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There are myriad of reasons why people would change careers even when they’re in the midst of pursuing another, but it all boils down to seeking out one’s truth. This truth, this core curiosity, is one that we spend our entire careers satisfying, so if that truth leads you to a different path, then you must follow. Dr. Daniel Kimbley is the owner of Nexus Family Chiropractic. He joins Liz Hoefer to talk about his decision to change careers and enter the chiropractic field. What are you doing to seek out your truth?
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From Educator To Doctor With Dr. Daniel Kimbley
How The Desire To Understand Brain Function Led Him To Change His Career And Become A Leader In Health And Wellness
I’m so excited about my guest. He’s a good friend and a colleague here in Orange County. His name is Dr. Daniel Kimbley and I’ve known him for several years. I’ve actually seen him transition from student to doctor, and I’m so excited to have him on the podcast. Welcome, Dr. Kimbley.
Thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor when you asked me. I couldn’t think of anything else that I would do with this time other than be on a podcast with you. I’m so grateful to be here.
You’re welcome. I met you when you were a student, and it was from a mutual friend of ours. We became connected through the Cal Chiro Organization, California Chiropractic Association, of which I serve on the board and you were an up and coming intern through another leader in the organization. One day he texted me. He said, “I’ve got this great student. He’s thinking about moving to Dana Point. Can you guys help him out?” I texted you immediately. I said, “Welcome to Orange County. What can I do to help you?” I was so excited to have another doctor come to Orange County. The timing of you coming is interesting. People are mass exiting California and here you are, a guy from the Midwest, and me, a girl from the Midwest, entering into what would seem like an insane thing to do. Give me some perspective about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do because I want the readers to understand your heart and passion for wellness, family care, chiropractic, and what led you on this journey.
A little bit of a backstory about me. I grew up in Indiana. My wife and I both did. I was teaching high school English for six years with another person, I would consider a mentor to me at that high school. Him and I were big on the brain and like, “How do we make our classrooms better than any other classroom?” One of the things we’re big on is, we started learning about the brain through this book called How Children Succeed. The question that the book raised is that, “If we could give someone a GED or a high school equivalent, and 1 or 2 years, or whatever it is, then why do we need to send kids to school for four years?”
Which is a very interesting question from an economic perspective. The book lays out this idea that it’s not about the knowledge that you learned in high school, but it’s about a specific set of skills that people can learn throughout their life, which make them successful. What they found is this set of skills, which we would call the soft skills, all come from the prefrontal cortex, which I know you love because this is what we stimulate when we make the adjustment. We started making teaching strategies, me and this mentor mine, and he took me with him because he wanted somebody who was young, fired up, and had the energy to do it. The high school that we taught at was like, “You guys are doing something and these kids are getting results that no one else is getting. Can other teachers come and learn from you and hang out in your classroom?”
Simultaneous to that, the shift and like learning about the cortex and things like that, my wife, Heather, was practicing physical therapy, forced me to see her chiropractor that she used to work for. I didn’t have any back pain, so at that point, I was like, “If I don’t have neck pain, back pain or headaches, there’s no reason I would ever go to the chiropractor.” Which is a total misconception, by the way. I meet my chiropractor, and he said a very simple principle that we share with all of our clients. I know you share this with your patients, is that the body knows how to heal itself. If we’ve free interference from the nervous system, then the body will heal itself at 100%.
This is something that I believe to be true my whole life, but I didn’t know other people talk about it. I thought I was an outcast black sheep that thought this that I didn’t need to take medication as long back as I could remember. I grew up in a very allopathic household. As I started getting adjusted, I noticed my whole life shifted. I had more passion about teaching. I was more excited. Heather and I’s relationship got better. I got better at CrossFit and in volleyball. People were saying, “Just wait, you’re going to fall apart at 30.” That was not the story for me.
The only thing we were doing different was I was under chiropractic care and no one else was. We were all eating healthy, all doing CrossFit, all competitive volleyball. I realized there’s something to it and the more I learned about the brain and how chiropractic stimulates the brain, I started asking the question in my classroom, “What if I could adjust these kids that I was teaching?” The definitive answer was that, the results I could get in a year in a classroom, if they had chiropractic care as a part of it, I could probably get those same results in three months with someone.
