Thank you for being here and reading this post: Diving Deeper with Chiropractor Dr. Justin Grabouski.
If you missed my first post depicting my journey thus far with Dr. Justin Grabouski of Grabouski Chiropractic, you can find it here. I’ve been seeing him regularly for corrective scoliosis visits, as well as keeping me limber & vital for living life (i.e. throwing weights around & trying to keep up with our black labrador mix Kona, ya know!?).
As an active member of the Crossfit community here in Kansas City, I have a lot of conversations with my workout buddies about spine health, fitness, mobility, etc. It’s interesting how the health of your spine is often (still) considered to be its own aspect of health. In other words, it’s not viewed as “that important” nor interconnected unless you have actual back pain or suffer a significant injury.
The truth is that the spine is so deeply, intrinsically linked to every single cell in the body. Every organ, every process, every system is communicative with the spinal column. It literally impacts every single aspect of your health. That means: you don’t have to be a Crossfitter to be deeply impacted by the current state of your spine.
No one is exempt. We all have spines; and we all have these bodies that miraculously keep all systems firing without our conscious attention. It’s actually pretty freaking amazing. Okay, enough of my novice rambles..let’s get into it!
I threw some questions at my Chiropractor, Dr. Justin of Grabouski Chiropractic and he delivered in a big way. I hope you enjoy learning from his responses like I have! Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.
“Not at all!
I was raised in a very allopathic model and my mom was a nurse.
There was always a pill for everything, and that’s just the way it was in our family.
Because of that, my heart was always set on becoming an MD, and that was the route I took.
But we all know how quickly life can change.”
“I was nearing the end of our college baseball season and went through a pretty devastating injury.
I tried everything – MDs, injections, PTs, collegiate trainers – and they were all great, but nothing was working. Our head trainer said she knew a guy who was a chiropractor and wanted me to give it a shot.
So, I started seeing a chiropractor three times a week. He helped me recover to the point where I was able to play on the weekends and finish the season. I became really intrigued with chiropractic, and how much patients truly loved the chiropractic experience (compared to the average visit to an MD’s office where nobody was very happy to be there).
I shadowed, learned more, and ended up choosing one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. To this day, one of my all-time favorite things is providing a patient with their very first chiropractic experience in our office.”
Diving Deep: Chiropractor Dr. Justin Grabouski
“We’d start by building trust. We’d start with me listening to your concerns and your hesitations, and addressing each and every one of those as honestly and transparently as I could.
Because let’s face it – if you don’t trust me, or feel comfortable in our office, our relationship is doomed to fail from the beginning.
From there it’s all about communication. I need to know all of the details of your condition and how it’s affecting you on a daily basis, so I know exactly how to proceed, and how I can help you.
It’s easy to rattle off statistics and talk about how amazing chiropractic is, but the reality is that people need to be heard, and patients need to have absolute trust in their doctor.
We see skeptical patients all the time, and the easiest way to move past that is by providing them with incredible results.”
“This is a fantastic question, and also a question that we could talk about for hours!
There are literally over a hundred ways to deliver a chiropractic adjustment, but the end goal is usually the same regardless of the technique used: the adjustment is designed to remove interference from the nervous system, and/or stimulate a specific part of that nervous system, in order to speed up and promote the healing process.
In essence, the adjustment is all about restoring balance to the body. If nerves are firing too much or have become irritated, we remove the irritation. If nerves aren’t firing enough or have suboptimal function, we restore that function.
This is why chiropractic care is so amazing for so many conditions, and so many different ages. Neck and back pain are the most obvious conditions we treat, but there are so many more we can help with: headaches, migraines, vertigo, allergies, asthma, indigestion, reflux, IBS, constipation, bladder issues, menstrual issues, infertility, etc… the list goes on.”
“I think the first and foremost misconception is that it’s scary or unsafe, and I totally understand why people feel that way.
Old school chiropractic techniques are not the most gentle in the world, and a lot of people can be turned off by that. However, modern chiropractic techniques are not that way!
There are so many ways to adjust people now that are safe, effective, and gentle enough for all ages. A lot of modern techniques do not involve the cracking and popping that most people associate with the adjustment.
In our office, for example, we’ve treated a patient as young as 19 hours old (yes, hours), all the way up to 94 years old.
If you’re hesitant or scared, just know there’s a gentle technique out there that can definitely help you.”
