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Life University 1269 Barclay Circle Marietta, GA 30060-9854 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED



Leading the october/november 2013

Today’s ChiropracTIC


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contents october/november 2013

48 COLUMNS 44 We’ve Known All Along

37 VOLUME 42


by Rebecca Koch

48 PoliTICal Thots

NO. 5

by Gerry Clum, D.C.


Features 10  Tipping Point Vision Made Reality by Molly Dickinson


Alumni Spotlight

24 Upcoming Events

LIFE Vision, Life University’s new quarterly “non-seminar” event, got off to an exciting start this summer with a who’s who of DCs from around the country.

56 What People Are Saying



It’s My LIFE Miracle Maker by Echo Garrett

Lou Briegel, D.C., has devoted his life to the chiropractic profession. The results have been nothing less than miraculous.

8 Introduction to Leadership

26  Connect-TIC Documenting a Doctored System by Laura Newsome


Filmmaker Jeff Hays’ work on the documentary “Doctored” turned him into an unlikely advocate for Chiropractic.

6 The Road to Awesome

37  What If? Just Say No by Jacqui Frasca New Mexico’s House Bill 127, which would allow DCs to earn prescriptive rights in the state, represents a dramatic shift from the founding philosophies of the profession.

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4 Our Contributors

34 Fresh Air 54 Classifieds and Advertising Index

our contributors

450 Northridge Parkway, Suite 202, Atlanta, GA 30350 Phone: 770.650.1102


Fax: 770.650.2848

life university President Dr. Guy Riekeman

Echo Garrett

Laura Newsome

Echo Garrett, a 30-year journalist who has written for Parade, Delta Sky and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was named the “Woman of Letters,” by the Pen Women of Georgia. For this issue, Garrett profiled Lou Briegel, D.C., a Life University graduate who has continually given back to students over the course of his 32-year career (pg. 18). “His passion and love for his work permeate his life,” she says. “His enthusiasm is contagious. One of my passions is sharing the stories of inspiring people, and Dr. Briegel is a shining example in his field.”

Laura Newsome is a professional freelance writer living in the heart of New York City. Newsome enjoyed writing about acclaimed filmmaker Jeff Hays and his movie “Doctored” (pg. 26). “It was amazing to interview Hays about the transformation he underwent before making the film. Just a few years ago, he was someone who rarely gave Chiropractic a passing thought,” she says. “Then he became a patient, and finally an evangelist, deeply concerned with the ways big business and political medicine have corrupted our health care, our food system and the drugs we take.”

Director of Communications Craig Dekshenieks


Simone Branham

Craig Dekshenieks

Dr. Gerry Clum

Dr. Kathryn Haag

Dr. Matt McCoy

Dr. Guy Riekeman

Dr. Drew Rubin

Dr. Jason Dietch

NEW SOUTH PUBLISHING, INC. President Larry Lebovitz Vice President John Hanna Publisher Jamie Ryan Editor Gwyn Herbein Associate Editor Jacqui Frasca Art Director Katja Adams Advertising Sales Colin Vilone Production Coordinator Amber Mosler Circulation Coordinator Amy Fine Controller Marilyn Walker

Molly Dickinson

Jacqui Frasca

Molly Dickinson works as a freelance copywriter and journalist under the banner of mdash creative copy, which she founded in 2009. She began writing for Today’s Chiropractic LifeStyle magazine in 2008 and looks forward to tackling new topics in Today’s Chiropractic Leadership. “Even as an observer, you can feel the excitement and enthusiasm generated by events like LIFE Vision,” she says. “It’s refreshing to encounter a group of people who view their profession not only as a career, but as a true community.” Her story appears on pg. 10.

Jacqui Frasca is a recent graduate of Emerson College with a degree in writing, literature and publishing. Her vegan health and food blog, Vegpocalypse Now, currently reaches more than 5,200 readers. To open the new “What If?” section, Frasca spoke with DCs Guy Riekeman and Gerard Clum about the threat of drugs in Chiropractic and how to prevent pharmaceuticals from entering the profession (pg. 37). “The foundation of Chiropractic is strong on the shoulders of Life University,” she says, “but it’s imperative drugs have no part in the profession.”

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Editorial Policy Today’s Chiropractic Leadership magazine (ISSN 0091-2360) is published six times per year by New South Publishing, 450 Northridge Parkway, Suite 202, Atlanta, GA 30350. 770.650.1102; Fax: 770.650.2848. Postmaster: Send address changes to Today’s Chiropractic Leadership, 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, GA 30060-9854. It is the purpose of Today’s Chiropractic Leadership to nurture the spirit, mind and body of today’s chiropractors. Our goal is for the magazine to be a spearhead for progress in chiropractic health care, to offer a forum for new ideas and to promote chiropractic awareness and understanding. However, the publisher and editorial staff do not necessarily endorse the conclusions or opinions expressed by contributing authors or advertisers. Life University, a private, nonprofit institution, was founded in 1974. For more information, write to Life University, 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, GA 30060. Material in this publication may not be reprinted without written permission from the editorial offices in Marietta. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2013 Life University. Printed in the USA.

Health Care Rising “The doctor of the FUTURE will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

“The doctor of the PRESENT will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of DIS-EASE. BE PRESENT!”

Thomas Edison January 2, 1903 The Newark Advocate

Dr. Eric Plasker October 25, 2010 Facebook


Year Lifestyle The


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“Being a 100 Year Lifestyle Licensed Affiliate has rekindled the passion and ignited new life and growth into our practice. It’s great having an office team that is focused, congruent and excited again!” Dr. Jay Handt, NY

“Adding an associate to my practice was a breeze and we now have more freedom than ever while our practice serves more people in our community with ease.” Dr. Glenn Lang, Canada

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the road to

W Something New … Or If You Ain’t Pissing Someone Off, You’re Not Doing Anything to Challenge the Status Quo


hen we kicked off the new Today’s Chiropractic a few years ago, we titled it Today’s Chiropractic LifeStyle. We thought, and we were right, that chiropractors are a very interesting demographic. We found that the LIFESTYLE of a chiropractor had many aspects that paralleled other people of passion and commitment, but we were different because of a fundamental philosophy that in the least, was a natural approach to health and life, and at our best caused us to see the world through the lens of vitalism (an interpretation of the natural world as an intelligent, conscious, self-developing, self-adapting and self-healing living organism). We have spent our time chronicling this philosophy, how chiropractors express it and the beautiful dance it creates as we live our lives. The time has come to move forward and we are, with this issue, introducing the recognition of our leadership role in taking this philosophy to a sick and suffering world that needs us and our ideas … NOW. So, it’s all about LEADERSHIP, THOUGHT LEADERSHIP actually, which is the marketing tool for this generation. Here are the sections to the magazine, which as you can see, carries a new look, size and style to reflect the fresh ideas inside: TIPPING POINT – How do we get to that magical cultural point of around 18 percent utilization that will tip the utilization of our philosophy and practice to the norm versus the exception? What would this mean to your practice and personal prestige? How can we all get there together and what is Life U doing as a Thought Leader in this area? IT’S MY LIFE – Chronicles how chiropractors are moving from Survival to Thrival and what lessons you can use to get there quicker. CONNECT-TIC – How can our profession connect with the Thought Leaders of today and work together to advance our ideas, collectively? People like Seth Godin and Simon Sinek, thinkers like Joe Dispenza and Bruce Lipton, innovators and world leaders in compassion, positive thinking and vitalistic lifestyle are with us. Let’s get hooked up with other Thought Leaders who are creating change. WHAT IF? – Can we really visualize a world where Chiropractic is the cultural norm? What if children were not raised on drugs? What if everyone was under regular TIC care? What if???? We’re going to paint that picture with action steps we can all take to get there quicker … together. WE’VE KNOWN ALL ALONG – Isn’t it interesting that many groups, even some aspects of medicine, are beginning to incorporate and take credit for what we’ve worked to produce for more than 100 years? Well, we think Chiropractic/you should get the credit, and this section will be full of articles that will be perfect for your patients to read and share through social media. POLITICAL THOTS – What is being done to protect our values and principles in a world of drugs, insurance and medical oppression? How can we defend and then expand Chiropractic, your practice and thus your security and impact? Not for the faint of heart, this section is for the warrior. At Life University, we live in the possibility of spreading Chiropractic around the world, starting with our vision at the College, to your doorstep, to countries and cultures oceans away. We have established ourselves as Thought Leaders in Chiropractic. We want to share with you what we’re doing and we want to partner with you to do it together, better and bigger. That really is the goal of the magazine to be, build and support Leaders … that is the goal of today’s ChiropracTOR. Welcome!

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contents october/november Introduction to 2013


innovative thinkers who are inspiring our profession to think ven though Bob Dylan released the album “The Times bigger, work harder and cooperate more. They Are A-Changin” in January 1964, that’s what it You’ll discover new concepts and campaigns committed feels like here at the new Today’s Chiropractic Leadto bringing the chiropractic message to the masses. You’ll ership magazine. That’s right, the times they are a read about new technologies changin’, from lifestyle to leadership. 48 revolutionizing our ability Why the change? We’ve enjoyed sharing with our readers to connect with people worldwide. You’ll connect with other chiropractors just like you who are leading the path for the past seven years how chiropractors have been to a new level of practice success while enjoying greater creating ideal practices and lifestyles, but with all of the respect and fulfillment as they master their craft. changes taking place in health care over recent years and COLUMNS You’ll also appreciate that Today’s Chiropractic Leaderthe tectonic shifts about to take place with the Affordable We’ve All ship is more than just44  a magazine. It’s aKnown day-to-day converCare Act, the feedback we’ve been receiving from the field sation about how our profession will reach its own potential. is that it’s time for a new conversation. Along It’s a new perspective on how by to be more inclusive It’s time for us to have conversations about how to thrive Rebecca Koch and tolerant 37 of our colleagues while never wavering or comproin this new world of new rules, new technologies, new exThots mising our principles48 PoliTICal and tradition. pectations, new reimbursement and new practice models. VOLUME NO. to 5 introduce to you our inaugural Let’s face it, if we continue the bickering, disrespectful So here we42 are,nproud by Gerry Clum, D.C. and downright hateful personal attacks on each other, issue of Today’s Chiropractic Leadership. we are only holding ourselves back and worse, depriving What’s new? Everything. We’ve updated our design, our DEPARTMENTS editorial board, our writers and our vision in order to expand people of the true talent, heart and gifts our profession has to offer. our impact and ideas. We believe it’s time for chiropractors 22 Alumni Spotlight 10  Tipping Point Vision Made Reality If you believe that Chiropractic is a unique profession to seize the day and make our move. 24 Upcoming by Molly Dickinson focused on maximizing the expression of the Events perfection You’re going to be more inspired, better trained, have within… greater insight and even greater access to the hearts and LIFE Vision, Life University’s new quarterly “non-seminar” 56 What People Are If you recognize and respect that all organic systems are minds of event, today’s got chiropractic You’ll hear from our off to anleaders. exciting start this summer with a who’s Saying conscious, self-developing, self-maintaining and self-healprofession’s significant influential leaders who whomost of DCs from and around the country. ing… have the vision, persistence, compassion and passion to THIS If you believe theseIN systems function ISSUE optimally when inspire us all to step up and live out our potential. The col18 It’s My LIFE Miracle Maker by Echo Garrett they’re free of interferences… lective impact is sure to be a more dynamic, more relevant Lou Briegel, D.C., has devoted his life to the chiropractic 8 Introduction to If you understand that the nervous system is primarily and more significant profession. profession. The results have been nothing less than miracLeadership responsible for orchestrating the internal and external diaWe believe it’s time for the chiropractic profession to ulous. logue of the body necessary for life… respect and learn from our history, transcend our philoIf you recognize there three types of interferences sophical and practical differencesDocumenting and unify around the INareEVERY ISSUEto 26  C onnect-TIC a Doctored the nervous system: physical trauma, environmental toxins most important issues we face today instead of continuSystem by Laura Newsome 4 Our and emotional stresses, and realize Contributors that our purpose as ally fracturing ourselves due to our individuality, ego and Filmmaker Jeff Hays’ work on the documentarychiropractors “Doctored”is to correct this interference we call subluxuniqueness. 6 The Road to turned into an unlikely for Chiropractic. ation, allowing the organism to express its innate potenWe believe thathim chiropractors can andadvocate will reach more Awesome tial… people and save more lives by unifying around the things 37  What If? Just Say No by Jacqui Frasca Then you are in the34 right place, with the we can agree on instead of continuing to ridicule each othFresh Airright people, at the right time. er about the insignificant issues we may never agree on. New Mexico’s House Bill 127, which would allow DCs to 54 Classifieds and Leadof Today’s Chiropractic It’s timeearn for Today’s Chiropractic to estabprescriptive rightsLeadership in the state, represents a Welcome dramaticto our community ership—your new home. lish a newshift conversation a fresh philosophies voice among current from thewith founding of the profession. Advertising Index


