Dr. Joe is thrilled to have Dr. Tabor Smith on the podcast to talk about his revolutionary Spinal Hygiene program. Akin to brushing your teeth twice a day, spinal hygiene is meant to strengthen, align, and improve motion through daily exercises. For more information on this program, go to spinalhygieneproducts.com!

About the Guest:

Dr. Tabor Smith and his wife, Dr. Gina Smith, are chiropractors who run multiple practices in Houston, TX. Dr. Smith is a trailblazer in the study of spinal hygiene and holds numerous events and lectures on the subject.

Dr. Smith received an honorary alumni award from Life University in 2020. He is the creator and facilitator of Life University’s Certified Spinal Hygienist Program and the executive producer of a documentary titled A Better Way.

Within this critically acclaimed documentary, Dr. Smith addresses the current opioid crisis that exists in America and why chiropractic is an ideal pathway to solving some of the major societal issues impacting the health of this nation.

Dr. Tabor Smith graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in May 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. He graduated with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Parker Chiropractic College in 2007.

About the Host:

Dr. Joseph Esposito,CEO

Dr. Joseph Esposito, D.C., C.C.N. C.N.S., C.C.S.P., D.A.B.C.N., F.A.A.I.M. C.T.N., is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AlignLife. As such, he is responsible for the direction of AlignLife as it expands further across a dynamic and rapidly changing healthcare landscape. Dr. Esposito has more than 20 years of experience in a broad range of businesses, including chiropractic, nutrition, technology, and internet marketing.

Dr. Esposito has extensive post-graduate academic accomplishments, as well as 15 years of experience managing successful chiropractic clinics in multiple states. He also is the founder and CEO of Aceva LLC, a service-based nutritional company providing products and services to the AlignLife clinics. As the former CFO of an internet publishing company, Dr. Esposito understands the power of leveraging the internet to impact the lives of millions of Americans.

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Dr. Joseph Esposito: Okay, welcome to align your practice podcast is Dr. Joe Esposito. I'm excited for this episode to be here with Dr. Tabor Smith. How're you doing, Doc?


Dr. Tabor Smith: I'm doing great. And I'm honored to be here as well. Thanks for having me on. Yeah, I'm


Dr. Joseph Esposito: excited. We've known each other for a while. And we've been through different circles, we have some exciting things we're doing together. And I want to get one thing off the plate right off the bat, our production manager doesn't want me to bounce on the ball. So I'm just kind of real quick. Get that out of the way. Okay.


Dr. Tabor Smith: brings good energy to the to the


Dr. Joseph Esposito: little bit of good to know. It's funny. I'm a squirmer. So I don't sit still. So anyway, John, Eric, that was for you. So let's go. Let's go deep into this journey you're on what I love about this story, Tabor is a lot of people on this call, whether a chiropractor, or, or just a journey of their wellness, lifestyle, whatever they're dealing with. A lot of people just don't give up on the one thing that's frustrated them, and they decided to make a stand, whether it be practice or a business venture, or even a relationship. Sometimes we just don't give up. Right, we just stick with it. And your story is cool, because before we became friends, I knew what you were doing. But I really honestly, I didn't know how to take it. So your journeys in spinal hygiene. And I want you to tell all your I guess, analogies, like dental hygiene is one. Sure. But I think you started early, where it was like, What the heck is this guy doing? And now I think it's the perfect time. And I don't know if you feel it, but I think there's less resistance to your journey.


