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.
When BJ Palmer developed his father’s discovery into a health care discipline that was separate and distinct from the allopathic model, he did so with the knowledge that treating symptoms rather than cause was misguided. He taught that the logic of diagnosing and labeling symptoms as diseases and treating with chemicals and surgery was flawed. He maintained that finding the true cause of infirmity and reversing the cause was the only true path to health.
He fought to develop a separate and distinct health care system based on addressing the cause of disease rather than treating the symptoms. Considering the period in American history when this was achieved, he accomplished the impossible. He took on organized medicine and the fledgling pharmaceutical industry and offered an alternative. He fought to maintain the integrity of chiropractic from both inside and outside the profession. As a result, chiropractic still exists today as a separate and distinct health care profession..
Chiropractic is not complimentary. It is diametrically opposed to the allopathic model. It is the only true alternative to the drugs, radiation and surgery model of modern industrialized medicine. And an overwhelming body of evidence has proven that BJ Palmer and the chiropractors that followed were correct in their condemnation of this allopathic model and justified in the extreme measures taken to keep the profession separate and distinct.
The Wisdom behind the Model
The basic tenet of chiropractic was that nerve interference disrupts the normal function of the innate intelligence within the body and unless this interference was corrected, normal healthy function could not take place.
This radical view was the cornerstone of chiropractic and it had the profound impact of encouraging chiropractors to reject the prevailing allopathic medical view that man could control the innate intelligence of the body through chemical/surgical intervention. Chiropractic held that the body has this innate ability to adapt, self regulate and heal, which when given the proper environment would produce healthy tissue cells and in turn, a healthy person. BJ Palmer understood that the human body, properly maintained would provide a lifetime of health. We now know that other factors impact the function of the end organ, the tissue cell, beyond the nerve system alone.
What We Know Now
We know that nutrition is a key factor in proper cell function. We now that environmental toxins introduced into the body from drugs, pollution, chemical food additives and other sources negatively affect cell function. We know that one’s emotional state affects cell function. And we know that all disease is a result of improper cell function. Since the brain regulates and controls most cellular function in the body through the nerve system, we can form a more modern tenet of chiropractic which is congruent with the current body of knowledge. That is: Nerve interference is a possible causal factor in all disease.
It turns out that health is no more mysterious than maintaining your car. Regular maintenance (exercise and chiropractic care) combined with proper fuel (a healthy diet of natural foods and clean pure water) along with additives when needed like coolant and brake fluid (whole food nutritional supplements) and avoiding environmental contaminants such as dirt clogging your air filter or foreign matter in your gas tank (avoiding drugs, chemical food additives, toxins in air, water, etc.) results in a lifetime of useful service. It really is that simple.
One chiropractic leader recently put it this way: Regular low cost, low risk interventions such as regular exercise, proper nutrition, chiropractic care to keep your nerve system functioning properly and stress reduction (applied consistently throughout life) allows you to avoid high risk interventions such as drugs, radiation and surgery, except in emergencies.
The Toxic Lie
Yet somehow the majority of Americans have been convinced by “scientific experts” that health is a great mystery and we need highly trained scientists to dictate to us, using ever more elaborate tests and evaluations, what the body needs. And what we need are chemicals. And we need them in ever larger quantities for an ever growing list of labeled diseases like: ADD, ADHD, Restless Leg Syndrome, Osteopenia, Erectile Dysfunction, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Peripheral Artery Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Fybromyalgia, Bi-Polar Disorder, Depression, etc.
And these are just the advanced cases. We need cold remedies, cough medicines, pain relievers, antacids, cholesterol lowering drugs, blood pressure medications and the like to survive between doctor visits for these other, more serious “conditions”.
The public has become convinced that they need doctors and chemists to develop and refine these chemicals and adjust the dosage. And they now need ever more expensive health insurance to pay for these chemicals and the experts that dispense and monitor them.
This is a lie, a very toxic lie. BJ Palmer left a great legacy. His legacy is an organized, licensed body of health care providers that do not rely on chemical intervention. Those that sought his wisdom, adopted his teachings and held his skepticism of organized medicine are now in a unique position to change the world, more specifically to save the world. To save us from the madness of the pharmaceutical fantasy, to save us from bankrupting our people at the hands of the robber barons of modern medicine and health insurance who are medicating the human species into oblivion through disease mongering and fear tactics.
But we need the help and support OF and to offer reciprocal help and support TO those that are championing the other requisite components of the aforementioned recipe for avoiding high risk interventions. We cannot do it alone. Chiropractic care alone is not a health care solution. It only becomes a health care solution when it is combined with education on how the body functions and honest, accurate, non-prescriptive information on the other components necessary to regain and maintain health.
Chiropractic needs to combine and align to grow and prosper, to combine adjustments with information regarding the other facets of the chiropractic lifestyle that promote health. We must align our messaging with others that share our view. And there are many who now share our view. We must combine our power with others in the profession who share our passion. Align our power with the power of others outside the profession who share our vision and stand in opposition to the allopathic model.
The list of groups that have a philosophy that is congruent with chiropractic is long and prosperous:
The natural/organic food industry
The whole food supplement industry
The exercise industry
The personal development industry
The ergonomic products industry
The environmentally friendly products industry
All organized religious and spiritual practitioners
All meditation practices including TM, Yoga, Qi Gong, etc.
Along with a growing number of organizations which exist to expose the harm being inflicted by the food and pharmaceutical industries and the corruption of the FDA that is charged with protecting consumers.
There exists an opportunity to serve as a very valuable ally to those with health promoting products or messages. The position of trusted health care provider carries considerable appeal, particularly in today’s fast paced, and media saturated economy.
The average consumer is bombarded with nearly 3000 commercial messages a day. The appeal of having a message conveyed or supported by a trusted, licensed health professional (or their staff) is invaluable, in order to have it stand out in the crowd. If that message is one that is of value to you and your practice members, by assisting in its dissemination, you are helping your practice members achieve health, elevating the importance you play in their lives and increasing the likelihood they will fully experience the benefits of your service and be more likely to stay and refer. Help others spread their message of health and they in turn can help spread the chiropractic message.
We don’t have to become mattress salesmen or vitamin distributors. But we do need to cooperate with these other industries for the common good of those we serve.
Let’s Change the World, One Spine at a Time
So here we are, with more momentum than has ever existed to support the principle and philosophy that is chiropractic. It is time to combine and align. The chiropractic lifestyle is health. It is life fully expressed. Tell the story effectively and you will never want for more practice members again. Help those that support health to tell their story and you will never want for more practice members again. Give your practice members the gift of health and the gift of life and you will never want for more practice members again. You have been empowered with a great legacy and a destiny as yet unfulfilled. You have the power to change the world and impact the future of mankind. Use it wisely for you and humanity