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How can you distinguish a true master from a sea of experts? In chiropractic, trusting your spine to a chiropractor is as risky as not taking a risk. One such master is Dr. Alfred W. Tomp, an upper cervical specialist at Precision Chiropractic who has helped many people by meticulously treating each person the same way he would treat a close family member. With 27 years of experience in chiropractic, Dr. Tomp walks us through what drove him to this profession and some of his cool and unforgettable cases with our patients.
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Precision Chiropractic with Dr. Alfred W. Tomp
Special Interview With The Man Who I Have Worked With For Almost 11 Years. Special Announcement At The End Of The Episode!
My guest is Dr. Alfred W. Tomp. He has been a chiropractor in Rancho Santa Margarita since 1991. He’s helped thousands of people feel the amazing healing effects of Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic. He’s going to share his incredible journey over these last two decades with him and me in practice for several years together. We have some exciting news to share with you at the end.
I’m excited about my guest and this is a special episode. I’ve been wanting to interview this man. I’m excited to invite Dr. Alfred Tomp. We have a lot of amazing things to cover and talk about. Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Tomp.
Thank you, Dr. Hoefer. It’s my pleasure.
I have been with this amazing doctor for several years. I was a student at Davenport, Iowa at the Palmer Clinic. I needed to have an internship. I felt like I was being called to come to California. This guy took me on as an intern when I was in the ninth trimester, ending my college career. I moved to Southern California with my family hoping that everything would work out. Several years later, I sit here having had the richest experience working at Precision Chiropractic with Dr. Tomp. I wanted to interview him so you could understand the passion, the love and the dedication that I’ve been able to serve in for several years. Dr. Tomp, will you please tell me what got you into chiropractic because everybody wants to know?
I was injured playing football in high school. I went to Servite High School in Anaheim. It was at the end of my freshman year. I came off a bad back injury that didn’t get better. It got worse and worse. I was bedridden for two months. My parents took me doctor to doctor and tried to all kinds of different things. Even an acupuncturist, which was wild back in that day and nothing worked. I had the thought that my life was over. My aunt was dating an upper cervical chiropractor which I know. I had no clue what he was. He came, looked at me on a Saturday night. I was obviously way out of alignment. They carried me and put me in the backseat of my mom’s car up from Yorba Linda out to Hollywood, which was where his office was.
He came out with that chair. If you had been in the office, you’ve seen the X-ray chair. He popped me in the chair. He took some pictures. I remember the clamps on my neck. I barely remember the adjustment. I remember that within minutes I was feeling so much better. I was 80% better walking out the door. I remember grabbing his card. It said, “Chiropractor.” I’ve never seen the word before. All of a sudden, I started noticing the chiropractor signs all over the place because I had never heard of it. There was a chiropractor next to my dad’s office. I started going in there. He was just a standard chiropractor. I remember him taking big X-rays up my spine. He would start cranking on me every day for that first week. By the time it was the end of the first week, I was starting to drag my leg.
I was going the wrong way. I told my parents, “This isn’t doing what it’s supposed to be doing.” I tried another chiropractor that used that little activator thing and that didn’t do anything. It was back in the car up to LA to get adjusted again. My chiropractor said, “Why do you let anybody touch you?” I started realizing that there was this unique specialty that had saved my life. I was blessed by it. I always wanted to study upper cervical chiropractic even though I thought I wanted to be a medical doctor at first. When I went to chiropractic school, I was blessed to learn multiple upper cervical techniques. I was going to practice NUCCA when I happened to get my first Blair Upper Cervical adjustment and that’s a whole long story in and of itself. That adjustment held for thirteen months. Thank God, it helped for thirteen months. It changed my life again. All my symptoms cleared up. I was 100% symptom-free, which I hadn’t been in probably well over a decade. It was Dr. Weldon Muncy who gave me that adjustment in 1991.[bctt tweet=”If your body can self-correct then it doesn’t become dependent upon somebody doing it for them.” via=”no”]
If I could sit down with anybody, I would love to talk to Dr. Muncy. I had the fortunate experience to meet him at his funeral. He passed away in May of 2008. I joined the practice in July. The first thing we did was a road trip to Long Beach and all of the Blair doctors from all over the country came in to celebrate Dr. Muncy’s life. That was a beautiful thing because that one man made such a huge impact. He was Dr. Blair’s right-hand man. I feel I’m a great-granddaughter of Dr. Blair in a way from the training that I’ve received from all these phenomenal doctors over the years. The lineage will continue. You had this life-changing experience at fourteen. You decided to become a chiropractor because it made such a huge difference and you learned the Blair work. You’ve been in practice for several years.
