It’s no secret that we are big believers of Chiropractic care, and we’re also becoming big believers in the types of doctors that choose to become Chiropractors – seriously the biggest hearts on these guys. And, it’s clear that Katy has some of the best and most passionate chiropractors out there! We got to chat with Dr. Daryn McCarter of Experience Life Chiropractic, and we promise, if you read his interview, you will feel the passion and love that Dr. McCarter has for Chiro, his practice, and his patients.
Dr. McCarter and his wife Morgan, who are local parents themselves, are so proud of not only the care that they provide their patients, but also the culture and the atmosphere they have created in their office. Dr. McCarter specializes in pregnant moms and pediatrics, so he is a great resource for us mamas! There’s a special deal for you at the bottom of the interview, so keep on reading!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Katy area?
I was born and raised in Lockney, Texas; a very small town in the panhandle about 60 miles north of Lubbock. Morgan was born and raised in Clear Lake, just on the other side of Houston. We moved to Katy in July of 2018 after living in Dallas for three years while I was in chiropractic school.
Are you a parent? How old are your kiddos?
Alongside my wife, we are the proud parents of two boys! Callan is 2 and Slade just turned 9 months.
When did you decide you wanted to be a Chiropractor and where did you go to school?
This is a loaded question!
Growing up I knew that I wanted to be in the healthcare field I just wasn’t sure how that was going to happen. Originally my plan was to be an athletic trainer, but about a semester before I graduated with my Sports and Exercise Sciences degree I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do (every mom’s favorite phone call right?!). So, I finished my degree and then went on to obtain my BSN in Nursing. While I was working as an ICU nurse, I met Morgan who shortly thereafter unknowingly sparked my interest in chiropractic. Now when I was a kid, my dad went to the chiropractor, but it wasn’t ever to improve or preserve his health it was just when his lower back was bothering him, so to me chiropractic was just a quick fix to back pain. This is also why Morgan was seeing a chiropractor; lower back and hip pain. But, rather than just telling her to come whenever she hurt, he did things a little bit differently. He did a thorough health history, performed a neurological evaluation using state of the art technology and followed all of that up with postural specific x-rays. He then took the time to educate her on the intimate relationship between her spine and her nervous system and how big of a role being well-adjusted could have on her overall health. What Morgan didn’t tell him was that she struggled with digestive issues, irregular menstrual cycles and a cardiac condition that caused her to pass-out frequently growing up; because why would you tell your chiropractor that, right?! Well after being under consistent care and following his recommendations, not only did her lower back pain and hip pain start to get better, but her digestive issues started to resolve, her cycle started to regulate and she hadn’t had a syncopal (passing out) episode since starting care. ←- That is what sparked my interest in chiropractic care! Yeah it was cool that she wasn’t in pain anymore, but the fact that the only thing she changed about her daily life was that she started getting consistently adjusted and her body began to function better as a result of it was what really drew me in!
I went through the Doctor of Chiropractic program at Parker University in Dallas.
When attending school, did you study all forms of chiropractic care? What are some of the different styles out there? (network spinal analysis, etc)
Parker teaches four different adjusting techniques in their core curriculum (Diversified, Gonstead, Thompson & Activator) and then you can choose two other techniques and I chose Upper Cervical and S.O.T. (Sacro Occipital Technique). We also had an Obstetrics and Pediatrics class where we learned how to take care of pregnant mommas and their kiddos. This was by far my favorite class! We learned the Webster Technique, which is an adjusting technique designed specifically for pregnant mommas allowing for stabilization of the pelvis and relaxation of the uterus providing mom with a more comfortable pregnancy and safer delivery. I also furthered my knowledge of this technique by becoming Webster Technique Certified by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) to better serve mommas as their body literally creates and births new life. We also learned several different gentle techniques for adjusting babies throughout their infancy and on into their adolescent years (i.e. sustained contact, cranial work, etc.). I’m also currently working towards my pediatric certification through the ICPA to expand my knowledge and be able serve kiddos at a higher level. We also had multiple clubs on campus for techniques not taught in the curriculum such as Network Spinal Analysis, Neuro-Emotional Technique and Torque Release Technique just to name a few.
