Bizymoms Exclusive Interview with Nicolas Campos
1. What inspired you to become a Chiropractor?
I have been a chiropractic patient for most of my life. My mother started seeing a chiropractor for a neck injury that was causing severe nerve pain down her arm. The results were so effective and so immediate that she became a chiropractic client for life—that meant that my siblings and I became chiropractic patients for life, too. As far as I knew it was just something people did to stay healthy—much like visiting the dentist. When I was in my late teens, I fell off the top bunk of a bunk bed while sleeping; so essentially I had a six foot drop—deadweight—onto my head. I woke up on the floor with excruciating neck pain, something I had never felt before. For some strange loss of good sense, I went to see a medical doctor who simply gave me pain medication (which worked slightly, but only temporarily). I essentially lived with the pain, and incidentally, a loss of range of motion of my neck—I couldn’t turn it very far without it locking up and causing pain. My mother and I were living in different cities at the time, and about two years later, while visiting her, she noticed that I couldn’t move my neck properly. She asked me what had happened, and when I told her, she asked if I had been to see the chiropractor. It dawned on me then; so I went to see her chiropractor and, miraculously, with one adjustment, the pain was gone and I was able to move my neck again—one adjustment. I never forgot to go to the chiropractor again; and that is what initially inspired me to become a chiropractor.
2. Can you brief us on the history of Chiropractic medicine and its place in society today?
Well, chiropractic as we know it today was discovered in Davenport, Iowa in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century, so it has been with us for over one hundred years. The legend has it that the discoverer of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, noticed a hump in the back of Harvey Lillard, the building’s janitor where Mr. Palmer had an office. It is said that Palmer pushed down on the hump giving the first chiropractic adjustment. Mr. Lillard, who was deaf, was said to have regained his hearing. Now, how much of that story is truth and how much legend is debatable, but nevertheless, that’s how chiropractic was born.
What the early chiropractors found was that chiropractic helped many people with musculoskeletal disorders—like people who were lame, in pain, and so forth. They also found that it helped with other organic conditions—like headaches, some female conditions, allergies, and so on. Most of these reported benefits were anecdotal—that is, by personal account—but as far as musculoskeletal pain conditions were concerned, it was undoubtedly, very effective.
There has been some tumultuous history between the chiropractic profession and organized western medicine. I could never do the subject justice here, but I dedicate much ink to it in my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health. Anybody interested in the history of chiropractic in today’s medical world should take the time to read it—it’s fascinating. However, in short, the two professions have been slowly working toward a common goal, and there is currently some co-management happening between them. However, chiropractic remains a separate entity from medicine—it is still a drugless, natural health discipline that people choose for pain relief as well as the enormous wellness benefits it provides
3. How does the "Personal Responsibility in Health Movement" help people?
The "Personal Responsibility in Health Movement" is the concept of valuing one’s health as if it’s one’s most precious asset—because our health is our most valuable asset. Everything in life depends on our health to some degree, whether it be our family life, our work, or whatever we like to do with our leisure time. When one loses one’s health, everything else is sure to follow. Anyone who has ever suffered a serious illness or a debilitating injury knows exactly what I’m talking about. And people who are obese or addicted to drugs know too, because those circumstances carry over into the other aspects of their lives, with no exception.
And the reality is that nobody—and I mean nobody—cares about your health more than you do, with the exception of maybe your children or parents. Even so, nobody can do for you more than you can do for yourself—that’s a fact. So taking personal responsibility in one’s health is paramount. The government can’t do it; doctors can’t do it; spiritual gurus can’t do it. The worst thing I can imagine is the day one realizes that they have a serious disease. The vast majority of illnesses are lifestyle related—that is, what we do to our bodies on a day to day. So eating poorly will catch up with you; so will neglecting exercise; so will ingesting drugs on a regular basis. It might be debilitating low back pain that finds you, or a heart attack, or cancer; but be certain that doing nothing for one’s health leads to poor health. Now that doesn’t mean that all is lost if those things happen; but those types of illnesses tend to be major wake-up calls; and even then, some people don’t figure it out. Why wait though? Why not just do the things necessary to maintain or nurture your health? That’s taking personal responsibility. Trust me when I say, it’s the only way. Modern medicine can give you a second chance, but it can’t give you good health. That’s up to you. It’s that simple.
4. You are a devoted yogi. What are the benefits of yoga exercise over gym exercises?
You know, I do both. I love lifting weights, and riding bicycles (both stationary and mobile), and I love playing sports; but as an all-around physical (and mental) enhancing activity, nothing beats yoga. The ancient yogis had it all right—the movements are perfect. I’m sure it took some trial and error, but the asanas or yoga poses are so biomechanically correct that you wonder if there wasn’t some sort of divine boon that was tapped into by the ancients. I mean, they were definitely inspired from somewhere. I don’t think anybody was doing biomechanical studies the way we are now, but they certainly got it. Simply put, yoga addresses all three pillars of physical fitness—resistance training, flexibility training and cardiovascular conditioning (or breath control). And there are mental benefits as well—primarily the training of focus that is necessary to practice yoga effectively. I do it all when it comes to exercise, but yoga is my love.
