Ep 11 Joey Kramer: Have you ever felt hopeless? Dr. Joey Kramer is Restoring Hope

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Dr. Joey Kramer didn’t wake up one morning and decide to be a chiropractor.  He went on a discovery journey to find his passion. In this journey, he has used the difficult places in life to grow personally and to find a way to help and heal his patients.  A man with a generous heart, Joey serves those who have lost hope due to chronic pain and is restoring hope and health.

I started my business because . . . I saw an opportunity to make a tremendous impact on the health and well-being of the community. Also, I was done working for “the man.” For 5 years my entire career was at the hands of some HR department that I never worked with and made calls based upon company numbers. This was a change in which I knew exactly what was happening and why. 

The thing I enjoy most about my business is . . .  Watching people discover how powerful their body truly is in the healing process. The most rewarding experience is when someone finally has health and starts to live the life they were designed to live. 

The biggest surprise for me as a business owner is  . . .  Marketing, marketing and marketing – the very thing I despise – At medical school – they should be sued for this – they just tell you patients are going to come in and you are going to change their lives – the exact opposite couldn’t be more true. If I could go back and start over at undergrad, I would start with a degree in business prior to going to med school. 

One question people should ask me is . . . What is Upper Cervical Chiropractic? 

My motivation to connect with people and my community is . . .To leave our community off better than it is when I arrived. We deserved to be healthy and thrive in life free of drugs and surgery. 

My older self would coach my younger self to . . . Not make hasty decisions when the big things mattered. 

One thing I wish I knew when I was younger is . . . The impact credit card debt can really have on your life. 

Hear Joey Kramer share how experiences brought him to a place of hope that he brings to others.

 

Catherine Miller: Hello and welcome Dr. Joey Kramer. He is the owner, founder, and the doctor of Hope Chiropractic.

Dr. Joey Kramer: That is right.

Catherine Miller: Hope Chiropractic is located in Southlake, Texas.

Dr. Joey Kramer: That is me.

Restoring Hope

Catherine Miller: Joey has on his business card the title “Restorer.”  How did you come up with the title “Restorer”?

Dr. Joey Kramer: Oh man, that’s a really good one. I have this amazing marketing team that I work with. They’re based out of Little Rock, Arkansas and they’re called Rock City Digital. And the guy that I work with is named Daniel Grayling. And he has been with me for about a year now. I think he has read every blog I’ve ever written period.

Catherine Miller: Wow.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And when we started to rebrand our entire company, one thing he brought up to me, he goes, “Joey, I need you to change your card.” And I was like, “What do you mean by that?” He goes, “So, I just don’t want you to say you’re a chiropractor because that’s just stupid.” And I was like, OK. I get that point, right? Because you’re trying to actually convey a message to somebody that wants them to engage you, right? Because a business card is something right now that’s – it’s a form of commerce when you trade them with people.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And he says, “You know, we don’t want people to throw yours away. Yours is a commodity at this point.” So, when you can come up with something that’s attractive like let’s say “Restorer” why would you – what would somebody do at that point? They might ask you, “What do you do? What do you mean by restorer?” Right? Put that in one word.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And explain it, right? I mean so.

Catherine Miller: That’s right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: So that’s why we chose to do it because in our practice what we aim at is restoring hope, right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And so, that’s where we came up with that idea.

Catherine Miller: OK. So, I happen to know that you did not wake up one morning and when you were 10 or 11 years old and say, “Gee whiz! I want to be a chiropractor.”

Dr. Joey Kramer: Perfect. No. I did not.

The Journey

Catherine Miller: Right? You did not. So, can you take us on that journey in just a few minutes?

Dr. Joey Kramer: I’ll only give you a brief summary of what happened, but I was a three-sport athlete in high school. We did a football, wrestling and track. Freshman year of wrestling, I got injured and you know that was my first introduction into really health, right? We had a new coach that came in. I didn’t really have a good diet. He taught us how to eat. He taught us how to be physically fit.

Catherine Miller: Where was this?

Dr. Joey Kramer: A Jesuit high school in Dallas.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: His name was Frank Halloran. There’s a wrestling tournament there, it’s called the Frank Halloran Classic.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: He died in 2005 of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was really – he was a great man. He still has a great influence on the community to this day.