As for all the different styles out there…there are over 200 different styles / techniques of adjusting. From traditional manual chiropractic, to instrument based, you name it, there’s probably a technique for it.
What made you decide to open your own practice as opposed to joining an already established one?
We knew from the beginning that our family life was not going to fit into our work life, but rather that work was going to have to fit into our family life. For us, opening our own office, setting our own weekly hours, holiday closures, etc. was by far a no brainer to us. This gives us the freedom to serve our community without sacrificing our family in the process.
What did you do before you opened Experience Life Chiropractic and when did you open the doors to Experience Life?
Prior to opening ELC and really chiropractic in general I was an ICU nurse in the Medical ICU at a hospital in Lubbock, Texas for 2 years. It was in that time that I met Morgan, discovered chiropractic, quit my job, moved to Dallas to attend Parker and pursue chiropractic. I was in school for 3⅓ years then we moved to Katy shortly after graduation in August of 2018 and began working to open our doors. After many long nights, early mornings, adding our youngest to our family and running into several obstacles along the way, we finally opened the doors of Experience Life Chiropractic on April 8, 2019 and have been happily serving families in Katy and the surrounding communities ever since!
Tell us more about Experience Life Chiropractic, what makes it unique, and different from other practices?
I believe what makes us unique is the technique we use in the office as well as the atmosphere and culture we’ve created.
We utilize Torque Release Technique (TRT) which is an instrument based technique and the first chiropractic technique that was born out of research. The instrument that I use is called the Integrator and it is the first ever FDA approved chiropractic instrument. The main reason that I chose to use TRT is because it delivers the exact same adjustment every single time and it takes my ego out of the equation. We’ve got two boys under two, so sleep is a hot commodity in our house and if I were to use a manual technique like Diversified or Gonstead and only got a couple hours of sleep the night before, the first adjustment I deliver that day is going to be vastly different than the last adjustment I deliver that day. As much as I love manual adjusting, TRT puts our Practice Members health first and since our health is our most important asset it was a no brainer when it came to choosing a technique. The only practice members that I don’t use TRT on are kiddos before they’re weight bearing and kiddos that are sensitive to sound or sudden movement (i.e. autism, sensory processing disorder, etc.). In these situations I use a gentle sustained contact that is no more pressure than you would use checking the ripeness of an avocado or tomato at the grocery store. Adjusting kiddos is by far my favorite thing to do. They have such an instant physiological response to the adjustment and commonly sleep through or fall asleep during their adjustment!
We also have worked incredibly hard to create a welcoming and family-centered atmosphere and culture in our office. We hear from practice members all the time that “the energy in here is just different; it’s like being a part of a family” and that’s exactly what our goal was when we set out to open Experience Life. We wanted to create a space where families could come to learn, grow and pursue health together as well as a space where kids could just be kids. I tell parents all the time that the sound of their kids running up and down the halls, through the rooms, etc. is what makes my heart happy (even though it drives them crazy as parents, am I right?!). Because when kids are just being kids it means that they are comfortable and feel safe and that is exactly what we want kids to feel when they come in for their adjustments!
What’s your main goal when treating your patients?
Our main goal when taking care of our Practice Members is for their body to function at its highest potential so they can be the healthiest and best versions of themselves. What we don’t do is treat individuals for symptoms. Yes, most people walk through our doors with some sort of symptom. That could be headaches, neck pain or back pain, but that could also be digestive issues, irregular menstrual cycles, chronic ear infections, bedwetting, etc. We, of course, monitor their symptoms and want to be sure that those things are also getting better, going away and staying away, but no matter what they present with our goal is always the same; to allow their body to function optimally so they can experience life and the things that matter most to the fullest.
For any skeptics of chiropractic care, what would you tell them?
