Many of you who either read my blog articles, in-office articles of the week or attend my regular workshops are aware that I am part of a new venture called Transformative Health Systems. Transformative Health Systems is an organization that provides transformative health and wellness vacations, retreats, and corporate intensives. Our first event is a wellness vacation on Big Rideau Lake in Portland, Ontario on Sept. 19-22.
We are really excited to get started and show people what it is we have to offer and we have been receiving lots of questions about WHAT it is that we will actually be doing.
I thought the best way to illustrate what we will be providing and what makes our services totally unique would be to share the story of how Transformational Health Systems came to life in the first place.
Most people know me as a chiropractor and that is accurate, yet I am not what you would call a ‘traditional chiropractor.’ I have a specific focus called Neurospinal Optimization that looks to address the primary underlying condition behind the typical secondary conditions like back pain, headaches and muscle spasms that traditional chiropractors focus on. This is not important to this story except that it means I am not satisfied doing what everyone else does. I am always looking to get better, go deeper and help people in more profound ways. In fact, I am obsessed with these things, which can be exciting, but also a bit lonely because the world is not filled by many who share this obsession/purpose.
A few years ago, Tyler Touchette – a local fitness trainer and crossfit gym owner at the time who I knew only in passing – made an appointment to become a patient in my chiropractic practice. As I asked him about his goals for care in my office it started to become clear that we shared a common focus. He wasn’t looking to be fixed, he was looking for constant and never-ending improvement – physically, mentally and emotionally – so he could get the most out of life and help others even more. My care was what he had been searching for (I am speaking for him but I am sure it is true) and I was about to find out that his services were about to change (and perhaps save) my life.
Soon after starting care, Tyler asked me to give a workshop for his clients at what was then Cornwall Crossfit – soon to evolve into Caveman Strong. I had been regularly training with weights for 25 years and a decently high level athlete my entire life. I have to admit that I kind of thought I knew it all and that the people in that gym were a bit nuts. I walked into the gym to prepare my presentation while the last workout of the day was wrapping up. I don’t remember exactly WHAT was going on, but I was literally floored by the energy, passion, teamwork, and intensity that was present in the room. What I did know was that I wanted to be a part of it. My journey at Caveman Strong was about to begin.
The details about what transpired in the gym are not important. What is important is that exercise had more or less become something I did because I knew it was good for me and I was supposed to do it. I had been going through the motions with very little motivation. I think this is most people’s experience with exercise after the initial excitement of starting a ‘new program’ that will finally fulfill our goals. Just take a look at the face of your typical jogger or weight machine lifter if you question my statement!
Anyhow, my passion, motivation and there is that word again – obsession – continued well past the typical honeymoon period. In fact, if anything it has continued to get stronger over the past 2+ years. Why? Tyler continues to push, to learn, to refine, and to evolve his approach in order to achieve the greatest outcomes for his clients. He reads, studies and travels around the world to learn from leaders in different fields (even outside of the fitness world) and incorporates it into his program. Finally I found someone as obsessed as me!
So the idea for Transformational Health Systems started when I invited Tyler to teach a movement workshop at one of the one day healing intensive Clear Days I conduct every 6 months for my patients and practice members. This is a day of advanced Neurospinal Optimization care, workshops on health and developing strategies and a plan to really make some progress in life after the event. His presentation was a huge hit! Tyler’s food expert, Josee Quenneville helped to prepare the healthy food for the event also and we knew we were on to something.
What transpired then was that Tyler and I started talking about the vision of melding my focus on NSO and many of Donny Epstein’s reorganizational living models with Tyler’s focus on movement and Josee’s expertise in amazing and healthy food into a comprehensive program for people that would not only be a great experience but produce sustainable long term changes for life. We were truly creating a product that NOBODY else in the world was delivering!
Then we talked about it some more. And talked…and talked…and talked. The final piece of the puzzle was my wife – Beth Pollock – getting so sick of hearing us talk and not take any concrete action that she searched for and found a beautiful resort that she scheduled and booked for our first event! Now we had to deliver. Finally we had the organization behind the organization.
Now that we are ready to go for our first event, here are the answers to some of the most common questions we have received from people.
The biggest question has been regarding what type of physical exercise will be involved. I think this happened because most people know me as a competitive weightlifter and thought was what we would be doing. In reality the focus of the exercise will be correct, efficient and improved MOVEMENT. If fact, there will be no barbells present on site. Tyler has trained extensively with Ido Portal and his Portal method and has incorporated this into his instruction. We want people to learn how to move more, stronger and better for a LIFETIME. Because all of this training is scalable to anyone from a post-surgical senior citizen to a world class athlete, we can work with people of any and all abilities. I personally use these methods to help my weightlifting (my secret weapon) but they are two completely different things.
Another common question surrounds the Paleo Diet. Is it just eating a bunch of bacon and ribs with ‘no carbs?’ Absolutely NOT. The amazing food Josee prepares IS paleo but revolves around organic vegetables and fruit. While we don’t promote vegetarian eating, vegans will certainly be fully satisfied with the food. People will go home ready to lose weight (if they haven’t already) feeling energized and healthy and will know exactly how to continue to eat like this on their own.
Will my care be a part of the package? The answer is yes for those already under care and there will be an invitation for everyone else to experience it – although it is optional.
Finally, people are wondering if this is a ‘spa weekend,’ ‘bootcamp,’ or ‘vacation.’ The answer is somewhere between bootcamp and vacation. What this means is that the organized, structured time in workouts, workshops, lectures and one-on-one consultations will be focused and intense. There will also be plenty of down-time for people to relax, swim, hot-tub, socialize and use the boats and other amenities at this incredible resort (our group has reserved the entire facility). There will also be optional group hikes with the coaches.
Our goal is for each and every participant to learn how to move, eat, and prepare food, have a sustainable plan to reach their specific and individual goals AND go home feeling rested, refreshed and excited to get back to life.