Catherine Miller: Oh, that’s cool. Wow!

Dr. Joey Kramer: But I remember I injured my back at one of the tournaments that we had. It was the Ranger Classic at the time and he sent me to a chiropractor. The first time I’ve heard – my parents and I, we’ve never expose to this at all, went and saw the guy. He did his thing. We call it, you know, witchcraft or whatever you will.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And I got back into wrestling. It’s totally fine and I never really engaged a chiropractor again till junior year of college. I was a discus hammer thrower for TCU. Discus, my junior year, we were throwing pretty hard in practice. I injured my back. I fell on the ground, lost a lot of feeling in my legs.

Catherine Miller: Oh wow.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And ended up going to a chiropractor for a couple weeks, got me back into the game. Which is really important because it’s – you know, there are a lot of things that a D1 school can throw at you, right? So, for me, TCU’s solution at the beginning was physical therapy and pain management. So, what do they do? They do Vicodin and PT, and I found myself addicted to pain killers four months or four weeks into the treatment.

Catherine Miller: Oh wow.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Right? Because you’re taking 1,000 milligrams of ibuprofen on a daily basis. As much as you needed, so we took it like candy.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Dr. Joey Kramer:  And I ended up, you know…

Catherine Miller: Because it would never happen to you at that age.

Dr. Joey Kramer: No, it would never happen at that age, right?

Catherine Miller: No.

Dr. Joey Kramer: No, you don’t need that stuff.

Catherine Miller: That’s right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And so, the chiropractor actually helped me get back on my feet, back in the ring, off the drugs. I was doing great. Then that’s just like the similar story, right? The wrestling, six years, seven years, saw another guy. But after this time, it was different. I think every six months I ended up going back to a chiropractor because I injured myself but never really gave up the competitive nature. I did CrossFit, so I was always, always pushing my body on to a different level. I always wanted to be the best shape I could be, the strongest athlete I could be, right? And so, I would hurt myself on about a six month basis.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Chiropractor and be done with it, right?

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Yeah. So, it was pretty fun. Graduate TCU, History Degree, what do you do with that? I went into rebar, I mean I don’t know if you guys know anything about that but it’s – it’s a foundational steel that’s used to create structure. So, I build highways.

Dr. Joey Kramer:  So, now, I worked in construction.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And I got married. But for that five-year period, what we found is that no matter how well we did financially, the job whatever happened with it, we weren’t really fulfilled. Like there was no – there was no like, this is it. Like, this is really – this is all we’ve arrived at. You know, we’ve done all these things with our lives.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: You know, I’m a person of faith so you always think about how you can you impact people in the community.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And well, from a direct standpoint, you know from a – from a health standpoint, a mental, a physical and spiritual aspect, and we didn’t have that in construction, right? I mean you know you’re closer to an F-bomb, followed by you know…

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Dr. Joey Kramer: …cursing out up and down the side of a highway, not really touching people’s lives, right? I know that you all hated us because we shut down 114 for five years.

Catherine Miller: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Yeah, it was a terrible experience.

Catherine Miller: That’s right. Yep.

The Discernment Process:  Time for Change

Dr. Joey Kramer: However, my wife and I went through what we call a discernment process. So, we, you know for a year, we would reflect on a weekly basis on where we felt called, right, what we felt called to do.

Catherine Miller: And you did this side by side.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Side by side. So, we had a piece of paper and then it was like, it would be like April 4th right, 2018, what is your feeling about X? Right? So, are you happy at your current job? We can just use like your current work for this one…

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: … for anybody who wants to do this. And you write down all your emotions you have surrounding it.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: If you write down the good things, the bad things and you track them over a period of a year to see if it’s actually a good fit.

Catherine Miller: Same question? Same question each week.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Same questions, yeah, you stay focused on it, right?

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Because you know I think we’re in a temporal society, right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: We think we can take the pill and then get rid of everything.

Catherine Miller: That’s right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: It doesn’t work, right? And so, what you have to really give yourself is there is a season right, the – you know, the life expectancy of your job is a season, right? You go through the fall, the spring, the summer, right? Those are all seasons of your life in your workplace, so you have to monitor yourself as you go through it, give yourself some time.