Anyone who is skeptical of chiropractic care typically has a reason and the most common reason is that they themselves have had a bad experience with chiropractic or they know someone or have heard of someone who has had a bad experience with chiropractic. What I tell most people is, just like with any other business you visit, you might have a bad experience, but that doesn’t mean that you write off the entire industry as “not for me” because of one bad experience. For instance, when couples have their first baby or a family moves to a new town they start interviewing and visiting pediatricians. If they have a bad experience or don’t like the first pediatrician that they visit, they don’t just throw in the towel and stop looking for a pediatrician right? Of course not! They keep looking until they find one who they trust with their child, who respects their opinions and values and will answer their questions respectfully. Same thing goes for chiropractic. Just because you’ve had a bad experience or someone else you know has had a bad experience with chiropractic doesn’t mean that chiropractic isn’t for you. It just means that that particular chiropractor isn’t the right fit for you and your family. I would strongly encourage them to continue looking for a chiropractor who they can trust, who is passionate about what they do and who has their best interest at heart.
Advice for anyone wanting to start their own practice?
Know that you know that you know that you want to open your own practice, have a phenomenal support system and a group of mentors.
Starting from scratch is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of work, sacrifice and sheer determination. It’s so much more than hanging a sign on a storefront and people walking through your door. From meeting with GCs to build out your space, to working with brokers to find your space, to hiring a team, to networking, to marketing, to branding, the list goes on and on. You have to have crazy organizational skills, be able to properly manage your time and learn how to not be so hard on yourself. Mistakes will happen, people will unknowingly let you down, obstacles will undoubtedly pop-up; heck you might not get your Certificate of Occupancy until 10 o’clock the morning of your Ribbon Cutting that is scheduled for 4 o’clock later that afternoon and only have 6 hours to take an empty office and turn it into a functional practice.
It’s in those times that a phenomenal support system is a must! You have to have people in your corner who believe in you as much as you believe in your dream. If you’re constantly talking to people who tell you to quit when it gets tough, who aren’t supportive and are just all around “negative Nancys”…you may, and I would encourage you to put some distance between you and them through this season. It doesn’t mean you cut them out of your life, it just means you talk to people who are going to unconditionally support you and protect your inner circle and most importantly your dream.
Lastly, you HAVE to have a group of mentors who have done it all before. You have to have someone who you can call and ask all the questions. You have to have someone who can talk you off the edge of a cliff when all you want to do is be done. You have to have someone who has been where you are and can give you solid advice on how to get through it.
Luckily I have all of that. Some of it was learned (organizational skills, time management, etc.) and that was the hardest part! I’m blessed with a huge support system that starts with my wife and trickles down throughout both of our families. I hands down wouldn’t be able to be where I am today without Morgan and we sure as heck wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of our parents, extended families and friends / peers we’ve met along the way who all had the crazy dream to open their own practice and change the health of a community!
How do you balance being a business owner, doctor, parent, and spouse?
To be honest, balance between all of the different hats that my wife and I both wear on a daily basis is simply not realistic. What it comes down to is time and opening / running a business takes up a lot of that, so when it comes to being a parent and spouse what we’ve found is that quality time is far more important than quantity time. The majority of my time is not spent at home. It’s spent at the office throughout the week and out in the community on the weekends, so when I’m at home, I do my best to be present as both a husband and a dad. Whether that means sitting down to eat a meal at 9pm with Morgan, playing with Callan at 6:30am (what is sleep?), or sneaking in some Slade-time over lunch or before bed. Is it ideal…no. But it’s the season of life that we’re in right now and hopefully with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck the office will continue to grow and expand giving us more free-time in the years to come!
Future plans for your practice?
One of our goals is to be the largest prenatal, pediatric and family-based chiropractic practices in the state of Texas, but not for the reasons most would think. We set this as our goal because if we attain it, that means that more women are being supported, educated and empowered throughout their pregnancy and as they transition into motherhood, more kiddos are being re-connected and less medicated and more families are united in the pursuit of a vibrant, healthy, drug-free life! Does that mean we have more than one practice? Maybe! Does that mean we add multiple doctors to the current practice? Maybe! What I hands down know to be true is that we’re on a mission to change the health of Katy and the surrounding communities and I’m not going to put a limit on what it takes to do just that!
Any discounts or specials our moms can look out for?
If they mention KMN when they book their initial visit with us we will bless them and their family with a complimentary consultation and neurological evaluation in our office. This includes a 1-on-1 consultation as well as a complete neurological evaluation utilizing our Space-Certified, NASA Published thermography and sEMG technology. –
To learn more about Experience Life Chiropractic check out their website and follow them on social media: