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Meet Brook Merkel of Nurture Women’s Wellness in Evanston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brook Merkel.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Brook. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
If you had told me 15 years ago that I would be living in Chicago as a business owner, chiropractic physician, and acupuncturist, I would have told you that you were crazy! I graduated from University of the Pacific with a degree in sports medicine and athletic training. Immediately out of college I worked in the athletic training room at a Division I university, treating and rehabbing for athletes. I also worked in a physical therapy clinic providing one-on-one rehabilitation support for patients that had undergone complex surgical procedures. I realized at this point that this was not the setting I wanted to work in forever and so I became a consultant in the San Francisco bay area for a company that developed programs for large corporations, providing on-site rehabilitation, injury prevention, and ergonomic services. This was an amazing position for my 21-year-old self, however a couple years in, I again realized something was missing. Enter chiropractic school. My (now) husband is from Evanston and we had been potentially looking to move out of California and as I’m never one to say no to new adventures, we made the trek to Lombard, IL so that I could spend the next 4 years at National University of Health Sciences getting my doctorate. Fast forward to graduation, I took a doula seminar to broaden my depth of knowledge around pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood and I immediately knew I had found the missing piece. I haven’t looked back since. I realized that my passion is to support women in a way that creates connection, community, and conversation about all things related to motherhood. From that seminar grew my fascination with fertility and pregnancy and I literally could not stop taking more classes and seminars surrounding these topics! My husband and I moved back to Los Angeles for a job opportunity that ended up being less than stellar and I serendipitously scheduled my annual exam with a midwife who was in the process of opening a free-standing birth center. We clicked and I started a brand new practice as part of an integrative team of midwives, doulas, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and obstetricians in the neighborhood of Silverlake in Los Angeles. Soon after I started my practice, I discovered I was pregnant and had the most amazing pregnancy, full of community and support, something I wish all women could experience. After about 3 and a half years, my husband and I decided we didn’t want to raise our family in LA so made the decision to move back to the Chicago area. Nurture came to fruition because I knew that I wanted to again, create a practice and a space where women feel safe and supported throughout fertility, pregnancy, and new motherhood challenges.

Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think the road to opening a new business is ever smooth. There are always ups and downs but with a little luck and proper planning, you can make it happen! Being a business owner, a practitioner, a wife, and a mom is tough. The juggling and constant switching between roles is hard and can take its toll. The most challenging thing for me is that my time is not black or white. Sometimes the practice requires that I take work home with me, sometimes I take my son to the office because we don’t have a babysitter, some days I am multi-tasking between work and personal to-do’s…It’s a big juggling act of logistics but honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Nurture Women’s Wellness – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Nurture is a women’s wellness practice serving and supporting women with fertility, pregnancy, or postpartum challenges. We provide chiropractic and acupuncture services for women throughout pre-conception, pregnancy, and postpartum and Mercier Therapy for fertility, pelvic pain and cesarean recovery. We offer acupuncture home visits and on-site embryo transfer acupuncture for women going through IVF. We also offer bi-weekly meet-ups for new moms and their babies.

I specialize in women’s health, specifically fertility and pregnancy, utilizing acupuncture, chiropractic, functional nutrition, and functional movement to improve optimal health and wellness. I am continually amazed at the community we have and are growing. I can’t wait to see where we are in a year, 5 years, 10 years!!

I am proud that Nurture is a woman owned and women focused business and that we are guided by principles of kindness and compassion. I am proud to serve women from all over the Chicago area as many drive quite far to see us. I am proud of the relationships that we form with our patients, other practitioners, and business owners.

Nurture is different because we are inspiring and empowering a new model of self-care for women. We are a specialized practice where women feel at home, can find community, and take some time to disconnect and re-connect to better promote healing and wellness. We only see women in our practice, and because of this, the level of expertise and experience provided is unparalleled. It’s something that you will never get from a general practitioner.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the rich culture and diversity of people. I love that you always see people out walking, running, biking, even when it’s 30 degrees out. And the skyline. I’m in awe every single time I drive into and out of downtown.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
This is Family

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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