Dr. Gilles Lamarche is a chiropractor, educator, healer, accomplished author, professional speaker, and one of the most inspiring people in the field of medicine. He tells us that you, too, can say yes to chiropractic success. Dr. Gilles Lamarche was given 24 months to live back in Canada when he was diagnosed with a pulmonary condition that made it extremely difficult to breathe, which made his heart work harder and grow abnormally large. Specific chiropractic treatment saved Dr. Lamarche’s life and he lives to tell his story. You might be asking yourself how in the world can chiropractic restore proper lung and heart function and turn a terminal condition into a thriving healthy life? Listen to find out how.
Dr. Gilles Lamarche was given 24 months to live back in 2003 when he was diagnosed with a pulmonary condition that made it extremely difficult to breathe, which made his heart work harder and grow abnormally large. Specific chiropractic treatment saved Dr. Gilles life and he lives to tell his story. You might be asking yourself, “How in the world can chiropractic restore proper lung and heart function and turn a terminal condition into a thriving healthy life again?” Dr. Gilles is a chiropractor, educator, healer, accomplished author, professional speaker, and is one of the most inspiring people I have ever spoken with. Please welcome, Dr. Gilles Lamarche.
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Chiropractic Success with Only 24 Months To Live with Dr. Gilles Lamarche
On the podcast, we have Dr. Gilles Lamarche. Where are you a chiropractor out of?
I was born and raised in Timmins, Ontario in Northern Canada. I practice for 25 years and I retired in 2004. I’m now the Vice President at Life University in Marietta, Georgia, just the suburb of Atlanta.
I hear chiropractic saved your life. Those are my favorite stories and I would really love to hear it. How did you get into chiropractic in what was going on in your life that led you to the chiropractor?
It spans a number of decades but my first visit ever to a chiropractor, I was twelve years old. I was a little tiny kid. I was in ninth grade in an all-boys Catholic school. I got picked on a lot and one day a new teacher decided to pick on me as well, thinking that he can make friends with the majority of the class if he picked on the same person everybody else picked on.
The teachers were going at it, right?
Exactly. As a joke, this teacher pulled my chair from underneath me and I landed on my rear end and I injured my lower back. Of course now you’d say, “Sue the teacher or whatever.” When we look at it retrospectively, this was a great event in my life because after six months of suffering, someone said to my mom, “You should take him to a chiropractor.” She said, “What’s a chiropractor?” Nobody in my family had ever been to a chiropractor. You’re talking about 50 years ago. My mother finally took me to the chiropractor and this guy was just great. He did a consultation. He talked to me like I was the patient. He did a full examination. He did a set of x-rays. He had me come back to the next day and discovered some issues.
Doc, a quick question for you. Did you go to the traditional medical route? Were you going to your primary care physician in all six months? What were they telling you?
Yeah, for six months. No progress, “It’s going to go away, take this pain medication, whatever.” This chiropractor, when I went in for my second visit, talked about what he found on the x-rays, what he referred to as a more recent subluxation in the low part of my spine which is probably what was causing my low back pain. Then you talked about other subluxations in my neck and upper back and he asked my mother if I ever been dropped on my head or dropped off a change table when I was small. He said, “Because he’s got issues in his spine that had probably been there for a long time.” I remember my mother tearing up and then explaining that I was a forceps delivery baby. I was almost nine pounds. My mother weighed 75 pounds when I was born. She was always very little, until the day she died, she was just a little woman, and they used forceps. Thank God that they had the technology to use the forceps and get me out. They ripped the side of my head up but they saved my life and they saved my mother’s life. God bless them for doing such a good emergency procedure, but I was always an unwell child. I wouldn’t say I was sick; I’m just not well. I always had digestive issues, elimination issues, constipation, etc. This chiropractor explained what he was going to start doing with me and in my own head, I was like, “I don’t believe that anything he is going to do is going to help except maybe he’s going to be able to help me with my low back pain.”
Even though I didn’t believe that this man might be able to help me otherwise, I was hopeful that he could help me get rid of my back pain and I’d be a normal twelve year old and be able to do the things I wanted to do. Lo and behold, within a matter of six or eight weeks, not only was my back pain gone, but I started having normal physiological function. In other words, I could digest my food. I could have normal bowel movements and it was like, “This is a miracle.” I never experienced that since birth. I always had those issues as far as my mother can remember and certainly as far as I can intellectually remember for myself. I was amazed that this thing called chiropractic, who is moving the bones in my spine, and my body started feeling so much better and then I recognize that that was really the source of health, that you needed to have a good brain-body connection and for the flow of that energy, the flow from your brain to your tissue cells to your organs and back up so there was normal communication restored in my particular body. I made that decision at the age of twelve. I was going to be a chiropractor.
That’s not really the part of chiropractic saved my life. That’s certainly the part that chiropractic gave me the life that every human being is really created to have, which is a life of health and vitality and the ability to do everything that you want. At the age of 12, I made a commitment to my chiropractor that when I was big, I was going to be like him. I was going to become a chiropractor. I went on to finish my high school. I went on to Undergrad. I was with the decision of becoming a chiropractor and of course, I went to a chiropractic college and became a chiropractor. He had told me at that time, “If you decide that you’re going to become a chiropractor and you follow through, promise me that before you graduate you go to seminars where people are going to teach you to be successful and understand success conscience and the success principles.” In my junior year in Chiropractic College, I heard of this seminar coming near me. I was in Toronto. There was this big seminar going to New York and I thought, “I’m going to go there.”
