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Kevin Khalili of Laser Rehab Institute of Santa Barbara: “I am limited to just seeing the two-dimensional person without any hands-on evaluation or treatment”

The biggest advantage of telehealth is that it helps provide care when care is not accessible because of the inability to ambulate, pandemic restrictions, the anxiety of going into public spaces, and distances that are too great to reach. I particularly have seen this when providing telemedicine for patients that reside in cities that are […]

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The biggest advantage of telehealth is that it helps provide care when care is not accessible because of the inability to ambulate, pandemic restrictions, the anxiety of going into public spaces, and distances that are too great to reach. I particularly have seen this when providing telemedicine for patients that reside in cities that are far away.


One of the consequences of the pandemic is the dramatic growth of Telehealth and Telemedicine. But how can doctors and providers best care for their patients when they are not physically in front of them? What do doctors wish patients knew in order to make sure they are getting the best results even though they are not actually in the office? How can Telehealth approximate and even improve upon the healthcare that traditional doctors’ visits can provide?

In this interview series, called “Telehealth Best Practices; How To Best Care For Your Patients When They Are Not Physically In Front Of You” we are talking to successful Doctors, Dentists, Psychotherapists, Counselors, and other medical and wellness professionals who share lessons and stories from their experience about the best practices in Telehealth. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Khalili.

Kevin Khalili, DC, CCEP founded the Laser Rehab Institute of Santa Barbara, California in 1997. This state-of-the-art facility specializes in preventative sports medicine, breakthrough injury recovery, whole body lifestyle coaching, and comprehensive functional medicine. Kevin practices yoga, meditation, eats plant-based food and having developed innovative supplements, is also a nutritional expert. Some of his steady clients are top competing and famous sports athletes and teams.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

For 28 years, I have been practicing preventive sports medicine as the clinical director of the Laser Rehab Institute of Santa Barbara, California. I graduated from the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic in 1992 and became a Certified Fellow of Chiropractic Biophysics in 2002. After pursuing postgraduate studies at Life Chiropractic College West, I became a Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner (CCEP) in 2017. I am also the founder of Dr. Khalili, LLC, a company dedicated to researching and developing plant-powered products and innovative home fitness solutions, as well as offering an online optimal health learning center.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

When I was about thirty, I was diagnosed with a life-threatening genetic kidney disease, and it took me on a quest to find a cure and learn for the first time how it felt to be a patient. My journey taught me not only many lessons about the vast world of healing but also the ability to empathize with my patients. Even though my efforts failed, and I eventually had to have a kidney transplant nearly 7 years ago, I am truly grateful to have gone through such adversity because I evolved into a much more knowledgeable and compassionate doctor.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I love this quote from Hippocrates, “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.” This quote absolutely nails it in terms of what I see due to people not adhering to Hippocrates’ advice. Many people who see me are experiencing pain or injury from being either inactive or overexerting themselves. The same can be said for when we run blood panels. We commonly see many excesses and depletions in their food and nutritional intake. Hippocrates is simply saying that moderation is the key to longevity.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The person I admire and feel saved my career was the founder of Chiropractic Biophysics, the late Don Harrison, DC, Ph.D. Early on in my career, I became frustrated and questioned my own profession. As much as I loved being a chiropractor, I didn’t understand how and why some patients would get better and why others would never respond. I searched and searched for answers until I discovered two books written by Dr. Harrison. I then wanted to become more proficient and yearned for hands-on training by Dr. Harrison and his team. After years of study and practice, I became one of the first Certified Fellows of Chiropractic Biophysics in the country. Dr. Harrison gave me confidence by developing and teaching me a standardized peer-reviewed researched system of evaluating and managing spinal conditions with amazing success.

Ok wonderful. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. The pandemic has changed so many things about the way we behave. One of them of course, is how doctors treat their patients. Many doctors have started treating their patients remotely. Telehealth can of course be very different than working with a patient that is in front of you. This provides great opportunity because it allows more people access to medical professionals, but it can also create unique challenges.

