Dr. Judith Boothby was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Western New York state. Growing up she enjoyed walking to school, running freely in the surrounding woodlots, building tree forts and picking cherries. She worked her way through college as an apprentice machinist and received a Bachelors of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of New Hampshire.
Dr. Boothby went on to graduate school at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a Masters of Science in the mechanical engineering department. After graduating from MIT, she had consultation projects with Massachusetts General Hospital, Berkeley Lawrence Laboratory and UCSF Long Hospital. She spent time working as an engineer designing plasma welding equipment. It was during this time she awoke to chiropractic care.
Her career shift came in 1982:
“I had heavy metal poisoning and the standard treatments of the time had little to offer to help me regain my health. A local Vermont chiropractor told me to try avoiding wheat, dairy and sugar, eat more vegetables for two weeks, and see how I felt. He also told me that a little babies’ body knows more about growing than the smartest person in the world, so we might as well try to support the part of the body that knows what it is doing. I was so impressed I moved to Oregon and started chiropractic school.”
While attending Western States Chiropractic College, Dr. Boothby studied many chiropractic techniques, paying particular attention to the anatomy lessons, muscle testing and massage. In addition she studied with the Applied Kinesiology and cranio-sacral therapy groups. Dr Boothby studied the different techniques because she knew, as an engineer, that she needed more life experience. Spending more time exploring techniques allowed her to spend more time practicing on real people. The Cranio sacral club members met every week to compare notes and discuss their experiences.
Dr. Boothby graduated with her chiropractic degree in 1986 and opened her first practice in Eugene, Oregon where her son was born. As a chiropractor, Dr Boothby was able to work and be a stay-at-home mom, holding and nursing her son between patients.
In 1989 Dr. Boothby moved back to Portland. By the mid nineties she was leading a committee of the Chiropractic Association of Oregon. Her committee was instrumental in writing an Oregon Administrative Rule which clarified and helped preserve the scope of practice, techniques and modalities for Oregon chiropractors. For this work, the Chiropractic Association of Oregon gave her the 1996 Young Chiropractic Physician of the Year Award.
Dr Boothby has persisted in standing up for the rights of patients to receive low risk nurturing health care. As a result, she was named Chiropractor of the Year in 2005 by the Oregon Doctors of Chiropractic for “Living the life of a principled chiropractor.”
In keeping with her belief that you have to live your talk, Dr Boothby’s volunteer and organizational commitments have included:
Today Dr. Boothby spends her time growing her knowledge of functional neurology by studying with the Carrick Institute. A typical SE Portlander, she's committed to dragon boat racing, snowshoeing and walking her dog Beau.