Living a life feeling abandoned and hopeless can lead to depression and suicidal behavior. Dr. Liz Hoefer went through all of this and chose to live and build a better life for herself and for her daughter. But it wasn’t until a college friend referred her for a Blair Upper Cervical Correction ten years ago that Dr. Hoefer found out the true reason why she had this black cloud of depression constantly floating above her. Listen to her personal story and learn why she is so passionate to share it.
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My Story of Hope – Beginning With Blair Upper Cervical Correction
I’m going to be sharing an important story that’s really near and dear to my heart because it’s my story; the reason that I became a Blair Upper Cervical chiropractor, the reason that I feel like I have a purpose and a calling for my life on this planet. I thought it would be really important to have you finally hear the passion behind why I do what I do from my perspective. I’ve been interviewed by a couple of other people in the past. I’ve shared my story through an interview format, but I think it’s important for my listeners to hear my story so that you can really understand what makes me tick. Without further ado, I’m going to tell you what’s been going on the last decade. October 27, 2017 came and went. That day was a pretty monumentous day for me because that marked the ten-year anniversary for my first Blair Upper Cervical correction. The reason that is a monumental day is because a decade is a very long time. In my life, before I had been introduced to the Blair Upper Cervical work, I don’t think I finished much of anything. For the fact that I have been doing what I do for the last decade with more passion everyday than I have the day before, it’s a pretty incredible thing.
If you go back ten years, you’re going to find me, Liz Molina, just about a year away from graduating from chiropractic college and really suffering from depression and suicidal ideology. I was a single mother. I worked a couple of jobs during college. I was about a year away from graduating from chiropractic college and I wasn’t that excited about what I was looking at for my future prospects. I had gotten into chiropractic college and I lived vicariously through the things that I saw as far as people getting better through traditional chiropractic and rehab and things like that. I thought, “There’s something to this. I want to be a bigger part,” which led me to becoming a student in the doctorate program. When I got to the point where I was getting ready to have to start making decisions about my future, I was still suffering tremendously. I was at a lost to how I was going to be able to convince people that chiropractic was the answer because I wasn’t well. I wasn’t mentally better. I had been diagnosed with bipolar when I was twenty years old and leading up to that was an incredible story of tenacity and perseverance getting through my childhood years and my teenage years under some pretty interesting circumstances.
Let me take you back to the beginning. When I was two years and nine months old, this was 1982, my mother left me and my brother and my father on Christmas Eve and didn’t come back. That’s the earliest trauma that I can remember. Even though it wasn’t a physical trauma, that psychological abandonment has affected me and still does affect me to this day. My dad was left with two toddlers to figure out how he was going to raise us. Needless to say, he was a little bit underequipped and overwhelmed. We ended up living with his parents for most of my life on and off. Before I turned eleven, I called six different women mom. That’s pretty traumatic because having to maybe call one other person mom is hard when you really have a mother that you want to be in your life. My dad was desperate and wanted to have a woman to help him raise his kids. I don’t blame him because now that I’m a mom and I have three daughters, I undoubtedly couldn’t do it without the help of my amazing husband. Bad choices lead to bad circumstances and one lady after another after another after another. By the time I was eleven, the sixth woman was introduced. It was not a fun time and my dad struggled. He struggled emotionally, he struggled chemically, and it was awful. That was an inconsistent time during my life with not a lot of stability and always moving back and forth to my grandparents’ house whenever something didn’t work out.
In my teenage years, I think it just got a lot worst because all of us that have grown up have gone through adolescence and puberty. You just really are unsure of yourself and you’re trying to figure out who you are. The last thing that I needed was more upset and more irritation from a psychological standpoint. I played softball. I was in the musicals at school. In high school, I was into music and singing in theater. I had physical trauma from car accidents and different things and sadly, there was some physical abuse as well. By the time that I was fourteen, the State of Iowa recommended that I didn’t live with my father and his third wife anymore. I ended up right back at my grandma and grandpa’s house and I lived there from the end of 8th grade through the beginning of my senior year. When you look at how people make choices in their life, I didn’t have a lot of confidence with who I was. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my situation. Even though my grandparents provided material structure, there wasn’t a lot of emotional and mental support. When I started dating, I started dating a guy that probably wasn’t the best for me on an emotional situation.