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Our fantastic lineup of inspirationalists and visionaries: Joe Accurso Jeff Aita Lona Cook Dean DePice Eddy Diaz Danita Thomas Heagy David Koch Terry McCosky Michael McLean Rose Pacino Eric Plasker Chuck Ribley Gary Stewart Cathy Wendland-Colby

LIFE VISION is a two-day shot of ...and more!

high-energy, high-impact

inspirational and

educational moments

LIFE VISION Special Presentation by:

designed to bring current and future

chiropractic leaders of all perspectives together to

connect and re-charge.

LIFE VISION MC’s Norm Colby Sharon Gorman Gilles LaMarche


Kim Klapp Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. CA Breakout Program

Don’t expect academic lectures or practicum-like seminars. This is a series of micro-presentations

delivered by visionaries who have lived it, are living it, and

will continue to live it. LIFE VISION is not a “head” seminar;

It’s a “heart” seminar. JOIN US FOR THE TIME




Register today at: For a full list of receptions, gatherings, and our exciting itinerary of inspirational messages, visit our website:

LIKE us on Facebook!

Questions? Call 678-331-4401 or email



In his book “The Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell explores the magical moment when an idea, trend or behavior crosses a threshold and begins to spread like wildfire. Through its initiatives, programs and curriculum, Life University is furthering Chiropractic in the world and taking it to the tipping point.

Vision Reality Made

LIFE Vision, Life University’s first-ever inspirational “non-seminar” sees to the heart of success. By Molly Dickinson


n a recent weekend in late July, more than 300 chiro- President of Enrollment and Marketing Cynthia Boyd, D.C., practors, chiropractic assistants, current and future stu- and Life Movement Director Danielle Janssen), and what Gordents and leaders of Chiropractic crowded into a single man calls a “braintrust” of LIFE supporters (her husband, Ron conference room at the Cobb Galleria in Marietta, Ga. Gorman, Norman and Cathy Colby, both DCs, as well as Jay and Kathy Handt and Kevin Fogarty). From every corner, an electric wave “This seminar For the past few years leading up to this of energy seemed to flow, buzz and inaugural moment, Life University had crackle, as a silent undercurrent swirled is intended for been looking for a way to create a new kind beneath the audible clamor of so much all people in of chiropractic event, one that wasn’t based contained excitement. The first-ever LIFE Chiropractic to on continuing education credits or segVision event was about to begin. come together ment-specific gatherings for only alumni, “When it started, the room was packed to learn from doctors or students. LIFE Vision, billed and you got that feeling that was overeach other and enticingly as a “non-seminar,” would pack whelming—like a concert or a party you’ve to mentor each more than 20 speakers—most of them pasbeen looking forward to. You could feel other.” sionate, practicing chiropractors—into two the energy that was there,” says Sharon —Sharon Gorman, D.C. days of high-energy, high-impact inspiraGorman, D.C., a LIFEforce 1000 Pura tional and educational moments aimed at Vida member, Life University Trustee and co-president of the League of Chiropractic Women. Gorman entwining all branches of the profession around a single, simple created the event in cooperation with members of the Life Uni- purpose: inspiration. Director of the Office of Sponsored Reversity’s president’s office (President Guy Riekeman, D.C., Vice search and Scholarly Activity and the Office for Senior Health

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“The very first LIFE Vision seminar was a great event that gathered chiropractors who truly adhere to LIFE’s ‘To Give, To Do, To Love, To Serve.’ Following an 18-minute-per-speaker format, we had the opportunity to hear from more inspiring speakers, from amazing chiropractic students giving us a glimpse of a great generation ahead, to some of the grandfathers of chiropractic who are still serving after 62 years in practice—such inspiration. We learned some history, heard of miracles and, put simply, had nothing less than a gathering for the best family there is!” —Isabelle Roy, D.C.

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and Wellness at Life University Stephanie G.B. Sullivan, D.C., felt the event reflected the heart and soul of what Chiropractic was meant to be. “With our busy lives, and especially in my role as a researcher, it is easy to get lost in the details,” she says. “LIFE Vision provides a reminder of who we are as chiropractors and reminds us of the impact we have in the lives of the individuals we serve. It is great to see that Chiropractic is alive and well at LIFE Vision.” Recognizing that need was part of the impetus for creating

the event. “Life University recognized that their supporters needed a home—that they needed a place to come back to, to get what they needed to be successful,” Gorman says. “They also needed a place to stay connected to,” she adds. “Most seminars are student seminars or they’re doctor seminars. This seminar is intended for all people in Chiropractic to come together to learn from each other and to mentor each other.” To that end, LIFE Vision throws out traditional academic lecture and practical seminar formatting, taking a page instead

“The LIFE Vision event was an experience that on all levels was fabulous. Hearing doctors of Chiropractic from all over the world and those with more than 50 years of clinical experience was so rewarding and enlightening. Each standing ovation only reinforced the power of the LIFE Vision. I can’t wait to spread the word of the next event so we can reach everyone.” —Bruce Salzinger, D.C.

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“I was very impressed with the cross section of people I saw. There were old, young and new people that I hadn’t seen in years or that I did not expect to see there. I feel that it was one of the classiest events with the stage and the food. Very impressive!” —Selina Sigafoose, D.C. from the globally influential TED Talks series. Speakers had no announced schedules for their 18-minute micro-presentations and delivered zero sales pitches—just real, impassioned advice for the modern chiropractor. Luminary DCs like Jim Sigafoose and Chuck Ribley; Jim Dubel, founder of the New Beginnings Chiropractic Philosophy weekend; Eddy Diaz, president of the Chiropractic Foundation of Puerto Rico; and Rebecca Ray, of the International Chiropractors Association Board of Representatives, spoke on topics that revolved around the LIFE tenets of creating your own brand of success, significance and Lasting Purpose. So instead of feeling like you’re being instructed on how to be a good chiropractor, or that you need to be taking notes and prepping for a quiz on successful practice models, “You’re just listening to people who are doing it, listening to what they’re doing, listening to what motivates them to be successful,” Gorman says. “So it wasn’t like a ‘sales job’ seminar at all. It was just a bunch of people sharing.”

The spontaneity and short-burst format of the speaking program was also a hit. “They loved the fact that nobody knew when people were speaking,” Gorman says. “The room was full for every speaker, so it wasn’t ego-driven. The idea was to be there for the whole program.” This also meant that most of the speakers were present for the entire two-day weekend, giving them more opportunities to interact, connect and converse in person with the attendees. The Friday night banquet, complete with dinner, a bar, dancing and a fun Hawaiian theme, further underscored the difference that promises to keep people coming back to LIFE Vision every quarter—which is, after all, the idea. “It was a celebration,” says Gorman. “You don’t really get that at a seminar.” The format and variety of the speakers made for an inspirational and memorable experience for all in attendance. “The first LIFE Vision seminar was a great event that gathered chiropractors who truly adhere to LIFE’s ‘To Give, To Do, To Love, To

What’s Powering Your Practice? Connect & Recharge with LIFE Vision Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18–19 at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel at Cobb Galleria Center Plug in to the world’s most concentrated source of chiropractic energy, featuring powerful 18-minute insights from: Dan Abeckjerr, D.C. Joseph Accurso, D.C. Jeff Aita Peter Amlinger, D.C.

Lona Cook, D.C. Danita Heagy, D.C. David Koch, D.C. Terry McCosky, D.C. Michael McLean, D.C. Rose Panico, D.C. Charles Ribley, D.C. Gary Stewart, D.C. And more! Friday, 3–6:30 p.m. Banquet, bar, music and open dance floor afterward from 9–11 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Luncheon hosted by Life President Guy F. Riekeman,

D.C., from noon–2 p.m. Reserve your tickets at by Oct. 16, 2013.

LIFE Vision is a quarterly event open to all chiropractors, chiropractic staff, faculty, students and guests.

Price includes all presentations, Friday night dinner party and Saturday luncheon:

Mark your calendar for the next installment: Jan. 31– Feb. 1, 2014

DCs—$299 LIFEforce 1000 DCs, guests, chiropractic staff and faculty—$99 n Students—$25 (students may also inquire about purchasing a separate luncheon ticket) n n

Please inquire about our reserved room rate when booking your reservation at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Convention Center.

