This week, we feature a PT who is the CEO and founder of Alkaline Method™ and Alkaline Wellness Center.
What is your full name and title at your current job?
Connie Jeon, DPT, MPH, RD/LD, IFMCP, NCPT, E-RYT 500 Hr
CEO and founder of Alkaline Method™ and Alkaline Wellness Center
Where are you located?
Where did you go to PT school, and what year did you graduate?
Loma Linda University, first DPT class in 2001
What did you do when you first finished school, and for how long?
I worked at a conventional private practice seeing four patients per hour with a PT aide.
I realized just how ineffective the system was and knew I didn’t want to push papers all day. Then, I was a director of a busy PT clinic serving a workman’s comp patients. I realized that I was only a “technician” at best, doing the same thing day in and day out, without making a difference through my work. I worked in the conventional system for 5 years before deciding to be an entrepreneur.
What did you do after that, and for how long?
I founded a Wellness Center that provided physical therapy, functional medicine, nutrition, Pilates, yoga, and personal training to the community.
This practice has evolved into both a brick-and-mortar and online endeavor. I’ve been my own boss for 16 years.
What did you enjoy about those early roles? What didn’t you enjoy?
It’s a challenge, but I know that I have a deeper purpose: to change generations of healthcare (sick care system) by empowering one patient and one practitioner at a time through my unique methodology, the Alkaline Method™.
What are you doing these days?
Today I lead a group of practitioners all over the world, helping them redefine their careers on their own terms through the Functional Yoga Medicine® Certification program. I teach them the four essential pillars of the Alkaline Method™.
- Self Healing Transformation
- Timeless Wisdom (YOGA)
- Modern Medicine (Functional Medicine/Nutrition)
- Business Mastery
I enjoy expanding their thinking beyond their scope by truly showing the way to self-healing vs. treating disease. It’s a complete program that allows them to connect the dots for clients AND learn business skills to scale their business beyond the limits of the system.
When and why did you realize you wanted to do something different?
As an autoimmune patient for over 20 years, I saw how broken our healthcare system was—and I realized that it was truly a “sick care” system.
I’ve had to educate myself and learn ways to connect the dots myself, and it wasn’t getting any easier with the internet explosion, where the information I was getting was contradicting itself.
I wanted to create a principle-based training and “experience” for clinicians to elevate their thinking and identity. I wanted to empower them to DO what they needed to embody health and wellness so that they could be authentic in their individual messages to their ideal clients.
What are you doing these days?
My work encompasses all of the following:
1. Alkaline Wellness (I am CEO of this integrative wellness brick-and-mortar center.) I practice what I preach to the clinicians and patients. We offer our signature Hot Yoga, Alkaline Method™ Functional medicine, Private Pilates Rehab and Yoga, Neurac, and Nutritional Coaching.
2. Alkaline Method™ (This comprises an online supplement and virtual yoga studio providing wellness and preventive products and offerings to clients all over the world.)
3. Functional Yoga Medicine Institute AKA Alkaline Method™ Academy (We certify Functional Yoga Medicine Certified Practitioners (FYMCPs) to expand their services and offerings). We also provide business coaching and licensing turnkey business strategies and virtual platforms to allow practitioners to thrive in their cash-based businesses.
4. Autoimmune Health Transformation (Applying all that I teach and practice above to my core Autoimmune groups.) I take them through health transformation for 12 months by teaching them how to use autoimmunity as a catalyst for health and wellness.
5. Self Healing Circle (This is a virtual yoga studio that serves autoimmune patients to be empowered for life.)
6. Alkaline Method™ Transformation Health, Life, and Wealth Coaching Program (This is a program that helps those in need to elevate their identity to BE their best.) We empower them to DO their best by showing them tactical strategies, so that they can embody the best version of themselves to make serious impact in their lives.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
My personal frustrations as a clinician and a patient led me to the point of needing a change. I just got started and made do with what I had and kept evolving and I am still growing and evolving.
If you’re still treating patients about what percentage of your time is spent clinically vs. non-clinically?
