As Doctors of Chiropractic we have been trained to routinely check patients posture during first evaluation and normal follow up assessments thereafter. For Dr. Krista Burns, “posture is the window to the spine” and should be analyzed more often and is a great way to separate ourselves from other health care professionals.
As the founder of the American Posture Institute, she has made it her life’s work to help others learn every detail about posture and how to become posture experts in their communities. She routinely travels the world teaching doctors, students and laypersons on the importance of posture and how to build successful practices that are evidence based around the importance of posture.
This month Krista has been chosen to be our Featured Doctor of the Month for September on Circle of Docs. We had a chance to sit down with her and ask her about her background in Chiropractic and where she sees the profession heading in the future.
Dr. Burns graduated with honors as a Doctor of Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic. Passionate about furthering her education, she completed a Doctorate in Health Administration with an emphasis in Health Policy. To increase her clinical expertise she completed certifications as a Certified Posture Expert, Certified Posture Exercise Professional, and a Specialist in Functional Chiropractic Neurology.
She is an inspiring public speaker and has been a featured presenter at forums such as the International Functional Medicine Conference in Italy, the UCA Women in Chiropractic Conference in England, and the Women’s Leadership Summit in the United States. Dr. Burns is a published author and researcher in the field of health and wellness. As a recognized health expert, she is a regular featured expert on Sport Magazine televised program, CYOU TV live radio program, and as a quarterly contributing author to L’Accademia del Fitness national health magazine, and a weekly expert author to NaturalNews.com.
Dr. Burns, What was your introduction to Chiropractic? When did you know that you wanted this to be your profession?
It was the morning of U.S. Ski Team Selections, a competition for the top 30 most elite skiers in the United States; I was 18 years old at the time. This is the day that changed my life forever. This was the day that my Olympic dream was stolen from me due to a back injury.
For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be an Olympic freestyle mogul skier. I started skiing when I was 3, and started training for competitions at 10. By the time I was 12 I had qualified for Junior National Championships, and by the time I was 14 I had qualified for USA National Championships, premiering on ESPN and being featured in skiing magazines. My future in skiing was bright, so bright in fact that I left my family in rural Nevada at the age of 14 years old and moved to Sun Valley, Idaho to train fulltime with world champion coaches. I was on the road to the Olympics, skiing was my life.
When I suffered a back injury at U.S. Ski Team Selections and was pulled from the competition, I didn’t know about chiropractic care, so I sought medical treatments for recovery. I sought out premiere spinal specialists around the country and began multiple series of weekly injections in my spine. I was told this was the “conservative” treatment option that would “heal” me quickly so I could keep competing. After 16 weeks of injections in my spine, my health debilitated greatly, I was so much worse, I could barely move, and I definitely couldn’t ski. My Olympic dream was stolen from me; it was stolen because no one ever told me about chiropractic.
As my health degenerated, my vision expanded. I researched other healthcare options and finally came across chiropractic. After educating myself about this profession and the amazing power of chiropractic care, I found my new calling, a vocation. My mission from this point forward was to be the best doctor I could be, so no little girl with an Olympic dream had to go through what I experienced.
Where Do You Currently Practice?
After graduating from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 2011, I moved to Parma, Italy with the love of my life Dr. Mark Wade. We were inspired to practice abroad after participating in mission trips as students and representing our schools as head delegates at multiple congresses of the World Congress of Chiropractic Students.
We chose Italy because it is the most beautiful country in the world. We are surrounded by world-class skiing in the Italian Alps, the most beautiful Mediterranean seaside beaches you can imagine, and one of the most historically rich cultures with endless sights to see. The food is great, the people are inviting, and we have an open door to travel the beautiful countries throughout Europe.
In your opinion, What is the Difference in a European Based Practice vs US?
Chiropractic is currently unrecognized in Italy, which presents many challenges. With less than 300 chiropractors in the whole country, and the medical profession heavily pushing for chiropractic to be incorporated as a technique of physical therapy, we have incurred many obstacles as a profession.
