Noah: Thank you Dr. Ariel Provasoli for being here today.
Dr. Ariel: Thanks for having me.
Noah: My pleasure and this interview is about surviving chiropractic school, but you mentioned that you just got back from a service trip and I wonder if you could talk about the service trip that you went on. What happened? What were the big insights that you had?
Dr. Ariel: So I have been traveling to Jamaica for the last four years. For the last three years I've been co- facilitating a self-care and service retreat with Dr. Tracy.
She's from globalivity and she has practiced all over the world. She had a vision to create a chiropractic service retreat that also integrated self-care into the retreat and so I went. I graduated from school at life West in June of 2013 and I went as a new graduate and I ended up falling in love with Jamaica and Tracy.
We were like long-lost sisters and we stayed in touch and she invited everyone anyone who has been on the trip to come, serve again and I've been going each summer and it's just been an incredible experience.
This one was amazing because she just had a baby and so we had four-month old with us on the trip and it was a smaller group. There were three students from Life in Atlanta and they were all incredible students.
It's a magical trip! I keep going back because every time I go, it's an opportunity for me to reconnect with myself. I came back the first year. My heart was so open and I was finally in a place where I was able to practice what I learned outside of school as a practitioner and a healer and not think about the money.
Noah: I want to dive more into the self-care aspect because I feel like it's so hard to find self-care rituals as a student.
Dr. Ariel: This service trip really helped with that. I was really clear that I needed some separation from school and the rest of my life. I needed to be closer to my community in San Francisco and Berkeley. It was really important for me to have access to nature. I would study around Lake Merritt.
Another element of self-care is I come from a history of chiropractic. My dad's a chiropractor and I worked in a massage therapy practice. Right after my undergrad years I had some form of self-care bodywork.
When I was in school and a student I felt really isolated from the community I would have probably benefited from getting more body work. I've been just introduced to so many different modalities that have helped with my own growth and healing.
Noah: Thank you for mentioning the importance of all those different modalities. We can get stuck to an idea that chiropractic is the only thing out there. Can you talk more about your feeling of isolation when you first got out into practice?
Dr. Ariel: I wouldn't say I felt isolated when I first got into practice. I had kind of a unique experience when I first got out. I went to my Dad's in Olympia, Washington and he's selling his practice who is selling is practice. I worked in his practice and I had the opportunity to learn a lot more about what he does and how his practice was run and I came back and I had no clue what I was doing. I was high off of this Jamaica service trip and relaxed from spending time with my family and friends in the Northwest and just absorbing nature. I spent the whole month of July lying in the backyard reading books and just hanging out. So when I came back to the bay area I had no idea what I was going to do and I ended up reaching out to as many people as I could.
I think that Dr. Elizabeth Welch had reopened her practice and I was intrigued by that because she'd been one of my mentors in school and she was in a new space and I took her to lunch and just asked her what her situation was and she was not really looking for anyone to necessarily share her office with but she was super open to it and she made it possible for me to move in to create my own practice share space with her.
So I sublease space from her right now and build my practice and it was a really there was a little bit of isolation in that but I also had a lot of friends that I'd graduated with in my tiny little class of 13 people who we stayed really well connected and we were able to have a conversation. What are you doing for this? What are you doing for that and just and just really help each other to learn about what the steps that needed to happen because I feel like every single person has to recreate this wheel of like okay you have to take the test to get your license. Then you get your license. Then all of these steps and they tell you how to do that in school but then when you're out it's like I'm in the real world. What do I have to do? Nobody's holding my hand.
So just do it. Getting through all of that stuff and then the process of opening a practice and I did it with very little money. So I want that's something I really want to share. I opened the practice there's a little bit of feedback. That fine.
I opened a practice with three thousand dollars and give and I'm renting you. I’m subleasing space from someone. So I don't have all my own equipment. At possible to start anything and that's like something that's really important for me to share. You don't have to have a ton of money. If you have the right space in the right situation.
I feel like the universe rolled out a red carpet for me and I was just kind able to do it. She wants some attention so that was really has been really practical. I think the other component of that thought is that I am in practice alone and I see Elizabeth a couple times a week and we talked and I get to bounce ideas off her and but I have had to really maintain. My network of chiropractic friends just so that I can feel supported because I am alone in the office last July.