You were already on this path of like, “How can we stimulate these kids through not traditional teaching to get them to get the education and the skills to be able to be a success in life that what we think takes four years down to a year?” Now you’re saying if you add a chiropractic adjustment, which literally transforms the structure to allow the function to be better, you can do it in three months?
Yes.[bctt tweet=”The body knows how to heal itself.” via=”no”]
This is revolutionary.
I’ll give you a little bit of a thought experiment with it. This is all theoretical at that point. I had no doctorate. I was a high school English teacher and I had no science background except for what I was reading in these books and trying to learn more about how the brain works. I had lots of kids in my classroom with autism or other sensory processing disorders. I noticed that their posture seems to be different. I started asking my doctor questions about how posture works and this all came back to the frontal cortex and how the cortex controls posture.
What I realized is, if we’re teaching these teaching strategies like grit, willpower, determination, emotional intelligence, all those things that are all cortex related. If I was teaching strategies to do that, I could adjust someone, and get a direct stimulus to the brain to wake up that cortex and then teach those strategies, it would be an accelerated pace. Based on a program called AVID, I was in a unique situation where I would have kids from the time, they were in tenth grade all the way through twelfth grade. I would see them for three years and I would watch the growth take hold. I’m convinced still that if we had a school that had chiropractic care, instead of school nurses, these kids that I was getting results in three years with, we could get them in one year.
You just invented the next level of business or one of your streams. How many times have we, as chiropractors said, “We all need to move to an island and do our own thing because we don’t fit in traditional society?” How many chiropractors homeschool their kids? In the world during this COVID-19 situation, we’re all homeschooling our kids. I see the difference in my kids and their creativity and enthusiasm, not being stuck at a brick and mortar for eight hours a day, but doing focused things for about 2 to 3 hours. The rest of the day getting to play outside and go on a nature walk, things like that. It makes so much sense.
We started simple strategies like this thing called Pomodoro breaks. I didn’t even know it existed back when I was teaching. If I had an hour-long class, we’re taking breaks every 10 to 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes on the long end, because we understand how the neuropeptides of the brain work and those have to get replenished. If you don’t take a break from what you’re doing every fifteen minutes on the long end, then those neuropeptides wear out and you can’t focus, concentrate, and you’re not going to retain as much.
Implementing little silly strategies that most people would see in passing and be like, “That was weird. Why does he throw that into his curriculum?” My mentor that I was teaching with, his results showed to the point where they’re both like, “We want you guys to come out of the classroom and start teaching other teachers.” That’s when my decision had to be made of like, “I can go into the admin realm and teach adults.” Which I definitely didn’t want to do because I love working with my students, or, “I could go teach whole families this principle of health, healing, happiness, what it means to be a successful human being and where all that comes from.” You and I both know that comes from the brain. Plain and simple.
I love that Pomodoro technique. I’ve known about it for several years myself, and I do that little trick with my kids when we’re trying to get our chores done. I set a timer and for 25 minutes, we focus on a task and then for five minutes, we do a dance party or something crazy. It has nothing to do with what we were just doing and I forget about it, though, when I’m at work, because I get so focused on seeing patients for 5 to 6 hours at a time. The good thing is every 7 to 8 minutes, I’m seeing a different patient. I’m refocusing, but it’s still the same task. I need to reintroduce that into my own life and habits because if I did the Pomodoro technique, I’d probably be a better business owner and a better chiropractor. Thanks for that good reminder.
If you don’t remember Pomodoro, because that’s like a weird word for me to remember. Google tomato breaks, and it will be the first thing that comes up. I don’t know why it’s called tomato, but Google tomato breaks and it will come up. They’ll tell you exactly how to do it. As you said, 25 on, and 5 minutes off with a break, and then you go back and you repeat that cycle, however many times you need to.
That’s fantastic. Tomato break. We know you’re a rad teacher and then you were at a crossroad.
