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Meet Dr. Katie Schlein – Family Chiropractor in Hillcrest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Katie Schlein.

Dr. Schlein, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My path as a chiropractor started when I was a child with a deep passion for serving and supporting others while always having a desire to connect with people. My father, who I’m extremely close with, instilled in me a passion for basketball and coaching, well at least I thought… he always told me to find something I was passionate about so I wouldn’t have to work a day in my life. His wisdom came from a space of not loving his job and knowing he should have switched early on in his life to coaching college basketball as a full-time career.

I grew up playing a ton of sports and always envisioned a career in athletics. I played college sports and went into a career in coaching college basketball right upon graduation from college. The parallel story during that time period was that I started to become very passionate about health, mostly due to some of my own personal health challenges. Health and the concept of ‘where health truly comes from’, truly fascinated me.

Rewind back to middle and high school in which some close family friends were chiropractors. I distinctly remember a pivotal conversation with one of them when I was 13, that piqued my interest in holistic health. Fast forward to college sports when I sought those family friends’ care for the “typical lower back pain chiropractic case.” Little did I know, that it would lead me down the path to my purpose and passion in life, and not for lower back pain. 🙂

Through receiving chiropractic care and multiple conversations about their perspective and philosophy on health, I slowly started to explore chiropractic as a career. I began to uncover a philosophy on health that was so different from the ‘norm’ but in a way was so simple and refreshing. It fascinated me that chiropractors could specialize in children and pregnancy and not for back pain. Additionally, children who were gently checked and adjusted upon birth & throughout their lives, ended up with health that rarely involved being sick or needing medication, and fewer sports injuries. This reasoning is due to that fact that gently adjusting the spine allows the nerve system and immune system to function better in a child. That aspect was drastically different than my childhood. The thought of being able to educate others about health from within, the power of their body’s ability to heal, AND do all this for children and families was invigorating and seemed so enticing. All these thoughts were percolating while I was working in college sports and coming to the realization that my highest values of “service” and “connection” were not being fulfilled. I just kept remembering my father’s advice of “do something you love and you won’t work a day in your life.”

Although we shared that connection with basketball and in a way, I was doing what he always wanted to, I knew he’d be supportive of me leaving college coaching. A few years into coaching and while working for a perennial program in women’s basketball, I decided to change careers & go back to school full time in a grueling program of chiropractic college.

I always have loved acknowledging the synchronistic aspects of life. Fast forward to graduation from chiropractic school, I had planned to work abroad in Singapore. I love traveling and was enticed to experience life abroad for a period of time. A few weeks before graduation, I was offered a position as an associate in the office (in Hillcrest) where I started my own practice 1 year ago. I was very set on Singapore, but I believe the universe has a way of always working in one’s favor.

Hillcrest is a community where I spent much of my time as a young teenager coming out and exploring my sexuality. When it was time to find my own space as my practice grew, I was adamant on continuing to serve and stay within the Hillcrest community.

My office now is on Park and Lincoln inside PUSH San Diego (a birth centered family space). Since Hillcrest is so special to my journey and process, I always feel at home here. My goal is to create the same experience for individuals to feel at home in my membership-based practice. Down the street from my office used to be “The Living Room.” A coffee shop in which my best friend and I always say “we found our selves there,” while coming out as gay. Ichiban, the sushi place on University Ave, was also a highly frequented spot by my father and I, almost weekly as a teenager.

Being from San Diego, it’s been a pleasure to support many families and people I grew up with. Life full circle, I’ve been able to serve women through pregnancy that I went to grade school with and check their children upon birth. That still blows my mind!! But at the same point, when one finds something that they are passionate about, blowing one’s mind and loving what they do I imagine is the norm. 😉 What’s also so special is that my dad and I still go to Ichiban for dinner (down the street), right after I’m done (not working) but doing what I love as a chiropractor in the office. He did always tell me to find something I love so I wouldn’t have to work a day in my life. 🙂

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Owning one’s own business is never a smooth road, but that’s part of the fun! 😀 The key is to be adaptable and not get too high or too low from accomplishments or setbacks. I’ve learned that mindset is the key to everything and being patient in the process is a part of the journey.

