Movement is part of our daily lives. It plays an enormous part in our health because that’s how our spine gets its nutrients and all the blood flow. On the other hand, nutrition has a significant impact on our health as well, especially with the food we eat. A sports enthusiast and the founder of RSM Sports Medicine and Rehab, Dr. Jeremy Dinkin shares his passion for movement and nutrition. Dr. Jeremy gives us a glimpse of how he discovered chiropractic when he suffered from a neck injury that altered his life and career. He discusses the importance of applied biomechanics in movement-based therapy in treating patients, as well as the significance of rest and the digestive system to our nutrition.
We have Dr. Jeremy Dinkin. Dr. Jeremy is a chiropractor out of Monmouth County, New Jersey that specializes in movement, strength and conditioning and nutrition. He is also one of my best friends growing up since high school. He is extremely talented at what he does and it’s an honor having him share his story on the show. Welcome, Dr. Jeremy Dinkin.
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Movement, Strength/Conditioning, And Nutrition with Dr. Jeremy Dinkin
We have one of my best friends, Dr. Jeremy Dinkin. Jeremy, how are you?
I’m good. Thanks for having me on.
It’s an absolute pleasure and thrill to have you on the show. He’s one of my best friends. I met you in my sophomore year of high school. You were fresh off the boat from California. I met you in Smithy’s neighborhood in sophomore year. Jeremy, where are you from originally?
I grew up in Newport Beach, California. I came back East in seventh grade at twelve. I went to middle school, high school here and college and then back to California for chiropractic school.
Did you know that Newport Beach, California was like a fictitious place growing up or did it not hit you until you moved to Jersey?
It hit me when I went back again. I was much older. I was 24. I couldn’t believe how much I took it for granted, even though we lived it up. We were on the beach from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. If I were there in high school, it would’ve been crazy.
It’s a wonderful place to be and grow up, but it’s 75 and sunny every day. It could get dangerous.
I’m grateful that I did end up on the East Coast because of the group of guys I met, friends.
How was the transition moving from California to the East Coast at such a young age?
They’ve made it easy because my cousins were already here. I can’t thank them enough for that. They can play football, so I was riding for Pop Warner on day one. Those guys, I’m still close with all of them.
Did you move in with your cousins when you first came in here?
It was straight from Croatia. I didn’t even go back to California, straight from Europe with a suitcase to New Jersey.
Your cousins you moved in with are absolute characters. That must’ve been something.
Our families are insane. It’s awesome.
What were you into growing up? Were you into sports?
Originally, it was football and basketball always. We played basketball on our mini hoop until 12:00 at night outside because it was Cali. Football was at Pop Warner. I played for Newport Beach Seahawks. We played some hilarious teams like the Inglewood Jets. That’s where football started. Basketball was one of my first loves because it was when the Lakers were amazing. My brother and I loved basketball and played a lot of that. I started playing Flag first and then into Pop Warner. I was always slow. Weirdly enough, as I got older, I got faster and became the smallest and fastest one on the team instead of being the slowest. When I got into high school, it was the first time I got introduced to weightlifting.
Did you fall in love with that right away?
I fell in love right away. I remember doing pushups and getting a pump. I remember being like, “This is awesome. I have muscles on my chest.” I remember that being one of the first times like, “I love this.” I have fun doing it.
What did you do after high school? Did you go to play in any college ball at all?
I got a scholarship to Iona College to play football. I got recruited as a defensive back. In camp, I switched to wideout. I hurt my hand. I got a little playing time there. I transferred to Monmouth right after that season because Iona ended up dropping the program. Sixty freshmen transferred out. I went back home to Monmouth and played out the rest there.
How do you compete with dudes that are 6’4”, lengthy and you being not as tall? How did you compensate and keep up with them?
It’s training. I made it up with speed and agility. Brandon Hoyte from Notre Dame was training us. It was in sophomore year in high school, Sean and all the high school guys. I’ve never seen a play like this except for one other guy. It was the safety from Notre Dame who ended up playing in NFL. I forgot his name. I remember being like, “That was the best compliment I’ve ever gotten.” Being overly aggressive, almost getting in fights every time I played one-on-one. I had to because I was shorter. I had to make a little name for myself.
What was life like after college? What did you want to get into?
After college, I was confused. All I knew was football and my major was a joke. Halfway through college, I realized nutrition randomly was all of a sudden a passion. I was taking exercise science, nutrition courses, but it wasn’t my major.
Were you generally interested in it?