Dr. Tabor Smith: I feel it definitely. And for me, it was a very personal journey, I, I find that some of the hardships we go through are actually good things. And for me that that turned out to be I was a teenager, and I had horrible lower back pain that would shoot down my legs. And that's how I found chiropractic. And they they discovered a spondee my lower back. Well, I mean, I was on I was on the opioids, that time this was like in 9697. Yeah. And of course, they said opioids weren't addictive, right. And I'm taking them as a teenager thinking this is just how life is going to be forever. And then, and then a chiropractor changed my life. I mean, totally, was able to play basketball in high school, and even in college, which I never thought I would be able to do. And it was just a no brainer for me. Like, I thought, Who wouldn't want to be a chiropractor, if you could help people right out of this misery. And then for me, it was also like, I never want to be back in there again, what do I have to do to make sure I never go back to that place. And realizing that there was no inflammation, you know, it was like, if you have back pain, you go to a chiropractor. But in dentistry, there were things I was doing to maintain the health of my teeth and going in regularly for checkups and all of those things. And so as I was going through chiropractic school, I'm constantly learning, because you have to take it back to what is a healthy spine. And really, it breaks down to three areas of health, alignment, motion, and strength. And those were three areas I started maintaining in my spine, regular chiropractic visits to help me do that, right. And then that over the last 16 years, has grown into me, my mission to educate the community, which then turned into educating as many people in chiropractors as possible. And as to your point, as of it being the time to do this. It turns out that right now in our society, we have more degeneration, more decay. You mentioned the frustration in practice, the frustration is when when someone comes in, they're 40 years old, and they have faced to degeneration and we're never told that we could do anything about that you could prevent that at all. And and dentists had the same frustration in their offices back in the early 1900s when it came to tooth decay. In fact, we just discovered the cause of tooth decay in the late 1800s, a researcher medical doctor and dentist by the name of Willoughby de Miller, he discovered the cause of tooth decay that that bacteria builds up in the teeth, that it digests food particles, bacteria, digest food particles and secrete an acid byproduct. And then we now know that acid byproduct will then eat the enamel of your tooth and cause dental caries. That didn't change the fact though, that here comes industrialization into our society bringing massive sugar into our diet in the early 1900s. And then dentists were busy all the sudden just pulling teeth. And so here comes Dr. Alfred phones, who we now know is the father of dental hygiene. He grew up in a dental office in the early 1900s And he saw his dad pulling people's teeth at younger and younger ages. Well, then he became a dentist himself and he saw he's pouring teenagers pulling teeth because they're rotting so fast because of all the sugar in our diet. So he turned his niece into the first ever dental hygienist, they started helping people take care of their teeth in the office and teaching them to take care of their teeth at home. And we just think that, you know, dental hygiene exploded from that point, but it didn't. In fact, dentists fought the idea for a very long time, because they thought, we're busy, we're making a lot of money off of people's teeth rotting, why would we tell them how to take care of them, you're gonna, you're gonna put us into obscurity, if everybody starts taking care of their teeth. And then a lot of dentists actually, literally their quotes, in some of the literature back in the early 1900s, it says, we just don't believe that you can prevent tooth decay, it's going to be too time consuming for people, they'll never do it. And you know, we hear a lot of this sometimes when I'm trying to share spinal hygiene is that you know, my patients don't want to do at home, they'll never do it. But you know, what, once you start implementing it, this concept, in your opinion, your practice, you notice there are a core foundational group of patients who do these home exercises. And those are your life timers. Those are the people who value their spine enough to actually do something every day for it, and come to you for checkups. It's like that dentists, their ideal patients, not the one that lets their teeth run out of their head before they come in, right. They're their ideal patients are the family that's like, I want my whole family to have great dental health. And we want you as our dentist. And so that's the concept, the ideas that we're creating with the spinal hygiene movement. Because in today's society, technology, all of a sudden, we have kids that are on computer screens for seven to nine hours a day, everyone's on a phone, we're sitting for longer periods than we've ever had before. We're seeing more and more degeneration around the base of the neck C five c, six more decay around the lower back. Oh, 405 than ever before, at younger ages than ever before. And there's no one that's going to do anything about that except for chiropractors.