Was it a chiropractic seminar or a success seminar?
It was a chiropractic seminar back in the day hosted by Dr. James W. Parker, who had studied himself success principles but was a chiropractor teaching other chiropractors how to become successful. I went there as a junior in chiropractic school. I finished all my requirements in clinic within a couple of months. I stayed in clinic and saw hundreds and hundreds of patient visits way beyond the required numbers that you needed to graduate. I started practice and really I hit the ground running. I had a very successful practice from the first week on. Basically I was in the black in my first week. When I looked at my total experience for the first month, I was also in the block and I built a wonderful, great successful practice that I’ve practiced in for 25 years and saw hundreds and hundreds of people every single week. I just had these beautiful experiences of teaching the Chiropractic paradigm of health and healing that I had learned and experience at the age of twelve and continued to experience.
I was a runner most of my life. I ran what’s equivalent to the NCAA in high school and college years. I was a great runner. I got a lot of gold medals to my feet and I was under a regular chiropractic care that entire time. I was always performing really at my best. In 2000 while I was running, I’m a type of guy who prefers to run in nature, it was spring, everything was blossoming, and I started having these problems breathing while I was running. I didn’t think much of it at first, except the problem breathing got more difficult. I thought there must be something in nature that’s causing you difficulty to breach. I say this jokingly, I did what every normal male adult would do. I just stopped running. If I didn’t run, I didn’t have any symptoms. Pretty dumb, but that’s what I did. In the Spring of 2003, three years later, one of my assistants came to me and she put her hands on my shoulders and she was crying and she said, “I’m so afraid you’re going to die in front of me.” I said, “What are you talking about?” She said, “Listen to yourself breathe. You sound terrible. I don’t mean to be disrespectful but you look terrible. You look ten years older than you did six months ago. You’re sick and you’re not doing anything about it.” I said, “Don’t worry. I’m trying to figure out what I’m allergic to. I must be allergic to some food. I know it’s springtime, I must be allergic to something. I’m just working to figure it out.”
Of course, being much smarter than I am, she’s a woman so obviously she’s smarter than I am. She called a buddy of mine who is a physician and he was a practiced member in my practice, so we’re his children. He understood the paradigm that I taught my community. He understood this paradigm that I didn’t really buy into just covering up symptoms. I was more about trying to figure out what was going on with the body, what to do to keep the body healthy, and basically the philosophy that all organic systems in the universe are conscious, self-developing, self-maintaining and self-healing, provided there’s no interference.
My job as a chiropractor is obviously to determine, “Is there interference between the brain-body communication or the body-brain communication? If there is, can that interference be corrected?” I was telling my assistant the same thing. He called me that night and said, “If I’d made a promise to someone, you were the only person who could help me fulfill my promise, would you do whatever it takes to help me?” Of course, what does a friend says? I said, “Of course, I would.” He said, “Great. I’ll see you tomorrow in my office at 4:00,” and he hang up. Barry knew that I didn’t see patients on Tuesdays. It was a Monday night that he called me. Of course I showed up at his office on Tuesday at 4:00 as he had told me I should. Through a number of tests and a number of physicians and number of specialists beyond him, I got diagnosed with a terminal condition called primary terminal. For those who are here, terminal means the end. When they diagnose you with a terminal condition, it means you’re going to die.
The condition I was diagnosed with was Primary Pulmonary Hypertension. It’s not high blood pressure. It’s increased pressure from your lungs pushing into the right ventricle of your heart, and therefore the heart has to work harder to try to push blood into your lung so you can actually oxygenate. The normal back pressure from the lungs to the heart is about 15 mmHg of pressure. Mine at the time was measured as being 57. That means that my lungs were pushing four times greater into my heart than what the heart is designed to pump. My body adapted and so my heart grew over time, and by the time the diagnosis was done, I also had this condition called cardiomegaly, which means the heart had grown in size. It had grown into two and a half times its normal size ad it was taking up all this space in my chest cavity that there was just no more room for it.
That physician was my best friend. His children still as adult children call me Uncle Gill and my children as adult children call him Uncle Barry, it’s that kind of deep family friendship. Barry said, “The only thing that medicine can do for you is put you on the transplant list. You need a double lung and a heart transplant.” I looked at him and I was like, “What are you talking about?” He said, “Basically, in vernacular terms, your heart and lungs are shot.” I said, “I’m 48 years old. I run most of my life. I’ve had a healthy lifestyle.” He said, “I know, but that’s what you’ve got. We have no other answers for you. You need a double lung and heart transplant, otherwise you’ll be dead. Go do the research, 24 months or less.” When you look at the research of people that are diagnosed with this condition, they have a lifespan of approximately 24 months post diagnosis or less. I went home. I did all my research on primary pulmonary hypertension. Everything he told me he had been true. I looked at it, I got facts.
What was your first response? When someone tells you, “This is it. You have 24 months to live.” What goes through your head in that moment?
