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.
Golden Opportunity for Chiropractic : Fraud and Scandal Surrounding Central Nerve System Depressants
Tuesday’s bombshell that a key researcher involved in the Neurontin and Lyrica research faked the study results and invented patients takes the fraud and deception surrounding these drugs to a whole new level. This comes as new reports continue to surface about alleged fake medical articles Pfizer planted to sell the earlier half of this dynamic duo of central nerve system depressants, Neurontin, for unapproved uses from 1995 to 2002.
But it doesn’t seem to be slowing down the marketing machine promoting these new chemicals, which work by shutting down nerve system function. Remember, the pharmaceutical answer to nerve interference is to chemically shut down the messenger network.
Pfizer gave nonprofits $2.1 million in grants in 2008 for medical courses about the pain-and-fatigue ailment fibromyalgia for which its Neurontin follow-up pill, Lyrica, just happens to be approved.
Lyrica (pregablin), affectionately called Son of Neurontin at Pfizer, was discovered by Northwestern University chemist Richard Silverman in 1989, earning the university a cool $700 million when it sold royalties in late 2007.
Pfizer is funding the $100 million Richard and Barbara Silverman Hall for Molecular Therapeutics & Diagnostics, under construction now, which will employ 245 faculty, staff and research assistants.
Like Neurontin (gabapentin), Lyrica (Pregablin) is an anti-epilepsy drug (AED) that modulates calcium channels to dampen the excitability of nerve endings. And, like Neurontin which made $3 billion a year from unapproved uses like pain, bipolar disorder, attention deficit disorder and restless legs syndrome, Pfizer has high hopes for Lyrica’s “crossover appeal.”
Lyrica was approved in 2006 for partial onset seizures and nerve pain associated with diabetes and shingles. But the FDA’s approval of Lyrica as the first drug for fibromyalgia in 2007 is what kicked sales up 37 percent in the third quarter to $465 million.
Fibromyalgia, with no clear cause, blood test, definition or cure “is almost a textbook definition of an unmet medical need,” enthused Pfizer VP Ian Read in a conference call to analysts when the drug first launched.
Datamonitor predicts the fibromyalgia market can be “grown” from $400 million to $2 billion thanks to all the people who do not know they have it yet.
And even before the name Lyrica appeared, Pfizer’s initial “unbranded” campaign of public service announcements (PSAs) in conjunction with the National Fibromyalgia Association that featured people describing their symptoms and hawking the web site www.fibrohope.org laid the groundwork for massive sales of Lyrica, once FDA approved.
(Think Merck’s “unbranded” HPV awareness campaign that preceded the vaccine Gardasil’s FDA approval)
Despite a temporary Lyrica scare in 2001 when Pfizer had to freeze patient trials because mice developed cancerous tumors–luckily for Pfizer, rats did not-Lyrica was well received by the “medical community”.
Except the “medical community” was made up of Pfizer paid mouthpieces.
“Well tolerated,” said Pfizer paid doctors in Arthritis and Rheumatism in 2005.
“Proven efficacy” and “No new adverse events,” said Pfizer paid doctors in Drugs of Today in 2005 and 2007.
And, “Durability of effect for relieving FM pain,” said Pfizer paid doctors in the journal Pain in 2008.
Actual Lyrica users were less overenthusiastic, reporting memory loss, mental confusion, extreme weight gain, hair loss, impaired driving, disorientation, twitching and even two deaths reported on the website askapatient.com. The FDA added suicide warnings to Lyrica and all AEDs in 2008.
Pfizer and other drug manufactures will be ratcheting up the “patient education” and awareness campaigns for fibromyalgia. But in doing so, they have been forced to admit that a primary causal factor in these symptoms is nerve interference. Otherwise, there would be no justification for prescribing nerve system depressants as a treatment for said symptoms.
As chiropractors, it is our duty to inform the public that there is an alternative to treating nerve interference with a drug that causes all of the above side effects including an increased likelihood of suicide.
As a chiropractor, you know that chemically suppressing nerve system function cannot possibly be wise. The drug does not selectively shut down only nerves transmitting pain signals. It depresses all nerve function to all tissue cells: brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, etc. These chemicals have the exact opposite objective as the chiropractic adjustment. Just imagine what the long term effects of these drugs will be. They effectively create a chemical subluxation of the entire nerve system.
The fact that the drug was possibly approved based on faked research and promoted via fake articles in medical journals presents a unique opportunity for the chiropractic community. We must take full advantage of the awareness campaigns for the “unmet medical need” Pfizer VP Ian Read is so excited about. But instead of a suicide inducing chemical, we offer life enhancing subluxation correction with the only side effect: clinically proven increased quality of life.
Of course, this can only be accomplished with a unified effort, chiropractors working together and pooling their resources to get the message out there. This is exactly the type of opportunity Chiropractic America’s YourSpine.com initiative was designed to capitalize on. Do your part by becoming a member today!
According to a survey by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, just 12 percent of the nation’s 228 million adults have the skills to manage their own health care proficiently. Nearly 22 percent of those surveyed had just a basic understanding of medical treatments and 14 percent could only accomplish the most rudimentary tasks, such as understanding a short set of treatment instructions.
This should come as no surprise if what we call “health care” is a complex web of powerful chemicals, elaborate tests and billions of dollars in marketing and public relations with the overarching purpose of convincing every American that they suffer from a multitude of “conditions” that require these very expensive chemicals and tests.
However, the chiropractic model of health care is far easier to grasp. Any literate adult should be able to understand that the central nervous system regulates all cellular function in the the body. The brain is protected by the skull. The brain stem, spinal cord and nerve roots are protected my the bones of the spine. Care and maintenance of this vital system, through chiropractic care, is a firm foundation on which one can lay all five of the basic tenets of achieving and maintaining health:
- Consume a diet of nutrient rich, unprocessed foods and clean, pure water.
- Minimize emotional, physical and chemical stress on the body.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get adequate, restful sleep.
- Pro-actively maintain the structural integrity of the central nerve system.
Unfortunately, one of the greatest hindrances to achieving health is the current medical model. The pharmaceutical/medical industry is second only to the food industry in terms of destruction of the health of individuals.
Many seem to have forgotten that the human body is capable of healing itself of any “disease” known to man. The body is a community of 70 trillion cells, working in harmony to sustain life. When we remove the impediments (poor nutrition, poor nerve supply, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, physical, chemical and emotional stresses), the body moves away from disease and toward health. This is the ” wellness” model that everyone is talking about, yet no one has yet adequately defined in the mind of the health care consumer.
Chiropractic care offers the firm foundation on which to build a true wellness model of health care. Chiropractors have been outspoken opponents of the overuse of drugs and critical of the medical model for 113 years. The foundational concept of the current medical model, that a medical doctor can ask someone to describe their symptoms and then select a chemical from the thousands available to “treat” those symptoms, is misguided.
This fundamental flaw in the medical paradigm is at the very core of much of the teachings on which chiropractic was founded. The fact that this flawed model is beyond the comprehension of most individuals is not surprising and should be considered a blessing.
The intelligence in the human body that transforms 2 cells into a perfectly formed human in 280 days is far superior to anything yet created by man. The human body needs nothing more than what is described above to produce perfect new cells to replace those cells that the body naturally purges every second of every day. The same power that made the body can heal the body of any challenge that presents itself, as long as the interference from outside (that which is not under the body’s control) is not greater than the body’s natural inclination toward health and survival, bolstered and supported by following the five tenets referenced above.
This is something that anyone can understand. They just need to hear it. Over and over and over again.