Dr. Elizabeth Hoefer talks to Tom Hazzard about how Blair Chiropractic has changed his and his family’s lives. Tom goes into detail about what he feels when he’s out of alignment. He even shares how his youngest daughter had behavioral issues that were fixed instantly when she goes in to get adjusted.
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The Consequences Of Being Out Of Alignment with Tom Hazzard
Welcome to Is Your Head On Straight, with me, your host, Liz Hoefer. Today, I have an amazing guest, Tom Hazzard. We’re going to be talking about Blair Chiropractic, his experience, the experiences he’s had with his family and all kinds of interesting things regarding his care. I want to get started. Tom, how are you doing today?
I’m great. Thanks so much for having me.
I am so excited that you’re on the podcast today. One of the reasons why I wanted to do this interview with you is because last week, I got to take care of you in the office and you had just come home from an amazing trip to the East Coast with your family. You came back and you were kind of a wreck. You came into the office I think two days ahead of schedule. Basically, you came from the airport, you got to my office and you were a mess. Can you tell me what you were thinking when you got off the airplane and why you needed to get to my office that day?
It always, for some reason, seems to surprise me although it probably shouldn’t, that when I’m having tremendous lower back pain, and that was my situation. I had travelled to New York for Thanksgiving, I grew up outside of New York City, and took my family. We went into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was a classic Thanksgiving trip to visit family. While there on the last two days, I think, I started having this tremendous lower back pain. I could not pick anything up, I couldn’t pick up my young child. At first, I thought, “What did I do? How did I hurt myself?” I’m popping Aleve like crazy to deal with the pain and get through.
Finally, by the time I’m flying home on the plane, it hasn’t gotten any better in a couple of days, I’m thinking, “Maybe my neck’s out.” I probably should have thought of that first, not that I could have done anything about it where I was in New York. I just realized, “I might be out of alignment.” I planned when I landed I was going to text you. I’m lucky enough to have your text number. I’m like, “I’m supposed to come in Thursday, it’s Tuesday, I just landed at LAX, any way you can squeeze me in this afternoon?” I figured I was probably out.
Your experience is that you have tremendous low back pain and it finally occurred to you, “Maybe my neck is out.” I want to go back and explain that a little bit, how your neck can affect your low back. I know that it baffles you. Every time we adjust you, which thankfully isn’t very often, your back feels better almost immediately.
I want to explain why when you get your neck adjusted it actually helps your low back pain. Because when your neck is in alignment, your head sits over your spine the way that it’s supposed to. Because of that, you’re translating gravity effectively, which is a force that we can’t get away from. When you’re translating gravity effectively, your low back pain gets better because your body is moving through space better. That is why when I adjust your neck Tom, your low back feels better. That’s pretty incredible.
It’s amazing to me. I was not the biggest believer of the benefits of Blair Chiropractic when I first learned about it. But I personally have experienced it so much. Usually, what I’ve most experienced is lower back pain on the left side of my spine, my lower kidney area or something. I’ve known for the last two years probably, when I have pain there, I know I’m out of alignment and it’s usually my C2 vertebrae, at least that’s what you’ve told me, it’s my C2 vertebrae. How do I know what it is, right? The C2 vertebrae is out.
This time, the back pain was different. That’s why I didn’t immediately realize my neck is probably out of alignment. It was in the center of my lower back. I wondered if I had injured myself, hurt myself somehow or strained it. Of course when we came in I learned it was C1 and C2 were out, which is unusual for me. That obviously translated to a different symptom, I think.
That’s really awesome that you recognized that. Because generally speaking, for you, your C2 means your left lower back hurts. For whatever reason, the atlas, which is C1, the first bone right underneath your skull and the second bone, C2, also known as the axis, they were both out of alignment. That translated into something a little bit different, which was a more intense, more central spine pain. I suppose that’s probably why you didn’t recognize that your neck was out of alignment because it was something different and new. Actually, the 1-2 combo, that was the first time we’ve ever have to do that.
Now we know, when that happens, your symptoms correlate to those two segments or vertebra being out of alignment, which it’s really cool because when you’ve been under care for a while, you’ll start to recognize this symptom goes with this vertebra, these symptoms go when these things go out of alignment. It’s really interesting.
I want to go back and talk to you about how you had just talked about the fact that you didn’t necessarily have a huge belief in Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic. What was it that finally made you want to try it? Because your wife had been under care for several years, and I remember seeing you come to the office and bringing her in. I finally got you convinced, “Let’s try this out. Let’s do this.” What was it that finally made you get on under care?
