An Interview with Dr. Josh Satterlee

Noah: What is the Clinic Gym Hybrid model?

It’s an extension of really good health care. Chiropractors offer a great service. What I look at when somebody comes in with an injury I get them better through treatments and rehab. Then what are they left with? A lot of them feel nervous and they’re worried about what they’re going to do next. They want to get back to the activity that they love, but they don’t know exactly what to do after you discharge them.

Most insurance companies will let you see them six times per injury. In the end what’s the next step? There’s a lot of people who are ending care here and somebody needs to fill in this middle ground.

Create a complete start-to-finish model for patients where great maintenance care is a good exercise program. This is the perfect way to deliver it. You’re going to have some of the best trained coaches and trainers working with you that are helping you take care of those clients.

You’re going to do the clinical stuff that nobody else in your office can do. They’re going to do the training that they’re the experts at doing.

The trainer is going to feel great because they‘re working in this integrated facility.

They’re getting much better care. You’re going to feel great as a chiropractor because you’re the next step for your patient. It works out well for everybody.

Noah: There is this life cycle of care and in chiropractic we’re exceptional when it comes to acute care or chronic conditions that haven’t resolved with any other therapy, but then there’s the continuity of care to prevent that person from re-injuring themselves and you’ve solved that problem?

Dr. Satterlee: At first the problem was dealing with the “ping pong patient.” They would come in. I would treat them. They got 90% relief and then I would send them back to their trainer or their coach. Six or eight weeks later they’d be back at my office. We treat them again and deliver them back to their trainer and it was like a Ping-Pong ball going back and forth.

Nobody in that situation is happy so instead of just throwing up my arms I said why can’t we offer the training they need?

Noah: You took the initiative and actually built something better than what you found and eventually led to you selling the business, isn’t that right?

Dr. Satterlee: I have a background in Olympic weightlifting and that’s what led me to become a chiropractor. I injured my back doing a squat and over the next 2 or 3 hours it became a massive disc herniation and I couldn’t move. A chiropractor got me better. I wasn’t fearful of coaching because I’d done that in college. I had that skill set. I understand exercise progression.

People always complain that rehab is too easy. You don’t want people doing 50 bird dogs and if you think that 50 bird dogs are doing anything for your client you’re mistaken. Figuring out how do we get that person with pain into an intense workout without pain? What are the steps along the way? Courses like FMS is a great transition from clinic to gym. You’ve got to have a movement based exam.
After that is the FRC system, functional range conditioning. Low level joint health exercises, a lot of isometric work that is tough.

Then CFSC, the certified functional strength coach program developed by Mike Boyle and Kevin Carr and Brendan Arrack who are probably three of the best coaches strength coaches in the world. It gives you  clear step by step progressions of an exercise and a step by step regression of an exercise to the point where they all regress you three steps.

With those you can take somebody from injury to fully trained.

Noah: If you’re taking somebody who’s in pain and conditioning them then it’s much less likely that they’ll be in pain and that opens up all the things that they want to do with their life.

Dr. Satterlee: You want to have a really good business. One way is offering movement improvement, but you can help out with nutritional training. Emotional eating can increase your cortical levels, increase weight retention and increase the risk of injury. It’s a vicious cycle. As a chiropractor you can help people get better in so many realms and you’ll never be without clients.

Noah: Very few people have chiropractic on the brain and so if you can look at what people are thinking about on a day to day basis that’s will help them improve their lives and access that through chiropractic they’re much more likely to come in. What changes are needed in the healthcare infrastructure for everybody to move better, eat better, and feel better?

Dr. Satterlee: I need to lose some weight and so do my kids.  My wife’s exceptional about cooking and she makes very healthy meals and I really think that the future is making exercise as common as brushing your teeth. If we can help our kids to think of exercise as something you do every day I think psychologically they’ll be in a much better place.

Whatever we can do to make exercise fun instead of hard.

I’ll tell you a story. I had this guy come in, his name was Bob and he injured his back at the gym. We were sponsoring a 5K run and he signed up.  He did it and when he crossed the finish line he was smiling more than anybody. He was so excited. He was 60 years old and he walked most of the way, but he ran the next race. Each time he crossed the finish line he was like a new person. Now he’s running marathons.

This guy that never ran in his life ran his first marathon at 62 years old.

This is behavior change. This is what we want in medicine. This is what will cause that person to be consistent with his exercise, diet consistent and his confidence.

See the full interview here: