Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran
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1223 American Ninja Warrior Desirée Walker DDS, FICD, Founder of Lumber River Dental : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

1223 American Ninja Warrior Desirée Walker DDS, FICD, Founder of Lumber River Dental : Dentistry Uncensored with Howard Farran

7/22/2019 6:19:27 PM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 171

Dr. Desirée Walker is a general dentist and owner of a ground up construction, state-of the-art dental practice called Lumber River Dental in Lumberton North Carolina. Dr. Desiree Walker, also known in many circles as the Ninja Dentist, is a three(3) time competitor on the hit NBC television show American Ninja Warrior.


VIDEO - DUwHF #1223 - Desiree Walker



AUDIO - DUwHF #1223 - Desiree Walker



She has creatively integrated her love of fitness into dentistry by transforming her private office into a Ninja training suite - equipped with rings from the ceiling, bars on the wall, and  a balancing slack line. Outside of her dental practice and “Ninja” training, she enjoys outdoor yoga with her 2 cats - Jones and Lu, as well as long hikes with her husband Ash. She is passionate about helping others integrate movement and fun into their dental workday.



Howard: it is just a huge honor for mitigative the podcast interviewing Dr. Desiree Walker DDS fic D of lumber river dental and an American Ninja Warrior competitor she was on American Ninja Warrior 6 she first competed in Miami May 26 then she returned on American enjoy her 7 in Orlando and then she went again on Ninja Warrior 11 on the 29 she is a legend in my mind and most other people she is a general dentist and owner of a ground-up construction state-of-the-art dental practice called lumber river dental in Lumberton North Carolina she's known in many circles as the ninja dentist she's a three-time competitor on the hit NBC television show American Ninja Warrior she is a UNC Chapel Hill School of Dentistry graduate a fellow of the International Congress of dentists and member of the ADA an American Academy of clear aligners and American Academy of facial aesthetics she's a board of trustees to the North Carolina Dental Society and past president of her district she's license to practice dentistry in the state of North Carolina Colorado and Arizona does that mean you're gonna be my neighbor she knows oh my gosh she has been published in dental town dental economics incisal edge has presented at dental meetings across the country in addition to dr. Walker's ninja warrior' treatment she's also a two-time national fitness champion Pro fitness competitor and a good-old gymnast ex competitor she has been a nationally ranked as an amateur triathlete and pet her is the Boston Marathon finisher a CrossFit champion she has create integrated her love of fitness into dentistry by transforming her private office into a ninja training suite we put with rings from the ceiling bars on the wall and a balancing slackline outside of her dental practice and ninja training shin doors outdoor yoga with her two cats Jones and Lou as well as long heights with her husband - she is passionate about helping others integrate movement into their dental work day how in the world did someone like you end up in a sit-down job like dentistry 

Dr. Desiree Walker: well you know I realize how sedentary it was until I got to dental school you know I had shattered a little bit and that's when it actually really hit me 

Howard: so when you hear all these dental injuries like a dentist always talking like am one of his associates got carpal tunnel syndrome and this Dennis out there fishing with me he's thinking you know if he just would have put his flat hands against the floor and done maybe ten push-ups every morning maybe that would have prevented it do you believe well what do you think our sedentary dental occupation does to our body

Dr. Desiree Walker:  well when we sit still for lean over patients or sedentary during the day our muscles and our joints don't get nourished the way that they're supposed to get nourished I mean I kind of think of it like you know like when you extract a tooth and the patient gets a dry socket they get a dry socket because there's no nourishment like the clot is gone and that's basically what's happening to our bodies when we sit still like the blood flow stops with less flow stops to those muscles and joints that needed the electrical nerve impulses aren't firing the way they should and our bodies just become starved for movement 

Howard: now you actually started on this American Ninja Warrior at rock bottom you said dental school almost ruined your neck back pain and and that you actually treated it by American Ninja Warrior 

Dr. Desiree Walker: yeah it was a long time coming but a roundabout way it was moving throughout the day which kind of propelled me to American Ninja Warrior when I was in dental school oh that's if I thought I was really active I'm I ran I did triathlons I did a lot of biking I thought you know I'm active I'm working out I'm super fit and then we got in clinic and I started having a lot of neck pain like really bad I'm like what is this why am I having this I'm I'm young I'm healthy I'm an athlete like why  my hurting and Don I was actually even in a back brace throughout dental school like I went to the physical therapist and they said you know you're like we're gonna put doing this back brace to help you get out of pain here are some exercises for you to do like try to do them during the day here are some stretches to do see if you get any better okay uh you know I stretch you know um I should be I should be okay well I actually started doing those exercises there's no stretches I started feeling a little I started feeling a little bit better um but it was still like really bad like it was like so that I can't really thought I wanted to drop out of dental school I mean if I couldn't finish general school Howard I'm gonna be a dentist and practice for like 30 years I mean so pretty much at rock-bottom is I get there beginning of my third year before I went to dental school when I was in high school and in college I dabbled a little bit and it was gymnastics and I love gymnastics growing up they had a club tonight 16 at UNC my neck hurt like to cycle I really couldn't enjoy a lot of actually because I wanted to enjoy I said what the heck why just go back to a club - max - its practice life is like miserable right now maybe gymnastics will make me happy really didn't feel like I could hurt anymore so the first practice was three rub I just started like really basic skills like swinging around the bars just roll around much more a little bit and I just knew my neck and my back was going to hurt like tremendously the next day and it actually felt better okay whoa this is weird I thought maybe it was a fluke thing so I went back again that same week and the more I'm like swing on the bars and just move my body and different positions and ways I got started to go better I'm like there's got to be something to do that's like what is this so I started like incorporating like a lot of hanging um throughout the day as much as I could and I can visually like my back like dots so much better and there's things like this built like one after another I started like diving into bodyweight training doing a lot of like incorporating yoga moves and exercises and stretches and then I'm and then you know by the time I graduated dental school I was like practically pain-free like it was pretty awesome like I was super excited and so I just kind of continued with the fitness thing just a few fitness competitions and one day my friend was like Desiree your sis show on TV like I don't watch TV much I don't have a whole lot of time she's like it's gone American Ninja Warrior you need it YouTube it so i youtube that I was like oh my goodness me like I love it stuff like it was like on this tremendous obstacle course and um you would have to climb and you'd have to job and it looked amazing so I just sent in a video of me working out and the producers of gave me a call so it was pretty cool 

