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Breaking The Underdog Curse for Chiropractors

Breaking The Underdog Curse for Chiropractors

Podcast Breaking The Underdog Curse for Chiropractors
Podcast Breaking The Underdog Curse for Chiropractors

Breaking The Underdog Curse for Chiropractors


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  • How the Polyvagal Theory Can Help You and Your Patients
    Dr. Don discusses the numerous training events and methods he has been employing in the last few months in today’s episode. We also hear a clip from a recent Zoom call for doctors in London preparing for an upcoming seminar there. Brandi joins in to discuss the added complications that the pandemic has caused in patient care and how to adapt to it. They also discuss the basics of polyvagal theory and briefly touch on the challenges practitioners face. The three parts of the Polyvagal theory covered in this episode are the hierarchy of the nervous system, neuroception, and co-regulation.  They are very excited to be producing a 4-week program in the second quarter of 2023 with Dr. Stephen Porges on the clinical application of the polyvagal theory into Chiropractic practice.   Key Takeaways: The overview of recent training events and methods. [1.00] Brandi discusses the polyvagal theory and the problems that arise from being bombarded with too much information. [2:55] Creating an effective and semantically sound communication method for training. [4:00] Challenges faced by polyvagal practitioners. [5:36] The salutogenic process of chiropractic. [6:25] Getting to grips with the polyvagal process and overcoming preconceived notions of healing and pain. [7:00] Understanding what a patient’s physiology is telling you and them. [9:20] Why Brandi and Don came to the polyvagal theory. [10:40] How the pandemic has influenced assessing patients’ trauma and pain. [11:30] Understanding the effects of worldwide trauma. [13:00] Focusing on chiropractors and their lives. [14:50] Your responsibility to self-care. [15:30] Decoding how patients have changed through COVID and learning to communicate again. [17:00] Your responsibility as a practitioner is to accept your patient’s trauma. [18:45] How using the correct language will deepen your communication and connection with patients. [19:15] The main concepts of the polyvagal theory. [20:00] Understanding safety. [23:00] How the nervous systems of children are different. [28:00] To join Dr. Don and Brandi Macdonald's monthly mentoring group called "The Informed Chiropractor," click below.  To Join Dr. Don and Brandi in San Fransico on January 14th for the Emergence one-day workshop, click below.  To Join Dr. Don and Brandi in Montreal on Saturday, March 11th, for "The MacDonald Safety Corridor Protocol" hands-on workshop, click below   
  • How Dr. Clarence Haitsma Built a New Chiropractic Practice After 6 Years of Retirement
    In today’s show, Dr. Don is joined by Dr. Clare Haitsma, a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic who has been in practice for 46 years. After chiropractic school, Dr. Haitsma returned to Alberta and practiced for 30 years before retiring to go on church missions. That retirement didn’t last long, and six years ago, he returned to start a new practice from scratch in Lethbridge, Alberta. It hasn’t been an easy road to rebuild, and there have been many changes along the way, but it’s important to keep focused on your values and the needs of your patients. Dr. Clare Haitsma is an inspiration to the profession, he shares some of his routines and rituals that help keep him focused and on purpose.  Nothing is more inspiring than seeing a Chiropractor in practice that long and still loving to serve people daily.  Key Takeaways: How did Dr. Haitsma come to chiropractic medicine? [1:40] Why a car accident led to a career path switch. [2:00] What studying at Palmer College was like in the 1970s. [4:21] Why Palmer was considered an eccentric college. [4:30] What was the highlight of attending the school? [6:22] Why Dr. Haitsma knew he would come back to Alberta. [7:55] How chiropractic medicine evolved during his time in business. [9:00] Why Dr. Haitsma retired. [11:08] What drove the decision to go on church missions? [11:40] Why Dr. Haitsma ended up in Lethbridge. What it was like rebuilding a practice from scratch. [13:00] Learning to refocus on what mattered in his practice and for his clients. [15:35] Overcoming apprehension of creating care plans. [18:00] What is the benefit of care plans? [18:45] Why it’s important to give patients the choice of their treatment options. [20:40] How has Dr. Haitsma’s technique evolved? [22:50] What kind of personal rituals does Dr. Haitsma have to maintain focus? [25:35] What would Dr. Haitsma tell his younger self? [27:20] Words of wisdom. [30:30] For more information on "The Informed Chiropractor" with Dr. Don and Brandi MacDonald, visit   
  • How Dr. Julie Darchuk Overcame Her Grief and Trauma With the Vitality Shift for Chiropractors
