10 Dec The Wellness Doctor
Dr. Kevin Flythe utilizes a number of techniques—physical, emotional, and spiritual—to help his patients live a more pain-free life
By Jackie Krentzman
Flythe, based in Marietta, Georgia, is a practicing chiropractor who uses numerous modalities, both Eastern and Western, in his work to further his life goal of bringing holistic healing and wellness to his patients.
“My definition of wellness differs from what most people think,” he says. “I believe wellness is being in good, solid physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance. Wellness encompasses every aspect of being human.”
Flythe began developing his view of wellness as a teenager when both his parents had unsuccessful back surgeries. At the time, he thought he wanted to be a surgeon. But when his father passed away when he was 17, he began rethinking his career path. And when he first visited a chiropractor as a senior at North Carolina Central University, he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
After college, Flythe earned his doctor of chiropractic degree from Life University in Marietta. He also studied at New York Chiropractic College and Texas Chiropractic College, and has earned degrees in biology, chemistry, sports health science, and physiological therapeutics. Flythe is certified in various modalities, including sports rehabilitation, optimal performance personal training, corrective exercise sports performance enhancement, postural movement, and reiki (a form of energy healing using gentle touch). He specializes in holistic health solutions for injuries of the spine and other joints by using a hands-on, less-invasive approach teamed with energy balancing. He weaves in several alternative medicine approaches, all with the goal of restoring the natural healing potential inherent in us all. Flythe is a sought-after guest lecturer and teaches at Life University.
Diversity Woman: What brought you to the work you do today?
Kevin Flythe: Early in my career, I worked in a mortuary. Seeing death up close like that took me to another level of understanding about what life meant. Then I began working in sports medicine at a physical therapy clinic. I was thrown into working with stroke patients, amputees, and patients in the psychiatric ward at hospitals.
These experiences, as well as my own sports injuries that did not go away until I saw a chiropractor, made me understand the bigger picture of what wellness meant, and taught me to look at how one can improve greatly without drugs or surgery. And because I came from a family with a history of diabetes and heart disease—folks living on the land but not eating well or exercising—my goal became giving people the key to live the best life they could. I do this by approaching healing on a broad level. Chiropractic medicine is the physical component. But I like to reach deeper into the person. Every injury has an emotional component, for example. So I do chakra work [focused on energy flow] and polarity work [focused on energy balancing], along with mindfulness, breath work, and movement such as yoga, dance, and tai chi.
DW: What role does stress play in our overall health and wellness?
KF: Stress is the biggest killer out there. The more stress we bring into our body, the more we put our body out of rhythm. Stress changes the actual physical functions of the body, even down to our hormones. I say that we allow stress to bring “dis-ease” into our body—a lack of ease. Over time, that will bring on disease, such as diabetes and heart disease.
DW: How do you help clients reduce their stress?
KV: I have a host of things I introduce to people. Say you don’t want to do yoga, tai chi, or meditate, so let’s start with understanding movement. Movement is essential—otherwise, you are a door that does not open and close. The hinge gets rusty and begins to squeak. Your body was made to move. The next is breath work. Most of us in the West do not know how to breathe. We are mouth breathers. The first breath God gave you was through your nostril not your mouth—he did not do CPR on you.
Teaching people how to breathe is essential. By breathing correctly and deeply you will not only feel better, but you can even get to a state of euphoria, where you may connect with the spirit.
DW: You work frequently in the Black community. What messages do you emphasize?
KF: We have to get out of the weight of the now and go back to the principles our ancestors lived by—such as proper eating and bringing in the physical modalities of movement, such as dance. We have become fast-paced and locked into what society tells us, more than embracing where we come from and loving life.
Chiropractic medicine has not been a predominant modality in the Black community, unless someone gets into a car accident. I think this is because wellness is not discussed as much in our community—people have been taught to turn to medication. That does not allow healing to take place. Medication is just a big bandage.
When I go out and speak to our community, I talk about addressing the mind, body, and spirit. I often talk more about things like the importance of mindfulness and yoga than I do about chiropractic work.
DW: Because of your work in non-Christian traditions, such as your personal work with gurus in India, have some people been reluctant to consult you?
KF: I have had folks say this work is not Christian—that it is voodoo. I get called a voodoo doctor all the time. I tell them
I was raised Christian and now I am as much of a religious person as a spiritual being. I work with everyone, all religions. I acknowledge with them that the divine god they believe in is the first foundation. Once we attain that understanding, I can usually connect.
DW: What about people who do not have a religious or spiritual practice or belief system?
KF: I tell everyone to come as you are. I pass no judgments. If an atheist with no spiritual belief came to me, my goal would be to connect with the person’s subconscious. No matter your belief, on the subconscious level you cannot lie to yourself. The encounter doesn’t even have to be verbal. It can be touch—touch is essential. Then, if the person understands the simplest emotion of love, we can make that connection. But if the person operates on the level of hate, not even the Dalai Lama can knock that wall down.
DW: What is the primary message you would like to get out to your patients—and our readers?
KF: My main objective and hope for readers of this article is to look within. No matter what faith you come from, you should focus on your life. How long do you want to live? You cannot completely determine that, but you can influence that. And how well do you want to be?
In our culture, we are so focused on work. But we have to look within and take our mind-set beyond work and bring health and wellness into our day-to-day life. That is what matters. DW