I’ve lived a very well-connected life. I’ve had an absolutely beautiful life. I trust that I’m walking in God’s plan and that whatever is supposed to happen is what’s going to happen. I didn’t go through this phase of being angry or upset at anything. I was like, “Are you serious? That’s really it?” He said, “Go home and do the research.” He said, “A double lung and heart transplant is going to give you more time. I want to do whatever I can for my nephews and niece to have their dad as long as you can be here.” I went home. I did the research on that condition. I did the research after that on double lung and heart transplant recipients and discovered that what he was telling me was the truth. The average lifespan post diagnosis for primary pulmonary hypertension patients is about two years, lifespan post double lung and heart transplant is about five years and the quality of life is very poor.
I always lived a very high life, very active, I raced snowmobiles, I always ran, and jump out of planes. I parachute. I’ve done all crazy fun things in my life and I lived a very, very active lifestyle. I just always had a great time playing with my children and I said, “If I can’t really have a high quality of life with a transplant that’s going to cause me to have all sorts of trauma, I have to be on anti rejection medications for the rest of my life and as a potential, it will give me five years instead of two. I’m going to choose to transition.”
I made the conscious choice that I was not going to have the surgery and that I would get myself ready to pass on, to transition. I’ve never seen death as an end. I always saw death as a new beginning, as a new chapter in the history of humanity, in whatever way you perceive life after life if that’s such thing exists, that’s what I believe. I went home. I finally found somebody to take over my practice but in the meantime, it took about six months to find somebody to take over my practice. In the meantime, I actually succumbed to the half-hourly use of Ventolin. I was pumping Ventolin into my lungs, an inhaler at two or three puffs every 30 minutes while I was in practice so I would have enough energy, so I’ve had enough breathability to take care of the next group of patients in my office. I didn’t stop practice because I had a huge practice. I need to find somebody to take over. I couldn’t just shut the door and leave all these people without a great doc.
I found somebody to take over my practice and finally on the 14th of April in 2004, I went home to prepare myself to die. Like I said, I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t in denial. I was accepting. I did what a person’s going to do when they know they’re going to die. I had all my finances well-managed for my children. I planned my funeral. I chose the songs I want to sing in my funeral because I really wanted it to be a celebration because I’d had a really, really good life. I said, “I’m going to put X amount of dollars aside and you guys can have a big party and go, “Joe came in. He did a lot of good. He was a great guy. We’re sad to see him go but we’re happy that he’s to be gone where he’s gone,” and just celebrate. Just celebrate my life and have a big party.” I did all of that. I had gotten all that ready.
On the 15th of May, which is 31 days later, I woke up in the morning and my first thought was like, “You’re an idiot.” There were a few expletive words in there that I’m not going to repeat on a podcast.” You’re an idiot. You’ve been preaching this chiropractic paradigm of health and healing for all these years. There’s got to be something seriously wrong with your spine and nervous system.” The next thought in my head was, “How could that be? I get checked by a chiropractor every week or two.” I’ll tell you, it’s the third thought that really woke me up. The third thought was, “But never by the same chiropractor.” In other words, I was not a member of any practice. I was friends with a lot of chiropractors, we’d get together for lunch every week or two, I’d go to the doc’s office, and he’d come to my office. I check him, he’d checked me and I say him because we didn’t have any female chiropractors. No disrespect to any of our women chiropractors, there was no female chiropractor in my community at the time. When all the noise died down, I realized I hadn’t had an x-ray in my spine in probably fifteen to twenty years. I hadn’t had a nerve scan done at least that long. I hadn’t had a complete chiropractic evaluation at least that long. I was like the child whose father’s a cobbler and who walks around with holes in their shoes or a plumber who’s got leaky faucets. Here I was, a chiropractor receiving substandard care way below the quality of care that was being delivered in my own practice to my own practice members.
When all the noise died down in my head, I called my former office manage, “I may have an appointment to go in as a new patient because I wanted the full care. I wanted a full exam. I wanted x-rays. I want to see what kind of condition my spine was in,” and of course she laughed. She’d been a member of my team for a number years and she was a high school friend so I’d known her for a long time. She was like, “You’ve been under chiropractic care since you’re a little kid.” I said, “You’re right, but substandard care. Never high quality care since I left to go to college.” Prior to that, I had my regular chiropractor. I was a practice member in that practice. I got checked on a regular basis. Anyway, when all the noise died down there, I was, an appointment made, I went into that office and had a thorough consultation, examination, x-rays, and nerve scan. Everything you need to do to find out whether or not there’s interference between the brain and the rest of the body. Lo and behold, the area of concern that was discovered during my examination was from C7to T4. C7, if you run your hand down the back of your neck, C7 is that big bump you feel at the bottom of your neck and T1, T2, T3, T4 are the next four vertebrae. For those of you who know the anatomy, the physiology and the neurology of the human body, you know that the nerves that control lung and heart function actually exit your spine at T1 through T4.