Catherine Miller: OK. So, you would ask one – you would pick one question.

Dr. Joey Kramer: We would pick – it was a focal point, right?

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: What are we called to do?

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Let’s just go with that one.

Catherine Miller: So, it was kind of broad.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Yeah, broad.

Catherine Miller: So, it would touch on several aspects.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Broad spectrum. Yeah, so then you’d check to evaluate what are your common themes that continually happen on a week by week basis, right?

Catherine Miller: OK, got you.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Service came up, health came up, we talked about opening a CrossFit gym, you know it never came to fruition, right? We picked out a spot and it’s funny because a CrossFit gym moved in there.

Catherine Miller: Oh OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: It was really funny because we knew that we are on the right track.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Dr. Joey Kramer: We just didn’t know where we were going to end up.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And so, finally one day…

Catherine Miller: So, in other words, you investigated these themes that you talked about each week.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure.

Catherine Miller: And, you also then, as you begin to see the themes that flowed, you would go out and actually check on these things. You didn’t just let them sit on paper, you would move into them to see what would happen.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure. You have to feel it, right? So, you have to know what that feels like and see if this is the next piece of it. Do you get apprehension? Or, do you have peace?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: If you have apprehension, you’re moving on the wrong path.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Right. So then now, if you find peace, you know you’re moving in the right direction.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: All right. So that’s a very complex thing because sometimes you can find peace one week and then you have apprehension the next.

Catherine Miller: So…

Dr. Joey Kramer: So, how do you know you’re moving in the right direction?

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Dr. Joey Kramer: So, if you continually have the peace that’s followed with you then you’re actually moving in the right direction.

Catherine Miller: You know you could take that to odd – odd ways, right?

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure.

Catherine Miller: You could say I’m happy with you this week so I’m at peace, so we’ll stick together.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Oh yeah.

Catherine Miller: But next week I’m at apprehension with you so it’s like bye-bye, right?

Dr. Joey Kramer: Oh sure. Oh sure. Yeah, but which one is more overarching, right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Majority of the time.

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And so, one of our friends came into us and said, “Have you thought about being in the medical field?”  And so, my wife just said, just trust. And so, we went to the – we added on the process. We put three medical fields out there to evaluate. We put MD, DC or PT. So, it’s a Medical Doctor, a Chiropractor or Physical Therapist. And the overarching thing that won was chiropractic. And so, we ended up going down that route.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: That’s what we did.

Catherine Miller: And so, from there you – you’ve touched a lot of lives, right? You found your specialty.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure. Definitely.

Catherine Miller: You found the best way to treat people through chiropractic medicine.

A Strong Diversion: Treating Neurological Trauma

Dr. Joey Kramer: I think what I believe it would be the best way to do it, I would say – I would say that it’s a fair statement that I think the general public is unaware that there are multiple disciplines within chiropractic.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: With chiropractic, my specialty, or what I focus on is neurological trauma to a patient, right? And it’s focused on impact sports. And so, I look at it from the concussive standpoint.

Catherine Miller: Right. And I know you also work with vets.

Dr. Joey Kramer: We do work with vets also. Yes. Yeah.

Catherine Miller: Right. I know that’s a place that’s near and dear to your heart.

Dr. Joey Kramer: It is.

Catherine Miller: So, would you talk a little bit about how you got into that and then how you treat them?

Dr. Joey Kramer: I will, I think there’s a few articles I gave you. One of them that talks about it, it discusses that post-concussion syndrome, PTSD and a cervicogenic lesion, which would be a neck injury, all manifest the same way. They all have the same symptoms. And it’s very interesting even more if you read it. If they run a brain scan on those patients, your brain is totally normal. There are no changes in it, whatsoever from the anatomical structural standpoint. However, the physiology is what’s manifesting these symptoms that we see. And so, sometimes the hypothesis now is that, is a concussion or PTSD really a neck issue manifesting itself as a brain problem?