We set up our X-ray machine in 1991. I started seeing patients at the beginning of 1992. I thought that everybody I would adjust would just hold that’s what I thought, but it didn’t quite work that way. I remember being in practice probably six or seven years, maybe even more close to eight years. I’m continuing to think that my adjustment wasn’t good enough. My analysis wasn’t good enough. My correction wasn’t good enough because I had patients that were out a lot like every week. It was Dr. Gordon Elder that told me. He worked in Dr. Muncy’s office. He looked at me and he said, “Dr. Muncy has got a bunch of people that are out every week.” That’s when I thought, “We need to do something different.” That’s when I pulled that whole subset of patients out and started doing some different work with them. I got them to hold and then started taking those procedures and applying them to everybody.
That was the thing that I was attracted to because having come from Palmer, obviously, you have heard my story and if you haven’t you’ve got to check out. It’s called My Story of Hope. It’s the whole story behind why I’m so passionate about the Blair work and how it saved my life. When I was looking for my internship, I had gone to Palmer, which is the Harvard of chiropractic. I had all of these incredible techniques and ways to help patients. I knew Blair was the answer on how to clear the subluxation, but I also believe there had to be some support behind it. If you get adjusted and you don’t hold, what good is it? When I met Dr. Tomp, I remember the first time we had a phone conversation. We talked for two hours about all things chiropractic. I was like, “This is where I have to be.” It was this cool little divine appointment and divine season.
When I came and joined the practice as an intern, we were doing things that included blocking, checking posture and using that little activator every now and again. Over the last decade, we’ve refined the process. The fact that we’ve been able to train several interns, Kevin Pecca being one of them, check out his podcast, Expect Miracles. Creating this system that is designed to support the Blair Upper Cervical correction and literally, people hold for not days, weeks or months but years, and decades. I’ve only been in practice for several years. I personally had experienced patients that I took care of when I was an intern holding for several years. It’s not like I’m a phenomenal chiropractor, it means that I had an amazing science to apply. When you do it right and it holds, people get well. That’s the reason that we get up every day, isn’t it? Tell me about one of your cool cases. I’m specifically thinking of a deaf lady.
In 1993, I was in practice maybe just a little over two years. My first front office, CA, she refers in her family, I was like, “Bring him in, let’s take care of him,” because you want to adjust everybody. Her mother was totally deaf in one ear and pretty deaf in the other ear. She couldn’t hear. She also had a lot of migraine headaches, neck pain and all kinds of issues. When I saw her films, it was the worst set of films I’ve ever seen. She had the largest reversal in the curve, multiple misalignments. I went through and I basically did it with Dr. Muncy. I adjusted everything that reacted. She literally started crying on the table saying that her hearing had come back. I thought it was a euphoric response because I had seen these. I was like, “Don’t move. I don’t want you to lose the adjustment.” I didn’t realize what had happened until she had come back on the next visit. She told me all the things that she could do. She could go to church and sit in the back and close her eyes. I have to sit up front to try to read lips because she was a good lip reader. She could use the phone properly. There were so many things that she could do without having to read lips because her hearing was restored.
