Tracy Hazzard is an Inc. columnist and a long time patient. She first got into Blair Chiropractic after she was in a car accident. She saw the benefits so now her whole family gets adjusted. She talks about her young daughters and the stories of why they had them checked and what the benefits were even at such young ages.
Listen to the podcast here:
The Importance Of Blair Chiropractic For Entire Families with Tracy Hazzard
I am so excited about my guest today. Tracy Hazzard is an Inc. columnist. She and her husband, Tom, are the reason why this podcast even exists. I’m really excited to introduce you to Tracy. We’re going to talk today about her being my patient at my Precision Chiropractic practice in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. Welcome, Tracy.
Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to talk to you today.
You’re incredible and you are a woman of many talents, among them being an Inc. columnist and starting this amazing company called Brandcasting You. You came to me probably a year ago and you just said, “I really think you should do a podcast.” I said, “Okay, let’s do it.” Now, here we are sometime later creating this content and you have so many people going for this as well. It’s just so exciting. Even before we talked about doing podcasting, you were actually a patient of mine at the clinic.
I may have met you on your first week on the job there because I’m in a lot. I’m an Inc. columnist and head of Brandcasting You and speaker, author. You add all those ‘ands’ up, this is why I’m out of alignment.
I totally appreciate that because I am a chiropractor and a wife and a mother and a Board Member for the Blair Chiropractic Society, etc. Thankfully, my chiropractic doctor works across the hall. I get checked a little more often than you can.
It is that ‘and’ stuff that gets to us. It is the reason why I was so happy to have discovered Blair Chiropractic. It was classic, getting an accident and end up in a chiropractor’s office and luckily for me, it happened to be Dr. Forest in Northern California, a great Blair Chiropractor.
What’s great about Dr. Forest is he is the man who trained me how to do Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa when I was a student. You were already seeing him as a patient while I was getting trained in a different part of the country. That’s why I then became an instructor for the Blair Chiropractic Society, because I want to be able to pay forward what I was given, which is this incredible of gift of Blair. When I met you, you’re right, I was a student intern. I was fresh out of my ninth trimester at Palmer College. I came in just as excited as can be to be everybody’s favorite Blair doctor. Then I quickly realized, Dr. Tomp is the one who’s actually the doctor and I’m just his amazing intern. I got to meet you and rightfully so, every person was completely terrified to let me touch them.
It’s really personal. When I left Dr. Forest’s office, it’s because we moved down to Southern California so I didn’t have a choice, but I had already seen Dr. Tomp a couple of times. You get dependent on making sure that, “I’m going to come out of this and I’m going to feel better in twelve hours. I know I’m going to wake up and I’m going to feel better.” It is really hard to let that go, especially when you have someone you trust and you’re really good at. For me, I think that when I came into the office and met you and got a chance to know you, that I realize that you had your own gifts that complemented Dr. Tomp’s. That was really great for me to be able to feel like I could go back and forth and be absolutely back on the road to doing all the ‘ands’ the next day.
I totally appreciate that you were willing to give me the chance. I think what we really bonded over is our children. It’s the connection that we had because we were actually pregnant at the same time two different times. The other interesting connection we have is that we both have an older daughter that is significantly older than the two little girls.
If I hadn’t been with you when you were pregnant and I was pregnant, I’d swear our daughters were twins, the two little ones are exactly alike.
It’s so much fun when they get together and play. We just look at them and we’re in awe of how similar they are.
It had to be something in the water or something at that time. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it was being constantly adjusted. I think when you’re building a practice like you are and building up your client base, you really have to find a way to connect. Especially when you’re working out of someone else’s office, you have to find a way to connect and bond with them. For us, the kids were the way. The pregnancies were the way. It just worked out for us that way. Also because you had started treating Tom and the rest of our family, Alexandra at that time was only the rest of our family. You were treating them and they were experiencing the same results that I had been experiencing with Dr. Tomp. When you see the results, happy patients around you, and then you have a chance to connect. I think it’s really important that you reached out, you got to know me and you were friendly in the office. You met the other patients even though they’re “not yours” but it’s important to find a way to bond with them.
Part of the reason for Dr. Tomp even bringing me in as an intern and then eventually as an associate and now more like a business partner is because he recognized that this thing that we do called Blair has so much implication. He wanted somebody else in there to help him because he’s only one person and there’s only so much one person can do in a day. He wanted to have a bigger impact in his community. Me coming in, it was perfect timing. Me meeting you guys was incredible. What I really wanted to talk to you about today is why is it that you decided to trust your brand new babies with me and chiropractic. Because that is something that most people get wide-eyed and concerned about when they hear about parents bringing their babies to a chiropractor.
