The American health care system is failing. Americans spend 16.5% of our total economy on health care, estimated to be $2.4 Trillion in 2008 (that’s $2,400,000,000,000) which equates to twice as much per capita as other industrialized nations. Despite this obscene level of spending, we rank at the bottom of the list compared to our peers by measure of quality and outcomes. Americans pay more and get less value for their health care dollar than any other country in the world.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that about 119 million, or 64.5%, of US adults are either overweight or obese. According to projections, this number is expected to increase to 73% by 2008. Young Americans today now face a lower life expectancy rate than their parents, thanks largely to the effects of poor nutrition and sedentary lifestyles.
The AP reported on May 14, 2008 that for the first time, it appears that more than half of all insured Americans are taking prescription medicines regularly for chronic health problems. The most widely used drugs are those to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol — problems often linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes, all of which are nearly 100% preventable with lifestyle modification.
The data shows that last year, 51 percent of American children and adults were taking one or more prescription drugs for a chronic condition, up from 50 percent the previous four years and 47 percent in 2001. Most of these drugs are taken daily.
Medication use for chronic problems (read taken daily for life) was seen in all demographic groups. Almost two-thirds of women 20 and older, one in four children and teenagers, 52 percent of adult men and three out of four people 65 or older take one or more prescription drugs regularly.
Most horrific is that among seniors, 28 percent of women and nearly 22 percent of men take five or more medicines regularly. All of which carry side effects too numerous to list, up to and including death. The estimated total number of iatrogenic deaths—that is, deaths induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures— in the U.S. annually is estimated to be approaching 1,000,000.
The current state of affairs in the U.S. with respect to diet is too bleak to even discuss in detail in this article, but here are some highlights:
The U.S. Census bureau data indicate that Americans drink a significant number of their calories. Americans drink about a gallon of soda a week along with a half gallon each of milk, bottled water, coffee and beer.
The biggest single source of calories in America is not pizza or burgers, but soft drinks. Soft drinks containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) supply just over 7% of all the calories consumed in the U.S. every year. The consumption of HFCS increased by more than 1000% between 1970 and 1990, far exceeding the changes in intake of any other food or food group. A possibly toxic chemical sugar alternative made from genetically modified, government subsidized corn is the leading staple of the American diet.
Americans are exposed to thousands of different food chemicals including: food additives, preservatives, synthetic sweeteners, pesticide residues, environmental contaminants, mycotoxins, novel food ingredients, packaging-material migrants, flavoring substances and other added nutrients. Food chemicals make up only part of the 75,000 synthetic chemicals developed and released into the environment since World War II. Fewer than half have been tested for potential toxicity to human beings.
America is a nation of poorly nourished, overly sedentary, chemically exposed individuals. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires a diet of natural, healthy, nutrient rich food, reducing toxin exposure from foods and drugs, regular exercise, normal sleep, emotional, spiritual health, and a fully functioning nerve system.
These factors all contribute to sickness and disease because they interfere with the body’s ability to produce new healthy cells. The brain controls and regulates, through the nerve system, all cellular function in the body. Proper cellular function is the key factor which determines ones health. The human organism is a community of 70 trillion cells working together, in harmony. This symphony is conducted by the brain and orchestrated by and through the nerve system. Chiropractic adjustments remove any impediment to the communication between the conductor and the orchestra.
Any attempt to extricate one’s self from the current disease care system requires an individual to radically alter their lifestyle. To begin an exercise program, change one’s diet, reduce their exposure to toxins, or work on their emotional health all take a considerable amount of effort on the part of the health seeker.
To improve one’s health through chiropractic requires nothing more than scheduling an appointment. We have in our offices the best kept secret in healthcare. Isn’t it time you find out what regular chiropractic care has to offer you and your family? As the only passive method of altering one’s health and well-being, chiropractic offices around the country will be inundated with more clients than they can handle in the coming decade.
Spread the word that chiropractic care is the fastest, the easiest and the most effective way to start off 2010 on the path toward health, happiness and abundant life.