I did a lot of my own studying because my major was easy. It was business and communication. I was going through the motions and playing football. After college, I was working in a chiro. That’s how I found chiropractic. My neighbor was a chiropractor. In my senior year when I got hurt, he saw me in a neck brace. He was like, “Why don’t you come in and give me a chance?”
Did you get severely injured?
I was in a neck brace so I couldn’t turn. I was driving, turning my whole body from a sideline tackle. I gave him a chance because his personality was second to none. I got my first cervical adjustment ever. By the end of that visit, for the first time ever, I was turning my neck fully. That was my chiropractic story. I was like, “What have I been missing this whole time?”
If you didn’t have that next-door neighbor, you would’ve been pumping yourself with Advil for who knows how long.
I would’ve been keeping myself in a neck brace. It was crazy how that happened. He ended up offering me a job after school. I worked with him for a few years. I got to experience the PI side and the business side of chiropractic. I owe him credit for going to school. I didn’t want to go to chiropractic school because I didn’t know how to bridge the gap of strength, conditioning and chiropractic. I knew it was possible, but I don’t know if it’s worth it. He talked me into it and pushed me to go.
You needed some talking into because it’s scary. Everybody makes you worry about the course load and everything. We weren’t the best students. We weren’t straight A, at least I wasn’t in high school. Doing all that course work was nerve-wracking. I didn’t know if I could do it or not. It does take people to you to be like, “You can do it.”
I’ll never forget that first time I looked at the curriculum for the three-and-a-half years. I was like, “No way.” That’s how I got into chiropractic. What I did after school was that, plus I developed another passion. I didn’t develop it. I made it come about. I was obsessed with house music. I taught myself how to play the piano, how to produce music. I even took a four or five-month course of recording and studio stuff in New York City where I met amazing people. I’m still close with one of my French friends. I consider him one of my best friends. I don’t regret that at all, but it was a weird time in my life where I thought I was going that route and it didn’t match up. I knew I wanted to do something with health and fitness because I was always obsessed with that. I was DJing late at night. Being a producer, you have to DJ. It didn’t match up with my lifestyle. I was waking up later. If I skipped a workout, I was furious. It wasn’t for me. I realized that. I saw the industry getting oversaturated. Everyone was becoming a DJ. I saw that and got out of it. I immediately signed up at Brookdale for those extra courses that I needed and squeezed them all in. I got my 25 life science credits because I only had ten, and then I went right to school.
That’s good that you jumped into the DJing and went for it because a lot of people talk about doing a lot of things like, “I think I’m going to do this, this and this.” They talk about it and they stay stationary. You can’t even realize you’re going the wrong direction unless you move. Even though you went in that direction, it still led you to chiropractic.
It made me realize what hard work was. I was staying up until 3:00, 4:00 AM. I had class at 8 AM. I didn’t care because I was passionate about it. I wasn’t getting paid at all. It was a true hardworking, passionate thing.
When you get to chiropractic school, there are hundreds of different avenues you can take. There are many different techniques. Chiropractic goes into a lot of different realms these days. With your past prior experience in your life, I feel like it was almost you’re calling to dive into the movement, the nutrition, the lifting and everything. How did you get to where you are now while in chiropractic school?
I went to Southern Cal because I thought that they had the best sports medicine program in the nation. I went there and got into the Sports Med Honors Program. They sucked me with that. It’s close to the beach, and it’s sports medicine based. I went there thinking that. I always knew nutrition was my strong suit. I wanted to incorporate that. I thought it was going to be sports medicine and nutrition from the get-go. I knew working at a PI place was valuable for me because I knew that I didn’t want to go. I knew that wasn’t my style. My personality didn’t fit.
It’s easy to get roped into that after you graduate. If you haven’t had a taste of that, that could be dangerous. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with that. There are people that do have good practice doing that, but there are also people in it for the wrong reasons.
It’s something that I’m thankful for because I knew that it wasn’t for me.
You can’t do that type of work with what you’re doing. You need to spend quality time with your patients.
Fast forward to the first term, second term and third term, I’m still thinking about sports medicine. I’m still thinking about nutrition. I started thinking of the Olympics. I was like, “I want to do something with that.” I always had a dream of working in Croatia. I was like, “Maybe I can go to do Croatian soccer team, be one of them, do something in Europe may be for the club teams.” I slowly got further and further, diving deep into the rabbit holes, I didn’t even know how rehab worked. I loved the training. I loved nutrition. I loved all that stuff. Rehabbing and blending, movement-based rehab and treatment, two injuries were brand new to me, even halfway through school.
A couple of light bulbs went off when you started learning about that.