To begin, can you articulate for our readers a few of the main benefits of having a patient in front of you?

So much of being a chiropractor is seeing, touching, and feeling a patient in person to fully understand the nuances of their condition and apply appropriate therapeutic intervention.

On the flip side, can you articulate for our readers a few of the main challenges that arise when a patient is not in the same space as the doctor?

I am limited to just seeing the two-dimensional person without any hands-on evaluation or treatment.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience, what can one do to address or redress each of those challenges? What are your “5 Things You Need To Know To Best Care For Your Patients When They Are Not Physically In Front Of You? (Please share a story or example for each.)

First, I always start with a full health history starting from birth, including all medications, injuries, hospitalization, and surgeries. Having a complete understanding of a person’s history helps provide essential underlying clues that could contribute to their current condition. Next, I have the patient give a full description of their typical day, including daily activities, sleep habits, and food/beverage intake. I believe knowing a person’s habits really explains how a particular ailment develops to provide a solution and give advice on prevention. Then, I request a complete laboratory panel to objectify and establish a baseline of their individual biochemistry, including blood, urine, hair, and stool analysis. Getting a full biochemistry panel helps quantify our imbalances from the inside of the body to guide and manage their nutritional intake. Next, I do a visual posture and range of motion analysis. A visual posture and range of motion analysis is an easy way to understand the body’s asymmetries. Last, I look at a properly taken series of weight-bearing full spine x-rays. A proper set of x-rays is the only way to establish why a person has a spinal condition. It should be the gold standard for everyone to receive this spinal blueprint analysis once a person stops growing. It could prevent hundreds of billions of dollars of needless pain and suffering.

Can you share a few ways that Telehealth can create opportunities or benefits that traditional in-office visits cannot provide? Can you please share a story or give an example?

The biggest advantage of telehealth is that it helps provide care when care is not accessible because of the inability to ambulate, pandemic restrictions, the anxiety of going into public spaces, and distances that are too great to reach. I particularly have seen this when providing telemedicine for patients that reside in cities that are far away.

Let’s zoom in a bit. Many tools have been developed to help facilitate Telehealth. In your personal experiences which tools have been most effective in helping to replicate the benefits of being together in the same space?

I believe simply just seeing and hearing an actual person in real-time using the zoom technology really helps communication for both the patient and doctor.

If you could design the perfect Telehealth feature or system to help your patients, what would it be?

I believe one of the most challenging things for people to do is provide proper food for themselves. I wish there were a feature to coordinate with local chefs to provide the doctor’s nutritional recommendations and prepare and deliver food directly to patients.

Are there things that you wish patients knew in order to make sure they are getting the best results even though they are not actually in the office?

I wish people would sweat daily for at least 45 minutes with biomechanically correct low-impact exercises, sleep deeply for 9 hours in a neutral posture on a proper mattress, and savor sustainably sourced organic foods that are at least 95% plant-based.

The technology is rapidly evolving and new tools like VR, AR, and Mixed Reality are being developed to help bring people together in a shared virtual space. Is there any technology coming down the pipeline that excites you?

Is there a part of this future vision that concerns you? Can you explain?

I get the most excited about new developments in healing technology. I am particularly excited about the evolution of stem cell therapy and its ability to regenerate tissue. We only get one set of tread until we’re dead, but with future developments, we may be able to reverse the clock.

Ok wonderful. We are nearly done. Here is our last “meaty” question. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

As a world society, I strongly believe we need to ween from the screens and do a digital detox from the tox box. We need to go outside more and engage with nature, talk to friends face to face, exercise, write a letter longhand to a distant friend or family member, learn a new language from a tutor, or start playing a musical instrument and get lessons from an instructor. It amazes me how often I go out in nature, either on a hike or to the beach, and people are buried into their screens with earbuds blocking out the wonderful sounds and sights of nature. We need to unplug and plug into our innate to experience this awe-inspiring world firsthand.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

http://www.drkhalili.com

Thank you so much for the time you spent doing this interview. This was very inspirational, and we wish you continued success.

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