Chiropractic as a brand has the potential to broadly appeal to a very wide segment of the population. Let’s look at what chiropractic represents. Chiropractors are a unique group of licensed health care professionals who look at health as the fullest expression of life within an individual.
Doesn’t that sound like something consumers want for themselves and their families, the fullest expression of life? Health, vitality and a life with less pain, sickness and disease without the use of dangerous drugs and surgery. Again, who would not be interested in that?
But sadly, we have never presented chiropractic to the public in this manner. Individually, in our offices, we make these assertions. And we should. We have the research to back it up.
You and I know that life is expressed though the mental impulses which originate in the brain. Since these mental impulses traverse our nerve system, this is where you focus your energy.
Our philosophy maintains that the innate intelligence that made the body can heal the body of any challenge that may arise, as long as we don’t physically, chemically or emotionally interrupt this natural process.
You find and correct any physical interference to this natural process, maintain that correction long enough for the body to replicate itself normally, building healthy cells instead of sick cells and healing is the natural, expected, inevitable result.
But chemical and emotion factors also interrupt normal, natural functioning of the body at the cellular level including: the American diet, heavy reliance on drugs to treat symptoms and the extreme stress that affects so many.
Chiropractic, the brand, needs to authoritatively address the chemical and emotional aspects of the subluxation in addition to the physical component. We need to speak up and be seen as the authority on all facets of the natural health care model called chiropractic.
We have witnessed first hand how this can thrust chiropractors into the media spotlight with the recent H1N1 vaccine issue. And all of this recent publicity has happened WITHOUT the benefit of professional representation in the media.
In addition to vaccine safety issues, we need to be speaking out on issues of dangerous chemical food additives, the overuse of drugs, the contamination of the water supply, genetically modified food, industrial farming and animal production. And we must speak out in favor of prayer, meditation, personal development, life-long learning and other health promoting lifestyle choices.
In other words, chiropractic needs to reclaim the components of our message which have been usurped by the natural/organic food industry, the supplement industry, the juice industry, the exercise industry, the self-help industry, the yoga industry, the Pilates industry and the diet industry.
And we need to proudly announce to the world that avoiding disease and infirmity by removing physical, chemical and emotional stressors that impede the fullest expression of life has been our message for the past 114 years. We salute these other health promoting industries. We can even support them and can advocate their use. But the big idea is ours.
Currently the “Wellness Revolution” is passing chiropractic by. Instead of leading the way, chiropractors sit on the sideline wondering how to get involved. Reflect back on the list and you will notice one thing. All of these industries have effective marketing and public relations initiatives. How about chiropractic?
The need for a professional Public Relations and Branding campaign like Chiropractic America’s www.YourSpine.com initiative and the associated public relations campaign directed by FK Health/Ogilvy PR Worldwide has never been greater.
The public will never know that the health of the nerve system impacts ever aspect of their life and health, unless you tell them. They will never know that the health of the spine matters, unless you tell them. They will never know that chiropractic is a highly effective method of restoring and maintaining health unless you tell them.
You can continue to do this one patient or small group at a time or we can come together as a group, with thousands of like-minded chiropractors and tell the masses about the amazing, life-enhancing benefits of a healthy spine and a fully functioning nerve system.
The vehicle to do this is built and ready. Beginning in April, 2010, we will be driving hundreds of thousands of Internet users with specific health challenges to the site each month, educating them on the benefits of chiropractic care. The only question is: Will you be the chiropractor that serves these patients in your community? I hope the answer is a resounding YES.
Those that practice chiropractic based on the principles laid out by Dr. D D Palmer and refined by Dr. B J Palmer are very fortunate. You are a special group of individuals, unique in the world today because you live by chiropractic principles.
Chiropractic postulates that nerve interference is a possible causal factor in all disease. Chiropractic teaching and philosophy also presents sound, logical, compelling evidence that labeling symptoms as diseases and treating those symptoms with chemicals and surgery is misguided. For too long, chiropractors have defended the former while neglecting the latter.
Defending the efficacy of subluxation correction has left little time to focus on this other basic tenet of chiropractic: treating symptoms rather than cause is misguided. The growing body of evidence has proven that disease care does not equal health. The current “health care” crisis has brought this to everyone’s attention. Costs are skyrocketing, while quality of life is sinking for millions of Americans.
Principled chiropractic is a precious gift. Combined with rational information regarding the other necessary components of a healthy lifestyle, principled chiropractic has the capability to enhance the lives of millions more than are presently served. The YourSpine.com initiative serves to marry the life enhancing benefits of regular chiropractic care with information that supports the second principle of chiropractic: labeling symptoms as diseases and treating those symptoms with chemicals and surgery is misguided
For the first time in history, a world class health care PR firm, FK Health, is ready to launch our initiative to inform the public why the care or their spine is necessary to ensure proper communication between the brain and every cell, tissue and organ of the body. We will also present information detailing the other components necessary for proper cellular function.
Health is a result of proper cellular function. It really is that simple. Disease is the result of abnormal cell function. The brain controls and regulates, through the nerve system, all cellular function in the body. Chiropractic adjustments remove any impediment to this communication thus allowing the body to function at a higher level of health and vitality.
But it takes more than just adjustments to achieve proper cellular function. It requires a diet of natural, healthy, nutrient rich food, clean pure water, regular exercise, normal sleep and emotional, spiritual health. You cannot deliver any of these things with an adjustment and they certainly don’t come in a pill or capsule.
What is possible is to give practice members compelling reasons why they require all of the aforementioned to achieve health. We can provide clear rational evidence that all of these are required components of a healthy lifestyle, the Chiropractic Lifestyle, where practice members are active participants in their own health care future. Sufficient data and supporting evidence exists. All we need do is embrace it, and explain that this has been the chiropractic way for 114 years. Reflect back on the list and you will notice that none of these requisites can be patented or monopolized. They all require the active, ongoing participation of the health seeker. None can be used to funnel billions of dollars of wealth to one monopolistic group, like the pharmaceutical/medical cartel or industrialized food and beverage production groups.
The current state of industrialized food and medicine is the largest threat to the health of modern citizens. The required diet of natural, healthy, nutrient rich food has been replaced by a chemical cocktail of additives, preservatives, and processing that bears little resemblance to the food of our ancestors. Fluoridated and chlorinated water has replaced the clean pure water which had sustained life for the last 6 million years. We are the most sedentary humans that have ever existed, stressed to our limits and devoid of the emotional and spiritual blessings of living in peace and harmony with our neighbors and our planet.
Principled chiropractic and the fundamental truths which it represents combined and aligned with the other facets of the Chiropractic Lifestyle offer much needed healing to a wounded people. The opposite of industrialized food and medicine is natural food and health care as clearly as war is the opposite of peace. Perhaps with less of the former, we can have more of the latter.
Chiropractic is natural health care. Isn’t it time that health care consumers equate chiropractic care with the other facets of health: a diet of natural, healthy, nutrient rich food, clean pure water, regular exercise, normal sleep and emotional, spiritual health? And isn’t is time you are recognized as the world’s foremost authority on natural health care?
The opportunity now exists to present positive, accurate information about chiropractic care to those with health challenges at the exact moment they are in need of care.
According to recent research by the non-profit Pew Internet & American Life Project, seventy-nine percent of Internet users have searched online for information on at least one major health topic. That translates to about 95 million American adults using the Internet to find health information or about 9 to 10 million Americans on any given day.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s previous research found that online health seekers are often motivated to search out information that relates to actions they might need to take for specific health issues in their lives. For instance, they (or people they love) might have experienced health symptoms that worry them and Internet users search for information about whether they would be wise to visit a doctor. Or, they might have just received a diagnosis and want to learn more about their particular condition.