90% non clinical 10% clinical
Did you get any special certifications or training along the way?
I have done all of the following:
- Invested in business coaching
- Attended online business strategy groups and masterminds
- Enrolled in entrepreneur training
- Achieved Institute of Functional Medicine board certification
- Obtained a master’s degree in public health nutrition and a doctoral degree in physical therapy
- Obtained yoga certification E RYT 500 hr, Pilates certification, and a registered dietitian license
- Completed tons of continuing education
How have people reacted to you leaving patient care?
I was advised to practice physical therapy that pays somewhat well, and everyone questioned why I make it so hard on myself when I can easily go get a 9-5 job.
OK, now I must ask…how is the pay compared to patient care?
It’s 10x what I would make as a staff clinician, plus the joy of knowing that the sky’s the limit vs. being limited by the glass ceiling.
I dream big and manifest success in all that I do because I hold to the vision of changing generations of healthcare and empower patients and practitioners through the Alkaline Method™.
What types of tasks and responsibilities fill your time?
All sorts of things, including:
- Working on innovative ideas
- Bookkeeping and finance tasks
- Leadership initiatives
- Employee education
- Writing curricula
- Creating programs
- Reading and studying
- Coaching students
- Writing books
- Leading teams
- Nurturing relationships
- Developing business strategy
- Working on marketing tasks
Running a business means constantly gaining clarity, working on self-growth, business, and clinical programs to grow.
Of course, my kids and family at the top of all this list 🙂 And taking care of my own health!
What are some of the challenges of your role? What are the rewards?
Time management is always a challenge…but I have since I learned it’s really “feeling management.”
Learning the art of leadership, serving others, gaining clarity, and not being so hard on myself have all been equal parts challenging and rewarding.
Changing lives is the biggest reward, and one I would not trade for anything.
How do you think working as a PT prepared you for this role?
Working clinically developed my interpersonal skills and other soft skills, such as caring, regard, concern, and love for others. It also taught me the art of establishing rapport and always having the best interest of the patient in mind.
What type of person do you think would do well in your role?
For the FYMCP, all it requires is their commitment to themselves and the work they do.
The rest is easy because I’ve poured 14 years of my hardship into it so they don’t have to go through all the struggles I’ve had to go through.
Do you work remotely or on-site?
Mostly at home in my home office.
Does your organization hire PT, OT, or SLP professionals into non-clinical roles? If so, what type of roles?
Yes, we need more FYMCPs to serve the clients.
What is next for you? What do you want to do with your career long-term?
I want to make generational change in our current medical system by empowering health practitioners and patients.
What would you recommend to someone who is considering going into a role like yours? Do you have any special words of wisdom for the readers?
Be true to yourself, and commit to your dreams no matter what. Setbacks and failures are the stepping stones to success.
Self exploration is the most important. We are all stuck in our heads of who we are based on what we are taught.
For example, physical therapists vs. occupational therapists, scope of practice restrictions, etc. We are not to provide nutritional advice when personal trainers and chiropractors are doing this (along with medical doctors).
You must be able to gain the confidence to do work that matters—but, more importantly, the work that impacts your clients.
What would you like to change most in your profession, and why? How would you propose doing so?
Interconnecting the dots to make the human body whole. We should not treat in parts and pieces without seeing the bigger picture.
If you could give yourself one piece of career advice you wish you had during your PT school program, what would it be?
Don’t limit yourself, dare greatly, and go make necessary changes to the field…because you can.
If you could teach anything to today’s graduate students in your profession, what would it be?
Don’t let education limit you. Your degree is just a starting place for learning—and learning happens in practice and application.
Do you have any special advice for others who want to follow in your footsteps?
Join our movement! Don’t waste time and money, and instead do the thing that speaks to your heart and soul.
Where can people find you on social media?
Functional Yoga Medicine podcast, @functionalyogamedicine instagram, Facebook, and private group, functionalyogamedicine.com, alkalinewellness.com, @alkalinemethod insta and facebook handle. Dr.Connie Jeon You Tube, instagram, and pinterest.
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