I hired an assistant and she's only in the office. One day a week. But it's been really incredible to have somebody who's come in and just done all of the things that I have basically stopped doing for my business. It's grown just you get things that I've just let fall to the wayside a little bit and it's just nice to have someone else and participate in a way that I'm not necessarily participating that's great. That you've been able to create a community even though it sounds like its remote. It sounds like it's other students you were in school with. You're able to bounce ideas off who are kind of in a similar situation that you are and that you've been able maintain that community because I feel like that is one of the biggest blessings of chiropractic school.
We're in a community of like-minded people and then when we graduate. We may or may not have that community still available to us and that's so powerful that you've been able to maintain that sense of community. It is so important and perhaps slightly undervalued. We're really fortunate to have social media because it's a great way to stay connected. I also think that you have to continue to maintain those friendships and those relationships from school and mentorships. I think it's really important to stay in touch with doctors who've been in practice longer than us and having and having someone that you're able to ask question. I have my dad and I have Elizabeth. I have other chiropractors in the BG community because that's the style kind of some of the foundation of the work. That I do but it's just it's important to have a Community. Whether it's the chiropractor's that you visited in school. Whether it's here in the Bay Area or someplace else where you're looking to open a practice but just creating those positive relationships. The other thing that I've experienced being out of school is that pretty much all chiropractors are really open to sharing information. I haven't come and maybe that's the circle that I run in but there's I don't feel like there's. I'm learning new technique stuff all the time. I'm learning new ways of running my front desk.
I just changed my paperwork a couple months ago and that was because i was inspired by another. Chiropractor that shared her work with me. So it's there a lot of opportunity and it's really important to I just maintain those relationships. I'm so glad you said that because I feel like one of the things that I love or that I'm really attracted to. I feel like being able to ask really good questions. It's just one of the most versatile and helpful skills in the entire world and so I feel like if you're able to ask really good questions then you open yourself up to more of those mentorship opportunities or open yourself up know getting the knowledge and wisdom that you need to help move things forward when they may be stuck and that a skill that you've always had just being kind of curious and humble and able to ask good questions or that develop. While you're in school or later on I just want to point out that analogy you just well it wasn't us it was a little bit of an analogy that you just gave was exactly was a really good approach to just chiropractic in general right so we asked questions and we trust our intuition and that's where we get some of our answers as healers so I just wanted to point that out because I was really beautifully stated I think that I definitely learned to ask questions in school. I probably learned to ask questions a lot a long time ago just because of the way I was raised and who I was raised with and being a chiropractic kid that's probably what influenced me more and then getting into chiropractic as a profession. As a student and then a profession is something that definitely we're rebels and we are not accepted in the mainstream and I freaking love that and I love spreading the message that healing comes from within there are so many people in the world that are open to that are needing to hear that the information is so much more accessible in this day and age.
It's really important that we communicated in a way that's open and accepting and not marginalizing people based on what they know or they don't know so that as practitioners we have to continue to ask questions as well our own personal questions for our own lives as well as what we're doing is doctors and how we're relating to the people that were serving awesome and I'm so glad you brought that up about being a rebel because I feel like the reason I came to chiropractic school is because I want to be part of a healthcare revolution. We've been going down the same road over and over and people are just getting sicker and sicker and so it was just really important to me to put my energy in and engage in a way that helps create this revolution so to speak and so I’m just wondering from you like who are the innovators who are the people have really shaped your thinking process and you feel like are constantly kind of pushing the edge and constantly kind of pushing chiropractic to the forefront of Medicine. I'm not gonna I'm not going to dissect that people who I feel like there's such a broad spectrum right. I look at the people that I studied with while i was in school are no J chimeric Elizabeth Welch sue brown Donnie Epstein and all of that network world Eric Reuben so a lot of more almost more esoteric relationship to what's happening in people health and how their how they're providing that cert the service that we provide and my dad's been really influential in my own the way that I work with people really the way that I it's like I have this broad spectrum of tools that I can use and it's and I can pick and choose what I want to use with each person and my dad is on like this way opposite end of he's a little bit more mechanistic and he fits into like chiropractic medicine that term and I have a kind of a hard time with that term because I want to be like helping people heal but he has been working with people for 37 years from this other model and he's super successful and he is really highly respected and so I look at him a lot and when I can't figure something out I go to him a lot because he just has a wealth of information.