There was a major short circuit somehow in our nervous system where the information wasn’t getting through. I have a handful of patients. They’ll come in and they’ll go, “I think I’m out.” It’s like, “Why do you think you’re out?” “My hearing is gone in my right ear. I do not hear it all.” We put them in alignment and their hearing comes back. That’s not uncommon. Along those lines, I had a very interesting case of a guy that I adjusted years ago, and I never saw him again. The first time he came in I didn’t see him but then he started sending in all these people. He started sending in his wife, people that worked for him and neighbors. He sent a dozen people but I’d never seen him. About two years later, he came back and he finally told me why he didn’t come back. He had double vision for so long. We put him in alignment and the double vision cleared. He was so afraid to have anybody ever touch him. He didn’t want me to screw it back up again. Somehow I put it in. That’s one of the things that we tried to do. We tried to get it right and not over adjust it. We aggravate it to get it in place, get the body neurologically clear and allow it to heal.[bctt tweet=”Change is good. Growing and moving in a fresh direction is good.” via=”no”]
That is what’s been so phenomenal. Over the last decade, I can think of hundreds if not thousands of people. We expect miracles every day in our office. It’s the people that don’t get well that we get frustrated with. There are a handful of people that maybe the Blair correction isn’t the issue. I was thinking of another patient. I want you to explain it. It’s a lady who had a broken leg. Do you remember that story?
I had a patient that lived part-time here and part-time on the East Coast. She had broken her hip. They pinned it and repaired it. It failed. It hurt. She could never walk on it. She couldn’t use it. Someone had to re-do the surgery and then they redid the surgery. What I understand, she reported that it was redone three times. She still walked with a huge limp, walked with a cane. She had a walker. She just was not doing well. We analyzed her. Her spine was way off. We adjusted her and within a very short period of time, I’m talking days, she was pretty much symptom-free. It was crazy.
When you do this work, we have the intention every single time we do an adjustment that it’s going to hold and that they’re going to get better. There is something to that. Having that intention for the patient but even that blew me away because we touched the top of her neck, the leg and the hip where she has had multiple surgical interventions healed. She had suffered for years. I love having that story told. I want to talk about the journey that you’ve been on over these last several years like evolving the process. What has made you come to the decisions in the way that you practice and how you have decided what gets done? What doesn’t get done?
Early in my career, I found that there were two categories of patients, people that you’d put in alignment they would hold, they would do phenomenal. It was like a miracle. It was always great. There was the group that didn’t hold as well, didn’t do as well and always had issues. I always wanted to take the group that didn’t do well and move them into the other category, which was the phenomenal category. That’s where the support work came in because I noticed that patients would hold and all of a sudden, they might come out of alignment. I put them back in and then they might have a hard time holding over and over again, almost like we destabilize them. A lot of doctors that do this work, they learned that the less they do, the better the results.
Having certainty, knowing that that the body is in alignment and doing some things to activate the body. We’re using that deep therapeutic laser. There are things that could be done to give the body a push at the exact right time. It can be such phenomenal support to the upper cervical correction. That’s what I’ve been doing. I spent my first part of my career honing in my upper cervical skills to make those right corrections. I know I can make the corrections every time. I want to make sure that the person’s body accepts it that they hold it. It doesn’t need to be done over and over again. They don’t get used or habituated to needing to be adjusted because that’s key too. A lot of times patients like their bodies just drop adjustments out at a certain time. We don’t want to see that pattern because we know that they won’t do well if they keep dropping adjustments out.
Having been under you these last years, I’ve learned to recognize what a retracing pattern looks like. What somebody who’s experiencing a subluxation as opposed to retracing looks like if it’s the trauma that knocked him out or if it’s a rough moment. What I can tell you is that if you think you’re out of alignment, always err on the side of not getting adjusted because it’s possible that they show up next week and then they’re fine. The body just needs that time.
In several years, I’ve had a couple of cases where somebody was out and I would note I’m going to adjust this person but for whatever reason, I’m going to let them go a little longer. Maybe I’m waiting for another misalignment to come out because every time they throw at C1 then the C3 pops. You adjust the three and then the one, it’s like, let’s just let your body stew for a bit. I’ve had cases where I’d let them stew and all of a sudden, they would stabilize, hold and not need the adjustment, and their body took off on their own. We want to be conservative. If there’s any chance the body can self-correct, you want to give that person a chance to self-correct because if your body can do the work then it doesn’t become dependent upon somebody doing it for them.