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october/november 2013 13



It’s not just for DCs or soon-to-be DCs, either. Enough chiServe,’” says Isabelle Roy, D.C., of Centre de Santé Chiropratique & Holistique in Wendover, Ontario, Canada. “We had the op- ropractic assistants attended the inaugural event that Gorman portunity to hear from more inspiring speakers, from amazing and the committee have decided to move forward with a plan to chiropractic students giving us a glimpse of a great generation expand offerings at future events to include some specific proahead, to some of the grandfathers of Chiropractic who are still gramming for CAs. Vendors, too, will be added as LIFE Vision serving after 62 years in practice—such inspiration. We learned continues to grow. Although, Gorman stresses, this will be done very thoughtfully. “We talked about what some history, heard of miracles and, simply kind of vendors would be appropriate and put, had nothing less than a gathering for what we’re looking to create as far as the the best family there is.” atmosphere. That’s been so key in creating You also don’t often get the chance to this; creating a certain atmosphere and a make such an event an integral part of both certain vibration, in the hope that [particyour personal and professional life—one ipants will] go back and the vibrations of that, for some, can stretch from the days their lives will be higher because they were as a chiropractic student to a lifetime as a among these people who are so committed chiropractic leader. “One of the things that to and so in love with what they do. We I saw, being associated so closely with LIFE, don’t want to take away from that by havis that a lot of our most brilliant [students] ing vendors that aren’t congruent with our graduated and they had no reason to come mission and our vision.” back regularly. So we didn’t see them again, Clearly, Gorman and the rest of the and they weren’t able to stay in that relaevent’s organizers are committed to maintionship with us,” Gorman says. “We want “The LIFE Vision taining the founding goal of LIFE Vision to them to come back and give back to our event was an serve as “a heart seminar, not a head semistudents. We want them to be role modexperience that nar.” After speaking with so many attendels.” That’s one reason why LIFE Vision is on all levels was ees, especially those striving to advance always scheduled to converge with two exfabulous. I can’t their chiropractic careers, build a business isting on-campus events: the LIFE Leadership Weekend for prospective students and wait to spread the and practice and teach with integrity day word of the next after day—she’s even more convinced it’s the LIFEforce 1000 Insiders’ Weekend, for their hearts, not their heads, that need fillmember DCs of the chiropractic leadership event so we can ing. “We had one chiropractor from Canorganization. For students and prospective reach everyone.” students—the future of Chiropractic— —Bruce Salzinger, D.C. ada,” Gorman says. “He’s practiced for 62 years and he was one of our speakers. He this structure provides access to hundreds was growing pessimistic about the future of successful, practicing DCs and chiropractic leaders in a single, positively charged weekend. For those of the profession and he came to LIFE Vision and it just did his currently in the profession, it provides an unrivaled opportunity heart good to see that there were so many chiropractors who to engage with a diverse collective of their peers, mentors and were in love with Chiropractic and were promoting more trathe newest generation of chiropractic minds in an environment ditional Chiropractic.” In the midst of the current economic, political and philosophical climate, many practicing DCs can that solely intends to uplift and inspire.

“LIFE Vision was awesome­— I got a chance to see some friends that I went to school with, [and also] met some new friends. The speakers were great and reminded me of why I love what I do and challenged me to step it up a bit more when I went into the office Monday morning. Not that I had to implement steps and change procedures; it was to dream bigger and love more, which changed everything.” —Rachael Templeton, D.C.

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easily relate. Gorman happily reports that, after experiencing LIFE Vision for himself, this particular DC regained a sense of that all-consuming passion that first led him to Chiropractic. He was proud to be a chiropractor again. “Coming here and seeing our students, our energy, our optimism,” she says, “he was just humbled by what we’re creating here.” More than the great turnout, more than the willing participation of so many notable chiropractors, leaders and speakers, Gorman measures the success of the event by comments like that one. Many of the attendees took home with them a drive to spread the experience to others. “The LIFE Vision event was an experience that on all levels was fabulous,” says Bruce Salzinger, D.C., from Chiropractic Healthcare of Buckhead. “Hearing doctors of Chiropractic from all over the world and those with more than 50 years of clinical experience was so rewarding and enlightening. Each standing ovation only reinforced the power of the LIFE Vision. I can’t wait to spread the word of the next event so we can reach everyone.”

LIFE Vision was not created to attract attendees and add to Life University’s list of supporters, but rather to send them home with more than they came with. “These weekends are really for the doctors,” Gorman says. “To give them something. To renew their spirits and their motivation and their love of the profession. So, the hope is that they go back and they are able to create the practice of their dreams … That they have a reason to come back four times a year. To be part of this tribe that has like minds and is committed to growing Chiropractic and to growing their practices.” “LIFE has a lot of supporters,” she continues, “so that wouldn’t have changed. I think [LIFE Vision] keeps LIFE’s supporters motivated and engaged and up-to-date with what’s going on. This is sort of the ‘next level’ of offerings for the profession.” Perhaps that’s why the comment Gorman heard most often, as she was shaking new hands, hugging new friends and saying goodbyes—a comment she most hopes readers will take to heart—was: “I’ll see you in October.”

“With our busy lives, and especially in my role as a researcher, it is easy to get lost in the details. LIFE Vision provides a reminder of who we are as chiropractors and reminds us of the impact we have in the lives of the individuals we serve. It is great to see that Chiropractic is alive and well at LIFE Vision. LIFE Vision reflects the heart and soul of what Chiropractic is meant to be!” —Stephanie G.B. Sullivan, D.C.

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it’s my


As a companion to the “It’s My LIFE” video series, we profile people who are living the philosophy, not just talking about it—people who are doing things of inspiration and passion, causing Chiropractic to thrive. Find out more at

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Miracle Maker By Echo Garrett


n his day off, Lou Briegel, D.C., answered a call from a longtime patient. “Dr. Lou, my daughter Emily has a terrible headache. Is there any chance you could see her this afternoon?” asked the worried mom. Later that day, Briegel met the woman and her daughter at his Canton, Ga., office. A few days later, the woman called again and shared this story: When she picked her daughter up from school, the young girl asked her to whisper something to her. “I love you,” said the mom. She was astonished when Emily responded, “I love you, too, Mom.” Emily had been completely deaf in her left ear, but that one chiropractic adjustment had improved her hearing. “Over the course of 32 years of practicing, I’ve seen lots of [changes in patients that they refer to as] miracles,” says

Briegel, who runs Wellness Chiropractic Center with his wife Laurie D. Briegel, D.C. That Briegel became a chiropractor at all appears to be providential. The New Jersey native had attended the pres-

Emily had been completely deaf in her left ear, but that one chiropractic adjustment had improved her hearing.

tigious Berklee College of Music and was deep into his career as a drummer playing with jazz and big bands when his life took an unexpected twist. “In the early

1970s, most musicians were either dopers or spiritual,” he recalls. “I moved in the spiritual direction and focused on living a healthy lifestyle. I got interested in yoga, diet and meditation.” As fate would have it, a friend who was a dancer in New York City called to ask his advice about what kind of vitamins she should take to help with an injury. Following his insatiable curiosity, he had picked up a slim blue book entitled, “What Is Chiropractic?” at a health food store a few days prior and started reading it. He advised his friend to find a chiropractor to help with her injury. She asked him to take her to the appointment, which was an hour away. Both the patient and chiropractor asked Briegel to sit in on the consultation and see his friend’s X-rays. After seeing the problems his friend was experiencing, Briegel was even more curious about Chiropractic. The

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it’s my


chiropractor then suggested that he X-ray Briegel as well. “I was appalled at what my X-rays looked like,” recalls Briegel, who quickly became a patient. “I couldn’t believe how much better I felt once I started getting adjusted.” He continued investigating Chiropractic and eventually became convinced that he’d found his calling. “I decided that I was going to become a chiropractor.

had drew me to the school. Dr. Sid was a powerhouse. I never made it to visit Sherman,” says Briegel, who started his studies at age 26 in January 1978 as part of the 13th graduating class. “It’s all about philosophy. That’s what makes or breaks chiropractors.” Briegel sees his job as simple: He looks at the potential of each individual and

Qui ipsanis eostior emolupti ipis sum sunt parum corumquatur, quatius volo beriberiam et as quid quam fugit fuga. —Name Name, D.C.

Once I got my analytical head out of the way and realized that something doesn’t have to be complicated to work, I started investigating how fast I could get started on my new career,” he says. He completed two years worth of prerequisites in just one year and then contacted New York Chiropractic College only to learn that he wouldn’t be able to enroll for an entire year. Another doctor suggested that he go to Sherman or to Life College, which hadn’t even graduated a class yet. He visited LIFE’s campus in Marietta, Ga., first. “The philosophy and energy that the students and Dr. Sid

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sharing a passion Briegel talks to a potential student at one of the five annual LIFE Leadership Weekend events he attends.

removes any interferences in the energy flow that is blocking that person’s optimal health. “Chiropractic is simple. It’s about proper functioning nerve flow,” he says. “A disturbed nerve pattern or impulse can shut you down immediately.” His career change also led him to the woman who would become his wife and business partner. “We met in New Jersey in September 1977 as I was starting my

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last semester of prerequisites and she was starting her first semester of college,” he says. “After she met me, she decided she wanted to be a chiropractor. Laurie moved down in May 1978 and finished her prerequisites at Kennesaw State University.” Then LIFE made an offer that sped up their marriage plans: a reduction in tuition for spouses of students. The couple got married on Easter Sunday 1979 in Avery Fisher Hall in Manhattan after a church service. “She was starting first quarter and I was starting my sixth quarter,” he says. “We missed the entire second week of school. When we got back, I had to study for national boards and she had a ton of classwork to catch up on. We didn’t see each other for a week.” Since then, the couple has more than made up for that start. Shortly after Briegel graduated, he found an office that was for sale in Canton, which is about 30 miles north of LIFE’s campus. “My wife was five quarters behind, and we weren’t planning on staying in the area. I was going to work the practice and then sell it in about a year once she graduated,” he says. “After I’d been here for that first year, we realized that we loved the people and loved Georgia too much to leave. I was part of the community.” As soon as Laurie graduated, she joined him in the practice. “Some people ask me, ‘How can you work together?’” he says. “That always makes me wonder, ‘Why would you want to be married to someone who you didn’t want to spend all your time with?’ I love being with Laurie. That’s my reality.” The couple does not limit their practice to any specific segment of the population. “I am a chiropractor and detecting

subluxations is what I do,” says Briegel. “Anybody who has a spine can potentially have a subluxation. We do everything— accident victims, sports injuries to preventive. My wife describes our office as ‘womb to tomb.’ We see pregnant mothers. We check babies minutes after birth, and on the other end of the spectrum, we have geriatric patients who can’t drive, so we use our lunch hours to go see them and adjust them.” Both of the couple’s daughters, now 24 and 22, were born at home and received adjustments immediately after birth. When Briegel speaks to students at Life University, he makes them think about it when they say they intend to target a particular type of patient. “For example, a student will tell me that he wants to be a pediatric chiropractor,” he says. “My response is, ‘What are you going to do if the mom needs to be adjusted? Send her to another chiropractor?’ That thinking doesn’t make sense to me. Specializing is one thing, limiting your practice is another.” Both Briegels are satisfied with their decision to stay put in Canton. “Being close to the LIFE campus has enabled us to give back to other students over the years,” he says. “I love going back and speaking to students and sharing what I love about this profession.” The couple also usually has at least one associate working in their office. Briegel also participates in the LIFEforce 1000 program, whose mission is to establish worldwide access to chiropractic care and a chiropractic education for anyone who wants it. “Part of that involves helping younger people who are looking for a job that they can be satisfied in be aware of the chiropractic career,” he says. Five times a year he participates in the LIFE Leadership Weekend that potential students attend to learn more about the school. He and his wife are also PEAK doctors, which means they open their office to interns in their last two quarters at LIFE. “We love being

mentors in that regard, communicating with them and helping them in any way we can,” he says. In his quest to forward the mission to spread the word about Chiropractic— remembering the profound effect that book had upon him—Briegel has written countless articles about everything from vaccinations to allergies. He also authored “For the Love of Children, Too,” a book about children and Chiropractic that he recently updated. “It starts with pregnancy and birth and goes through the teenage years, covering topics from fevers to ADHD,” he says. Briegel has also served as president of the Georgia Council of Chiropractic in an effort to be a leader in the profession. When Briegel reflects on his life, he says that he is glad that he listened to his intuition and changed careers. “When you live an innate guided life, whatever challenges that you have, you recognize that those are not you,” he says. “You are something different from those challenges. They are outside events that you have to deal with, but you cannot take them personally or let them destroy you no matter how bad they seem to be. Don’t let challenges define you. One of my favorite quotes is ‘Life is like a grindstone. What you are made of determines whether you are polished or ground down.’” Something that Dr. Sid used to say stuck with him as well: “Who can steer a rudderless ship?” “No matter what you are facing, stay the course,” says Briegel. “As long as you know where you are going, keep moving in that direction.” Briegel intends to keep practicing for as long as he can and looks forward to what the future will bring. “I love what I do. I am still excited about practicing and look forward to each day.” With that attitude, his miracles are sure to keep on coming. To hear this story in Lou Briegel’s own words, visit

