In this episode, Dr. Ron talks with Dr. Devin Vrana about tapping into the body’s innate ability to heal and how the practice of medicine is beginning to change. Also, learn about Dr. Devin’s event called The Big Idea taking place in Wichita, KS. June 26, 2021.
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Dr. Ron Hunninghake: Well, welcome everyone to another episode of Real Health here at the Riordan Clinic, and I’m very pleased to have Dr. Devin Vrana here as my guest. She is doing something really big, a big event. And so before we get into that, though, I want to just give you a little bit of background. You’re a chiropractor.
Dr. Devin Vrana: I am.
Dr. Ron: So tell me a little bit about how you got into chiropractic.
Dr. Devin: Well, first of all, thank you for having me. It’s kind of a dream coming true in that I came here as a young girl and now life brings us full circle. Um, so I always knew I wanted to help people. I was pre-med, pre dentistry, and went the pre-health route throughout my time at K state and got close to graduation. I was actually a single mom and, took the MCAT and started looking at stuff and I’m like, I don’t like taking pills. I never liked to, I used to hide my vitamins when my parents would get to them. I just don’t like taking stuff. And I pass out when I see my own blood or blood sometimes. So I’m like, well, I might’ve picked the wrong path, but I really want to help people.
Dr. Ron : I passed out on my first day of medical school. So don’t, don’t feel bad.
Dr. Devin: And so I started to panic a little bit and, um, shadowed a dentist. And I was like, this is not for me either. I was bartending at the time to provide for my little guy and I waited on this table and this big party, and this guy comes up and pays for everybody. And he just kind of had this like energy at the table. And so I said, what do you do? He says, I’m a chiropractor. I said, where’d you go to school? At Cleveland. And I just memory banked that, went home two o’clock in the morning, looking things up. And, you know, again, feeling the weight of like, how am I going to provide for this baby boy and look up Cleveland chiropractic. And they were having a discovery day the next week. Can’t even make that up. Right? And so I go and I sit in the basement of that hall and I can remember Dr.Carl saying the power that made the body heals the body, you know, power flows from above, down, inside out. You have innate intelligence inside of you. And I started crying and I was like, oh my gosh, this is it.
So I call my mom and I was like, I’m going to be a chiropractor. And she was like, Devin, you’ve never been to one. I was like, I know it’s great though. You should hear what they’re saying. It’s all these things I known, but I’ve never heard. And, um, she’s like, well, how long is the school? It was like four years. How much of the cost? I don’t know. And I mean, I wasn’t concerned with any of the how’s and that’s how I knew I was on the path.
Dr. Ron: Yeah. And I think for most people, there’s kind of what I call the old idea of what a chiropractor is that someone just cracks, you know, your spine. But I think the whole in, in my, uh, our daughter’s a chiropractor, Dr. Anne. And so, uh, it really was a kind of an opening up of my consciousness when I saw that chiropractic had moved into much greater dimensions of healing. And so if you could kind of talk a little bit about that.
Dr. Devin: Well, don’t know I’m the very first official chiropractor, so to speak because I’m also, um, trained in acupuncture and Tui Na, and, and, you know, D.O. doctor of osteopathy, there’s been manipulation for a long time and the first official chiropractor, DD Palmer, his adjustment cured Harvey Lillard’s deafness. So it was actually never about neck pain or back pain, really until decades later, when we were trying to fit into the medical model, the insurance model, the SOA P you know, um, how do I get my insurance to cover this model? And, for years it was all about the brain and body connection. And that’s the chiropractic I have fallen madly in love with.
My son, my very first, had a horrific birth – forceps, blue, didn’t cry. He didn’t sleep for almost two years, not sleep well. And, um, he just was, he wasn’t a sick kid, but he just was never well, and he would hold his breath and pass out in my arms when he was very, very young and I knew something was wrong, but I took him to doctors and they could not figure, you know, he’s just fussy, honey, you got one of the tough ones he’ll outgrow it.
And I’m like, no, I mean, everything in my mama bear intuition is like, no, no something is wrong. And I got into chiropractic school and a few months in, someone was like, well, have you had him adjusted? And I was like a baby? And they were like, well, yeah. And I was like, well, why would like, how would that help? Literally, after his first couple adjustments, he started to sleep. And then a lot of the other things, the sniffles and the allergies and the things started to resolve, and that took me down. You know, so half of my practice now is babies and kids and pregnant moms and postnatal care for moms because I guess you’d be, you know, become the doctor that you needed, so to speak.