Howard: everybody's talking now about ergonomics haven't you know you're gonna solve your back pain by getting a better dental chair a better stool there I see all these ergonomic dental chairs where you sink your knees until them what would it do you think that's a big thing to help you stay out of pain ergonomic equipment or not so much

Dr. Desiree Walker:  I think it does help but you have to like how many hours I'll be actually in sitting in that dental chair out of the day I don't know  many do you think you sit in the dental chair well I mean last week 

Howard: I worked 7 to 5 Monday through Thursday 7 a noon on Friday I mean I'm right that's I don't know how many hours that is because I took geometry instead of calculus but it's uh someone else someone listening might figure it out but yeah that's a lot of 

Dr. Desiree Walker: yeah it's a lot of hours and when you think about it there's a lot of hours outside we're not sitting next to the patient so I think just as important as your patient care time and be ergonomic ly position is your time outside of a patient care time when we can work in that movement I think urban ominous is of course it's extremely important but there's even if you don't have the perfect stool or you don't have the perfect setup there's like so many things that you can do to make your body feel better um I do have a of course like my top with my top two things I mean ergonomics are I've heard you talk about this Toulouse and I don't think I got that early enough in dental school so I really encourage any dental student to as soon as they can get a pair of Loops but that keeps you from craning your neck for which can cause tremendous back I mean tremendous neck pain and just leads to a whole spiral of events but um a as far as a chair I really think that the tripod chairs where you're kind of like not sitting down all the way you're almost in a perch position where you can have a little bit more weight on your feet and your legs your thighs and getting your your legs those muscles firing are very helpful

Howard:  so you said it was loops  and a chair yeah loops and set up it's a stool chair a saddle school chair and you can position where your legs are not exactly at 90 degrees your hips have a little open-angle so you're almost sitting at a perch up to my perch position where more weight is on your legs and your thighs oh so you're having to use more muscle to hold yourself in that position so what would name Brian do you have a name brand for a saddle school chair really good

Dr. Desiree Walker:  I currently used the RG p1 in my office but everybody has a very good for a little you know different sizes the our GP fits me well or Ascot take I tried that one several years ago and that was a great stool as well so is our RGP one dental saddle still chair yeah and what was the other one it was a horse Coptic and I don't have that one I tried it out and it'll show it was fantastic it didn't have quite the saddle hump which some people really told don't like but I thought that was a really good one too because you could open up your hips you could have some weight in your legs 

Howard: so when you talk about exercise are you mostly um are you doing some of this in between patients or is this mostly before work before you get to work and after work

Dr. Desiree Walker: I love training like an athlete and sometimes training like an athlete it's not the best for your body it's not the best for dentistry I know they can you cycle right you cycle try to quite a bit I'm in so you know after cycling quite a long time sitting in that city position probably doesn't feel that well when you're at you know when you're over a patient right now currently I'm doing a lot of heavy lifting so I know that I need to make sure I keep my body mobile and stretched out during the day so I'll take a little break come into my office and write in my office I have a stand up desk and I have a little slap line at my desk so I couldn't kind of balance a little bit stand up move around why do my notes I have a chin-up bar that's over my join in my doorway so I'll just jump up on it in pain but as far as like work out no I just really tried to keep my body loose kind of stretched out move around not sit down when I'm not the patient I 

Howard: I always thought the sweetest patient I ever had was this named guy named Bernie burn wells and he saw me after a dental procedure you know like kind of like popping my back and all this and he left and he went to Home Depot and he came back and he installed a chin-up bar and it were thrive and there were three of us Dennis at the time it was a media Kofi and Dominic and my gosh it was it was just an amazing I mean you do a molar endo and you it's like falling into a rabbit hole and you disappear from space and time for an hour and then when it's over you stand up and you're just a you know it's it's just really great to do something

Dr. Desiree Walker: oh yeah so it's like the quickest like shot of dopamine serotonin you can possibly get I think it's to move around like paying for much in a bar just like stretch out your body you just like feel so much better there was actually a book and I recommend this book for anybody that has like upper body or neck or shoulder pain and is written by an orthopedic surgeon and he actually did a full like shoulder reconstructive surgeries and like neat full knee on reconstructive surgeries but he was outside hiking with his kids went on when they were like 7 or 8 and they were traversing a ravine where they had to traverse overhead like monkey bars well when he jumped up like to grab like the traverse he's good he couldn't get his arm like up to like yeah and he was like oh my goodness what's wrong like I'm do y'all like to have these shoulder problems that I'm the one that that fixes these shoulders what is wrong with me and he when he got back he started just hanging and he took an MRI was showing there were some bony not gross I guess like arthritic type changes and did the MRI shoulder then he started this hanging protocol where he would hang he started like at 30 seconds per day and he built his time up he did an MRI like it's six months later and the whole bony structure of his shoulder has changed like his body actually healed itself from hanging and they just goes to show that like the positions that we put our bodies in so much with our arms forward and head down really just you know take a toll and form our bodies in that position but you know we can't reverse it and we just got to be very mindful of it 

Howard: so what's the name of that book

Dr. Desiree Walker:  it's called shoulder pain the solution and prevention and there's actually a little excerpt and written by a dentist no I do not know the validity of this I did not check the sources about the whole excerpt that the dentist wrote but it was an excerpt about TMJ pain tmd and I'm hanging and how he used that with compass patients to help relieve jaw pain so I don't look very interesting that's super interesting 

Howard: shoulder pain the solution and Prevention revised and expanded by John M Kirsch MD and let's see this is a self-help book written by John M Kirsch an orthopedic surgeon for the public and as a result of 25 years of research into a new and simple shoulder exercise program to treat and prevent rotator cuff tears the impingement syndrome and the frozen shoulder testimonies and research CT scans so you're a big fan of that book a big fan my mom had a rotator cuff tear at 69 years old and with physical therapy and hanging she didn't have had surgery hot no