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alumni spot light

Why LIFE Leads: Dr. Norman Colby By Will Brooks


orman Colby, D.C., knows how it feels to be counted out, underestimated and doubted beyond belief. This was never as true as during the aftermath of a severe car accident that Colby had at age 21 that nearly took his life not just once, but twice as he was revived both on the helicopter ride to the hospital and on the operating table. “I learned, after it was over, just how precious and valuable life really was,” says Colby. At the time, Colby was diagnosed with permanent paralysis from the waist down as a result of a torn aorta. He was never going to have kids and was never going to walk again. However, there was also never any way that he’d accept that result. “That was a pivotal point in my life that made be realize there was more in store for me than

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just getting by and existing.” Anyone who knows Colby knows that just existing is not an option for him; his existence must be a thriving one. “I want to live a life of significance and have an extraordinary life,” he says. After being introduced to Life University through Dennis Cirone, D.C., the chiropractor instrumental in getting him back on his feet again, Colby decided to attend LIFE and become a chiropractor so that he could give back the blessings that he had so abundantly received. Since then, Colby has seen his dreams come true through the blessing of being in a profession where giving, serving and loving gets paid. For Colby, that payment can be seen in the life he enjoys with his wife and partner in Chiropractic, Cathy Wendland-Colby, D.C., and

Far left: Colby speaking with a prospective student during a LIFE Leadership Weekend event. This page: Drs. Norm and Cathy Colby: Partners in Chiropractic.

“through my chiropractic story, I know that I’m capable of greatness, and my goal is for everyone to know they’re capable of the same.” —Norman Colby, D.C.

their two children, whom he describes as “perfect expressions of innate intelligence.” “I am blessed to do what I love and humbled to work with and have relationships with some of the giants in the profession,” says Colby of his work with LIFE and his camaraderie with those with whom he shares a passion and purpose. One of the primary initiatives that Colby is involved with is LIFE’s PEAK Program, which allows student interns to complete their clinic requirements under the direction of an off-campus doctor. “LIFE is the mecca of Chiropractic, and some of the most brilliant minds in Chiropractic are coming to our office to learn technique,” says Colby of the benefits of working with PEAK students. “Not only do I get to teach, but I’m also constantly learning more new things—that’s why they call it practicing.”

Other leadership programs that Colby is involved in include LIFEforce 1000 and LIFE Vision, two programs instrumental in spreading the vitalistic principle to those who are unfamiliar with Chiropractic and also reaffirming it within those who are part of the chiropractic community. “You can thank Lasting Purpose for the motivating factor that makes us want to do what we do,” explains Colby, referring to LIFE’s motto: To Give, To Do, To Love, To Serve – Out of a Sense of Abundance. “I was told all my life by my mother, father, teacher and preachers all the things I couldn’t do, and the world will do that to you,” says Colby. “However, through my chiropractic story, I know that I’m capable of greatness, and my goal is for everyone to know they’re capable of the same.”

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upcoming events October 2–6 Fall CE 2013 Life University Campus

4–6 Ohio State Chiropractic Association Annual Convention Hyatt Regency, Columbus, OH

4–6 Michigan Association of Chiropractic Adoba Eco, Dearborn, MI

4–6 North Carolina Chiropractic Association Embassy Suites Raleigh – Durham/Research Triangle, Clay, NC

4–6 Unified Virginia Chiropractic Association Hilton Hotel & Spa at Short Pump, Richmond, VA

4–6 Chicago National Convention & Expo Mariott Chicago Naperville, Naperville, IL

5–6 The Arkansas Chiropractic Society Bentonville, AR

5–6 Pennsylvania Chiropractic Assocation Sheraton Station Square Hotel, Pittsburg, PA

11–13 Washington State Chiropractic Association’s Annual Convention Marriott Seattle Airport

11–13 West Virginia Chiropractic Society Fall Conference Embassy Suites, Charleston, WV

11–13 Kansas Chiropractic Association Cleveland Chiropractic College, Overland Park, KS

11–13 Maryland Chiropractic Association Fall Convention Holiday Inn, Solomons, MD

12–13 Kentucky Chiropractic Society Hilton Garden Inn, Louisville, KY

12–13 Mississippi Fall Convention Table 100 Conference Center, Flowood, MS

18–20 ISCA Fall Conference Caribbean Cove, Indianapolis, IN

17–19 New York Chiropractic Council Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel & Conference Center, East Rutherford, NJ

17 LIFEforce Reception Life University Campus

18–19 LIFE Vision/LIFEforce Weekend Multiple events

18–20 Georgia Chiropractic Association Fall Conference & Trade Show Crowne Plaza Ravinia at Perimeter (Sponsor Dr. Plasker seminar)

18–20 Chiropractic Association of Louisiania Astor Crowne Plaza, New Orleans, LA

19–20 Maine Chiropractic Association Fall Conference Hilton Doubletree, South Portland, ME

19–20 Nevada Annual Seminar Silver Legacy Hotel & Casino, Reno, NV

19–20 2013 ChiroPlan Hawaii Conference Ala Moana Hotel, Oahu, HI

25–27 Arkansas Chiropractic Association Embassy Suites, Roger, AR

24–27 New Beginnings for a New Future Chiropractic Philosophy Weekend Ocean Place Resort & Spa, Long Beach, NJ

26–27 ICAI Seminar Mariott North Hotel, Indianapolis, IN

November 7 Chris Colloca Event Arizona

8-9 Warrior Coaching Leadership Summit Sheraton Centre, Toronto, Canada

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16-17 Association of New Jersey Chiropractors Hilton, East Brunswick, NJ

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The world is full of thought leaders outside the profession who think like we think. By connecting with one another, we can both go further.

Documenting a Doctored System By Laura Newsome


hen Jeff Hays’ film about the 9/11 Commission Report, “On Native Soil,” was engulfed in Oscar chatter, he had no idea that six years later he would be making a film about the greatest victory in chiropractic history. Searching for ways to feel healthier, one day Hays nonchalantly picked up a 600page bestseller called “The 4-Hour Body.” In the lengthy tome, author Timothy Ferriss writes about his 10-year quest for optimal health and the six things that actually yielded positive results. One of his six discoveries was “Dr. Two Fingers”—also known as Craig Buhler, team chiropractor for the Utah Jazz. Since Buhler was located in nearby Kaysville, Utah, Hays decided to find out if the veteran chiropractor could live up

to his legend. “He was just a magician,” says Hays, “an unbelievable healer. I had no idea the impact adjustments would have on my overall health.”

“I had no idea the impact adjustments would have on my overall health.” —Jeff Hays, filmmaker Finding Inspiration One day, during an adjustment, Buhler suggested that Hays make a film about The Wilk Case, the 15-year court battle that successfully pitted four chiropractors against the American Medical Associa-

tion (AMA). After looking into the case, Hays realized he had stumbled upon a real-life David and Goliath story. “Buhler doesn’t like it when I tell this story, but when I said I was going to make ‘Doctored,’ he began to tear up,” says Hays. “I couldn’t believe how much it meant to him.” Before long, Hays’ little film with a $250,000 budget and a three-month shooting window had ballooned into a million dollars and a year of production time. “Making this film has been, by far, the most profound experience of my life,” says Hays, musing about a chiropractic pilgrimage that took him all the way to Atlanta, where a screening of his vitalistic masterpiece was met with rousing applause by Life University luminaries, students and friends.

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Through the making of “Doctored,” Hays began to sweep away decades of personal prejudices and misconceptions about Chiropractic. “I had always thought chiropractors didn’t prescribe medicines because they weren’t allowed to,” says Hays. “I had no idea they wouldn’t prescribe them even if they could. Having never had the benefit of chiropractic care, I had no idea drug-free health care really existed.”

A History of Persecution After D.D. Palmer discovered Chiropractic in 1895, the profession flourished all over Iowa, leaving many allopathic physicians feeling threatened. “Before the Wilk suit in the ’70s, the American Medical Association formed a Committee on Quackery whose mission was to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession,” says Louis Sportelli, D.C., president of the chiropractic insurance group NCMIC, who also appears in “Doctored.” As a new delegate to the American Chiropractic Association in 1975, Sportelli was instrumental in persuading the organization to support the case. Through the AMA’s secretive work, Chiropractic, which had flourished freely in its earliest days, began experiencing incomprehensible and seemingly impossible roadblocks. Colleges of chiropractic couldn’t get accredited, allopaths risked their hospital privileges if they associated with chiropractors, cross referrals dried up, Medicare wouldn’t reimburse chiropractic care and national health associations were forbidden from fraternizing with chiropractors. Step by step, the AMA lobbied media outlets and state, federal and local governments to support anti-chiropractic laws and biases. “The discrimination was pervasive, but we didn’t know how pervasive because we never knew all these barriers existed,” says Sportelli. “Everywhere you turned there was a stone wall—you couldn’t be born and you couldn’t die without seeing an MD. They put up economic barriers,

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legal barriers and public relations barriers—the profession couldn’t seem to do anything. The AMA had successfully branded chiropractors ‘unscientific practitioners.’” In some of the most hostile states, chiropractors were jailed for practicing their profession. In one of the most affecting scenes in “Doctored,” Mike Flynn, D.C., a chiropractor from Houma, La., recalls the hostile atmosphere in which is father practiced for 20 years without a license. “My brother was the 100th soldier killed in Vietnam and my mother took it very

“I wanted my film to join the conversation the viewer is already having about alternative health care, and I wanted chiropractors to be trusted voices that could raise the cultural conversation.” —Jeff Hays

had violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by engaging in an unlawful conspiracy that attempted “to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession.” The result was an injunction that permanently prevented such behavior from the AMA, and a ruling that medical doctors could associate with whomever was in the best interest of their patients. “The Wilk Case was a David and Goliath story of epic proportions,” says Sportelli. “The self-esteem of the profession increased because chiropractors finally had proof that the AMA was guilty of dastardly deeds—fixing government reports, paying ‘Dear Abby’ to write negatively about Chiropractic. In the court’s opinion, the judge said the lingering effects of the conspiracy would be felt for generations.” In “Doctored,” Hays tackles the enduring vestiges of the AMA’s silent smear campaign. “Every time you hear the word ‘quack,’ you have to know that it was bought and paid for by the AMA,” he says. “As a result, people choose to have back surgery without seeing a chiropractor first. It just seems crazy that this is what qualifies as conservative care in our country.”