Is really he's able to merge help me merge what it is that I'm doing along with what it is that he's doing that's more pain management type of work so I'm really glad that you mentioned that because that's something that I've said and I've experienced is it's not what you do it's who you are like the practitioners that I've gone to have done chiropractic. I've gone to them because they're authentic and their individual expression of chiropractic is just right for me at that period of time in my life so that's so powerful that you're able to kind of notice that everybody has something to share everybody has something to teach and they're able to offer that in that a unique way and a student also i just want to add it's so important to just explore as much as you can and hear that over and over again. Looking back there were things that I was interested in as a student and I never really explored them because I just don't have the bandwidth and if I had just take part of a day and gone to someone's office that did something that I wasn't in there never interested in doing but just would like to have it as a resource and an understanding and being under care I was towards the end of school I was under a care because I just wanted to experience what upper cervical was like. I had never studied it directly other than what we learn in school a little teeny bit and it was something that I was more interested in learning so I feel like those are kind of like stepping out of the box stepping out of your box and stepping out of maybe like the people that you hang out with in school not to say like hang out with people you don't want to hang out with in school but by me no means do that they're not do that but maybe checking out those doctors checking out those chiropractors what it? What does it that's what is their message how you can integrate that into what you want to do or think you want to do completely.
I feel like stepping out of your box is the perfect way to facilitate growth right we grow a lot through putting ourselves in may be uncomfortable situations.
We wouldn't normally put ourselves in and so it seems like that's such a great ways to like expose yourself to as many experiences as possible because then you build the ability to work with a lot of different patients work with a lot of different people because you've exposed yourself to so much awesome so we're out of time and I want to honor your time I just wanted to kind of finish if there's any last thing that you were kind of thinking about when we set this up of something you really wanted to share in terms of helping students and then just also like in terms of the mindset of chiropractic or the mindset that you've utilized in order to reach the level of success that you've reached up to this point. If you are not doing affirmations do them and if you can't think of any take someone else's and make them your own and I think something that's like really pressing ought for me.
Now is some of the things that's going on in the country around race and where we're moving politically and chiropractic has a lot to offer communities of color and students it's also really important to like we talked about the bubble it's really important to educate yourself about communities of color if you are not a person of color so that you can learn how to support to them because they are going to be coming into your practice and if you're not sensitive to some of the issues that are going on it might not benefit the person on the table and it might not benefit you as a human being and it might not benefit your practice. It's really important that we learn how to work with all types of bodies and all types of things that are happening in people's lives I'm kind of in the process of figuring out I do some volunteer work in Oakland and so I'm trying to figure out a process and I'm also dealing with an injury and so I'm trying to figure out like how can I offer my services in a way to the community here that's not going to hurt me more that I so that i can.
I can just give and be active because I have a lot I feel like I have a lot of energy right now to give to these communities that are suffering in their hearts and stuff and chiropractic has the ability to provide a lot of healing helping people to connect to their bodies a little bit deeper so that they can go out and serve their communities is really important to me that's kind of one of my big my big purposes so just wanted to share that too yes that was such a great way to end it. I mean that is the heart of it all I think that's why so many students come to chiropractic school is because they want to serve more they want to give more they want to make a bigger impact and especially in the climate that we find ourselves in right now in the United States and across the world there are so many groups of people who are underrepresented underserved and there's so much that we can do and so thank you for reminding me and everybody who watches this power that we have in our in our hands and come serve in Jamaica next summer because their motto is out of one or we are many out of one something like that and there's this feeling of one love and its really it's ingrained in the people there and so it's a great opportunity to come serve those people so be happy to share more information about it if people have done how do people get in touch with you. Is there are you on face book what's the best way I'm on face book my practice is flow chiropractic and family will and I'm website is Berkeley flow calm so people can find me there and I also am in a group called the mind-body bump fullness group we're on face book as well and it's multiple practitioners we co-host different events in the east bay family-focused events my practices predominantly perinatal and pediatrics. I'm not react awesome well that's perfect then and I’ll put all this in the in the notes and everything so people can just link to that and get in touch with you and leverage all the knowledge that you have thank you so much for sharing today definitely.
Writing with originality, generosity, compassion and purpose, Dr. Noah Volz imparts valuable lessons in an entertaining, engaging and snappy way―backed by a wealth of experience. As an author, chiropractor, and entrepreneur, he has started and run multiple companies and has been the host of the DC2Be Revolution YouTube channel and podcast.