Dr. Joseph Esposito: Yeah, it's interesting, because if you look at dentistry back then that you're talking about and people don't realize that they were considered quacks. Many years ago, I think it was more like the 40s or somewhere around there. I don't know the exact timeframe. But they there was an actual article about them considered quack. So it's interesting going from there to them doing emergency dental work, right. Like us doing chiropractic handling severe low back cases, or people with severe injury, and then then start working into the resistance of dental hygiene and thinking it's going to destroy their business. Now the education finally became big enough that everyone gets their teeth checked, if you don't want to talk now. It's like, dentists are not only so busy, but there's 10 times more dentists and they're all busy, because now they're dealing with dental caries, smaller ones, they're saving teeth instead of pulling teeth, but they're still working a lot. You know what I mean? And getting great business venture, and everyone has a dentist. So I think right now in Cairo was chiropractic quackery in the 60s 70s. Now, every sports team as a Cairo every musician as a Cairo companies have car so it's now mainstream chiropractic. Now we're getting into this little resistance for last 10 years on the spinal hygiene from your movement. Now, I think it's an accepted piece. Now we're going to start seeing the utilization of chiropractic climb and climb and climb to weeknight we may not have so much massive injury or need that we can help them maybe go into surgery. We're preventing and protecting and keeping integrity of the spine. We do seem degeneration, it's a beautiful state that we're moving into. But tell me what you think about from your perspective. When people are doing spinal hygiene in their homes. their husband, spouse, friend, neighbor, kids are probably watching this and asking questions and seeing the book on the counter and it may start moving into this like, Hey, maybe I should get my teeth checked for cavity. Maybe I should get my spine check. Do you think it's going to move into opening awareness of chiropractic as a preventative nature from your perspective,


Dr. Tabor Smith: that that is that's the vision and that's the way it's moving right now. And that's where the evolution of dental hygiene actually began. Right? You know, a few people started doing it. But dentists have done such a good job they got into schools, they started teaching kids how important it was. And now they've done such a good job of educating the community that you should, you should do prevention when it comes to dental health that that the parents now do their job for them. You know, I have three little boys and I took them all to the dentist early every night. I'm like, brush your teeth before bed. Right? And and so they they did such a good job of educating me that I now educate them. So eventually we'll get to that point too. We're not We're not there yet. Obviously, parents aren't doing our job for us, at least maybe some of us are in our offices. But yeah, I do think that's important. And then to the point that you just said, you know, if one family members watching, can they do it, this is why our spinal hygiene movement exercises are what we call non prescriptive exercises. So in our office, we might prescribe an exercise if a patient needs it. Let's say that you came in and I x rayed you, and you had a right translation on your in your posture or on your X ray, I might prescribe a left reverse posture exercise for that. That would make sense, right. But that would be your prescription. And I would tell you, Joe, don't share that exercise with your wife because she doesn't need it, it might mess her up. But the home care kit that we get are full of non prescriptive exercises, meaning everyone can lay on the spinal moulding roles. Everyone can do a range of motion stretch, everyone can do a wobble disc exercise. Everyone can work with the resistance bands. So yes, it makes it so easy for the whole family to begin to jump in if a toothbrush, if you needed a prescription for it. And it took an hour, maybe two hours to brush your teeth every day. You just wouldn't do it, it just wouldn't be economical. So we have to make sure that our homecare recommendations are easy for patients to do Sure. Some of them while we're in corrective care phases, might need some prescriptive exercises. But there has to be some general education and exercises that's implemented as well, in my opinion.


Dr. Joseph Esposito: I think that'd be interesting. If people are raised with spinal hygiene mindset if if Pete if the 90% of your practice is wellness people that you're maintaining their their spine, like you maintain the teeth, and once in a while you have a sport injury, or you get a low back moving a couch and you need more intense care, but it's not what it's been or what it is now, which is a lot of initial intensive care for ailments starting to grow. But can you imagine that change with spinal hygiene will do for the awareness of maintaining the spine using chiropractic