I had what we refer to as serious severe subluxations in that area and when we looked at it on an x-ray, they didn’t even look like five vertebra piled one on top of the other. My assumption and the assumption of the chiropractors who took care of me was I had a very large practice. I saw a lot of people, and I micro-traumatized my spine likely over time. I’m not a very big guy. I have a very blue-collar practice mostly, lumber jacks that were in the bush and minors that work underground, people that work hard. They were big tough guys. Even though I had a family practice from babies to my oldest patient, I think it was 97 or 98 years old, the reality is that a big portion of my practice were very heavy set men that were very strong and it took its toll on my body. I micro-traumatized my spine was what we believe that happened.
I started getting care in the chiropractors who had bought my practice, a husband and wife team, and by the end of August, just remember that was on the 15th of May, I went from my first visit. I went back for further findings on the 16th and by the end of August, my pulmonary pressure had dropped from 57 to 27, which is more than a 50% improvement in a condition that according to medicine is irreversible. Once you have it, you have it for life and you die with it. Of course, conversations with my cardiologist was like, “How could that be?” We got to the conclusion that as chiropractors have talked about forever, there’s a direct link between your soma, your body, and your nervous system and your organ system. Therefore, if there’s any interference in the communication system for your brain cell to your organ system, you’re going to get a dysfunction in the organ system.
Not only that it improved by 50% in three months, within two years, my pulmonary pressure was completely normalize and my cardiomegaly was no longer existing. The body had adapted by growing the heart when there was a lot of back pressure. When the irritation was gone, the interference was gone, the back pressure is no longer occurring, therefore the body adopted again and my heart shrunk back down to its normal size. My complete reversal of that an irreversible condition occurred and it was 100% related to chiropractic. When I tell people I’m as passionate about chiropractic now 40 years almost since I graduated from chiropractic school as I was when I graduated, it’s because I’ve had the experiences. I’ve seen thousands and thousands and thousands of people get well under chiropractic care when no other method would help them when I am a product of that. When I run 5K races all summers while spring, summer and fall along here in Atlanta, when I couldn’t walk a hundred feet in 2003 and I can go run 5k races and usually placed in the top two or three in my age division, people could say, “That’s a miracle.” I’ve had people say, “That’s just a miracle.” I tell people, “A miracle, in my opinion, is an event that occurs through divine intervention.” My recovery was through a physical intervention. It’s not that I did nothing and all of a sudden got well. It’s that I got my subluxations corrected and then got well.
For the viewers, what is a subluxation?
Subluxation is a displacement of the spine. We’re talking about spinal subluxation, a displacement of the spine that adversely affects the function of your nervous system. In other words, adversely affects the communication from your brain to the rest of your body because there are 24 vertebrae, like a 24-story tower with nerves coming out between each vertebrae that feed different parts of your body. The area of my body that was mostly affected was the upper thoracic area, right below the neck and the nerves that exit that area of your spine actually control lung and heart function. Once that was restored, my lung and heart function was normalized.
When you were getting those specific adjustments where you located where the subluxation was, was it just a gradual like you woke up one day and realized you’re better, or after when she got really specific, did you notice it right away?
I did not notice it right away. It took a number of weeks for the change to start to occur. By the end of August, what I recognized is that I was much better because I could go up a flight of stairs without having to stop two or three times. I could walk from my car into my house and there were a few steps up from the driveway up. I could do that with no difficulty. I started being able to take walks. I would walk. First week I walked from my house down a block and back. I did that a couple of times a day. Second week, I went from my house down two blocks and back. I did that a couple times a day. By that time I could walk without much difficulty, I could walk a mile, and then I could walk two miles. Then when I got to be able to walk three miles, I said, “Let’s see if I can run a little bit.” I would run a hundred yards. I walk a 100 yards and run 100 yards and walk slowly, just jogged. Over the course of that two-year period, I got to the point after I had this thorough examination and said, “You no longer even have cardiomegaly.”
Your heart went back to normal? The size? Unreal.
Yeah. Within two years. That was done in a completely different area. It wasn’t even the same doctors. By then in 2006, I had actually moved to Dallas, Texas and I went to the Cooper Institute for what they often refer to as an executive physical. I had a full physical done and I was able to have my chart actually faxed to the Cooper Institute. By the time I got to the cardiologist, they should look at the entire chart, she looked at me and she was like, “There is no way that this person can be you.” We had a great conversation about it. She was like, “Wow.” I’ve got a great opportunity to even speak to the doctors about neurological function because if you read any anatomy book, we know that when I’m talking about is totally true. You need nervous system function to live. Without nervous system function, you die. You don’t die because you have a heart attack, you die because your brain is no longer communicating with the rest of your body. That’s what we refer to as the neurological death.
I continued to improve to the point where after I had that examination at Cooper Institute, I thought, “Are you telling me that I’m 100% like I was before and better and I can start running?” She said, “Absolutely. You haven’t run for a number of years, so just start training lightly,” but she said, “I see no reason why you can’t go back to running.” Within three months, I was back to running 5K races and just doing the stuff that I love to do. I’ve never looked back. We’re looking at being diagnosed with a terminal condition in 2003, having significant healing in the spring of 2004, to being completely readapted by the Spring of 2006. As you can see, from being super sick in ‘03 to being very, very well in ’06, that sounds like a long time, but the other option was death. I was on the brink of death. I was on the brink of transitioning and now at 63 years old, I still do whatever it is I want to do it. I don’t look back. I go out running with guys that are a third or a half younger than me and I can keep up to them. I run with them.