For someone starting their journey, these are some of my advice points:

-Starting one’s own business can be consuming, challenging, overwhelming and draining. Attach to one’s purpose and create a purpose statement that you write on your mirror or look at daily – it’ll help in low and challenging moments.

-It’s 100% ok to cry! It’ll help if you let it out, call a colleague or friend going through the same thing because I promise you they’ve done the same before.

-When unforeseen challenges arise, let yourself have a day or two to feel overwhelmed and then get to work. Know that the universe is working FOR you, not to you.

-Create a gratitude, meditation, morning routine. There is something about a “rise and shine 5 am grind” attitude that often many entrepreneurs adopt, but if that doesn’t work for you don’t compare yourself to others and say oh you won’t be successful if you don’t do that. If on some level, that 5 am or early morning rise and grind vibe is challenging to you, give it a shot and innately if that’s you, then it’ll stick. BUT I would say no matter what, incorporate a gratitude and meditation routine in your morning. Maybe it’s that you wake up 20 mins earlier and do some breathing and affirmations of gratitude instead of getting up at 5 am when normally it’s a 7 am wake up alarm time for you. The little bit of gratitude and meditation will 100% help you in moments of challenge and tribulation.

-DO NOT compare yourself to others on social media. It’s natural to compare ourselves, not only to others’ accomplishments, but also to how they look, our bodies, and in turn how we feel about ourselves. If at any point, scrolling is creating negative self-talk, STOP SCROLLING.” You can still publicize your business and not scroll. 😉

Also, taking a social media break is totally ok. Your business won’t suffer if you take a week from checking IG or FB. (side note, find apps like Planoly, that you can schedule multiple posts weeks or months in advance, so you can take an actual break. 😀

-Network to give, not to get. Invest in relationships and connections, not the number of networking individuals one has in their Rolodex. So, instead of going to an event with the goal of meeting a ton of people and getting a bunch of cards or giving out your card, go with the intention of leaving with one or two solid people that you genuinely know a lot about, not just their business but their life too. Go with the intention of learning more about them in order to know how to support their business or them personally. Do not go to a networking coffee or event with the intention of getting business for you. Go with the intention of serving others or getting involved in an event they are having to support them.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am a family chiropractor, specializing in babies, pregnancy, and kids! My practice and our office is fun and family friendly!

The practice is most known for our loving support, and being connected to our practice members’ lives. We are honored to be involved in their highs AND lows. I’m honored and often get invited to kiddo’s birthday parties, practice members’ weddings and their births to check a newborn baby.

What sets my brand apart is that we offer full family memberships that make care assessable and affordable to every person in a family (without insurance). In addition, we are flexible with apt times (since we see so many families) and offer military and 1st responder discount. I take care of many 1st responder whole families.

What I’m most proud of is that I’ve been able to have a non-profit called Hands For Life-Kensington which supports families and individuals who are committed to regular care, but in financial hardship. It also supports the under appreciated where fire-fighters, teachers, and 1st responders are seen under Hands for Life. In addition, I’ve noticed that many of our practice members often come to the office when they are having an off day or something terrible in their lives has happened. That’s I think what I’m most proud of because that means they feel loved and supported by our energy and practice.

My practice mission is to serve, empower, & support. I feel we do that with everything we do in the office whether it’s little things on the first visit or throughout their healing journey.

What were you like growing up?
Like I mentioned before, I grew up playing a ton of sports and always was involved in some sort of community or team. I was outgoing, social, and nicknamed “Mouth” since apparently, I would talk to anyone. 🙂

In High School, I was involved with the LGBT youth group through the Hillcrest Youth Center and served as a student representative for the GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) in San Diego. At a highly conservative high school, I started the first GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) which to this day still exists.

As a young child, I developed a deep sense of empathy, sensitivity, and passion to support other people. Through much self-work, I’ve grown to continue to do that with a balance of self-preservation as well.

Although my adult life does not include the same amount of activism within the LGBTQ community, I realized that the greatest value of those experiences for me was the sense of connection through the community, I’m a firm believer that one’s childhood interests and development of self have a strong connection to who we become as adults.

I’m blessed to have a supportive family and friend group that continues to shape the person and chiropractor I am today.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Haley Hill Photography

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