Cover Stories

Second Generation Chiropractor in the Trenches for Broad-Based Education
Cover Stories
Written by TAC Staff   
Sunday, 25 April 2010 00:00 Richard G. Brassard was appointed president of Texas Chiropractic College (TCC) in 2004, following several years of association with TCC as a member and chairman of the Board of Regents. He is a 1965 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, following in the footsteps of his late father, Dr. Jerry Brassard. He is licensed to practice in both Texas and New Hampshire. Prior to his appointment as TCC president, Dr. Brassard maintained a private practice for 36 years in Beaumont, Texas.

Dr. Brassard is a past president of the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), serving in that capacity from September 2005 to September 2007, as well as a former president of the Texas Chiropractic Association (TCA) and the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Additionally, he is a diplomat of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractic (honorary), and a fellow of the American College of Chiropractors (honorary).

In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC) magazine, Dr. Richard G. Brassard (Brassard) tells us about education based on science.

TAC: Dr. Brassard, could you tell our readers some of the exciting things that TCC has been experiencing?

Brassard: There is a lot of activity and excitement around campus these days. We completed the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) reaffirmation of accreditation process just this past December after our Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) had been accepted without recommendation, an achievement of which we are quite proud. We ran the pilot program for our Quality Enhancement Plan, which is titled "From Student to Clinician: Enhancing Clinical Reasoning Across the Curriculum," the past two trimesters, and this spring have begun full implementation into our academic program.

As a part of the QEP implementation, and in conjunction with our faculty’s research on establishing a "blue print" of the TCC graduate of the future, we have been expanding the ranks of our faculty. We have welcomed many new members to our family, including Dr. Rahim Karim, our new Dean of Clinics. I have great expectations regarding his abilities to enhance the clinic experience for our students as well as to further strengthen our Hospital Rotation program.

I am also excited to welcome to the Texas Chiropractic College family Dr. Diane Resnick and Dr. Shari Wynd from Southern California University of Health Sciences, and Dr. Nancy Wills from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. In addition to their teaching duties, these professors will be leading and expanding research activities at the College.

TAC: So, could you tell us a bit of your background in chiropractic?

Brassard: I am very proud of my long affiliations and involvement with the national and state associations which lead, promote, and protect the chiropractic profession. It has been an honor for me to serve as the president of the American Chiropractic Association, the Texas Chiropractic Association and the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Prior to being named the president of TCC, I served on the Board of Regents, including a rotation as the Chairman. In 1991, I was honored when the TCA presented to me the Keeler Plaque as the Chiropractor of the Year for Texas.

I am a second-generation chiropractor. My late father, Dr. Jerry Brassard, offered me, and the chiropractic profession, tremendous guidance during his years in practice and through his many leadership positions with the ACA. While my brother, as a lawyer, did not join me in following in Dad’s footsteps, I do have two sisters-in-law who are chiropractors in Ohio. Do you have a thought on the healthcare reform debate taking place currently? 

Brassard: We have concerns with some possible outcomes of the health care debate; however, I’m very optimistic that there is an opportunity that we can pursue through this debate. Whether furthering friendships or further enhancing chiropractic within other aspects of the political spectrum, there are opportunities for chiropractic to capitalize on. I’m glad the conversations are taking place; it’s something we all need to keep a close watch on.

TAC: How do you view the relationship between chiropractic and the medical establishment?

Brassard: I think the relationship is continuing to grow and develop in positive ways. Now when our students graduate, they are often seeking positions in integrated practices that include medical doctors and physical therapists. Along those same lines, we are seeing MD’s looking for DC students with experience in our Hospital Rotation program. Those doctors are realizing, and embracing, the fact that having chiropractors on their teams (with the specialized care that trained DC’s bring to the table) can improve the lives of their patients.

