Dr. Joe Esposito speaks with Dr. Kristina Carman, an experienced natural healthcare professional in both the US and the UK, about the benefits of health coaching in general and in AlignLife clinics. The concept of adding additional services to a practice is often met with resistance, and yet, patients are choosing a more natural route to health just by seeing a chiropractor. Health coaches can support the doctor AND patient by being a source of knowledge and accountability, without diverting from the chiropractic philosophy.
About the Guest:
Dr. Kristina Carman
Dr. Kristina Carman, is a registered nutritional therapist, naturopathic doctor, functional medicine practitioner, and health coach. She has extensive training in nutritional science, functional medicine, naturopathic medicine and detoxification techniques, iridology, bio-resonance therapy, and bioregulatory medicine from both the US and the UK.
Kristina aims for her practice to be a wellness destination offering approachable, sustainable, accessible advice and support when it comes to a patient’s natural health, movement, and prevention of disease. She is passionate about food, nutrition, healthy detoxification, and lifestyle medicine, and has a real “leave no stone unturned” approach with her patients.
Hello, we're back. This is Dr. Joe Esposito with align your practice podcast. We're excited for season two, where we're going to be diving a little bit more into the clinical into the operation of a clinic to make sure that we help you build your dream integrated practice. So we have a special guest today, Dr. Kristina, Carman. Kristina, welcome.Dr. Kristina, Carman:
Thank you. Thank you for having me.Dr. Joseph Esposito:
Yeah, I was nervous having you come on, because I think this could be a nine hour podcast. So I'm like, I know I have my timer here. I'm trying to keep everything under control. We're going to try to keep it in 20 minutes. So this is about health health coaching, Doc. And I think we should pause first and let the listeners know who you are and your role inside of the Align life organization. And then we can kind of geek out on the journey of health coaching. How does that sound?Dr. Kristina, Carman:
Sounds amazing.Dr. Joseph Esposito:
All right. So I'll say a couple of things. And then you feel it, fill it in. I know you're very. People always talk about my accolades, and all my background and history. And I love having someone who has all this juice that I don't have, because I have all these letters. But this was a whole new list of things. One of the dreams I always had was to become a naturopathic doctor, I am board certified naturopath. But you have the MD degree, which is something I've always wanted. So high five, congrats, I'm so excited that you have that. You also have the Functional Medicine Practitioner certificate, you have the IFM, a clinical practitioner, and you're also a health coach. So how did all this happen? Give me your journey on on all these accolades, academic achievements,Dr. Kristina, Carman:
goodness, oh, voice going back many, many years, I trained as a classical ballerina, and dance for many years until an injury. You know, we go through this crossroads, we get to a crossroads in life. And I was derailed a little bit from what was my passion and what I knew from a very young age was where I was heading. And at that point, I really had to make, you know, some really significant decisions, I think, on where I was gonna go and where it was Where Where does life lead now. And that's really where it started for me, particularly, because I had such a keen interest in, you know, the biophysical on the the movement therapy side of it coming from a very dance background. But I wanted to take that further and see how I can really integrate all the areas what I call my pillars of health. And that just doesn't mean that's not just the physical that's looking at the, you know, the metaphysical, you know, there's our stress and what we digest what we eat, but also what we invite into our lives as far as you know, everything but what we bring in manifests here and in everywhere, really. So that's really what led me to start studying within the nutritional space. nutritional therapy came first and then from there came naturopathic medicine, I wanted to again, take it further because I was very fascinated with, you know, Eastern medicine and Eastern and Medic medical energetics, I was very, very fascinated with naturopathic treatment protocols and how we support from a natural perspective. So in my clinical practice, I will use energy therapy and bio resonance, we will use things like natural detoxification techniques like casserole packing and enemas and various other things. So we're very, that's very, you know, a naturopathic clinical kind of aspect. But then the food energetics and that's really sort of I Sportsbet, as a as my ESP as a clinician is I will always look at food as medicine. Because we have a real opportunity there to to nourish ourselves before we add in anything else, supplementation, treatments, all the complicated things, let's bring it back to the basics, what is the simple, fundamental underpinning of what makes us function and thrive? It's what we bring in and what we invite into our bodies. So he kind of went from there, and then the