I had looked back when I learned about this principle. Dr. Mike, my chiropractor back in Indiana, when he shared the principle of health and healing, that the nervous system controls all. I was all in with it. I was probably the best patient he ever had, because I was like, “I’ll do every exercise. If you want me to eat dirt off the ground to help my body heal at a higher pace, I’ll listen to whatever you tell me to do.” He had the answer that I was looking for, but I didn’t know I was looking for it. It’s all thanks to my wife because she forced me to go see him.
I’d like to point out that that’s awesome as a PT because there’s always so much bad blood between PT chiropractic, MD chiropractic and it’s not a thing. The smart people know that it’s not a thing. People that have simple minds and are very limited and small minded. I’m so proud that she was so open and aware as a physical therapist because they don’t get trained. In fact, I know that they get trained to hate chiropractic.
Don’t refer to them. She was working with high level athletes, high school, college, and some professional. She noticed that the people that she would refer to Dr. Mike, who went healed faster. Not only do they heal faster, I wouldn’t have to see them as much but she was like, “They didn’t get re-injured as quickly.” She has some cool stories of some people with knee replacements that have the fastest healing times. She’s like, “They were all in with chiropractic care, too, because we know that the body heals at a higher level with the nervous systems free of interference.” Anyway, that was her story. She forced me to see him.
I had a decision to make. I can go, not the administration route, but teaching other teachers’ route. I love the students. That’s why I got into teaching and I didn’t want to go away from that. There was a side note frustration of like, “I could teach my kids so many healthy habits in the classroom.” I ended up being the health guy in the school. They were like, “Why are you drinking a green smoothie? Why do you have to leave volleyball practice early every Wednesday to go to a chiropractor? Are you hurt? Do you have cancer? What’s wrong with you?” I always shared this principle of like, “No, I want my body to function 100% so I can do all this stuff forever and be my best for you.”
I realized that getting to the kids and then going back home to eating flaming hot Cheetos, and whatever else wasn’t necessarily the best route to introduce this to whole families and help change people’s lifestyles. I decided that in order to become the authority, I had to become the doctor, and doctor means teacher. There’s no coincidence that I’m teaching people. I’m still teaching kids. I’m teaching whole families now. I went to Life University and graduated in December of 2018. Through that process, Heather and I had a conversation that we’re not going back to Indiana. We want water and sunshine all year round. Florida and California were the two places. We traveled the coast of California from Half Moon Bay. Every Beach City all the way down to San Diego. We hit all the small beach towns and some of the bigger beach towns. We fell in love with Dana Point and we will be here forever unless it gets too crazy out here, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.
The thing is even if it gets crazy, we need to have people that are truth tellers stay and fight. The reason why things go along the way that they do is because people don’t stay and fight and they leave. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here. Talk to me about where you are now because you went to an incredible chiropractic college. You went to Life in Georgia and then you ended up in San Diego as an intern, right?
Yes. This is all by design. I was fortunate enough to realize that I could be a great adjuster. I spent lots of time in the beginning part of school trying to get in Full Spine Club. By the time I was in Full Spine class in school, I was already teaching the Full Spine Club because I have done it. I’ve done everything early through the club so I could get more adjusting skills. One of the things I realized is, “Just because you’re a great adjuster, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a great business person.” If I wanted to have my own practice, I need to also know the business.
What I decided to do was like, why would I not do my internship in the place that I want to live in or close to the place I want to live in and then learn the business side, but also create relationships so that on day one, when I open, we could have people who were ready for us to take care of them because we had been in the community. We had built some trust, and it wasn’t like I was going out and selling them. It’s that people knew who we were because we had been here for four months before our practice ever opened. They have learned more about what we do and what we are about in our journey, which is cool for people. Everybody told us this wasn’t possible to make this happen to move to Orange County and have a practice that’s 3.25 miles from the beach. It’s amazing. That’s what we did. We made it happen.
It’s because you had a clear prefrontal cortex.