Dr. Joey Kramer: And so, it’s very, very fascinating. Veteran wise, I fell in love with what these guys did, what their sacrifice was. And what we’re learning now is that these traumatic experiences, one of the other articles in there is about combat vets, and what happens to their brain following being exposed to a blast, a bomb going off or something along those lines.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And how it impacts their health. So, for me, what happened was, in chiropractic school, we asked lots of questions because there are a lot of grey answers that happen in any medical field, right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Why do we have this? Why do we do that? What do we do here? What about this? And the focus of a lot of chiropractic is on neck pain and back pain, right? And I don’t know about you but that’s stupidly boring like that is not fun. Right, you come in and you complain about back pain, it sucks. Back pain is not fun. It’s just not – it’s not a – in the limelight, exciting thing to be a part of. And so, I wanted to learn more. I wanted to get beyond this idea of only being on back pain and neck pain.

Catherine Miller: OK. So that has to beg the question when you’re evaluating the three different areas to go into.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure.

Catherine Miller: To me, I think about chiropractic as neck and back work…

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure.

Catherine Miller: …largely.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure.

Catherine Miller: So why did you pick that if that sounded boring to you?

Dr. Joey Kramer: I wanted to work with athletes.

Catherine Miller: Oh, OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: At that time, right? So, I was an athlete, right? That’s how – you know that was, you know I think we all change.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: But I had the idea that I was going to go on and be what we would call a mixer.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And the mixer would be a chiro-physiotherapist or it’d be somebody who thinks he’s a physical therapist underneath a chiropractic license.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: You should see him all around the city there. You’ll run into him right, they mix in all types of treatments and right, you become a jack-of-all-trades, master of none.

Catherine Miller: OK. That’s where you thought you were heading.

Dr. Joey Kramer: That’s where I thought it was heading, right?

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And I had this strong diversion in school that moved me straight away from that path because I learned the true value of what chiropractic was. And it was really focused on neurological integrity to allow you to become the best version of yourself possible. And it was really – it blew my mind away because there is this history text because I’m a history major.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Right. So now, you go back, and you read the history of chiropractic and what you find is we started in 1895. We’re with doctors of osteopathy, we went side by side. And as they moved along we just – we continually created tools to help us be more specific in the type of care we provide. And it’s really, really interesting because we – there’s this book. It is called the Book of Moves, M – O – V – E – S. and it was all about how to adjust a patient. And the doctor who wrote it said, “These are all wrong.” He said, “These are all not the right way to do it.” And it’s funny because this is how chiropractors adjust today. And this is in 1915 – 1917, and the doctor had led to the conclusion that all of these adjustments that were delivered were not creating long-term health in the patient. They’re more of a temporary fix. It’s a band-aid that’s slapped on and then you continually to go see a chiropractor . . . for the rest your life because that’s what they do. They crack you three ways till Sunday.

Catherine Miller: That’s right.

Hope Does Exist: Treating Traditional Illnesses Non-traditionally

Dr. Joey Kramer: And his point was that there needs to be a more specificity. And so, he wrote a book on it. And so, it’s called The Specific, right? It’s on that standpoint.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And in it he discusses how the upper neck, the complex is called your upper cervical complex. It’s a – it’s a very highly rich sensory environment. It’s the only place that you need to be adjusted in your life. And the most important thing is you have to know when and when not. And so, this guy would go around toting this and he would bring in the sickest people in the entire world. Charles Mayo sent his wife there, the guy who founded the Mayo Clinic…

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: …because he couldn’t help her, and this guy could. And so, what he would do is he bring in these people with Parkinson’s, with MS, people with depression, with anxiety, with all these traumas that they’ve experienced in life that were not responding to traditional medicine, and he would get them well. And that is what connected me into this.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: That’s what fascinated me with a chiropractor.

Catherine Miller: So that was the foundation.

Dr. Joey Kramer: That was the point where I said everything that I’m learning in school just gives me a license. I need to learn how to do his work.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Because that work is what’s going to help me give a message to people that hope does exist.

Catherine Miller: So, from knowing that, how did you get to the place where you are doing that?

Dr. Joey Kramer: Perfect. So, our doctors don’t exist very much in Texas. In fact, I think there are five that you can actually say that do this type of work.

Catherine Miller: Are they all in the Dallas-Fort Worth area?

Dr. Joey Kramer: There are four or five in Dallas- Fort Worth. I think Houston is absolutely empty. There’s one guy in Austin.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And then that’s it. They’re primarily on the southeast coast so there’s a big school in Atlanta that teaches it. It’s called Life University.

