By Morgan Bryce
Dr. Viengxay Malavong and the staff at Aspire Integrative Health Clinic in Opelika are actively seeking new patients.
Malavong, dually board certified in family and osteopathic medicine, has four years of medical experience. In addition to running Aspire, he works several days a week at the local Stopwatch Urgent Care locations.
Currently, Malavong and his staff are seeing patients 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, with plans in the near future to be open on Sunday afternoons as well as other weekdays as the client base continues to grow.
“For people looking for a family doctor, with me, you’re going to get someone who is going to be here for the long haul. The key with me is that I’m a family doctor who will listen and help people and their families meet their needs and reach their goals,” Malavong said.
Born in Laos, Malavong’s family emigrated to the United States as refugees shortly after the conclusion of the Vietnam War, eventually settling in Mobile.
Inspired by reading the stories of Dr. Jonas Salk’s invention of the polio vaccine and the accomplishments of other famous physicians and scientists, Malavong said he knew he wanted to pursue a career in the medical field when he was as young as five years old.
“They (his parents) never had the heart to tell me that we were poor and couldn’t send me to college. But they didn’t discourage me from pursuing my dream,” Malavong said.
Transferring from Theodore High School, Malavong enrolled at nearby Alma Bryant, where he served in a number of student organizations and was a member of the city’s Leadership Mobile program.
After high school, Malavong pursued a degree in biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, finishing in 2006. From 2006 to 2010, Malavong was in medical school, practicing and studying remotely through the A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Mesa, Arizona.
“Knowing what I wanted to be throughout my training, I tried to fill myself with knowledge on everything I could to make me a well-rounded family doctor. I did a lot of psych work, which I enjoyed, working with people who may have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression or addiction issues,” Malavong said.
Upon completion of medical school, Malavong entered into the residency phase of his medical training. In 2015, he finished and accepted a position with Auburn Urgent Care, where he worked until earlier this year.
‘Cradle to Grave’
In Malavong’s view of treatment and finding the root of a person’s medical problems, it “boils down to the mind, body and spirit” with a basis for problems in those respective spheres that can be traced back to food.
“I think a lot of it is micronutrients that are or are not present in the food we eat. The type of foods we usually eat have calories, not the vitamins and micronutrients we need to process and produce the neurotransmitters we need to simply function,” Malavong said.
Through a personalized approach with each patient, Malavong said he is willing to work with anyone, regardless of their physical condition or weight, and guide them toward a higher level of health and overall wellness.
Another way that goal can be realized is through the osteopathic treatments offered at Aspire, which Malavong explained is similar in practice but different in form to chiropractic medicine.
“Like chiropractics, our focus is restoring the body back to function. A lot of the techniques we use are more counter-strain or muscle energy, which tend to be a little more gentle, especially for the population that might be a little more frail,” Malavong said.
In addition to family care and osteopathic medicine, Aspire also offers typical commercial medical services including DOT medical examinations and drug screenings and a massage and spa center.
For more information, call 334-203-1723, like and follow the clinic’s social media pages or visit www.aspireintegrativehealthclinic.com. The clinic is located at 2202 Gateway Drive, Suite A.