article archive

April 2006

The last frontier

by Dr. Kevin Pallis and Dr. Ed Plentz

With so much technological development in all areas of life, we wonder as chiropractors if our spirit ‑‑ individually and as a society ‑‑ has kept pace with this progress. Sadly, as chiropractic warriors, we feel a void and a sinking feeling in our guts that says this is not the case. We're in a position to turn things around on a global level, but only if we have the courage to deliver a message that's different and foreign to a society rooted in disease and symptoms. We must carry out our vision before the world gobbles up the spirit of chiropractic.

Recently, I was placed first hand in the nightmare that every parent dreads. Your child's been injured and you must seek emergency medical help. In these situations, you're thrust into a system where you're just a number. We were outsiders to a system that celebrates illness. Who's your pediatrician? We don't have one. Medications and allergies? We don't participate. We got ugly, negative, incredulous looks for being outsiders like we were degenerates or criminals.

Looking around the waiting room, I noticed dozens of children suffering from long standing illnesses. Every one of them had chronic challenges that had not to this point been addressed. Asthma, seizures, diabetes, mental retardation, behavior problems, violence. Health and wellness were nowhere to be found. There were even clowns trying to cheer children up saying it's ok to be sick, admonishing them to come back and see them soon. What a message to be sending to these children.

Not one of the parents in the room had an idea of what health is. 90% of the children waiting to be seen were non‑traumatic in nature. Not one person's life had been touched by a family chiropractor. When my daughter was injured, we called many plastic surgeons all over Boston and heard the same message ‑‑ unless you're interested in breast augmentation, reduction or liposuction, we aren't interested in you. When we asked who we should go to for reconstructive plastic surgery, nobody seemed to know or even care. Where was the spirit in these people?

We got to the hospital, where children are a priority, and were told there was a plastic surgeon on call. We waited our three hours and were then seen by a very young, awkward, emergency room doctor with noticeably low personal power. He introduced himself as Charlie and proceeded to examine my daughter. He then started into her shot history. He was horrified that she was not up to date with her immunizations. If fact, he was amazed that she had even survived for all these years without them. He was also very concerned about her not being in the database for tracking and identifying children via immunizations.

Finally, the plastic surgeon was consulted. She entered the room and was clearly the queen of the ER. As cold as Montana in February, she knew she was the only game in town and wasn't interested in making an emotional connection with anyone. She was clearly interested in doing her job and nothing else. She was completing her residency and going on to bigger and better things as in starting a private practice for breast augmentation and liposuction. She boldly stated my daughter had a 50% chance of being infected. I asked her with such a belief in sickness, why bother with antibiotics? She insisted that even with antibiotics it would still get infected. What a negative way to view the world.

The purpose of sharing this story with you is to inform you that the origin and foundation of plastic surgery was for reconstructive care. Accidents, burns, congenital disfigurements were their domain. Now, because of economic enticement and social pressure, plastic surgeons have given up their identity and philosophy to become what society wants them to be: puppets of illusionary beauty, magicians who mistake magic tricks for the spirit that resides within.

Would it be an exaggeration to call family DCs the last real doctors on earth? We are educators and communicators of a new concept in health, not salespeople, physical therapists, spa owners and marketers. Patients are literally dying to meet you. Yet, many in our profession want to go the way of the osteopaths and plastic surgeons to a cold, antiseptic, veneer of humanity that is disguised as health but that is in reality a fiscal process of self‑gain.

We can't overlay chiropractic with a business plan. It doesn't work. We have the passion, courage and desire to help humanity with chiropractic. We are not CPAs, MDs, lawyers or plastic surgeons. We must fervently guard our identity and not allow it to be sold, borrowed or taken from us.

(The New Renaissance is a movement of passionate chiropractors dedicated to changing the world. The leader in patient education since 1977, the Mentor IV Coaching Program is a step‑by‑step navigational guide that embodies the very essence of The New Renaissance vision of healthier people creating a healthier world. Without patient education, your patients won't "get it." To learn more about The New Renaissance, contact world headquarters at 800‑525‑3879.)