At seventeen, I thought that I knew everything just like every seventeen in the world thinks. I moved out with my then boyfriend. I ended up actually transferring high school, it was my senior year, and basically doing it on my own at the end of my high school career. By the time I graduated high school, I had made enough money that I could move out on my own and get an apartment. I Immediately, Robert, my boyfriend in high school, moved in with me. We left his mom’s house and we moved into our own apartment. I think we graduated in May and by September I was pregnant with my first daughter. I was eighteen years old in a pretty tumultuous relationship with a not so supportive and immature person, and then I was pregnant. From a physiological standpoint, our frontal lobes aren’t even developed until we are 25. I have a lot of opinions about when marriage should happen and when people should procreate, but that’s because of my broken circumstances. There are some people that are very mature and some people that could probably handle all that kind of stuff when they’re a little younger, but for me, it just wasn’t a good thing. The good thing that came from that was my amazing daughter, Lauren, who is now eighteen herself. I look at her and I think, “I was younger than her doing more adult things because of the choices that I had made.”
All those choices were made out of this brokenness and this longing, having this desire to be included and be loved and being supported. While I was in junior high in high school, I developed a really horrible diagnosable condition known as depression and then truly, it started with suicidal ideology. Unfortunately, the first time I tried to kill myself, I was thirteen years old. That was when I was living with my father and his wife in a little town on the river in Iowa. I tried to hang myself and obviously, it wasn’t successful. That was a wakeup call for me knowing that I was so desperate I was willing to end my life at thirteen. Unfortunately, we see more and more on the social media sites all these kids that are suffering from being bullied and they choose to take their own life. We just feel so regretful for how come nobody knew or wasn’t there something we could have done and could have said? I was that kid too. Thankfully, my plans were foiled and it didn’t work out because I wouldn’t be here. I was desperate and I was sad, and obviously didn’t know anything about Upper Cervical Chiropractic or what could help me from that perspective at that time. I just knew that I wasn’t well. I started seeing psychiatrists, psychologists. They put me on medication when I was in high school and it didn’t help. It actually made me worse. If you look at the statistics and the studies with these different psychotropic medications that they do prescribe to teenagers, I think that they’re starting to realize things like Prozac and Zoloft are actually creating more problems than they’re helping. I think that was the category that I landed myself in back in the time.
By the time I was twenty, I had attempted three or four more times and I got diagnosed with Bipolar II Rapid Cycling. I was put on Lithium, Effexor and Risperdal. Risperdal is an antipsychotic because basically what happened was, I had a nervous breakdown otherwise known as a psychotic break. It was really scary. I had some really good friends that helped me. They saw that I was crumbling and they intervened. I got some help or the help that they knew how to give me, which was help me get checked into a mental hospital. I was there for about two weeks. In that time, they took care of my daughter and I just spiraled out of control. Long story short, I ended up moving back in with my grandparents for a short period of time to get stable. I wanted to figure out what I needed to do with my life. I was working full-time jobs along with part-time jobs and it wasn’t enough to pay the bills. I thought, “The only way out of this situation is an education.” I was always a very bright student. I always did well in high school with my grades. Studying wasn’t hard for me. It was just that I was so preoccupied with feeling overwhelmed and literally feeling like I wanted to die every single day from age thirteen. It was hard for me to motivate myself to get up and actually get to school. Once I got there, I was good. I could learn well and I did well in tests. I actually put on a pretty good show as far as having a social life and things like that, but literally getting out of bed everyday was a nightmare. I struggled really, really, really bad.
