A Canadian Chiropractic Master
By Roger Turner DC
By Roger Turner DC
Sept. 27, 2010 – Dr. Ogi Ressel has had the largest pediatric and family chiropractic practice in Canada. He was one of the original DC’s to use the “open concept” in his office. Known for his ability to elicit phenomenal results in the spines of children, he now teaches other chiropractors how to be amazing as well.
Sept. 27, 2010 – Dr. Ogi Ressel has had the largest pediatric and
family chiropractic practice in Canada. He was one of the original DC’s
to use the “open concept” in his office. Known for his ability to
elicit phenomenal results in the spines of children, he now teaches
other chiropractors how to be amazing as well.
This is how it all started,” Dr. Ressel tells Canadian Chiropractor. “I was planning a career in Dentistry at the University of Toronto and I thought, ‘I don’t know if I really want to look in somebody’s mouth for the rest of my life.’ I was at a crossroads in my life. But the Universe provides. I was dating a girl who missed a date with me because she had a doctor’s appointment. Later, she said, ‘I have scoliosis.’ I had no idea what that meant or how to spell it. ‘I’m seeing a chiropractor,' she told me. I had no idea what that meant either. I said, ‘What does he do?’ And so, she told me a bit about what going to a chiropractor is all about.
“Soon after, on the way to visit my parents for a home cooked meal, I passed a chiropractic clinic that belonged to Dr. Jim Barrow, who at the time practiced in Oakville, Ontario. I jumped out of the car, introduced myself and said, ‘I don’t know anything about this ‘chiropractory stuff', but I want to find out. It sounds interesting.’ He kindly spent about six hours with me explaining what he did and how chiropractic worked. I became so excited I couldn’t sleep for a week! I applied to CMCC, got accepted three days later, and the rest is history.
“From that point on, I was on fire! I had close to 1,500 adjustments and some 500 new patients by the time I graduated and most of those patients were under the age of ten – in 1976 that was quite a feat!
“A few years later, CMCC asked me to formulate a course in chiropractic pediatrics, teach it, and join them as a clinic supervisor in the outpatient clinic department. That’s when I discovered that I had a gift for teaching and had a blast doing it!
“I remember the words of my dad – he told me that ‘If you’re going to do anything in life, do it with great panache and excel at what you do. Don’t be second best. Always be No. 1 at what you do.’ I’ve lived that philosophy my entire career in school and in practice. And I instill that same philosophy in the doctors that I teach – be the best! It’s very simple, and very effective.”
Leaping into practice
“My first mentor was Dr. Joe Stucky from Eau Claire, WI., and then Dr. Fred Barge, the ICA President at one time, Dr. Joe Felicia and Dr. Larry Webster, who founded the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
“I remember Dr. Joe Stucky once said to me, ‘Look after the needs of your patients and your needs will always be taken care of.’ I’ve never forgotten that. I think this simple thought transcends all the marketing chiropractors do. If you really look after the needs of your patients, they’ll clamor to see you. They’ll fly in to see you. They’ll do whatever it takes to see you.
“My parents ran a nursery-daycare school for children – one of the largest in Canada – so I’ve been surrounded by kids all my life. It was just a natural progression – I learned how to deal with children and I’ve learned how to play with them and communicate with them at a level that few others have seen. It is a matter of having fun with kids and it is what I teach in my program. I think every one of us has an inner child. Unfortunately, we don this professional cloak that we wear, and I feel we forget the fact that we’re all kids and we have forgotten how to play. My wife would often ask me, ‘When are you going grow up?’ To that I’d reply; ‘I don’t want to grow up. I take it seriously. It’s a profession, being a child.’ The only difference is that the toys become much more expensive!
“I remember that my goals, when I first started practice,were no different than those of most other doctors. I wanted to see a hundred people a week. When I got there, I wanted to break the hundred-patient-a-day goal. My staff and I would have a 'stack-a-day', which I learned from Parker Seminars a number of years prior. I would have my staff schedule as many patients as they could in one day – it was all about breaking through personal barriers and limitations. When we reached that goal, I thought, ‘Let’s try 200 a day.’ Eventually, I topped off at seeing about 250 in a day and that was enough. I didn’t want to see any more than that.