“If you have a spine, and you have a nervous system, you are the ideal patient. I truly mean that. I’m not concerned about your age, your weight, your BMI, your history, or your exercise routine.
When you walk into our office, all I care about is helping you, whoever you are. We’ve created an office culture where every single person will feel welcome and respected, and that’s our top priority.
We all have a starting point, and we’re all on our own journey. I’m just happy to be a part of that journey, and happy to be the one you ask for help.”
“We all fall victim to our habits and our jobs eventually.
You could be a busy mom or dad, a teacher, an accountant, a computer programmer, a painter, a plumber, a construction worker, or a high stress CEO, and you’d all need chiropractic for different reasons.
It could be the computer, the sitting, the posture, the repetitive lifting, the stress, or chasing your kids all day, but it all adds up.
The sooner and more regularly you get adjusted and start taking care of your spine, the better!
Don’t wait until you have a major issue, or the years start adding up. Everyone deserves to feel better and live a higher quality of life.”
Diving Deep: Chiropractor Dr. Justin Grabouski
“As for high performance athletes… Well, I think it goes without saying that you need to take care of your bodies more than anyone.
Performance is all about symmetry and function. If your body isn’t moving properly through all planes of motion, with perfect symmetry, you’re bound for an injury.
And that’s really one of the foundational principles of what we do – we restore proper mechanics to the body.
There’s a reason almost all professional athletes have chiropractors, and swear by them.
It’s absolutely essential to high performance and injury prevention.”
“The answer is none of them… and all of them. When done perfectly, all of Crossfit’s functional movements are amazing for the body.
The trouble really starts when we try to perform these movements too fast, and we sacrifice proper spinal stabilization for speed.
In a competition setting, where the goal is to move faster than your opponent at all costs, there’s no way to avoid this. It’s just part of the sport if you want to win.
But in the everyday class setting, for the everyday Crossfitter, this should absolutely never be happening – and that message should be delivered to the athletes on a daily basis.
After all, the majority of us aren’t there to compete. We’re there to get moving, get a great workout in, sweat a lot, and try to make it the best hour of our day. Those things are very hard to do if you’re in pain or injured.
And that’s why, in my opinion, the quality of movements should be the number one focus for every coach during every class. If the athlete hasn’t yet mastered quality, they should never progress to a heavier load or a faster cycle speed. But in a world obsessed with quick progress and PRs, we allow athletes to get ahead of themselves, get injured, then blame Crossfit or the box for their bad experience… and that’s unfair to everyone involved. I think we would all benefit from slowing down, being a little more patient, and trying to enjoy the process a little more than we already do.
“And that’s why, in my opinion, the quality of movements should be the number one focus for every coach during every class. If the athlete hasn’t yet mastered quality, they should never progress to a heavier load or a faster cycle speed.
But in a world obsessed with quick progress and PRs, we allow athletes to get ahead of themselves, get injured, then blame Crossfit or the box for their bad experience… and that’s unfair to everyone involved.
I think we would all benefit from slowing down, being a little more patient, and trying to enjoy the process a little more than we already do.”
“The adjustment’s effect on the immune system is so cool, and most people don’t even realize chiropractic can help!
It directly impacts the immune system in two ways. First, it lowers the stress response of the body. I think everyone knows how bad stress is for our immune system, and literally everyone is experiencing stress in some form on a daily basis.
The adjustment has a pretty profound effect on lowering stress hormones, and releases a lot of feel good endorphins at the same time (this is why you feel so great immediately following the adjustment).
Second, the adjustment triggers the body to release very specific immune precursor cells, and these cells help fight infections.
Essentially, the adjustment helps the body prevent infections, and also helps the body fight infections, so you benefit both ways.”
Diving Deep: Chiropractor Dr. Justin Grabouski
“I love this question, because it’s all about self-care.
In general, I’m a huge fan of Ben Bergeron’s five factors of health (but that’s an hour long topic on its own so I’ll try to keep this a little more simple).
He has a great podcast that discusses each of the five topics, so give that a listen sometime.
It focuses on mindset, exercise, sleep, nutrition, and relationships.”
“As for the chiropractic world specifically, we tend to stay focused on the three types of stress that our bodies experience on a daily basis: Physical (mechanical, postural), Chemical (foods, toxins), and Emotional (psychological and energetic).
Obviously chiropractic is my number one recommendation to combat physical stress and maintain a healthy nervous system.