I was like, “It seems like I would love this stuff.” It was Dr. Fanning who first inspired me. He’s amazing. I still talk to him all the time. He helped me out with a concussion seminar thing that I was going to do. He’s one of my favorite contacts.
Did it help you rehab back to health some old football injuries that were nagging you?
Yes. I got into powerlifting after football because I still needed some type of competition. Even though I still haven’t competed, my first one is going to be in November. I got into powerlifting and lifting heavy and pushing myself. Even through school, that was like my stress relief.
Did you feel any old football stuff show up when you were doing that?
That’s when my hip was weird. I didn’t even know what was going on. It was weird because I was in school and I was learning about all these injuries. I was pushing past it. I still didn’t know about the rehab world. I was like, “More weight, keep going.” I had no idea about programming. We went to Europe for my two-week break. There was no powerlifting there. I took a nice break from lifting, probably twelve days of bodyweight stuff and swimming. I got back to the weights and my pain was gone. I was loading something that didn’t want to be loaded right. That made me realize, “I’ve got to take a step further and take a deeper look at what was going on biomechanically.” That’s when I got into applied biomechanics. I was like, “This is a topic that I could read for hours in a row.”
The first lady who I worked with in Manhattan Beach, she showed me the book Anatomy Trains. It opened my eyes to a completely new world. She was showing me soft tissue stuff that I had no idea about. She was getting a lot of powerlifters too. I was like, “This is perfect.” I started slowly making my niche that route. She taught me how to adjust better. She taught me all these soft tissue treatments. She had a lot of athletes. She had this arc wave stand with movement. I learned a lot from her and then back to Dr. Fanning, who’s now in sports medicine. He’s a diplomat. He got me in touch with Dr. Sebastian Gonzales in Huntington Beach. I reached out to him. He was insanely nice right away. He wanted to help me out. I started shadowing him. I ended up doing my clinical internship with him. He opened my eyes. I was confused because I was like, “How are you applying exercise to cervical radiculopathy?” It’s nerve pain, sharp shooting pain down the arm. You couldn’t feel your fingertips. He went right to an exercise. I was like, “What is going on?” I would ask him all the time because it didn’t register for a while.
He was giving patients exercise. People were coming in with nerve pain, shooting pain down the arms, and he was giving them exercises and the nerve pain was going to be away, which is what you don’t see in chiropractic school.
It’s nerve offloading, which I had never heard before. He would find a position of relief where the nerve would have some breathing room. He would do core bracing stuff that would take away the pain. I was like, “What is going on?” My mind was blown. I was falling more and more in love with that stuff. He was giving me books to read and assignments to do. We are super close still. He’s one of my favorite mentors. He gave me the confidence, he and a few other docs like Ben Ramos. It gave me confidence in learning from them to start my own practice. Without them, I would never have the confidence to start by myself.
Are there a lot of people in New Jersey that are doing what you do or is it far and few in between?
I did find one doc through Ben in North Jersey. We hit it off from day one. I got in contact with him. We talked for half-an-hour in the first conversation. Now he is my coach. The commute was too far to stay there and work. I did my tenth term in New Jersey. I worked with him. It was an incredible experience. Not only treatment-wise, but he also showed me everything I needed to know business-wise. He opened my eyes to a whole other world again. They pushed me in that direction and then he hammered it home for me how to run a cash-based business like you. They showed me why insurance is not the route you wanted to take, not for what I’m doing. I was scrambling, stressing out, seeing like, “If I start my own practice, what am I going to do? Am I going to take out a network, cash?” I knew cash, to start out, was the easiest. What I knew through them and listening to some podcasts, reading some books, I was like, “I’m going cash only.”
What is this technique that you keep saying was eye-opening for you that you’re doing?
It’s applied biomechanics. It’s movement-based therapy, identifying this function, addressing it and coming up with a plan. I usually put people through movement assessment. They then go through my orthopedic testing, depending on which regions are showing dysfunction. I usually do a thorough examination. It’s 45 minutes to an hour of reflexes, DTRs, sensory and orthopedic testing for those specific regions. Everything orthopedically and deep biomechanics that I learned was from Dr. Marie in Santa Monica, walking textbook Dr. Kim too. She was the one who got me in that. She works with him. She’s been an incredible mentor and friend.
Dr. Kim from Freehold. She’s an amazing person.
She pushed for me to get in there. She doesn’t take that many interns. I would be in there. The minute I got in there, I took my pen out until the minute I left. I would bother her with questions. She encouraged me to ask more questions. Her biomechanics teaching and orthopedic testing, which they don’t teach you in school, pushed my diagnosing school through the roof. Things to look for, what things are commonly mistaken for, patient presentations, all of that, she teaches diplomat courses. I stayed in touch with her. I should probably talk to her more. She was one of my favorite mentors as well.