This development is, in part, why we are always striving to enhance and expand our Rotation program. In September 2008, we entered into an agreement with the Rice University Athletics Department to help treat their NCAA Division I student athletes. Now in its second year, we have had many positive responses from the coaches and athletes there, and the experience attained by our students is tremendous. I want to thank the folks at Rice for choosing to work with us.

We have also just begun to work with a local alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. Although this program is still in its infancy, I truly believe that the chiropractic care offered by TCC student interns from our Moody Health Center will be a great benefit to these patients trying to better their lives.

TAC: What are the techniques taught to your students?

Brassard: We teach a variety of techniques without giving credence to one over another. We try to give our students a solid foundation in a variety of techniques so that, as they themselves grow in experience and confidence, they can then determine what may work best for them. Also, by giving them a broad-based foundation, I believe that our graduates will be better prepared to help their patients if a specific technique proves less effective.

When I was in practice myself, I would, on occasion, have a patient that didn’t respond to treatment, so I would send them to a practitioner of a technique that I didn’t use, but which I thought might work better for them. If the patient got well because of the other technique, that’s what was important—the patient got well. Other practitioners did the same and it always benefitted the patient.

As we learn to work together as a health care team, we also must work together as chiropractic professionals. Chiropractors and other medical practitioners must work well together. We don’t want to just integrate the practices of chiropractic and medicine; we want to integrate the further utilization of our colleagues as well.

TAC: What is the most unique aspect of being a student at Texas Chiropractic College? 

Brassard: I think the sense of family that develops here makes the TCC experience unique for students. Speaking personally, my door is always open to our students. I try to always be available to talk to them, share different techniques with them. When the Harris Administration building was being designed, the President’s Suite included an adjusting room which gets a lot of use by our interns and doctors. This open door policy is true for the faculty and staff at TCC. I gain great pleasure when I hear our students at commencement publicly laud so many members of our faculty and the support that they provided.

And while it may not be unique to TCC, we stress to our students the necessity of their involvement in the profession’s associations. It’s important for them to keep building the chiropractic profession through these organizations, whether on the local, state or national levels. I take great pride when I attend NCLC and see not just TCC students, but representatives from so many chiropractic colleges working together for the future of chiropractic.

TAC: Any thoughts on the overall importance of postgraduate education and what TCC’s department is up to?

Brassard: : Our postgraduate office is consistently trying to provide everything that chiropractors need to be successful, especially with the constantly changing laws and marketplace. They are constantly changing course offerings as needed and looking for new learning opportunities for our alumni and the professional community, including the addition of some webinars. The goal of our postgraduate office is not just to help DC’s maintain their licensure, but to provide the best opportunity for chiropractors to enhance their practices.

TAC: Any final thoughts or words for our readers?

Brassard: TCC is continually striving to provide a great chiropractic education for the sons and daughters of our alumni and many others, an education based solidly in the sciences. Also, many people may not realize that TCC has a large Board of Regents, with individuals from diverse professional backgrounds. This size and diversity provides us with a broad spectrum of advice and leadership from lawyers, MD’s, bankers, educators, etc., as well as other chiropractors.

I would encourage any prospective chiropractic student to visit our campus and see for themselves the great educational opportunities and challenges that await them each day in our classrooms, our student organizations, and our community. TCC really is the future of healthcare!


Visit for more information on TCC or call 1-281-487-1170.

Principles of a Sports Medicine Practice
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Cover Stories
Written by Jack Dolbin, D.C.   
Monday, 25 January 2010 00:00