Doc, did you have a complete gratitude for life after coming out the other side of that? What’s that like?
It’s interesting because I’ve always been a relatively grateful person, but yes, you wake up with an even higher level of gratitude because I got to experience things I would have never experienced. I got to experience my three children get married off, graduate from college, and one of them became a chiropractor. I had the opportunity to see the three of them get married. I’ve had the opportunity to see five grandchildren be born and who knows if there might be more. It’s funny you say that, I’m putting my hand on my pocket. I carry with me a gratitude stone, a little heart that I keep in my pocket all the time and I’m reminding myself every day when I put my hand in my pocket that we all have so much to be grateful for, but I think when you come on the edge of transitioning, even though as I said I wasn’t angry and I had no negative emotion around it, I just thought, “God gave me this beautiful life. I’ve had this beautiful 48 years of living a vibrant life. If I meant to transition, I guess I’m meant to transition, so be it.”
I was totally accepting of that. Of course, when you get well you go, “That’s cool. I’ve had a chance to live more time to interact with friends and make a difference in people’s lives and speak to larger groups of people like I’ve been doing for years, write more articles, write more books, and work at touching people’s lives.” I’ve had a purpose statement that I recite to myself multiple times a day and I’ve had it for years and it’s, “I pledge my life to my greatest expression of love and service for the benefit of humanity.” I see that as the foundation for my life. I get to continue doing that now fifteen years post-diagnosis and thriving at everything that I do in life.
My role now as the Vice President at Life University, I get to do a lot of good for the profession, for our students, and obviously for humanity to continue to spread the message and to use my own example as the body’s ability to adapt, because the miracle is you. Everyone here, the miracle is you. Your body was made to be self-developing, self-maintaining, and self-healing provided there’s no interference. That’s the key. The day that people understand that and they understand the forms of interference, which are mental, chemical, and physical, when they understand that and they start to eliminate some of those interferences, for example the chemical being sometimes the foods that you’re putting your body are full of pesticides or the fact that somebody might smoke or somebody drinks excessive alcohol, these are all chemical poisons that are actually taxing your body. They’re interfering with your body and they’re creating interference with normal communication and nervous system.
There are the thoughts that you think. If you think lousy thoughts all day long, you become a lousy person. There’s the physical trauma and some of the physical traumas people think of are car accidents, falls, getting smacked when you’re playing basketball or hockey or playing soccer, but it’s also prolonged bad posture. It’s also what we’re often referred to as text necks. These young kids that are sitting on iPads and iPhones, and they are this way too long, they cause subluxations on the spine such as a physical subluxation, which then leads to interference with normal transmission of nervous system function. We wonder why we have a sick society. We have a sick society because interference is not being appropriately addressed. I get to do that every single day of my life in one of the reasons why I accepted to be on your podcast.
Doc, how far do you think mindset goes when it comes to healing and just obtaining everything you want in life, whether it’s somebody just got diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and somebody tells them there’s no hope? Like you, you had a terminal situation, there’s a couple of way to take that. You can freak out. I’ve never been in this situation but I would think mindset has a lot to do with the outcome of that situation.
I believe mindset has a lot to do with it for sure. There’s a PhD by the name of Carol Dweck who wrote a book called Mindset and she describes mindset in two ways, somebody that’s got a fixed mindset or somebody who has a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is basically you think small, you don’t believe that you can accomplish any more than you’ve ever done, you don’t believe that you can be more than you are, and you don’t believe that if you work at something, you can be a better version of you. That’s a fixed mindset. You get to hang out with people like that every once in a while and they’re the negative nannies. Everything is bad, everything’s wrong, the world is bad.
Then you get a guy or a gal who understands and who works at having a growth mindset, which is what I have 99.9%of the time in my life, and we get to look at possibility. We look at any situation and say, “We’ve got a roadblock. What’s the way through the roadblock? Do we climb over it? Do we pierce through it? Do we walk around it? Do we ask for help? Can we do it on our own?” We ask questions on how we can grow beyond the roadblock. A fixed mindset individual just sees the roadblock and they focus on the road block. I’ve had other roadblock show up in my life since 2003. It’s just a roadblock. I look at it as, “How do I bring the best version of me to every situation, every circumstance that I get to live now? How do I bring the best to me to this interaction I’m having with you right now that has to do with being focused?”
Yes, I’m at my office at Life University. Yes, I have a headset on so I don’t hear anything else. Yes, my door’s closed. Yes, I put a sign on my door and my assistant put a sign on my door that says, “Live podcast going on, please do not disturb,” in case somebody walks by her when she’s not at her desk and attempts to come into my office or knock at the door, so I create boundaries for my life. By doing that, I get to live a magical life. I would tell you that everybody could choose to live a magical life if that’s the choice that they made. No matter what circumstance you’re in, no matter what financial circumstance you’re in, no matter what relationship circumstance you’re can in, no matter what health circumstance you’re in, you can always do better.
What does it require? Focus. It requires that you get a plan, it requires that you stay committed to your plan. To me, those are the three secrets that aren’t that secret, but that’s what happened with most people with a fixed mindset is they don’t plan to do something better. If they plan, they plan for an hour or a day rather than say, “I’m going to plan a strategy.”
