As a young boy, Trace Palmer wanted to be like other kids. He wanted to grow up and work for the local power plant in his hometown of Muskegon, Michigan. He even went to such lengths as to tell other kids his father worked there at night. Chiropractor by day, power plant worker by night and in his 8-year-old mind, it all made perfect sense. Little did he know, he would follow the footsteps of his grandfather and father into the chiropractic world.
Now, 65 years later Trace and wife Nikki carry on the family legacy right here in Richmond Hill.
Palmer was born in Davenport, Iowa and later transplanted to Muskegon, Michigan where he would spend his childhood and graduate from high school.
After graduating in 1995, Trace began working with his father, Thomas Palmer at the Palmer Chiropractic Center, from 1996-1999. Trace worked under his father for three years and after his associateship, was accepted into an outreach program with Life University.
On the brink of signing a lease to start his own practice, Trace took an opportunity providing him a unique experience and international travel. As a faculty member in the International Program, Trace was placed in Costa Rica and Honduras for outreach clinical duties for two years, working with the poor and underserved in these third world countries. It was during this time more opportunity in the Chiropractic field opened for him.
"I was the managing doctor for the Costa Rican Olympic Committee Chiropractic Clinic for Life University. I was there to see and treat all the Olympic and federation athletes," said Palmer. The decision to pursue this opportunity and not sign that lease allowed him to gain Chiropractic Sports Related Experience in 2000 Pan American Triathlon - Costa Rican Team Chiropractor; 2000 Sidney Olympic Games - Honduran Team Chiropractor; 2001 CONCACAF World Cup Eliminations - National Honduran Futbol Team Chiropractor and 2001 Copa America - National Honduran Futbol Team Chiropractor.
"I was able to travel with the Honduran team to Columbia. We would later receive a Congressional Merit of Honor for Copa American in 2001 for the Bronze," said Palmer. Conditions were less than safe during this time, but Palmer played a role in keeping these players on the field and will cherish the memories always.
After returning from his international works, Palmer moved to Marietta, Georgia where he held a faculty position for the next eight years at Life University. After completing 10 years with Life University, Trace and wife Nikki began to search for the perfect coastal place to land. "We decided we were going to leave University so we toured from Myrtle Beach to Saint Mary’s to figure out where we wanted to be the rest of our lives. It came down to Bluffton and Richmond Hill. We ended up here because we felt the community seemed to fit us better," said Palmer.
After making Richmond Hill home, the Palmers established Palmer Chiropractic located on Ford Avenue. The couple admits working together requires a lot of humor. They share a love for the field and the people that come in seeking help. As a couple, they not only run Palmer Chiropractic but have been faithfully committed to their church, First United Methodist in Richmond Hill for many years. Both play roles in the community organizations; Trace with Chamber of Commerce and Rotary, and Nikki with the Exchange Club. When they are not serving at church or in the community they are sharing life with their three children; Andy a recent graduate of Richmond Hill High School, Mitchell a senior and Maddie an 8th grader at RHMS.
Some of the greatest blessings of this field have been seeing the radical changes an adjustment has made on this lives that walk through the doors. Sleep deprived parents bringing in a colicky baby who get their first night’s sleep after an infant receives an adjustment. The parents of a young girl named Emma, coping with what they thought were developmental delays in their child who could not crawl or walk.
After just a few adjustments with Palmer, Emma began to move and crawl for the first time. These are the moments the Palmers live for, they say. They have recently purchased five acres here in Bryan County and are excited to continue serving the community through their business, church, and community organizations.