I had observed for a number of years, my wife getting Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic care. Starting in Northern California, when we lived in the East San Francisco Bay Area. She started going after her car accident and she was really hurt. I’m not going to really speak for her, but she definitely had an injury and needed help. Blair Chiropractic care dramatically changed her life. It made her so much better. I knew it was working for her. I didn’t understand it. I had seen there were many different kinds of symptoms, in particular, really bad headaches that she used to suffer from a whole lot more. Her chiropractic care from a Blair doctor dramatically improved those headaches, among other things. Helped her recover from this auto accident that she had had where her head was turned to the side as she was hit from behind and that messed up her neck.
But I had never tried it myself. Until you experience it for yourself, it’s really hard to understand. I then got in a car accident in March of 2009. I was rear ended on the 5 Freeway in Greater LA. My daughter was with me. Of course she also had been a patient already with my wife. I don’t even remember what my symptoms were, but I knew after that car accident, a few days after that, I was a mess. I was hurting, had issues with my leg and my back and other things.
I think my wife really pushed me, “You got to at least give this a try.” I think it also helped me that it was covered by my auto insurance and that I got hit by somebody else. Whether it was my fault or not, the auto insurance was going to cover it. I was like, “If there was ever an opportunity to give it a shot, this is it,” because financially it was easy. I have to be honest about that. Today, as a regular patient, I would pay anything to get better. I know it works, so now it’s different. But at the time, I always thought, “It’s really expensive. Is this really going to do anything for me?” Auto insurance made it easy.
I think that’s what brought me in the first time. I got the x-ray work up and the whole thing and found the accident did some damage. The Blair Chiropractic treatment just improved my pain symptoms tremendously. This is the thing that really is still a mystery to me. I’m not a doctor, I’m a patient. It’s amazing to me how many things, how many different kinds of symptoms can occur if your neck is out of alignment and how relatively easy it is, for my perspective, for that to be fixed. I meet people who are suffering and I say, “Have you given this a try?” Most people of course say no because there aren’t a whole lot of you out there. Everybody who I’ve recommended to give it a try, it’s just dramatically changed their lives to the point where I’m like, “Why aren’t there are more of you out there, because we need you.”
Your story is so incredible. It’s really great that you as a patient see that your low back pain, your wife’s headaches and people that have discipline issues, I guess I should say behavioral issues, things like that. All of these different things can get better by getting your head on straight and by applying the specific Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic model. I know that you’ve personally shared with me that you’ve referred people up in Seattle, out in Pennsylvania, in New York. You’re right. There’s about a hundred of us in the entire world. My calling in my life is to not only provide phenomenal Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic care, but to educate people and I guess students of chiropractic on how to learn this technique, become a master of it and have this as one of the tools in their tool belt.
I get the opportunity to go up to the college and mentor students. One of the interviews that I did was with my intern, Kevin Pecca, who’s going to be graduating in a couple of weeks and going to Montclair, New Jersey and opening up his practice, which is very exciting. Because you have that East Coast connection and you’re often on the East Coast, you’re going to have somebody in your area that can take care of you when you’re not here. We’ve talked, and I know that you can validate this, you literally have to consider where you and your family are going to live based on, is there a Blair chiropractor available for you to get care.
It’s a serious consideration. I love Southern California. I’m originally from the northeast. We’ve lived out here for at least twelve years or something now. My wife and I have had fleeting thoughts of, “Should we move back to the northeast, to Rhode Island?” Because our businesses in reality would let us work from anywhere, so we’ve considered it. I honestly would be really, I don’t know if afraid is the right word, or be very concerned about moving somewhere where there’s not a Blair Chiropractic practice within 50 miles or something. Oftentimes, there’s not one within 200 or 300 miles. I know you said there’s a hundred of you, but it’s not like you’re evenly distributed across the 50 states.
That’s an actual fact. I think that 25 or 30 of us live in California because it’s a great place to live. There’s one person who practices Blair Upper Cervical in Australia. There is an amazing doctor down in Brazil, then a sprinkling of people throughout the rest of the United States. There are entire regions of the country that don’t have Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic. Obviously, one of my missions in this life is to change that.
