Tony Murray called the early part of his life old school, one of a last in his generation of Millennials.
From the age of 18 to 24, his life read like a text book. High school, college, job – he ran a well tread route.
Everything since then? Not so.
The 38-year-old chiropractor, who recently purchased the chiropractic business of Mary Zega in The Dalles, chose to move here based on environment and health.
“There is a great energy going on here,” he said. He also cued in on “great water”, “great views” and more “sunlight.” And, of course, The Dalles’ affordability within the Gorge.
“It’s the place to buy right now,” he said. “That’s the buzz…”
Murray is part of a group of newcomers to The Dalles who are taking on or over business ventures. And their end goals are as much related to their work as well as their outside interests.
Murray took a circuitous route getting here.
He graduated from West Linn High School in 1999. He immediately attended Oregon State University and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He went to work.
By the time he was 24, his boss was wondering if he wanted to buy the business, Courtney & Nye Inc, an engineered products sales company in Hillsboro.
He was at a crossroad. He was looking down the road at 30 years in the same business. It was a fish-or-cut-bait moment.
“I looked around the room and nobody looked happy,” Murray said. He and fellow employees understood and sold heat exchangers, pumps and parts to major industrial plants.
It was not enough.
At the end of the year in 2005, Murray and his workmates got together for a meeting. They went around the room stating goals. It was time for aspirations and reflections at the end of the year.
It came down to, “How many heat exchangers are we going to sell?”
Murray dug a little deeper. “I’m moving to Korea to teach English,” he told the group.
And thus, his odyssey of travel and education in health, Yoga and meditation began. After teaching English and science in Korea and Taiwan for several years, a couple of voices caught his attention.
His grandmother told him her most meaningful work in her life was in massage. Within a week, a school friend told him she was going to a massage school in Colorado.
The idea took hold. Murray took an introductory course in massage in Taiwan. That led to his embrace of health, meditation and Yoga. He returned to the states, enrolled at East West College of Arts in Portland and became a massage therapist. And his thirst for knowledge did not wane.
He soon noticed clients had ailments he could not heal, such as dislocated ribs. He would refer them to a chiropractor. A friend, Chiropractor Andrew Alvis of Portland, told Murray it would make a lot of sense for a mechanical engineer to take the next logical step of becoming a chiropractor.
After some heavy vetting, Murray went on to Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, Calif., and has since achieved his chiropractic license in Oregon and Washington.
“Pain is a check engine light,” he said, noting adjustments can stop nerves from sending pain signals and free up space in the brain to do other things. “Removing pain allows you to operate at higher capacity; you just operate at a much higher level.”
Murray looked all over Oregon in deciding where to start his practice. But he kept landing in the Gorge because of his personal interests in hiking and recreation. Zega’s practice also came for sale near the same time. It was a lock.
“It was all about health,” he said of his decision to move here. “I can’t stress that enough.”
Murray’s practice, Tone Chiropractic, is located at 818 W. 6th St. Phone number 541-298-1404.