings didn’t matter, the dogs that I raised. They gave me the confidence and security that I so desperately needed at that time in my life.
From those experiences, I have developed a drive to help people and empower them to feel heard and loved unconditionally. When I was 21 and left for San Francisco where I attend Life Chiropractic College West and become a chiropractor so I could guide people on a path of empowerment in their lives and health.
Saying that school was difficult for me would be an understatement. After playing hockey for 12 years as a child and sustaining multiple concussions my brain struggled through school having to learn to adapt to the content and speed at which the material was taught. After 4 years, and in my final quarter of school before graduating, I found myself on stage speaking to a crowd of over 300 people. I was given the opportunity to share my experiences so far as a budding chiropractor. My first patient as a chiropractic intern was a man that could barely walk faster than a tortoise. He was only 45 years old and had experienced a work-related injury from servicing as a police officer for the San Jose Police Department.
On our third appointment together when I made an adjustment to a bone in his low back, a loud pop could be heard and this gentleman lept up off the table. To the surprise of both myself and him, he suddenly began running around the office. This was the moment in my chiropractic career that I realized the power of the chiropractic adjustment and the ability of the body to heal when the nervous system is free of interference.
This gentleman who came into the clinic barely able to walk a week ago was now moving around without a care in the world. 3 short months later, he participated and finished a Thanksgiving Turkey taught with his family and friends, something he had previously believed was impossible.
My chiropractic journey has taken me all over the world from San Francisco to Singapore and Indonesia, guiding individuals and families to a place of confidence and wellbeing. After 2 years abroad, I returned home to Seattle where I began practicing for a clinic, then moving into my own office where I focus on serving individuals who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant. An area of healthcare and life that I feel is in dire need of empowerment for individuals who are going through this season of life.
After returning home to Seattle, I began actively volunteering and working with service dog training and raising again. After 18 years of working with dogs in some form, I have now found myself as a Contract Trainer for Canine Companions for Independence, the largest assistance dog organization in the country. In this role, I show others how to train assistance dogs, assist graduates who have received fully trained assistance dogs, and teach youth how to train assistance dogs for others just as I was taught so many years ago.
My journey, like many, has been riddled with obstacles and detours which, at the time seemed hopeless and impossible to navigate. When I reflect on all of this I realize the gifts I’ve been bestowed.
Life can be hard and seem unfair, I know, I’ve been there and continue to work on myself to leverage my experiences to guide others. I can relate to the days where you may not want to get out of bed or feel like life just isn’t worth living anymore.
Whether through the companionship of a highly trained dog or the unlocking of their body and nervous system through gentle and specific chiropractic, my mission in life is to guide people to a place of empowerment and confidence in themselves.
What always comes back to me is that we all have our gifts and they need to be shared. I want to help you share your gifts with those around you and if you’re ready for it, the world. If you feel that having a highly trained dog by your side will help you to accomplish your goals and help you feel safe and secure in the world, then I truly believe this is the place for you.
-Emerald Mojica, Dog Guide at Working Canine Club