Dr. Tabor Smith: is key. Awareness is where we have to start, you know, and you look in the medical field, they start with awareness on everything they want to promote, look at breast cancer awareness, look at, you know, I mean, there's all kinds of things out there that they started with awareness campaigns to be able to build that I give an example was I was looking through a Time Magazine and they were doing they did a Gallup poll, for some reason they get they pulled 1000s of people ask them, you know, Do you brush your teeth every day? And 97% of the people they questioned said yes, we we brush our teeth. And I would say like, that means that 97% of America is aware they should do something to take care of their teeth. Now you might say, well, they're brushing their teeth to have good, good breath. And I would I would say Yeah, that's great that you have good breath. But the ultimate goal is to prevent tooth decay. Like that's, that's really the real reason you would brush your teeth, you don't want cavities, right? And so that awareness that 97% of Americans brushing their teeth on a daily basis, you know what that drives 50% of Americans to the dentists that fit because in the same poll, they said 50% of Americans have a dentist that they regularly go to or that they say they go to for checkups. Now not 97% Not everyone who was aware they should do something has a dentist but 50% That's enough to catapult dentistry into the second largest health care profession in the world. Right. Now, can you imagine like this, look at our numbers. How many people do you think are aware that they should do something every day to take care of their spine? Which maybe we see 5% or whatever it is of the population because of that. But what if we had 97% of Americans doing one thing a day, because they want good spinal health, they were just aware. And imagine if that drove 40 50% of Americans to a chiropractor. I mean, we would pass dentistry, we wouldn't have enough chiropractors to take care of people that that would be a great problem to have in my book.


Dr. Joseph Esposito: Yeah, think about it. I know I'm speaking the choir. But just think about it. Dentistry is focused on making sure that these, these bones in our mouth are used for chewing to masticate and break down food is such a vital part of our hygiene of our body. And then this unit of bones in our body that's wrapped and five layers of muscle that's movable. The other ones aren't movable, and has vitalistic nerves, leaving between that that control the human body and we're ignoring this organ system, this spine, but we put all this attention on these bones in our mouth used to masticate because they look pretty or they help us chew but they're not affecting neurology as much and when we look at a breakdown if we look at the sedentary lifestyle of these of humans, and the positions that we're in, we're literally changing proprioception with this forward head leaning that our our cerebellum perception of normal is now this and that's changing the discs that change See my breathing patterns are breathing from my scalings not from my diaphragm. That's going to break down my my ability to get oxygen to my brains can affect neurotransmitters affect my mood is affect my relationships, my perception and my ability to see the world through the right state of neurology. I know that sounds a little crazy, but the reality is, there are less. Their experience of life is altered when you alter the spine. It's just just reality. It's, I don't know, I think you what you're doing is changing the receptors and the perception just reset, reset, reset every day, if we don't do that. It's just a subpar experience of life, honestly.


Dr. Tabor Smith: I mean, from what you just said, I would think we would have an easier time selling our prevention than even a dentist would


Dr. Joseph Esposito: ways. We just have to all get on the story. And I love anything I could do to help you in that. I'm proud that we implemented spinal hygiene in a line life in our national franchise. And it was not really grabbed on in the beginning really well, and we just stuck with it. And now I'm saying oh, you started a new clinic. Oh, you're using it? Oh, good. Good. Yeah. No, I was looking for like, wow, so I'm seeing. And the reason I said that when we started the podcast, was because that's what I'm seeing in our group is that there seems to be less resistance people saying, oh, we should all do this. Right. So I love the journey.


Dr. Tabor Smith: If I can speak on that point, resistance is you know, from this is why I started teaching when I started teaching the certified spinal hygenist program. Through life University, I wanted to really make a huge part of that program. What causes degenerative disc disease? Because that's kind of the pushback. Everybody thinks it's caused by old age, even some chiropractors I talked to thing now, degenerative disc disease is caused by old age, when Absolutely, that's the least least likely cause of, of this phenomenon that happens, right? I mean, we, when we dive into it, we see it, there's some genetic components, right? That your body might be more efficient at laying down calcium than somebody else's. Kind of like when we see obesity, their body might be more efficient at storing, you know, adipose tissue than the next person, but they could still their actions, their daily choices can still influence whether they are obese or not. Right. And so we have that same phenomenon when it comes to the spine, that you genetically you might be more prone or more efficient at creating the degeneration or the loss of disguise those types of things. But it really comes down to biomechanics. It comes down to Wolff's law, when you start to put stress on certain areas, you see calcium lay down, and we dive into this in detail. So in dentistry, they look and they said, Well, if bacteria building up in the teeth secrete an acid, and they cause dental caries, then what if we clean that bacteria every single day, right? And we could we could potentially lower risk factors for tooth decay. Or you could just stop eating all sugar, right? And they were like, those two things would be great. But it's going to be a lot easier in today's day and age for them just to brush their teeth every day. Well, we can say, Look, if somebody had no postural stresses, they're never on a computer screen. They do away with all phones. Don't sit down for over 30 minutes a day, right? Like if you're if you're a perfect duration, but that's not plausible. What we can do is say can we constantly check in and look at alignment, mobility, biomechanics strength of the spine, if we're doing that consistently and maintaining that on a daily basis, we can lower the risk factors for degeneration. You know, it's really not even a question