Bolstered by Success hard,” recalls Flynn. “Finally, one night my father got her to go out bowling, and the doctor on the opposing team said he wouldn’t bowl against a chiropractor. My mother was a fiery Scottish lady and she said, ‘I just lost my son fighting for this country!’ She couldn’t believe the way my father was being treated.”

Shifting the Tide The nationwide wave of chiropractic discrimination began to subside when documents submitted during the discovery process of The Wilk Case detailed the underhanded activities of the AMA before 1975. Though the case lasted from 1974 to 1987, Chiropractic won a clear victory when a judge ruled that the AMA

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With more than 130,000 copies sold in the first six months, “Doctored” has become the most successful mainstream feature film ever made about Chiropractic. Bolstered by positive reviews from The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, the film examines the myriad ways in which big business has interfered with food, medicine and health care. “This film is really about patients more than Chiropractic,” says Hays. “I wanted my film to join the conversation the viewer is already having about alternative health care, and I wanted chiropractors to be trusted voices that could raise the cultural conversation.” For chiropractors like Flynn and Sportelli, who have experienced discrimina-



Qui ipsanis eostior emolupti ipis sum sunt parum corumquatur, quatius volo beriberiam et as quid quam fugit fuga. —Name Name, D.C. tion firsthand, the film was a welcome catharsis. “It is empowering for younger members of our profession to know about The Wilk Case,” says Flynn, past president of the World Federation of Chiropractic. “It was very emotional for me because it captures the struggles of my parents. To fight in World War II and then come back and fight at home, you had to be really strong.” Surprisingly, Hays has received nothing but rave reviews from medical doctors. In fact, half of the experts interviewed in the film are allopathic physicians highlighting the systemic problems they encounter every day. “They know the beast of political medicine is ruining their profession,” says Hays. “They have 12 minutes to see each patient and write a prescription, and if they deviate from that norm they are punished. Industrialized medicine is run by MBAs, not doctors, and it is not about health care, it’s about money.”

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Spreading the Message To help spread the message of affordable natural healing, Hays is determined to circulate a million copies of “Doctored.” The movie has already been distributed to every member of Congress and every state representative and library in Louisiana. Through his website, jhfilmpartners. com, Hays is offering chiropractors 25 free DVDs, along with tips on hosting screening parties and how to use the film as a patient recruitment and referral tool. “This film really touches on how impactful Chiropractic is and where it needs to be in the future,” says Flynn. “Chiropractic is safe, effective and it saves money. It’s a drugless profession that gets people off of complicated pain medicines that wreak havoc on public health and individual wellness.” With Obamacare’s emphasis on effective, low-cost health reform, and the financial time bomb that awaits Medicare

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as baby boomers age, there is evidence that a health care sea change is imminent. According to the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, researchers from four universities found that the incidence of back surgery for Washington worker’s compensation victims who saw a surgeon first was 42.7 percent, while the incidence of surgery among those who saw a chiropractor first was only 1.5 percent. Once such studies ripple through the cashstrapped world of reimbursement medicine, chiropractors may become go-to partners in primary care. As the biases of the AMA boycott years begin to fade, it is evident that younger generations do not have the same chiropractic prejudices. “Today, if you don’t like a treatment option, you know it’s time to get a second opinion,” says Sportelli. “Acupuncture, nutrition, vitamins, meditation—back then anything that wasn’t allopathic was tarred and feath-

ered, but now we know that lifestyle is important because there is a mind-body connection. We are an overmedicated, sick world and people are realizing they don’t want to live that way.” One of the most moving aspects of “Doctored” are the stories of patients who have seen every specialist and subspecialist the medical world has to offer, without receiving relief from their chronic pain or degenerative disorders. The documentary profiles chiropractors who have helped patients with issues that confound the medical community, such as frozen shoulder syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease and chronic pain.

Bringing the Message to LIFE Since the movie’s release, Hays has traveled coast to coast, sharing his message with chiropractic associations and film audiences alike. Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of his speaking tour was a stopover in Atlanta to speak at Life University’s Fall 2012 CE event, where cutting edge chiropractic ideas are unveiled before the University community. “To celebrate the vision and message of ‘Doctored,’ we tried to host the biggest and best event of his tour,” says Jason Dietch, D.C., special assistant to the president and a branding and thought leadership expert. “We rented out a theater with stadium seating at Atlantic Station and it was so inspiring to share Jeff’s message with hundreds of chiropractors and students who brought their families, staff members and patients as a way of creating a sense of community around the movie.” While Hays discussed his filmmaking journey with the audience, Life University President Guy Riekeman, D.C., hosted the event and fielded questions about the future of the profession, the network effect and how a powerful message movie like “Doctored” can, with the help of a few thousand chiropractors, collectively reach millions. “We see the movie as one of many media opportunities to tell the

truth about Chiropractic,” says Dietch, who also founded Life’s Chiro Social Media Academy, which teaches chiropractors how to share the chiropractic message through social media tools such as Facebook.

For his brave and determined work in spreading the message of Chiropractic to the masses, Hays was named Dynamic Chiropractic’s 2012 Person of the Year. Though Hays never envisioned becoming a chiropractic hero, his cru-

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sade for cost-effective, natural healing comes from hearing hundreds of stories of ordinary people whose lives have been changed by Chiropractic. It is with this missionary zeal that he is approaching his next two film projects, which expand on the issues that animate the last 30 minutes of “Doctored.”

are already having.” Hays points to the selection of a former GMO-supporting Monsanto executive as the country’s Food Safety Czar, and the backlash against anti-vaccine activist Jenny McCarthy’s appointment to “The View,” as proof that a large-scale dialogue

Qui ipsanis eostior emolupti ipis sum sunt parum corumquatur, quatius volo beriberiam et as quid quam fugit fuga. —Name Name, D.C.

What’s Next In his upcoming movie “Undoctored,” Hays takes an optimistic look at how individuals are fixing the ills of the ailing health care system, while “Bought” is a darker movie about how health care, food and vaccines have been sold out from under the American people. “These were two red-hot themes I picked up on while making ‘Doctored,’ and I thought they deserved more in-depth examinations,” says Hays, who plans to debut his new films in January 2014. “GMOs, big pharma, vaccines, these topics are crying out for the cultural authority of chiropractors to join in the conversation potential patients all over the country

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Bringing the Message to LIFE Hays (third from left) at Life University’s Fall 2012 CE event with, from left, Riekeman, Bobby Sheehan (director of the movie) and Deitch.

about vaccines and food safety is direly needed. “Everyone is saying there aren’t two sides to the story, but there are always two sides,” says Hays. “I don’t want to live in a country where the deck is so completely stacked in one direction. What kind of country do we live in where children and parents are denied medical freedom when it comes to what kinds of chemicals they put in their bodies?” As Hays toils away on his upcoming

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projects, chiropractors around the world are thrilled about the potential impact 1 million copies of “Doctored” could have on the decisions made by health care consumers. For many, the silver lining to The Wilk Case is that the oppression endured during the early years of the profession has only served to focus and strengthen Chiropractic. “As powerful as the AMA is, they were unable to contain and eliminate Chiropractic,” says Flynn. “The future of our profession is very bright, and this film will open doors and inform patients and communities. Knowledge is empowering, and society needs to be better informed about what they eat, how they live and how they are cared for.” Through the enduring victory of The Wilk Case, chiropractors have become emboldened and empowered to take the profession to the next level. As a result, the passionate and enterprising chiropractors emerging from Life University now have the power to harness independent film, radio and social networking resources to propel the profession to new heights. “We as chiropractors have the responsibility to get our message out into the world,” says Dietch. “‘Doctored’ is the first full-length, professional feature film about Chiropractic created by a non chiropractor, and its ability to expose people to the miracles of Chiropractic is no small thing. As a profession and as members of the LIFE community, we need to challenge ourselves, seek out new avenues for exposure and grow from the struggles of the past. If we focus on building a worldwide network that harnesses emerging media to inspire Chiropractic, the profession will continue to grow exponentially.”


A LIFE Leadership Weekend is no ordinary campus tour... You get to Atlanta and we’ll take it from there!

“My LIFE Leadership Weekend experience was life-changing! Not only did I get to talk with students and faculty, I also met other Pre-D.C. students just like me, who shared my passion for health and for helping people. The weekend taught us how to turn that passion into a life purpose. I’d recommend the LIFE Leadership Weekend to anyone considering a life and career in Chiropractic. It’s a great preview of what LIFE has to offer.”

It’s a LIFE experience. As a participant you will: ■

Navigate career paths and options at our workshop “Why Choose Chiropractic?”

Meet Life University President, Dr. Guy Riekeman

Interact with current students

Connect with faculty & staff

Tour the campus

Enjoy complementary meals on event days

Space is limited. Register today!

Go to Under Next Events choose the LIFE Leadership Weekend dates that best suit your schedule

Upcoming LIFE Leadership Weekends October 17-20, 2013 RSVP by October 2*

January 30 - February 2, 2014 RSVP by January 15*

April 10-13, 2014 RSVP by March 26*

July 24-27, 2014 RSVP by July 2*

September 4-7, 2014 RSVP by August 20*

October 16-19, 2014 RSVP by October 1*

For more details contact: 770-426-2855

* LLW Registration Deadline subject

to close at an earlier date due to event reaching maximum capacity. Late reservations may be accepted if space is available.

fresh air

A leader is best when people barely know he exists … when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. —Lao Tzu

34 Today’s Chiropractic leadership


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Today’s Chiropractic leadership


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If ?

Imaging what would happen if the entire world experienced Chiropractic or if unwanted philosophies or practices find their way into the profession. How does our worldview change when we consider both the positives and the negatives?

Just Say No

By Jacqui Frasca


little more than two years ago, a controversial bill that would make a trip to the chiropractor seem more like a trip to the medical doctor began to make its way through the New Mexico State Legislature. Initially, House Bill 127 (HB-127) was proposed. The bill provided an opportunity for chiropractors to undergo additional training in pharmacology and related procedures so they could write drug prescriptions for patients and administer vaccinations. Âť

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If ?

What was sold as a quick fix for a primary care physician shortage was actually a ruse to change chiropractic training standards and thereby secure prescriptive rights for DCs in New Mexico. The net effect of the bill would be to uproot the philosophical backbone of Chiropractic in the state.