    Dr. Don is joined by Dr. Julie Darchuk from Saskatoon in this episode. Dr. Julie has been in practice for 6 years and is a graduate of CMCC.  Dr. Don and Brandi have been working closely with Dr. Julie over the last year, and he is excited to share her journey today.  Julie takes us through her chiropractic journey, how her dad was her biggest inspiration, and the stress she experience when she suddenly lost him before starting School. Her body stored the trauma she had not dealt with and put it on a shelf for her to push through school. Numbing her grief was the only way for her to cope in the beginning.  She then experienced the loss of her brother as well, which added to her grief. Coaching helped Julie identify and then begin to process grief and trauma in her personal life and a feeling of staleness in her career after having to practice hurt. For those struggling, Julie’s experiences could be the inspiration you may be looking for to help you get back on track.  Key Takeaways: How Julie decided to become a Chiropractor. [1:45] How Julie managed stress at Chiropractic school in the first year. [4:05] What happened after Julie graduated? How did she decide whether to start her practice or work for someone else? [6:50] Why it was important for Julie to learn from multiple practitioners in a hands-on way. [9:25] Dealing with further family trauma out in the world of work. [10:15] What happens when you aren’t fine anymore? [12:00] What brought Julie to work with Dr. Don and Brandi? [12:40] Learning about the salutogenic model of chiropractic. [14:20] Understanding why you want to make the shift. [16:00] Julie’s journey through pain and road to recovery. [17:20] What helped Julie unpack her trauma over time? [18:35] Taking note of the small triumphs. [20:11] The impatience of recovery. [21:00] About Julie’s journey to clinic owner. [22:10] Getting clear about what you want. [24:10] What would Julie say to her younger self? [25:20] Advice for those struggling. [27:00] For more information on the Vitality Shift program, visit: To get more information about "The Informed Chiropractor" program, visit 
  • We’re Back! An Update from Dr. Don
    Today, Dr. Don is firing the podcast again after a year-long break. In this episode, he shares what he and Brandi have been up to over the last year and the latest updates on their business. After this updated episode, there will be more interview-style episodes on the way. Dr. Don dives into practice changes, including their new practice and location. He also talks about their interview with Dr. Stephen Porges about the polyvagal theory on the podcast last year and how that conversation influenced how they approach their practice members. Key Takeaways: What has happened since the new practice opened one year ago. [1:40] Moving into a new space and building it from scratch. [2:05] The reason why the episode with Dr. Porges changed the way they treat patients. [3:58] How learning about polyvagal theory influenced Dr. Don’s thoughts about physiology. [5:11] What brought Dr. Porges to create the polyvagal theory. [6:42] The brainstem function as a safety or danger detector. [9:08] What state your body must be in for optimal physiology to happen? [9:28] The benefits of creating sustained ease over a longer period of time. [10:47] What it’s been like doing more seminars as the world opens up. [11:50] Why all techniques are capable of being successful. [12:24] An upcoming beta-run seminar at the new practice. [13:40] What Dr. Don and Brandi have been doing over the past year. [14:48] The Informed Chiropractor group coaching program supports the business and personal development of chiropractors. [15:15] What to expect on the podcast as regular episodes begin again. [17:40]   For more info on the Vitality Shift, visit For more on the Informed Chiropractor program visit 
  • Chiropractic Marketing That Can’t Be Ignored with Mike Michalowicz
    Mike Michalowicz, a threepeat guest and incredible author, is here today. Mike joins us to discuss his new book “Get Different,” marketing that can’t be ignored, and boosting your clinic’s profile post-COVID. He takes us through the necessity of marketing in unique ways and why it is your responsibility as a service provider to market yourself. With the pandemic continuing to rage, many people are stuck in a fear state. As a chiropractor, you can help them – you just have to let them know you are there.   Key Takeaways: A brief overview of Mike’s previous books and new release. [0:48] How the Mastermind sessions help to bring about and refine Mike’s ideas. [1:35] Where the initial idea for book topics come from. [2:25] How Mike crowdsources ideas from the community. [2:45] Understanding that we are at the whim of the customers. [3:20] Why you have a responsibility to market. [4:40] Getting different with your marketing. [6:10] Differentiating your services from the white noise. [6:45] Why you don’t need to be complicated to be impactful. [9:10] Understanding your target community. [10:28] Examples of standout marketing from Mike’s career. [10.50] Creating online buzz for virtually no cost. [13:15] Experiment, measure, amplify, and repeat. [15:00] Why we are fear based and how to get around it. [15:15] Presenting yourself as a service and offering kindness. [16:50] The disadvantage advantage. [17:44] Exercises for creative thinking. [19:04] Why you should grow, but not grow up. [21:50] About the new book, Get Different. [23:00] Words of wisdom and inspiration. [24:20]   Get Different: For more information on the Vitality Shift program visit:

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