Recently I spoke with Dr. Julie Mayer-Hunt who has been a practicing upper cervical chiropractor for over 33 years. Dr. Julie is well known for her work with pediatrics and upper cervical through both the Orthospinology organization and the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). She also is one of the organizers of this year's Upper Cervical Experience Event In New Orleans. In this interview we talked about her experience with BJ Palmer, what to do when you have a child who you can't x-ray and finding your patient's need behind the need.
Dr. Bill: Dr. Julie I’d like to start with basically how you got into chiropractic? What drew you to be a chiropractor?
Dr. Julie: I had one of those natural draws. My dad was an upper cervical practitioner who’s been practicing 57 years. He’s still working in the office on Fridays for me because I’m traveling and lecturing so much.
He graduated in 1957 from Palmer, Davenport and those were BJ times. I have reported stories that we went down to BJ’s place in old times Sarasota and that we spent the night there when I was a youngster.
I was on BJ’s knee and all that and I just have a natural draw. My father started into the Grostic work in 1961 and went up to Ann Arbor, Michigan and started with the Grostic procedure and that was at the time where everybody was under one tent. That was beautiful.
With the passing of Dr. Grostic there became two camps the North Camp which was NUCCA group and then the Atlanta group which became the Orthospinology group. Off of that branched Dr. Sweat’s AO group and then there’s been some other branching.
Dr. Bill: Absolutely. Obviously you were drawn to upper cervical right at the beginning, your dad did upper cervical. Where did you go to school?
Dr. Julie: I went to Life. Back then just this past weekend I was at the Palmer, Davenport Dr. Rosa was presenting in the module 20 of the upper cervical diplomates so it’s a pleasure to get up there. It reminded me of why I’m so grateful my college opened. Because as a teenager I had signed up at Palmer Davenport and I was just going to do it because that was what you had to do.
Gratefully my college opened up and the Florida girl only had to go to Georgia and not all the way to Davenport, Iowa. So I’m very grateful for that and I had good classmates so that was just another beautiful time.
Dr. Bill: And during school you continued to study upper cervical correct?
Dr. Julie: Absolutely, at that point the Orthospinology organization was teaching right there in Atlanta so I could take course work when I was going through school.
Dr. Bill: Great. Then when you got out of school did you move to Florida to start practicing?
Dr. Julie: Yup back in Clearwater and we started with my dad and just had a ball. I can’t imagine living life any other way. It’s a privilege to be able to serve people.
Dr. Bill: Absolutely. How long have you been practicing now?
Dr. Julie: I guess 33 years at this point so I’m just getting started.
Dr. Bill: That’s right.
Dr. Julie: My son is at Palmer in Florida and he’s finishing his eighth quarter heading into ninth and tenth he’ll come back to the practice next year this time to intern.
Dr. Bill: Great so continuing on the tradition.
Dr. Julie: Yes.
Dr. Bill: Very cool that’s exciting. And you primarily practice orthospinology I should say in your practice?
Dr. Julie: Yes that’s 100% what we practice.
Dr. Bill: I know you work with a lot of children, a lot of pediatrics. Can you talk about that?
Dr. Julie: Absolutely. I’ve made a point that anything that I’ve ever published to make sure it’s a non musculoskeletal condition because we need to be looking at things other than musculoskeletal in working with children. That’s just a godsend.
You have children who aren’t moving their bowels, who have asthma, allergies, eczema, all these conditions that are very consuming for the parents. Life changing when it gets turned around, they end up with siblings. Family dynamics that just improve measurably across the board.
I was invited to participate in the second edition of the Pediatric Textbook from Plaugher and Anrig. So I was able to write a chapter on upper cervical that not only addresses upper cervical protocol of children, but a protocol that when you have an 18 month old that you can’t get x-rays on that is sick and you can’t have that child leaving your office subluxated I developed a protocol to utilize when you can’t get films in certain circumstances. That’s kind of been my addition to the upper cervical world.
Dr. Bill: Very cool. That’s the second edition revised Pediatrics Textbook and I’ll make sure we link to that in the interview as well.
Dr. Julie: Absolutely.
Dr. Julie: But all of us have had a kid who is sick in our office and if we can get films it’s a no brainer but if you can’t get films what do you do next? That’s what I address in the chapter.
Dr. Bill: Excellent, I think that’s something that’s very valuable for all doctors to know especially if they want to build a pediatric practice. I know you’ve taken care of a lot of kids over the years. Your practice has really grown a lot.
What are some of the ways that you have been able to market your practice, to promote your practice?
Dr. Julie: The practice has been there 57 years and so word of mouth of course is always number one. Results they speak for themselves. I really feel that communication, how you communicate with those patients about what your care is providing is essential.
Back in 2000 I realized I was bringing a very dear friend with me into practice and I wanted to make sure that the practice was bubbling over. I researched a number of organizations that provided coaching if you will. I ended up with AMC very happily.
For my practice skills in the upper cervical world you know you had to be very dedicated and very focused. You had exceptional results when you played all those pieces into your work. But from a communication standpoint AMC gave me the skill set to communicate at the level that I was adjusting patients.
That really just absolutely doubled a great practice. It was just a blessing to take a good practice and just make it better.
Dr. Bill: That’s great and I’m familiar with AMC as you know and I know that one of the things that they really focus on is communicating the value of what you do correct?
Dr. Julie: Yes, not only that but communicating it in a way that you’re not talking over the patient’s head. You’re talking heart to heart, sound familiar?
Dr. Bill: Yes.
Dr. Julie: Tom Kleinman who was a classmate of mine who is just a brilliant man I mean he’s a genius. He and I talked one time and the first time Tom was talking to me heart to heart. I said, “Tom what have you done?” And he was the one who introduced me to AMC.
I saw this genius individual able to talk heart to heart and I thought, man I got to learn what he’s learned. You know Tom Kleinman?
Dr. Bill: I don’t, I don’t know him actually personally.
Dr. Julie: He is an AO doctor who is a pharmacist, as well as he’s got his board certification in neurology. He and I went to school together and he’s just a brilliant man.
Dr. Bill: I know one of the things that they focus on is finding that need behind the need for the patient?
Dr. Julie: Yeah, understanding what that patient’s need is to meet that need.
Dr. Bill: That’s right because it’s never just about the pain, or the migraine, or the symptom. It’s about how it’s affecting your life.
Dr. Julie: It’s about how it’s affecting your life, and how can we get this turned around in their life so they can move forward.
Dr. Bill: That’s right, very good. Now I know you’ve been teaching some of your methods that you use with kids for quite a while through orthospinology and I think with the ICPA too right.
Dr. Julie: The ICPA right. I started teaching in 2000 for the ICPA. We were giving a 12 hour program for the diplomates and the respective programs ICPA or ICA pediatric programs.
If you understand the upper cervical work I got to teach basic one, basic two and pediatric application in 12 hours.
Dr. Bill: Wow.
Dr. Julie: Yeah.
Dr. Bill: That’s a lot!
Dr. Julie: That’s a lot and what it’s grown to be is that a doctor must have orthogonal training featuring NUCCA, AO, orthospinology first. And then I teach a weekend hands on pediatrics application, that’s what I’m choosing to do at this point.
I just spoke at the ICPA conference at the summit three weeks ago and I presented a two or three hour presentation that was kind of an overview of this is how you go about the work. This is how you would apply it, this is how you would utilize it in your practice.
Then they would have to go to task because to get the orthogonal tenants in place is key, and then take the pediatric application to build on that.
Dr. Bill: Sure. If a doctor was interested in the pediatrics training how would they find that or see when that’s available?
Dr. Julie: They would go to the orthospinology website www.orthospinology.org. I just had my class in November, I will have one next year as well. I teach a class once or twice a year at my office it’s a very hands on class.
It’s a full day of taking those applications from orthogonal tenants and then applying it to how you work with a child who’s sick and you can’t get films on. How do you take films of a child that’s handicapped, or how do you work with an autistic child? How do you work with a challenged child? How do you apply each of those parameters to help that child achieve their level of wellness.
Dr. Bill: Very good. I’ve taken your course before it was extremely beneficial, I enjoyed it a lot. I was able to apply many of the things I learned the next week in practice. Thank you for that, thank you for you doing that. That work is very valuable.
Dr. Julie: Thank you.
Dr. Bill: Absolutely. The last thing I wanted to talk to you about is the Upper Cervical Experience for people that read our blog, and our newsletter they’ll be familiar with the upper cervical experience that’s coming up but I’d like to get an update from you on the experience and what people can expect? Why would someone want to go?
Dr. Julie: Well number one to have all of our organizations together under one tent if you will, is really the strength of upper cervical. To have all of us working together is the strength of upper cervical. We all have our individual organizations that provide a tremendous amount.
But to bring them all together under one tent is where we grow the most. The upper cervical diplomate program candidates will be there. As I mentioned just finished year two of the diplomate program in upper cervical through the ICA. They will be graduating the following year at the Experience.
In the genesis of the Experience started with the AUCCO group which you may remember was the Academy of Upper Cervical Organizations which in turn evolved into the Upper Cervical Council which occurred when Dr. Ray Drury brought Evolution about. We are looking to create an interactive learning format. It’s not going to be something where you’re just given information, you’re going to be part of the information. We’re looking to recreate a format where we’re all working together towards a better understanding of the upper cervical region. It’s truly the most important region of our body for brain body health.
Dr. Bill: And so there’s a lot of information coming out each day about what’s going to be happening and all the presenters. I know it’s just going to be a landmark event for upper cervical.
Dr. Julie: It’s exciting to see it come together and provide a forum for all of us in upper cervical to work together.
Dr. Bill: Absolutely. All right, so if you’re not already registered definitely go towww.uppercervicalexperience.com and register. It’s going to be an incredible event, February 26hthrough the 28th in New Orleans. I know Dr. Mayer Hunt will be there, I will be there and many others.
It’s going to be an experience unlike any other. Again Dr. Hunt I’m very appreciative of you joining us today and is there anything else that you want to share with upper cervical doctors out there and students before we go?
Dr. Julie: Just that we’re students for life and I’ve learned more in the last few years about upper cervical than I did my first 30 years. There’s much more to learn and much more to understand to render the best possible care.
Dr. Bill: Very cool, you never stop learning. There’s so much more to learn that’s for sure. Well thank you again Dr. Hunt and have a great day.
Dr. Julie: Thank you, God bless you.
Make sure you download our chiropractic marketing calendar below and put the upper cervical experience event on it along with all of the other marketing activities that you will be participating in 2015!
Let's work together to bring upper cervical to the masses!!!!!!