I could have easily given up. To hit at home with how important chiropractic care is, everybody associates it with pain but there are so many other pains in people’s lives that were in mind. I was a husband at the time, but I was not a good boyfriend to Heather. I was not a good fiancé. I didn’t even realize it. Many of our people that we take care of are like, “I didn’t realize how bad things were until my brain and my nervous system got clear. I started getting adjusted. I realized how off my life was and how much more powerful of a person I am as a result of the care that you provide and we provide.”
When I was a student in chiropractic college, I was applying for a scholarship to the Blair Chiropractic Society and I won the scholarship in 2008. I was talking about it with some friends of mine that are in the diplomate program with me because I’ve been doing some fasting and when you fast you get clear, right?[bctt tweet=”The Pomodoro Technique is an effective way of working.” via=”no”]
I’m was on day five of this awesome fasting that I’m doing. It occurred to me that years ago, I wrote this essay. One of the most prominent sentences that came from it was, clarity breeds confidence. That’s been a banner over my life. Whenever I feel like I’m not being clear about something, I just have to go back to that like, “I’m not clear and I’m not confident. I have to get clear.” In the world that I live in, if you’re clear, that means your heads on straight, your neck is in alignment, your brain and your body are fully connected. You can make choices from a place of health instead of a place of disease. I love that.
What’s cool is that you practice chiropractic in a completely different way than I do, but we’re still having an incredible impact on our communities and our patients. You refer to me, I refer to you, and we take care of each other. It’s amazing. In chiropractic, we all are designed with the gifts that we’ve been given and we all have a gift to offer. We all have people that we’re supposed to see, but there isn’t such a thing as competition. I’m not afraid that you’re in Dana Point helping hundreds and thousands of people because I’m over here in Mission Viejo doing the same thing and we’re literally sixteen miles apart.
We’re collaborative. That’s what I loved when I got the text from Dr. Gambino that you were coming to Dana Point and I wanted to get you involved in Cal Chiro on a local level because I knew that you had a vision, you were intentional, you would show up, and be an incredible asset to the chiropractic community which would lead to the patients in the community. If we’re good, healthy doctors, then we can be good, healthy practitioners for the people. It’s been fun working with you and it’s been fun getting to know you and your wife. I haven’t met Colette yet but I’ve seen lovely pictures of her.
She’s amazing. Likewise, it’s so grateful to have somebody welcoming, because for us, it was scary. We have no family here. For you to be so willing to meet us, hang out with us, chat with us, “Let me come to your office.” All of that means the world because it’s not competition. The more people that are under care, the better our world and our community are going to be. That’s all that matters.
I remember when you were student, you would come and shadow and then when you first opened your practice, we were doing a networking group. I invited you to come because all the contacts I had, I wanted you to have them too, because they all do great things. They need to be able to refer to people in your community to you. It’s such a beautiful thing. What are you doing now? Tell me the name of your practice and what it’s all about.
We’re in Dana Point, Nexus Family Chiropractic is the name of our practice. Lots of people ask, “Where did the word Nexus come from?” Nexus means connection linking two or more things, or the most important central point or place. There’s a dual meaning to this. One is that your connection to life quite literally is your nervous system. If you do not have a brain, then you do not have life. That’s an important connection. The other piece of that is that we want it to be the place in the community where we’re connecting people to health, happiness, longevity, presence, productivity, and profit, which is all about.
Creating an uplifting the community here, so that we have clear leaders in our community, family, happier business owners, and everybody has better relationships. Contributing to that and our way we’re going to continue to grow it. That’s what we’re all about. Creating a world, even though it’s our little tiny corner of the world right now, that’s better for everybody to live in because the clearer people are, the more confidence they will have. The more confidence they will have, the more impact they will have on others. There’s a huge trickledown effect of that. I can’t think of any more important principle than having healthy nervous system that can contribute to that.
I have the exact same mindset and I named my practice Well Connected Chiropractic.
I remember I texted you when I saw that was Well Connected. I literally tell people that still every time I adjust them, and I always think of you because I’m like, “This is the name of her practice.” I love it.