Dr. Joey Kramer: It’s up in Marietta, Georgia. There’s another school in South Carolina, a lot in the Midwest, and a lot of the West Coast. And so, we saw the vacancy of this and thought we need bring it to Dallas.

Catherine Miller: And so, describe – and then, so tie that in, now go back to and tie that into how you’ve used that with veterans.

Supporting Veterans and Ending Chronic Pain

Dr. Joey Kramer: Perfect. So, you ask me originally the question that sparked this whole side story was, you know, you went into a school with backs and necks, you think chiropractic, right? And I thought the same thing until I heard this, and I was like, I want that. I want to go see these people that are suffering that are just – they don’t – they lack hope, right? You know what they look like. You’ve seen them. My migraine patients are this way. They come in. It’s the darkest day in the world for them. They go to the ER; the ER can’t help them. Their head is killing them. They deal with this for weeks on end, and you’re trying to find a solution for them. And so, for me, that became really, really attractive. It became something I was like, OK, how can I help sick people get well?  That’s what it came down, right?

Catherine Miller: Right. And…

Dr. Joey Kramer: And so, this is what happens. And so, you get into it and we start to research everything that is happening to concussions to veterans. That’s what I did. All right, that’s all I wanted to know was OK, what does a veteran suffer from when they come back? Well, they have irritability, they have insomnia, they have headaches, migraines. They have these mood swings that are drastic. They have – they go through all types of issues, right? Some popular movements are the Wounded Warrior Project, you hear about them.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: You hear about 22-Kill right, 22 push-ups a day for 22 days to promote awareness for veterans’ suicide, right? They’re saying the suicide rate is at 22 a day. I think it’s less than that now. I think it’s down to 10. But what they’re trying to do is promote awareness that our veteran community is suffering.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And so, I got into it because I want to learn what’s going on with the brain. Like, that’s my biggest point, but more importantly, what’s going on with the neck because the neck is what drives the information into the brain. Like I just said before, right, all these articles that’s coming out talking about how brain health is a direct correlation of the ability of your C1, C2 complex to properly function. Right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer:  And so, for our veterans, I spent 15 weeks then at the VA and I got to learn a lot about what they go through. I think they have TRICARE coverage and they try to help me right?

Dr. Joey Kramer: Because it really doesn’t cover anything. It’s all…

Catherine Miller: I’ve heard one wife of a vet say, “it’s try to get care.”

Dr. Joey Kramer: Try to get care, I think it really is. And I remember it being just sad when I was at the VA because you will have a patient come in and do an exam on them and they couldn’t get care for another six months, right?

Catherine Miller: Yeah. It’s not right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: It’s not right, right? Or, they can go outside and seek outside care. I think the VA has done a better job at trying to get this expanded to help take care of the vets.

Catherine Miller: Because that was several years ago.

Dr. Joey Kramer: It was several years ago, it was you know back in 2014 – 2015, so I think maybe things have changed, hopefully, they have.

Catherine Miller: Hopefully. Yes.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Yes, but in that process, you would see guys that dealt with the craziest things ever. Vietnam Green Berets that have Agent Orange exposure; you have guys that have been hit by RPGs; you have guys that have been hit in roadside bombings – that have been in these vehicles that they get jarred, they smack their head and then they lose who they are, right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: These wives, these kids send their dad off to war and dad comes home and he’s no longer dad.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And that for me was where it broke the line. That’s where I was thinking, there’s got to be a way to help him, to help this happen, right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Right. And so, that’s where I’ve been working to get into the veteran community to help them out, to let them know that a solution does exist.

Catherine Miller: Right. So, tell me your best veteran example, of a veteran that came that you helped.

Dr. Joey Kramer: I have a vet right now. He is a – he dealt with stomach issues for 30 years. He has had a lot of constipation. That’s what he deals with, right? Now true, he wasn’t a combat veteran, he was more in the security side, more the intellectual property type of stuff. And you know, now, he goes three times a day, right it’s great. I mean that’s you know, that’s his issue. From the PTSD standpoint, I haven’t really worked with a veteran with it yet. This is something that I’m really interested in doing. So…

Dr. Joey Kramer: There’s a great center – I think there’s a lot of people that know about it, if you’re in a veteran community, it’s called Cerebrum Health. They’re over in Dallas and they’re a chiropractic neurologist is what they call themselves which I think is a joke because all chiropractors do neurology, that’s just what we do period. All right, we’re not bone doctors. We’re more concerned about what’s going on with the nerves than we are concerned with the bone is doing.

