• Nick Peterka

Beyond Backs & Cracks with Dr. William Pleau


Dr. William Pleau is not your average chiropractor. Specializing in Visceral Manipulation, his work is well suited to address chronic pain and help patients work through issues that have failed to respond to traditional methods. In this wide ranging conversation, we trace his path from martial arts to massage to chiropractic, and then continuing to hone and specialize. He also has great perspectives on self-care, meditation, longevity as a bodyworker, and so much more!



Topics we discuss:

  • Dr. Pleau’s path from martial arts to massage to chiropractics

  • Personal experience with Reiki

  • Studying at the Barral Institute

  • His unique approach to chiropractic care

  • Cranial sacral rhythm

  • Longevity / Avoiding burnout

  • Self-care & body mechanics

  • Massage as a mindfulness practice

  • Dr. Pleau’s personal self-care habits

  • Squaring the life curve

  • Muscle song challenge

Dr. Pleau’s Website | Dr. Pleau on Linked In | Dr. Pleau on Facebook


**Music** "Swing House" by RKVC via Youtube Audio Library

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LINKS

Colorado School of the Arts

Frank Lowen

Sharon Weiselfish-Giammatteo

The Barral Institute

Oregon School of Massage

Wendy Ward

East West College

World Of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

Nick’s Geniohyoid Song

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Listen, read, watch! You can listen right here, or with a podcast app of your choice. You can also read the complete transcript below*, or scroll to the bottom of this post for the video.


You can browse all previous episodes on Libsyn and Youtube!

*Please note that this transcription is generated by a computer. While it has been lightly cleaned up, there are wonky typographical and formatting issues throughout.


Nick: 00:00 Welcome to the Massage Hodgepodgcat. My name is Nick Peterka, a Licensed Massage Therapist here in Portland, Oregon. And I am here with Dr. William Pleau, a chiropractor serving the greater Portland area. And I think the, the smartest, easiest, which so hello? Hey Nick. It's, heah, good to see you too. We've known each other for quite a while. Yeah, yeah, it's been a few years. I have been your patient on and off then. My kids have been patients of my, my former, my former spouse, as it were. Yeah. They still have a good time there. Hopefully. Yeah, I'm sure they do. It's awesome. Um, eah, yeah, it's good. And so I think a good way to start is to talk about your, your path towards where you are now. I know that you had time as a massage therapist like myself for years. Yes. And then that led you to where you are now. Yeah. So if you could talk about that.


Dr. Pleau: 00:59 Well, gosh, you know, it started when I was a teenager. I was involved in martial arts. I did Tae Kwon Do, and that was one of my passions. And after, you know, I went to college to study music, which was one of my other passions. This was in the late eighties, early nineties. When I came back, I kind of circled around about seven years later and rediscovered my passion for the martial arts. And then I developed an interest as a massage client from the sports massage perspective cause I knew that receiving massage would help me kind of do a better job as a martial artist. And well then I got brave and I moved off to the city. This was in Denver and I kind of opened my own small martial arts studio and I had a small group of students. I was training and, and one of the, well I was approached by this woman who was a massage therapist and she wanted to barter services.


Dr. Pleau: 01:59 You wanted me to teach your kids Tae Kwon Do. And it was through her that I learned about this method of energy healing called Reiki. And I was pretty skeptical at first and then she started teaching me the Reiki, the practice of the energy work and giving me the attunements and I was kinda like, okay, whatever, you know. And then one day I hurt my ankle really bad. I had, I had registered to go compete in a Tae Kwon Do tournament and I was really excited. And two weeks before the tournament I was leaping down a flight of stairs exuberantly and I landed wrong and


Nick: 02:35 Hurt really bad. And it was an injury. Had nothing to do with Tae Kwon Do


Dr. Pleau: 02:43 Other than it was after class one day. But I, I was a, you know, I couldn't even put weight on it. And I was like, what am I going to do? I was supposed to go work. I was working delivering pizzas at the time and I was like, I got to work a full day delivering pizzas around Denver and how am I going to do that? I can't even walk. I can't even put any weight on this ankle. I didn't know what to do. So I managed to get home. I was literally hopping on one foot out to the car and then hopping into the house and I like plopped down and I was like, I didn't know what to do. And I was like, well maybe I should try this Reiki thing. So I put my hand over the injury side on my ankle and I started concentrating on the Reiki symbols and focusing the energy and lo and behold, the pain, that deep, intense, constant aching pain of a brand new injury.


