Officially Lived to Tell the Tale!

OK, I am a truth-teller. You all should know that by now. So, here’s the truth about the CCX Challenge – I survived!


🙂 OK, that’s not me in the image jumping into oblivion (of course it’s a drawing) …but I did climb, all the way up 25 feet to the top! And then I, who am not afraid of heights, took a look around and said wisely to myself…

          “Uhm, this is a little high!” 
          And then I said, “You guys got me? Can I jump from here?”
          PAUSE AGAIN.
          And then I said, “I think I’m gonna cry (quietly).”
          And then I said, “I’m gonna climb down now (quietly).”

🙂 You know, it’s ok! 

I did go up to the top of that pole and recognize that I had no need, no burning desire, to jump. Jumping was suddenly not such a wise idea. For me it was enough to climb. I kinda have a very strong survival sense which has kept me out of trouble throughout my whole life. Honestly, I have always learned my lessons early and quickly. On that day, I knew I didn’t have to prove myself to myself. And that’s a good thing to be aware of.

As to all the other team members (new interns), most performed exceptionally well in the pole challenge. But not everyone went up. And you know… that’s ok! Perhaps the best part was that there was no negativity or shaming of those who chose not to climb or climb and jump. There was only encouragement with virtually 100% cooperation and positive attitudes in all the team building games. Team members consulted each other on problem solving, were willing to help those who needed help and stepped up with their fullest potential. 

As I look back on the experience, I believe that you couldn’t find a better group of interns to be entering the clinic. I can rightly say everyone proved themselves worthy of the tasks ahead of them. And that’s an awesome thing to see manifest! 



P.S.  The weather warmed quickly and the sky cleared… it turned out to be a beautiful fall day after all. 🙂


Autumn is in the Air… Or is that a chill?


October 2nd! And a chill is in the air this morning :). It sure feels like a school day when I was a kid. It’s dark outside and all the indoor creatures (human and furry) are quiet and snuggly. Outside, nature is busy packing nutrients way down deep into the roots and tubers of trees and smaller plants for the oncoming winter.

On Sherman campus there are lots of things happening this month.

Today, all the newest interns are getting ready for CCX – the outdoor “Clinic Challenge” of team building and spirit elevating, yours truly included. :)  I’m kinda considering what to pack this morning as it is starting out chilly and who knows what the temperature will become during the day. I’ve had lots of experience with daily temperature ranges in New England but …I feel kinda silly starting out with my heavyweight clothes in South Carolina. However, wisdom says to be prepared! Nothing worse than cold, wet feet and noses.

New first quarter students began their orientation yesterday. They’re probably wondering where everyone else is. Second quarter and above begin today. New interns, like I said, will be outside today.

October also sees the return of Sherman’s awesome IRAPS Conference – The International Research and Philosophy Symposium which promises to be quite exciting! 

And something new for this October – The Sherman Wellness Fair !  Oooh  ya… and we will be also having a “Trunk or Treat Halloween” experience 🙂 for the kiddies of the area!

I have a feeling there’s much more going on…. But I better run and get my wooly socks on! I’ll let you know how it all goes….


Chiropractic Philosophy

As I have been attending school here at Sherman I have heard other students on a number of occasions question the importance of the philosophy that is taught here. As a previous biology major in college, and therefore a person whose mind has been trained to look at the world through scientific eyes, I can understand the questioning. Why is the philosophy so important?

Though I tend to look at the world the way that I do, I can’t deny that it is the philosophy that brought me here to chiropractic school. When I was truly introduced to chiropractic I had thought of it from a very mechanistic and scientific view at the time. I thought that chiropractic was simply about moving bones in the spine to fix the problems that were caused by misalignment and relieve pain. I had no back pain or problems; therefore chiropractic was not necessary for me. However the DC that introduced me to true chiropractic did not talk to me about vitalism, or innate intelligence, or the triune of life. And I’ll be completely honest I have a hard time to this day using those terms, but the terms are not what make the philosophy. My DC sat down and explained to me that he believed that God had made man’s body to function perfectly and that the spinal column housed the primary means by which the brain communicated with the body, and that if there were any interference to this communication it would hamper the body’s ability to function. Had he talked to me about chiropractic philosophy in the terms that we use in school, I would not have continued seeing him and I would not be here today.

First of all, what is the philosophy? To put it as simply as I can, it is that every body is designed and organized, whether by God or by nature to perform the tasks of life both at a cellular and an organism level, and this organization is meted out by the central nervous system by means of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is housed in a moveable, protective covering known as the spinal column. As the bones and the ligaments and muscles associated with them move, they can become stuck out of their appropriate position due to various traumas. When this occurs it interferes with the ability of the peripheral nervous system to transmit to the body the appropriate tasks of life causing what the medical world refers to as symptoms. My job as a chiropractor is to locate where this happens and to put the bones back into their optimal position restoring the body’s ability perform the tasks necessary for healing and optimal health.