In many cases, online health seekers are action-oriented and highly purposeful because there is a pressing medical issue for them to address. Since it is highly likely that the issue they face may have nerve system involvement, how likely is it that the Internet user will find accurate, positive information on chiropractic that will encourage them to see a chiropractor? The answer to this question could have a far greater impact on the future of chiropractic than one might expect. In order to understand why, we must look at what Internet users are doing online. The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s research found the top five activities of Internet users searching for health information are as follows:
- Tentatively diagnose their own diseases
- Confirm their doctor’s diagnosis and suggested treatments
- Check their doctors’ credentials
- Research all available treatment options – not just those recommended by doctor
- Give themselves a crash course on a specific medical condition when they (or someone they love) is diagnosed
Clearly these activities indicate a course of action is being formulated. This is precisely the time when accurate, positive information on chiropractic care can have the greatest impact. The Internet provides, for the first time in history, the ability to reach those in need of care at the exact moment they are deciding the form that care should take. So, how well is the chiropractic profession currently represented on the Internet to take advantage of this opportunity? You can see for yourself. Using Google, the world’s leading search engine, perform a search on the term “chiropractor”. What you find should cause you great concern.
As of 6/15/2009 , a Google search on the term “chiropractor” returns a a somewhat less than flattering Wikipedia entry as the number one result. A Bureau of Labor Statistics overview of “a career as a chiropractor” is the number two result and the third result is a condemnation of the profession titled “My Visit to a Straight Chiropractor” by Stephen Barrett MD on his website, Chirobase.com, which is dedicated to disparaging chiropractic. The fourth result is an article on the Spine Universe site that states that chiropractic is “a popular pain treatment”. And the remaining results are not much more encouraging. There is nothing presented that will inform a consumer with a specific health challenge how they may benefit from chiropractic care.
You may be wondering how this affects you. Maybe you don’t have a website and don’t concern yourself with Internet search habits. You rely on tried and true methods of new patient acquisition like personally delivered health talks and referrals from satisfied patients. This situation impacts you as much as the chiropractor that has spent thousands of dollars building and marketing his/her own web site.
Google, which handles 72% of all search traffic according to SearchEngineWatch.com, had 168,100 searches conducted on the term “chiropractor” in May, 2009. That means 168,100 Internet users were exposed to Stephen Barrett’s anti-chiropractic sentiments in May, 2009 alone.
How many of these Internet users were potential new patients referred by a loyal practice member or attendees at your most recent health talk who decided to do a little research prior to scheduling an appointment? How many of your patients have suggested that their spouse schedule an appointment, only to have them go to Google, become sucked in by the anti-chiropractic rhetoric and become forever poisoned to the idea of chiropractic care? They may even take their new found “knowledge” and talk your patient out of returning for their next visit. No one can say how many patients you have lost to the current Google situation, but it is safe to say you are not immune.
We know, however, from the Pew Research and Google keyword statistics, that the vast majority of the 9-10 million daily web surfers are not searching on the terms chiropractor or chiropractic (as they have no idea that their nerve system may be a factor in the health challenges they face). We also know that the majority of these Internet health seekers begin their quest for information at a search engine (72% using Google) and that they search on the symptom, diagnosis or condition from which they or their loved ones are suffering.
So what if an Internet user has just been told by a physician that they suffer from fibromyalgia? We know that four of the top five activities most frequently performed by Internet users seeking health information relate to a particular symptom, condition or diagnosis. A Google search on this term ( a condition, symptom or diagnosis) returns exactly zero results that mention chiropractic care as an option. Surely since many chiropractors see patients with “back pain” there will be many results from a search of this term which provide accurate, positive information about chiropractic. Think again. Not in the first 198 results displayed. The ACA website appears at 199 as of this writing. And guess what is among the first 100 results: Quackwatch.com by Stephen Barrett.
Term after term, condition after condition the results are the same. Except for an occasional sponsored link, there is no mention of chiropractic in the search results for any of the myriad conditions for which chiropractic has been proven safe and effective.
So what can be done to correct this and to take advantage of the opportunity described in the beginning of this article? Our consumer oriented site at www.YourSpine.com, provides positive, accurate information about chiropractic and lays the foundation on which to build a much brighter future for the chiropractic profession. We provide valuable patient education material on specific conditions for which chiropractic is most effective. We use detailed graphics and animations to educate Internet health seekers on spinal anatomy and the composition and function of the skeletal and nervous systems. We demonstrate how spinal fitness greatly impacts overall health and quality of life. We explain the many degenerative diseases associated with neglect of the spine, the drugs and surgeries used to treat them, along with their sometimes disastrous side effects. And most importantly, we demonstrate the important role chiropractors play in finding and correcting subluxations.