And so, they do great work with veterans, but they don’t do chiropractic. Does that make sense? So, they stimulate your nervous system using lights for your eyes. They use lasers. They use chairs that spin certain ways. They make you do certain types of movements that try to engage your brain. Similar to a physical therapist or an occupational therapist would for a stroke patient. You do the same type of movements that overlays it, right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And so, the one point I bring up to them that I’ve tried to reach out to them is that you need to address the upper cervical complex. It needs to be done. And it’s not in this day and age. And it’s really unfortunate for our veterans at that point.

Restoring Hope:  Hope Chiropractic

Catherine Miller: You mentioned how – in your stories when you’re talking about veterans and about the work that you chose to do. And so, clearly, that’s a thing for you because you’ve named it Hope Chiropractic. So, can you tell me where that name comes from?

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure. Prior to Hope Chiropractic, I was part of a chiropractic franchise. It was called The Specific. And they do this type of work that I do. It’s called upper cervical care. And when they offered the franchise, it provided an opportunity for my wife and I to pause. It was a pause in our life to where we could really reflect on what we are trying to achieve, where we’re trying to go.

It just so happens, that at the same time as this, I was reading a book, it was called Perfectly Yourself it’s by Matthew Kelly. He runs a company called Dynamic Catholic. I mean if you’re a person of faith, cool, if you’re not, cool. It’s just like an overall good book about human beings about who you are and what you’re called to be. And at one point in the book, he asks you, who are you? Right? And what I found was that I was a conglomeration of a few people and I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t really speaking to my vision or speaking to what I believed in. I was more speaking to what their vision was. So, I came to a point where I finally – I call it freedom, but I broke away because I was like I needed to find me.  Because you know I pride myself on being a father, having daughters. I needed to be a dad more than I need to be business, right?

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: That’s where it came down to.  That my family comes first in all things and my words, my actions were not just following my words.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And so that’s what happened from that. So… In the book, there’s this beautiful, beautiful about – it’s about 50 pages and it talks – hope is the overarching theme. And he says there’s a point to where a guy says we need to teach the world to hope again. And I remember I sat down and that day, so like I said earlier in the podcast, I’m a person of faith, take it for what you will. I asked God, who I believe in, I said, “So, who do you say that I am?” And over a course of a couple days I would reflect in my journal and it finally came to me, he said, “I am hope.” And what was powerful about that was that that’s exactly what we aim to do. When people come to us and they say “I’ve dealt with this for 20 years. There’s no way you can help me.” I say, “Yes, we can. And I know how we can do it. And I’m going to teach you to hope again because it’s something that we can achieve.”

The First Story of Restored Hope

Catherine Miller: Cool. So, what’s your best hope story? They come in. They’re defeated. What’s your favorite story to share about what your work can do to restore hope?

Dr. Joey Kramer: OK. So, I have a friend of mine. He has been a very, very good friend for probably about 15 years. And, I remember I gave him a phone call, this is in like 2013, and he’s talking to me and he goes, “I got problem.” He knows I’m in chiropractic school and he’s asking me these questions. He goes, “I can’t hold on to a fork with my right hand.” I ask, “What do you mean?” He says, “I grab a fork and my hand just slides down. I can’t stick my hand in my pocket to grab my keys. I can’t do anything with my right hand.” And I go, “That’s terrible.”  And he says, “That’s why I’m calling you.” Right?

Catherine Miller: Yeah.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And, I go, “So what have you done?” And he goes, “Well, I went to the chiropractor and nothing worked.” And I was like, “OK, I’m sorry to hear that.” And he goes, “I went in and I got injections in my neck.” Right? He went through and they shot up his muscles, they did all this stuff. They did a lot of things to him. He went to all these big-name places to try to get it done and he goes, “Nothing is working.” And he goes, “I’m going to go to a surgical consult.” And he said, “But I don’t want to do that.” And I go, “I can help you.” That’s what I did.