That gets me back to the main question. Why is the philosophy so important and why did it get me here? The philosophy of chiropractic is important because it sets us apart as a unique profession, but more important than that, it is the part of our practice that we need to know, and be able to articulate to our patients to build a prosperous practice that will bring us the success that we each desire to have and that will help chiropractic to spread and influence the lives of more families. Chiropractic philosophy got me here because it is what I was able to connect with to understand that chiropractic is not symptom based treatment, but instead is a shift in worldview and lifestyle to help my body to perform at peak ability rather than simply dealing with problems as they arise.

Every individual searches for ways to improve their life and have more happiness, and it can be found in many different places. The thing that all of these places have in common is that they help a person to feel more fulfilled and like they have a degree of control in their lives over the course that it is going to take. When chiropractic is properly understood it fills this need. If it is not fully understood, people will go to a chiropractor until they feel better, or get tired of paying for his service and then they move on with little thought about what they may be missing out on. This is a travesty that plagues our profession because too few of our practitioners are learning the art, science and philosophy of this noble profession. They go to school and learn the science and if they’re lucky, the art, and then they wonder a few years down the road why they can’t keep patients or why they are burned out in their profession.

Everyone needs this profession, but without the philosophy being strongly engrained in every patient, there will be no reason for them to continue their chiropractic care. Without understanding the power of innate intelligence, what young mother is going to bring her brand new infant in for an atlas adjustment at two or three days old, and what car accident victim is going to continue care after pain has been relieved and insurance has quit paying for visits. As a successful chiropractor, it is not my job to spend half of my time out advertising and advocating for my practice to try to acquire new patients to constantly replace those that I have been losing. Some time will always need to be spent growing my practice, but if the philosophy is taught to the public in a way that they can understand it, one chiropractor can only handle so many lifetime patients in his practice.

Isn’t this the ultimate goal for each of us? To be able to have a practice that is self-sustaining, that takes care of our families, and at the same time is fulfilling to our need to do something purposeful in life. I don’t think that there are very many things that are more fulfilling than being a part of the lives of hundreds or even thousands of people in your community and being able to know that they appreciate you because you have been able to help each of them to improve their lives.


Meet Brian!

BrianLeary_webHi, I’m Brian Leary. I am a graduate of Methodist University, where I played football and earned a degree in Exercise Science. I have been interested and involved in sports all of my life.

After graduating from Methodist, reality slapped me in the face and I realized I had to make a decision as to what career path to choose. I spent the fall of 2010 coaching football at my old high school, and taking the necessary classes to peruse a DPT degree (Doctorate of Physical Therapy).

I attended a career fair that was being held at the college where I was taking the two classes, where I met Melody Sabin at the Sherman College tent. This inspired to check out Sherman. It was a quick process in applying, getting accepted, and then moving down here; but I haven't looked back since.

I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to become a chiropractor, and more specifically to gain knowledge and experience here at Sherman.


Unity in chiropractic

I'm back home with my family today as I write this blog post today. I am sitting in my living room looking at a neighborhood just waking to a Friday morning. I just got my kids off to school and my wife off to work, and now I'm watching the sun light up the west side of the street and people beginning their day. As I'm looking at all these houses I'm wondering how many of these people will think about going to a chiropractor today. I'd guess that the number is pretty slim. Sure, some of my immediate neighbors are aware of chiropractic because of me, but of the 60-70 homes in my neighborhood, I'd bet that there might be 2 or 3 families that see a chiropractor with any kind of regularity.

How can I change this? I think this is a question that every one of us faces as we go into practice. What can I do differently than the chiropractors that are already here to help people to understand what chiropractic really is, and how it is going to help thier family. Certainly by being the best chiropractor I can be, I will have a successful practice, but I want more than that.

I want to raise awareness in people that chiropractic can save lives, not just relieve pain. I want there to be such a demand for chiropractic that my neighborhood alone could sustain my practice, and the next neighborhood over can sustain another chiropractor in his. Our services are so greatly needed among all those people that I'm watching wake up and start their day this morning, but it's going to take a joint effort among all of us to get this idea of wellness care to the world. I can't change things alone. It is going to take an army of chiropractors going to the world to tell it that choropractic is about healing lives, not just rehabilitation after low-back injury, to get chiropractic into main stream thinking. 


Which Quarter is the Hardest?! ….

We all knew that coming to chiropractic school was not going to be a walk in the park. It was going to be hard, but what a lot of people did not realize is that the first quarter you need to get in, pull up the sleeves, and get ready to work. But the question that always arises is what quarter is the HARDEST?! I still remember my first quarter here when everyone of the upper quarter students were going out of their way to be nice, giving you bits of information that would help you along your way. Let me tell you, when you are new at something and an “experienced” person is giving you words of advice you are going to take it and hold onto it dearly. Yet, how much of what they are saying is true?