It wasn’t a quick decision for me. When I first got in that car accident that I started seeing Dr. Forest, Alexandra was in the car with me. I started seeing it and didn’t bring her at first. It wasn’t until she started complaining about some problems with her hips and some other things that I realized the connection. She was in the back seat but it doesn’t mean she wasn’t impacted by that accident, so I brought her in at that time. I think she was fifth or sixth grade, she was ten, eleven at that time. Not super young but young enough to think twice about whether or not you wanted to bring them into a chiropractic office. At that time, I also had had enough experience with it to know it was very scientific-based, there was X-rays involved. There was no serious cracking. I had never seen any kind of chiropractor before I saw Blair so I didn’t know any different. Knowing that it’s not invasive, it’s not dangerous, it doesn’t feel harsh and I feel so much better afterwards, that’s what I wanted for her, that benefit. I didn’t want her to have that experience.
It started with being comfortable with Alex at ten and then being treated throughout my pregnancy, which I found essential. I don’t think I could have functioned through my whole pregnancy. I’m not sure I actually would have ever gotten that baby out without some chiropractic help towards the end there.
It’s so incredible that you just mentioned that because prenatal pregnancy and while you’re pregnant is so incredible vital for the position of the pelvis to be able to then give birth to the baby and have everything developed. The nervous system is what dictates everything. If structure dictates function, then your nervous system, which is surrounded by bones, are going to dictate how you’re functioning. If you’re growing a baby inside of you, you want to have the best environment possible. Chiropractic is the way to get that done.
I always just think about it from the total layman’s terms. You’d go into the office and they measure your hips, it’s the first thing they do. It’s up on one side, down on the other, whatever it is that it might be. There’s a little string line and you could see it and you go, “My hips are like that? No wonder my back is sore. No wonder my hip hurts.” The last thing you need when you’re trying to deliver a baby is to have your hips not be level and have it not be as wide up as possible. That’s all I could think about. You’re going to push out a big old baby. My last one was almost a ten-pounder. I’m 5’2. I could not have done that if I wasn’t as wide as possible.
With your experience with your middle daughter, tell me how that went and how quickly did you get her in to see a chiropractor after she was born.
With Lannea, I didn’t bring her in right away. She had a really healthy birth and I felt like she was doing fine. It was actually a bit later where we brought her in and it was because she was having a lot of emotional issues. It was more of an emotional problem. I was starting to see a pattern where she was feeling a little headachy and then she would throw these tantrums. She was five, six years old. I thought that’s way too old to be throwing temper tantrums. That should be done in the terrible two’s and three’s. That should be over by now. I was starting to see that and think when I’m out of alignment, I’m really, really, really nasty, very nasty. I bite the heads off of just about anyone.
I thought there might be a connection and I if I didn’t rule it out, then that’s shame on me. That’s when we first started talking to you about it. You had been adjusting your daughter for similar reasons. I thought this is the thing. This is what we need to try to see if it’s working. We had actually tried psychology and some other things and none of that was working. I thought, “This is something I need to try for her.” I didn’t have a physical reason to feel like she needed it, but the emotional reason was strong enough and my connection to understanding how the body works enough that I said I have to do this. It’s really worked for her. We can see the difference. It significantly increased her ability to control her emotions.
It’s so important that parents hear what you’re saying. You had gotten chiropractic for yourself because of a physical problem, but you noticed when you went out of alignment, you had an emotional response. You were angry and maybe you were a little bit more feisty or you didn’t handle things as well as you know you can. Then you notice that your four or five-year old daughter started having these fits that were outgrown from being a toddler. Then you though there’s no physical issue except for maybe sometimes she gets a headache, but then she has this horrible emotional outburst. How incredible as a parent for you to connect the dots, so you brought her in.
I remember we did a really great exam and we took some X-rays. The interesting thing about taking X-rays on kids is they’re young and they’re very curious. You have to allow yourself some more time to answer questions, which is 100% okay. I rather spend an hour doing education and planting that seeds of this kid knowing that what we’re doing is going to benefiting them forever than just blowing them off because their brilliant little minds are just absorbing everything.
She asked a ton of questions but she also isn’t fully developed like an adult is. Her bones aren’t fully ossified. We don’t take the same type of X-rays or the same amount. There’s a significantly less radiological risk to being having any kind of exposure. We were able to take four pictures and we were able to get a listing for her atlas and give her an adjustment. I remember night and day difference in her behavior.