Dr. Pleau: 03:27 It just went away. And I was like, Whoa, that's pretty interesting. And I've pulled my hand away and after about four or five seconds, the pain came screaming back and I put my hand back and I started doing the energy again and the pain went away and I was like, Whoa, really, really interesting. So I sat there for like two hours just doing energy work with my ankle until it wasn't basically not hurting anymore. The swelling was down. I went to bed, got up the next morning, I was able to gingerly put weight on my foot. I got through my whole work day, a delivery pizzas without reinjuring my ankle walking fairly normally on it and I continued to do the energy work, the Reiki on my ankle for a couple more days. Two weeks later I went and competed in this Tae Kwon Do tournament and pain free. And that was your, your experience with the body work affecting your performance in martial arts?


Dr. Pleau: 04:20 Was it all Reiki or is it other, no, I had been receiving deep tissue forms of massage as well. Yeah. And, and experiencing the benefits of that, definitely. But that was really that, that whole experience with the ankle injury and, and you know, experiencing firsthand the reality of this energy work that I was so skeptical about. It just that experience just kind of swept away my skepticism and something woke up inside me and said, you, you need to be a healer. You've been hearing this message for years and now it's time to act on it. So that's what got me to enroll in massage school. And I came out of massage school. I'm all gung gung ho and I practiced in a number of different settings. I practiced in a spa. I practiced in a health club. I practiced in a, a massage, like a therapeutic medical massage clinic. I had private practice, this


Dr. Pleau: 05:12 Practice of chiropractic office, a couple different chiropractors office. So practice in a lot of different settings for the next 10 years. About over for yourself though. Yeah, for myself, we didn't have private practice as well. I, about four years into my massage career, I was back at the school, Colorado school of the arts where I have a training buying lotion in the bookstore and one of the administrators kind of like, Hey, good to see you. Pulled me aside was like, do you want to teach? And I was like okay. So that's what got me started teaching and I fell in love with teaching. That's the interview process. Right, right. No, but it was awesome that school is still there today. Oh yeah. And they're very, very successful. Yeah. They they've been there a long time and they're very successful.


Dr. Pleau: 06:00 But yeah, so that's, that's kind of what got me started teaching. And so, you know, that was in 2000. I got my massage lives, my massage. I finished my massage training in Colorado in 97 and then I started teaching in 2000 and then in 2005, 2006 moved out to Oregon, went to chiropractic college. And I wrapped up my chiropractic training at the end of 2009 and I've been licensed and practicing since 2010. And that's my path. And then, so I, you know, I really enjoy the manual manipulation part of chiropractic. You know, turn into cracking things is always fun. People love that I sit here, but one of the things that I, I really liked as a massage therapist, one of the modalities that really spoke to me was you know, I guess one of the general terms for it is manual therapy, cranial therapy or visceral therapy.


Dr. Pleau: 06:54 I've taken a number of seminars from people like Frank Lowen and Sharon Weiselfish-Giammatteo, and had started to fall in love with that really subtle light touch way of approaching internal organs and the blood vessels. And the other soft squishy things that you don't, you don't really affect with more of your mainstream massage or chiropractic modalities. So it was in a, I think it was in November of 2018 that I finally took my first seminar from the Baral institutes. And John Pierre Barral is an Osteopath from France who brought his work visceral manipulation to the United States in the mid eighties. And I knew who he was back in the late nineties when I was first studying this role in cranial therapy. I knew who Barral was, I'd heard about him. I had taken courses from people who were his proteges. And so I finally took my first Barral seminar in, in late 2018 and that was another big eye opener for me.


Dr. Pleau: 08:05 It was kinda similar to the experience I had with the ankle injury and it was just like clouds, partying, light shining down on me. Oh, it has. Like this is the work I need to do. This is what I've been looking for for 23 years. Wow. So when I had that experience I kind of changed my career trajectory. I quit a job I had been in for six years, which was more traditional chiropractic environment. Yeah. I mean, it was great job. It was a great practice. And I have nothing but respect and gratitude for the people that I worked with. And and I, you know, it is a great great chiropractic sort of looking for practice model, really complete practice model with functional rehab and functional medicine. But in terms of the, the hands on piece, putting the hands on the body I had a refocusing that I think I was really ready for. So that's when I kind of stepped out on my own and opened this clinic here. And that's how I've been practicing ever since. And I'm doing visceral manipulation and cranial neuro meningeal


Nick: 09:16 Ooh, that's, that's a mouthful. So, so if we take the w what I mean, I'm not a chiropractor obviously, but if we take a sort of standard model that I see, which is you go to your chiropractor, you, they talk to you about what's going on, maybe they sent it an assistant or a massage therapist for a few minutes and then the chiropractor comes back, adjusts you and maybe gives you some exercises or whatever and send you on your Merry way and you're maybe in that office for 30 minutes. Right? That's not what your practice looks like.


Dr. Pleau: 09:50 It's a little bit different now. I do spend about 30 minutes. Most patient visits are about 30 minutes, but it is just you and the patient the whole time. The patient. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And I do occasionally I'll recommend some therapeutic exercises and things like that.