I hope you do change it. It’s hard. As we’re talking and I’m answering your questions, I’m realizing, “It sounds like I’m really, maybe in a way, overselling Blair Chiropractic.” I keep saying Blair Chiropractic for a reason, it’s not to oversell. It’s because there’s a serious distinction and we even experienced that. I’m trying to remember how many years ago it was. Several years ago, we were in Connecticut because my wife’s grandmother died. We all traveled out there for the services. Tracy, my wife, her neck was out of alignment. Sleeping in a bed that’s not your own for a long period of time and also in a very stressful situation, it’s pretty easy I think for your neck to go out of alignment. Hers was so bad that she had issues with one of her shoulders and had tremendous pain down her arm. There was no Blair Chiropractic doctor there so she ended up going to another kind of chiropractor because she knew it had something to do with her back and neck and just wanted to get any kind of relief that she could, so she went.
I don’t even know what kind of chiropractor it was. It’s just a doctor whose title is chiropractor, and doing more of the typical lower back popping, cracking stuff. It ended up making things worse for her on that trip. By the end of it, I had to cash in all of my frequent flyer miles. I was a major frequent flyer so I had over 100,000 miles banked. I cashed them all in to get her first class ticket accommodations back from New York to California until she could get back into your office and get properly treated and finally get the real relief and care that she wanted. There is a big distinction between different kinds of chiropractic care. I’ve come to, I wouldn’t say understand it, but to believe it and trust it to the point where I allow you to care for my two young children.
I’m so glad you brought that up because I wanted to go there with you. You guys, your youngest is almost three years old. People ask me all the time, “What in the world do kids need a chiropractor for? They don’t have neck pain. They don’t have back pain. What’s wrong with them that they could possibly need a chiropractor for?” Obviously, what I do is so much more than just treat symptoms. It’s about making sure that the nervous system is functioning properly. Why do you think it’s appropriate for you to bring your kids to me? Give me some examples about how you’ve seen the difference in your own children with Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic.
I’m going to talk about my seven year old first. I think we started having her be treated a couple of years ago, maybe she was five, does that right to you?
She was I think in kindergarten, because we have daughters that are the same age.
Probably around five years old. She was really having some behavioral issues. I guess the best way to describe it is she continued to have temper tantrums beyond an age that you would expect. At a toddler age, two, three, four, you expect that, it’s a normal part of life. As your child gets older, five, six, seven and continues to have temper tantrums and they just lose control, they get so upset and irrational until they completely exhaust themselves, something’s wrong. We sought several types of care for her. One of them was psychology or psychiatry, I always screw those two up. Having her get care in that way, which I think was important because she has a lot of emotions and didn’t necessarily understand them. That helped her but that only helped her so much.
Once we started getting her care with you and learned that her upper cervical vertebrae were out alignment. We were able to see on a weekly and monthly basis, when she’s in alignment, she is much, much more emotionally stable. Her behavior is, I hate to use the word, but I guess more normal or more appropriate for her age. I have learned there is absolutely a connection between being out of alignment for her and not having that ability always to control her emotions and her behavior changes. It’s become a regular part of her healthcare for us to have her come in at least once a month. Obviously, if she’s having some behavioral issues or we can see something is not as it should be, we’ll bring her in to be checked. Every time that’s happened, her neck has been out of alignment.
For your back as an example, is an issue, pain, and then it means your C2 is out. For her, you’ve recognized that her behavior and her inability to maybe control her emotions is connected to her upper neck being out of alignment. What’s interesting with kids is anybody usually below age seven or eight, we do a modified version of the x-rays because her bones haven’t even fully ossified or they haven’t fully developed. When she came in at age five, we only had to take four x-rays on her and we were able to get a listing and understand how to very specifically correct her neck without any twisting or popping or cracking. Because that’s scary to adults, let alone a kid that doesn’t understand necessarily what’s all happening.
I remember, she was a bit timid about the process but once we did the correction, she was excited, she felt better and she earned a sticker. Now, the thing is, every time she comes in to get checked, she gets a sticker because of her good behavior. It’s interesting because I know that there have been times where you’ve called and said, “Hey, she did monkey bars today at the playground. She came home and her behavior was outrageous. Can we come and get her checked?” “Definitely.” We get her in, sure enough, something knocked her out of alignment, she got adjusted and it’s like a light switch. Literally, the blood flow and the information from her brain to her body begins to communicate in a more effective way and her behavior changes instantaneously. It’s pretty remarkable.