It was God given. It was a download and he gave me this vision. In 90 days, it was a thing. I’ve known you for a long time and I was at a different practice in Orange County where when we first met. That practice was a launching pad for me to be able to have my dreams come to fruition. It was an incredible opportunity for me to grow in a place where I didn’t have the stress of owning a business. I was able to have my kids and be able to take time off work and have somebody cover my practice. It was the right time when I was called the start Well Connected and now, I can’t believe it, in the blink of an eye, time has gone by. Focusing on people having healthy businesses. Most small businesses don’t survive their first year.
They definitely don’t come out in the black and then add a pandemic to the mix. I’m so thankful that I have the doors open. I have time to do a podcast that we’re going to have a huge party with my staff. The original plan was to have this grand party that we do every year for patient appreciation, but sadly, there are restrictions on our ability to gather but our hearts are with everyone and our patients know. It’s been fun having you in the community. A lot of times I’m in the Facebook chat groups, your name gets mentioned, and I always give it a thumbs up. Like, “He’s an awesome chiropractor. If you’re in Dana Point or in the beach cities, go see him.” You’re telling them the same thing. “If you need an upper cervical Doctor, Dr. Hoefer is your girl.” It’s amazing.
It’s the best thing ever to know that I can say, “Go see Dr. Hoefer.” Many times, in other communities, it’s a search to find someone that you trust. I would send my mom, dad and Colette to you. I probably should have you check her at some point. It’s not always me doing it.
I get it. I’m the same. I have other people check my kids because sometimes you’re so apparent you dismiss the clinical. I should bring my kids down to your office because you could have a look. I’m going to do that. I’ll call your office and schedule.
It sounds great. We’ll do the same.
Nexus is where you’re at what you’re doing. You guys have been in practice how long?
Over a few years, which is super cool. It’s been such a blessing being able to take care of people and offer the care that we provide. This is what we do whatever it comes down to. I had a girl, her family, mom and her kids came in. She’s telling me that her seven-year-old is like, “Mom, I don’t want to die from this thing.” From this whole COVID craziness. Mom is like, “This is the only place that we come to that’s been consistent in our lives.” Pre COVID and now. She’s like, “We love getting him out of the house to be able to come here.” That’s what we provide for people. Aside from the care, those relationships and the community being able to make an impact and a place where people can feel safe, even in light of what else is going on and other places outside of the four walls of our businesses.
That’s something I’ve noticed, too, that people are so thankful that we were open and they could come for the ability for their bodies to be connected and stay on point because the stresses outside of our four walls are crushing. We give people the ability to handle that more effectively. It’s such a rewarding thing to be able to go to bed at night and know that we served humanity. We served them in a way that was more meaningful than anything else that they could have had offered to them.
There’s this Joe Dispenza quote. I listened to a podcast that he did. He says, “You only accept, believe and surrender to information equal to your emotional state, a person who’s not feeling fear is less programmable.” In so many ways that speaks to exactly what we do. We allow a space for people to feel less fear so that they’re at a higher level of consciousness, able to make better decisions, able to have better relationships, and able to feel great in the process. I think that’s what he’s speaking to exactly. You and I get to provide for our clients and everyone in the community.
I know that the residents of Orange County, California are significantly better off with you and me here doing some work. I’m excited to continue to collaborate with you and be a friend for the next years. Both of us, in my opinion, aren’t going anywhere.[bctt tweet=”You don’t realize how bad things in your life are until you clear your brain.” via=”no”]
No, we’re not. We’ll be 120 and still adjusting people.
I know. I talked to my patients that are in their 70s. I’m like, “I’m going to retire with you and I’m not doing that for at least 40 years.” I can’t even imagine retirement because wherever I go, I see people that need what I have and I’m like, “I’m never going to stop working.”
One of my mentors told me early on, “You don’t want to retire. Retire means to be put out of use. The only thing you want to retire from is the stuff that you hate doing.” He’s like, “Don’t ever get put out of use. Just stop doing the stuff that you hate to do and do everything that you love to do.” I love taking care of people. I will never stop doing it, no matter what.
