I’m Dr. Dan and I’m a chiropractor. In the first post, I discuss why I stopped practicing. Here I talk about the second part of that decision, which is what I am doing instead.
I’m a treasure hunter.
Well, I should clarify I mean that in a figurative sense. Allow me to explain.
For the 5 years I practiced as a chiropractor, I was frustrated with the treatment options I knew about. They required patients to go to a clinic for care and see a doctor one-on-one, they were expensive for patients, they required the patient to first have a problem to be treated for, and after the patient went home and continued their typical lifestyle the health problem would often return within a month.
I kept thinking, “It would be great if there was something low-cost or free that patients can do to become so healthy that they won’t need to go to a doctor in the first place.” If there was such a thing, that would be a treasure.
That’s what I’m hunting for.
Here some qualities of what I want to find:
- Free or very low cost
- Can be done at home
- Minimal or no bad side-effects when used properly
- Fits into a busy lifestyle
- Likely to improve a person’s health and well-being in a predictable way
- People can be motivated to use it consistently
- Can be refined into simple and understandable steps for a beginner to get started
The different ‘’territories” on this map are the methods for delivering wellness solutions to people. While not everything in a territory may be worth looking at, I want to look through everything. I also feel that it is best to first look at what people are doing before I look for new solutions.
Here the areas I will be looking at (with more to come later):
- Group classes
- Online blogs and other written content
- Online videos
- Computer and phone applications
- Physical products
The services of clinics can be expensive. However, they have a lot of information that can be used for creating successful at-home programs. For example, the best person to teach a husband about how to massage his pregnant wife during pregnancy and delivery is probably a professional masseuse who specializes in treating pregnant women.
One obstacle is that many of the strategies used by clinics are only helpful for people with specific health conditions and they can negatively affect other people. So they require tests and clinical expertise to confirm if they are appropriate. Another potential obstacle is that some clinics may keep certain treatment strategies private because they feel that free sharing of this information will hurt their revenue.
- The Mayo Clinic: There is a lot of information on at-home strategies on its website.
- The Carrick Institute: The founder, Dr. Frederick Carrick, is a chiropractor who does neurology research in partnership with the University of Cambridge
- The Institute for Functional Medicine: This institute certifies a variety of health practitioners (including medical doctors) in natural treatment strategies.
There are many benefits to group classes. Because they are not limited to one-on-one interactions clinic typical clinic treatments, sessions can be longer and less expensive than clinic treatments. There is also a great social element where being part of a high-energy and supportive community can motivate people to stick to the program and do their best.
These strategies may not be as scientifically based compared to clinic treatments, however. There is also the chance that someone may be doing an exercise wrong without the instructor’s knowledge and get injured as a result.
Here are some interesting examples:
- Crossfit: Vibrant community helps motivate people to workout and there are free “WOD” workouts posted online.
- Foundation Training: An exercise program similar to pilates that strengthens the back to help prevent injury and increase physical performance. Here is an example video.
- Local running clubs on meetup.com
Blogs and Other Written Online Content
Many healthcare providers use blogs and similar media to share their knowledge of wellness solutions.
With all online content, it is important to look at both the science behind the information, as well as any potential biases of the writer (based on factors such as how they make money). As a side note, I’m not getting paid for any of the links in this article.
- Katy Bowman: A physical therapist who focuses on movement strategies.
- The Social Science Research Network (SSRN): A database of research articles that any individual or organization can submit to.
My favorite places to find videos are YouTube and Facebook, but there are many more to discover. Like blogs, online videos range from high-quality to questionable content. Any financial biases are always a concern.
Many videos that are free to watch are used as promotions for paid courses and apps, so the creator is likely just giving a small amount of their available content. However, there are creators who seem to want to provide high value with their free videos.
- Bob and Brad: Two physical therapists on YouTube who share my passion for teaching at-home solutions to millions of people. The link on their name is to a video on how to “crack” your back without a chiropractor. I love that they shared this information because I wish everyone could fix their own back at home. I do have a few comments for better results, which I will share in a later post.
- Stephen Jepson: A young-at-heart inventor who focuses on ways to develop your brain with exercises for balance and coordination. He also has a website.
- Brenda Vance: A Facebook influencer with positive energy that helps motivate people to get through her challenging workouts.
- VAHVA Fitness: This is a website and a Facebook page that teaches movement strategies with free and paid videos.
As a side note, there are many 30–100 second videos on Facebook with good exercise ideas. These are posted by users such as Frank Medrano, MV Fitness Motivation, and HIIT Burn.
Mobile and Computer Applications
Unlike videos, applications can use algorithms to provide customized plans based on a user’s situation and goals.
- Headspace: A meditation app that invests in research on the clinic benefits of its programs.
- EdenOS: Works with companies and consumers to scientifically test the effectiveness of health products.
- Noom: This app provides information and coaching for healthy eating.
- 0–100 Pushups Trainer by Zen Labs Fitness: Uses a scientific formula based on the number of pushups a person can do to help them get to 100 pushups in 8 weeks.
Books contain a lot of great information. A big downside is that the time required to read books is not user-friendly. One of my goals is to condense the information from books into Canva handouts, videos, and training programs.
- 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris. Innovative at-home strategies for a variety of health and wellness goals.
- Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett. Movement strategies for athletes and weekend warriors.
- The Practice of Natural Movement by Erwan Le Corre. One of the many great books about animal-based movement.
- Books on barefoot running. I’m looking into an educated guess that allowing our feet to interface with the ground during movement without the barrier of a thick shoe sole can improve muscle strength and provide neurological benefits.
There are a wide variety of affordable products. These include equipment that helps with exercising and/or stretching, pain relief, preventing pain (such as lumbar belts), measuring biomarkers at home (blood pressure cuffs, blood sugar tests, and bioimpedance tests).
I will get into specifics in later posts.
My goal here was to make a rough sketch of the “treasure map” that I will use while searching for the best at-home wellness solutions. The examples above are provided simply to give you an idea of what I have found so far and some of the things I will be looking for as I go forward.
I will post updates along my journey to let you know what I find.
If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.