World Spine Care and Content Creation with Dr. Nathan Cashion

WSC Director of Communications

Most of the world has never experienced the power of chiropractic care. Dr. Nathan Cashion and World Spine Care have been working tirelessly to bring access to chiropractic around the world to underserved populations. Get an inside look at whats new with World Spine Care and how you can get involved at a global level.

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Episode Transcript

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Hey, Samir Chiropractor, welcome to the featured guest segment of the smart Chiropractor show, and we have a special featured guest for you today. This is somebody that I’ve known for quite a few years that I have found his journey fascinating, and I wanted to get to the bottom of what exactly goes on day to day with Dr. Nathan Cashion at World Spine Care. You’re the communications director over there, and thanks for taking a few moments and chatting with me today.

Dr. Nathan Cashion: Yeah, thanks for inviting me to come on.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: It is my pleasure. So let’s kick it off with for any docs out there that aren’t familiar with world spine care. What is it? In a nutshell? Then we can dove into some of the details.

Dr. Nathan Cashion: Yeah. Well, World Spine Care is an organization that was founded by Scott Haldeman, who most people familiar with spine research are aware of, and he founded this back in 2008 to address a huge gap that he noticed in the epidemiological research. And so it’s a nonprofit registered in three countries in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, which establishes clinics and underserved communities to provide conservative spine care as a first line of care for people who otherwise wouldn’t have access to high quality spine care. And so currently, we have established six clinics in four countries, although unfortunately, because of COVID, a lot of those are closed. But we still do have clinics running in India, Ghana and in Botswana.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: Nice. I love the concept and clearly I can just only imagine how challenging the execution of that is across the world. It’s hard to run a practice in your own town, never mind trying to do it around the world, and I can certainly appreciate the challenges that come with that. As a young doctor yourself, I mentioned at the top you’re involved as the director of communications for the organization. Trace it back. How did you get involved initially? What are some of the steps that led to that? Because it’s a pretty unique aspect of Chiropractic. You’re the only one that does it. So how did you get there? What were some of those early steps?

Dr. Nathan Cashion: Well, it in some ways it’s a little bit of a misnomer, but we’ll get to that. So I was in Chiropractic school and like so many students, you know, there is a group of my classmates who are going to go on a Chiropractic mission trip. And previously, you know, I come from a line of, I wouldn’t say, missionaries, you know, my my grandparents were Quakers, and they traveled around the world with the American Friends Service Committee. So my mom, by the time she was five, had traveled around the world three times living in South Korea, India, Japan and my parents or my grandparents had been to, I think, Kenya as well, a number of places. And and then I actually I did myself serve a mission. I lived in Brazil for a couple of years and just have always had an interest in doing stuff in other countries. And so saw this opportunity got on board, went to Haiti and the Dominican Republic for a little over a week. I think it was and had a great experience. But at the end kind of had some insights, some realizations for myself. And the first one was that, you know, providing Chiropractic care was great, but particularly in Haiti, it wasn’t the first thing that these people needed. They needed. This was only a year or two after the big earthquake there, and I realized, you know, what they needed was better hygiene, better access to clean water. And so I started looking at, OK, what are some ways to provide that? And I’m a monthly donor to charity water now because of that.

Dr. Nathan Cashion: The second thing I noticed was, you know, even though providing Chiropractic care is a great thing and they were very happy to receive it and you get to adjust hundreds, if not thousands, of people, depending on your own stamina. And but I kind of realized at the end like. For the people with serious conditions, we had no way to refer them on to further care. There was just no way to continue and to follow up. There are just a couple of examples there where I. Needed, I felt like people needed that, and I couldn’t provide it, and so I started looking around and said, OK, what are there other groups that are doing something similar but that actually maintain a presence in the country so that they can have that full spectrum of care? And I came across world spine care and I was very impressed. This would have been around, I want to say, 20, 15, maybe 20, 14, 20, 15 that I learned of them. And, you know, I just kind of saw them online and thought it was great and decided that I wanted to raise some funds for them. At the same time, I was running ultramarathons. And so in this weird combination, I look back and it didn’t make any sense at all, but I did a 5K race and for that, I just on campus sold some what’s called Trail Butter.