The Catalyst Eventually, the primary care charade was seen as the publicity stunt it was. The bill was clearly aimed at changing the economics of the chiropractors involved. “They frequently voiced that there are many chiropractors in New Mexico who have economic woes—lack of successful practices,” explains Guy Riekeman, D.C., president of Life University. “A lot of them see practicing medicine in addition to or in place of Chiropractic as an income generator, the ability to do an injection for $150, come into the office in the morning and do 10 of those and hit the golf course in the afternoon. They don’t have a real commitment to the same values we hold to at LIFE, which is to bring a new concept of health care to the public, founded on the idea that the body is a self-healing, self-maintaining, self-developing mechanism or organism. Let’s admit it … success is about headspace. Adding more

‘stuff ’ will not change headspace and those who are failing now will be failing then.” At the 2011 Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards Conference in Marco Island, Fla., James Winterstein, D.C., then president of National University of Health Sciences, spoke on behalf of HB-127, saying that, “If we go that way [obtaining prescription rights], we will go the way of the osteopaths. Hey, that wouldn’t be all bad, there’s 70,000 of them.” But is another 50,000 doctors administering drugs really what the public needs to reach an optimal level of health?

Getting Involved Riekeman had a personal as well as a professional incentive when it came to fighting HB-127; he grew up in New Mexico and his sister, Cathy Riekeman, D.C., has practiced in Albuquerque since 1974. When Riekeman’s father Alvin obtained licensure in New Mexico in 1947, states required the completion of two exams to obtain a license to practice, and every basic science exam board in the United States was run by medical doctors. Once you got through the initial basic science exam you could take your individual specialty exam, like Chiropractic.

DCs Wrote More than 70,000 Inappropriate Prescriptions Paid for by Medicare Part D by Gerry W. Clum, D.C.


t seems somewhat axiomatic that the people who prescribe controlled substances, what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration refers to as Schedule II through Schedule V drugs1, have the skill, training and legal authority to do so. In June 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a report indicating that in 2009 there were 1.07 billion prescription drug events for Medicare Part D covered drugs that were ordered by 1,102,275 individual drug prescribers, yielding $71 billion in Medicare drug payments.2 The OIG dug a bit deeper into the 2009 prescription records and

38 Today’s Chiropractic leadership


found 72,552 prescriptions provided by persons in 14 different provider categories that, according to Daniel R. Levinson, “clearly did not have the authority to prescribe, such as massage therapists and athletic trainers.” Dieticians and nutritionists wrote about 20,000 prescriptions that cost Medicare more than $1.6 million. Massage therapists authored more than 12,000 drug orders, costing about $800,000 while music or art therapists wrote 493 scripts at a cost of more than $60,000. Athletic trainers also got into the act, contributing 8,800 prescriptions and $700,000 to the problem. Drilling down, the OIG also conducted a review of 10 states (California,

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Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas) for “other individuals without the authority to prescribe, such as counselors and social workers.” In the process of this review, 344,714 inappropriate prescriptions were found. According to Levinson, “In total, Medicare paid $26.2 million for drugs ordered by counselors, chiropractors, social workers, physical therapists, registered nurses, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists.” The top three offenders in these 10 states were counselors, chiropractors and social workers. The disciplines reflected in this 10-state analysis included, in descending order

The medical basic science boards were used to stop students a few legislative steps left before it moved into the legislature from being able to take the chiropractic test, as many of the for a vote. It looked like a “slam dunk.” “I won’t tell you the exams involved essay questions, allowing subjectivity to get in exact language I used with my sister, but I implied that our the way during the grading process. Riekeman’s father, along father would be very upset with us that we had allowed things with other chiropractors, fought against these exam boards and to progress to this point,” says Riekeman. “That got my sister stimulated—she’s a real fireball when she the consequences were extreme. Some of Some data gets onto something. The International them even had their offices firebombed. Chiropractors Association (ICA) stepped “My father was one of the early people in suggest that up up and we all raised money to hire a lobNew Mexico who was involved politically,” to 50 percent of byist to help address HB-127. This was says Riekeman, “and he was the first chirochiropractors accomplished within 24 hours. During the practor to ever sit, and maybe the only chiwould like a week ahead there were two final hearings ropractor to be appointed by the governor limited formulary, needed for the bill to go through.” Rieketo sit, on the basic science board with the such as the right man, along with Presidential Liaison for medical doctors and make sure chiropracto prescribe External Affairs and Director of the Octors had a fair shake in getting through.” over-the-counter tagon at Life University Gerry Clum, D.C., In the case of HB-127, those who were painkillers. and a small group of chiropractors showed supportive of drugs had overtaken the up to fight the bill in March of 2011. While New Mexico Chiropractic Association and, by only one vote, had taken over the New Mexico State they weren’t the only people, certainly Life University, the ICA Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NMBCE). One of their and Riekeman got the ball rolling and provided testimony to key goals in these efforts was to put HB-127 through. By the the Senate Judiciary Committee as to why this was inappropritime the bill came to Riekeman’s attention, there were only ate for Chiropractic.

of frequency: counselors, chiropractors, social workers, physical therapists, registered nurses, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists. In 2009, 2,809 chiropractors were identified as having written 70,681 prescriptions at a cost of $4,929,992. The chiropractic segment of the $26 million of inappropriate expenditures was 18.7 percent, with each offending DC writing more than 25 prescriptions at $70 per prescription. Despite the illegality, chiropractors were outpaced in this circumstance by counselors, 2,838 of whom wrote 87,400 prescriptions costing $7.375 million. While the averages are interesting, it is clear they are highly skewed, as 32 of these individuals without prescribing authority ordered more than 1,000 prescriptions each. The worst offenders in the review were: n One Florida counselor ordered 2,912 prescriptions for 217 beneficiaries, which were filled at 103 pharmacies.

n An Ohio social worker ordered 1,639 prescriptions, which were all filled at one retail pharmacy. n A registered nurse from California ordered 1,111 prescriptions, which were filled at a single retail pharmacy in New York. n An Illinois social worker ordered 1,345 prescriptions, which were filled at 149 pharmacies for 312 beneficiaries. Almost all of these pharmacies were part of the same national chain. n In terms of the locations at which these offenses occurred, 25 percent came from California, Florida contributed 20 percent and New York added another 14 percent. The OIG offered four recommendations to CMS: n Require sponsors to verify that prescribers have the authority to prescribe drugs. n Increase the Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor (MEDIC) program monitoring of prescribers.

n Ensure that Medicare does not pay for prescriptions from individuals without prescribing authority. n Follow up on individuals without prescribing authority who ordered prescriptions. While these recommendations seem rather straightforward and obvious, the fourth recommendation should be understood to include referral to CMS for “appropriate action.” If you are a DC with a drug prescription pad—and a proclivity to use it—be on the lookout for a letter from CMS—maybe a subpoena or possibly a warrant. My thanks to Stephen Welsh, D.C., FICA, for providing me with a copy of this OIG report.

Schedule I drugs are those for which no one finds any appropriate use in health care. This would include drugs such as heroin. 2. Medicare inappropriately paid for drugs ordered by individuals without prescribing authority. Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General, June 2013 OEI-02-09-00608 1.

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If ?

The Price of Apathy

philosophy of Chiropractic. Additionally, these unwanted So how does something that threatens the very foundation of the requirements add time and cost to the cost of education and philosophy of Chiropractic become so close to being voted into ultimately to student debt levels. “It does impact everyone in law? Some data suggest that up to 50 percent of chiropractors the profession, it does impact what we teach at Life Universiwould like a limited formulary, such as the right to prescribe ty.” says Riekeman. “Then it will eventually make its way into over-the-counter painkillers. On a local level, there are many continuing education requirements. At some point, every DC chiropractors who don’t want or intend to use drugs in their will be affected.” He also points out that New Mexico is not an isolated case, as office, but they don’t care if another DC does. “But there are a lot of chiropractors like myself who are deeply opposed to it and similar situations are occurring in many states in the country. From his firsthand experience with the who will fight … it,” says Riekeman. bill in New Mexico, Riekeman concludes Will the public really benefit from rethat if New Mexico fell, it would have been moving the only licensed doctors who very likely that Colorado would be right are not under the control of the pharmabehind it, as they wrote similar legislaceutical industry? The price of apathy, in tion. Oklahoma undoubtedly would have regards to allowing drugs to casually enter been next in line, then Idaho. Suddenly the chiropractic world, is extremely high; the domino effect would have taken over rather than taking an impartial approach with the Midwest, Florida and California to bills of this nature, DCs nationwide likely following behind. “All of a sudden need to be getting involved and promoting this would have had enough momentum the idea that drugs are not the answer and to have swept across the entire country,” that drugs do not promote health—they Riekeman says. promote more drugs. Drugs go against Were bills like these to pass, the philoseverything Chiropractic is and they do ophy, practice and education of students not and will never belong in Chiropractic. We spend more of Chiropractic as we know it would be “We’ve tried to impress on the Senate than $7,500 per altered forever. After all, how can you pracCommittee members what this means, person in the tice learning how to prescribe drugs and so here’s a quick political lesson on how United States per give vaccinations while still adhering to this impacts them and LIFE,” Riekeman year on health the core principle of Chiropractic—that continues. “There’s a theme in the chicare—the next the body has an innate ability to heal itself? ropractic pro-drug community that says, closest According to Riekeman, there are more ‘Legislate broadly,’ which means, ‘Legiscountry spends than a handful of reasons why HB-127 and late so you can do anything you want to about $2,500 on others of its ilk cannot be allowed to pass. and then individually practice as narrowly health care per “On the consumer level, Chiropractic has a as you would like to.’ It sounds appealing difficult enough identity in a very medicalon the surface.” But in reality, if a state like person, and yet ized world anyway, so patients are coming New Mexico passes this legislation, stuwe’re one of the dents who want to sit for licensure in New sickest nations in into one office and getting a medicalized version and walking into another chiroMexico will need to be prepared for all the world. that falls under its legislation, including —Guy Riekeman, D.C. practic office like those of the students we prepare at LIFE and you have an identity pharmacology. The same thing happened issue in the profession. This is difficult and with physical therapy and Chiropractic a few decades ago. What started as an elective soon morphed dangerous for patients,” he explains. If patients don’t underinto a requirement, and what was once an option became es- stand what a particular profession does, it’s difficult for them to sential. Because of this, schools are forced to alter their curric- make informed decisions about accessing the profession. “It also ula and to teach these classes whether they want to or not. The stops the profession from moving forward, which affects the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners produces exams to individual practitioner,” Riekeman says. “On a broader level, philosophically, we have a health care qualify students for licensure, and ultimately the individual chiropractor in every particular state has to go through ex- system that is collapsing,” he continues. “We have a health care tended schooling and training for procedures and fields that system that we can’t sustain financially in the United States. We are neither relevant to nor consistent with the practice and have a country that comprises 5 percent of the world’s popula-

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If ?

