Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bi-Weekly Blog from Local Experts

John Barret Lancaster

John Barret Lancaster Chiropractic Cabarete Dominican RepublicIf you are ever stuck in a challenging situation and need rescuing, John Lancaster would certainly be the man I’d recommend you keep on speed dial. Calm, pragmatic and dependable, John epitomizes the very essence of the ‘good guy’ in a Hollywood movie. Born in the farming town of Wagran, North Carolina, John was both sporty and academic as a kid, both traits that would dictate his eventual career and lifestyle choices. His father’s work meant long periods of travel away from his family to exotic places, and each time his father returned home with tales and photos of exciting foreign lands. This made a huge impression on the young boy, further sculpting John’s future life.

A CONSCIENTIOUS CHIROPRACTOR
Aged 16, John was placed into a prestigious two- year science program in the North Carolina School of Science and Math, but he returned home after six weeks as he missed the community spirit of his hometown. This was again a very important aspect of John’s upbringing that would continue to carry weight throughout his adult life.

Moving away at 18 to study at the University of North Carolina, Chappel Hill, John majored in Economics and minored in Chemistry, wanting to go into either medical or vetenary school. “I really don’t understand how we are supposed to make those choices at such an early age, especially when we may have only had limited life experiences from which to draw knowledge.”

A Thanksgiving trip to Colorado when John was 19, and a semester in the outback with a National Outdoor Leadership School really opened his eyes to alternative lifestyles. On the one hand, the liberal, outdoor and hippy way of life in Colorado showed John a side of living that very much suited his personality. As a result, music and the outdoors started taking up most of his free time. On the flip side, spending three months traveling around Australia, including two weeks living with Aborigines, was to have a profound impact on his outlook.

John Barret Lancaster chiropractic Cabarete Dominican Republic community

Transformed by Poverty
“This was the first time I had been subjected to such abject poverty. I came back transformed, and woke up to the fact that people are just sheep spending money they don’t have, doing things they don’t want to do, and tryingto impress people they don’t like”

John returned with a sense of feeling free to be himself, which was incredibly liberating. Starting afresh and with a clean slate, he sought out a completely new circle of friends, creating lasting relationships that are still strong to this day. The trip to Australia played a huge role in the choice of how to spend the remainder of his undergraduate time, as well as life after college. The experience with the Aboriginal community made it clear that he should not take anything for granted. “ It was an eye-opener to realize what a privileged life I was born into as a white, middle-class American male.”

Whilst still an undergraduate and working at a Veterinary Clinic in Colorado to build up his resume, a rock-climbing incident with friends was to prove a life-changing epiphany. Seriously injuring his neck, John sought help from a chiropractor whose office was conveniently located on his street. Skeptical but desperate as his then girlfriend was going to visit soon, John was shocked to discover that after one adjustment he was already “95% better”. Already interested in healthcare and after such a great first experience, this episode was firmly stored in the back of his mind and sparked an interest in pursuing a career as a chiropractor.

Enjoy, play and experience life
Having finished his undergraduate studies, John took the advice of his grandmother and family friends and took the time to “enjoy, play and experience life before embarking on a career path and getting slowed down by responsibilities and commitments”. So instead of entering the rat race, John lived it up as a white water raft guide on the Chatooga River in North Carolina for a couple of years.

John Barret Lancaster chiropractic Cabarete Dominican republicOver the next few years, unforeseen life events and a variety of jobs as wide ranging as landscaping and environmental consultancy eventually led John to work with severely troubled teens at various Wilderness Therapy centres, including placements in Idaho and Oregon. Up to that point this was John’s most fulfilling work and his first exposure to the therapeutic industry.

It was a steep learning curve, which involved not only the physical aspects of the wilderness challenges, but also the emotional aspects of connecting with the teens, many of whom were dealing with a variety of mental and emotional struggles. John found this so rewarding that he considered pursuing a degree in Clinical Psychology.

Progressing into a more senior position through experience, John then found a therapeutic boarding school in Atenas, Costa Rica. Having surfed since the age of 12, this was a really appealing post for him, not only in terms of career but also lifestyle. John spent two years as the Campus Life Director and Adventura Instructor, taking students surfing, kayaking, diving and experiencing the various cultures around Central America.


Life University

Whilst living in Atenas, John started regular chiropractic care and began spending a lot of time at the office of his local chiropractor. By a fortuitous stroke of luck, this doctor had graduated from the Life University in Georgia, still the largest chiropractic school in the world. He advised John that this was the best place for him to attend if he was serious about a career as a chiropractor. Embarking on a four-year training course, John was so dedicated to his career that he accumulated over 700 hours of seminars outside of his regular tutoring. He further advanced his learning by treating “between five and six thousand people” before graduating. (The required number is 250!).

John Lancaster Life University chiropractor CabareteNine chiropractic mission trips with Life International whilst still in training introduced John to both Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which John eventually made his home. In Cabarete he found the incredible community spirit that has always guided his life, plus the outdoor nature activities to satisfy his natural energy.

“People seeking chiropractic care just for neck or back pain alone is like robbing a bank and stealing the pens. There is so much more to be gained from overall nervous system management as opposed to simple pain relief”, is John’s way of explaining the very basics of chiropractic therapy. “Chiropractors vary hugely from one individual to another, depending on whether a practitioner has a vitalistic mentality (where one unit functions together) or a mechanistic mentality, which is more localized.”

As a chiropractor who prides himself in practicing congruently with the chiropractic principles, John has a vitalistic outlook on how the body works. “I am a nervous system specialist, not a musculo-skeletal technician. I utilize adjustments of the spine to affect the nervous system and therefore the overall function of the body.”

John is keen to emphasize the body’s incredible ability to function properly when the structures of the spine are aligned and nothing is obstructing the lines of communication between the body and the brain. Corrective chiropractic care addresses the structural shifts of the spine which may occur due to major and minor traumas, repetitive actions as well as mental and emotional stress. Correcting the position of the vertebrae positively affects the brain’s ability to communicate with the body, and has long-term benefits in optimizing health and overall performance.

John barret Lancaster chiropractic Surfer Cabarete Dominican RepublicSports, injuries and personal play
As Cabarete is an active and sporty town, John works with a large number of injured sports enthusiasts. He also works with many people who aren't suffering from any injuries: folks who simply realize the benefit of having a finely-tuned nervous system. “Everyone can benefit from chiropractic care, but I feel that it is critically important for those whose bodies are still growing and developing. For example, one of the best ways to ensure that a fetus has the best chance of thriving is to make sure that the mother’s nervous system is functioning properly.”

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, or have any questions regarding how corrective chiropractic care can benefit your health and overall well-being, John can be reached by phone at 829 510-1877 and by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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