studying never stopped. So I started practicing, obviously, as soon as I finished my initial training, and then added lots of qualifications along along the way. i The functional medicine came in because I have a real interest in, you know, adding the lab integration into clinical practice. So I really wanted to take a deep dive into see what that would look like from a naturopathic standpoint and how I can support patients, if they do come at me with labs from other practitioners, or even if we do labs ourselves, because sometimes that's a really important tool for a lot of patients as far as compliance and, you know, adhering to protocols. So I really wanted that peace and that sort that was the sort of the last study qualification and now I'm thinking I'm like, Oh, I really love to come back and get a Chinese medicine like a doctor of Chinese. Oh my gosh, it never ends. It never ends. Dr. Jones so I'm, yeah, it's it's been an incredible journey. And And yes, I love it. I love it. It's my life's work.Dr. Joseph Esposito:
Yeah, that's awesome. I think we have a similar journey of just getting some training academically and opens the door to how inspiring the body's ability to heal is that it's hard to stop because you learn digestion and you learn endocrinology, and then you learn. So it's very different than the practice of medicine, where the allopathic approach where you study, let's say, the brain, and you study the brain, you keep studying the brain, and you look at the brain, and maybe you study headaches, and you think it's all caused by the brain, because you study the brain. It's like, oh, the gut could cause this, because it's very monomaniacal on their study of one specific thing, which is great with trauma. And it's great with advanced crisis, near death experience, but it doesn't really play an effective role when you're looking at chronic chronic health conditions, which is what most people are suffering from, which is all inclusive to the different systems, the body from my perspective. So let's kind of, you know, health coaching, something is very interesting. I, when it came around, I don't know if it was 10 years ago, or so I was like, What a cool concept, what an adversity to healthcare that we never had this field, right? I mean, when you think about it, it's fairly new, right? 1015 years, or?Dr. Kristina, Carman:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And I mean, my goodness, how, how necessary, it is given the current state of our healthcare system, the current state of our populations, as we unfortunately, get sicker and sicker and sicker, and more and more chronic illnesses and diseases. Really, really come into play and, and maybe even I mean, maybe I'm being really controversial here. But we as we become more comfortable in our lives, we become less resilient. So in these cases, maybe we need a little bit more support, we need a little bit more help help, we need someone to hold our hands through this journey to hold us accountable for some of those choices, to support sustainable behavior change, that our primary care physicians and our doctors and other practitioners are just simply not able to do a because of their training. And because of the way the medical system is set up. It's very, very unfortunate. But then it's also an opportunity for us as health coaches to really see how we can integrate, and really filter that in to support what is real integrative medicine look like? What does this mean? And how we can actually really help people long term because if we don't do this, this is not going to end? Well.Dr. Joseph Esposito:
Yeah, I agree with that. And that I could share a little bit of my journey and align life in the goal of integrated healthcare, integrated health care. You know, it's tough to integrate health care, it's first of all start with that of adding additional services is tough and to support chiropractors that have good self awareness and they realize they have a population that's suffering from the the most extensive epidemic in the history of mankind, which is being is obesity, overweight, obesity at 68% of society scaling out a couple percent a year. That's, that's a scary reality. We're looking at the patients walking into the chiropractic office, the majority are excessively inflamed inflammation in the brain, muscle tissue, gut lining, massive inflammation. We're also looking at such a very dramatic change in the last 20 years on blood sugar regulation, to the point that they disregard adult onset diabetes, and now it's not called adult onset, it's only called type two. It used to be interchangeable those words. Now we're having type two diabetes and 10 year old so they had to negate that that thought so what does a chiropractor do? When the patients walking in the door, they do have a subluxation, which is as we know, as chiropractors pressure on a nerve, there's, there's a net loss of a knee healing potential of the body because the nervous systems compromised. But on top of that we're dealing with the joints are inflamed the systemically inflammation, their gut is too permeable. They got excessive toxins in their tissue they have they're malnourished with good vitamins, and we're going to give this adjustment and hope it's going to give as much impact as possible. And the chiropractor