Without legal recognition of chiropractic, questions are raised. One day we arrived to the office and found a notice on our door that we were going to be shut down in 10 days for practicing medicine without a license. This was a moment of complete desperation and panic. Sure, I had heard of chiropractors getting shut down before, but I thought it was a part of our history. I didn’t expect this would ever pertain to me in a million years. However, with legal guidance we were able to fight the claim, overcome the battle, and keep doing what we love.
Although there are challenges, there are also many great opportunities. 9 out of 10 people have never heard the word “chiropratica” in Italy. All of our patients are a clean slate, they have no preconceived notions of what our profession is or is not. We utilize this to our advantage, and focus heavily on patient education, emphasizing that the structure of the body dictates the function of the body.
In terms of daily patient visits we are not required to take notes (although we do due to personal preference), and as we are not a part of the national healthcare system, we have a 100% cash practice. Life is good.
What do you Feel is Your Purpose in Chiropractic?
We started a practice from scratch, straight out of school, in a foreign country that does not recognize chiropractic, in a period where Italy was in the largest economic crisis in history, we were in a place where we knew nobody and didn’t even speak the language. Talk about struggles, talk about life lessons! All odds were against our success. These experiences were trying at the time, but an education that money cannot buy. I refer to the first year in practice as the “treadmill effect.” The feeling of running, sprinting, and working so hard, but never moving forward.
To grow our practice, we focused on the implementation of postural correction strategies, and became posture experts. Once we began focusing on postural correction as our Unique Expert Position, we were off the treadmill and had a thriving practice. We overcame the odds. I am a hard core academic at heart, and am completely focused on getting predictable results with reliable outcome measures. With a desire to learn as much as I could about posture, I did 1000s of hours of research, leading me to author the book “The Principles of Posturology” and to create the Certified Posture Expert Certification program. [quote_center]My purpose is to raise the standard of knowledge and clinical application of efficient postural correction strategies profession wide.[/quote_center]
Where do you see the profession going in the next 5-10 years?
The posture paradigm is the future of the profession. Why? It’s a trifecta of ammunition leading to practice growth explosions worldwide.
1) All healthcare professionals in the world agree that proper postural design is a fundamental component of optimal human function. This opens the door for interdisciplinary immersion.
2) Healthcare consumer behaviors tell us that when patients seek healthcare treatment they want one of three things: they want to look better, move better, and feel better. Posture is the only healthcare discipline that predictably provides all three of these results to patients. Consumer trends tell us that patients WANT better posture and are willing to pay for it.
3) It is an evidence-based approach, with reproducible outcome measures to improve human function, reduce physiologic compromise, and to increase the biologic sustainability of human beings at the societal level.
The posture paradigm is the future; start building your expertise now.
What would you tell yourself as a student today to do/change?
If I were a student today, I would have wanted someone to tell me to find my Unique Expert Position and utilize this expertise to be an authority in my community. To start generating a social media following as a student, so that when I started a practice I already had an audience.
The question every student worldwide should hear, “Why be a generalist with no practice specialty when you can be an expert and provide a specific niche with top tier, expert level care?” When you niche down, specialize, then market yourself as the go-to expert in your field, get ready for opportunities to pound down your door! However, if you don’t make yourself the expert, no one else will. Imagine how our profession would improve if everyone was focused on being an expert in what they love.
Thank you for your time Dr. Burns. Do you have anything else you want to mention for doctors around the world and the profession in general?
If you are interested in implementing posture into your practice, the American Posture Institute’s ‘Certified Posture Expert’ Program is the most in depth, intensive, all-inclusive posture certification on the planet. This certification gives you the tools that you need to help your patients get precise posture correction results, then teaches you how to become the Go-To Expert in your community. This certification program will make you the best of the best at accurately analyzing and correcting postural distortion patterns. Certified Posture Experts are fluent in posturology, are masters of postural imaging, perform posture evaluations with certainty, and have the clinical knowledge and know-how to deliver predictable postural correction results with their patients, every single time.
The International Posture Association said that the Certified Posture Expert Program is “One of the best posture programs in the world. A must do for all healthcare professionals.” The American Posture Institute is here to support your journey to success. Step off the treadmill, and on the path to a prosperous posture practice.
Circle of Docs Members can receive 3 FREE Videos from the Certified Posture Expert Program just by clicking HERE