Nick: 10:06 The, I guess, how would you distinguish what's happening on the table from what, what the general public might think of as chiropractic?


Dr. Pleau: 10:16 That's a great question. So to really explain that well, I think we need to look at chiropractic and what it is at its core. And I think one, the thing that most chiropractors will agree is that chiropractic works through the nervous system. When chiropractor adjusts a joint, they put a mechanical stimulus into the fibers of the joint capsule and sorry, they put mechanical stimulus into the fibers of that joint capsule and it sends a barrage of sensory information to the brain and the brain says, Oh, that's how that brain, that's how that joint is supposed to be operating. And so then the brain can change the motor responses coming out, right? You can change the control of the muscles, it can train, should control the of the circulatory structures around that joint. So it's all about providing mechanical stimulus to the body that the brain then uses to correct the function.


Dr. Pleau: 11:15 Massage is the same way. You're stimulating the sensory receptors in the muscles and in attendance to create a therapeutic response at the level of the brain. What I do is the same, it's stimulating sensory receptors in the tissues. What I do that's differently, what's different than I guess you are more mainstream chiropractic approaches is that it's not high velocity. It's not a quick for us. And it's, it's very light, very subtle pressure most of the time. It's a lot slower. So I get ahold of every restricted tissue and I'll put very, very subtle to it and I'll engage at just at the right amount to stimulate a response and then I'll hang onto it and I'll follow and follow and follow that response. It's like an unwinding kind of motion that I follow until it settles down and you get a feeling of like the whole area just kind of relax and you let it go.


Nick: 12:14 What is it? So it's so interesting to me. And so let's like kind of sacral approach where it's all about like developing that feel. What does it take to, like I'm interested in it. I'm just curious. I guess I just need to take a class and see what it is I've taken like intro like when I was in school. Yeah. To intro cranial. Yeah. What did you think? I felt like there's really something there. You could feel their rhythm. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You should take a class. Definitely. Yeah,


Dr. Pleau: 12:41 It is. It is a subtle sensation and you have to kind of open your mind and allow your you have to put your skepticism on hold.


Nick: 12:49 Yeah. Moment. Cause I remember when I first tried it and I was like, is that the rhythm? Is that it? Can I feel it? I'm not feeling it. I'm not, I'm terrible.


Dr. Pleau: 12:58 That was the same skepticism that I encountered when I was first learning Reiki.


Nick: 13:02 Yeah. And then the constant dialogue in my head being like, right, you know what? I liked it. I liked it. It's so easy for me


Dr. Pleau: 13:09 Person to dismiss it because they don't have the patience to really listen with their hands, feel it. So they can say, well that you're making that up. There's nothing there. You haven't, you feel that you can't feel that. Right, right. I hear that a lot. So, you know, it's a couple of analogies that I think are great. And the first analogy is like an orchestra conductor, right? If you are, I go to the symphony and we listened to a presentation of know Mendelssohn's violin concerto, an E minor, right? And we hear this beautiful music and we have this experience of it and it's not the same experience that the orchestra conductors having, right? The orchestra conductor hears every detail knows which flew players in tune and which one's attitude. He knows if that timpony was right on the beat or a little bit behind the beat. He knows every detail of every part because he's trained his hearing or more specifically, he's trained his brain. He's trained his sensory cortex to the point to where he can recognize that level of detail you are, I don't recognize that detail. We just hear all this beautiful music. Sounded great. That was a violin. That was a trumpet.


Nick: 14:15 Yeah. We've got that. Maybe not even...Right. Yeah.


Dr. Pleau: 14:20 Another analogy that I think is great is like my brother, my brother has had a long career as a chef and a food and beverage manager and a sommelier. Oh wow. He has trained his palette or more specifically, he's trained his sensory cortex in his brain to recognize very, very subtle discriminations and flavor. Right. He can taste the wine and tell you what region of France and probably which vineyard in which year. I can't do that. Right. So that's what I've done with my hands is the sommelier does with their palette with the conductor does with their ear. Yeah.


Nick: 14:55 And if you take someone like me for example, who's a very limited intro and I take a class, I can start using what I've learned. Obviously I'm not going to feel what you're feeling in the same way, but it could still be helping people absolutely.


Dr. Pleau: 15:11 With that skill. Yes. That's the way, that's what you do. You take cranial sacral level one and you get what you can. There's so much information. Those classes, there's no way you're going to retain it. So you take the class and you start practicing whatever you remember, you go back to your books and you try it. You try, you do the rescue camp.


Nick: 15:30 And I think the burden of practice maybe worth mentioning that to be, to be responsible. You wouldn't take the intro class and then say you're a craniosacral therapist. You think it's a little bit of a...