“Another goal (actually a reward) was to have a Ferrari, and I did. That original Ferrari is parked right next to my Aston Martin, which is parked next to a brand new Gallardo. I’ve always been a bit of a car nut.
“But my main aspiration, the one which drives me, has always been to be the best DC and to teach doctors how to reach and help as many children as they can. I’ve also discovered that I love to write and have a knack for it. So I’ve written a book on pediatric chiropractic for parents: “Kids First: Health with No Interference. How to raise a Healthy Child Outside the Medical Model.” I’ve written over 800 published articles on kids and chiropractic, and also write for a number of different magazines and a ton of newspapers. I love doing that. It’s a passion.
"Many doctors have my clinical charts and poster in their offices. They are part of my program. They were done as a result of an intense research study that I and 50 other DCs did a number of years ago. We found that arthritis, for instance, can actually be reversed. The paper Reversibility is Possible in Spinal Osteoarthritis was the result of that research (if you would like a copy, please email me). I’ve discovered that when people find out this is possible, they swarm you like locusts. That’s what the public wants. They don’t want pain relief. They want someone to actually be able to do something. Think about it: the Body is a self-healing organism – it was designed to heal itself. Patients love that philosophy – it gives them hope.”
“My present goals are lofty. I want to have my program be the best on the planet and I am proud to say that it is not about marketing your brains out. It is all about becoming the most amazing doctor your community has ever seen.
“The other thing I really want to do is to clean up the profession. I think you’ll agree with me: DCs are often taught to be hucksters and salesmen and I want chiropractors to practice with great ethics, great honor, certainty, and great skill. I want to help tons of kids. I want to help tons of DCs to be the best. And it’ll probably take me a lifetime to do all that. I can’t see myself retiring, even at 85. I have too much work to do.”
“My biggest success? That’s easy – my three kids. My daughter is 28, my son is 27 and I’ve got an 18 year old at home. My daughter, Christie, who actually teaches the program with me, and runs her own company, Personal Power Image Consulting, is vice president of the Association of Image Consultants International. She is absolutely amazing as a speaker. She’s incredible – I’m so proud of her! My son is in business and creates amazing websites for my doctors. My youngest son is into teenage high school drama and teenage dating drama. We’ve all been there!”
The tactful rhino
“How do I handle adverse situations? Most of the time, like a rhino, but with tact. I’ve always found that giving up is not the answer. I’ve always fought for everything I have. I fought very fiercely and I would never, ever, ever, give up. And in retrospect, some of the battles I’ve been involved in, I should have left alone. But you learn. Experiencia Docet.”
“I’ve always wanted to be number one in everything I did. So we had a 5,000-square-foot clinic. It was a California stucco building on a half acre of property with a 45-car parking lot. It had a 50 seat lecture theatre and we used it for seminars and lectures. It was amazing.
“However, in 2003, I looked down at my hands and realized that I can only see and help so many children with my two hands, but if I teach other doctors what I do, we could save hundreds of thousands! So I gave all that up. I had two other offices buy my practice and I retired at the pinnacle of my career.”
Kids – on their own level
“One aspect that is different in our approach is that I’ve learned to deal with kids on their own level. So very often, a new patient would come into my office and they would want to see the doctor and my staff would point to the floor where I’m surrounded with kids and I’m lying on the floor, the kids on top of me.
“Often when adjusting a child for the first time, I would say to them, ‘I want you to hang on to your belly button with both hands because we had a situation last week where a girl did not, and her belly button jumped off. We’re still looking for it.’ And of course, they would hang on to those belly buttons like you wouldn’t believe.
“It is important for parents to trust you. If parents see that you are very comfortable seeing their children and the kids just love you and they enjoy being adjusted, then their trust level escalates through the roof. That’s what you want – otherwise you will not be seeing their kids.