Who comes into your office? It’s not just athletes. It can be anybody with any type of pain because they’re doing something in their everyday life that they’re feeling the way they’re feeling. You have all walks of life coming into your practice.
That’s my favorite because that’s who I am. I still consider myself an athlete because I do the powerlifting. I do as much athletic stuff as I can. Being around that reminds me of how much I love it, but that’s not everybody that walks in. Realistically, it’s more 30s to 50s weekend warriors. Both of my mentors made me narrow down the client base that I wanted to target. I couldn’t narrow it down to one. I came up with two. The first one is the 27 to 32-year-old male who’s pushing to the next level, needs every little detail to be on point, is willing to do whatever it takes to get to that next level, and is willing to learn as much as they possibly can. The second one is the 42-year-old female who can’t figure out what the aches and pains are, wants to get active and wants to be in the gym. A couple of years after pregnancy, let’s say they have a kid at 32 to 35 and now the 37, they’re still not fully like back in it. Even the simple breathing techniques we go over are mind-blowing for them. They’ve never been taught it. They never heard of it. They’ve never learned it. Teaching them that, seeing their eyes light up, that’s my favorite patient.
My favorite patient was at my own apartment. I had a portable table before the office even came about. She reached out to me through my mom. My mom does business with her husband. She was dealing with back pain for seven, six years postpartum. She wants to lift. She’s savage even without lifting. She’s a hard worker and has debilitating low back pain, sciatica for years. She has chronic pain and couldn’t figure it out. After countless doctors, countless pills, she was sick of the medication. I was like, “This is real life now.” All that mentoring and all that clinical experience that I got from shadowing, this is the real deal. This lady’s looking for help. I was like, “Let’s do this.” I brought her to the apartment. I did my full exam. It was a two-hour visit because I had time. I diagnosed her with classic lumbar radiculopathy, even an SI sprain. She has zero stability. She could barely stand on one leg, got her hip hinge. What I started with was core bracing, breathing, and showing her how to move properly. She told me the history. It was severe pain while sitting, while on car rides, sitting down in the restaurants, picking up her kids. It was a classic flexion intolerance case. I was like, “This is money in the bank.” I have seen and said, and Ben and all these guys treat this all the time. She came in with ten out of ten pain for years. She left that first visit at 1 or 2.
Is it mostly from stabilization exercises?
It was from stabilization. She was about to cry. The second visit, she came, we did more of that shoulder, more of the hip hinge. I showed her some light loading with proper technique, proper bracing. She was moving pain-free by the end of the visit. She was thankful. I didn’t charge her. That was my first patient ever. She ended up being the best testimonial because she’s more than happy to reach out to me and give me a Google review. She’s now doing her programming. That’s another part of the practice that I like to do is strength training. I’m doing her programming. She loves it. She’s crushing it. She’s doing PRs pain-free and she texts me. She even makes posts on Instagram. She’s thankful in that. I was like, “I can do this by myself. I’m going to start my practice.”
You gave her life back. She was at ten out of ten pain forever. When you give somebody that gift back, they’ll do anything for you after that.
That’s what separates me too. I didn’t have to adjust her on that first visit. I thought that it was more of a stability thing. Only through my mentorship that I know stability was going to be the key focus for that type of patient. I was finding the position of relief, loading it when possible, and loading it efficiently with the minimum effective dose. All of those things come with clinical experience, good mentorship and learning from the best. I forgot to mention Phillip Snell. I took his course. I wouldn’t have known to load people on the first visit. He blew my mind with that seminar. I reached out to him, too when I was starting my practice. I talked to him for a little bit. He was super helpful. He gave me the confidence to start my own practice and do what they do. That’s the route I took.
Movement is huge to our health because that’s how our spine gets its nutrients. There’s no blood supply. That’s how it gets all the blood flow. I’ve had people come into my office with severe low back pain, ten out of ten. I’ll take it down to a five. It plateaus there. I was working with an unbelievable check practitioner, a movement specialist. I sent him over to her office. They’ll come back in a couple of weeks. They’ll give me a hug because she got the rest. By her movements, figuring out what they’re doing wrong in everyday life, she got them completely pain-free. It was through proper movement and exercise. What are some common things that you see that people are doing that they can get out of pain without assessing them individually?
Most people don’t understand how to use their hips when they bend. It’s simple deadlifts. Deadlifting, we do every day whether we like it or not. We hip hinge 3,500 times a day. If you’re bad at that, think about repetitive stress. Think about the people that do that under load. I see that all the time in the gym, especially at these powerlifting gyms.