You have an incredible journey from teaching to becoming a chiropractor and now leading a community in health and wellness, and being a pillar of strength in education and truth. It’s so cool to be a part of this journey with you. I’m so thankful that you were able to come on the show and give the readers a little joy. I want to ask you to tell me how people can find you and I know you have a podcast. Highlight that for me.
Again, thank you for having me on. I love being connected with you. Every time we talk and chat, even when I have to come in and get X-rays because I broke my foot surfing, late at night or whatever it was. You’re amazing. Such a being of light. I’m so grateful for you and everything that you’re doing for all your people. It’s magical to see and watch you be a mom. I can take notes on parenting and all that. You’re seriously an amazing human being. I’m grateful that you welcomed us here with open arms. Thank you for that.
The best way to find us is our offices, Nexus Family Chiropractic. We have a website NexusFamilyChiropractic.com. We’re very active on Instagram @NexusFamilyChiropractic. You can check us out on Facebook at Nexus Family Chiropractic. I also host what is called The Nexus Podcast. I talk about whatever comes up in the office. Whether people have questions or things that get me fired up. Sometimes it’s me talking into the microphone for twenty minutes. I try to keep the episode short. Sometimes I interview other people. You will definitely be a guest on it. Everything health, wellness, living an amazing lifestyle, and always bring you back to chiropractic because I think it’s the most important thing that anyone could do for themselves under regular care.
When I was 25, I was in chiropractic school. I obviously loved the philosophy. I was digging it. I was halfway through my program and I hadn’t even learned about upper cervical yet. Talk about being passionate. I went to the next level after I learned about that. My grandmother said, “All you ever talk about is chiropractic and God. Go read a newspaper.” I was like, “That’s the last thing I’m going to do.” To me, it’s one and the same. I’m so happy to know there’s another person out there that’s on the same page.
You said it perfectly. They’re one and the same.
Joe Dispenza is the bomb.
He is also a chiropractor as well.
It’s a cool thing to know that because he’s made a lot of changes in the world with everything that he’s done. It’s been a pleasure. It’s a joy and honor to have you here with me. I’m so thankful that you took time and I look forward to doing another interview with you soon. Hopefully, I could go on your podcast. We can have a fun discussion on Nexus Podcast. Thanks for reading everybody and if you have any questions, comments and concerns, just email me. Let me know if you want to hear anything. Dr. Kimbley, it’s been a joy.
Thanks Dr. Hoefer. You, too.
- Dr. Daniel Kimbley
- California Chiropractic Association
- Blair Chiropractic Society
- Joe Dispenza
- @NexusFamilyChiropractic – Instagram
- Nexus Family Chiropractic – Facebook
- The Nexus Podcast
- How Children Succeed
- Nexus Family Chiropractic
About Dr. Daniel Kimbley
Dr. Daniel Kimbley grew up in a small town in Indiana–just west of downtown Indianapolis. In 2008 Dr. Daniel graduated from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary English Education. Immediately upon graduation, Dr. Daniel began teaching and coaching volleyball-helping high school students to think more critically and express their passions, creativity, and athletic ability. While teaching, he was extremely interested in learning about how the young brain develops, learns and what actually makes someone successful. He observed that there were a lot of challenges and questions in the world of education dealing with how the brain responds to stress and how the brain learns the science of the chiropractic adjustment had the answers to these questions-answers that would benefit students more than simply good classroom teaching strategy. What Dr. Daniel found was that a healthy brain and nervous system are integral to living a long fruitful life.
In 2013 Dr. Daniel decided to give up teaching to pursue his Doctorate of Chiropractic so he could share his passion for the brain and nervous system with whole families. As young as he can remember, he had the intuition that the body was able to heal itself. Dr. Daniel received his Doctorate of Chiropractic from Life University in Marietta, Georgia–the most prominent chiropractic school in the world. He is married to his wonderful wife of almost 6 years, Heather and has a 5-month-old daughter Collette. He enjoys surfing, reading, CrossFit, and anything else that involves the sun, water and sand.
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