5. How do you stay healthy and energized in your own life?
Well, as we’ve been discussing, I exercise regularly. I stretch a lot, a lot, a lot…every day. I drink lots of water, my beverage of choice. I try to eat well. I have sort of learned what I can handle dietarily and what I can’t; so I try to stay away from sugar as much as I can. I eat it once in awhile—you gotta live, you know—but for the most part I avoid it. And I don’t eat much wheat; very rarely will I touch it. I meditate regularly, and I try to remain balanced in my mental perspective; so what I mean by this is that I try not to get too charged up about political issues, economics, or other life matters that people generally get charged up about. Mind you, I have things that charge me up mentally, but I work hard at putting them into perspective—that is, trying to see both the positive and negative in all situations. And believe me, everything has both sides to it…everything. The challenge is in seeing the other side of a situation; so that’s recognizing that nothing is all bad or all good—not Hitler, not Gandhi, not terrorism, not humanitarianism—everything has its pluses and minuses. I talk about this a little in my book, The Six Keys to Optimal Health, and I’m working on my next book, which will really go into this more in-depth, so stay tuned. I get regular chiropractic care to keep me moving properly, and to keep my nervous system operating at its highest level. Finally, I try to stay away from toxins like drugs and chemicals (I’m not totally drug-free, not that extreme, so I’ll take a Motrin if I need to)—no soda, no way…and no booze. Sleep is an area I have a tough time getting enough of, but I’m working on it. It is so important. My next project, I guess.
6. How important are body massages for moms, and how often should treatments be taken?
Massages are important especially for people who use their bodies regularly, which is pretty much everyone; but athletes, people who do physical work (like manual laborers or chiropractors), and people who exercise or are under much stress can really benefit from regular muscle work. Saying that, let me point out that nothing is better than regular chiropractic care for keeping the body functioning at its most optimal level, simply because it address more tissues of the musculoskeletal system than any other form of bodywork. If you haven’t tried it, then you are really doing yourself a disservice, because the benefits are enormous.
I get adjusted once a week, but I think you can do just fine with an adjustment one time per month (outside of being treated for a particular problem which might require more). And massages? Geez, if you can do one per month, you’ll be doing pretty well. I tend to think that chiropractors that incorporate massage into their work are the best, but, well…I’m biased.
7. Can you give some simple tips for busy moms to practice in everyday life to avoid body aches and pains?
Absolutely. Start by exercising, and stretching. I would say that fifty percent of the people that come into my Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood chiropractic office for pain related conditions could bypass their pain by just stretching and exercising. If you’ve never exercised seriously before, start with walking, and build up to the next level. If you have to, hire a professional or take a class so you can learn the right way to do it. I think this is the biggest area that can help busy moms from experiencing daily aches and pains.
8. How significant are ancient health practices in today\'s society?
I think they are very significant. I mean just eating properly is something that man has done since the beginning of his existence. Duh! Eat what nourishes you; avoid poisons. Simple evolutionary principle, wouldn’t you say? It’s only been over the last century or so that junk food has made such a big dietary impact on human beings, and really only the last fifty years that it has become a western staple. It’s tragic, really.
But there’s also bodywork—like chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage. These practices have been around for thousands of years—I also discuss this in my book. Even chiropractic has its roots in body manipulations that were being performed for thousands of years.
And then there is yoga, and martial arts, things people have been doing for a very long time. Modern medicine is incredible, no doubt. It saves lives. But it does very little in and of itself to enhance health. Health enhancement comes from doing certain behaviors, like exercising and so forth. It’s taking personal responsibility for one’s health. Incidentally, even that concept has been handed down from the ages. I think people who solely relied on the gods were severely disappointed.
9. You are a chiropractor, researcher, biologist, yogi, lecturer, and an author. How do you balance all of your work?
Well, it’s not easy; but I love what I do, so that makes it a bit easier. I think just using discipline, again responsibility, and love…love for what I do is the secret. I just balance everything as much as I can—some work, some family, some financial, some spiritual, some mental, some physical, and of course, some social—it all works together. Remember, I said you can’t separate your physical health from the rest of your life. Neither can you separate those other areas from each other—they all work cohesively to maintain a balanced lifestyle.
10. What are your future plans?
Well, like I said I am now working on my second book. I’m still in the research stages, so it’s probably a few years off. But I think it’s going to be a great book, just what the world is looking for. And I’m always working on the web—writing articles for my website, www.drnickcampos.com, and of course, for www.bizymos.com. I also do a lot of writing for my profession. I focus on political and economic issues in the chiropractic profession. I do regular podcast on current health topics, which are also available on my website. I have some exercise videos in the works, so they should be available soon. I do a little designing of medical devices, and I have an exciting tool about to be unleashed on the world. You know, my mission is to change the way the world thinks about health, so everything I do is aligned with this mission. So, that’s basically it—changing the way the world thinks about health…one day at a time. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts; and thank you for such great questions. I hope everybody reading this will get inspired to care for their health as if it is their most valuable asset—because it is.