I don’t run marathons because I think that’s crazy to beat up your body that much, but if I wanted to run a marathon, I know I would create a strategy. I run middle distance races. I like to run5Ks, but I know that if I don’t have a strategy on how I’m going to train for my 5K, the chance of getting injured are much greater, the chance of not completing a 5K is much greater. If I have a strategy and I worked myself up through the springtime, I’m going to run one at the end of May, I’ll be in shape to do it. I think mindset is a key factor to being the best version of you. I have a little ritual that I follow every morning that I’ve created for myself, but the first words I consciously input into my brain in the morning is, “Today, I greet this day with love in my heart, every person, every situation, every circumstance, because I choose to make my life sacred.” I think that if more of us chose to make our lives sacred, if more of us were grateful for the life that we get to live, rather than focusing on the problems that show up, we’d recognize that bringing gratitude eases the problem, allows us to be in what we as chiropractic recognized as a parasympathetic state, which is where you’re more creative. Whenever a problem shows up, you have a greater ability to find a solution.
That’s were chiropractic comes in too because some people’s “Light switch” in the brain is just off and they can’t snap out of the punk they’re in and it’s real amazing when you have people coming to your office and they say their clarity is better, their focus is better. Their anxiety is gone. Their depression is gone. It’s amazing thing to see.
Relationships get better because of it. Friendships get better. Family relationships, spousal relationships, everything gets better because when you are subluxated, you are not clear and connected. The goal of chiropractic is to make sure that we clear the interference in your nervous system so that you function at a clear and connected level on the physical, the mental, and the spiritual plane. Yes, for those who are subluxated, when the subluxation get corrected, you feel this burden lifted off your shoulders, lift off your heart, lift off your head, and all of a sudden you say, “Why didn’t anybody ever tell me that?” Chiropractors, we’ve got to tell people. We’ve got to be willing to tell them the truth about how the body functions and to give insight on how they also can be as well. We should be the living example of that. I’m grateful that today I am a living example of that. Obviously in 2003, I was not because I was not a practice member. I was not getting regular care by the same chiropractor who kept notes on me, charted my progress or charter what was going on. I was receiving what I referred to as haphazard care.
Doc, did you write any books prior to 2003 or it all came after?
No. I started writing books back in the ‘80s and I think the first book that I got published that was later than that was in 1992. The last one that I published sold out 25,000 copies on the first printing that I haven’t re-printed yet is called The Art of Being Healthy: Real-life accounts of mothers and children healing with Chiropractic. Now, I’m actually working on another one in that series. That was the third in that series. I’m working on another one which will be again, The Art of Being Healthy: Real Life Accounts of People of All Ages Healing with Chiropractic. That’s again a compilation of stories that I will get from multiple doctors from around the nation and around the world. I’m also working on a book called Tribe Of Chiropractic Mentors to actually help chiropractors and chiropractic students to think and utilize mentorship even from mentors they may not know personally, but to read a book and look at mentorship stories that would guide them to be great students while they’re in school that would guide them to building the practice they’d like to practice in and to really impact their communities. It’s my number one goal in my life from now until the day I do transition, is to bring chiropractic to the forefront so that humanity can experience the value of chiropractic, so that every person could benefit from chiropractic, being examined and determining whether or not they have subluxations and having them corrected. We run from a motto, we will not stop until every man, woman, and child has access to chiropractic care and/or chiropractic education if that’s what they choose. I went in that paradigm and that’s how I get up every day now.
You’re a wealth of knowledge on the philosophy of success. Who did you learn from, study from, who inspired you, and what did you gather to have success in your own life or obtain goals that you really want to accomplish and live the life you want to live?
I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of mentors and my first mentor started when I was relatively young. My first part time job, I was twelve and the gentleman who was a businessman in my local community who taught me about the value of money. I’ve learned some of it from my parents, but he was a wealthy guy. He was a guy that they would look up to because they had all the big house, the big this, the big that and what he taught me was the power of commitment. He said, “It’s not about the house, it’s not about the fancy cars, it’s about serving humanity. Find something that your passionate in doing for the rest of your life, serve well, and have no concern about making money to get some money.” Then I learned from my first chiropractic mentor and these were his words, “Money is simply a byproduct of great service rendered.”
I started doing that at the age of twelve and then I had my first chiropractic mentor when I was 22 years old. In between that, I had a successful business manuncle, my father’s younger brother, who lived in multiple cities around the world and when he would visit he’d always be super well-dressed. He had these custom-made suits and custom-made shirts with monograms. I was like, “How do you do that?” He told me the same thing. “You find something that you love to do that serves people and you serve people with honesty and integrity.” I’m like, “That makes sense to me.” I continued to learn that through a variety of mentors and that’s really where that service consciousness came in.
Then I went on to have other mentors that people would know by name or at least by association. Dr. Wayne Dyer, who wrote a number of books, ended up being a mentor and taught me a lot of great lessons. He had multiple mentors, many of them had never met because they passed away before he was ever born. He had mentors that had been dead hundreds of years and I said, “How’s that even possible?” He had mentors through their writings. For example, one of his mentors was Patanjali, an ancient philosopher. Wayne studied him at length through his writings and one of the major lessons, and I’ll paraphrase a little bit, but one of the major lessons that came from that was the power of having a purpose statement that you choose to live true to.
