I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Darren White at the Blair Conference this past September in Dallas. Dr. Darren actually received the 2008 Blair Chiropractor of the Year award there. I should also add that he spent months of his free time organizing and putting the conference together. On top of that, he has been flying down to Life West in Hayward, CA from Seattle to teach the Blair Upper Cervical technique to students there. Despite all this, I was really struck by how humble and down to earth he is. I had corresponded with him via email and Twitter before then, but it’s tough to grasp someone’s personality through the internet. I am extremely grateful that he took time out of his extremely busy schedule to answer some questions for The Atlas of Life.
Brandon: Why did you decide to become a chiropractor?
Dr. Darren: “I was always headed into healthcare but just didn’t know exactly what that looked like. My mother worked for a Chiropractor but I thought it was just weird at the time. Then I awoke one morning when I was 14 with such excruciating neck pain that I could not move anything but my feet. I was dragged in by my family, vomiting on my self from the pain. I was so floppy and out of it that they even slammed the car door on my hand. Within a coupe hours the chiropractor had me walking. I was amazed! I immediately enrolled in the Chiropractic Health Assistant program at CMCC in Toronto. I was the only male, which was actually fun, and I knew that I wanted to take it further. I wanted to travel Europe first, so my Chiropractor sent me to Life University for 3 days to make sure I would come back. He was right! I got back from Europe in October and I was at Life by January.”
Brandon: How did you decide to specialize in Upper Cervical Chiropractic?
Dr. Darren: “When I was in my 5th quarter at Life, I suffered a major health scare and it sent me on a journey to find the best technique in chiropractic. Once I saw Dr. Rustici’s presentation on Dr. Blair’s research on malformations and anomalies, it was over. I then became a huge pain in the neck for my other technique teachers. I have calmed down a lot since then! I also worked with Dr. Susan Brown in the Research Clinic at Life and she performed my first Blair adjustment… life changing.”
Brandon: What made you choose the Seattle area?
Dr. Darren: “Great question! I sent out an email to all Blair Chiropractors looking for an associate. Concurrently, Toni and I drove west from Atlanta visiting Chiropractic offices across the country. We were so welcomed by all, it was great to see what REALLY happens in an office. I received many replies from my email, all of them pointing to Dr. Michael Lenarz in Sedro Woolley, Washington. I was so lucky to have such a great mentor and business coach. While here we fell in love with Seattle and Dr. Lenarz allowed us to purchase the Kirkland office.”
Brandon: You own multiple Upper Cervical Chiropractic clinics, as well as a company called Worksite Wellness, which specializes in creating a wellness mindset within major corporations. Can you share how becoming a serial entrepreneur has helped you advance the cause of Upper Cervical Chiropractic?
Dr. Darren: “Wow, I only hope there is enough space on your Blog to answer this question! To address the multiple clinics… I believe there is a huge deficit between students and successful chiropractors. Once we graduate we are totally disconnected from the colleges. We as chiropractors also tend to eat our young, and it is horrible. Most associateships don’t work because the associate becomes the “exam doc” or the “overflow doc” while being paid a small amount and not really learning what it takes to do it on their own. Years can go by before the “associate” gains the confidence to leave and even then he/she still doesn’t have the skills necessary to run a practice. Upon looking back at my journey with Dr. Lenarz, I realized how perfect it was. After 2.5 years from graduation I had my own successful practice. So I am on a mission to help other students do the same. I have set up www.ownyourdreampractice.com specifically to share my experience.
To address the Worksite Wellness question… My personal mission on this planet is to teach people that health comes from within. It is that simple. I also believe that the INNATE philosophy we have as Chiropractors puts us in the best spot to lead this Wellness Revolution. Then I tried to figure out how to get to the masses, I realized that most people not only had a job but they spend 8-12 hours per day there. Since people spend so much time on the job, what better place to interact with them than where they work? In 2003, we formed Worksite Wellness, a health fair company designed to get local wellness providers in front of employees. It became so popular we expanded out suite of services to include Lunch and Learns and Backcare Classes. Today Worksite Wellness is a full service Wellness implementation company currently working with over 400 companies in the Seattle Area. As I write this we are implementing an online wellness platform that is much like the Facebook of wellness. This will serve as a great tool to redirect employees to real solutions versus just putting on a temporary band-aid.
We plan to be in front of 2.5 million lives before 2012. We are going straight to the people and empowering them to take full accountability for their health and lifestyle. This will, in turn, add quality of life while decreasing our healthcare costs. This is how we plan to change the world.”
Brandon: Can you share some Upper Cervical miracle stories that you’ve personally witnessed?
Dr. Darren: “One case that stands out in my mind is a patient that was referred to us by a nurse at HoneyWell. We performed their annual Health Fair so they often sent over referrals. This one gentleman in particular just started shivering one day, much like he was cold, except that he wasn’t cold. Over several months the shivering became debilitating, so much that he had to take a leave of absence. It was so bad we had to help him fill out his paperwork. He had already been run through the medical system with no answers or relief. 2 adjustments over a 6 week period of time, and he completely lost his shivers and was back to work.
The miracles are certainly great and tend to make great stories. But just as important is the constant AH-HA’s patients get when they fully realize that health is not just about being pain free. They bring in their family, friends and co-workers. My personal favorite is when you take care of 2-3 generations of the same family! That’s a miracle as well.”
Brandon: What message can you convey to people suffering from dis-ease and considering surgery?
Dr. Darren: “Drugs and Surgery are necessary only in rare cases, in my opinion. However it boggles my mind how quickly patients are willing to jump to that decision. That is why I feel it is so critical that we get in front of as many people as possible to let them know that their body is already fully equipped with everything necessary and we may only need to remove the interference. Drug commercials are every third commercial, consistently programming Americans in the opposite direction. We need to get in front of them… any way we can.”
Brandon: What message can you share with students contemplating becoming an Upper Cervical Chiropractor, but haven’t yet decided?
Dr. Darren: “Visit offices. See what is actually happening in the field. Don’t just visit UC offices but hit all the techniques. You will be amazed and appalled at the same time. Some office are truly changing lives in their community and some are not. Take advantage of school and explore as many techniques as you can. You will gravitate innately to the one that makes the most sense. Remember you have to sell it. If you don’t own it you can’t sell it.”
Brandon: What is your vision for the future of Upper Cervical Chiropractic?
Dr. Darren: “Flat out leaders of the Wellness Revolution. Period.”
Again, thanks go out to Dr. Darren White for this interview. He and his team are doing some great things up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a great example of someone truly advancing the cause of Upper Cervical Chiropractic.