Howard:  I'm that's that's the next question a lot of people believe I you know I see this log where people just her saying that they see someone like you and they say come on Desiree you were born that way you got the gift of good genes and don't be telling us it's your yoga and all that stuff what would you say to those people probably 

Dr. Desiree Walker: had the gift of crazy no you know I haven't had my times in my life where I have been like I consider myself been out of shape especially when I had two knee surgeries notes and a lot of long-distance running but at each like challenge and he also I had found a new way like to move in to enjoy movement like what I was in when I was doing I was long-distance running um I hurt my knee some of the cartilage actually tore from my femur and I couldn't run for several months you know what to be active to be fit I don't have to run no I can do something else so then I started swimming and the same thing happening like with dentistry and like my back was hurting and I couldn't like riding my bike I gotta find something different so I went back to gymnastics so it's just like exploring different ways like to move in to enjoy to feel better 

Howard: so I went to the website of those two chairs and it is amazing oriscoptic optic which you think would understand this a lot since they're into loops they say clinician and assistance tool added to the body guard proline so even I mean they're calling the bodyguard proline so they they're totally understanding that organ ah mcc's has to do from the tool school to the the loops and so it says orsk optic introduces the bodyguard pro assistant and bodyguard pro clinician a line of ergonomics schools stools designed for dental operatory working to reduce strain do you think these are taking off yeah I think there are a little bit slow because when you come on in ten old school and you see these different stools like you're like oh that looks kind of weird do I try something like this you're not really used to it a lot of times you feel more comfortable with what you've been taught and that goes with your instrument that goes with your equipment so I really would recommend like everyone I try them out at middle trade shows that's how I read about them and then I had to try them out at the trade show to see if it were really fitting out how they don't you know felt while I was using it 

Howard: I really enjoyed that book called the rat cage did you ever read that see that TED talk but it was really interesting where basically they were saying you know we build our own Rock agent you've turned your dental office into kind of a ninja dentist gem what would have you done to your dental office so that you can get in a little moving and stretching during the day 

Dr. Desiree Walker: well give you like a visual and audible tour for our listener so right and you walk in and I'm actually in my office I have the chin up bar she knows my bar is mounted right above my doorway and that's so that sue days as soon as I walk through the doorway like I had the temptation to jump up and grab and swing and just hang for a microsecond it's just a microsecond I really don't do a whole bunch chin-ups rung on it like during the day because I'm not really trying to like to build my muscles while I'm doing dentistry I just want my body to feel better so that's the first thing I have and then over to the wall I have the set of wall bars and they're called stall bars they're used a lot in on gymnastics like strength training but they're great to stretch from like even is like kick your leg up hold on I mean they're like endless possibilities like to stretch and feel better so many exercises that you can do stall bars like these are you can Polly line I think there are basically a universal gym not only can you stretch from them you can hang things I have like my bungee cords I attached to them so I can do actual like strength training exercises or more stretches so that in a big marker in my office I also have a little I looks like a swing but the back strap that I hang on to my stall boards that can stretch an arch over it's great for it like cool about on back relief but the most fun thing I have are the ring and the ring they're mounted on the ceiling they're great like to swing from I even put up more rings on the ceiling when I was training for American Ninja Warrior so for me because you warrior they they call you about like three weeks before you're supposed to go to compete you don't have a whole lot of time to prepare so I'm like oh great and I'll have a whole lot of time like to take like training to go to these big like a ninja gyms I got to create I got to create it here my office so actually put the things on the ceiling like a some more rings on the ceiling I have this little like steered and little thing that I that I Traverse across so kind of crazy but that's basically just for ninja training super fun not really like stretching out my body but instead of a chair I have a yoga mat and at my desk is a stand-up desk and on the right you put them in I have a little slack line that I can balance I had my little half dome that can stretch on my couch out on I have like multiple types of like bars and foam rollers that I can roll on if I really getting a pinch and get up you know back back by me during the day so all kind of stuff so it's super fun and you know you can't help but like move around when you're in this type of environment you can't help him move around 

Howard: well you know I'm when I was little um and was for you know sorting in the seventh grade me and John Leeson Wichita Kansas on spending time with every dentist we could find and what did the dentist who'd let us observe was dr. P Peltzer and he was a stand-up dentist and back then he was he was a grandpa back then and he was telling us these young kids that left stand-up dentistry to sit down are gonna regret it when they get older do you think stand-up dentistry is better for your body than sit-down dentistry even if you have these fancy stools

Dr. Desiree Walker: well the gym of standing up is in the movement and you go back to the Industrial Revolution when there are like conveyor belts and factories and people were like standing up and having all these like back problem with the back pain and then we go to you know now a modern society  where we're sitting down at death and we still have that pain and what they come to find out is it's not it's not the action of standing it's not really just the action of sitting it's the no movement that you have so even if you are standing over your patient you're still orb anomaly probably not in the best position because you're probably kind of leaning over and you're sedentary you're still for 10-15 minutes it's not like you're actively like stretching your calf or you're balancing on a staff like on standing up you're sedentary honestly I really don't think there's a whole lot of difference between that and sitting down besides the activation maybe in your core and your quads while you're standing up but I think standing still at your patient still has those risk and problems

Howard:  by the way if you're watching listening to this on itunes you got to switch over to youtube this is not something you want to hear only yeah the article we did with you on dental Thomas's huge smashed ninja dentist reveals her training ground amazing but you said something I didn't understand the relationship between orthodontics and the Oise Emoto typical dental physician that's what Swasey motor I think 

Dr. Desiree Walker: oh sorry about that and the relationship between orthodontics and um and the pain in our bodies or oh the quality no no I'm sorry about that incomplete you know if you go to these trade shows he's over you could Patel meaning you see these older dentist and and you know Lester so but they're like comp Topher I mean they cannot like straighten up at all like their head is hit forward and they're humped over and that really gives us a good clue like what is going on like they have put their bodies in that position for so long for so many hours for so many years over their patients and their bones have actually formed in that path posit that humped over position and if you think about it is the same relationship with putting braces around our teeth how do we put a force on our teeth and cause bone to actually remodel and if we can think of our environment like our quote-unquote braces then we can really think about movement and help you movement the whole different way so what is I'm still trying to figure out what Quasimodo is oh yeah well so what did quasi mama also known as Lord Cross is the animated alter ego of side-project of hip-hop producer so it was so what is it then hi

Howard:  like a Hunchback of Notre Dame yeah exactly okay huh so what percent of dentists do you think had that Quasimodo figure after doing this 25 to 65 

Dr. Desiree Walker: I don't know what percent  have that um compost at home  position but in the June edition of jada it was a great article is wonderful I'm so glad that someone actually did the study review is it was the article was called muscular skeletal disorders and ever and up to 80% of all dentists have some type of musculoskeletal on problem in depending on the study but they ranged from like 17 percent to like 80 percent of dentist and I know that when you have your body in that type of position and your bones are formed in that position the wiring the tubes the wiring the nerves and the tubes the blood vessels and the vein they can't flow like they  should flow if your structure is upright for structures you know like it should be so there's a whole I think a whole host of problems I mean some people don't have pain you know but you're being humped over but I do think that it is just a an avenue to create a whole lot a problem yeah so that was in Jannah this month what was your takeaway from that article when you wouldn't read that what was your takeaway oh it was a it was a great article they did a review I think of 34 articles you'll have to go back and see and just make sure I'm Craig 34 articles that reviewed musculoskeletal pain and some in 17 article 17 articles that actually had interventions interventions with dentist or dental professionals who were having pain and of all put two articles physical activity was one of the main things that help relieve dentist from musculoskeletal pain I thought that was great of course it didn't go into what type of physical activity or why he was healthy but I think you're really shed some light and really put some emphasis on that you really have to move they can't you can't just um expect not to have any type of pain I'm going into dentistry if you don't move your body

Howard: I mean you're an expert in this I mean there's nobody listening to this that's ever gonna get invited to American Ninja you know what is your boil down advice for every dental student hurting this profession and for everybody working in dentistry what would you how would you boil down this advice

Dr. Desiree Walker: I would say number one you gotta hang get your chicken in a bar I even have some handles to see if I have them I don't have that right here right in front of me but it has some handles I got them on Amazon I'm Howard I sent you a little package of them you just put them over that you promote for your door you close the door and you can reach up and hang you don't have to hang with your feet off the floor just so you get your arms up your back stretched out and hanging into your daily routine number two you need to have some type of mobility routine stretch routine you can't expect to be like athletic just go out and run like five miles go in a practice industry and just because you're fit by like athletics and herbs not to have pain you got to add some yoga you got to add some stretching whatever if you need some help get and get a coach to help you with a really good like stretching routine and number three which may sound kind of crazy is you gotta be careful of your clothes and girls especially it's like the shoes that like are popular like heels are like the worse like that one though I think one of the worst things that can damage your body that people don't realize especially when it comes to your knees and it comes to your back to your back health because it should sure when you have heels on you know if you had you stood up straight with Hills on like you would fall forward you have to compensate by bending your knees you're like choking your hips under and like all these little minor adjustments and doing that over a period of years really wreaks havoc on your body and I'm a big I know it sounds crazy but I'm a big proponent going barefoot I'm barefoot right now poor like I can't practice barefoot but I was wear shoes where there's like five finger shoes those Vibram FiveFingers shoes so my feet can stay active just like in dentistry if your foundation is not strong your dentistry is when we crack your - your tooth is gonna break and that's the same thing with your body with your feet which is your foundation for all your movement and for your structure they're not strong if they're not mobile then you're going to have some hiccups no matter what you do so I think that on foot help wing the correct kind of shoes shoes oh wow your your feet to move shoes that do not have a heel on it are super important and you go to sort of guys who with what they wear and I was actually at the national asset conference joining a little presentation back in November in Chicago and we were doing some stretches as a group on with the class I was teaching and all the guys they look so awesome so great they were in their suits they're in they're like nice dress shirts and we lifted up her arm they couldn't lift their arms off because like their clothes we're prohibiting their movement and you just think about that like the clothes that we wear if we can't move those we can't lift our arms up with we can't hang with your stretch we're not going to stretch we're like rip our clothes or like you have a whole rug closer so being really cognizant of clothes that you wear though how you to move and do though you know physicians that we as humans as primates are made to do and then that's not Fitness it at death 

Howard: you're the first person in years that referred to us humans as primates I mean it's  great I mean you go to the zoo the only animal in the zoo with clothes on is the humans and my podiatrist friends tell me that that their entire industry is 80% women wearing heels because they shift the weight from half front half backs a jack up the back and  it's just insanity but when a lot of the girls say um a lot of the girl Dennis to tell me they say well I just I don't know I feel like to be a professional dentist I have to have this look and I want to wear a dress and heels like I'm going to church with a white lab coat over and they think that's part of their image what would you say to that young lady um do 

Dr. Desiree Walker: you know what good you wanna feel good because I personally want to feel good and I know that I can be the best dentist what I have the most energy when I'm not in pain I feel good so to me feeling good Trump's looking a certain way any day 

Howard: actually that was the worst thing you could have said to me because you know what I just triggered in my mind I can remember when I was oh I couldn't have been in grammar school I was probably in kindergarten and I walked in my mom's er I mean she was trying to pull herself under her girdle and I said I said mom why do you wear that she snapped back cuz I better look good didn't feel good and here it is fifty years later now you're telling me that you should feel good not look good so uh do they still even have girdles or was that a thing from fifty years ago but and then and then as far as the men I have a cardiovascular to cardiovascular lecture bike or vascular surgeon they definitely associated male net ties with carotid artery disease just because the physics of fluid that when you put a little tension there that's gonna have turbulence in the blood and and these guys say they can look at your carotid artery say yeah this guy were neck tight for forty years and you're saying that they can't even put their arms over their head I mean we do a lot of crazy stuff with our shoes and neckties and 