Apparently, at some point Patanjali was asked, “Why is having a purpose for your life so important?” He went on to say, “Because purpose inspires you, and when you’re inspired by some grand purpose, your thoughts transcend their bonds, your mind transcends limitations. Your awareness expands in every direction, and you discover these great qualities and talents. These great qualities and talents come alive and you discover yourself to be a better person by far than you ever thought imaginable.” Of course, I had said I’m paraphrasing, but the importance here is that when you have a clear purpose statement that you’re passionate about, your thoughts transcend their bond, your mind transcends limitations, and your awareness expands in every direction. That was a huge learning for me. From that I learned to craft my own purpose statement, learn to recite it on a daily basis. I still recite it on a daily basis, multiple times a day sometimes so I get to actually live my life that way. Other mentors before they were famous and after they were famous, but before they were famous were Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield. They were the founders of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series of books. They’re both super great people. They’re the type of people I’ve got on my cell phone, if I call either of them, they answer my calls and I get to chat with them. I had some great mentors along the way, other chiropractic mentors, and some of them were not mentors as much as friends and that we shared a mentorship circle if you like. John Demartini who is well-known to a lot of people that appeared in the movie, The Secret. John and I, we won the Chiropractor of the Year together back in 1988. We’ve been friends for a long time and sometimes I refer to that as co-mentorship. I’ve been part of a Mastermind Group with two other chiropractors. We talk every second Wednesday at 7:00 in the morning usually, and we converse about what can we do to help each other.
Mentorship has played a super-important role, and then planning. From mentorship, I learned to plan. I learned to develop skills necessary to create the life that I wanted to create so I could wake up every morning and choose to be the best version of myself. By doing that, I’ve been able to help thousands of people including my children and my family. I’ve been able to be successful in every sense of the word. I always tell people to make sure you define success the way you want it because success is defined differently by one than by another. I have a very clear definition of success that I somewhat borrowed from Bob Dylan and it was, “Success is defined as waking up in the morning, going to bed at night, and doing exactly what you love in between.” I get to do that every day. I did that every day in my practice until it got really sick and then I just wanted to get the heck out. As I got well, I re-implement that statement. Success is just about getting up in the morning, going to bed at night, and loving what you do in between.
That’s beautiful. I love that quote. What are you up to now?
Currently, I’m sitting in my office at Life University on this beautiful campus in Marietta, Georgia. I took my assistant out for lunch for her birthday earlier and that was nice because we just walked through a restaurant down the streets. It’s a beautiful 80 plus degrees here now. I work in a variety of roles here. I manage student assemblies. I manage the Post-Graduate Education Department. I manage some of our larger events that we host on campus and off campus, bringing the chiropractic paradigm and the success paradigm to the chiropractic profession and other events that are sometimes for the general public and all other roles here at Life University. I love to write, so I’m working on a few different books as I mentioned awhile ago that I’m hoping to be completed certainly by the end of the year, if not earlier. I initially had a goal of spring or summer of 2018. I’m a little bit behind to get anything done this spring but potentially by the end of the summer. I continue to speak. I mean I speak internationally to different audiences, whether chiropractic or non-chiropractic audiences.
Again, it’s just all about bringing the message of possibility of the world because I was born and raised in this little tiny town. I don’t come from money. I’ve been able to create an extraordinary life for myself and my children who now are doing that for themselves and their children based on their own experiences. Certainly, some of the lessons they learned along the way, but some of their own experiences. I do that with students here all the time, letting people know that you have gifts and when you learn to tap into those gifts and those talents and you choose to use them responsibly, you get to create an extraordinary life. One of the books that I wrote back in probably mid to late 2000s, I think ’07 or ’08, was the art of responsibility, that we would choose to be responsible for how we think, how we act and therefore be responsible for results. I believe that responsibility is a key that when you choose to be responsible, as painful as that might be at the beginning, that you’re going to achieve extraordinary results.
Extreme ownership of everything that goes on in your life. With all your life experience, what would you leave the audience with a couple of things that you took with you along the way that stuck with you and that have really meant a lot to you over the years?
Know your truth and be willing to speak your truth. Be honest all the time, even though it might be painful at times to be 100% honest, because I believe that honesty allows you to create an extraordinary life. Create a plan for your day every single day. Much of it could be routine, like I had a morning routine. When I wake up, the first words that I consciously input into my brain is, “I greet this day with love in my heart, every person, every situation and every circumstance, because I choose to make my life sacred,” and if at first I don’t believe it because they might be waking up tired, I lay there and repeat it until I honestly believe the words that I’m telling myself.
Then when I choose to get out of bed, and by the way, I do not set a clock. I decide the night before what time I’m going to wake up and I wake up usually within ten to fifteen minutes to that. If you have to set a clock, my advice to you is set it for the exact time that you want to get up and the minute it goes off, get your butt out of bed. The snooze button thing is the worst invention on the planet. What you’re telling yourself is that you’re willing to snooze through your day, you’re willing to wait to take action for your day. I believe that action eliminates fear. I choose to take action immediately. Like I said, I work at getting myself in this really great state. The minute I feel that way, I turned on my side and as my feet hit the ground one foot at a time, I just say thank you. Step my right foot and step left foot and say thank you and enter my day in a state of gratitude before anything great has happened. Guess what? I got to wake up. How cool is that? You got to wake up this morning. Everyone here got to wake up this morning too, and hopefully you all get to wake up again tomorrow.