We provide content designed to be “found” by the major search engines when an Internet user searches for information on chiropractic as well as specific symptoms, diagnosis and conditions. We combine this with search engine optimization techniques and use paid search engine advertising to drive those in need of care to the site at the exact moment they are in need of care, deciding what form that care should take and who will provide it.
Presenting chiropractic in a positive way to online health seekers who are action-oriented and highly purposeful because they have a pressing medical issue to address dramatically increases both awareness and utilization. With this repository of valuable consumer information available and easily found by Internet health seekers, we drive people to the site rather than sit passively and wait for them to come. We utilize a world class public relations firm to facilitate national exposure throughout all news outlets: Internet, television, newspapers and magazines. These very same public relations firms have successfully turned lackluster drugs into household names. In the future, with this strong foundation in place, we plan to run cutting edge television and print ads that reinforce the message. This is a three tiered approach, utilizing advanced Internet technology, world class public relations and creative advertising.
With the food, beverage, diet and drug industries all promoting health compromising products to consumers through national promotional strategies, you cannot be expected to compete for consumer attention on your own. You need and deserve help. By coming together and taking advantage of an initiative like the one described here, you become a force, a force that is an attractive partner to national non-profit and corporate sponsors trying to reach the same key demographic, those actively seeking to improve their health. This opens the door to co-sponsored national events, public relations exposure, increased credibility and greater cultural authority. You may not be able to outspend them, but with radical strategies and an aggressive agenda, you can certainly out-think them. Imagine proper care and maintenance of the spine being as important to the health care consumer as the care and maintenance of their teeth. Have you tried to make a same day dental appointment recently? Better yet, don’t imagine. Make it a reality.
To make your practice part of the growing network of Chiropractic America certified chiropractors and to secure your exclusive zip code allocation in this groundbreaking opportunity, visit: Doctors.YourSpine.com to sign on today!
After more than a century of institutional discrimination against blacks in the medical profession, the American Medical Association has finally admitted its role in promoting such discrimination, issuing an apology for all the harm its racist policies have caused over the years. You can read the apology on the AMA Website.
Unknown to most consumers, the American Medical Association barred physicians from becoming members of the AMA unless they were first accepted as members of local AMA chapters, yet many local AMA chapters had rules specifically barring membership of black doctors well into the 1960’s.
The medical profession has a long history of discrimination, particularly against alternative healing professions. While always claiming public safety as its reasons for the attacks, the true reasons involve protecting their monopoly of the health care market.
In the past, medicine has fought battles to limit the practices of such professionals as homeopaths, naturopaths, osteopaths, podiatrists, optometrists, dentists, psychologists and chiropractors. In the case of osteopathy and chiropractic, there are distinct differences in the approach to healing and health when compared to medicine. The last thing that organized medicine wants is for their doctrine of drugs and surgery to be challenged.
Osteopaths allowed themselves to be absorbed by medicine–today there is little difference between an M.D. and a D.O. Chiropractic on the other hand, fought hard–through the personalities of those like B.J.Palmer to remain a separate and distinct profession.
Medicines opposition to chiropractic was at its strongest under the leadership of Morris Fishbein. Fishbein as Secretary of the American Medical Association from 1924 to 1949, lead a 25 year anti-chiropractic campaign in both professional publications and the public media. Fishbein called chiropractors “rabid dogs” and referred to them as “playful and cute..but killers.” He tried to portray chiropractors as members of an unscientific cult, caring about noting but taking their patients money.
In 1949 the AMA removed Fishbein but continued its wage an anti-chiropractic campaign. In 1971, H. Doyle Taylor, the Director of the AMA Department of Investigation, and Secretary of its Committee on Quackery (COQ), submitted a memo to the AMA Board of Trustees stating:
Since the AMA Board of Trustees decision, at its meeting on November 2-3, 1963, to establish a Committee on Quackery, your Committee has considered its prime mission to be, first, the containment of chiropractic and, ultimately, the elimination of chiropractic.