Dr. Desiree Walker: oh yeah definitely not  getting any better um I am fortunate though that I can like I took out all my practice nobody can tell me what's where you know I want to take my feet but I can't wear those like crazy shoes that have like the fingers in them that are like most like close to barefoot that you can possibly get and like the pants that I wear like from a distance they look like dress pants but they're like stretchy they're like your yoga dress pants so I can get by with those and I also wear like a really stretchy like knit shirt with a polo shirt to work so I can't like move around during the day so yeah like it's enough but it like I really try to find ways to to break free like from that because it can cost some issues puts tremendous issues with your body 

Howard:  it seems to me good could a big part of your success be when I have seen so many dental offices after a long stressful procedure lots of times the staff just to relax they go back to the break room and eat a sugary salty snack or a doughnut whereas what you're doing is trying to move or exercise but the question is still begs what does Desiree do when she's hungry at work what cut because you know abs are made in the kitchen Wow what you're talking a lot about axe exercise diet fit into all this 

Dr. Desiree Walker: well when I go to work I don't want to think about what I have to eat but I also want to eat healthy I want to make sure I get enough like fuel and protein and vitamins so what I do is like I prepare all my meals a week like the Sunday before I go into work and I actually take them like on that Sunday night I take them to work and I put them on the fridge 

Howard: so you meal prep on Sunday night for your week do what are your arms and your Mondays you Friday Monday through Thursday how many days work well 

Dr. Desiree Walker: we're Monday through Thursday 8:30 to 5:30 and so you mill prep for the entire week before that yeah yeah 4 week for like 4 days fairly caught that bad so you bring in 4 Tupperware containers of food well actually I'm a big I'm a big soup fan I'm a big suit fan because you can get your vegetables in it you can get your protein in it I also like to put in I call my my secret ingredient it which is like collagen collagen is great for your joints and your joint health and inflammation big big fan of college and so I put I make my own vegetable soup with chicken and collagen and then I also drink some sweet potatoes and Dad okra which was awesome I love okra so make sure that every meal has some type of protein some type of green vegetable unit and some type of like really good carb so all I have to do is like put in the microwave if it's already fixed heat it up and just eat it no 10 minute if I'm like running behind like 10 minutes but I like a longer time so I can actually get some stretches in 

Howard: so you should get your husband and shirt that says she's my sweet potato pointing to you and then your shirt says I am so you like you're so we have vegetables vegetable soup you like chicken okra and sweet potatoes yeah vegetables today which is okra so

Dr. Desiree Walker: I'm a vegetable fan like this morning I had three eggs like two like cups of kale and three sweet potatoes for breakfast three three eggs and three sweet potatoes yeah exactly now 

Howard: most people would say that's Q many carbs and you're gonna look like Howard when you're done eating get full so it took three and three days but you know honestly I really try to listen to my appetite if

Dr. Desiree Walker: I go prep it my portion is a little bit too if I get full before I finish eating and you know I stop I think that's good that's a really big key there but today it was all today it was on and then what's your typical dinner like I'm a big like Salmon fan so I usually do like a big stir fry like with theme in like broccoli I'm sugar snap peas add some avocado in it and then horse you nicely potato but um but yeah it's you seems like a fish or seafood for a fur dinner um 

Howard: you are at mention sweet potato a lot and what I'll never forget in dental school is in our nutrition course is that if you had a potato in there you pretty much could check off all your vitamins and minerals I mean it was just an easy thing to just not doing it so as your are you a big sweet potato fan 

Dr. Desiree Walker: I'm a super sweet potato fan usually like every single day usually I usually buy 69 pounds at the grocery store every week sweet potato yep you know what the pages are not bad for you but you just don't want to eat them fried of a lot of butter on them but I just like three potatoes and I think that goes down to you know when people will try all these different weird diets or guys to try to get fit and healthy or lose weight they end up picking foods they don't like like they hate what they eat I don't want to eat you've got to love what you eat or you're not going to stick to it like my middle print like I love my food like it's I wouldn't want to go out and buy get a burger I want to eat what I was brought in what I made it makes me feel good and I don't like the way it tastes

Howard: now is um is this culture of diet and exercise is that incorporated by your staff and your husband - I mean is everybody like this or and you feel that it doesn't matter if your receptionist is up there eating doughnuts and you're back there eating yams or how does that all work

Dr. Desiree Walker: well you know I can be a really healthy influence on everyone but you know everybody has their own little different ways they like to eat I'm pretty sure that I'm probably the most weird of everyone my big nut - so I mean that is one thing that we really share in common is being healthy and the whole thing about is not to be healthy just to be healthy but be healthy like so you can feel good and so you can do your best work and you can be your best person that's what the whole thing about being healthy is and eating healthy it's just feeling good 

Howard: so a lot you know on dental town there's some threads a mile long about burnout and you know and everybody talks about everyone in America there's so much depression do you think a lot of this I dentists burnout is from just being unhealthy 

Dr. Desiree Walker: yeah from being physically unhealthy and like Nili unhealthy I really didn't realize how big mental help played in dentistry or how much you had to be aware of it until I got out of dental school you know I thought I was like stretched out taking exams I didn't realize as we stressed out that patience that staff you know had bills on bisetta etc but I realized - you know the stress was there so I do a lot of things for that as well and one thing I'd started several years ago the till tremendously is meditation and I feel like that really conv my mind being more aware and more reflective has helped I'm a big fan of the app there's an app touch that I use called headspace and you can pick like three minutes to like ten minutes of meditation if I only get three minutes in I feel like that refreshes me for the day um super fan like I think like this is hopefully will make a comeback in in total body health and wellness and that is the sauna the sauna is amazing I do this special routine every morning I was in special for every morning but routine I do every morning I get up I do my workout first thing and right after my workout I get the sauna for twenty to thirty minutes I do my meditation it kind of just like set the stage for the day oh it's Tokyo as far as like health benefit there was a study that just came out in 2017 and they did in it they did in Finland  they you start like every family has a sauna there's like five million people in there in Finland and there's like two million thoughts on it's like part of like their daily routine how they like catch up socialize and um they did a study it was over I think 20 years they found that men who used the sauna three times a week for 20 minutes had a 40% decrease in all cause mortality and they even on studies like heart disease and cancer AIDS and it was all lower for the men and debts that did the sauna few other studies have come out as well um with with Alzheimer's risking everything so I feel like the meditation this the Sun is a big part of my mental health and you have tell you whether the meditation or massage your thing you have to find something a way to decompress most definitely 

