Toronto chiropractor and healthy living advocate Dr. Alexander Yu, The Chiro Junkie, is inspiring change and ultimately saving lives, teaching his patients how simple lifestyle changes can be easily incorporated into their daily routines.
Tired of hearing news about declining quality of life in the city due to issues like traffic congestion, stress, and sitting at a desk all day, Dr. Yu decided to do something about it.
“Recent studies are being plastered all over the news telling us that even sitting for 6 hours a day is detrimental to our health, and I’m determined to change that,” says Dr. Yu, adding that “even little things like managing our posture, eating foods that are equal parts healthy and delicious, and even sneaking in some covert stretches and exercises while sitting at your desk can do a lot to improve your health, boost your mood, and drastically increase your quality of life!”
Dr. Yu is championing this mission by mainstreaming a new approach to healthcare, using social media to make healthcare dialogue easily accessible and more enjoyable. Founding thechirojunkie.com, Dr. Yu gives a fresh and relatable voice to healthcare that gets people excited about healthy living. This site features informative vlogs, with innovative healthy recipes, and no nonsense answers to commonly asked questions about general health and Chiropractic care.
Making healthier life choices can be difficult to commit to, so Dr. Yu suggests using wearable tech fitness tools to track personal goals, and encourages people to share their progress with friends to keep you motivated.
Working out of Royal Care Rehab (295 College Street), Dr. Alexander Yu motivates his clients to take preventative measures to avoid health issues and injury later in life.
Dr. Alexander Yu got his first taste of fitness at age 14 when practicing martial arts, followed by weight training from the age of 16. These days Dr. Yu runs, rock-climbs, cycles, practices hot yoga and even hosts free community boot camps.
Understanding the importance of giving back, Dr. Alexander Yu works to improve the lives of others through his job and personal life. In 2011 he cycled across Canada to promote health and wellness to youth groups at the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA day camps. In addition, Dr. Alexander Yu has spent time volunteering with orphaned children and teaching English in Dominican Republic, as well as providing on-site treatment to cyclists in the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
Name: Dr. Alexander Yu
Pets? A fierce Chihuahua
Car(s)? Honda Civic
Gadgets? iPhone, iPad, MacBook.. Sensing a pattern here?
Favourite instruments? Yamaha Acoustic Guitar
Sports? Beach Volleyball, Baseball, Hockey
How did you get started on your current career/lifestyle path?
I always knew that I wanted to be in health care. I started off exploring the nursing path and yes I was constantly referenced as the “male nurse” from Meet the Parents. But I had a bad experience that deterred me from continuing so I explored other avenues. Med school was on the top of the list and during my years of study I also thought about becoming a Chiropractor. Finally when my applications were processed, I got accepted to both Chiro and Med school.
What pushed me over to the Chiro route? Well, I wanted to practice in a way that would allow me to get to the root of people’s complaints and be able to tackle problems from that front.
Did you have any mentors who helped steer you on this path?
Good question. I never really had someone who directed me down this route. But, the one person I look up to for strength is my Grandfather. He’s the one who taught me the “important” Chinese proverbs about living. This guy is in his 90’s living on his own and supporting himself, how can I not learn from the best?
How has your work contributed to a) your development as a person and/or b) the lives of others?
My work has really helped me evolve my interpersonal skills. I find the most important part of being a health care practitioner is having good bedside manor so that people can feel comfortable.
As for the lives of others? It’s what I live for. When people come back and tell me that the pain they came in for is gone it feels great to know that I was part of that transformation.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just entering your field, what would it be?
Study now, date later. When you’re faced with 13 exams in 2 weeks time, there really is no time for anything else.
Do you have a personal work philosophy?
Listen, listen and listen. Giving my patients my undivided attention can be so much more powerful than having me talk to them.
What do you do for fun?
It would be one of the either 2 things. Finding something active to do, such as beach volleyball or rock climbing. The other, just calling up a bunch a friends for a get together over a drink at a patio.
What motivates or inspires you?
The ability to help people. I find myself working hard to reach out to as many people as I can because I want to teach them how to be well. The more people I am able to get a hold of, the more I find that I am able to fix things before they get worse.
What has been your greatest achievement (personally, professionally or both)?
My greatest achievement so far is cycling across Canada to promote Health & Wellness for children. When the opportunity came up to sign up for the trip I was real hesitant. I mean, cycling across the 2nd teammates and me 2 years of training and perseverance, and I had to push myself both physically and mentally to prepare for the trip. It took us 62 days of blood sweat and tears to travel from coast to coast, but even though it was challenging on the body, the greatest feeling was being able to teach kids about the importance of being active and taking charge of their health.
What is the one thing you hope to achieve?
I hope that one day I can change the way people view the importance of taking charge of their health. Because being well means less time spent worrying about when you’re going to be better, but rather spending time doing the things that matter to you.
What is your super power?
Saving lives! One treatment at a time. That’s my goal, to empower people to take charge of themselves from a health perspective.
Who’s your hero?
Steve jobs. He has revolutionized the way we interact with our phones, computers, and tablets… I can go on. But, he’s definitely done a solid for us for our everyday use technology.
What are you reading (or watching) these days?
Game of Thrones! Man if they keep killing off characters will there be a show anymore?
Any piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers?
I hear way too many people say they want to be the next millionaire or billionaire. You can’t just wish for things to happen. You must have a game plan and determination. So I’ll leave you guys with this quote “A goal without a plan is just a dream”
Dream big! But plan ahead people.
Thinking back to a time when you had to make a hard choice, how did you decide, and do you feel, in retrospect, that you made the right move?
I can reference back to my Med school or Chiro school decision. It definitely wasn’t easy. They were both great professions and sometimes you just have to go with your gut feeling. That gut feeling never failed me and I’ve never been happier.
If you had it all to do over again, would you change anything?
If I was back in that tough decision situation will I do it all over again? Without a doubt I would still choose the Chiropractic route, the smiles and success I’ve gotten to see with my patients is priceless.
What’s next for you? What’s your next big idea, project etc.?
The next big step is exploring and incorporating technology in my practice. Let’s face it, wearable tech is the next big thing. We’re seeing devices that remind you to fix your posture to checking your heart rate. There’s just unlimited amount of possibilities and I want to be a part of that.
What one piece of advice would you give to your own son (hypothetical or otherwise) in the hope of making him a better man?
“Do as many things as you can when you can.” Is what I would say to my son. Too many times when I was growing up, I hesitate to try a new sport, learn a new language or jumping on a business opportunity. Life is all about making mistakes, and learning from it. So take charge of your life and go for it. At the end, you’ll become a better you.
Dr. Alexander Yu Online: www.thechirojunkie.com
Dr. Alexander Yu on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Thechirojunkie
Dr. Alexander Yu on Twitter: www.twitter.com/thechirojunkie