My friend’s mom gave me a part-time job working at Palmer College of Chiropractic at night basically checking in patients and helping the student doctors that were in college learning how to be a chiropractor and the staff doctors that were treating these patients. I got involved in that and I thought, “There’s something to this.” I really enjoy seeing people come in here not feeling well and leaving with a smile on their face. I want to be a bigger part of that story. I started working there when I was 21 years old. It started off as a part-time job in the evening, but it quickly became something that I was interested in as a career because I always had this compassion for people who are suffering and who are hurting. Even though I didn’t have a lot of physical complaints, I had ridiculous mental anguish. I got into regular straight full spine chiropractic care and I got well enough to get off my medication. That was a huge thing for me because the medication is toxic and it just didn’t go well with me. I just gained a lot of weight, I felt like a zombie and I really couldn’t concentrate. Getting off the medication helped but I still have this overwhelming sense of not wanting to get up and live every day. This entire time, I have a daughter who’s depending on me for support, for comfort, and for nurturing. Even though I was there physically for her, which is something that actually kept me from wanting to kill myself ultimately, was the fact that I did have this little girl that I knew if she grew up without me, it would just be another vicious cycle, another generation of suffering.
After I had her, her face is what came into my mind each and every time I had an attempt. Obviously, the attempts weren’t really designed to actually do anything because I wouldn’t have survived if they were. They were a cry for help and I was seeking help in the wrong places. Thank God, I was able to eventually get led in the right direction, which is incredibly powerful. When I started working at Palmer, I was getting regular chiropractic care. My nervous system was getting healthier. I was able to get off the medication and then I started looking into the education opportunities that arose from Palmer. They had this associate program called the Chiropractic Technology Program. That program is basically a two-year degree that allows you to become an assistant to a chiropractor. It’s similar to what a nurse is to a medical doctor. I would assist the doctor with doing exams, I could take x-rays, I could do insurance billing and basically run their office. I thought, “That would be incredible. I could have somewhat of a back office skill set where I could assist the doctor and then I could help run the front desk which I had already been doing for a year.” On my 22nd birthday in 2002, I enrolled in the CT Program and I was excited. About two tries in which is two terms into my program, I spiraled out of control with depression. I had another psychotic break. I actually had to take a mental health leave of absence for a trimester. It put me back a little bit but getting the help I needed or what I thought I needed at that time gave me some perspective and helped me realize that I can’t just play anymore. I have a little girl that I have to figure out what I’m doing. I have a life that I have continue to live and taking my life wasn’t going to be the correct answer on any level.
I started taking some more classes in the evening. I switched my days where I would work in the day, I would go to school at night, and I would do my pre-reqs for my Bachelors of Science. That was because when I was working at Palmer, I would sit in the back and pull files and talk with the doctors of chiropractic students and they would say, “Liz, you have what it takes. You have everything that it takes to become a great doctor of chiropractic,” and I was terrified. I said, “There’s no way that I could ever do that.” I was scared of the school, the level of intelligence that was needed. I was scared of all the tests they had to take. I was scared of the boards that they had to pass in order to get licensed. I was scared of the debt that they had to take out because going to chiropractic school is very expensive. It’s worth it but it’s expensive. I just had a lot of fear in my life because I had never really completed anything. At the time they were talking to me, I was still on my associates program. One of the things that I recognized during that associates program is that I wanted to know more, I wanted to know why, and I wanted to know how. You aren’t privy to that information when you are an assistant. You just help the doctor, assist them and you fill in the blanks but you don’t get to understand the whole concept and that bugged me.
I was already getting my interest piqued because of the things I was learning. I just didn’t know that I had what it took. It was these students that would just say, “Liz, you can do it. You have the gift of gab. You’re easily connected to people. You have a lot of compassion. You’d be a perfect chiropractor.” I thought, “If these people are seeing something in me I don’t see, they’re healthy, maybe they know something I don’t know.” One day at a time, I got everything out of the way and I ended up enrolling in chiropractic college for the doctorate program. That was in November of 2004. It’s been a couple of years at this point. I’ve been under regular chiropractic care. I’m off of all the psychotropic medication. I’m no longer having horrible bouts of depression but I still have this overwhelming sense of death everyday. Even though I fought it, it was really difficult. Some days it would creep up on me more than any other. Basically what happened was I made a really good friend in college. Her name is Jackie Newhouse. She was Jackie Dukes back then. We became study partners and we helped each other get through all of our classes by studying and cheering each other on and that was all fantastic. Then in 8th trimester, the end of 7th trimester, I really was struggling again with severe depression and suicidal ideology that was overwhelming to the point where I was starting to talk about it with my friends and just begging them for some kind of help. I was also to the point where I thought, “Maybe getting back on medication was the answer. Maybe quitting school and going back into some day treatment was the answer.”