Dr. Nathan Cashion: A local company here in Portland, Oregon, makes this delicious nut butter and fruit blend that was very popular for trail runners. And so I just sold those and used the proceeds from that to donate to world spine care under the auspices of running this 50km race. And I think in the end, it was a few hundred dollars. Maybe seven hundred total might be overestimating there that I donated to World Spine Care. The current at the time, Jeff Outerbridge, who was the clinical director at the time, saw the donation and contacted me and we just started kind of chatting and I got involved. First of all, just by doing social media posts for him, he was doing that on his own, doing blog posts on his own and needed to be able to focus elsewhere. And so that’s what I did as a student for years. And then slowly, just over the years since then, just kind of added on a little bit more and more responsibility. And so now, yes, I do social media. I do the website. I also do kind of behind the scenes, the tech stuff. So managing our Google Workspace and our email and our newsletter and just kind of a wide variety of things to support on the back end. And the title I have is director of communications, which, you know, I’m not the best at PR, but that’s kind of part of what I do.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: I think that story is fascinating and it’s a great testament to taking action. We have a saying within The SMART Chiropractor results, follow actions and you clearly took action. You saw an opportunity to get involved, you took action with it, you sold the butter on your own. You created the chance and opportunity to become involved. And that’s fantastic. I know, you know, tracing it back to are probably around that time when you and I first connected, you were a student and you were a content creator. And I want to say one of the early in my mind, you know, student content creators within the Chiropractic space. Can you talk a little bit about how, how you thought about content, how do you get started? What have you done in the past? This is a big avenue that we encourage our smart Chiropractor to get involved with getting their message out there, utilizing these platforms to engage with people in their communities. You started early as a student through a variety of different platforms. Trace it back for us.

Dr. Nathan Cashion: Well, I was an early listener to podcasts and I’m talking before the iPod. You know, I learned about some podcasts, particularly in the technology world, and started listening to them. I still listen every week to break weekly, which is in just hit episode eight hundred a few weeks ago. And I just kind of fell in love with this at the time this new medium. And I always wanted to do one, and I did my first podcast in about 2011. I was very interested at the time. In presentation design. I was working with a nonprofit in education and that was part of my job was to redesign presentation. So I did this podcast, it’s probably still out there called brain slides. Or I was trying to talk about, you know what? How do you design slides that actually are based on the science we know about the brain? And when I got into Chiropractic school in a year or two after that, I just still had this desire to do a podcast, and I chose Western states because it was branded as an evidence based school. And when I got there, there was this weird dichotomy where a lot of the students in Chiropractic school were saying, Why are we learning all this science stuff? I thought we were going to be chiropractors. And then in the same group of students, there were there are these students saying, Why are we learning all this philosophy stuff? I thought we were going to be doctors. And I noticed there is this strange miscommunication that happened where students didn’t know what they were getting.

Dr. Nathan Cashion: And I knew that there were other schools that really focused heavy on the philosophy. And I was curious what did their experience look like? Were their students there that were saying, still, you know, they chose Sherman, but we’re like, Why are we learning all this philosophy stuff? I don’t know. And so I started a podcast interviewing students at other schools just to see what the experience was like and to try to give perspective students, which I was for nearly 10 years from high school on. And there just wasn’t a good resource to learn about the schools that you might want to go to. And so I was trying to provide something like that. And and then beyond students, I just got interested in all aspects of Chiropractic. I wanted to explore Chiropractic. And so I came across you with the evidence based Chiropractor and wanted to interview you. And I’ve interviewed a number of other people, including Jeff Outerbridge of the World Spine here and other volunteers with world spine care people at schools and probably five or six countries Australia, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa. And it just it was really an interesting journey to kind of learn more about Chiropractic across the world and just try to put that out now. You’ve done such a much better job of turning it into something consistent. Mine has become increasingly intermittent. Just because it’s hard to find the time. But but yeah, I think it’s still a great medium for people to jump into and to put their voice out there, too.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: You did. You continue to do, you did and continue to do a fantastic job when those episodes do get released. You do. You do a great job when you were going through the process of getting involved in podcasting as an early listener. That’s one thing. Then you took again, action steps. There’s a common theme here where you started your own and beginning to expand your network. What were perhaps one or two of the primary benefits that you saw as you began really getting deep into the podcast early on and as it continued to grow?