Catherine Miller: And you were in school.

Dr. Joey Kramer: I was in school. And I had just started this work, right?

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: He was my very first person to actually adjust.

Catherine Miller: Oh, OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: So he came in. We got x-rays on him. We started him on care, right. He started and see me, and if you engage us in any way, we see you quite a few times in the very beginning, because we’re working to re-establish neurological balance. And so, it’s like four weeks and he’s like nothing is happening, right? And in week six, he comes in and he goes, “I want to show you something.” And I was like, “What’s that?” And he pulls a fork out. And he holds it, and he has no problems doing it.

Catherine Miller: Oh cool.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And I was just like, “No way.” And he goes, “This is awesome.” And so, from that, over the next few months, as he keeps on going through this care, we had periodic check-ups. He was on my website. I had to take him down because he’s underneath The Specific.

Catherine Miller: Oh OK. That’s a great story.

Dr. Joey Kramer: His name is Chris and I asked him, I go, “So, what was your biggest benefit with care?” And he goes, “It’s really funny because I thought you know…” He goes, “I thought I was going to tell you it was my fork that I could actually hold on to it now and use my hand.” And he goes, “Then I thought I was going to tell you that it was my headaches.” He goes, “because they all went away. I don’t get sinus headaches anymore. I have no more sinuses. And then I was going to say, my insomnia.” And I was like, so those three things, I didn’t – two of them I didn’t know about. I only knew about his hand.

Catherine Miller: OK.

Dr. Joey Kramer: And he goes, “All these are gone.” And he’s a mid to late 40’s guy, and he goes, “I started to have erectile dysfunction.” And I was like, “No way.” And he goes, “Yeah, and that’s all gone now.” Because a simple neck problem caused all these issues. And in my brain, what I’m thinking of is, one, the hand is his profession because he’s a contractor. He works in construction. Great. The insomnia. He needs to sleep so he can be a better provider for his family. But the ED is a difference in a relationship, right? That’s where – that blew me away. Because I was like, OK, if 60% divorce rate, a lot of it is related around that area and that it can almost save a marriage which is just fascinating to me. So that was – that’s what he’ll tell you to this day, those are his four biggest benefits, the biggest one being the last one that he said.

Catherine Miller: Cool.

Dr. Joey Kramer: He’s still a patient – I mean it is amazing. He loves it. He’s a great guy.

Catherine Miller: Very cool. So, I have to tell you, for me, chiropractic medicine is kind of out there.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure.

Catherine Miller: And it’s not something I’ve grown up around. My mother was a registered nurse, you know so…

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure.

Catherine Miller: It’s just kind of out there. But I’m fascinated by it. If I were to go to a chiropractor, what are the gold standards that anyone should look for?  To be able to choose and say, “OK, this one. I’m going to go to this chiropractor.”

Dr. Joey Kramer: You know, I always like to ask this one. So, how do you – how do you pick your health care provider?

Catherine Miller: I usually ask around.

Dr. Joey Kramer: You ask around. Yeah, that’s usually how you do it. And do you – once you go in to see him, how do you assess whether you’re in a good place or whether you’re not? What do you take into consideration?

Catherine Miller: Oh, probably the office environment, but more importantly is the doctor, her or him, you know.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Yeah. Sure. Do their credentials matter?

Catherine Miller: Absolutely.

Dr. Joey Kramer: They do? So, it’s like do you care about like if it has like nine things after their names? Does that matter to you or is it just more the doctor?

Catherine Miller: One, I look and see – no, I look and see a lot times if they have their certificate up and where they went to school. And I’ve had some health issues in the past. I have learned very much that there are good doctors and not so good doctors.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure.

Catherine Miller: That they’re not all equal.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Sure.