Jackie listened to everything that I had to say for a long time. Then one day, she basically gave me an ultimatum and said, “I’ve heard about this Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic treatment. We’ve been exposed to it in 4th trimester at school. You haven’t tried that and I think there’s something to it. If you don’t go get this done, I’m not going to be your friend anymore.” That was a huge potential loss. I really couldn’t fathom getting to chiropractic school without her and we still had an entire year to go. I didn’t want to lose her as a friend because she was my best friend. I reluctantly submitted myself to the student doctor and the staff doctor at Palmer College. I told them my whole health history. I gave them all of the examples of physical abuse. I gave them all the examples of chemical abuse. I gave them all of the examples of the psychological trauma that I suffered from. If you know anything about chiropractic, you understand that there are three things that cause your body to be out of alignment. Out of alignment equates to your nervous system not functioning like it should and that’s thoughts, traumas and toxins.
I had a litany of all three of those things in my life. Because I was so well-educated, I knew that I had to take this serious. I wanted to give the doctor and the student doctor the best possible scenario to do what they could do. I had to tell them everything so I laid it all out there. It was a very vulnerable situation to be in because everybody wants to look good. Everybody wants to have their act together and especially, a year away from graduating, you’re supposed to know where you want to go, what you want to do or at least you should have an inkling to know where you want to go or what you want to do. At that point, I was losing faith in myself. I was losing faith in the profession. I just didn’t even know if the hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans that I had just borrowed to get to the point where I was at was even going to pay off.
I submitted myself to the student doctor and I submitted myself to the staff doctor and I got my first correction, October 27th 2007. What’s so remarkable about that is if Dr. Hubbard hadn’t read my x-rays, I don’t think I would have gotten an adjustment. An untrained doctor would have said, “Your alignment doesn’t even look real.” Dr. Hubbard saw something and knew something wasn’t right. He pushed, he tested and he found exactly what was wrong. It wasn’t that I had bipolar disorder. It wasn’t that I had depression. It wasn’t that I was on a detox from lithium. It was the fact that I had a very, very deadly upper cervical misalignment at the top of my spine, a subluxation at my atlas. He actually let Kevin Leach, who is now a doctor in Seattle, do the adjustment on me. On that day, my life changed instantaneously. I laid down on the table, I got my upper cervical correction with the Blair Chiropractic Technique and in an instant, I felt hope. In an instant, the heaviness and the cloud of suicide and the cloud of depression and the cloud of anger lifted off of me. I literally heard sounds clearer for the first time. I saw colors more brightly for the first time. I felt like I had such an awareness in my body for the first time in my life. I got off of the table and I said, “What did you do?” I must have said it in a scary tone because they were really big eyed and they stared at me a little bit. I just told them what happened, what I experienced, how I felt and all they can do is smile. I was in tears because I felt hope for the first time in my life. I can’t even begin to describe to you the weight that was lifted. There aren’t really words. The only way that you could ever even understand is if it happened to you.