Dr. Nathan Cashion: I have a little bit trouble kind of seeing those benefits. You know, it’s certainly there have been some cases of serendipity that a lot of people talk about, right where you put this thing out in the world and someone comes across it and then reaches out to do a little bit more. You know, I would love to say that someone wanted to buy the podcast for one hundred million dollars to put on Spotify exclusively, but that didn’t happen. But I got to meet a bunch of interesting people, you know, and we’ve sort of stayed connected because of that, right? And I even early on interviewed a very, at the time, very well-known A. Chiropractic blogger and podcaster, you know, and so I’ve tried to kind of reach in all directions. It’s been a huge learning experience as well as far as what it could become. And I again. Um, what I’ve seen is that the this aspect of consistency, which I know you talk about a lot really is critical and I kick myself a lot of times for not being as consistent. And you can talk better about how to push through this challenge of like, Yeah, I want to do a podcast every week, but it’s a time suck. It’s people say it’s free, but the honest truth is it’s not free. It can be cheap, but it’s not free, especially when you always want to do something more and increase the quality. And, you know, and it’s an effort where I could be spending time. Earning money, whether the hourly wage of the seeing patients or whatever, and so, yeah, I wish I could say more, you know, I wish I had a great story about this great result that came from it, but it certainly was a good experience, and I continue to think about it almost daily, wanting to do more episodes. And there’s so much that we can talk about in Chiropractic. That’s it’s really interesting and intriguing.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: You have plenty of time and I think expanding your network. And as PJ once said, yeah, you never know how far reaching something you know you do will expand tomorrow. And the beauty of podcasts in some ways is that they can live forever and continue to impact people far beyond what you recognize are far beyond what you hear back on a daily basis. One thing I want to ask you about

Dr. Nathan Cashion: We’ll mention I will mention one interesting story where that happens, where you get feedback much later on that it’s valuable. And I went to a local Chiropractor. I moved back to Oregon City two years ago and wanted to find a local Chiropractor. He also was doing these community based internships, so it was a student who was in his final term and practicing in this clinic. And you know, I come in, I didn’t know who the guy was and this kind of treating me any kind of look at me and said, You know, are you? Are you that guy that has that podcast? I was like, Yeah, you mean? And Chiropractic said, Yeah, that was really helpful for me when I was choosing the school and I was like, Oh, now you tell me, so you’re right. Bj’s words are true. I just wish there is a mechanism to hear that sooner, so you get that feedback when it when it really counts.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: I feel, yes, sometimes I talk to people and I stare at this little, you know, piece of glass on my desktop and you’re talking to my microphone and 99 percent of that time, I do that, you know, by myself or with Jason involved with The SMART Chiropractor. And it’s not until I get, you know, you get beyond the four walls of your house or wherever it might be that you start to say, Oh, there is something getting out there, and sometimes that can be, you know, challenging. But that’s a great testament to the fact of putting that content out there. Taking the action is the first step. One thing I want to ask you about is I have camera envy going on. If anybody’s listening to this via podcast form, they’re not going to be able. I’m going to encourage you to head over to the YouTube channel and check out the video, because normally I’m showing up with with the most crisp video you have me out done today. Your camera, your video. Everything’s looking fantastic. I’d love to know your thoughts on the transition because there’s a transition between audio as you were recording podcasts and then getting involved in showcasing yourself. Being on video, the gear looks great. I know sometimes the mental aspects of that. I’ll speak for myself. It’s different. It was a little challenging in many docs out there want to be more involved on social platforms, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, whatever it might be. But there’s some fear. There’s apprehension there is. I don’t have the right gear. Maybe I need to wait. There’s a bunch of excuses is ultimately what many of them add up to, but I’d love to know your thoughts on as you expanded, I’d say more than transition, but expanded from audio only more to the video space. What was perhaps an item or two that you learned along the way? And what would you recommend or say to a doc out there who would love to record some video but just hasn’t gotten over the hump of pressing the record button yet?