Actually, since then, we took two more because she grew. We have taken more as she’s gotten older, which has helped keep it in alignment and keeping your data right. The interesting thing about is that for Lannea specifically, she had been in the office when we’ve been adjusted, either Tom, Alexandra or I, any one of us. She was really comfortable with you. She knew what was coming. She knew she was going to lie on this table. She knew what she was going to do. It was really easy for her to feel comfortable.
That’s what’s really fun when I take care of whole families. Even if they aren’t a patient yet, I always just, “Let’s do a leg check and see how you’re doing.” Not every kid needs to be adjusted but it’s important to have the doctor know what to look for to then make the determination that we actually do need to make a correction. Let’s do a proper exam. Let’s take the pictures that we need. Let’s scan the neck and get information about the nervous system so that we can make that precise correction very gently and then they can experience the same wholeness that their parents are experiencing.
Back to when we brought Alexandra in when she was ten, that’s right about the time when they start checking you for scoliosis as you get a little bit older than that. She had been having these hip problems from the accident, her hips were out of alignment. Sure enough, she went into one those school scoliosis test and they came back saying, “Yes, she’s got a problem. She needs to go see a specialist.” I immediately took her in. Dr. Tomp was the only one in that office at the time when I took her in. Dr. Tomp was like, “No, we’ll have her fixed. Go have her checked again.” She went back to the school, they did the check and they were like, “There’s no indication at all.” It was that immediate of a difference. For me, realizing that there’s a growth pattern issue with kids as well, I think it’s really important to keep checking.
We could diverge on sixteen different subjects just with your kids alone: scoliosis, behaviors and all kinds of different things. I want to go back to Lannea because, as you mentioned, we did recently take a couple more films and that’s because she’s almost nine. At age seven, between seven and seven and half year atlas, which is the first bone underneath your skull, ossifies which means it becomes completely hard and it’s fully developed. We were going off a pediatric listing system and we noticed that when we would give Lannea an adjustment, she either wouldn’t hold it very well or it wasn’t quite clearing her out like it used to. As a doctor, I started observing something is amiss. We’re doing the same thing but we’re not getting the same results and that is uncharacteristic of a Blair correction.
Our experience with her was she would hold really well. Kids seem to hold well.
They do. They’re very resilient. Even despite the fact that they participate in things like trampolines, bounce houses and the like.
We have Lannea so trained that after a bounce house, she immediately says, “Can you make an appointment with Dr. Hoefer, please?
That is the best, I love it. I wish every kid could have that conversation with their parent. That would be incredible. We took a couple of more pictures about five months ago and we found a couple of new listings because she had participated in trampolines and bounce houses. We were able to engineer a more specific correction based on her body right now. Ever since we’ve been able to do that new adjustment, it’s been even more groundbreaking with the things that don’t happen with her behavior.
When she comes in, she just gives me the biggest hug and I feel like she’s part of my family. I love that her and my daughter Mikaela are six months apart in age and they are really good friends. If I am doing something and talking to Tracy or Tom or they come into the office and Mikaela happens to be in with my husband, they just instantly have this connection. It’s like building this community around this incredible thing called Blair Chiropractic. They’re my patients but they’ve become family and it’s so rewarding. Neither one of us can move away from each other. We both need each other. I want to talk about Vanessa because that was a really awesome experience for you to have just delivered her and then notice some stuff going on.
I had a really difficult delivery with her because she was almost ten pounds, I’m 5’2. She had a bunch of issues, cord wrapped around her neck. They had to do this technique where they swipe your shoulder up over to sweep and get you out of there. Basically, what they do is they twist their shoulder and a lot of times they break their clavicle. In her case, she had something they called shoulder dystocia, which is basically her shoulder hurt. That’s how I took it because I would be breastfeeding her and on that shoulder she would almost wince and not want to feed long enough. She’d want to switch to the other side and then she’d just go to town. I knew there was an issue with the shoulder from the moment that she was born. They had cautioned us, they put her into ICU and she was this giant baby in the ICU, which was the weirdest thing ever. She had lost her breath. It was very traumatic.
All I kept thinking about the whole time that I was in the hospital was how fast can I get out and how soon can Dr. Hoefer see her. I kept thinking she’s going to have this shoulder problem for the rest of her life if I don’t do something before it starts growing. That was what went through my head. That was how important it was, and the fact that I probably needed to get seen myself. It’s just second of my list of things. Right after both deliveries, I came in within days of delivering. It was one thing to get out of bed for and get adjusted.