tion, but consumes 50 percent of all the pharmaceuticals in the of the state board of examiners—this organization monitors world. We spend more than $7,500 per person in the United them and any time the words ‘chiropractic,’ ‘drug,’ ‘pharmaceuStates per year on health care—the next closest country spends tical,’ any of the list of words that we’ve given them comes up, about $2,500 on health care per person, and yet we’re one of the they identify them and we’re notified within 24 hours so that sickest nations in the world. We have a health care system that’s we don’t get behind the queue like we did in New Mexico,” says Riekeman. “Dr. Gerry Clum monitors that every day and when now the third leading cause of death in the U.S.” And then, in comes the old adage of “practice what you something shows up, we immediately notify people in the state preach”—those in a profession based on vitalism that celebrates that this has come up and it’s in the works so that people can be aware of it and deal with it sooner rather the natural abilities of the human body cannot be expected to prescribe to patients Drugs should not, than later.” Like Cathy Riekeman, DCs serve the best what is a major part of the problem in towill not, cannot interests of their patients and the chiroday’s health care. “There’s not one chronic ever be a part of practic profession by becoming politically disease that can be cured with drugs. You Chiropractic. Life active. She supported the governor and has can’t cure [Type 2] diabetes with drugs; University will do now been appointed to the NMBCE, along you can manage it, but it’s not like you take its part, but DCs with another principled chiropractor who the drug and you get over it. You’ve now around the globe has been elected to the NMBCE. “When become a drug addict for the rest of your need to join in [DCs] see these things showing up, [they life,” says Riekeman. “We’ve got to have a the fight. Step should] get vocal about opposing them, different approach that is less expensive, even on a local level. In New Mexico, where allows people to have a more natural apup, draw the line there were some very active people trying proach to health care and that reduces our in the sand and to initiate this legislation, the real danger reliance on drugs. If we don’t, our country’s make your voice was that the bulk of chiropractors never headed for a real crisis. For our profession heard: Just say stood up and said anything about what was to go, for convenience or personal financial no to drugs in going on,” says Riekeman. “[DCs] need to issues, down the road of medical intervenChiropractic. support organizations by joining them and tion is unethical as it relates to what needs paying dues or [supporting] colleges that to be done in this country for health care.” are producing the kind of chiropractors that they would like to populate the profession in the future.” Keeping Drugs Out of Chiropractic Getting on your state board of examiners and involved with Besides being vocal and raising awareness about these issues, Life University gets involved in other ways, as the Board of the state chiropractic associations, and even choosing to do so at Trustees has a position statement opposing the practice of the national level, will give you a leg up in the political climate prescribing drugs in Chiropractic. One unique approach the surrounding the profession. Drugs should not, will not, cannot University has to preventing bills like this from passing is that ever be a part of Chiropractic. Life University will do its part, but it annually funds membership in an organization that monitors DCs around the globe need to join in the fight. Step up, draw the every bill, from the federal to the local level, in the United States. line in the sand and make your voice heard: Just say no to drugs “Every committee hearing, every bill introduced, every meeting in Chiropractic.

Get Involved Write to your state associations to oppose the involvement of drugs in Chiropractic, on any level, period—if you don’t speak up, you can’t be heard. Join the ICA at to get involved with the current actions of, whose main

42 Today’s Chiropractic leadership


function is recruitment of Congressional District Directors and Patients for Chiropractic Political Awareness. alerts DCs to current U.S. Senate and House bills that affect the chiropractic profession. Another way to take action is

october/november 2013

to donate to the Chiropractic Legal Action Fund to support these awareness efforts. Be sure to “like” Riekeman’s Facebook page for the latest in Chiropractic, politics and how to live a vitalistic life:

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we’ve known

All Along

by rebecca koch

I We’ve Known All Along—When it comes to health and wellness, Chiropractic is ahead of the curve on many topics. We take this opportunity to share some of the knowledge we have gained, that the rest of the world is finally catching on to.

f you had a rock in your shoe, would you take it out? Or, would you find a way to manipulate the pain in order to better accommodate the rock? If you wanted to have summer fruit year-round, would you create sustainable agricultural practices? Or, would you consider crossing a fish with a strawberry? Please think about those questions as you’re reading the first installment of what we hope will become a useful (and fun) resource for people who understand the difference between vitalism and mechanism. By now, you will have noticed that this column is part of a wholly new magazine, fully focused on asserting LIFE’s role—and expressing its voice—as the leader of the Vital Health Revolution. You may well ask, “What is vital health?” In answer, we would say: Just as health is more than the absence of disease, vital health is more than the presence of health. It is the ongoing, maximal expression of one’s full health potential. In simple terms, the concept of vital health is based on a few foundational assumptions: n You have the inborn capacity to be healthy; n Your expression of that capacity—even if it’s not the “norm”—has perfection in it; n You will express your capacity to be healthy much more fully when things aren’t working against it; n Symptoms are not always the enemy—they are often the most tangible evidence that the body is functioning perfectly as it adapts to, or overcomes, challenges. And, in terms of the science involved, we—as vital health proponents and enthusiasts who paid attention in our 100-level science classes—understand a few things that, all too often, the mainstream media (and apparently many mainstream scientific researchers) seem to have forgotten. Consider the following: n Just because science can’t measure a thing, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. n Scientific experiments don’t “prove” anything—they simply either support or fail to support the null hypothesis. n A single study, no matter how well designed,

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isn’t worth much until it’s been replicated and alternative explanations tested. n In the real world, with suspicious regularity, studies of all kinds tend to support the views of whoever paid for them. In short, this column will attempt to share news reports and research findings that express the perfection of the vision that is within Life University. We hope to articulate our role as proponents of vital health by sharing the increasingly frequent reports of scientific studies supporting our fundamental hypothesis, which is this: The closer we both coexist and interact with nature, the healthier we will be. Based on that hypothesis, we take a stance that “less is more,” particularly when it comes to invasive procedures and transgenic manipulation of nature’s design. In a nutshell, we question whether 4 billion years of natural design should be subverted by a 400-yearold science that thinks it’s a good idea to transfer cold resistance from an arctic fish to a strawberry so we can eat summer fruit in the wintertime. Here are the things we anticipate we’ll be seeing more and more of in the news and about which we’ll be able to say, “We’ve Known All Along”: n Recommendations for vitalistic practices, based on findings of peer-reviewed, scientific studies n Reports of previously and currently recommended mechanistic practices that appear to be ineffective and/or harmful Stay tuned for our next installment, which should be of interest to neonatal specialists, midwives, OB-GYN physicians, chiropractors, parents, grandparents and anyone at all interested in respecting nature’s design for childbirth. It’s the story of science finally leading to the conclusion that a standard medical practice may be interfering with an obviously natural mechanism supporting the optimal health of newborns. In short, we look forward to the opportunity of saying, “We told you so,” in the most thoughtful way possible—and to your feedback on the best ways to express the basic assumptions of vital health without denigrating the best practices of medicine.


LIFEforce 1000 is a group of 1000 dynamic Chiropractors who have committed to Changing the World.

LIFEforce 1000 will not stop until we have established worldwide access to Chiropractic and a Chiropractic education for anyone who wants it.

We are limiting our partnership to 1,000 Chiropractors. To become a LIFEforce 1000 Insider go to

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If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. —John Quincy Adams

46 Today’s Chiropractic leadership


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al thots

by gerry clum, D.C.

The Reality of Politics

I PoliTICal Thots— An avenue for outlining some of today’s political debates, provoking thought and hopefully some action on contemporary matters of a political nature influencing your practice, Chiropractic in general and ultimately the broader field of health care.

t will be my honor and privilege to be a regular contributor to Today’s Chiropractic Leadership. President Riekeman has asked me to author this column entitled “PoliTICal Thots.” I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to provoking thought and hopefully some action on contemporary matters of a political nature influencing your practice, Chiropractic in general and ultimately the broader field of health care. Rather than being a newsfeed about events in and around the profession, it is my hope that “PoliTICal Thots” can serve as a vehicle for an expanded and more thorough exploration of issues, concerns and opportunities.

A Perspective on Politics The word “politics” has many different definitions and even more implications. Merriam Webster offers a range of meanings of the word, as well as a series of uses of the term within the contexts of those definitions. These range from “the art and science of government” to “the total complex of relations between people living in society.” A word association exercise using the term politics very quickly reveals the concepts and the emotions we tie to the word in the 21st century. Think for a moment of the words that would come to your mind when you are asked to consider the word politics. If you are like most people you will express a litany of negative terms you associate with politics before you get to something neutral, let alone positive! Shady, corrupt, evil, two-faced, disingenuous, power-grabbing, dishonesty—these are just the start of comments ranging from the harsh to the obscene that we tend to associate with the term “politics.” It is no wonder we are suspicious of everyone involved in the realm of politics. It is no wonder we are cautious about engaging the subject in general. It is hard to feel warm and fuzzy about people whose lives are based in an endeavor that

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we describe with such negative terms conveying such unproductive emotions. Perhaps it comes as an outgrowth of the concept of governance. Who wants to be governed? It has a medieval sound to it that conjures up images of unimaginable oppression. My view of politics changed at a breakfast in Washington, D.C., many years ago. Rep. Fortney “Pete” Stark, a 1970s era freshman—an anti-Vietnam War, bank owning, San Francisco Bay area Democrat—was invited to speak to a gathering of the International Chiropractors Association. He began his remarks with a discussion of politics in general—as he likely saw the young, energetic crowd gathered in Washington looking like deer in the headlights! Everyone wanted to change the world, but we were all unclear as to the office to seek an appointment to get that job done. “One must remember that saying good morning to your spouse as you get out of bed is at its root a political gesture!” he began. Like my colleagues experiencing this pearl of wisdom for the first time I laughed, I groaned, I felt embarrassed, and then I thought about what he had said. Clearly he meant it as an icebreaker, a joking remark to a predominantly male audience, but he also meant it to be an important lesson—laughter without mirth. Stark understood the perspective of Merriam Webster that politics is “the total complex of relations between people living in society.” In the relating of his morning quip, Stark altered my view of politics. Life is politics—from good morning to good night, everything in between, about or with another human being, is a political process. If your view of the political process is a negative one, you might feel very sorry for me (and even more so for my wife and family), but, if it is a view that sees everything we do with, to and for another as being part of this process, you will see it differently.

Politics Is About People and All Politics Are Local

for whom our forefathers felt it was important to protect their right to health care in the Constitution. Care to take a stab at this protected class? Prisoners! For the rest of us—patient, provider or both—our health care is the result of a grand, evolving political dance that has been going on for centuries. The circumstance of health care in America did not sprout out of the sidewalk like a weed. It was built up, broken down, reconstructed, remodeled, repackaged and resold time and time again. At this moment, it is in the midst of an incredible upheaval, the geophysical equivalent to the birth of the Rockies.

