D.C student

“A Roundabout Road to a Chiropractic Career


Puerto Rico native Yalitzaly (Yali) Ramos grew up surrounded by technical, left- brain thinkers with a nurse for a mom, an electrician for a dad and a brother who became an airplane mechanic.

Her grandparents are musicians and woodworkers, however, so she has a good mix of personalities in the family to help shape her own.

In a roundabout way, it makes sense why health care became a field of interest for Ramos. From an early age, she had an interest in the “structural point of view of things, things about construction,” spending days in the garage with her dad. And in its most basic form, isn’t the body something that can also be analyzed and studied from a structural point of view? Ramos simply jumped from blueprints to X-rays as she expanded her search for knowledge.

Prior to her interest in Chiropractic, however, Ramos worked with a very fun and colorful non-profit known as Circo Nacional de Puerto Rico, where she was able to learn more about physical theatre, aerial silks and bodywork, where physical skill meets artistic excellence. As much as she enjoyed this work, bringing joy to all generations in her surrounding communities, she searched for her next place where she could do more to serve the people around her.

Her aunt proved to be a driving force that led Ramos to Life University (Life U) because her aunt had a genuine interest in holistic health and observed how Ramos’s interest in body mechanics and movement could translate to a career in holistic health care.

After attending a LIFE Leadership Weekend (LLW), Ramos felt that Life U and the Doctor of Chiropractic program was the natural next step for her. She enjoys how hands-on her education at Life U has been, learning from educators that understand how to relay complex information and technique application to their students.

“Not every person that teaches is a teacher, a professor. I feel like that it is something that someone has, and [you know] when you have a true teacher in front of you. And we have a ton of those here, and that really makes a difference in your learning,” said Ramos.

Ramos has lived on campus for her entire program at Life U, enjoying “this little bubble where everyone helps each other as much as they can.” As a chiropractic student, Ramos really values the emphasis that Life U puts on community that she feels isn’t as prevalent at other schools.

“[That sense of community] is going to make or break your practice eventually. Because you are going to be dry when you are 5 or 10 years in practice paying loans, seeing patients, making ends meet, overhead, managing an office and all those things. You need people around you that understand the language, that understand the experience,” explained Ramos. “And I feel like Life U gives you that.”

Regarding her academic growth and stimulation, Ramos is currently finishing up her research track focused on heart rate variability research and its relation to chiropractic care, which has very compelling potential implications for the future of health care. This is an ongoing research project that students and supervising staff are conducting in the Dr. Sid E. Williams Center for Chiropractic Research (CCR).

“Our heart beats in intervals […]. They have a rhythm, and we used to think that they are like a metronome, always at the same time, but that’s really not how it works,” said Ramos.

Ramos explained how more recent reviews of heart rate variability have shown that emotions and other factors can affect heart rate. For example, a stressed-out individual will typically have a faster heart rate than a calmer individual. The ability to regulate heart rate, being able to reach a calm state faster, can have positive health benefits.

The heart rate variability research being conducted at Life U serves as a complement to the amazing advancements being made at NeuroLIFE Institute, the chiropractic applied clinical neuroscience center located on Life U’s campus.

“[This research] gives a lot of cultural authority to the [Chiropractic] profession in general,” said Ramos.

The best advice that Ramos had for prospective chiropractic students was that they should make sure to think critically about if they are prepared for the commitment and effort it takes to succeed in Life U’s rigorous D.C program.

“This is going to be your life. You are going to breathe Chiropractic. […] You really want to want that,” said Ramos.


This article was originally published in Your Extraordinary Life (YEL), Life University‘s Alumni and Friends Magazine, 2022- Volume 15. YEL started in 2009 as a twice-per-year publication before moving to three issues per year from 2010-2017. In 2018, University leadership made the decision to publish a larger, more elegant version of the magazine just once per year that our alumni and friends could be proud of. YEL features an in-depth look at all things Life University, from alumni and student human interest stories to recaps and previews of the University’s biggest events. If you are a proud Life University alumni, friend or supporter, this publication is one you can’t miss!

Read the latest issue and past issues at this link or pick up a print copy on campus.