Dr. Ron: So is that how the lifestyle dimension of chiropractic medicine came into your awareness? In addition, the freeing up energy flow and adjustments and everything, but there’s the whole lifestyle dimension.
Dr. Devin: And I think, you know, it is, I love getting adjusted. I love delivering adjustments. It is the holy grail of what we do. And someone asked me a question a long time ago and said, if you had to pick one, if you’re on a deserted island, would you, you know, would you need the adjustment or would you need the foundation, the truth, the philosophy that your body knows how to heal itself. And for me, that truth, that knowing that core, um, has literally set me free. It’s changed the way I raised my five kids and it empowers the way I communicate with. So, so for me, it is all about the philosophy and the truth.
Dr. Ron: So a lot of people even here at the Riordan Clinics, sometimes the idea is we’ll, we’ll go out there and we’ll get some lab tests done, and then they’ll give us the right vitamins to take. And we’re going to be better. How much, like, if I’m, I’m assuming if I just get the right adjustment, everything’s going to be fine, but people miss the holistic, the whole person perspective that is such a part of a natural healing. So how do you incorporate that into your practice?
Dr. Devin: You know, Um, man, the soul component, right? The, we are, um, our body becomes the representation of where our heart has been. And so the traumas and the stresses and, and all the things that we pack away. Um, I think I’ve been blessed in that. That always made sense to me that we are not just a body. We are a spirit, we are, um, emotional and chemical and physical creatures. And so that’s at the core when someone comes in and says, fix me, it’s like, no, no, no, this is, that’s not how this office works. I’m the lighthouse. I’m here to help guide you in the storm, but you sail the ship, my friend. Um, and, you know, I think that that’s a, it’s a new, I don’t want to say it’s a new concept because they get that once you help them remember that and it, and helping them go, oh yeah. Like I am a sum of all the parts, not just the physical ones, not just the chemical ones and no pill is going to take all the things away. It is a, it is a one step at a time make tomorrow better than yesterday process from here until we’re not here anymore. Yeah.
Dr. Ron: There’s a lot of memory and traumatic memory that gets stored in the body. And so, so as a chiropractor, do you find that, as I know, I remember first reading about how people that were getting massages would remember events in their childhood that they hadn’t thought of for a long time. I mean, do you find yourself getting into conversations with your patients along this line?
Dr. Devin: Yeah. Uh, you know, I can’t count how many times patients have called me a witch doctor or voodoo doctor, because you can feel things, you can feel patterns and systems. And so I can, I can sense these different things and just say, you know, they’ll say it just hurts right here, doc, why does it hurt right here? And I’ll say, which answer do you want? You know, the other habits, there are things and this area of your body is commonly associated with that. There’s beautiful books, the emotion code and the body code, chiropractor put those things together where I, you know, learn different techniques and acupuncture training where it’s, you know, it doesn’t have to be 30 minutes. It can just be an acknowledgement of maybe what let’s work through, what this might be and go sit with that and, process it. And yeah, I think when we’re quiet and we’re not trying to, when I’m not trying to do adjustments and I’m just trying to be with the person on my table, um, there’s an unspoken frequency there that leads us where we need to go.
Dr. Ron: So it sounds like both of us, like for me, uh, family medicine, wasn’t just going to be enough, uh, just seeing patients and hearing about their ailments and making the diagnosis. And here’s your, here’s your medication to treat the symptoms of that diagnosis just wasn’t going to be enough. And so you’ve moved into more of an integrative, uh, style of functioning as a chiropractor. Let’s, let’s now take that to the societal level. Do you really think more and more people are kind of waking up that medicine and chiropractic and homeopathy that, that these are very important modalities, but they’re not addressing the whole person in the way that maybe needs to happen. And, and so is there some kind of awakening occurring in our society such that people are, are looking, are hungry for this type of a more holistic healing response?