With less than 60 percent of the registered American electorate voting in presidential elections over the past 40 years, it is clear that Americans are not engaging in the process of politics as it relates to government on its most important and profound level—the presidential vote—let alone on many other levels. It is hard to think that many people are seeing their day-in, dayout lives as expressions of politics when they don’t engage on the most macro level of the process. I am sure you have heard people say, “I am not involved in politics,” or, “I am not The Patient Protection a political person,” or even, “I leave politics and Affordable Care to others.” If these statements are true you Act of 2010 are either a hermit or you are dead! You can What our profession, our careers will look assert that you are not involved in politics, like down the road is not carved in stone. but it is an element of life as consistent and In many ways it is as hard to grasp as a as necessary as breathing. Most of us pay handful of mercury. One way of dealing about as much attention to politics as we do with this reality is to throw up your hands, to our breathing—interrupt it and that all conclude it is too complex and distant to changes—but until the interruption is perunderstand and wait until the dust settles Our way of life in the sonal, the change doesn’t happen. Politics is to figure out what to do. Another approach United States is more an area in which you can make a difference. is to rail at the vehicle bringing about the It isn’t like the weather—changeable for change (the legislation), to demonize the at risk on an individual sure, but beyond your control. parties involved in the effort and decide it level than in almost any is all a colossal waste of time and effort. A Let’s put a bit of a finer focus on this discussion and examine it from the perspecthird strategy is to hope, pray, maybe even other manner I can entive of your life as a Doctor of Chiropractic. work to see that the composition of the vision due to the effects Congress changes and it is all thrown out— The contention I offer is that every second of your professional life has been and conbaby and bathwater together. A fourth is to of health care and its tinues to be conducted within an all-enengage the process of change, to impact it related costs. compassing atmosphere of politics. The rather than be impacted by it. only question that remains is whether you I don’t know if the strategy embraced view those atmospheric conditions through a lens of dishonesty, under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will work. corruption, evil, etc., or you see every exchange with another Anyone who can tell you with certainty that it will work has the human being as an opportunity for the expression of a bit of the gift of divine intervention. The crucial part of these matters is “total complex of people living in society.” not teasing out which solution will work, but that a solution is In this moment of health care reform it is interesting to con- essential to the health, well-being and solvency of the nation. sider exactly who has a Constitutional right to health care in the Our way of life in the United States is more at risk on an indiUnited States. There is only one group of persons in our country vidual level than in almost any other manner I can envision due

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to the effects of health care and its related costs. This problem lems on the horizon for us as patients, providers and as a country will only intensify. There is a tremendous level of anxiety on must be solved. By the end of this year I will have been a chiropractor for more the streets of health care. This angst is borne out of the fact that than 40 years. That means the lifespan of my career predates even the most ardent defenders of the present health care system recognition of the Council on Chiropractic Education by the are seeing the sun setting on the current era. There is a simple formula for making money in health care: Secretary of Education, universal licensure of chiropractors across the country and chiropractic inclusion in Medicare. It Do more procedures (volume) and do more expensive procealso means that I cut my teeth in the heyday of the American dures (price), and you will make more money. As a result, we Medical Associations’ Committee on Quackery in concert with have a system that is driven by the volume and complexity of a related array of anti-Chiropractic efforts that were ultimately care rather than by the effectiveness of the care. It really is not found to be illegal. Our advances in this tumultuous time did much more complex than that. As a nation, we live with the not come from dreaming, and the balancing of the legal scales prime directive of a capitalist society: Follow the money. We are now at the dawn of a new approach to did not come from acquiescence. They all health care that pays for performance; do came about by the efforts of people who better by doing better. Doing better as a were alert to “the total complex of relations provider of health care by doing better in between people living in society.” providing your care is the new order of the Throughout those years I, like you, have day. The directive of follow the money still been frustrated by the difficulty we have applies, but what is changing is the activity had in bringing what we see happen on from which the money will flow. the adjusting table to greater prominence We get what we pay for. If we want in the system of health care. Together we high-efficiency automobiles and we are have been frustrated with our inability to willing to pay for them, the auto industry document and express effectively what we will provide them. If we want a sickness/ have seen with our eyes happen under our illness oriented system and we are willing hands. There are many reasons for this, to pay for it, the health care industry will some based in our technical abilities to provide it. Again, it is not a complex idea or document our efforts and others based in approach to a market need. the legacy of that era of many decades ago. The era of personal If in contrast we want a wellness system The literature demands of the day have responsibility for health and we are willing to pay for it, the health been skewed to the randomized clinical care system will provide it. But, like the trial, the basic science side of the process is upon us. This is truly automotive industry, you don’t shift from has been emphasized and in the process quite a moment in the 10 miles per gallon vehicles to 40 miles the day-in, day-out real world changes that per gallon vehicles overnight. It requires are seen in chiropractic offices across the history of health care. transition, it requires time and it requires country are lost in the shuffle. trial and error. This is the circumstance To quote the CEO of the Coca-Cola, underway in health care in America. Corp., “If you think that you can run an Like the Chinese characters for the Enorganization in the next 10 years as you’ve run it in the past 10 years, you’re out of your mind.” In the con- glish term “crisis”—a superimposition of the characters for text of this discussion, the organization is health care, research, “danger” and “opportunity”—the present conveys a circumthe chiropractic profession and your office. New thinking, new stance fraught with potential and peril. The potential is as strategies, new rewards and new expectations are all to be antic- powerful as the need of the moment is so severe that everything ipated in our lives—every aspect of our lives—including health, is on the table. This ranges from the expectations of the health health care, what we measure, what we pay for and what we care system to the incentives to engage the health care system to value. It will happen through “the total complex of people living the means to contribute to the greater good of the system to the in society,” hopefully based in fact and unfortunately influenced ability to prosper in the system. The world has awakened to the impact of lifestyle and the imby who stands to gain and who stands to lose. It is clearly appreciated in health care that if the reforms un- pact of behavior on health and well-being. (It sounds asinine to derway in the United States are simply “Managed Care 2.0—The ever say that required an “awakening,” but it has!) The message HMO Reincarnated,” then the system is doomed and the prob- is being heard around the world that it is a far better strategy to

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be a leader ll Colin Villone For more information ca 136 or email ext. today at 770-650-1102 rac op colin@todayschir Upcoming deadlines: y 2014 Issue December 2013/Januar t. 27 Space Reservation: Oc Art Due: Oct. 30 ACTIC TODAY’S CHIROPR


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stay well than it is to try and get well. It is abundantly clear to everyone in health care that hospitalization is incredibly costly, dangerous and should be viewed as a last resort to managing any health problem. The discussion looms large about the end of the antibiotic era of health care due to the irrational use of antibiotics and the remarkable adaptability of microbes. The era of personal responsibility for health is upon us. The system itself has been called into question as being prone to adverse outcomes to the point of questioning the net gain created by it. This is truly quite a moment in the history of health care. Now imagine an approach that begins to entertain the perverse economic incentives driving the system and attempts to reconfigure the processes involved in rewarding health-oriented outcomes rather than disease-directed interventions. Contemplate a system that offers financial reward to providers for performance—for outcomes—rather than for procedures. Consider a system that says to its providers, “You can work in the system but you are also going to be at risk for the performance of the system.” Envision a system that funds efforts to keep people well rather than solely dealing with their infirmities. It is unlikely anyone in health care delivery or policy develop-

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ment, outside of our ranks, woke up this morning thinking, “I wonder if the chiropractors could help our current situation?” The lack of interest in our contribution is not intentional. It is simply that we have not made the case for our contribution. I suggest that if we are able to connect the dots for them they may be willing to help fill in the picture—especially in terms of the economics. As a chiropractor, it is my fondest dream that the implications of spinal health to well-being and proper human function be fully realized, understood and appreciated. That the “neuro,” the “bio” and the “mechanical” of what we do is grasped in a fashion that provides great hope and relief for humankind as a strategy to assist in regaining and maintaining health. How then do we engage this moment of change for the fulfillment of this dream? As a pragmatist, I appreciate that the profession does not have the opportunity to write the script of its involvement in the unfolding of health care in America. We do, however, have the opportunity to offer edits to the script and to begin to use the goals of the moment to advance our approach to patient care and improvement in the system.

The payoff for the profession is the opportunity to demon- that happens, doors will open readily as others see us contributstrate what we can do—for the patient and for the system. In ing to the triple aim of better health outcomes, greater patient a performance-driven model where providers have “skin in satisfaction and lowered costs. Health care reform is NOT going away— the game” our approach to patient care it is not a matter of red or blue. The current is the best opportunity we have ever had iteration of it might, but there will be anin the health care system of America to The conscious or pasother to follow it. Each of us will choose make our case. The need at the moment how we move forward, although some will is for engagement. This does not imply sive decision to disenchoose by action and others by default. a commitment to if or how you plan to gage at this moment Your thoughtful involvement, regardless of interact with the emerging system, rather a willingness to consider how we could will leave you powerless the conclusion you come to, will empower you and give your conclusions imporparticipate and an exploration of what it and increase your level tance in your life and circumstance. The will take to participate. conscious or passive decision to disengage For many of us, it is hard to imagine of victimization. at this moment will leave you powerless enough change in thinking that would aland increase your level of victimization. low a meaningful place for us. I am of that You are politically involved—there is no generation. Nonetheless, we must consider the possibility these changes could hold for us and the people we choice—as you are an integral part of the “total complex of peoseek to serve. It will only take one solid proof of concept exercise ple living in society.” There are lots of ways to “vote”—let’s do it for the value of our contribution to begin to be realized. Once Chicago style—early and often. It is time to get to work!

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what people are saying

Life University has multiple social media outlets, which chiropractors use to interact with each other, share posts and discuss philosophy and ideas. We welcome you to “like” our pages and join in the conversation. Here are some interesting comments from people over the past few months:

“I’m truly inspired by Life University!” —Zeshan AbdAllah

“I am so blessed to be at Life University! —Tania Demiray “I wish I was there already!” —Derek Surmont “I just want to let you know how much I appreciate your Facebook page! The information here is AWESOME! I often share your posts with my patients! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” —Lake Cowichan Chiropractic

[About the LIFE Leadership Weekend photos] “We were in those seats a year ago July, and now my daughter has almost four quarters of undergrad under her belt and my son is about to begin undergrad in about a month. Couldn’t be happier with our decision to attend Life U.” —Kathryn Sheehan Ouellette “Our nervous system is the master control of our whole body.” —Cheryl Bryant “Everything in moderation, even moderation…” —Novarah Ott “The pharmacist in my town says he’s honestly afraid to drive in the community because of all the Prozac he’s given out.” —Dr. Paul Roses [About the Socrates Café menu] “Looks great! I remember when a bagel and cream cheese was the only option at the snack bar by the outpatient clinic. On a good day, I would have time to toast it!” —Patrick Komeshak

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“Optimal body function is received by spinal alignment! As the Class of 1990 said, ‘Adjust for the Health of It.’” —Evans Chiropractic Health Center “I love water and water loves me.” —Roya Negaar Farani “(Chiropractic) is a logical and rational theory. Why doesn’t everyone ‘get it?’ I will never understand. It would create a healthier world.” —Ingrid Anderson Colby [On the LIFE Vision Seminar] “One of the BEST seminars I have ever been to…” —Manon Villeneuve

“Ever wonder what makes you TIC?” —Timothy Taig

Today's Chiropractic Leadership  

Volume 42 Number 5. October/November 2013

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