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Meet Michael Tebbe of Bright Start Chiropractic in West LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Tebbe.

Michael, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Looking back over the years movement is the central theme.

My first experience with Chiropractic and better movement happened in 2000 when I was in my last semester of undergrad at the University of Iowa. I went to see Dr. Bradley for minor yet persistent issues. I thought the appointment was interesting and I really liked Dr. Bradley. The big ah ha moment came when I returned home. I bent over to pick something off the floor and was shocked by the freedom of movement in my back. I thought, “this what normal is” It was like switching from black/white TV to color, literally that eye-opening.

My interest in movement began long before though. Some of my earliest memories are of my parents stretching on the living room floor before they went out to do training runs for the 13+ marathons they ran when I was kid. I did various sports through high school and undergrad. My brother introduced me to Tai Chi in my early 20’s and I studied that for many years with a great teacher when I moved to LA.

I entered Chiropractic School in January of 2013 and I was the guy that actually paid attention in our spinal biomechanics class and integrated the principles into my life, i.e., keeping your back straight and lifting with your legs. Yes, I’m a nerd when it comes to this stuff. Towards the end of school, I began to learn about functional movement and rehabilitation. I loved this information as I applied it to myself and because it made total sense. We do all these things that in our daily life that mess up our posture and our normal healthy movement.

I started practicing in 2006 and opened my own practice at the end of 2016. I currently rent space from my mentor Dr. Leonard Faye, DC. From Dr. Faye, I learned that as Chiropractors we don’t adjust bones that are out of place rather we adjust joints to restore normal motion. The body is a connected unit where a stuck joint in your ankle can lead to low back pain for example. When people come to me, I check every joint in their body not just where they have pain. This gives me a ton of certainty and diagnostic clarity when I take care of people.

My interest in movement only continues to grow. This past year has lead me to studying how babies move and integrating that into my daily movement practice. Specifically, I am studying Tim Anderson’s work with the Original Strength Institute. Healthy babies are hardwired to move and they all follow the same progression. Nobody teaches a baby how to move it comes from inside of them. When we mimic those movements it reconnects is with that original movement blueprint. The benefits are it helps you restore our posture, increase your strength and improve your flexibility. More importantly it makes you feel really good.

Bottom line I love to move and I love sharing better movement with everyone I come in contact with whether they are part of my practice or not. We are super fortunate to be able to move and our bodies are wonderfully designed. I know that we all can experience high quality of movement throughout our whole lives by doing things like babies do.

Tell us about the transition from schooling to starting your own practice. Has it been a smooth road?
There are always challenges in life so yes the journey to where I am now was not always easy.

As most medical providers will tell you is after you leave school you have to learn how to run a business. That is a whole other education in itself but one I have enjoyed. I learned from several of the people I have worked for what not to do. One valuable lesson I learned was to keep the business as simple as possible. I do my best to make working with me a highly valuable and easy process for my customers.

Another challenge was becoming highly skilled in my craft. Unfortunately, Chiropractic school doesn’t teach that very well either. I was lucky to meet mentors along the way who helped me hone my skills. This is a process that never stops for me since we can always be better.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Bright Start Chiropractic story. What are you most proud of and passionate about?
The name of my company is Bright Start Chiropractic.

I named it Bright Start because before my daughter was born I was studying books on optimal brain development in babies but none of the books talked about how healthy spinal movement affected brain development. I had read the research on spinal motion or lack thereof and how it affected every part of the brain. Since our brain does the most development of any time in our life in the first three years forgetting how movement can aid this development is a huge failure. This really ignited a passion in me to help babies have better movement because of how a healthy brain affects every area of their life.

I specialize in working with babies who are struggling with poor sleep, difficulty feeding, inconsolable crying and digestive issues so that they can have more hours of restful sleep, more happy cooing and easier digestion.

Talking of babies, you have to address what their time is like in the womb. I help pregnant women who are not sleeping well, have pain and don’t want to move so that they can have more hours of quality sleep and easier movement.

What brings me the most joy in practice is helping babies have better quality of life. Another one of my mentors put it this way. The pediatrician deals with life/death issues in babies. A Chiropractor deals with quality of life issues in babies. When a baby sleeps better, can breastfeed easier and can poop better I know that this will improve their life not just in the moment but years down the road.

What sets me apart from others is my unique way of integrating all of my movement improvement experience when I work with people in my practice. People comment that it is like magic but it is really being able to see things from a different perspective. My learning never stops which only makes me better able to help those who I come in contact with. I truly love and enjoy my profession.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see the field of Chiropractic and other conservative approaches to health care i.e., Acupuncture receiving more and more popularity. The opioid crisis is only the starting point of this wave. Aspirin is no longer recommended as a preventative measure for heart disease. People want to feel better and want to do so in a way that improves quality of life and life span. Western Medicine is amazing at life and death situations but not great at quality of life care. It is an exciting time and I am glad to be a part of it.

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