Howard: huh the headspace so you like the headspace app and the sauna yes superfan the sauna man like if you want to work out without like working out get in the sauna because it's these of your cardiovascular rate it increases your endurance it actually increases your growth hormone which actually builds muscle and burn fat it causes like heat shock proteins in your brain with a cascade they think to help prevent of Alzheimer's I'm a super fan of the time and since I've been doing this on oh we got our actually caught mine it's a barrel sauna I have outside my house and I found out on eBay and it was I got the land our landscape crew put it together and I like you know I'll probably use it once or twice a week no I use that thing every day I have not been sick since I've got the sauna it's like complete like detox you feel like all the toxins that your body's like combing out your pores it is it's amazing and 

Howard: headspace its I says it's hard to talk about headspace without talking about Andy Puddicombe so let's start there in his early 20s and he cut his sports science degree short to become a Buddhist monk for over ten years his meditation training took him across the world to Nepal India Burma Thailand Australia and Russia eventually he was ordained at a Tibetan monastery in the Indian Himalayas after completing his monastic commitment Andy returned to the UK with a huge yet simple goal of teaching meditation and mindfulness to as many people as possible to demystify the mystical Andy set up a meditation consulting he goes on and on and on so what are you saying to someone who's who's a dentist listening they're saying how could meditation help help them in their stresses of Dentistry what do you think it is 

Dr. Desiree Walker: I think it comes to mind you know you you don't really have to try to meditate you just like a sit down and do it I like the guided meditation better because it kind of gives you a guide like say like you're like really really stressed out on the on the headspace I had to have like meditation like for having stress meditation have a meditation for feeling sad and you can kind of just just relax and breathe and I think a lot of it is the breath we forget to breathe like we're always kind of holding our breath being stressed at work not breathing fully and when you get that full breath we get the full oxygen to your brain to your body I think it does a lot and it doesn't happen overnight you something you have to practice and to feel them to really gain the benefits of it and so 

Howard: so I agree with yoga I mean my god I just think yoga is just the greatest thing in the world what did what what is your view of yoga and how often do you do that why don't have a traditional yoga practice and I've taking a lot of classes in the past so I just like to make my own routine whatever is hurt whatever is killing like it's not working well with my back or my hip I try to incorporate um those moves in it I think yoga great yoga's wonderful but I think in the traditional yoga classes if you just stick to yoga you forget about hanging you forget about like using your arms and going back to the primate example you know as monkeys and age you know day brachiate they use their arms like to traverse to move to locum up - to move from one place to the next with our DNA being so similar you know we're supposed to move arms and hang so we can you know get the nourishment and exercise and that way I think that a lot of times yoga is very just for basement you can get a lot out of it but don't forget on other movement modalities um 

Howard: your dental office is stunning and you built that from the ground up and now it seems like you know I graduated May 11 had my office open September 21st and now it seems like these new generations and kids they think you know what I'm just gonna get a job at a DSO and I'm just gonna be somebody's associate which I think would be great advice if everyone he did it five years ago is still there loving it but they they're never there loving it the turnover is about one year per job whether it's private public DSO whatever what do you think gave you the courage to just build your own dental office from the ground up instead of being somebody else's employee after a years of college 

Dr. Desiree Walker: oh it's so fed up oh it's so sick of it I was so tired I couldn't take it anymore I was not enjoying dentistry I had to make a change I think they're changing my career changed where I work and that's why I like springboard to me to build my own practice though she's being so completely  just demoralized with dentistry in a way that I had to work in and the type of Dentistry that

Howard:  I was going on I know I don't know I was watching that MMA fight the other night and this Dennis is whining about everything I just want to stand screaming say well quit working there just open up your own place where they just live in fear they'd rather live in the hell they know then just go start their own when there's not when there's only a point four percent chance you'll go bankrupt and all of those people have their license taken away usually for alcohol and drugs

Dr. Desiree Walker: I love there's so much more for me to learn so much more for me to try so much bigger benefit I can be to my community like I'm super excited about it I mean like one thing that we just got like I just love it we actually all go get it and show it to you right here it is a championship belt it's like the ninja championship belt this is for our kids who are ninja small champions aka they don't have any cavity so when they have when they come for their checkup and they don't have any cavities they get a picture with the Belt they get to come into my ninja room actually like kids like it with their parents permission and on especially if they like me and your warrior like to swing on the Rings and climb on the bars so I couldn't have this much fun if I was working for someone else or at least help these like these ideas materialized so that's what's so fun about it 

Howard: so how how long were you an associate after dental school before you finally pulled the switch how many different jobs that you have before you finally said you know what I just rather do it myself

Dr. Desiree Walker: I was associated for five years now it's fed up after probably the second year and like it took like three more years to actually get good ideas materialize so yeah I knew like after the second year this was not going anywhere it was a high volume a Medicaid practice there were some things that were happening there were unethical I wanted to get out of it I wouldn't I was not able to practice dentistry the way Oh morning to practice industry spent time didn't know about patience but it was rough but he was so rough I got when I was doing my practice that would work with the associate like through the week and then on the weekends I would work at this other practice like 45 miles away like Saturday Sunday we're gonna like Saturday night like I wouldn't get homes like 11 o'clock but you know I had to say I wanted to save money and I'm be financially stable prevent me would've been in the practice that I probably wouldn't be able to have an income for a little while and um you know wouldn't be secure it was rough it was tough but it was so worth it I would do whatever you in a heartbeat Howard: you know what's amazing is you know what the longest-running thread on dental town is it has over 20,000 replies it's called how to really get into shape and every day its dentist trying to encourage everybody posting pictures on what they did my gosh and and I know all these posters cuz they've been doing it forever and I just always associated people who take care of their tool their instrument I'm have the energy to be more better successful Dentust family members everything 

