Matt Parker, DVM CVA CVMMP VMRT
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, 2009)
Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (Chi Institute, 2015)
Certified Veterinary Medical Manipulation Practitioner (Integrative Veterinary Medicine Institute, 2016)
Veterinary Massage and Rehabilitation Therapist (Healing Oasis Wellness Center, 2020)
Dr. Matt Parker grew up in Roanoke, Virginia. He practiced veterinary medicine away from Roanoke for the first several years of his career, but his family and the beautiful mountains around Roanoke called him back home in 2016.
He practiced Conventional (what many think of as Western or 'regular') veterinary medicine in northern Virginia and Austin, Texas for several years before he started seeking out non-conventional (alternative) medicine.
Like so many veterinarians and pet-owners, Dr. Parker was becoming more and more frustrated by ongoing allergy cases, skin problems, pet obesity and many other ailments that couldn't be resolved or explained by the Conventional Western medicine that we are taught in vet school. Like you and your vet, he tried all the steroids and antibiotics and super-high-tech prescription foods to help his patients with allergies and auto-immune problems. But more often than not it didn't work well enough, or it didn't work at all.
As Dr. Parker started reading more about human health and nutrition he began to understand that processed foods are a big part of OUR (human) health problems. He began looking for more natural nutrition and treatment options for himself and his patients.
He quickly found that so many of the problems that are not explained by Conventional Western medicine are completely understood by Traditional Chinese Medicine and several other 'Holistic' ideas—and that these problems can be solved. Traditional Chinese Medicine and any other Holistic approach will view the body and the world around us in a way that is dramatically different from Conventional Western medicine.
Dr. Parker set out to learn about Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. His search for knowledge and understanding quickly led him to 2 key sources: the Chi Institute in Florida, and Dr. Nicole Sheehan in Davidson, North Carolina.
Dr. Sheehan and many other truly Holistic practitioners who have mentored Dr. Parker since then understand and embrace the idea that everything about the body (animal or human) is significant—every single illness or reaction, food cravings, odd behaviors, any seemingly insignificant blood work abnormality, everything is a clue or reason waiting to be understood. Dr. Parker now understands that even if Conventional medicine is not able to provide an explanation for your pet's problems, an explanation does still exist. You just have to think outside the box and apply common sense, and keep digging until you find answers!
The instructors and mentors at the Chi Institute continue to teach Dr. Parker about all of the ways that Chinese Medicine identifies imbalances in the body and the environment, and how individuals of different Constitutions respond to those imbalances, and how to treat them. At the Chi Institute Dr. Parker learned that Chinese Medicine has an answer for so many problems that Conventional medicine does not understand, but those answers are different for each individual animal!
As Dr. Parker started to discover the vast realm of non-Conventional (alternative) therapies that are available he realized that he was no longer just seeking knowledge. But that he was now seeking understanding and acceptance of some things that defy our modern reductionist scientific process.
The excitement of being introduced to so many effective non-Conventional concepts led Dr. Parker to then pursue the much different, but equally exciting field of Spinal or Veterinary Medical Manipulation, aka “Chiropractic”. Ancient Eastern Medicine with Acupuncture combined with the much newer field of Spinal or Medical Manipulation seems to treat just about ANY condition!
The excitement and experience of practicing “chiropractics” led Dr. Parker to seek out additional education from Dr. Pedro Rivera, Fellow of the American College or Functional Neurology. The Veterinary Massage and Rehabilitation Therapist course taught by Dr. Rivera at Healing Oasis Wellness Center has reinforced Dr. Parker’s approach to wellness and healing of our pets. Chinese Medicine, “Chiropractic”, and Massage & Rehab can all work interchangeably and synergistically to address the underlying imbalances and weaknesses in each individual patient.
Dr. Parker has adopted a truly Holistic approach to animal and human health that explores biologically-appropriate nutrition, lifestyle & exercise & social interactions, emotional & physiological issues from the past, chemical & environmental toxicities and accumulations, herbs & glandular supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic, while not forgetting that modern Western medicine also has great value when used properly.
To be able to solve problems and treat our pets to improve their health, and to be able to "fix" chronic problems that affect the quality-of-life of the pet and the pet's caretaker—these are the reasons that made most veterinarians suffer through so much schooling in the first place. Dr. Parker is thrilled to be able to provide such a wonderful service for our animals!
Throughout his career Dr. Parker has been part of some wonderful practices with wonderful people. It would be wrong to suggest that he did not also learn a great deal from his early Conventional mentors such as Dr. Dave Hall at Columbia Pike Animal Hospital, Mark Wadstrom at the Animal Care Center of Salem, and Maggie Stummer and her long-term staff at Castlerock Pet Hospital.
Dr. Parker has dreamed of sharing his ideas and healing-modalities as a full-time practice in his hometown of Roanoke Virginia, but it is difficult to be 'preaching' healthy whole & raw foods and treating chronic conditions with nutrition & herbal supplements without having the ability to also manage the Conventional aspect of deciding what vaccines are necessary for the individual situation and how often, or when to spay & neuter, if at all. This doesn't work if your pet is receiving his Conventional care from a veterinarian who does not understand the Holistic approach.
As of June 2021 Dr. Parker has returned to work for the amazing Dr. Nicole Sheehan from whom his Holistic training started.
As of July 2021 Dr. Parker can be found at the Whole Pet Veterinary Hospital of warm & sunny Melbourne Florida.
Here he will be able to provide and manage all aspects of his patients care to ensure that your pet is as healthy & healed as possible with a focus on results regardless of the modality or combination of modalities.
Although he will likely miss the awesome trail running in the Appalachian Mountains, he will not miss the cold gray winters, and Stand-Up-Paddleboarding among the Manatee in the bright sunshine should be a nice distraction!