That’s what we tell our patients, “The better you do, the less you have to come in. It’s not because we don’t want you to ever get your spine checked or your nervous system checked. What we want is for your body to become stable because structure dictates function and the longer you hold, the better you’re going to heal.” I want to talk about this new season that we’re entering into. Another reason why I wanted to do this interview with Dr. Tomp and have this be the end of an era is that I’ve been holding a secret. I haven’t been able to announce it. That is that I am actually leaving Precision Chiropractic and starting my own practice.
I’ve been blessed and incredibly grateful to be here in this place, learn and have amazing opportunities to grow in my art, my science, my philosophy as a chiropractor. The next evolution in my career is to be a business owner and to take on that challenge. It’s a big challenge. I can tell you in these last few months preparing for this transition has been educational. What’s awesome is that I want you to know that I was more afraid to tell Dr. Tomp than I was afraid to take out a big business loan because I didn’t want to break his heart. I didn’t want us to not be friends because we’re friends. We’re family. He’s my chiropractor. It was the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do.
As far as coming to him and saying, “I love you, but I want to leave,” with grace, he said, “I get it. You’re going to do phenomenal. I give you my blessing.” What’s been awesome is these last few months has been this cool transition of him letting me spread my wings and take off from the starting point of a decade of experience. Grow into whatever it is that God has for me as a business owner and as a trainer because I have these interns that I train. I wanted to end this series of my podcast with Precision Chiropractic because this is where all of these things have been coming from these last couple of years, with the man who gave me the most incredible opportunity. I was a stranger and he took a chance on me almost several years ago. What do you have to say about that Dr. Tomp?
The community is going to be blessed to have Dr. Hoefer having her own office in South Orange County and with my office in South Orange County. Patients travel from such a huge distance and who knows there might be an intern of yours, mine or whatever that also sets up in South Orange County. We’ll have like a little mini Lancaster out there. We have a lot of Blair doctors in the area, which is good. It’s a blessing. There are so many people that need this kind of chiropractic. I told this from patients every day, it’s like, “Why aren’t more chiropractors practicing this way? Why do I have to drive here from LA, from Laguna, from San Diego, from wherever?” Chiropractors don’t practice this way and there’s such a huge disconnect in how they see the subluxation. Even other upper cervical doctors, I mean Dr. Hoefer and I, we get disappointed by our patients going places. It’s like “They’re not holding. They’re not doing well.”
To be an elite upper cervical doctor, which is what I had experienced before I’d opened my practice was there were these great doctors. I was blessed to be adjusted by Dr. Muncy. I was blessed to be adjusted by the doctor that developed the NUCCA work, Dr. Ralph Gregory, which I always tell him, “How old are you anyway?” He died in 1989 and that was a huge experience for me. I knew the difference with the same technique. Being adjusted by a master as opposed to being adjusted by someone that wasn’t. I can honestly say Dr. Hoefer is a master. She is an amazing adjuster. I trust my spine with her and she trusts her spine with me. It’s a wonderful thing.
It’s going to be a blessing for the community. It will be good. I’m going to be expanding my hours. I have some great ideas on follow-up work with new patients because I’ve got such confidence. My schedule of seeing patients when I start them is so much lighter than doctors that have been doing this work for so long because I’ve got so much confidence. I can get people holding better so quickly. I’m going to be using some of the initial follow-ups to make sure patients are holding in, introduced corrective exercise, some good neuromuscular work that’s going to be supportive, empower people to be able to take control for themselves.
For any patients that may be reading, don’t worry, we’re not breaking up. We’re just separating and it’s a good thing. It’s an expansion. It’s multiplication.
It will be good for patients too because we have patients that go back and forth. They’ll continue to go back and forth.
