Students come to the Life Chiropractic College West campus for different reasons. Perhaps they were a child of a chiropractor and were raised knowing the benefits of chiropractic. Or perhaps an injury from a car wreck or during a sports activity led them to chiropractic.
Life West student Pooya Shirazi’s path took a few turns on his way to the Hayward campus—a path fraught with highs and lows, indecision and self-doubt, and even financial but hollow success.
Raised in a well-to-do and seemingly happy family, Pooya’s future looked bright. But at the age of 7, his parents divorced. Receding from reality to escape his parent’s constant bickering, young Pooya’s thoughts turned inward, and he chose to detach himself in an attempt to keep the realities of his broken home at bay.
As Pooya grew older, this dark inner turmoil continued. He turned his energy in a new direction and became an extremely active YouTuber, owning and hosting a hidden camera show that earned more than 10 million views and considerable financial success. Despite the achievement, his online success wasn’t providing the substance to life that he sought. Living for view counts and other people’s affirmation still left him feeling empty.
“All of the attention, money and external success was not providing the happiness and internal wellness I so urgently hungered for,” Pooya said. “I knew there was more to life than what is labeled acceptable by others.”
The universe speaks
Pooya spent many hours at the computer and behind the camera, shooting scenes for his channel. After experiencing nagging back pain from long hours sitting and standing, a friend suggested chiropractic care. One visit, and Pooya realized the “universe was talking to him.” He was so intrigued by the process and the philosophy that he spent hours talking to the doctor, and then he shadowed the chiropractor in his practice for two months.
Then, the sudden death of his grandfather brought home an awareness: Pooya didn’t want to wake up one day and realize he had missed the opportunity he’d been waiting for. Pooya wanted to make the world a better place, but to do so, he had to better himself first. This started a change both from within and without. He knew “to turn his fantasies into reality in an excuse-free world” would take hard work, requiring a lifestyle change. Pooya decided then and there that he wanted to pursue chiropractic, to educate himself and get to a level where he could share the benefits of chiropractic with the world.
“I had to be the change that I want to see in the world,” he said.
Pooya began classes at a chiropractic college. The campus he enrolled in, however, didn’t represent the concept and philosophy of chiropractic that he had envisioned. Feeling out of sorts and randomly driving around one Friday evening, Pooya happened upon the Life West campus. After just a few conversations with the students he encountered during his impromptu visit, he had a “BOOM” moment and realized that Life West was where he belonged.
“The things these people said were so full of love, compassion and joy. They were eager to learn. They wanted to be here. This was something I’d never seen at any other school, or any other place for that matter,” Pooya said.
Life West provides fulfillment
Pooya transferred to Life West and began classes in Fall 2018.
“At Life West, the classes and teachers are different,” he said. “They go beyond what’s expected to help students. They’re not here to be paid—they’re here to be a part of your success.”
His goal is to live in the moment, focusing on improving himself one step at a time.
“We all have something inside but still go out there and beg attention from other people instead of getting approval from our self. Those who have not found their true wealth—which is the radiant joy of being and the deep, unshakable peace that comes with it—are beggars, even if they have great material wealth. They are looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security or love, while they have a treasure within that not only includes all those things, but is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.”
Chiropractic care is spending time with a patient, going beyond the symptom to find the cause.
Pooya’s five-year plan is to enjoy this “journey called life” and focus on the process—not the endgame. Feeling far from the version of himself that he envisions for the future, Pooya wants to dive deeper and better learn to love himself, and in turn, love others more fully and with more of an open heart.
“I believe that we were all born with a mission to pursue, to search for that unstoppable power that resides right within your own heart that will help you find your way home,” he said. “You are your own rescue!”
While knee-deep in all that consumes a chiropractic student at Life West, Pooya is still using his passion and skills as a successful YouTuber, helping to start a video club at Life West. But he has a different agenda now. Before he sought to derive something from his YouTube audience that would provide him with personal gratification and affirmation. Now he wants to give back, with content that inspires and educates his followers in the total wellness benefits that chiropractic offers. He is also making inspirational videos with Life West’s President, Dr. Ron Oberstein.
His vision, in his words, is, “To show the outside world what Life West is, what we practice and what we’re about. There’s a misconception about chiropractic, that it’s a 5-minute clinical adjustment visit and that’s it. Chiropractic care is spending time with a patient, going beyond the symptom to find the cause.”
Pooya hopes that by sharing his journey, others who may feel lost and without an identity may find strength and hope in his words.
Pooya offers these parting words, “Dr. Mo has imparted some ‘million-dollar’ advice to us students: Your brain is the only thing you have control over, so make it the sharpest tool that you have!”
Seeking like-minded A/V pros
Chiropractic students at Life West who are looking for unique ways to channel inner AV skills, consider the college’s video club. Pooya is seeking like-minded cohorts in crime to take the club to new heights and larger audiences with content that engages, informs and educates. He wants to create a pro team that has skills in video, audio, podcasting, production, content and more. He says that with the right people on board, Life West’s video club can represent the inspiring image that life on this campus and chiropractic care provides.