“We had a separate kids’ house in the reception area, just for children – an approach which I teach my doctors. Instead of having a play area like dentists have, where you have a broken down table and some lame puzzles, we had a little house. It didn’t cost much to build, and it was approximately four feet by four feet. It had a little window and a tiny door, and the roof was shingled with cedar shingles. The reason for this was that we could pin photos of children on it and everybody loved to see that. The Kids house had a sign ‘No Adults Allowed’ above the door and that said it all. Parents would walk into your office and immediately know that this doctor is totally all about kids.”
“The major issue that I see with chiropractors that I’m coaching is fear. There’s a tremendous amount of fear out there – fear I won’t make it, fear of success, fear of failure, fear that the economy is taking a downturn and people don’t have money. And this is what I tell my doctors, ‘People have money. Money is plentiful, but not for you. It is only available for the exceptional doctor. That is not you. And the reason is that your community does not see you as the best. They see you as a nice, average chiropractor.’
“In Canada, and the U.S., there are thousands of chiropractors just like you on every corner in every town. What makes you different from everyone else? Why would someone want to see you? Because you have a distraction table? Or orthotics? Or the best sales pitch? Or the best conversion ploy? Not!
“What will make you different is if you are the best doctor and have the best reputation. Then people will actually fly in to see you from everywhere.
“When I was still in practice, I had a waiting list of new patients approximately eight weeks long – and we scheduled seven per day. And people would fly in to see me from every state in the US, from every province in Canada, and from overseas – France, Germany, England, Australia, South Africa, etc. That’s the kind of practice I had, and that is what I teach. There is no emphasis on marketing and sales – simply how to be the most amazing doctor your community has ever seen. That’s the concept I try to instill in my doctors.
“But many doctors are fearful. And the reason is because doctors are not taught to be the best. They’re taught to be average. When you’re average you have to compete with those who are above average.
“And I have to tell you that the way we portray ourselves in the public eye really bothers me – the gimmicks that we use, the ads, the salesmanship, the BS, the fear tactics and the desperation so many are taught. I think this is why we are where we are because the public doesn’t see us as doctors. They see us as technicians and they see us as marketing wizards, out to make a quick buck.
“I teach my doctors how to be the best. It is a very simple and yet time-tested concept. And one simply cannot top that. When you’re the best, your patients should be so amazed by your clinical awareness, by your humanity, by your warmth, by just your own presence, that on the first visit they should refer the whole family to you. If they don’t, you’re missing something. One of my doctors once said this at one of my seminars; ‘Ogi, I’ve been working with your “stuff” for only three weeks, but having people refer to me on the first visit is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.’ He said, ‘On Monday and Tuesday, we had two new patients and they referred 15 others to me on the very first visit.’ People will only do that if they’re totally flabbergasted by you – if they are absolutely amazed by you. If they see you as average, you’re starving. If they see you as absolutely amazing, then you have a practice that you always dreamed of. And I teach how to do exactly that!”
"My secret to staying motivated is that I surround myself with people who are hopefully better than I am. And I stay motivated by competing with myself. I find that I am a tough adversary!
“This may sound whimsical, but for those of you who are reading this, I would suggest having a vision and never ever let anyone tell you that it can’t be done. Many people have an idea, a vision, and friends talk them out of it. For example: chiropractic students get into third and fourth year. They become interns, they talk to the intern one year ahead of them and this is what they hear; ‘Well, it’s difficult. There are no new patients. You can’t make a living. Not sure if I’ll meet my grade requirements.’ And when they graduate, they ask that same person, who’s already been in practice for a year, the same question, and he says, ‘Well, it’s difficult. Ain’t got no new patients! I’m starving. I had to get a part-time job. I can’t make it.’ That’s what they hear. And this is what I say to my doctors; ‘The reason a flower isn’t instantaneously in bloom is because you put yourself in sequence.’ It simply means that young graduating doctors expect difficult times – and they are not disappointed. Whatever you believe – either way, you are right!