Dr. Desiree Walker: oh I totally agree I just have to check that out definitely want to go on say hello everyone you know when I'm when I'm not feeling good when I'm not able to work out when I'm not able to move  my body my mind doesn't feel good you know I feel kind of depressed and sluggish so you know to me like feeling healthy feeling good is about movement is about exercise you know I take one day a week I mean we have to take days off to recover and I'm you know adamant about taking my day or two off to to not exercise and just to relax but it's it's a part of my daily routine to feel healthy and be the best in that you know I can be so what would you tell that 

Howard: well first of all what year did you get out of school 2008 you've excelled not just in owning your own practice American Fitness but you got it involved in organized dentistry too and a lot of these kids come out of school and they say you know I'm $285,000 and dad I don't have the money or the time for organized dentistry what would you say to those people 

Dr. Desiree Walker: well I wouldn't deny the industry to be an advocate for my profession and you don't realize until you go to the meetings until you're involved about how big a hand the government can have on how you practice dentistry and what you do and I feel like this is my way to to make a difference and other dentists that practice in North Carolina practice in the nation to really be on the cusp of what is going on with corporate dentistry what is going on with government regulations and how they're constricting my practice or how maybe they're benefiting my practice and what we can do as a group to stand up for what we know is right for our patients and you and what do you think is happening to dentistry well North Carolina when you're a room I'm super excited to be a part of organized dentistry because we're one of very few states that do not allow corporate dentistry or do not allow dental practice says they're not owned by dentist there can't be an owner in the dental practice that's not a dentist that does not have a GPS or a DMV and I think that is huge accomplishment we've really had to fight long and hard for that one of our recent victories in North Carolina is that what we call the dental Bill of Rights and that's where we have tried to halt insurance companies hurt stepping all over us I mean they were wanting to give payment in the form of like credit card or merchant where we would have to receive our insurance benefit by running a credit card number that is causing the dinners like exit emergency so we just got that stopped like if the digits wants to be paid in a cheque reimbursement from the insurance company the insurance company has to provide that cheque they cannot give like a debit card number so we have to do our have increased merchant fees also like you've insurance companies if they approve a certain procedure and it we have documented that it is approved and they go back and say that no you're no longer approving a certain procedure they can't do that anymore so I don't feel like that's really going to be super helpful and saving lives instead you know translate to our patients a lot of money in the long run 

Howard: so that is an interesting bill on it's basically SB 252 HB 704 dental bill of rights sponsored by Jim Davis is that a dentists Senator Jim Davis a dentist or you just know I think he had a lot of Dentistry and she's definitely friends with ya north come on adpack and art else is hiding um so it did pass and and I tell you you just you just have to get involved because everybody everybody every business goes to the government - for to help them form a cartel so they can extract more money out of you for less effort and and people always think that the government's there to protect them the government's there to protect who's ever giving them money it's just the way it is and if you're not if you're not supporting the American Dental Association then they're just gonna walk all over you

Dr. Desiree Walker: right yeah and mostly indefinitely and a lot of times if you're not plugged into one of the big organized groups you don't know who's doing the walking or who your biggest threats are or what's coming down the pike it really just gives you a soul a the land and they're really kind of where you want to go and you know what some of the possible threats may be 

Howard: yeah it prohibits mandatory payment by virtual credit cards requires transparency and rental insurance networks protects prior authorizations so this this prohibits mandatory payment by virtual credit cards that might have flown over someone's head says this section of the bill prohibits insurers from requiring dentists to accept one form of payment such as electronic trends funds transfers or virtual credit cards like any other credit card transaction there are typically a processing fee associated with virtual credit card payments often ranging from two and a half to five percent that means whenever providers reimbursed by an insurance company a percentage of the payment is automatically subtracted and the office may be forced to pass the cost on to patients and then number two requires transparency in rental insurance this section requires insurance plans to notify Dentists when networks are rented out at the time of contracts execution and renewal and gives dentists the ability to opt out of these networks it also requires any third parties with access to the contract to comply with that contractors original terms last but not least like him they are so much for an hour but has American Ninja Warrior was big marketing blog when everybody in your communities saying oh my god that girls from our hometown I was that good marketing oh it was fantastic marketing 

Dr. Desiree Walker: it was great marketing with a very first time that was on American Ninja Warrior because that production crew actually did a little excerpt at my office and on national television they sure got no sign that was back in 2015 I think that's like a million dollar marketing like for free so back in 2015 my dad definitely got a lot of calls and a lot of people in the community and it was super exciting sighting me cause you're like a hero to the kids and I love that because they can equate going to the digits there's something as being the fun and that's what I'm sick with them throughout their life like you know my dentists is a ninja dinners I love going to Division in the room so that it's been a great I've had super good time with it I'm the past the past two times I was on American Ninja Warrior they didn't show my clip which was anti-climatic so I didn't get any television time for that that's fine it was just fun thing I did it which is the complete honor and I'll to actually be able to share that with my patients is super cool 

Howard: well everybody was talking about it on dental town in a year never know I give away that yeah the dentist was up there on American in Georgia and so cool last but not least um I hate to ask you this Bob because I just doesn't seem right but a lot of women that in her dental school back when I did in 87 said it was a man's profession and now it's changed you half the graduates are women do you still see it as a man's profession is it half and half is it even an issue do you ever even think about it 

Dr. Desiree Walker: the least thing from my mind because when I go to work every day there's like women all around me like you might hide units or women my gelatin sister Winifred there's a wind so if you'd hard for me to think like this is a man like profession so you know being the environment and I don't even think about it it's all honestly great when I get to go to the dental meetings and interact with my male colleagues and you know love like hearing how they like it handle you know Daris this is therefore that's in different situations so I mean I I don't think that at all honestly like my husband he's I'm actually gonna get the summer off for a couple weeks off for the summer now my please comes in to the office we need some testosterone in it that was my next question I know 

