With a growing list of clients that includes recording artists, actors and professional athletes, James Stoxen, DC, truly is a chiropractor to the stars. In part two of this exclusive interview, Dr.Stoxen shares his unique experiences from more than 125 tours with top entertainers and provides further insight into his challenging, yet rewarding career.
Do you have any preference in treating athletes, vs. recording artists or Broadway stars? What is your favorite type of work?
I consider it a privilege to walk into a stadium and meet someone I've idolized for years whose performances have shaped our culture. It feels good to be involved with someone you've grown up admiring.
However, elite athletes are very different because their physical health is so crucial to achieving performance levels that break records and win championships. There is tremendous personal satisfaction in working with athletes who have been considered over the hill, broken down or unranked. I have given them treatments to heal; nutrition advice to get the performance edge; and designed and implemented a program of strength and conditioning to increase their power, speed, agility, balance and coordination. My center, Team Doctors, has a complete private training center where many athletes have done their strength and conditioning training, which contributed to them winning a world title, or a national or world championship.
These athletes had the talent and the drive, but the state of their bodies and the nature of their training, diet and discipline held them back. I love to motivate them and I'm not afraid to tell them what they need to do to be a champion. Some of these athletes are so tough that even their trainers are too intimidated to talk to them the way they need to be. I am always challenging them in the training center. It gets them emotional and gets them going. On my way to work each morning, I send out motivating text messages, e-mails and calls reminding them about their training, to stay on their diet or just to work hard that day.
During competition, I spend time analyzing my athletes' biomechanics to see what I can do to improve their performance. I'm strict with biomechanics in the training room, but never interfere with their athletic coaches or trainers on sports-specific technique. People have asked why I don't set up a facility to train the athlete for the sport. That's not my role. The coach sends them to me for treatment, strength training and conditioning, and I stay out of their areas.
Do you have any advice for chiropractors who would like to get involved in treating celebrities?
The biggest piece of advice I can give is that you can't go in and wing it. There are chiropractors out there who do what I do. Like me, they have many years of experience and already know what to do and what not to do. You have to know what the appropriate treatment is, but there is a whole political and social element with which to contend. Celebrities and their handlers are accustomed to being "hit on" all the time by people who want something or just want to be around a celebrity for the fun of it. They are very quick to separate themselves from anyone they suspect is being too much of a "fan" or an "opportunist."
These are the no-no's: Don't talk too much about yourself. Let your hands do the talking. Don't ask a lot of questions outside of what is necessary to treat them. Don't ever ask for autographs, pictures with them, signed photos, CDs, tickets or any other favors of any kind. If you do the work, you get paid. Don't give care away or trade care for memorabilia. Don't bring assistants. Don't audition for them or hand them a book of your poems or your staff member's latest CD. Your backstage pass is a "working" pass, so you are there to work. You only watch the show if the artist or management invites you.
Get there on time, stay out of the way, don't hang in the halls gawking, never say "no," say "please" and "thank you," respect everyone, give "wow" treatments and go home satisfied you did all you could to help this road-weary cast and crew feel better.
With all the work you do helping others, how do you stay healthy and energized to manage your hectic schedule?
I practice an anti-aging diet and lifestyle based on what I've learned from the lectures and teachings of Dr. Bob Goldman and Dr. Ron Klatz of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Many of these internationally renowned MD lecturers and scientists are my patients. We pick each others brains on the latest healthy lifestyle trends and then implement them in our own daily life and with our patients.
I try to set a good example and stay fit and healthy. I take a lot of vitamins. My technicians give me a lot of treatments when I'm unable to get one from my father, Paul Stoxen, DC. When I'm out of town, I get a lot of massages. When I go to medical conferences, I go to every single exhibit and lecture. I ask a lot of questions about different supplements, technologies and treatments that may improve my health and the health of my patients.
I have a full training center at my office. After the patients leave, I workout for at least 60 to 90 minutes, and I do the same training as my athletes. One time, I was instructing a fighter on doing hanging abs. He did about three or four of them, and I told him to work on his technique. He said, "Why don't you show me how to do it?" I knocked off about 100 of them. He was about 26 and I was 40 at the time. I looked at him and said, "You're 26 and I'm 40, and you want to be a professional fighter? You have a lot of work to do to get in shape." About four months later, he had lost about 60 pounds and won seven consecutive fights by knockout. He said to me, "The thing that really motivated me and really made me stay with you was that you whooped my butt at exercise. I figured if a 40-year-old man can do it, I should be able to do it, too."
What's next on your schedule? Are there specific celebrities you'd like to work with or venues you would like to try?
I'm finishing my book, Your Crumbling Foundation, which I'm writing with Bill Dobbins, who wrote three books with Arnold Schwarzenegger and authored five more on his own, as well as 3,000 articles for Shape and Muscle & Fitness. I have another book called You're Too Smart to Be Obese, written with a patient of mine who lost almost 200 pounds. I also have a book with a very famous entertainer who was in chronic pain with depression and an addiction to pain medication, who then turned their life around to be in the greatest shape of their life. It is a testimonial to chiropractic care and will be coming out in about eight months.
So far in 2008, I have accepted several lecture assignments taking place around the world. I would like to help more chiropractors get speaking engagements at medical conferences, and I would be honored to speak for any chiropractic organization. If any chiropractor has a scientific presentation they would like to give and/or any chiropractic organizations would like me to come speak for their event, please contact me. Chiropractors need to get the word out about what they can do for people.
This month, I will be inducted into the National Fitness Hall of Fame. There are six inductees in 2008. Joseph Pilates was up for election but didn't get voted in. It shocked me to hear this and at the same time, made me count my blessings to be considered for such an honor by my peers. As a future member of this organization, I plan on nominating more chiropractors.
I have a new health and fitness column in the Las Vegas Hollywood Magazine, which consists of stories of the diets, health and fitness approaches of the celebrities with whom I've worked. I built an anti-aging and nutrition wing of my practice. I consulted on the design of a basketball shoe for Converse Japan. Also, I am considering some offers from investors on a new shoe with my designs. I am appearing in two commercials. I'll probably work with about 30 to 40 tours this year and plan to take on a Broadway national tour assignment for charity. Finally, I plan on taking my daughter to Beijing for the 2008 Olympic Games. I can see it will be a very busy 2008.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
There are many chiropractors who work in this industry and I have brought in many new ones from around the world. This industry is small and protocol is crucial! Rather than make mistakes, call me or other chiropractors who do this kind of work and spend 30 minutes finding out the ins and outs before you make mistakes. I'm more than happy to help chiropractors so we can have a positive impact on the world.
Chiropractors interested in working with entertainers can visit www.teamdoctors.org for a list of the ones with whom I have worked. If they are in your town, I'll contact my agent and see if we can get you on board. Chiropractors who either work in or want to work in this industry can contact me at .
Editor's Note: Dr. James Stoxen hosts a new live online talk show, interviewing top doctors and scientists who are making progress in the field of disease prevention. His show can be seen on intimetv.com every Saturday at 6 p.m. Central Standard Time.