Dr. Nathan Cashion: Yeah, I guess two general things. One is if you are hesitant, practice in secret. I’ll talk about that. And then the second one is that you have the gear that you need already. And so by practicing secret, I mean, so I have this idea for a new podcast that I was testing. And again, I don’t have time for my initial one. I don’t know why I thought I have time for a second one, but I wanted to do sort of what you’re doing this live weekly episode. And to test that, I joined Twitch and I don’t know anything about video game streaming. I’m not interested in that, but it was a platform that you can broadcast live. And I did like, I don’t know, eight practice episodes of this just by myself speaking into the ether of the internet. And you know, by the end of that, I’m like, OK, this has legs. This could really happen. And I got much more comfortable talking into this, this camera above my screen, right? Rather than talking down at my keyboard or something like that. So, you know, I’ve done similar things with podcasting. I started podcasting when I was in university. I worked in this computer lab and I would just stay after hours and just record these fake podcasts by myself. And they’re really bad at first. But you get the practice by doing that and then by. And this idea that you have the gear that you need, I mean, obviously if you have a smartphone, the newest iPhones are incredible.

Dr. Nathan Cashion: They would probably rival this setup that I have here. But what I’m doing right now is I, you know, got married for a honeymoon. We decided to buy a not a DSLR, but a micro four thirds similar interchangeable lenses. And, you know, so you got a bunch of good photos. And then that thing’s been sitting around, and I realized there’s got to be a way to connect that and sure enough, five dollars I got a HDMI to USB connector plugged in this thousand micro four thirds digital camera. And it it’s like a studio, you know, above my computer, and it was just laying around and again. But even if you just have an iPhone or a smartphone, there’s software that’s either free or a few bucks that will let you use that camera as a webcam, complete with the blurred background and everything. And you know, and then you start playing with lights, that’s when it gets expensive. Sure. You know, you’ve got I think you have an aperture or something like that, right? That’s right. A nice, very nice slides. But, you know, even for a couple of hundred bucks, I’ve got good lighting kit that works well. So start small and practice in secret if you need to, but start putting stuff out there.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: I love those bits of advice, Nathan, No. One, I repeat them for impact for everybody watching and listening. No one. It takes a little bit of practice. You got to get your reps in. I use the example that your five hundredth adjustment probably was a little better than your first, but you just pushed through. It’s a skill like anything else. And as you testified too, it’s really getting those reps in and not being too self-critical. It’s going to take a little time and everybody thinks they sound and look weird when they first get started. The most important thing is to continue to push through, as is most things in life. And the second portion of that is don’t let a lack of gear hold you back. You can geek out, and you and I have geeked out, certainly on plenty of gear throughout time and you can get into an infinite rabbit hole. There are whole sectors of the economy dedicated towards camera gear, film gear, recording gear, you name it. You can keep spending and buying as much as you want, but as you said, for most of us, we have in our pockets or on our desk right now everything that we need to get started. Nathan, you are just I love chatting with you. I love connecting and reconnecting, and I really thank you for coming on with us today, exploring some about world spine care and also talking about content. Those are two interesting avenues. I’ve loved watching you build, grow and expand as time has gone on and products that want to learn more either about you or world spine care. I’ll let you choose where would you direct them? Where can they check things out?

Dr. Nathan Cashion: Yeah, they can find more about me in my increasingly intermittent podcast and occasional YouTube video at exploring Chiropractic and World Spine Care at World Spine Care dot org. And we have plenty of opportunities for clinicians to get involved in numerous ways, whether that is going to the Dominican Republic or Botswana or from home. And you can volunteer like I do from home. You can help create content for world spine care or otherwise raise funds and different things like that. So GICS, that world is right on.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: We will drop those links. Thank you for sharing with us today, and we’ll talk with you very soon.

Dr. Nathan Cashion: Thanks for bringing me on.

Dr. Jeff Langmaid: You’re welcome. Bye bye.

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