Dr. Devin: Yes, yes, yes. I’ve never been this hopeful for humanity as I am, um, in 2021. And, um, you know, wherever you go there you are, and we’ve tried all these things and we’ve come up with all these different pills, pharmaceutical nutraceutical, both ways, but even chiropractors naturopathic, it doesn’t matter the discipline when we play the “you sicky, me fixy” game. Um, we keep our collective locked in the narrative that, um, you know, the fix is out there. And, um, so you see that I feel the tide turning big time of, I think people are scared. I think it’s daunting and overwhelming to become the master of your fate and take responsibility for all the things. But I think the lessons we’ve been through in the last 14 months, we’re starting to really see, like I can’t control all the factors out there, but I can, I can control what I eat. I can control when I sleep, I can control. And so, you know, I think there, um, is a huge shift happening right now. And I think that we are positioned, you know, places like Riordan places in different chiropractic, naturopathic, homeopathy, massage offices, and functional medicine medical doctors are positioned very well to just pivot a little and say, here’s what, here we go. And we walk beside you not sitting on top of the throne, handing out the cure.
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Dr. Ron: Yeah, there was an interesting series that I was watching, uh, called proven. Did you happen to get in on that at all? So it’s a 10 part series looking at all the modalities of integrative medicine, uh, this new medicine and the, one of the points was, is there actually is a lot of proof for these various modalities, but it’s not the same kind of proof as the pharmaceutical companies get where we take one drug and we try to treat one disease or one variable. And we, we do the double blind placebo controlled and so much of natural medicine and more integrative healing is not about one modality. It’s about the whole person and the elements that that person needs in order to fill in the gaps in order for the healing process to come together.
Dr. Devin: Yeah. I think we exist, have been existing in a very, um, I want it right now, society, instant gratification, give it to me so I can fix it. Um, you know, read this for that, take this for that. Um, and I think people are really done with that because they see this is not sustainable and I can’t take these things and they interact and there’s not a one size fits all. So I think there’s been enough time to see like, okay, this isn’t, this isn’t the way. So what’s the way? And it’s looking at the whole and um, yeah, I think the, you know, we all speak different languages. You and I probably have very similar passion and purpose for what we do, but it’s just like, you know, someone speaks English, someone speaks Spanish, someone speaks French, you and I just speak different health frequencies, you know, and I think they hit the right person at the right time.
Dr. Ron: So this is part of what Dr. Riordan taught me was that, uh, don’t think of yourself as the fixer. You are speaking to me as a doctor, the co-learner because it doesn’t matter how many cases of lung cancer or how many cases of migraine headache that you see. These are not discrete entities. A disease is not an entity, a disease don’t just float around. People have illnesses. And the illness is part of their history. It’s part of their biology, their, their genetic snips, their epigenetic choices, uh, their environmental factors, their diet, their, their relationships, the way they sleep. So there are so many facets that you have to see the patient is the so-called patient co-learner as someone very unique in this, on this planet. And your job is to use the skills that you learned in order to help, uh, understand what is it that’s not quite right, what adjustment, not necessarily spinal adjustments, what adjustments need to be made in their lifestyle choices, in their overall concept of themselves. There’s so many facets that go into the healing process
Dr. Devin: And guys rewind that. And if you, if, if we, if we get that, if we live that this co-learning dancing, you know, together thing, it ships everything. And my anchoring quote in, in my life is, you know, the doctor of the future is the patient. Whereas there is not this separation, you know, we’re mirrors and, you know, Ram Dass says, we’re all just walking each other home. Right? And that’s, if you’re in my office, it’s because you were led here. And if I see something in you, it’s because of something I’ve learned or something I’ve lived. And so there is really no separation. We are truly in this together.
Dr. Ron: And I think a lot of, sometimes a lot of health professionals who have been trained in one domain of, of medicine, uh, that’s a little scary because I’ve spent so much money, so much time, so much effort to get my degree and people have these expectations of me. And I don’t even know if I can learn how to do this. But one year, what I found is that once I adopted the co-learner point of view, that the patients were actually teaching me, uh, more about medical care than I ever learned in medical school. Uh, and, and, and so it’s, and it’s not a, it’s not a straight line. It’s a, it’s a strange kind of, uh, up and down and sideways and a non-linear path that people take towards healing. And you can’t teach that everything that we would otherwise say as quote, medical knowledge is linear and diseases are not well, illnesses are not linear.