gets kind of in a sense last of what do I do with the rest that I can keenly see with my eyes has a sub optimal health right so my, my suffering is been this integration and over the last year My conviction in making this the most integrated natural health care organization in the world. That conviction that I made, has innately created experiences, like having your ability to come on to the team. So I think lessons learned in life when we step up out of fear, and we hold our ground on what we truly believe, in my belief is the integration of healthcare with natural healthcare with chiropractic care, is one of the greatest movements in healthcare as an industry worldwide. And I stand my ground on that. So tell me from your perspective, being a health coach, how do you see that integration? You you've been in the Align life system now? How do you see it? I know you said there's a couple of kinds of health coaches, how do you see supporting the Cairo that is in pain thinking? Can we really do this? Give me your perspective so far in your journey? Yeah.Dr. Kristina, Carman:
So I think firstly, it's really important to define, you know, what a health coach means. And I would say, certainly, from my perspective, in my experience, I think there's almost two tiers of health coaches, there's one tear here that does an amazing certification and qualification. And they will take on private clients in a private setting. And coach them through some of those health choices, the behavior change, you know, maybe looking a little bit at diet and lifestyle, but maybe not diving that deep, because it's beyond their remit, or beyond what their coach or their training allows. I mean, obviously, with the exception of those that have further training that have nutrition, or dietetics, or any of these other things added into their scope of practice, then they're sort of off they off they go. And they can build a really successful wonderful practice, hopefully, what how I see it certainly within the Align life setting is we need a health coach that maybe already has a little bit more of an understanding of food energetics, certainly, that's a really big one. And nutrient interactions, because we have a Seaver and we have this incredible nutraceuticals support system that 100% needs to be integrated into everything that we're doing. And I would say that they need to have some understanding of functional lab integration. So that if that incredible chiropractor who has the opportunity face to face with these patients who they know have, you know, they can see it, obviously, within an adjustment or within, you know, the first consultation, there's only so much that you can do. And even in a care plan, there's only so much you can do. How can we and we should 100% integrate health coaching, to to hug that care plan. So that this patient not only has the neurological and sort of the the spinal adjustment in support, but as chiropractors, we know that it goes beyond that. It goes way beyond that, we need to look at inflammation, we need to look at blood sugar, because an adjustment here, okay, yes, you'll you're gonna give relief and support to this patient. But we need more. And we have an opportunity because we have these patients in front of us. And we have this patients in front of us that have already come into a setting that is not medical. So the energy is already so different. So suddenly, you bring these health coaches in there that have some understanding of lab integrations, because we offer this within our airline Life Group, we offer the nutraceuticals. And we can offer the dietary dietary support and the lifestyle support to carry them along this journey. I would say 100%, that compliance with patients who go through a care plan with health coaching alongside is far greater than the the chiropractor who has already a lot on their shoulders, who just says look, here's some things to do that you need to do to lower inflammation, here's some supplements and they're so busy, that they can't necessarily follow up to see if we need to change that. This is where the health coaching comes in and can really support this whole process.Dr. Joseph Esposito:
So so it's a two practitioner practice, really, it's a chiropractor, with which they're not necessarily used to the average classical chiropractor. I have another practitioner with a different field right next to you hand in hand, synergistically supporting the overall optimal experience and the healing potential of the body. One's focus on musculoskeletal and neurological integrity. Another one's looking at gut function, inflammation, and to me it's really a beautiful hand and glove kind of relationship that hasn't really been successfully implemented in this particular industry. So what's your role like if there was a chiropractor on the call that was intrigued? with what you're saying, your background, your skill sets. Wow, I want a piece of that. I want to know how I can bring that in my practice. What are you doing? Are you supporting health coaches and teaching them inside of a line life clinic so that they're knowledgeable? Give me some scoop as me being a chiropractor. What are you doing for me inside of my clinic?Dr. Kristina, Carman:
Yes. So. So very, very fortunately, my role within a line life has lots of different avenues. I will support one clinic, in particular one of our corporate clinics, which I absolutely love. And as an example, just the other day, they are a chiropractor, he just sent me a text message saying, this patient has issues with magnesium being really upset to upset on their tummy. What are some other alternatives? Or how and when can they take it, so actually, their bodies can support that. So this is a chiropractor who already knows that magnesium is something that their patient needs. But there's a question that he doesn't quite know. So he can being asked, and that patient is supported, hopefully. And we'll keep coming back because suddenly there is there is like, Oh, you're you're there for me. You know, there's you're there for me. So what we're doing within a line life, and I'm super excited about this is we are putting together programs where we can train and hopefully, support in the hiring process of health coaches, within the clinical setting. And very much under under my scope of practice that I can support and help these health coaches so that they understand the needs of the clinics, the needs of you know, the lab integration and the needs of a Siva and what how Siva is growing and developing the incredible programs that a Siva has to offer with metta life with ultimate body cleanse, with the programs that we're developing and building which I'm, again, super excited about. So there's lots and lots and lots of things coming. So we were building that out so that we can support these chiropractors, because when they turn around and say yes, this is something that I want to add to my clinic, we can say, here we go, we have this program, we have this way of integrating this in for you. Then on the flip side is the existing health coaches that we have within the clinics where it's functioning and running really well. We have weekly, I was just on it just earlier actually weekly coaching and training calls. And I've built it out now so that we actually have themed sessions where last week we talked about hormones next week, we're going to talk about digestive health. And we just do like quick little snapshot, little presentation so that it's constantly a learning experience for them. And then we tie it into the services that we offer and how that can come back to chiropractic care so that it's a real relationship that is so both sides are supported. And it can really grow and flourish in a really sustainable way.Dr. Joseph Esposito:
Yeah, what a beautiful process. Because when I hear you speaking, you know the gap, I remember being in practice, running a number of practices is the gap, I had the knowledge in the functional medicine arena. I didn't have any time and I couldn't train people. So to have a line life, have someone like yourself with such an academic background, clinical experience and the desire and the passion to help health coaches, what a beautiful integration. And looking at the business side, one thing I realized when I built my six clinics in only six years, is the referrals were unstoppable. I personally didn't really market a lot because there wasn't a lot of people doing what I was doing. So it's on a business standpoint, to look at another vertical of revenue, totally separate from chiropractic, that doesn't require you to put your hands on a patient. And there's economic exchange in the clinic, from other people's work as an owner, you get to take a deep breath and capitalize on some passive revenue for your hard work the risk you took in business. But deeper than that, for me on top of the the revenue you're gonna make and some clinics, you can actually double revenue if you have the right coach the right marketing. It's such a gap in the profession of health care, to serve these things that you'd be surprised how much economic achievement can be accomplished. But deeper than that is the amount of lives you change and really impact them. Not for the short term, but for the long term. The tell everyone they know. So if you help someone with severe low back pain, it's amazing. You have someone severe low back pain that loses 100 pounds. They balance their hormones, they sleep through the night and they renew their vows with their spouse because of their passion for life. It's a different level of referral. Right when you really impact the full essence of someone's lifeDr. Kristina, Carman:
completely, completely and I align life is the natural health center, there is, again, in my opinion, no reason why you shouldn't have a health coach or someone that can support this side of, of whatever you're offering, you know what I mean, it really solidifies what you do every single day as amazing chiropractors, because it shows that it shows that you care beyond just the adjustment, it shows that you care, and you're really invested in these patients health long term. And people remember things like that people remember, you know, people don't remember what you say or what you do, but they remember how you make them feel. And I think that's a really important important thing to remember. And we have a real opportunity there to to, to, to bring that into the business. Yeah, I mean, I'm super passionate about that cycle. Again, keep going about like, there's no reason not it's a no brainer to me. So guys, come on.