Howard: we still live in ancient times where women do more housework or chores or whatever in the average family a lot of a lot of females in dental school are struggling with why would it be the awesome mom and I want to be an awesome Dennis how do you think if you were get you raised at you're married with two cats the fluffy guys are just as complex do you think you could be a better husband and mother if you owned your own practice or if you were employee

Dr. Desiree Walker: I think it really goes to what your values are and how you step your practice if you own your own practice you can set your hours you can get an associate there's so much flexibility that you can have so much creativity that you can have I mean if you want to open at 7 o'clock and you want to close at 3:00 you can do that I know plenty of female colleagues have done just that so they can be a home to get their kids off from school but I know there are several that love their their time off would like to get paid on their time offer they like their vacation days and when you own your own practice is very difficult to have like actual vacation days where you shut everything off I mean because if you're the only dentist you're always kind of won't be on-call you're going to need to check the messages every now and then so I really think is the situation that you're in is the situation that you create if you want to be an awesome mom and have your own practice that you can do it there's so many so many people that have done that 

Howard: well I'm last but not least what advice would you get - that little 25 year-old baby girl who just got out of dental kindergarten school a month ago and she's in her first job and she already can't stand the office manager she can't stand somebody who's not a dentist saying well you know twenty percent of your new patients to that pareo disease and and you're doing too many mo D composites you should be doing this many crowns and and she's already thinking oh my god but she's scared she's scared to go pull the trigger even with the only point four percent default rate and she's currently not an alcoholic or drug addict what advice would you give her

Dr. Desiree Walker: I would say make sure you know why you won't write down your values and go Tim it's so easy now to be connected with a Temp agency on your days off figure out what your life you don't have to decide all in one day figure out what you like what you don't like and then like in my case they create it and like we were so careful like in dental school and right after I graduated like not just being any money like we did buying you cars like my husband actually had a house here in Lumberton that we moved into after we graduated you know school written it out and so we were like super like tight with our finances is super careful and when you want to get those big loans that's what the bank is going okay so look at your day history if you have a huge like schooled in and you have like huge like overhead with the cars and houses and boats you know you're not going to be able to to get the loan and to really build what you want appeal so I would say you know Tim some figure out what you really like and then being really smart when your finances can

Howard:  I just ask you a couple more overtime questions real quick sure sure on your dental town article and you said you liked dental vibe can you can you tell my homies about dental vibe and why do you like it 

Dr. Desiree Walker: yeah you know bob is a distraction advice for injection and I like usually the first day I open up my practice and I absolutely love it there's some patients that get injections that don't even know that I gave them an injection and what it is it's like a little vibrator you put it inside like the cheek and right at and have like little prongs and if I raise and you put it right at where you're gonna give the injection while you're going right where you're going to insert the needle and it confuses like the pain signal that you know the patient's not thinking about sharks are shot going to get going the easiest thing about all my cheeks vibrating and I'm giving the injection you know what really slowing a lot of times they don't even know I love it more on pediatric patients you can even put a finger puppet on the end of it and like 

Howard: and you would think they would get that because the the half of America reports not you know having some form of phobia or being scared of the dentist I mean it seems like a no-brainer and then oh and then I'll let go up but the other one you said you also like the nomads yes which is like that

Dr. Desiree Walker: it's a little portable handheld x-ray device which was great because in North Carolina the radiation restrictions when you built like a practice were crazy and I couldn't hurt design my practice like with like the open operatories the way I've designed it if I did the regular x-ray tube heads that were mounted on the wall because I would have had so much like lead lining y'all yard so you know with Amin who saved like thousands of dollars eating that I still really like it the nomad pro to handheld x-ray system is powered by a rechargeable battery packs and is lightweight and has internal and external shielding which Louds so so you're a big fan of the nomad super big fan absolutely like we like we saved so much money we really could have designed our practice in the way that we designed that if we didn't have the Nomad and that is owned by cave oh and so then your you had two more flex view 

Dr. Desiree Walker: yes those are like the overhead tracks that put on the TV monitor on that and I know the article was written a while back those who served purpose but I'm ready to graduate from the Flex visa I actually don't think they make those anymore you know it was it was awesome and grails like yeah it's gonna be so wonderful we can put the monitor wherever we want to we if the patient's leg back we can put it over their head and if we want to show them the x-rays we can put it over to the side but it was such a pain in the neck to move that we can monitor everywhere and it was kind of a little cumbersome that I'm done with it so I'm ready to get like mounted monitors for patients and then you only have been used up to more you like a lot of people ask this I'm opening up my office which dental practice range of software do you like and you said you like open dental software yes love up in dental it's very user friendly from fabs I've never been introduced to the dental world before just diving in and being able to use it in a week and I love it it's been great great on customer service as well and last but not least is a the Kona adapter with Isolite mouthpiece

Dr. Desiree Walker: oh yeah that's great that's save so much money from having to buy like the regular I feel like it works like just as well we actually use now so we can sterilize is the dry shield adapter on the Kona like via the Isolite will just disposable so dry shield has a piece they the mouthpiece that the bite walk in the tongue retractor and suction that you can put on the okay though that you can the Kona that you can um sterilize and we saves money and I love it 

Howard: well you love that and I love you you're so motivational and inspirational and every time I ever see on Instagram what's your Instagram your ninja underscore dentist or what is it new it's ninja dentist and then underscore desi desi and and spell that form so they remember and inj a did just underscore des I understand but yeah your you've motivated me so many times and every time I think you or see your Instagram post I always think just drop down right now and do just give me ten right now you know you just like it you just jump to the floor and do ten push-ups so thank you for all that you've done for me for dental town for dentistry you are a role model of role models Thank You Howard it's such an honor and I'm so excited to share all right well I hope you have a rockin good evening eating three and a half pounds of sweet potatoes tonight you know all right have a great day.


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