I’m excited that we got to break the news with all the readers who are loyal and who love this show. I’m excited for Precision Chiropractic. I’m excited for the future. I’m excited that he is going to retain the awesome staff that he has put in place. In fact, you read the interview I did with Heather Moore, the Rad tech. I’m telling you, she is a diamond. He is blessed to have her because she is so knowledgeable and so passionate. This is what I want to have. I want to have a Heather someday and I will. Good things are going to be happening. Things are going to be changing a little bit, but that’s okay because change is good. Growing is good and moving in a new fresh direction is good. Dr. Tomp is also going to be having his own podcast.
I’m going to be starting a podcast mostly for our patients so that there are going to be a lot of educational chapters or educational casts, that are going to be on specific topics such as sleep, how to better hold your adjustment, nutrition that is going to be supportive to patients. We’re going to have patients. We’re going to refer patients to it specifically in terms of whatever their need might be, “We have a podcast that’s going to cover this topic.”
Patient education is super important, to be able to go online and listen to something while you walk around the lake, doing a healthy activity or learning a healthy thing that’s going to be cool. You’re going to be able to find that information at DrTomp.com. All of the podcasts that were recorded with Is Your Head On Straight through Precision Chiropractic are always going to be on the Precision Chiropractic website, all the blogs, all the information and all the resources. You’ll be able to find me at my new place which is Well Connected Chiropractic. The website is WellConnectedChiro.com. We’re expanding the love. More people are going to be helped. The cool thing is, “If I’m not available, I’m going to refer to him. If he’s not available, he’s going to refer to me.”
It’s going to be this love in the South Orange County area. It’s going to be able to expand even farther because the point is, both of us served on the Blair Society Board. The vision for the Blair Society is that there is a Blair doctor in every community in the world. Dr. Tomp has got Rancho Santa Margarita unlocked. Hopefully, I’m going to have Mission Viejo unlocked and maybe my intern, Jared, when he graduates, he’ll move to Vista or he’ll move to Oceanside. We’ll have North San Diego covered. We’ve got Kevin Pecca who we trained out in New Jersey. The idea behind all of the work we do, we get up every day because we’re so driven to make the world a better place through subluxation free living. Thank you so much for reading. Thank you for being on my podcast. Dr. Tomp, thank you for giving me the most incredible several years in my career.
Thank you. It was incredible for me as well.
I’m blessed to be able to end this series having you on the show and letting the readers know that there’s no hate, all love. We’re going to continue to make a massive impact for the world through this thing called Blair Chiropractic. I can’t wait to have you come over to WellConnectedChiro.com and get more episodes of Is Your Head On Straight with Dr. Liz Hoefer. Stay tuned for Dr. Tomp’s upcoming podcast at DrTomp.com and check that out. Thanks for being good readers. Thanks for loving the information and the content that I produce. If you have any questions, comments, concerns or you have any information that you want to know, any topics you want to be covered, you can always get ahold of me at Info@WellConnectedChiro.com. Until next time.
- Dr. Alfred W. Tomp
- My Story of Hope
- Expect Miracles
- Blair Society
About Dr. Alfred W. Tomp
Dr. Tomp, an Orange County native, first became interested in Upper Cervical Chiropractic after the debilitating spinal injury he suffered as a high school football player was cured by an upper cervical chiropractic doctor. Graduating from Chapman University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry, he then went on to earn his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, graduating on the Dean’s List.
During his years of study, Dr. Tomp traveled the country studying various upper cervical chiropractic techniques. In the summer of 1991, he received his first Blair Upper Cervical adjustment from Dr. R. Weldon Muncy – a correction that held in place for 13 months and helped him feel better than ever! This experience inspired him to commit to learning and perfecting the Blair Upper Cervical Technique.
Dr. Tomp is board certified by the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners and serves as an x-ray supervisor through the California Department of Health’s Radiologic Health Branch. He is active in the chiropractic profession, serving on the Board of Directors for the Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Society, holding the office of Secretary and serving as Chairman of the Blair Scholarship Committee, and serving as an adjunct faculty member at Palmer College of Chiropractic.
In the past 18 years, Dr. Tomp has helped thousands of people with a wide variety of health problems. His secret to success is meticulously treating each person the same way as he would treat a close family member, and keeping in mind that each person is completely unique.
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