Thankfully now, for this last decade, I’ve been able to give the exact same hope to people when they come in to see me at my office. When I talk to them about my story and I share my testimony and I tell them, “My daughter has a mom because of the correction that I got ten years ago. My husband has a wife and I now have two other daughters.” I wouldn’t have had any of that stuff if I hadn’t got that correction. I know that I wouldn’t be here, my life would have been taken. Whether it was me taking my own life or me making choices that became so reckless that my life ended in some capacity, I wouldn’t be here. I’m here to tell you that chiropractic does save lives and my life is the example. That is why I am so passionate about what I do. When I meet people, when I interview them and take their health history, I go deep because I understand the power behind an emotional trauma, a physical trauma, a chemical trauma. People that have lived lives where nobody has ever listened to them where they felt abandoned, where they haven’t felt heard, I get it, I lived it. This isn’t to dis on my family, I realized looking back my dad was doing the best he could do. I feel like he has grown and there’s hope for the future. I have siblings that I know are having a significantly different experience because when you know better, you do better.
I just know that everything that happened to me had to happen for me to meet that doctor and that student doctor on that day, have that specific adjustment at the top of my neck, and it healed me. Ten years later, I am still telling my story as passionately as I felt it the very first day. I have helped thousands of people thankfully and been able to share my story with even more than that over the years and inspired people to go seek out Blair Upper Cervical all over the country. People hear about my story and they know somebody who has had problems with depression or they know somebody who has anxiety issues, and they know somebody that has suffered in the way that I suffered, and then they refer them to a good doctor wherever they may be. This is why I keep talking about it. This is why I share my story. This is why I’m not ashamed and I’m not embarrassed. It’s vulnerable, of course, it is. It’s an intimate, really precarious subject. People get really funny about mental health issues. I can tell you and I can assure you I don’t suffer from bipolar disorder. I am healed because of Upper Cervical and I’m never not going to talk about it. As long as I have breath in my lungs, I’m going to shout about the healing power and the miraculous power of the Blair Upper Cervical Correction because it literally saved my life.
As soon as I got the adjustments, I immediately enrolled in the elective that thankfully was offered on my campus. I learned the work. It’s a difficult technique to master and that’s why there aren’t very many of us. Now that I am doctor and I have been in practice for almost a decade, I am giving back. I teach students, I hold seminars, I travel all over the country. Anytime I have an opportunity to speak to whether it’s a doctor or a student or a lay group, I go because I want people to understand there is something to this. BJ Palmer said that, “Chiropractic is specific or there is nothing,” and I am living proof of that. I had been under chiropractic care my entire life and it never helped me. It wasn’t until I got that specific correction done by trained eyes who knew what to look for. I’m so thankful that happened. I know the people that I have been able to be a doctor too are thankful and it’s incredible. We’re hitting a record almost this month with the amount of new people that are coming into the office because one way or another, they’ve heard about the power behind the Blair Upper Cervical Correction. I take care of people that have neck fusions. I take care of people who are post-surgery. I take care of people who really don’t think they have anything going on but their aunt or their brother or their sister had an issue and they want to see if they can be benefitted from it. Literally, from all walks of life. From a baby two hours old all the way to my oldest patient who turned 102 years old. I take care of the gamut. It’s incredible and it’s a remarkable life that I get to lead and it’s a remarkable career that I get to have.
I just wanted to share with you my story. I know when I did my introduction, I talked about the fact that this show is more than just chiropractic. It’s what I do. It’s what I spend my day doing but there are so many more implications in that. I hope that you are fascinated by the fact that mental illness was healed through Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic and I’m a living, breathing testimony that chiropractic does save lives. I’m really thankful that you have tuned in. I’m excited to share with you future things that are coming up. I have exciting testimonies from different patients that I’m setting up. We’re getting all those interviews done. You name the condition and I probably had a crack at it, not literally but figuratively speaking. I’ve been able to analyze, detect and remove their subluxation, and they’ve gotten better.
I hope you keep listening and I hope you are excited and are starting to feel a little bit more passionate about the work that I do. I think that’s what I do is I breathe hope and I breathe passion in people, and it’s a cool thing to do. Thanks so much and I can’t wait to hear from you. If you have any questions, comments or concerns on anything Blair Chiropractic or otherwise, please email me and let me know what you want to hear about. I’d love to reach out and get a topic going that you are interested in hearing from. I look forward to having you tune in on my next episode. Thanks so much and until next time, be blessed.