I’m also a huge advocate of Crossfit, yoga, pilates, or really any type of physical exercise that you love to do that involves functional movements. I have zero judgment when it comes to the type of exercise you choose, I just want you moving!
Ideally, the perfect scenario consists of three things: I want my patients to correct any structural imbalances they have (that’s where I come in), get their bodies moving (exercise), then address any muscular imbalances they’ve developed (personalized training, physical therapy, massage, etc).”
“Addressing chemical stress is all about nutrition and toxins, and that’s pretty straight forward, but also very complex in today’s world.
Eating clean is easy in theory, but each one of us responds to foods very differently. I’m not the expert in this field, but I do refer out for a lot of food sensitivity testing and other help in this area.
As for toxins, I love seeing people like you who are shedding more light on what’s inside the products we use on a daily basis. With autoimmune diseases running more rampant than ever, it’s important we keep these conversations going.
I also think it’s important to find a great resource in these areas if you’re having trouble. There are so many amazing people out there who can help. And please, stop punishing yourself if you’re not perfect with your nutrition. We all struggle, and you’re nowhere near alone.”
“Emotional stress is incredibly difficult to tackle, and its effects on the body are extremely profound. It literally changes our physiology at the cellular level, which means your thoughts and emotions alone can literally make you ill… or heal you.
And again, there’s no universal way to tackle this because nobody out there is exactly like you. I encourage everyone to explore different avenues in this area.
Here are some examples: cultivating deeper relationships, therapy, spirituality, journaling, meditation, acupuncture, reading. Try different things and see what speaks to you.
But most importantly, surround yourself with people who are good for your emotional health, and establish boundaries around those who aren’t. It’s hard, I know, but it’s the one thing I wish I’d learned how to do sooner.”
“We’re already seeing an amazing trend of people turning to chiropractic first, before all of the drugs and surgery that have become so common. I love that.
I feel like most people, especially the younger generations, are becoming more interested in what we do and the conditions we help with.
The days of taking a pill for everything are finally changing, and it’s so exciting to be on the forefront of that change.
Medicine will always be incredibly valuable, and I’ll continue to refer to all of the MDs and DOs we treat in our office, but I love seeing chiropractic emerging as a primary care resource for a lot of conditions.”
“Oh, that’s easy – serving others.
I have one of the greatest and more rewarding jobs in the entire world. I get to help others all day long, see a ton of people improve, and go home knowing I made a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
I know a lot of people reading this right now would love to experience that every day, so I stay incredibly grateful for the opportunity I have.
Have we worked extremely hard to build the practice we have? Absolutely.
Have I ever regretted a single second of it? Never.
Serving others is what I was meant to do. “
Diving Deep: Chiropractor Dr. Justin Grabouski
“Absolutely I do! I get adjusted at least twice a week, and I approach my own chiropractic care with two major goals in mind.
First, my body has already been through a lot. I recently had my fifth major orthopedic surgery (knee, knee, elbow, ankle, hip) so I know what it’s like to be a patient who needs consistent care, and I don’t want any of those injuries causing me any future problems.
Also, my body is in a constant forward leaning position while I adjust patients all day, and I want to make sure I can take care of people forever without physically breaking down.
Second, I want to make sure my internal systems, especially my immune system, stay as strong as possible.
Chiropractic helps me a ton when it comes to never getting sick. It also helps me a lot with seasonal allergies and digestive issues.
In the end, I need chiropractic as much as anyone!”
“In the literal sense, I love to train in a way that prepares me for all of the things that my wife and I love to do. I also train for longevity, so I can continue to do all of the things I love for a very long time.
Crossfit has been a part of our lives since 2012, and I have a great friend and coach named Hal Roberts to thank for that. He roped me into it, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
We also love doing private yoga together, as a way to achieve some balance and mindfulness.
We love to travel to other countries, we love to do outside work on our little farm, and we have five dogs that keep us on our feet.
So I guess you could say we love to make good use of our pulse by living an active life and going on new adventures.”
“In the stoic sense, I see this question as, “How do you make good use of your time on this earth?” And the answer to that is: I want to positively impact as many lives as possible.
My wife is one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met, and she inspires me to give back to those in need on a daily basis.
We really want to do all the good we can, for all of the people we can, in all of the ways that we can.
And in my opinion, there’s no better way to live your life – especially if you have a lot of fun while doing it.
I’m really honored to take care of all of the people that we do, and I’m always here to help anyone who needs me.”