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Laurel is one stop along the way for four generations of chiropractors

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Posted on: April 13, 2023

By Jessie Newburn

“Like father, like son,” some say. Though in the case of the McAuliffes’ four-generational lineage of chiropractors, it’s more like grandfather, like son, like two daughters and two sons, and then like two more sons as well as two nieces and a nephew. 

Following in the footsteps of Arthur McAuliffe Sr., ten members of the family have become chiropractors. That’s quite a lineage and quite a story for McAuliffe Chiropractic Office, which recently celebrated its 30th year in Laurel.

Arthur McAuliffe’s son, Terence McAuliffe, had been working in his dad’s chiropractic office in Columbia, Ill., when he felt the itch do his own thing. A friend had encouraged the younger McAuliffe to come and stay with him in Maryland, and within a month of getting married, McAuliffe and his new bride, Rebecca, packed up and made the trip East.

“We knew nothing about the area,” McAuliffe said. “We’d get one of those grid-based map books people used before GPS, pick a grid and drive to it.” When they drove along Main Street in Laurel on one of their map-grid explorations, they immediately fell in love. 

“We liked that the town had character and a sense of community to it,” he said. The Laurel Lakes area had recently opened up, and the combination of the city’s charm plus the lake, nearby walking paths and plentiful parking made it easy for them to say yes to the move.

That was 30 years and a doubling of office space ago. McAuliffe Chiropractic Office, on Cherry Lane, has become a long-established business and contributor to the health and wellness of the Laurel residents and the nearby community. 

McAuliffe and his team actively participate in community health events, such as the Walk with a Doc program with the Prince George’s County Seniors, where specialists in different fields walk with seniors and answer their health-related questions. They volunteer at the Prince George’s County Senior Health Symposium, where they help with balance training, posture screenings and fall prevention. They also do health screenings at Laurel’s Main Street Festival.

McAuliffe Chiropractic Office has held food drives to support the Laurel Advocacy & Referral Services and the Elizabeth House with their holiday meals, collecting about 1,500 items a year. They coordinate with First Baptist Church of Laurel to collect shoes, coats and other items to donate to the Winter Shelter Program. They’ve run supply drives for the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter and have fostered dogs through Pitties and Purrs Rescue. McAuliffe has also served on the Laurel Lakes homeowners association for two decades. 

While these annual and short-term activities are nice, McAuliffe’s commitment to community health is evident by the health talks he’s offered at his office nearly every Tuesday for 25 years. Subjects covered include neck pain, goal setting and shopping for healthy food preparation, which was taught by his daughter, who got her MBA in nutrition and education.

As much as McAuliffe has helped others learn how to support their own health, he’s a sponge for learning himself. He became a board-certified chiropractic neurologist, a challenging and intense program from which about only 40% of chiropractors pass.

McAuliffe and his siblings grew up in what he calls “a chiropractic lifestyle,” which included positive thinking, giving thanks, getting some exercise in and eating well. He also pointed to a perk of being in the family: “We all got adjusted once a week,” he said. 

“Chiropractors need to walk their talk and live a healthy lifestyle,” McAuliffe added. “Our profession’s approach is that the body doesn’t need any help, such as drugs and surgery; it just doesn’t need any interference.”

All five of McAuliffe’schildren worked at the office as young teens, answering phones, greeting clients and learning basic office skills and how to engage professionally with others. Two of his sons, both of whom got their start in the office, have continued the family’s chiropractic lineage. One son has since moved to Atlanta, Ga., where he works as a chiropractor, and the other has been working in the Laurel office for the past nine years. 

One of McAuliffe’ssisters, along with her daughter, now run the chiropractic office originally established by his grandfather in Illinois. One of his brothers established a chiropractic practice in Gaithersburg, and another one of his sisters, along with her husband, established a practice in Ellicott City. He has another niece and nephew who are also chiropractors.

A few years ago, McAuliffe encouraged the president of Life University, where he and others in his family trained, to create a generations wall with plaques dedicated to families with multiple members in the profession. With 11 biologically related family members in the profession, the McAulliffes most certainly got a family plaque, but Terence McAuliffe said this phenomenon of chiropractic families is a bit of “a thing.” He knows one family with 50 members, between the husband and wife’s families, in the field. A second family bested them with 51.

Though his dad, who died about a decade ago, didn’t live to see all his grandchildren following in his footsteps, Terence McAuliffe (now Terence Sr.,  himself, with a Terence, Jr., in the family) said, “I get happy tears when I think of my dad’s influence on me and our family. He and my grandfather would be happy to see our whole family thriving.” 

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