The power of moai and ikigai

Can you imagine living being a hundred years old and meeting up with the same friends for the last 90 years?


On the island of Okinawa, they have a very high percentage of centenarians (their age is over 100).

The three big killers in the west – heart disease, stroke and cancer – occur in Okinawans with the lowest frequency in the world.

On average they spend 97% of their lives free from disability.


Well, as with all things epidemiological it’s complicated/complex and you can’t be sure.

But one thing we know, they understand the power of community and having a meaning in life.

They have life-long groups that meet regularly to talk, support and simply be with each other.

These groups are known as “moai“, which means life-long friends.

These give Owinawan’s part of their purpose in life.

They have a driving force to keep getting up in the morning, a reason for being or as they call it in Okinawa “ikigai“.

I love the Venn diagram for Ikigai. Let’s apply it to the 4 areas in our world of neuromechanical and metabolic care.

What the world needs: Without a doubt the worlds needs high quality neuromechanical care. Given the dire state of our diets, and the environment, metabolic care too when appropriate.

What you can be paid for: Despite the NHS services being perceived as “free”, there is a definite trend of people being willing to pay larger and larger sums for quality neurochemical and metabolic care.

This is particularly evident within the metabolic world.

10 years ago when I was gluten-free, eating fermented vegetables and drinking fermented milk (kefir), I was very definitely not mainstream.

These days gluten-free products are available everywhere and eating out is no longer an issue. Supermarkets now routinely carry multiple brands of kefir and kombucha.

The cost for functional blood urine and stool testing has come down dramatically, whilst availability has risen sharply.

Make no doubt about it the world of healthcare is changing fast.

Patients want quality healthcare and they are very definitely ready to pay for it.

And you must charge an appropriate fee and earn a professional wage.

What are you good at: Practice does not necessarily make perfect. We all know chiropractors who will say something along the lines of “I’ve been in practice for X many years, therefore……blah blah blah“.

Here’s the thing, many of these vocal practitioners have been repeating the same mistakes day in day out since they began practising.

This doesn’t make them wise or knowledgeable, it means they are blinkered to their own inadequacies, and their ego is out of hand (remember ego is the enemy). Or arguably they are a moron depending on how charitable you are feeling.

How do you get good?

Master a couple of techniques (you need more than one).

This takes time.

If it says “Monday morning mastery” they are lying or it’s just an utterly s**t technique. Either way, avoid.

Repeat the seminar multiple times and if possible get one to one hands-on with a tutor/master of the technique.

Measure something objective (range of motion is good, it’s hard to fudge, plus the patients remember, so it holds you to account).

Don’t be afraid to ask how patients are feeling.

Certain groups within our profession, never ask because they are promoting wellness and they are not into pain (per se).

Here’s the thing…..if you are going to create wellness with Chiropractic care, you are going have taken them from dysfunctional and symptomatic to functional and asymptomatic, via connective tissue remodelling and then into nervous system optimisation and wellness.

If you are that good, you can take a complete wreck of a dysfunctional human and over 1-2 years to create wellness, which by definition means asymptomatic, why wouldn’t you be asking them how good they feel ?!?

In reality, the real reason they don’t ask is that deep down they know they wouldn’t like the answer.

It would fracture the fragile illusion they have created.

Mastering anything requires a lot of failures. But you won’t know you care has failed unless you measure something meaningful and talk to the patient.

As long as you learn from the failures and improve, you will improve and eventually master it (the learning never, ever ends, but at least you’ll have serious skills you & your patients can rely on).

What you love: Helping people recover their health or at least manage it (unless you’re a narcissistic psychopath), will bring meaning to your work & your life.

So putting these four parts together.

To really help people get better & love what you do, you’ve got to be good at what you do.

I enjoy practice now far more my first qualified because I’m good at what I do.

I love doing it partly because I am good at it.

I get paid well for doing it (you can’t retire on goodwill, charge an appropriate fee for care).

And people need my care

That’s all 4 parts of the Venn for Ikigai in a Chiropractic & metabolic mash up.

As far as moai, we are creating a community of like minded clinicians, who want to deliver better, more sustainable care.

The Facebook page for the founding members (closed group) is already becoming a great source of knowledge exchange between like-minded practitioners.

I’ve got plenty of reason/ikigai to get up at 6.30 and read the research, I love the amazing things Chiropractic and metabolic care can do.

I can’t get enough.

And I want to share it with a group of friends, my moai.

Action to take today:

Become part of our tribe, our community, our moai when I open the doors again towards the end of the year.

Email me your thoughts and questions, I’d love to hear from you.

Spread the word – Tell your colleagues about the Academy of Chiropractic Nutrition.

Forward the newsletter and suggest they sign up at the website for the free downloads and weekly newsletter. (I’ve got a jazzy new video to welcome them).

As always, don’t waste those valuable adjustments.

Speak soon