Dr. Devin: There are staple things, truth. That there’s truth. That is truth. That is truth. And the world is very different than it was when I went to school or when you went to school. And so if you’re, if you’re not staying in the present moment with the people that are in front of you, if you’re just, you know, in the left brain, in the book, you’re not going to succeed like you could, um, in practice, not going to feel that fulfillment of really what it means to connect and care for humanity.
Dr. Ron: Yeah. One of the early lessons that I learned from a patient who had just been sent home to die, because she had a liver failure, alcoholic, cirrhosis, liver failure, and they basically said, you know, you have to get a new liver and we don’t have one. So just go home. And, and so, uh, anyway, she stopped by for lunch here to sit with me and she says, what can I do? You know, and here I am, she’s not even a patient of mine. I’m having lunch with her. And I said, well, for one thing, here’s what I want you to, to get. Is that right now, the disease has you, instead of you having the disease, I want you to have the disease and realize that you’re bigger than the disease. As bad as it is. You’re bigger than that, that particular disease. I won’t go into the process that she went through, but she came back a year later healed.
Dr. Devin: Uh it’s you know, we wear shirts in the office that say expect miracles, because I do expect miracles, always every single time given, you know, if a person with an open heart and open mind is willing to do that kind of work and stay open to a miracle coming in, it, it will be, it will happen. And, you know, I think being brave enough to like, Brene Brown says brave the wilderness, so to speak, like, that’s, it is uncharted territory. So there may not be a double blind placebo trial to guide the way in that kind of a territory, but that’s okay because those types of miracles are happening all over the planet. As we speak for people
Dr. Ron: We could go on and on, and I would love to and, uh, tell us a little bit about the big event. And so, because this is a place where people can go and learn more about this.
Yes. So, Um, I started getting asked to speak, um, within the chiropractic profession in 2015. Um, and when I would travel all across country, went to Europe and I would get all riled up. I would hear all these people and then I would come home and just have this deep sadness that my practice members, my staff, my, um, my family weren’t there with me. And so, um, especially in the wake of losing my mom in 2016, I said, okay, we gotta do something here. So my husband’s a chiropractor as well. We put up a big white tent in our field and we had about 300 people come. And, um, it was life-changing for, um, all of us and the bond and the memories. It was just going to be one time. Um, and then we did it again in 2019 at the cotillion. And, um, and so we’re doing it again this year.
And you know, this year is all about health and freedom and empowerment. And just like, you’re like this whole conversation been about how do we help walk beside humanity? How do we do the work ourselves? Cause that’s the thing is you and I have not arrived in the all-knowing this consciousness. We have healed everything within ourselves. That’s not real life. You know, doctors are very, very human. And so part of the process is getting in the arena with the people we serve. So this event, we bring speakers from all across the country. We’re going to talk about cancer, autism. Um, we’re going to talk about family generational healing, uh, abuse. We’re going to talk about diet, homeopathy. I mean, there’s a wide variety and it’s in this Ted talk format. Um, I put together a booklet and bring in a DJ to really tether the whole thing together as this adjustment for the soul to help, you know, change the trajectory of the life. Because if we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always got. So this day is meant to be an adjustment into the system that will then set you on a healthier, happier trajectory.
Dr. Ron: Yeah. One of my favorite phrases is real health discovery because real health is not a thing. It’s something that each one of us has to discover for ourselves because my real health is different than your real health and everyone out there that’s listening. You should take that to heart. And hopefully if you can make it to this conference, come because this is an opportunity for people to discover real health for themselves and each other.
Dr. Devin: Yeah. There’ll be hugs and music and smiles and, um, and just restoring. I mean, there’s something very, very powerful happens when a group of people who want more, who desire more out of their bodies and out of their hearts and their minds, something truly transcended happens when you get a group like that together. So you guys are invited, join us. Um, and 2022, we’ll bring another episode because my work is far from done.
Dr. Ron: I get that. Thank you so much for being here and for all you’re doing and for being part of this, uh, this worldwide discovery of real health. And, and I hope everyone has a chance to come and visit and hear you share your story. That’s what I’m going to give my 2 cents to the set. So thank you doctor so much. Hope to see you again sometime soon.
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