With Vanessa, also her inability to even move her arm because her shoulder hurts so bad. It was clear. One side was completely functional and the other side, she was almost as if she was splinting it herself.
It was like she squeezed it up against her body and you couldn’t pull it out all the way to the side. They did X-rays and stuff in the hospital where they checked it all out and there was no fractures or there was no big issues. If anything, it might have been dislocated. Even then, they were like it seems like it’s back in place. They had someone look at it before they released us, but I didn’t trust that. I just didn’t because I could see it when I was feeding her.
This is your third daughter and you have that thing called mother’s instinct. That thing is one of the most powerful things on the planet. Just knowing that even though there wasn’t anything “wrong” with her according to the medical professionals, there was a functional issue happening.
I knew it, I could tell. I had had an issue with my shoulder that has been a recurring problem. I just know how debilitating that is and I didn’t want that for her.
Tell me about when you brought her into the office and how different it is. With babies, we can take X-rays but I just choose not to. It was a completely different exam.
You were just like, “Let me hold the baby.” It was really that kind of comment. I knew it would be. I knew you weren’t going to stick her on the table. I knew it wasn’t going to be that way. It doesn’t mean you’re not nervous as a parent. That’s something that goes through your mind, this precious baby that you just spent nine months warming up and getting out into the world. Any fear that I had, the fact that I knew you so well and you had your own babies, I knew the care that you would take, it meant more to me than the care that I received in the hospital from people I didn’t know.
We got her adjusted, and then tell me how soon did you notice a difference?
I think it was pretty right away. Within a week, I would say. You could definitely see a distinctive difference in how she was. I’ve always watched for it. She seems to use both arms just perfectly fine. She’s three now. We’ll have a little more tell when we see her throwing balls and writing with what arm will she choose. Will she be our only leftie? I’m wondering if that will happen just by choice or if it’s really gone? I don’t see a problem anymore. I don’t see her restricting her movement. I don’t see that happening even when I know we’ve gone in and she is out of alignment or something. That’s not the effect. I don’t see it in her shoulder.
She’s three and we started getting her adjusted immediately. She held that first adjustment for a long time. Think about it, if you get a new born adjusted, what possible thing could cause them to go out of alignment except for maybe a sibling picking them up and dropping them or a car seat malfunction of some kind.
Once they start walking, it’s different.
The minute they start walking and the minute they start running and being a toddler, that’s when stuff starts to pop up, but she held her first adjustment for over a year.
She rolled off the ottoman and I was like, “We’re bringing her in.”
I remember that story and they were terrified. They’re like, “No, we have to get her checked immediately on the shoulder.” I was like, “Yeah, she’s out,” but there’s no issue with her shoulder. It was just that you had the ottoman issue. When I’m interviewing parents because they bring their older kids in, I’m like, “Let’s talk about their birth,” because I always want to know the birth story. I want to know how was it when they were an infant. Did they breastfeeding on one side or another? Because moms remember a lot of stuff. I also want to find out, what did their siblings do? Did they pick him up out of the crib? Did they drop them off the couch? At school, did they learn how to do the monkey bars too soon? It’s interesting to learn the way kids can get hurt but it’s also incredible to know that parents are there trying to get their kids back on track so that they don’t have to be 45 years old or however old, having suffered needlessly when they could just get the stuff addressed as a kid.
I don’t think I have to worry about that. Tom started seeing you guys when they got in a car accident and Alexandra was in the car and she burst into tears, “You’ve got to take me in to Dr. Tomp and Dr. Hoefer now.” She burst into tears about that the minute she got in this fender bender. Tom was like, “I’ll go too.” That’s how he started to go. Lannea, bounce house, whenever it happens, “Take me in.” Vanessa, she’s a really good talker. She uses full senses. She’s very articulate. From early on, she would go, “I want to see Dr. Hoefer. I want to get checked.” She has no fear about it. It seems like a normal course. “We’re going in the office. Why am I not getting checked?” She wants that, my girls are all asking for it. They know they feel better afterwards.
That’s what’s so important for people to understand. If you’ve got kids and you want to get them checked, find a Blair doctor. We’re all trained on how to take care of infants and children. It’s super gentle. The upper cervical correction for an adult is remarkably gentle. It’s even more gentle for a child because there’s less force that has to be administered. I’m just blessed that you trust me with your family, with your babies and it has been a really cool thing to see Vanessa from basically brand new to now and how much vocabulary she has and how smart she is, and how much she just loves coming to the chiropractor. Most of the time, she’s just getting checked and there’s nothing going on. She’s holding.