One of the major things I’ve learned that we try to avoid at all cost is a bounce house. That is really hard to avoid when you have a six, seven, eight year old or actually probably anybody through elementary school. They get invited to a birthday party with a bounce house. This one happened, I think within the last year or a year and a half ago, I don’t remember. I am shooting a video of her at Pump it Up, which is this bounce house destination. I think it’s a franchise. We have a lot of them in Southern California. I saw her bouncing on this particular apparatus and I saw the way her head, the way it moved, due to the force of her bouncing and landing somewhere, I knew it right then. I’m like, “Oh, no. This is going to be a trip to the chiropractor on Monday.” Because it was a Saturday when this party was going on. I shot this video, and I’ll have to give it to you so you can put it in your blog post for the episode so people can see.
It’s scary to me how many people probably are out of alignment in this world thanks to Pump It Up and other things like it that are probably in pain or having one issue or another that don’t even know it. It’s amazing. Anyway, if we allow her to go to a bounce house party or we encounter a bounce house, it’s almost guaranteed, an appointment needs to be made at the chiropractor the following week. Because otherwise, we’ll start to see a lot of these issues.
I think just us having this dialogue and talking about why it’s important for alignment in children to be established, because of this very thing, bounce houses and trampoline and all different kinds of activities the kids do, their parents have absolutely no idea that these could be detrimental to their health and maybe they don’t understand that their behavior is related to their neck. All of a sudden, they’re agitated and they’re hyperactive and they can’t focus in school and the psychiatrist recommends that they get on some medication.
You guys probably didn’t do psychiatry because I don’t ever remember you mentioning that she was ever getting evaluated for medication. A psychologist would be able to do like talk therapy and play therapy to help her understand her feelings and help her understand where she’s at in her world. But psychiatrists recommend drugs, that’s what they do. There is a safe and effective way without drugs to get these kids’ behaviors in check. Obviously, there’s no guarantee that every kid that’s got a behavior problem or an attitude is an upper cervical candidate, but at the very least, get them checked.
Because I know, my daughter, who’s also seven, has been invited to so many different parties and you better bet that the first thing I’m doing when she gets home from one of those parties is checking her to make sure that she’s in alignment, because her behavior is directly correlated to her upper cervical alignment being intact. It’s pretty incredible to see it. You have a three year old too. Can you tell me about why you decided to bring her in for care?
Actually, that was right after birth. It’s only a couple of years ago, the rest of the whole family were patients of your practice already. She had a bit of a traumatic birth. She got stuck with the cord around her neck and was wedged in the birth canal trying to get her out. There was a maneuver that the doctor had to do to get her out and save her life obviously, that involved the doctor reaching in and pulling her arm across her chest and up when it was stuck inside. It was either that or they were going to end up breaking her shoulder to get her out because she was in distress at that point.
They didn’t have to break her shoulder but they did do this maneuver that produced a tremendous amount of strain and stress on her shoulder. Her whole body had to have been in all kinds of trauma. Fortunately, she was fine. One day in the NICU and that was it. Still, we knew that there was something about her shoulder and bone structure and probably her neck that needed to be checked out. We didn’t know everything you could do for her, but we knew that we wanted you to see her right away. Within days of birth, we brought her into you.
I remember when you guys brought her in and it was her shoulder. It was as if her arm was stuck to her chest. She wouldn’t move it. She wouldn’t let your wife nurse her in a certain position because it was uncomfortable for her neck. She was having trouble latching on and nursing on one side compared to the other. For newborns, that’s a huge sign. Moms of children, especially if it’s your first born baby, you don’t know what’s normal, what’s not normal. But I can tell you that if your baby is preferring one breast compared to the other or they only want to turn their head to the right and never to the left or vice versa, these are signs that there’s some irritation happening in the musculature of the neck and likely the vertebra in the neck, even at birth. Because you said that, traumatic birth is the number one reason why people go out of alignment. Then they grow up and 50 years later they wonder why their discs are degenerating. It isn’t just because they’re getting older.
Back to your little girl, she came in and her arm wasn’t moving properly. I remember that we didn’t even have to do any x-rays on her. We do a modified pediatric assessment and we do a very gentle, light touch correction with just a finger. Having removed that interference from her neck, her arm began to move, she nursed great, she slept well, she didn’t have any developmental issues. Now she’s the happiest toddler that I know. It’s incredible.