Dr. Pleau: 15:41 Yeah, there, you don't want to misrepresent yourself. Right. But you if you're practicing cranial work you're practicing cranial work.


Nick: 15:50 That's sort of the hodgepodge thing for me. It's like I would take that class and then I'd be like, Oh, now I can pull that.


Nick: 15:56 That's another tool that has...


Dr. Pleau: 15:57 A lot of a lot of therapists I think do that is you don't necessarily, I mean, cause a certification in a certain modality like neuromuscular therapy or myofascial release or craniosacral therapy certification or modality doesn't change your scope of practice. Right. It doesn't change any of the rules and regulations around how you market yourself. People can have, you know, one class in a certain modality and say, I practice this modality. They do. Yeah. You know? But yeah, no, but I think, you know, in terms of the more subtle approaches, like the visceral manipulation, the craniosacral, I think it's just, you know, if you're interested, you start by taking a class and then you start trying to put it into practice as much as you can get together with people you meet in the class and practice it outside.


Nick: 16:43 Yeah. Yeah. That's good. Yeah. Yeah. I got the pleasure of taking Shiatsu I at Oregon school. Where you still teach? Sometimes?


Dr. Pleau: 16:54 Yeah. Usually I teach about one course every term or so.


Nick: 16:58 Okay. What's coming up for you there?


Dr. Pleau: 17:00 Neuromuscular therapy is coming up in February. I don't remember the date. But yeah, it's, I think it's a hip, thigh, and knee class.


Nick: 17:09 Yeah. so I was there taking Shiatsu with Wendi Ward.


Dr. Pleau: 17:13 I love Wendy. She's very, she's awesome.


Nick: 17:15 Yeah. and yeah, I got to pull some skills. I'm not going to call myself a Shiatsu therapiast. I think I would take, Shiatsu II at some point. I don't know that I would go down the whole rabbit hole and there's a lot there. There's a lot of great skills to pull from that too.


Dr. Pleau: 17:31 And I have not, I've not toss the baby out with the bath water so to speak. I still use a lot of the manipulation skills that I developed in chiropractic school and you know, nine years of practicing in the field. Just this morning I did a classic crack crack on the upper neck, this gentleman cause that's what he needed, right. Because you know, I could have I could have sat there and worked with the cranial membranes, but I really felt that he needed something different. Right. So yeah. So I don't always do just one modality with everybody. Yeah. I mean, yeah.


Nick: 18:07 You bring to bear all the skills you'd have, right? Yeah. Right. The value of that long term. Yeah. That, that leads me to a good question that I'm trying to ask everyone who will eventually be on the show. Longevity. This industry has a lot of, I mean, massage therapy, maybe chiropractic, I don't, you could speak to that. Has a high burnout rate and I just want to start logging opinions and ideas about how to make practice last longer for yourself energetically, physically. Like what do you, and you can just speak personally, like what do you do for yourself or what do you see working in terms of promoting longevity as a therapist?


Dr. Pleau: 18:49 Well that is a great multilayered question. So I'm going to, I'm going to start with chiropractic. So I think chiropractors tend to have longer careers. And one of the reasons for that is that it is a lot more of a financial and time commitment to get a chiropractic license. It's a doctorate. So you're looking at eight years of school, right? And a lot, lot, lot, lot, lot more money than to get a massage therapy license.


Dr. Pleau: 19:15 So this upfront investment, you're like, I can't easily walk away from this.


Dr. Pleau: 19:19 I have heard stories of chiropractors who were in practice for five or six years and then went into real estate. Interesting. And I'm like, well, they, they didn't choose the right professional to start. Massage therapy definitely is. Both of those practices can be hard on your body. They both involve a lot of specific physical work. I think as a massage therapist it was harder on my hands than chiropractic because I did a lot of really deep work in addition to the light, the low force visceral stuff. I did a lot of deep work too I think, you know, massage therapists when they decide that they want to do this and they decided to go to massage school and to get that license, you need to have a realistic expectation.


Dr. Pleau: 20:10 I think sometimes we get sold a little bit overblown expectations. You know, the schools want to get students in the door so they can pay their overhead, right? Right. So they want to make the career look really rosy so they, you know, you hear stories about what you can make $60 an hour. That's not the whole story. The whole story. I mean, cause you've got all your overhead, right? Right. As a business owner, you can bill your clients 60, 70, 80, 90 a hundred dollars an hour or whatever. You set your price right? But then you've got pay your overhead and you have to build a clientele. So you need to be a business person, you need to be a marketer, you need to be all those things as well. Oh yeah. And I think that that it's, it's, it's, it's hard for some people. I can never really did very well as a marketer. Going out and selling myself is not my strong point.