I was worried that I was going to have this child that was held back in some way, shape or form physically. She’s not like that at all. She’s absolutely gregarious. She does anything she wants. She has no fear. That’s the only problem for me. She’ll climb on anything. There’s going to be a lot of falls in the future. I see it but I’m not scared. I’m not scared because I know she’s going to be okay.
That just reminded me of my little Claire who is just a few months older than Vanessa. It’s interesting how similar they are but they both had care the soonest. As far as being able to develop with upper cervical integrity and it’s just awesome to see how bright their light is and how much impact they’re going to have. That’s what I also want people to get is chiropractic isn’t just about physical pain. Most of the time is that’s what brings you in absolutely, but it’s about being able to develop and have integrity on every level, emotionally, physically, mentally and have the structure supporting you instead of being an enemy to you.
I spent a majority of my life from early age, probably around age nine, ten, with severe migraine headaches. I would come home from school at ten years old and I just disappear in my bedroom and sleep because I needed the dark. No one knew what it was at that time and it took a while before they said, “She has migraines.” I dealt with that for so many years. After Alexandra’s birth, I could count in one hand the days without migraines. It was that bad. It was so constant. I sought everything. If I had known that I could have gotten relief from Blair Chiropractic, I would have been in there in a minute. I didn’t and it took a long path and it took an accident to make that happen for me but that was the side benefit I got from an accident. It took a while before that happened. It was an immediate thing but they started a lesson and year-over-year and now, they’re so rare. It hardly ever happens anymore.
As we grow and as we learn, we do better. That’s where this whole idea of doing this podcast comes from. It’s you saying, “I have this thing that I think I could help you do,” which is this podcast and then, you can then share the information that you do and get it out to the world so that other people don’t have to suffer.
You have a great message, you are passionate about that message and I just happen to have a vehicle that works perfect for you. It just really was that case. The whole idea is we want to have impact in whatever we do. My goal is to make sure that more people can spread their messages in whatever that is. Whether I write about them in my column or I get them to become podcasters or they listen to my podcasts. Whatever it is, I don’t care. For you, the bigger impact you have then I’m having more impact in the world too. That’s that collaborative impact level that I want to be at because that’s when we’re really resonating throughout the world and really making a difference.
I 100% agree with you. I know that there are many other things that I want to talk to you about, so you will not be a one-and-done guest for my podcast. I am excited that you took the time out today to spend time sharing with me about your love for Blair Chiropractic and for why you think it’s so important for kids to get checked and what an impact it’s made in your family. I just want to throw one more thing out there, is that when you are the family chiropractor, you get to come to fun events like weddings. I got to be the family chiropractor at Alexandra’s wedding.
Not only did you get to come and we wanted you there to celebrate with us, but you gifted us with chiropractic adjustment the morning of the wedding. I have to tell you that I could not have functioned. I could have not made it through that day that I knew I was out before I ever woke up that morning. The fact that you were there and made it, it made the day possible to be enjoyed. It was a gift.
It was an honor for me to be there. I felt like royalty. I was hanging out with the family. People flew in from the East Coast and here I am, just the chiropractor. It’s just awesome. Then I got to learn even more history about each of you guys’ family and all the friends. It was a remarkable experience. Thank you for letting me be a part of that.
Thank you for participating.
It was fantastic. I’m so grateful for you guys and I’m so thankful that we got to talk about this today. Listeners, you can get a hold of me at Precision Chiropractic. If you have any questions or comments or concerns about anything that you hear on my podcast, I’d love to hear from you. I am on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and I’m on all the social media platforms. Thank you, Tracy, so much for working with me today and for taking time out. I look forward to hearing from you really soon.
About Tracy Hazzard
Known as the “Product Fixer,” Tracy is CEO of industrial design firm Hazz Design and co-designer of 250+ consumer products you buy at retail everyday. Since graduating from Rhode Island School of Design more than 20 years ago, she has been cutting, cleaning and creating for companies of all sizes, pushing them to rethink their product lines to strategically design in success and increase revenue.
A proponent of intentional innovation, Tracy is the co-inventor of 35 patents and her IP Battle Scars, Lessons and Evasive Tactics are chronicled in a new book releasing Spring 2016. Tracy co-hosts the WTFFF?! 3D Printing Podcast, the daily 3D Start Point for entrepreneurs, designers and educators to scale the learning curve on the next industrial revolution.