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Dr. Michelle Robin: “Connections are the key to a healthier life!”

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Dr. Michelle Robin eyes the soil the way a farmer contemplates the upcoming planting season. She understands crops won’t flourish unless the ground is well prepared, packed with nutrients and carefully cultivated as the seedlings grow and mature. But the Overland Park, Kansas, chiropractor isn’t planning for the next harvest of corn or soybeans. She’s focused on growing people,
especially children.

“I want to plant seeds of wellness, and right now part of that is preparing the soil. So how do I prepare the soil, thinking about the future growth we need? How do we really help kids heal at another level?” asked Dr. Robin. “When we know that we’re all connected, we don’t want to hurt ourselves or others, so how can we create those connections?”

Dr. Robin is a speaker, author, podcast host and practicing chiropractor. She is the founder and chief wellness officer of Your Wellness Connection, P.A., one of the nation’s most successful integrative healing centers, focused on chiropractic, Chinese medicine, energy medicine, naturopathic medicine, functional medicine, massage therapy, counseling, nutritional and wellness coaching and movement arts.

Safe and Understanding Spaces
During one year, Dr. Robin was deeply impacted by the suicide of four of her patients; one was only 15 years old. It set her on a journey to find answers and solutions to this horrific dilemma, especially in understanding teenage suicide. After more than 25 years with her successful chiropractic practice, she is focusing on her Big Shifts Foundation®, which is dedicated to making generational lifestyle changes by providing young people, from the ages of five to thirty years old, with safe places and resources to enable their whole health through her Small Changes Big Shifts program.

The program is designed to enable young people to realize that current cultural influences are not always positive choices for them. Small Changes Big Shifts teaches age-appropriate tools to help children act attentively in caring for their physical body and what they put in and on their bodies. They learn from accomplished practitioners how to care for their mental and spiritual identities. Dr. Robin and her team of volunteers partner with other nonprofits and corporations to educate and empower young people to be well and live a healthier lifestyle by following a four-part framework and finding their unique, harmonious blend of practices.

“The fundamental principle of the framework is harmony. Too many people strive for ‘balance,’ which to most means 50-50. That’s difficult to maintain. But harmony is about an ever-evolving flow that’s right for the moment,” shared Dr. Robin. “With this mental model, people of all ages quickly begin to understand that it’s not all about exercising OR eating clean OR maintaining a spiritual practice OR being attuned to the energy around us. It’s about the AND, and what’s best right now.”

Four Elements of Balance
According to Dr. Robin, the Quadrants of Wellbeing empower children and adults to be well and stay well while moving to live the best they can be as they embrace whole health. This framework is founded on mechanical, chemical, energetic and psychospiritual aspects of holistic wellbeing. Wellness empowerment through lifestyle behaviors means practicing harmony and putting the odds in your favor through small changes that make big shifts in whole health outcomes.

Dr. Robin believes that when firmly rooted in this foundation for wellness, children and adults can enjoy a healthier lifestyle and move through issues in their lives by seeing that better self-care is the solution. “There are moments when you’re fragile. It’s like a tree. There are storms in life, and if the tree is really rooted in well and it has good soil, it can weather the storms of life,” she shared. “When something comes along in life—you get a divorce, you lose a job, you have an accident, and it unhinges you. If you’re pretty rooted in, those things happen and they stink, but you say, ‘You know what, I’m going to get through this.’ However, it doesn’t take much for a tree or a person with shallow roots in unhealthy soil to collapse or be forever damaged with each dark weather day.”

The teachings from Small Changes Big Shifts empower people to create those deep roots in whole health through harmonious daily practices and the wellness providers who guide them. Members come from different walks of life and may be consumers or professional providers. It offers programs and consulting services in whole-person health that grant more access to interdisciplinary wellness providers and the consistent practice of the Quadrants of Wellbeing. The concept is to disrupt the current healthcare paradigm by empowering consumers with practices that put the odds in their favor to be well and stay well. Along with the Quadrants of Wellbeing, Dr. Robin offers three other things that are important foundations for living a healthier life.

Impactful Practices
“Practice gratitude each day. Notice the big things and the small things that you have to be grateful for in this moment and in this life. Drink water. Be a grape, not a raisin. Drink one-half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. For instance, 150 pounds equals 75 ounces of water,” shared Dr. Robin. “Get sleep. Sleep is important to all of our wellbeing. Set yourself up for good mental health and a healthy weight by creating a sleep routine and giving yourself seven to nine full hours of sleep.”

More than five years ago, Dr. Robin founded the Wellness Consortium, a group of Kansas City metro health and wellness providers and vendors passionate about whole-person care and making a difference in the community. Members come from the fields of medicine to chiropractors, to cafe owners and more. As Dr. Robin shared, “We understand it takes a tribe when it comes to living a healthy and vibrant life so we are committed to helping people live their fullest potential through the Quadrants of Wellbeing.” 

Right now, three Wellness Consortiums are meeting regularly in the cities of Shawnee, Kansas; North Kansas City, Missouri; and the Brookside area of Kansas City, Missouri. Once a year the entire group meets to share, connect and inspire to create change in their communities. “My purpose is to connect and inspire people to live well. I want to celebrate, guide and connect to share hope. Connection is the key to all of this, which is why I named my practice Your Wellness Connection,” revealed Dr. Robin. “I want to connect with people and see their hearts.”

Life-Long Health
Wellness is a continuum, ever-changing yet moving through various phases of health. Dr. Robin notes that we are either moving toward disease or wellness every moment we choose what to drink or eat, how we think, how we interact with others and how we move. Patients must share what challenges they believe block them from success, and wellness providers must listen to those concerns, which can include self-esteem issues, past hurts, resentment, food allergies, depression, hormone imbalance, unhealthy relationships, under/overactive thyroid and more.

This wellness model, built by Dr. Robin, strives to identify challenges so true healing can begin. The journey of wellness is all about getting into the soil, building the nutrients and carefully cultivating a crop as we attain a personal level of wellness. “We need to focus on what we can do, not on what we can’t do,” noted Dr. Robin. “Think to yourself, ‘How do we get into the soil?’ You have to believe it before you can become it.”

The future is an exciting one for Dr. Robin as she cultivates her foundation, wellness programs and business. She’s found her calling to help others by constructing positive changes to their lifestyle and wellness plans. “I know my lane is to encourage people about embodying this lifestyle. That’s what I want to do whether it’s one-on-one with a client, teaching corporate clients or taking a text or phone call from somebody who’s in crisis,” she said. “That’s my mission and I’m going to spend the rest of my life doing that and anything that’s not in that lane I’m trying to eliminate.”

The Quadrants of Wellbeing

Mechanical Wellness
The physical body is influenced by how and how often you move. Extended periods of pain are harmful to your body performing optimally. By the time you feel pain and discomfort you have likely had an issue for quite some time. Pain is your body’s way of getting your attention.

Chemical Wellness
The body’s chemistry is influenced by what enters it and what is released in its effort to maintain a state of balance, called homeostasis. You are what you consume and what your body absorbs from the environment. The body is masterful with detoxifying systems if they are adequately supported.

Energetic Wellness
The life-energy that courses through your body is influenced by external environments and energy sources. Healing can be accomplished by shifting energy to correct imbalances in the body’s own energy fields.

Psychospiritual Wellness
The interconnections between the mind and spirit influence the body in ways that are undeniable and not fully understood. Emotional and spiritual blocks can stress the body, creating pain and dysfunction.