Catherine Miller: And then too, you have health issues you know beyond the strep throat. I think you just lump them all in as I’m going to go see the doctor and it’s all going to be fine.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Perfect. I think that’s really a good point there that you made. That’s a very, very, very clear distinction is that you are your most vulnerable point in your life. And you’re going to go ask somebody for help and you have to trust that person.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Right. So, my gold standards are first, you have to like that person, you have to trust them. You have to make sure that you’re going to be a good fit. So, I always encourage you to try to get a consultation first even before you try to go in and signup for any services with that person regardless of what health profession they’re in. Meet the massage therapist, meet the doctor. If you go to a neurologist, meet them, talk to them, learn about them, so you can make sure that you’re prepared to work with their type of personality. Right, because some doctors can just be standoffish to begin with, right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Very hard to engage. In my profession, it can be very, very convoluted. I think there’s a way to do, you know, do they take x-rays? Do they not take x-rays? Do they measure you or do they not? Some people, you know, they try to talk to you about like the stages of degeneration. They go through all these tricky sales things to try to get you to buy into their care. And I – and I am very sad for our public for engaging chiropractic in that standpoint.

So, for me, when I evaluate a chiropractor, I look at him from a few ways. Number one is, are they trustworthy? Right?  Do they even exist? Do you go and see them? Have you met them? Are they a good person that you can actually meet and trust with regards to that? Number two, are they clear about what their objectives are? Right? So, do they partner with you or did they tell you how it’s going to go? Because what I’ve found is that actually, if we don’t have a goal we are working towards together, the likelihood of you ever committing the care is very, very little. Right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer:  The goal – it has to be a goal that you want to achieve, right? Otherwise, I can’t really help you.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: So, I think that’s the second important thing is, do they help you achieve a specific goal? Or do you go to them perpetually for the rest of your life? That doesn’t make sense. Or, that doesn’t work in my brain. I’m an athlete, right? We always aim for goals.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Right, that’s how that always works. Number three for me is do they take x-rays? And in my world, you have to take an x-ray. An x-ray is a gold standard. It shows you bone health from an objective perspective and it’s not a guess, right? When I’m dealing with your neurology, when I’m dealing with bone structure that is housing your spinal cord, I need to know what it’s doing. You have to look at it, right? You can’t just guess and crack somebody.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: It doesn’t make sense. That has never made sense in my book. And number four on that list is are you being evaluated every single time you go in and making sure that you are actually making progress because you do not need to be adjusted every single visit you go to a chiropractor. And I say that because it’s like a dentist. If I went into my dentist and I had a cavity every single time, I’d probably find a new dentist right.

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Right? If I went to my chiropractor and I’m adjusted on a weekly basis, a monthly basis, I’d be very, very concerned that they’re not doing their due diligence.

Catherine Miller: You really work with the body and the heart and the mind.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Body, heart, mind. I work with the mind a lot. People oftentimes the biggest complaint I hear about doctors is they spend five minutes with you and then you’re out of the room, right?

Catherine Miller: Right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: We are expensive for care but in that, you’re getting – you’re getting care, right? That’s what care is. Care is a whole person. It’s a total concept. It is a construct of how are we to become the best version of our self, right? So, I take the tools that I learned, and I transmit them to my patients to help them become better versions of their own self.

Catherine Miller: Cool. love it. I’d think your name is perfectly assigned to your business. And I think…

Dr. Joey Kramer: Thank you.

Catherine Miller: …the name Hope is perfect.

Catherine Miller: So, thank you…

Dr. Joey Kramer: Thank you.

Catherine Miller: …for taking time to come today to talk to us at LIFT Speaks to share your story and to give hope. And so, for those who are out there, you can find Joey at Hope Chiropractic or HopeSouthlake.com, right?

Dr. Joey Kramer: HopeSouthake.com

Catherine Miller: And he’ll be happy – I guess the first visit with you is a free consultation.

Dr. Joey Kramer: It’s always complementary just like I said. Remember the first rule or the gold standard of any doctor.

Catherine Miller: That’s right.

Dr. Joey Kramer: You got to meet them.  You have to talk to him.

Catherine Miller: So, if you’re in the area and you’re hurting or suffering then go see Joey.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Yeah. There we go.

Catherine Miller: Thank you so much.

Dr. Joey Kramer: Thank you.

Catherine Miller: Thanks for joining us. Stay tuned for more interviews with amazing people who are impacting the world. Or better yet, come on by, I’d love to introduce you to them. I’ll have the coffee hot, and I’ll be happy to take you on a tour.  Hope to see you soon.

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