That alone is reason enough to be grateful. That you’re being given this opportunity to serve people, to hang out with people, to smile, to laugh, to work hard, to do something that matters. For me, the morning ritual of preparing my mind and my heart, having a short meditation, doing some physical exercise, preparing myself to better serve humanity that I’m going to interact with now, that serves me really, really well. I enjoy the day all day long and if I fall off track, I forgive myself. I carry the gratitude stone in my right hand pocket.
As a matter of fact, I carry two things in my right hand pocket and it’s my gratitude stone and it’s a wooden cross because that’s who I am. That reminds me why I came to this earth, in my opinion, why I choose to continue to serve, and the beauty that I receive in return. When you choose to be a servant, when you choose to make service your first technique, you create an extraordinary life. That’s been my experience, it’s not anybody else. I can only speak from my experience. That’s been my experience. It’s been an awesome experience. It’s been wonderful and I no longer look at experiences as being good or bad. I simply look at them as experiences.
Even experiences that in the past I would determine as being, “This is a bad experience.” Lo and behold in time, they’ve given me so much strength and so much discovery and so much knowledge and so much joy, that now I just go, “It’s just an experience.” You may not feel that good right now. Maybe you’re feeling a little bit painful, but at the end of this is going to be an experience. I’ll look at it a day, a week, a month, a year down the road, five years down the road and go, ”That was an important experience because it helped shape the direction that I’m going in now. Accept yourself. Love yourself the way you are. There’s only one of you. There will never be a clone of you as far as I know. It doesn’t mean that science may not clone an exact one of you, but I don’t believe that it could ever be exact. There’s one of you. Be grateful for that. Love yourself the way God would have you love yourself and be the best version of you. Be the best woman, be the best mother, be the best daughter, be the best child, be the best son, father, brother, sister. Just be the best you can be. Some days your best is not going to be as good as you want it to be, but be the best you can be anyway. It doesn’t matter what good you do today, somebody’s going to criticize you. It doesn’t matter how hard you work to build something, somebody may destroy what you’ve built.
At the end of the day, as Mother Teresa rather would say, “At the end day is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” Be the best version of you. That’s my insight that has served me extremely well in my own life. I can tell you that by living my life that way, I get to live with a lot of peace and a lot of joy. As a matter of fact, I get to live a very blissful life. It was hard along the way. There were some difficult steps, from borrowing money at 18% to start a practice back in 1979, to now being able to buy a house and write a check for it. It wasn’t always that way, because it took a lot of work. I don’t come from money, so it took a lot of work, but I was able to build it sustainably always by taking good care of people, always by treating people with respect. No matter if it’s an airline agent that works with Delta on the phone or face-to-face or a seatmate on a flight taking you somewhere, just treat people with respect. That’s where Agape, the Greek definition of that type of love, that unconditional love. We can choose to be unconditionally loving if we so choose. I invite you to choose that because when you choose unconditional love, watch it bounce back. It’s phenomenal what happens to your life.
Thank you so much for coming on, Doc. Do you have any social media platforms, a website, or where can people find you online?
I obviously have a Facebook profile both under Gilles Lamarche DC and under Dr. Gilles Lamarche because my Gilles Lamarche profile is filled. It’s been at 5,000 for a long time. I have another website that I use as it relates to the chiropractic profession and sharing some of the books and writings I do called TheBignessOfChiropractic.com. Those are probably the easiest ways to get ahold of me, either through TheBignessOfChiropractic.com or basically on Facebook. I pride myself to responding to people and into supporting people as best as I can. As I said, my purpose statement that I recite multiple times a day is, “I pledge my life.” That’s a pretty big commitment. “I pledge my life to my greatest expression of love and service for the benefit of humanity.”
If anything you’re looking for fits on that platform, then I’m happy to serve from that space. If it doesn’t fit on that platform, I’m able to say no. I’ve said no to a lot of opportunities that seemed like they were really, really good but it doesn’t fit that. I want to always do good and I want to never do bad. It doesn’t mean we don’t make mistakes once in a while, but I know that I consciously approach every day wanting to do good, wanting to be the best version of me, therefore be good. The more you strive at living that way, the more you get to live your life that way. I feel blessed that I’ve had the opportunities with my life that way, that I have a family who chooses to live their life that way, whether it be my sisters, my wife, my children, my children-in-law. I’m in a really, really good company.
You deserve it. You have an amazing story. You’re very inspirational. Thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate you’re having on as a guest.
It was my distinct pleasure to share this time with you and for anyone who might benefit from the guidance or the tips that I shared. Keep it on. Be the best version of you and together we create a healthier world, a healthier life for everybody that we get to encounter with. It had my pleasure, Dr. Kevin, to share this time with you.
Thank you, Dr. Gilles. I’ll be in touch. Thank you so much.
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