Dr. Joseph Esposito: Yeah, and you know, on the on the clinical side, you know, the disc gets its food from imbibition which is root and it doesn't have a lot of blood flow. So without the sedentary lifestyles we live which is getting increasingly worse obesity is going up the generations increasing postures getting worse over time stress is increasing. That we have to make some decisions on what we can do three to four minutes a day like brushing your teeth, same amount of time, what can I do real quick to get mobility because without inhibition without pumping mechanism of the two vertebra between the disc we can't have that negative pressure pulling nutrients into this so what we're saying matches obviously physiology to a tee. And you're right this story is so easy to tell compare to dentistry honestly, is harder. It's just well known to us right this story Tabor is so well conceived I believe. So you know, align life's implemented it my my statement to those who listen, if you haven't implemented spinal hygiene, here's my advice to you is I would make a commitment to your to your new patients. I would actually make it a gift that like your workshop to say it's put it in the care plan. When you educate them, have you go back to the end of the room. To get their spinal hygiene kit, and that's an opportunity to see if there's any questions they had on the workshop, see if there's anyone they want to get checked. So you need a way to transition someone from you laying down the premise laying down the truth, to take any individual up to one of your staff to kind of see, where are they at? Is there anyone that they want to get checked? So moving from our mindset, or our premise to practicality, for their business and for their, their patient's well being? I think I make it a line in the sand. And we played with it in some clinics, and then some clinics putting the line in the sand. This is just what we do. I find in business, run a number of different businesses, the more I don't have lines in the sand, the more I got to make decisions, the more energy I got apply, the more I got to think should i Does this patient an x ray does this patient need or I have protocol and say you know what? Everyone needs spinal hygiene. It just makes the practice easier to run. So I would recommend that if you haven't spoken to Tabor, I know he's come to my organization to speak. You know, I'd love to send people to life University to take the coursework, which I haven't done, but I need to do that. But any closing up any thoughts that the practical thoughts I'm bringing? Do you agree with those or anything you would add to that?


Dr. Tabor Smith: No, I agree. 100%. And really, it comes down to it, we talked about knowing your product. And if our product is lifetime family wellness, the the core of that lifetime family wellness is lifetime Spinal Care. And if our mission is to educate and adjust as many families as possible, then part of that education is make is putting it in those protocols. Because you can't do that with one every single person that comes in your office, you can't just say it all over and over again. But this this lifetime Spinal Care Education is built so beautifully into these products and into our spinal hygiene movement, that once people are going through your protocols, you're giving them this this spinal hygiene information. They start to they become understand errs right, we take them from believers to understand here's where they really began to understand what taking care of the spine is because nobody's ever showed him that nobody's ever told them that and those understand yours, then turn into your lifetime errs and your best patients


Dr. Joseph Esposito: and your ambassadors that spread the word of what you're doing. So I think it's probably one of the best business moves outside of direct marketing, because it creates a daily awareness. When you go to the chiropractor and you only think about the chiropractor on the way to the visit or your spine. I think of my teeth a lot on the way to the dentist. I'm like, Have I been flossing? Pretty good, but not great. You know, you go through what are you supposed to do on the way to dentists? Right? It's funny, spinal hygiene, you're you're thinking, you're a chiropractor, you're thinking of integrity of the spine, and it becomes a conversation more often. So I promise you referrals go up or whatnot. So, hey, listen, I really appreciate you coming on. And I really appreciate this mission. Don't give up don't stop and I know it's starting to get massive traction now. So congrats on holding to your holding to your vision, man.


Dr. Tabor Smith: Thank you, brother. Appreciate it. Thanks for helping me share the message. Awesome.