The following is an excerpt from the COQ’s first annual report to the Board of the AMA:
…The Involvement (and indoctrination) of the State Medical Society leadership, in our opinion, is vital to the success of the chiropractic program…We hope and believe that, with continued aggressive AMA activity, chiropractic can and will be contained at the national level and that steps are being taken to stop or eliminate the licenser of chiropractic at the state level.
In 1967 the COQ released its anti chiropractic campaign goals:
Basically, the Committee’s short-range objectives for containing the cult of chiropractic and any additional recognition it might achieve revolves about four points:
1. Doing everything within our power to see that chiropractic coverage under title 18 of the Medicare Law is not obtained.
2. Doing everything within our power to see that the recognition or listing by the U.S. Office of Education of a chiropractic accrediting agency is not achieved.
3. To encourage contained separation of the two national chiropractic associations.
4. To encourage state medical societies to take the initiative in their state legislatures in regard to legislation that might affect the practice of chiropractic.
The AMA through its Committee on Quackery continued its war against chiropractic through such acts as, distributing propaganda to the nation’s teachers and guidance councilors, eliminating the inclusion of chiropractic from the U.S Department of Labor’s, Health Careers Guidebook, and establishing specific educational guidelines for medical schools regarding the “hazards to individuals from the unscientific cult of chiropractic.”
The AMA did not stop with these acts of propaganda against the chiropractic profession. They worked both publicly and politically to insure that chiropractic failed as a profession. But, even with all of this negative publicity against the profession, chiropractic continued to gain acceptance with the general public, because chiropractic got results.
In 1975 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Goldfarb vs. The Virginia State Bar that learned professions are not exempt form antitrust suites. In 1982 the Court ruled that the FTC can enforce antitrust laws against medical societies. These two suites paved the way in 1976 for five chiropractors to file an anti-trust suite against the AMA and several other heath care agencies and societies in Federal District Court (known as the Wilkes Case).
Similar suites were filed in New York and Pennsylvania in 1979. The pressure of these law suites forced the AMA even before these suites went to court to propose a modification of their Medical Code of Ethics which prohibited M.D.s from associating with chiropractors. But, it was not until 1980 that the Ethics Code was changed to reflect that each individual doctor may decide for themselves whether to accept a patient from or refer a patient to a chiropractor or other limited practitioner.
The law suites caused so much fear in the medical profession that Mike Wallace (of 60 minutes) was unable to find an M.D. to take the anti-chiropractic side for a 1979 documentary piece on chiropractic.
In 1980 the Wilkes suite went to court, were the AMA and other defendants were found not guilty of all charges. That decision was overturned and a new trial was ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals in February 1983.
Judge Susan Getzendanner found the AMA and others guilty of an illegal conspiracy against the chiropractic profession in September of 1987, ordering a permeate injunction against the AMA and forcing them to print the courts findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Several other of the defendants settled out of court helping to pay for the chiropractors legal expenses and donating to a chiropractic non-profit home for disabled children, Kentuckiana Children’s Center.
This decision was upheld in the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1990 and again by the U.S. Supreme Court that same year.
And what did we do with the opportunity? Instead of coming out strongly and publicly exposing the proven illegal boycott and corruption on the part of the AMA, many within the profession saw this as an opportunity to embrace the new found “permission” given to the medical doctors by the AMA to associate with chiropractors as an opportunity to integrate chiropractic into the allopathic model.
To this day, most consumers are unaware that the “idea” that chiropractors are quacks was purposefully, illegally, underhandedly, and cleverly crafted and promoted by the AMA.
While unable to eliminate chiropractic, the combination of AMA tactics and lack of unity among chiropractors and chiropractic organizations has very effectively contained chiropractic. Contained to episodic treatment of back pain, contained to musculoskeletal only care, contained to seeing only 5% of the population. The truth is chiropractic has proven itself over the last 113 plus years, to be a safe and effective means of maintaining health. Isn’t it about time to get together and let the public know who we are, what we represent and what we have to offer?