This week marks the 18th Birthday of Nexus Chiropractic. In addition to making me feel old, it also fills me with gratitude to everyone and everything that has contributed to our success and longevity.
Some of you have been with us the entire 18 years and others may have only recently joined the Nexus family. I thought it would be nice to summarize our history to provide some insight to how we arrived here in 2018 and maybe create some feelings of nostalgia for those of you who have been around awhile.
I graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in February of 2000. Having no experience in either business or the real world, I chose – by default – to come back to my hometown of Cornwall. I was lucky enough to have passed all my board exams shortly after graduation and was ready to open my own practice.
Before becoming Nexus, the practice was called Gault Family Chiropractic. GFC officially opened on Aug. 14, 2000 at 421 Marlborough St. (what is now Doggie Styles Day Spa).
When I started practice, I used a very specific, but very different technique system called Gonstead. As a chiropractic student, I was the president of the Gonstead technique club, which at the time was the largest of it’s kind in the world. I had also attended hundreds of hours of extra curricular seminars in Gonstead while still in school.
Gonstead employed the regular use of x-rays and a temperature sensing instrument that required men to be shirtless and women to wear gowns. As a result, we had change rooms that fed into the larger room where I worked with people one on one.
Another major difference in the office at that time was that I worked without any staff. I was the chiropractor, answered the phones, took payments, made appointments, paid the bills and even scrubbed the toilets. In hindsight, this was a very stupid business decision yet did allow me to learn ALL facets of the business.
My first employee was a family friend, Elsie Craig who was between university degrees. Over the next year and a half, we kind of figured out how to properly run a chiropractic office before she went to teacher’s college and Sandra Hanniman joined the practice as my assistant.
About 9 months into practice I steadily grew frustrated with the results I was getting with patients. In particular with my long-term patients who understood the overall health benefits of regular chiropractic care. My frustration was that they would initially get better and healthier and then after awhile they plateaued and further care only maintained them. My expectation and objective was for people to continue to improve in health and wellness over time.
To move past this, I diligently refined my technique and made small changes to my clinical approach, but nothing was creating the results I wanted. It was around this time that I listened to an interview with Dr. Donny Epstein and he had an answer to many of the questions that had been swirling in my head. He expected the same outcomes I wanted for my patients and he had developed a technique around that.
Skeptically, I registered for his Basic Level Seminar in Toronto to see what it was all about. The first thing that struck me was that it looked weird because it was so gentle. There were no forceful adjustments or ‘cracking.’ This was a major challenge to my idea of what a chiropractic adjustment required.
To make a long story short, what I saw over the course of the weekend was a very precise and gentle system that created reproduceable results. Other technique leaders were taking the seminar and were blown away at the results. I was also fortunate enough to be used as a demo by Dr. Epstein on several occasions and what I personally experienced gave me no choice but to begin to provide this care to my patients and community.
I recall the internal dialogue I had with myself after receiving one entrainment. It was, “Oh sh*#! Now I have to go home and do this.”
So, I literally went home and started adding the new work to what I had already been doing. After a short period of time I started shifting patients over to the new work solely because I realized that those I was still forcefully adjusting were not progressing past a basic level of care.
This began the second epoch of Nexus Chiropractic.
In 2004, I met a local massage therapist named Matt Beaudette. When we met, Matt was working on opening his own business, and had a vision for an entire ‘Wellness Centre.’ The timing was right for me and we became partners in Adolphus Wellness Centre which is where Nexus Chiropractic remains to this day.
Shortly after moving to Adolphus St., Sandra moved to Ottawa and both Cindy Besignano and Adele Gannon were hired to the expanding practice. That was 14 years ago, and they are still here!
In 2007, I started moonlighting. At that time, I was offered a job by a company called X-CELS which trained chiropractors around the world in communication, personal development, and practice management. I was very happy to work in this capacity for 6 years.
In 2010 we built an addition onto 24 Adolphus St. By this time Matt had moved on to Acupuncture school and I bought his portion of the building. My family was growing so my wife Beth and I decided to move our young clan into the house portion of the building. So, while the addition was being built (what is now the entrainment studio) I worked and gave workshops out of our future living and dining rooms. I do recall Lukas coming down during an Introductory Presentation and entertaining the crowd with a pair of underwear on his head!
The Gault Family Chiropractic era ended, and the Nexus Chiropractic era began in 2013. We decided on this rebranding simply because we wanted to practice being about more than just me. I was looking to bring on another chiropractor (I am very picky, which is why it has not happened) and it would not be fair to them if my name was on the sign.
In 2015 the work I was doing improved in a significant way. Dr. Epstein began teaching a more advanced version of his work to a group of dozens of doctors from around the world. I was part of the pioneering class of this program – Master-E and continued on with it for the second year of Master-E Plus. While the Master-E work looks almost indistinguishable from what I was doing before, the outcomes are much more powerful (and requires much greater focus and presence from me).
So far, this history has focused with the changes that have taken place at Nexus. Just as important, there have been some fundamental constants in the practice. One constant has been the use of technology in objective evaluation of patients. I have always felt it important to have an objective baseline for each patient in the form of a detailed initial examination. Equally important is periodically objectively measuring changes that occur with care.
Why objective pre and post evaluations are important is because of another of our constants – that we have always focused on the primary underlying conditions – not chasing symptoms. This is crucial in helping people in a deeper way than just treating the surface, which can be akin to placing a band-aid over a bullet hole.
A third constant is that we have always been dedicated to professional development and technical and clinical mastery. Both staff and I are constantly learning, travelling to seminars, reading and taking courses – far beyond what is professionally required. We invest so greatly in this because we want to serve our people to the highest level possible.
It has been a challenging, fun, and absolutely rewarding 18 years and I am looking forward to many more. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to EVERYONE who has made this possible and allowed me to do what I love for a living.
Thorin Gault, D.C.
Aug. 18, 2018