It seems that whatever quarter they were in at the time that was the hardest quarter! While others tell you that all the odd quarters are hard. But also, some seem to believe that all the even quarters are hard. Yet, if you talk to students just about getting into the clinic they believe that they finally seen the “light”! The funny thing is once you talk to someone who is actually in the clinic it is the complete opposite.

 Everyone is going to have a quarter which they believe is the hardest for their own reason (whether it is the content of the material, or other issues that occur in everyday life). Therefore, after 5 quarters here I finally understand which of the quarters is the HARDEST. They all have a challenging aspect to them being you are going to be a doctor. Yet, if you know that coming in you will accept the challenge and realize that it is a process that is put forth to only make you better and to allow you to become the best chiropractor possible in order to serve your community.


Why am I here?

Sometimes we get a little lost in the day to day activities of life at chiropractic school and we forget about this very important question. Why am I here at Sherman College? For some this question may be a little difficult to answer, but for me it is one of the questions that I most enjoy contemplating, and is very easy to answer. When I do answer this question for myself, it also reenergizes me and motivates me to do better at what I am doing.

For me there are several answers to this question. The first one is that I am doing this for my family. I am blessed to have a beautiful wife and two beautiful little girls who depend on me to take care of them. I don't want to just take care of them to the point that we "get by" and there's always food on the table. I want to offer them a life where we can go on vacation as a family, and really enjoy the time that we spend together. I also want to be able to do this without spending all of my time working overtime in a job and being away from my family all the time in order to provide for them. I also want to be an example to my girls of a man who cares enough about his family to work hard for them so that they can know what to look for when they get older.

Some might criticize me because they feel like my first motivation should be care of patients, but while this is important to me and it is what makes me enjoy my profession, my first priority is to care for my family. I also have other interests which are of a more selfish nature, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I want to be able to spend more of my time hunting, fishing and playing with my kids, and by being here all of these things are going to be within reach when I finish schooling here.











What a Helping Hand Can Do

What is it about people that allow them to go out of their way to help others? Is it something that is inborn that causes them to be nice? Was it the way they were raised or more so genetics or better yet the environment in which they live?

 When someone goes out of their way to be nice it tends to make others feel good that they have someone to rely on. That is honestly what I love about Sherman College! There are so many people who will do whatever it takes in order to help you succeed. Do not get me wrong, I understand that a lot of schools are like that and want to see their students succeed, but the question that arises to what degree? If you ask me, it seems that EVERYONE at Sherman goes above and beyond what a typical student would expect when entering a school especially a doctorate school.

 What is it about Sherman that makes everyone want to go the extra mile? Is it because we all understand that we are enrolling in a school to eventually become a Doctor of Chiropractic? That everyone has the same goal, to graduate and be the best in order to help people. And if helping people is the overall end goal, why would someone NOT want to help or give a lending hand. A simple gesture can really be the difference to someone and just may be the factor that changes their life. That is just one advantage of attending Sherman College of Chiropractic!


Up and Down

What is life without ups and downs? We are always going to have some of both, no matter how hard we work to control what life throws at us. Lately, I've had a few blog posts that came out at some of those dowm moments, but even when there are a lot of those, there are also up times that come in between. It's important to know that they will come, and be prepared for when those down times do return, but the good times are almost always as frequent as the bad, but can be harder to see and acknowledge. We can't ever control every aspect of our lives, but we can focus on the things that we can control and allow those things to influence what we can't. Right now I am in chiropractic school and as demanding and stressful as it can be, this course that I am on is going to be hugely beneficial to my family, and literally thousands of people that I have not yet met. What's more exciting than that? Even though it's very hard on my family for me to be away as much as I am, they are very supportive of all that I am doing here, and though they have their tough moments just like I do, they are just as sure as I am that this will all be for our benefit, and they are going to tough out these next 2.5 years. It is not going to be an easy road, and there will be struggles along the way, but there is not a better place that I can be right now, than right here at Sherman College, and becoming the best person that I can.


You Are What You Eat…

Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat”? What exactly does that mean? Better yet what should you eat? Being a Chiropractic student, you learn that there are three things that cause a subluxation, thoughts, toxins, and traumas. Therefore, what we put into our body can actually harm us and our overall being.

What is the perfect/right diet? You hear so many different things about what is good for you and what is bad for you, and what you body can and cannot handle. How do you combine it into one overall big picture of what you should and should not eat? Also, is it good to completely eliminate bad things from your diet or is everything in moderation a better way?

With so many different trends in today’s society what is the “right” or “best” one? Should people be concerned with what they are putting into their body? What is considered “healthy eating habits"? ….What do you think??