I’m thinking about how many people are lifting too much, to begin with, without the proper mechanics.
It’s without the proper mechanics, without the proper base, without the proper stability, without form. There’s so much information now. Instagram freaks me out because there’s so much stuff on there. I’m like, “Am I missing something?” Every day, there’s a new post about something I didn’t even know. There’s so much information out there. It’s mind-blowing to see. There’s still zero attention to detail, but it keeps us in business. Hip hinging is a huge one I see. I did a post on this, the chin jet. People with heavy lifting overhead jet their chin or the top of the deadlift, the loser neck position, which causes either symptom down the arm or the set jamming. It’s hard not to go with someone in the gym and correct their form. It’s bad. These guys are triple my size. I’m like, “There’s no chance I’m walking up to this guy correcting his deadlift.”
That one video you showed me of that guy that was lifting an absurd amount of weight, completely hunched over, 605 deadlifts. I thought I was going to hear a disc pop.
I go up to these guys when they’re free. I’m like, “I’m a new chiropractor in town.” I try to weasel my way in like that.
What does an initial visit look like with you? Every case is different, but you can’t give the patient every exercise they need on that first day. You’ve got to teach them bracing first and how to hip hinge. It’s a process that works in layers. How do you give that?
It’s like how a doctor would prescribe medicine. You don’t give one pill and say, “Come back tomorrow.” You give them the bottle and they take a pill each day. When that bottle’s empty, you come back, do a re-exam, refill, another plan. It’s similar to that. I was talking so much because I was excited about rehab at the time. I would give ten different things, twenty different cues. One of my coaches now is Dr. Justin Rabinowitz in North Jersey. He was like, “You’re giving too much. Calm down.” He made me realize to limit to two or three max per visit. That’s after the assessment. We go through the movement assessment, go through the orthopedic testing, neurological testing, figure out what works, and figure out the best plan for that person. There was no like, “Back pain? This is what you’re getting.” It’s different for every person. The rep scheme is different for every person. The load is different for every person. The volume is different for every person. It’s got to be customized.
It’s got to have time to work.
I was looking for a place down here. I didn’t see that. I was like, “It’s time to do it yourself.” Back to why I started my own practice, you’ve got to find your niche. You’ve got to be different somehow. I take pride in the exam. I take pride in knowing how much to give the patient and when to tone it back. There have been times where I give too much. They’re like, “That triggered it.” I’m like, “Let’s take it back a notch.” It’s like a puzzle. You’ve got to figure out what works for them. You’ve got to figure out when to push the needle and when to tone it back. That, from my short experience so far, has helped me tremendously.
Do you ask the person what their diet and nutrition is like on the intake?
Goal-dependent is what the practice is based on. I’ll ask them, “What are your goals?” First and foremost, that’s all I care about. “What is your plan? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to play in the NFL?” I’ve got to know that so that I can scale the long-term goal. Getting people out of pain is the first part. That’s probably the easiest. Getting them to buy in, come, adhere to a plan, stick to it long-term and build that resilient body, that’s the hard part. Through coaching, I got better at this giving that talk. Pain is the first to dissipate and the first to come back. That comes and goes. The hard part is building that body, stabilizing it, getting a proper nutritional habit down, being aware of movement. That’s another huge one. I want to know the patient’s goals and I need to make up a plan in my head right away of how we can get to their end goal safely, efficiently, fast and make them happy.
You write out program goals for the lifting and the movement. You give them actual exercises to do at home. Do you ever write down nutritional stuff that they should be doing on a daily basis?
It depends. That’s a separate idea. There are some people that come out to me for nutrition. That’s awesome because I can zero in on that. That is goal dependent. I make them track for a few days to see what they’re getting in because some people are like, “I’m stuck at this weight. I can’t lose,” or come up and down or, “I’m eating five calories a day. I can’t lose weight.” I’m like, “Let’s see what you’re eating.” It’s for a few days. I make them track. I get it back. I do some rough estimates of how I’m going to do it. I ask them, “What’s your favorite food? What do you prefer? Do you fast? What time do you eat lunch? What’s your job like? Is it stressful? Do you have time to mindfully eat, sit down, put the phone down?” All that stuff matters.
