A Video Conversation with Amir Rashidian, Founder and Owner of the Mid-Atlantic Chiropractic Center- How I Overcame Dyslexia

Healing chiropractic patients from the inside out

Amir Rashidian is the founder and owner of the Mid Atlantic Chiropractic Center. Located in Frederick, MD, the Center serves individuals suffering from an array of back, neck, and nerve ailments through a medical approach based on a holistic understanding of each patient’s health. Dr. Rashidian is a graduate of George Washington University and the National University of Health Sciences, and possesses over 15 years of clinical and business operational experience. An active researcher, consultant, and volunteer, Dr. Rashidian has received commendations from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Salvation Army, and his work has been published in numerous peer reviewed medical journals. Most recently, he has published a book, entitled The StressProof Life: The Secret to Health, Wealth, and Happiness.


Tell us about writing the book—did you face any challenges along the way?


AMIR RASHIDIAN: I have dyslexia. I didn’t know I had dyslexia until probably three or four years ago. I went all through school. In elementary school, my biggest fear was someone would call on me to read out loud, because I couldn’t read out loud. I sounded very uneducated. Even now, if we’re in a Bible study and someone asks me to read a verse out loud, I don’t like doing it because I have to read very, very slowly and it just doesn’t sound very intelligent when I do it.


Throughout school, I never finished a test. Any standardized test, I didn’t finish it. In chiropractic school, I had to get really good at memorizing everything I read one time, because I only had time to read it once, and that meant staying up all night. And my exams, again—a lot of them I never finished, because I couldn’t read fast enough. I was always the kid who was still in the exam room when everybody else had left; I’m still sitting there on question 95, trying to finish that test.


I didn’t know it was dyslexia. I just thought I was slow, and I had to work harder, which was great, because it taught me this work ethic that, hey, you can overcome anything if you just work harder. It doesn’t matter. So you’re slow? Work harder. So it takes you longer to read something? Learn it faster.


I ended up writing a book and that’s pretty much when I found out what dyslexia was because I wrote this 200-page book and I couldn’t read it to edit it. I had to hire someone to read it to me over the phone, and I’d listen to it and tell her what to change, she would type it in and then she’d send it to me, and we went back and forth. It took me six and a half years to write the book.


Why did you choose to write a book about stress?

I’ve been studying the human body for over 20 years, and how the body responds to any amount of stress, and what’s normal and what’s not normal. After studying all that, the conclusion that I’ve come up to is how healthy you are is a direct relationship to how much stress you can handle. In fact, if your ability to handle stress is high, that means you’re healthier, and if your ability to handle stress is low, that means a little bit of stress will make you sick.


An example would be college students. They’ll take their final exams and the next day they have a sinus infection. Or a business owner is going on vacation, and he or she works really, really hard to get all the ducks in a row, and get everything done, and make sure books and bills are correct and in place, and employees all know where they’re supposed to be, and everything’s ready, and finally, he goes on vacation and the first day of vacation he gets sick—he has a cold. It’s because the stress was higher than his ability to adapt to that stress.


Now, that principle applies to everything in life. Because how healthy you are is a measure of how much stress you can handle, how successful you are is also a measure of how much stress you can handle. If you’re able to handle more stress, you’ll be more successful. In fact, the size of your family depends on how much stress you can handle. The size of your income actually depends on how much stress you can handle. It’s all about that.


Instead of walking around saying, “let me reduce stress here and here and here,” which leads you to shrink and reduce your own ability to handle that stress, my recommendation is focus on getting stronger. Get stronger, so you can take the hits of life and still keep moving forward. Get stronger so you can carry that load, carry the burden, and not have it knock you down. You get stronger so you can take on the responsibilities that you want and succeed at each one of them. It’s about getting stronger, not reducing the stress.


Having explained that, over and over, to every single patient, saying, “Hey, listen, you know, you got sick not because you got exposed to bacteria, but because your immune system was compromised,” it’s a very big philosophy. That’s probably the most unique thing about our practice and our business: our approach is an inside-out approach. It’s about what’s in here, not what’s out here. First off, you can’t really control what’s out here. I guarantee, with every breath you’re taking in germs, bugs, viruses, bacteria, fungus, yeast—you name it, you’re taking it in. You’re being exposed to it. You cannot protect yourself from it. The only thing you can do is make sure your immune system is strong enough, so that when you’re exposed to those things you don’t get sick. Why is it two people can eat bad food in a restaurant and one of them gets food poisoning, not the other? I wrote the book to explain those things. If you have a strong enough immune system, if your focus is to strengthen your immune system, that’s the inside-out approach. You can’t control what’s out here.


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