Nick: 21:01 And I think the schools, you know, despite their best efforts, it's not, you know, a big part, I don't know what all that time does, but I know at EastWest college there was a business class. Yeah. But I mean they kind of had to teach it to everybody and, and I don't fault them for that. It was kind of, it is what it is. They gave you a good intro. I mean, it was something to start with.


Dr. Pleau: 21:22 I think, you know, if you, if you want to be a chiropractor, I think it's worth your time to get the MBA, you know, before, during, or after your doctorate. Because if you want to make a really good living, put money in the bank. And invest in stock market, all that. And you really know how to run, neither do I run a business. Interesting. You know, that's, you know, the chiropractors who do well or I don't know. I hope I don't sound too cynical. They're business people first. Healers second.


Nick: 21:51 Well, that's how I've described my former spouse who owns World Of Smiles. I would say she's a business person first and then a dentist. Yeah, she's a great dentist, but her business skills are off the charts. Yeah,


Dr. Pleau: 22:03 Yeah, yeah. So you know, but you know, looping back around to some of the other things you brought up, but self care is really,


Nick: 22:11 Yeah. Well that was, yeah, that was how longevity, I feel like dovetails right into self care. Which is one of my next questions. Yeah.


Dr. Pleau: 22:17 Well, one of the, one of the, you know, there's, there's the basics of don't overwork your hands, right? Like, so if you're going to work for a spa or something like that, where you're stepping into a job where you've already got clients on your table,


Nick: 22:31 Right. Show like a corporate environment where they, they might be like, Oh, you want to do seven in a day? Here you go.


Dr. Pleau: 22:36 Right. You need to be careful, be careful because a lot of times clients are going to come to you and they're going to want really deep work and you hurt yourself trying, trying to make them happy. So be careful about that. Don't push your hands harder than your hands want to be pushed because that will end your career before you want it to. Right. For sure. So that's, that's the first thing is, is you know, work at a level of depth and in terms of number of clients per day or per week that is going to work for your body.


Nick: 23:06 And that's including, that's acknowledging the idea that you're already using proper body mechanics. I mean there's, there's no amount of like perfect body mechanics that's going to save your hands from 10 hours of massage a day. Right? Right. Like I'm asking you,


Dr. Pleau: 23:25 10 hours of massage a day is going to wreck your hands.


Nick: 23:27 Body mechanics. Even if they're pristine, they're only going to get you so far. Right. Okay.


Dr. Pleau: 23:33 You still have, you know, the reality of the physical tissue overload.


Nick: 23:38 Yeah. I've been thinking about it personally. Like I was like, I have a hand exerciser now. I'm like, there's a point where Like in the massage center, if you feel we talk a lot about perfecting those body mechanics, and I'm like, there's a certain point where you just gotta be stronger. Like it's only gonna help you to be strong.


Dr. Pleau: 23:57 Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think building good habits from the start is really important. So when you're like, Oh, I need to work on my body mechanics, then the only answer to that is work on your body on your body mechanics every moment, every breath of every massage you do. Be constantly correcting yourself constantly. Like, Oh, I'll fix my body mechanics after I get this trap to let go. No, stop. Drop your shoulders, drop into your hips, take a breath and work on the trap from better body position. You just have to make that a mantra. It's like a, it's, it's, it's, it's, you know, it's like a practice.


Dr. Pleau: 24:27 You just need to make it. Part of it's a mindfulness meditation, right? Paying attention to what you're doing, paying attention to your own body mechanics, paying attention to the tissue you're touching, you find yourself thinking about something else. So the cat, the dog, the car, and you're not there with the client. You need to take a breath. Say. Okay. I'm thinking, let go of that thought and pay attention to what's right in front of me. Paying attention to my body. Pay attention to the client's body. It becomes a meditation.


Nick: 24:58 And I never really thought about bodywork as a meditation path so that it makes total sense. Yeah.


Dr. Pleau: 25:03 Bodywork is a meditation practice for me in my work is, yeah, whenever I'm with a client or a patient, I am 100% focused on them. And when I find my mind wandering, it doesn't wander very long because I've made that habit of catching it and refocusing.


Nick: 25:19 And I bet that that practice informs the rest of your life.


Dr. Pleau: 25:22 I couldn't do the visceral work if I didn't have that level of paying attention to the moment because it's too subtle, too subtle. If I'm distracted, I'm going to miss it. Right. but yeah, it does, it becomes, you know, if I spend, you know, however many hours a day in this sort of mindfulness movement practice with these other people. It just brings a level of calm and peace in my whole psyche that's translates into the relationships with my family members and everything in my life. That's great. And you know, I am, yeah, I'm very happy doing the work that I do and, but in, in terms of self care, like that's a big piece of it is you have to make your practice a meditation. You have to make it about you and about the clients and not about all the other stuff that makes you worry. It needs to be...your practice as a body worker should be an escape from your stressors in life.


Dr. Pleau: 26:18 You know, I mean, you've got the paperwork and the charting and the financial and you've got to run the business, all that. And that can be very stressful when you're with the client. Just be present and be with the client and don't worry about anything else. Don't worry. All that other stuff that you worry about will you still be there for you? For sure. Right? But for this moment until 3:00 PM or whatever, you're just focusing on your, on your client, yourself and your own body, the client's body. Right.


Nick: 26:46 What are you in, in terms of self care? What do you do for yourself if you'd speak to that personally?


Dr. Pleau: 26:51 Well, I do a lot of meditation. Okay. Yeah, the tape, right? So I like I don't do it every day. I try to do it every day, but I know, but I sit down on a meditation cushion in front of the fireplace at home or I sit down on a meditation cushion in our meditation room here in the, in the clinic.


Dr. Pleau: 27:07 And I close my eyes and I breathe and I just practice great gratitude and I just practice breath and presence and I catch my mind wandering and I'm like, okay. Thinking and I come back to the breath. So I have like a mindfulness meditation practice that's really important. I get body work myself. Oh sure. So I have other people work on me. And lots of different modalities. It's not all just visceral manipulation, although that's, that's really important piece, because that's the way, this is the way that I practice. I've heard, you know, long ago when I was first starting on this pathway in the mid nineties, I heard this idea that you, you can't lead a person to a place where you've never been. Right. So if you have a lot of tension and restriction, you say your liver for example, you can't really correct somebody else's dysfunctional liver if your own is super out of whack.


Dr. Pleau: 28:04 So that's another concept is, you know, if, if, if I want to be able to refine the mechanical functioning of my patient's body, I need to be constantly working on my own, constantly having other people put their hands on me, find where I'm stuck and free that up so my body becomes more and more efficient. I mean, you know, we're all aging. I just turned 51. So this is the oldest I've ever been in December. Yeah. Oh yeah, no, but I mean, so I mean I like to say this is the oldest I've ever been, right? And I'm not getting younger and you know, and I realize that, you know, we were all here for a limited time, right? And nobody, nobody here gets out alive as Jim Morrison said. But you can do this thing that in functional medicine they call it squaring the life curve, right?


Dr. Pleau: 29:03 If you have a X axis and Y axis and your X axis is your years and the Y axis is your quality of life, most of us tend to gradually...you start to slip down, we get older. Our quality of life gradually starts getting worse and worse and worse. Yeah. You can do things by eating a healthy diet and living a healthy lifestyle and getting work done on your body so that mechanically your body continues to work as efficiently as possible. You could square that life curve so your quality of life stays high right up to the end. I like that.


Nick: 29:35 I feel like the way I've taken care of myself over the years, I may, I may actually be able to get it to go up little bit. Especially if I'm being honest, my self-care of late has been basically nonexistent, been to on my birthday I did finally we'll get a massage. But I've been eating poorly and not sleeping well and just.


Dr. Pleau: 29:58 The holidays tend to do that and the stress of being around family members and.


Nick: 30:03 I do know that finalize the divorce at the end of the year. So I was like a whole life change. There's a lot of stuff you've been through a lot, but if it's not too cliche, 2020 is becoming a good reset new year, new decade.


Dr. Pleau: 30:17 Yeah, totally. Totally. You know, and work with that, right. Stay with that. Let it be every moment now. It's a reset, right. That'd be every breath that is a reset and just start a meditation practice. Good with an app and forgive yourself.


Dr. Pleau: 30:34 Oh and every breath, forgive yourself because you can't change the past, but you can change the, now you can change the future by changing it out. So yeah, working on it. Yeah. So that's a big part of longevity in the career is self care. That's all I've got to take care of your body. You've got to make sure that mechanically, structurally, your body is working as efficiently as possible and you've gotta take care of your psyche. You got to make sure that whatever the things are that are gnawing on you, whatever the older resentments that go back to when you were a child or whatever those things are, that you're investigating them honestly


Dr. Pleau: 31:14 And coming to a place of forgiveness and acceptance. Only then can you really hold a safe and sacred place for a client to come and have a healing experience.


Nick: 31:25 Wow. I'm so glad I asked you about longevity. This is great. This is good. Good lesson here.


Dr. Pleau: 31:31 The oldest I've ever been.


Nick: 31:34 Wait, I made a note about it. Do you still do Tae Kwon Do? Yeah. Regularly. Yeah. Competitively.


Dr. Pleau: 31:40 No, I don't. I don't compete. I have a, it's been a while since I've gone to a tournament and competed at forms. But that's, I'm not going to do sparring competition. I don't want to get hurt. I am hoping to be in, I think maybe April. I don't know if they've set the date yet, but hopefully, hopefully this spring I'm going to test for my third degree black belt. My son who's, who's 10 and a half, he will test for his first degree black. So we're looking forward to that.


Nick: 32:09 That's great. That's cool. And still, do you still play music?


Dr. Pleau: 32:18 Music was one of my main passions when I was growing . I played the tuba and-


Nick: 32:23 Tell me you still have the tuba...


Dr. Pleau: 32:24 I don't t have the tuba. I don't-


Nick: 32:24 Ahhh. I would love to hear that.


Dr. Pleau: 32:24 I played the tuba, but I wanted to play a different instrument because I learned, you know, I started on tuba like fourth grade and I learned pretty soon that the tubas get, don't get very interesting parts right to play. You gotta play range, cornet or flute or something that if you want to play the melody. And so I wanted to switch instruments, but my band director wouldn't allow that because he needed me on a tuba. So I find-


Nick: 32:51 Were you one of the only people who could physically carry the tuba?


Dr. Pleau: 32:55 No, it was more of a...I don't know. I was, I was, I was a tuba player and that's what he needed. So he finally retired and the next band director gave me an opportunity to switch to a different instrument.


Dr. Pleau: 33:05 And that's, that was my senior year of high school and that's when I started singing and I, what I really wanted to be was a singer. So I know I went to college and studied music, but I never finished that degree. And yeah, I was a self taught like bass, bass, guitar player and a little bit keyboards and would sing, lead singing with one lineup and backup vocals with another. And worked collaboratively with friends back in the nineties writing music. Oh, cool. Which was fun. But I haven't I haven't played in a long time. My son is taking piano lessons now and my bass guitar is sitting right there right next to the app and I could pick it up and start playing it. But I just, I just haven't done that in awhile.


Nick: 33:55 Yeah. I asked because music is a big part of my own self care and I pick up a guitar or I sit on a piano or drum set. Last year drums, the past couple of years lessons. That's been really great for me.


Dr. Pleau: 34:07 My youngest Santa brought my youngest a drum set, a little electric drum set. So that was nice. No, it's sadly, music is still a source of me beating up on myself. I still feel like, Oh, I should, but I don't.


Nick: 34:22 Okay, well here's the challenge then. I don't know if you caught it on my social or on YouTube. I randomly one day picked a muscle from the trail guide flashcards and I forced myself to write a song about it. Unfortunately, I picked Geniohyoid and it was saying that right in the under here. Yeah, whatever it was. But I I had to write, write a song about like, it was ridiculous. Wow. Forced you to write a song like me or I will or I'll write it and make you do some background on vocals and record it. Yeah. So that's really cool. I, the only other question I had today because it's top of mind for me right now while I'm trying to establish Massage Hodgepodge as a clinical practice is any thoughts about practice building? I know you've built something for yourself at different times in different places, so any, any thoughts you've, and we've had conversations offline about this before, but


Dr. Pleau: 35:27 This is, this is another, this is another topic. It's more of a source of me beating up on myself because I feel like this is something that has always been my weak point is practice building. And you know what it comes down to for me right now, within this time in my life, it's, it's, it's about self-acceptance. It's about forgiving myself for perceived failures in the past and, and finding a place where I'm comfortable enough in my own skin that I can walk out the door, take my outreach literature, go talk to the neighborhood doctors and say, this is what I do and I want you to send the patients for this. Right. That's what I need to do. And I it's hard to get out of where yes. What has been stopping me. Hmm. That's, that's the meaningful question for me right now is practice building is what has been stopping me and how do I move past it.


Dr. Pleau: 36:21 So the last six months I have been working hard on that as hence I've been doing all this meditation, working with therapists and exploring like my deep past looking at old stuff. It happened 30, 40, 50 years ago.


Nick: 36:37 And it's just that moment when you're like, I need to physically look, walk into someone's office and you feel like, yeah.


Dr. Pleau: 36:43 A lot of the stuff around that. So practice building. If you know some people that comes naturally, some people seem to like, I had a really, really good friend in chiropractic school who was the founder and president of our business club and he has built a very successful chiropractic practice. He's got like three clinics that he runs now and a bunch of employees and a, it came natural to him like he is a business person. You know, he cares about people and he's got good hands as a chiropractor, so he's got the right pieces, right?


Dr. Pleau: 37:18 Just building came natural for him. You did a really, really good job right from the start. I've always struggled with that and I, it's a lot of it is that, is that like belief in what itself? You know, it's like I gotta get my old baggage out of the way first. And then having a practice building strategy, like writing, writing down, what do you want to do? How are you going to get clients? What kind of clients do you want?


Nick: 37:43 Yeah, that's been a big one. Being more clear about what I do, I can help.


Dr. Pleau: 37:48 Right. And I think having some degree of specialization helps because you can build a niche and if you have a niche, then you can go and advertise your niche. Right. And people are like, Oh, who should I send you? You should send me these people instead of just saying everybody, everybody should come see.


Nick: 38:03 To that end, I remember speaking to you about how you really liked seeing clients with sort of intractable problems, like things that they've spent. They spent a lot of time working with other doctors, other maybe another chiropractors-


Dr. Pleau: 38:20 That's the niche that I'm trying to exploit is the, the chronic pain that has failed other modalities because that's where I feel that this modality that I'm practicing shines because the person who's, they've got chronic pain, they've tried acupuncture, you've tried massage, they've tried chiropractors, they've tried PT and nothing is helping. That to me is an indicator that the body is trying to protect an underlying visceral restriction. Yeah. So those are the people who I think would be a well-targeted for this approach. Cool. Yeah. So you know, identify what kind of clients you want on your table. What kind of work you want to do is the first step.


Dr. Pleau: 39:04 The second step is laying out a strategy for getting yourself out there and you're doing a fantastic job with your internet presence.


Nick: 39:11 That stuff. That's coming more easily to me. Yeah. The brand of Massage Hodgepodge and making this podcast and putting videos and I'm going to be doing long form massage therapy and other modality sessions. It's the actual people through the door. That's, you know, that's where I, that's where I am right now.


Dr. Pleau: 39:35 Yeah. You're, you're building an infrastructure, electronic digital infrastructure that is going to be far reaching. It's going to grow. So there's going to be 10 year olds reaching out through the social community.


Nick: 39:46 I want this to take me on the road. It's, yeah.


Dr. Pleau: 39:49 The people who are the good fit for you will find you because of what you're doing now. Cool. Yeah. I'm sorry you started to say ?


Nick: 39:55 No. I wanted it to take me in the on the road Like I want to bring that like, Thai massage from Thailand. Oh, show that. Show you what, that's like shows or the world, what that's like. And wow. Yeah. Lomi Lomi in Hawaii. Yeah. A friend of mine was like, Oh, you want to be that the Anthony Bordain and body work? And I was like, yes, thank you. I would love that. That sounds really cool. So this is a part of that path, I guess. Yeah. Okay. So that's a good conversation. I'm looking at the clock now, so, but we need to talk about how to find you. I want to say it's Dr. William Pleau is.... Well, we'll link to it either way. Yeah. My website is williampleaudc.com. Oh, that's okay. WILLIAMPLEAUDC.com. Yes. My phone number is (503) 673-6500. Wow. All right. That's really put right out there.


Dr. Pleau: 40:50 Yeah. So that's how to reach me. My practice is in Beaverton. I'm right off of you know, the Cornell Bethany exit from highway 26. Boom. I'm right there in a building called the Life Qual Center right next to, yeah. Actually that's goal is building wonderful practitioners. Yeah. yeah. I should also say if people who aren't in the area, they could also reach out to you. Questions about anything you've mentioned. Sure. Yeah. I'm happy to chat. And LinkedIn is a good spot. Good. Facebook is good. I do have a Facebook page or LinkedIn presence.


Nick: 41:23 You start to TikTok yet.?


Dr. Pleau: 41:24 Nope, I don't take that.


Nick: 41:27 It's ridiculous.


Dr. Pleau: 41:27 And somebody else was telling me about something else that I need that I can, Oh, you don't need to set the next door. I'll do a talk with yeah. Next door or something like that. Oh, that's local.


Dr. Pleau: 41:35 Yeah, that's, that's, I have to set that for myself. Yeah. So many things. So it's like, yeah. But then there's also like getting my physical body out the door into the medical clinics and and try and try and get some Face Time with the local doctors so they can find out what I do and they can send me the patients who are not responding to conventional PT. Yeah, that's good. Yeah. Well thanks so much for being on the show. Thank you. And I should say that you are going to be a recurring guest. Maybe not. Well, I mean some on the podcast we'll probably speak again. I hope at some point I'm really excited about the the muscle. Yeah, we're going to....we're going to talk about type, take a region, type, maybe his shoulder or something and talk you some videos about that.


Nick: 42:19 That'll be on YouTube and basically, well that'll be just be everywhere. We'll share this, we'll share this far and wide. And that's largely about me reeducating myself cause I have access to you. So...teach me and remind me about all the things I need to know.


Dr. Pleau: 42:33 I love it because I totally enjoy geeking out on the anatomy and the kinesiology and the pathology and the injuries and all that stuff. And you know, it's another opportunity to get my face and my voice out there, what I need. So.


Nick: 42:47 All right. All right. So everyone out there on the interwebs. Thanks so much for listening and we'll see you next time.


Dr. Pleau: 42:54 Thanks.




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