I went to a seminar with Ben Pakulski, who’s an ex-bodybuilder. He helped me change my focus on nutrition. He opened my eyes up to the parasympathetic response and how important it is to the system to rest and digest. If you’re constantly on the go, you’re eating in two seconds and you don’t even think about what you ate, you just throw them in your throat. It’s like, “Hold on. Pump the brakes. Let’s slow down.” That can do some gut damage. The stomach gets irritated. Your bowels are not great. Rest and digest and your body is relaxing. You’re letting it digest. You’re letting it pass through and get rid of the stuff it doesn’t want. It’s all sorts of eating. In nowadays society, everybody is fast paced, on the go. Meal prep, you shove it down your throat and go. Nobody’s even thinking mindfully about what they’re eating.
I had this one woman on the show. She tries to get to people to understand that you don’t have to meditate with your food, but taste your food. Sit down and appreciate the meal. Nobody does that. It’s wild.
When I started doing it, I realized how cool and important that is. Usually, I’m calories in and calories out. That’s it. I’ll have four boxes of cereal if it fits my macros. I was in that boat. He opened my eyes big time. I started going lower carb, higher fat. I tried it out because I wanted to see. I was super high carbs and eating whatever fit in my calorie box because I had goals of hitting for some building and powerlifting. When I sat down, I was like, “Let’s think about health.” I started taking to account the parasympathetic nervous system. Now I barely eat after my workouts because that’s full sympathetic drive. I was crushing a shake immediately after, which they tell you to do.
You’re still in the sympathetic fight or flight after your workout because you’re ramped up. The digestion won’t calm it down. The body needs time to process after the workout.
That was one of the huge things I took away from the seminar. Give yourself a chance to come down. You don’t have to meditate. Take a shower.
What do they recommend?
He does recommend meditating or bringing everything back down to a parasympathetic state.
When you say shower, you get out of the workout mode.
Even in between sets. I’m deadlifting heavyweight. You’re gearing up for this heavyweight. Your sympathetic is through the roof. Immediately after, I take out my headphones and I try to meditate and breathe super slow. That is what they taught me in the seminar. It was mind-blowing and life-changing. You feel more focused and get more output, it’s crazy. It’s the same thing with eating. I stopped shoving food down my throat. I would eat four servings of oatmeal with chocolate chips, honey, apples and cinnamon in two seconds because I was in a rush. My stomach would kill me. I’m like, “I’m not allergic to gluten. I don’t have an excuse for this.” I started doing that. Now, I wait for about an hour-and-a-half even to have my protein shake. When I’m eating lunch at work, I put the phone down. I slowly eat. I don’t swallow it whole. Just calm your brain.
My days are so much better. I noticed because I don’t do it every day. There’s a little journal called The Five-Minute Journal. You open it up. It takes you to a page. You write down three things you’re grateful, three amazing things that you want to happen that day, and three affirmations. It takes three minutes. You write it down. My days are much better. I take the time, write that down, and start my day instead of waking up, showing up the office and going. It’s disgusting how much better my days are.
It could change your whole day, week, year and month. The guy from North Jersey, Dr. Justin Rabinowitz, he would have Friday meetings with us. We would start every meeting off by saying something positive about yourself, something positive about someone else, and a goal you’d like to achieve. At first, it was like, “This is easy.” When I go home and I would think about it, I’m like, “What am I going to say tomorrow?” It’s harder than I think.
It’s got to be genuine. It can’t be lazy like, “I’m grateful for my laptop.” It’s got to be meaningful. It’s got to tug at the heartstrings a little bit.
I’ve always done that. I’ve always had goals on my board and I’ll look at it every day. Besides passion and internal motivation, sticking goals on the board, writing down and talking about them helps you get there.
It’s easy to forget what you’re trying to accomplish when you have a bad day. You look at the wall and go, “That’s why I did that.”
I do that with patients. It’s a good segue. I make them write down their goals not only for them but also for me to see. By the end of the month, usually we revisit those goals and see how much we progressed and then rethink the goal. If the goal is the same, we keep pushing for that goal.
It’s probably way more than 90% mental, your attitude, your outlook. It’s hard to have a positive attitude when you’re in that much pain, but it all starts and ends with what you think and what you’re processing. The people that come into my office that have a good attitude, want to get better and they’re good, heal up so much faster. I have an “Expect a miracle,” sign right above the door. I’ve had people sit down and be like, “I’m not expecting any miracles here.”
That’s the crew that I want to attract. I get antsy thinking about it. When people want to get better and they’re invested, there’s no failing because you’re on the same team. You’re not forcing. Not to hawk anybody else’s practice or anything. The PI world is a different world. Some people show up because they have to. Not that they bring the mood down, but it’s different. It’s not as enthusiastic. When someone’s in there and they’re gung-ho about getting better, there’s nothing better.