Another thing that comes to mind that I want to make sure we mention, and again, I can’t speak from experience on this in terms of a patient, I’m sure you’ll interview other people in the future who can speak more to this. But as a husband, I know that getting my wife care after her trauma of childbirth was critical. I know I credit the chiropractic care that your practice has given my wife with alleviating a lot of post-partum depression symptoms. The only thing I want to say is, to any husbands out there who have wives who struggled with post-partum depression, seriously, your wife’s neck being out of alignment, which is completely understandable with everything that goes on in the process of childbirth, I would highly recommend if there is a Blair Chiropractic practice anywhere within reach of where you live, that you get your wife in there and checked out. Because she’s suffering and this is very, very real, the relief that they can get from this kind of care.
That is so awesome, Tom. I think it’s incredible that we’ve covered so much in such a short period of time. We’ve talked about back pain and headaches and care because of an auto accident. We’ve talked about behavior issues. We’ve talked about birth trauma. We’ve talked about post-partum depression. This is just literally a handful of things that Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic has been known to help relieve the symptoms in.
You also talked about the fact that it’s so very different from traditional chiropractic and that we are very specific about how we identify and remove those misalignments in the neck. It’s gentle without twisting, popping or cracking. Honestly, the only way you’re ever going to know if you’re a candidate for the care is to just come and get checked by a Blair professional. I’m in Rancho Santa Margarita, California at Well Connected Chiropractic. I would love to be able to check anybody who’s listening. If you have any questions, you can call me at the office and I will happily talk to you about what’s going on.
Tom regularly asks questions about different symptoms and about different friends or family that he has. I’m able to get on the Blair Chiropractic website and refer him to people that I know that do this work. Every single person that he has ever come to me and asked questions about has been able to get to a Blair doctor and has had transforming results, incredible miraculous results with the care that they’re getting. It’s not that I’m the super special doctor, it’s that this stuff actually works. That is why my mission is to educate people about it and to train future chiropractors on how to do this so that there is literally a Blair chiropractor in every community in the world, because God knows we need it.
I actually think you are a super special doctor. I understand what you’re saying, you’re right, it is a real thing that doctors are trained in doing, which is just so incredible. When you think about it, everything runs through your neck, from your brain to the rest of your body, your blood, your nerves, all the stuff. My mother often asked me when I told her, “My lower back pain, I need to go and get it adjusted in my neck.” She’s like, “What does your neck have to do with lower back pain?” I think it’s a typical natural question for someone who just doesn’t know. I say, “Believe it or not, it makes all the difference in the world. Everything goes through your neck.” When you do this enough, you experience it and you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. I think the modern western medicine system we have in the US doesn’t really understand it. I think that lack of understanding is the issue.
I totally agree with you. That is exactly why Is Your Head On Straight exists, so that I can educate people and help them understand that there is something different than taking a pill, than having surgery, than just being told you have to deal with this. Because my practice is full of patients who have been told those very same things and who have been given those very same pills and they’ve rejected that advice and gotten the help and the healing that they deserve because their necks are in alignment. It’s absolutely incredible.
Tom, I’m so grateful for your time today. I’m so thankful that you were able to share your personal testimony and talk to me about the care that we’ve been able to give your family. I am so blessed that you’re my patient because you are a mouthpiece and you are my advocate. I’m just so thankful that I get to share my gift with you through chiropractic. You do have my cellphone number on speed dial. Anytime you need it, I got you.
Thank goodness. Thank you so much. It has been a pleasure to be here and talk about it, to think about it and relive these things. I experienced it all the time, I don’t often talk about it quite like this. I’m glad that I can be of help.
It’s so great. Thanks so much again. I hope you have a great afternoon. I’m signing off. If you guys want to know how to get your head on straight, give me a call at Well Connected Chiropractic in Rancho Santa Margarita. You can check out my website, DrHoefer.com and look up any information that you want to know about Blair Chiropractic at the BlairChiropractic.com website. The society and all the doctors are listed there. I hope that everybody listening has been informed and feels a little bit more motivated to go seek out a Blair Chiropractor in their neighborhood and see if they can get their heads on straight. Thanks so much for listening. I hope you guys had an awesome day.
About Tom Hazzard
An inventor with 37 patents and an unprecedented 86% success rate for consumer product designs, Tom Hazzard has been rethinking brand innovation to design in success for over 25 years. Tom’s patented innovations provide entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes a system to spread their brand, grow valuable consumers, and diversify into higher converting revenue streams without a lot of time, cost or effort. Tom is co-host of the Forbes-featured fast growth WTFFF?! 3D Printing podcast as well as host of two new podcasts, Feed Your Brand & Product Launch Hazzards borne out of his core business, Hazz Design, where he has designed and developed over 250 products that generate $2 Billion in revenue for retail and e-commerce clients.
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