Dr. Sandy Baird
How I became a bodyworker...
Sixteen years ago I was a civil engineer, working at a job that I couldn’t stand. I’d tolerated various jobs in this field, sticking with them because they paid the bills, and were predictable, but never finding much fulfillment in them. I figured I would just keep slogging along until retirement, until I developed a burning pain in my forearm and hand when I used the mouse. Even after PT treatments and ergonomic keyboard adjustments, my injury got worse until I couldn’t even hold the mouse for more than ten seconds without feeling like I was going to scream. I was doing the recommended stretches, but they wouldn’t help for more than a few seconds.
I was angry and frustrated with work, and even got to the point where I was pretending to do work, but was actually avoiding the mouse and keyboard! Even worse, I couldn’t grip the handlebars of my mountain bike! As an athlete, this was so aggravating since biking after work was a huge source of endorphin release and stress relief for me, and I was so angry at my job for causing this injury.
After having a hand surgery and following up with more PT, I was still having pain and finally reached a point where I couldn’t stand it for one more day and I decided to quit my job. On a whim, I enrolled in massage school. It had always sounded like a fun hands-on skill to learn, and I had no idea what path to take next, so I thought, why not? The engineer in me thought this was a ridiculous path, but my right brain and intuition signed the enrollment papers. Within the first week of massage classes, I felt like I’d jumped down a hidden tunnel in the Super Mario Brothers game. You know, the ones that open up into new worlds full of stars and gold coins and new tunnels that you haven’t yet explored. I chose the beautiful tunnel that deposited me into chiropractic school.
I learned that there are natural, hands-on methods to treat repetitive strain injuries like the one I had, preventing the need for surgery. There are adjustive techniques and muscle work modalities that could have alleviated the pain caused by a knee injury I developed as an adolescent soccer player. Techniques that could have saved me months of popping Advil and hobbling around in a full-leg brace and still feeling chronic knee pain as an adult. And I’m so grateful for this journey that now allows me to use my hands to help people avoid so much of the pain and frustration that I’ve felt with my injuries.
LGBTQIA+ representation matters...
I’ve been providing bodywork in the Bay Area for over fifteen years now. First as a massage therapist, and now as a doctor who combines soft tissue work with joint adjusting. I feel that it’s important for queer and trans LGBTQIA+ folx to have a safe space to have their bodies worked on. Many of us already shoulder a lot of extra stress and tension from being constantly judged, worrying about what bathrooms we should use, and having to actively resist and fight back for our rights as our new state of “normal”.
When an unexpected pain or injury crops up, you want to have someone you can count on to help put you back together. As a trans/non-binary person myself (they/them or he/him pronouns), I need the people who work on my body to not just *tolerate* who I am, but *appreciate* who I am. And I’m guessing that might be important to you as well! I will ask and honor your pronouns. I try my best to use non-gendered language (such as pecs vs. breasts, short-lever pushups vs. girl pushups). And I’m proud of my non-discrimination policy:
Qualifications and Certifications
|Licenses and Certifications||Community Involvement|
California State Board Certified, Licensed Chiropractor, Lifewest
Certified Massage Therapist, National Holistic Institute
Active Release Techniques (ART) Full Body Certified
Graston Techniques Certified
SpiderTech Taping Certified
Myofascial Decompression Certified
Certified Yoga Teacher, Piedmont Yoga
Injury evaluations and treatments at:
-Brazen Racing trail runs
-Nike Women's half-marathon
-Oakland Running Festival
-See Jane Run half-marathon and triathlon
-Run365 training program
US Open 2012 Wellness team chiropractor