"I’d like to leave all chiropractic students and young grads with this thought: ‘Have a vision and never, ever, let anyone tell you that it can’t be done.
“For the seasoned pros, I’d like you to remember that you once had a vision and some of you may have forgotten it. I coach many doctors in my program – and most have been in practice at least 25 years or so. The seasoned pros seem to have forgotten their vision. They forgot that the groove that they’ve chosen has become a rut – and they are stuck in it. It’s become a job. As soon as it becomes a job, you have a problem. I teach my doctors that chiropractic is not a job. It’s a hobby. I want you do look at what you do, as a chiropractor in your office, as a hobby. You just can’t wait to run down to your office every day to play. Your life is with your family. Your hobby is chiropractic. You see, when you play all day at something you love, there is no stress. None. You should revel in it. It should be fun for you. I like that perspective!”
These are some of my recommendations:
1.) My favourite self-development author is Wayne Dyer. I've read all his books and listened to his tapes. He has a wonderful philosophy of life, which I would really hope all doctors would pay attention to.
2.) I would also recommend that all doctors watch the movie “The Peaceful Warrior” starring Nick Knolte. It is based on the bestselling book by Dan Millman. There are a number of life lessons in that movie that most of us need to learn. Trust me, it will change your life, and your thinking.
3.) I would also very highly recommend the ICPA so that doctors become familiar and even expert in seeing children.
“Listen….The more seminars doctors attend, the better they’ll become because they’ll learn something from every seminar. They’ll learn something from David Singer and others. Eventually, they’ll coalesce and formulate a philosophy of their own – something that’s going to make total sense to them and define who they are. So the more seminars they can take, the better.
“I work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and Tuesday morning. Thursday is my date day with my wife. No cell phones. No office. No business. No meetings. No kids. No house. We’re out somewhere. We’re doing things that we want to do as a couple. Then of course, when we were raising our family, weekends were family time and evenings were family time. But Thursday was a very, very special day for my wife and me. The reason is that I found chiropractic can be tough on relationships – it’s so all consuming.
“The advice I give my doctors is: “Make sure you create a space in your life where you actually play because you never, ever, want to wake up in the morning and look over at the person in bed next to you and say, 'Who are you? I don’t know you.'
“I always think that things in life happen for a reason – there are no coincidences. There are lessons that we need to learn, and life has away of teaching you different lessons. And your lesson is always repeated until you finally get the damn thing– trust me; I’ve had my share of repeats! I always wonder now, ‘Why did that happen? There’s a reason why this must have crossed my path.’ One must be open to that type of thinking.
“My philosophy is to be really aware of your surroundings and where you’re going and what direction you’re heading into. Never compromise your values and your principles.
“This may come as a surprise, but, because I teach mostly in the US, I can tell you that, in the United States, everything seems to be bigger and better and faster, but chiropractic is not. In the US, it is very much pain-based and wellness is a little-known term – in Canada, the profession is very well developed.
“30 years into the future, I see chiropractic as an integral part of healthcare. People will have a choice of seeing a chiropractor or an MD. They’ll both be covered by insurance. Everyone will look at what we do with the same eye and the same vision.
My purpose for you?
“To have you start thinking like a doctor instead of a salesperson!
“And to have your community start to see you as absobloodylutely incredible!"
“We have an absolutely incredible profession – DD and BJ left us with a legacy. I feel we are squandering it in the arena of desperation, despair, freebies, sales, hype, dishonesty, and brainless and tasteless marketing.
“I do what I do with a mission – to have doctors help as many children and their parents in their lifetimes as they can.
“You can help. Please join me in this mission."
Dr. Roger Turner has been a pioneer chiropractor for 34 years. He is an accomplished speaker with appearances at Parker Seminars, Parker College, Palmer College, several state and provincial associations, and at independent consultant seminars. Ask Dr.T any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org