I also do enjoy a good skeptic though, where the guy is like, “There is no way this is going to work.” When you come across people that are like, “You do chiropractic? I don’t believe in chiropractic.” That’s funny because it’s not a religion. It’s scientific. It’s proven to work. You don’t have to believe in it. It’s going to work whether you believe in it or not.
I love those. People that get adjusted for the first time, they’re like, “I don’t know if I like to get popped or cracked.” I’m like, “Let’s give it a go.”
You have a strict diet. You’re disciplined in working out and eating. When do you allow yourself a cheat day? You do that. Once in a while, I see you eating your donuts.
That’s more often than not. Brooke, my girlfriend, she got me into sweets when we started dating. I was never like this. I took a turn for the worse. I found a real love for donuts. I never ate donuts until chiropractic school and when we first started dating. On my cheat days, I still have a rough idea of how much I’m eating. I’ll fit that into my calorie count, but I’m loose with it. It’s probably more often than you think. If you do it once a weekend, that’s four times a month times twelve. It’s 36 days out of 365.
Are you talking one cheat day a week?
Let’s say one a week. That’s 36 out of 365, the ratio. It’s still way favoring me being accountable. That’s why I stay semi-lean all year round. I purposely increase my calories. I haven’t done a cut since the first semester of chiropractic school. I went in at 148 pounds. I was probably 8% body fat. I didn’t have to flex to have abs. I did a three-year bulk, but I control. I stay fairly lean. My goal has been to be strong because I was lean but I was puny. I had a foot base from football, but I didn’t look big. I was 148 and I looked 148. My goal was to build strength this whole time with my calorie intake going steadily up. I would keep that lean physique while increasing my strength. I would do mini cuts here and there. Everything’s planned. That’s another value I bring to the practice is dealing with people’s nutrition, showing them how to do that and tailoring it to their goals. Not everybody wants to do that lean reverse diet calorie pull. I have to see what they want. They’re like, “Calories to lose weight? What is that?” I’m like, “Trust me. It works.”
Can people come to see you immediately after surgery? Once everything’s patched up and they’ve got the brace and everything, can people also come to you or is that more a physical therapy type of thing? Let them do that for a little bit and then they can come to see you.
ACL is done. They had the surgery. It’s tied up. Can they go right to you? Do you want them to go right to you?
I like having the story that they go to the PT first because then I know what worked and didn’t work. Usually, that’s common healthcare.
That’s more their realm.
The ortho will send them right to physical therapy. I have a patient who went to physical therapy, got a little better, but was not seeing any progress after the second week. She found me. She came to me and we’ve been doing a ton of work and stability stuff. This is what bothers me is nobody decided to check her hip, her ankle or her lower back, which will all play a factor in the rehab process. She was like, “This is the first time someone’s poked at my hip.” I’m like, “What?”
That’s where that Anatomy Trains book comes in huge. A lot of people have hip pain or knee pain, but it’s coming from the right shoulder in the left knee. It’s not always where the pain is. It’s most likely not where the pain is.
It’s like a tennis elbow patient. I got a patient that said they had tennis elbow. They kept saying the word tennis elbow. I was like, “Let’s check the shoulder and the neck.” They were like, “Why?” I explained it as best as I can. I explained where the muscles attach. I showed them in the book. I have all those books in the office. I was like, “This muscle attaches here. This goes into this joint. I’ve got to test this when in motion. Let’s try this out.” Usually, they buy into it after I explain in detail why I’m doing it.
Do you have anything else that you would like to add on top of the nutrition, the movement specialty? You still do the chiropractic. You’re still adjusting people.
Some people ask me to do their strength training too. We do functional rehab, all of the soft tissue manual therapy. I do ART, Active Release Technique, Muscle Release Technique. I love manual therapy, the act of getting your hands on people and decreasing muscle tone. I have this argument with people all the time. You’re not breaking up scar tissue. I’m decreasing the tone. I learned some neurodynamic techniques with nerve flossing, IVF openers to give the nerve breathing room, even from the lumbar spine, nerve flossing, getting the nerves to glide better. The strength training was a huge part. People reach out to me for that. They’re like, “How can I train more efficiently? How can I program?”
Do you build a program for that person in that instance?
Yes. A lot of what I learned from programming was from an exercise science book that I bought through the Sports Med Program. That’s the only good thing they showed me. I read about programming there. I got coached probably in the fourth term by the nutty professor. He got me strong and big. I was mad at first because I was used to so much volume and going to the gym and hammering away. He’s the first one that made me realize proper programming is huge. If you want to progress and do what the heavy guys do, there’s no way you can hammer away as hard as you can every single day. I was doing that. I was getting nowhere. He helped me program. I dove deeper into that. I was like, “This is interesting.” Programming has many parts of it. I got way down the rabbit hole.
I joined the subscription called MASS. I highly recommend it to anybody. For anybody who likes exercise science, MASS is worth every penny. They sift the top guys in the exercise science world, sift through all of the latest research, write about it, and make it easy to read, easy to understand. They do videos too, on top of sifting through all the research. They do videos on programming. One of the best videos I’ve ever watched was Dr. Mike Zourdos, who does a video on programming. It’s four parts, an hour long each. He dove deep into those. I learned a little bit about that and how to do it with patients on my own. I’m training a couple of people through that. I’m programming to their needs. I’m trying to help people utilize their muscle. I’m training doctors. They don’t know how to use their muscles. They’re overtraining. They’re overworking. They’re misusing their muscles. They’re taking over it by cheating. For example, a tricep cable pushes down, elevating the shoulder, and then pulling. It’s like, “No, stabilize it down, keep your scapula down, and then pull.” They’re like, “I can do five pounds like this.”
That’s something a person doesn’t think about. Even if you know how to lift, you’re looking at that. Even if you played sports growing up, you know how to do a tricep or push down, you get older and start going and you forget. A lot of people forget. That’s why it’s beneficial to have someone like you. Once you tell them that like, “I knew that,” but people get caught up in a routine that they forget.
That’s another one of my favorite things I’m passionate about. I lift five days a week consistently. It’s my favorite part of the day. Now it’s more the business. Showing people how to do it properly is the best gift on earth. 95% of the world trains hard. Are they training efficiently? Learning from my mentors, going to seminars and learning how to utilize all these techniques and proper applied biomechanics, stability stuff, and mobility stuff to put yourself in that position to grow, perform and push it past where you were before. That’s why I started the practice. That’s another huge part of it. The stronger you are, the more resilient and the less risk you have of an injury. That’s why I love that stuff. I can teach that all day long. I had a client until 9:30 PM and I was grinning ear to ear. I don’t care if I’m working for fifteen hours. That’s fun for me.
Where can people find you online? Where’s your practice located? How do people get ahold of you if they want to schedule an appointment?
The practice is in Eatontown, New Jersey, 20 Meridian Road. They can find me @RSMAthleteDoc on Instagram. My website is www.RSMSportsMed.com. You can book a free session to get a feel for if you guys feel like it’s the place for you. I do a 30-minute free discovery visit. We go through a half exam to see if you like it and if I can help you. If not, I can also help by referring you out somewhere, another chiro that I trust, maybe someone dealing with some upper cervical stuff that maybe is better with you. The discovery visit is more to see if you’re a good fit. It’s free. No one loses out on anything.
I like to ask all my guests at the end of the show, what is one piece of advice that has resonated with you over the years that you would like to give to the audience? It could be absolutely anything.
Two people have told me this since I started my practice. It changed my practice from seeing one person a day to five or six, which is still small, but for me, that’s a lot.
You’re not spending ten minutes. You’re spending at least an hour.
It’s a cash-based practice.
That’s a full day, seeing six people.
I charge significantly more. It’s not even that much because I’m starting out, but it’s not going to be $20 copay. I don’t feel like that’s what I bring to the table. I went from seeing one person a day, sometimes zero because I was starting. I’m doing a ton of free patients, so those don’t count. Networking is by far the best thing you can do for any business, putting yourself out there, meeting people, and making relationships. I’ve joined three or four gyms because that’s who I want and that’s who I resonate with. That’s who I can empathize with. That’s who I talk to all the time about any topic. I go and hang out at CrossFit gyms. I don’t care if I’m annoying. I’m trying to make new friends. I stumble into the wrong places sometimes. I’m like, “This isn’t the CrossFit gym.” They’re like, “No, we’re a personal training gym. Can I help you?” I’m like, “Perfect.” I make a new friend. That person comes in or they send a friend.
I’ve got to give credit to Ben Ramos and Justin Rabinowitz. Both of them pushed me on that one, almost getting mad at me to network more. If I can give anybody advice for any venture, network as much as you can. I’m a shy guy. Talking to random people is nerve-wracking. It’s beating that fear and going out and making new friends, talking to people. It is way more fun than I thought. You end up talking for way longer than you think. At that personal gym I walked into by accident, we ended up talking for 45 minutes. That’s a good lead. Keep meeting new people. Keep networking. Put yourself out there. If you want to grow a business, that’s the easiest way.
Dr. Jeremy, thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate your time. I would love to have you on again anytime soon. I’ll talk to you soon.
Keep killing it up there. Thanks for having me.
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