In the fall of 1993, I was attending a Villanova versus Northeastern University football game. My son was a red shirt freshman wide out and me, a retired NFL veteran. We sat together as spectators, dissecting the game and the individual player performances. In events that would decide the game, the Villanova field goal kicker, Frank Venezia, missed two very makeable field goals. He pushed them off to the right and short. I told my son he missed them because he was locked up in his lumbar spine and could not rotate around the axis of rotation, the transverse plane. As a result, Villanova lost the game. following Monday, I was treating patients when my secretary paged me and asked if I could speak to Andy Talley. I recognized the name as the head football coach at Villanova. Seems my son went to the coach and relayed my thoughts on why Frank missed those field goals. Coach Talley asked if I could come down the next day and evaluate Frank and see if I could possibly correct the problem. I agreed to take the afternoon off the next day and drive the 87 miles to the University to see Frank. I did a basic chiropractic biomechanical exam, including the kinetic chain, and made the appropriate corrections. The next day Coach Talley called again. Seems Frank, in practice after my treatments, was pounding home 50 yarders. Coach Talley asked if I could come down again Thursday. I treated Frank again and then adjusted him before the Delaware game on the trainer’s table that Saturday. In the game against their arch rival Delaware, Frank kicked two 53 yard field goals to set a new school record. Villanova won the game. The following Monday, the Villanova trainer, Dan Unger, called and asked if I could, again, come down Tuesday. I agreed and rescheduled my afternoon patients. When I arrived at the training room there were eleven athletes, including two swimmers, with various conditions wishing to see me. Thus began a ten year relationship with some of the finest athletes, coaches, team doctors and trainers in sports. The following year,Villanova University put me on retainer and a fee for service plan that was quite generous. The schedule was demanding, trying to run a practice and still be at every game and two days a week in the training room. But, I hired an associate to help keep the ship afloat at home and, over the years, I was responsible for over 500 student athletes in 23 varsity, division 1 sports, some of whom went on to the Olympics, NBA, and NFL, including my son.

Since that time, I have been involved with the University of Maryland, the Pan American weight lifting competition, local high schools, and various athletes, including Steffi Graff. These athletes have come to learn that they perform better, are less susceptible to injury and heal faster from injury when their body is free from factors that inhibit motion, inhibit normal blood flow, and allow for normal proprioceptive input.

I want to focus on some foundational principles and how chiropractic addresses them from a performance enhancement, injury prevention, and therapeutic stand point.

Two of those principles simply stated are:

1. The body moves in circular planes.
2. Sports are linear.

This seemingly contradictory principle is one key to our understanding of sports performance and injury prevention. The process of taking circular motion to create linear velocity involves the progressive engagement of the entire kinetic chain and sequential firing of the muscles in a coordinated pattern.

Let us look at a few examples; a baseball pitcher or a football quarterback in the performance of their respective activity must involve the progressive engagement of the kinetic chain in circular planes to affect the velocity of the ball in the linear plane. If there is a motion deficit at any level from the talus in the push off phase, the lumbar spine in the rotary flexion/extension phase, the glenohumeral and scapular interaction in the respective planes of motion, the velocity will be compromised and, as the athlete tries to compensate, injury will occur and performance will decline.

The golfer must create club head speed to cause the ball to go in a linear direction. This involves the various joints, especially the low back, to take circular motion to create linear velocity. If he is unable to rotate around the transverse axis in the pelvis, he cannot achieve the necessary elements of his sport to the maximum degree. He then compensates by swinging harder, causing form breaks, poor performance, and possibly injury. Studies show that low back and pelvic adjustments improve the range of motion in all planes. Does it make sense that a chiropractor could be a great asset in this sport? Tiger Woods thinks so, as does Johnny Damon, the great Yankee hitter, who convinced the World Champions to put a chiropractor on staff.

Consider the swimmer. Statistics tell us that 77% of swimmers will develop shoulder pain, usually rotator cuff or entrapment syndromes. But it is unilateral. If it were simply an overuse injury, it would be bilaterally, since swimmers use both arms equally. I found in my experience treating Villanova swimmers for shoulder injuries that most had a loss of motion in their low backs and segmental dysfunction in the lumbar spine, thus preventing the lumbar spine from laterally flexing and the latissiums dorsi from elongating. This, in turn, prevents the scapula from rotating in the frontal plane due to the attachment of the latissimus dorsi muscle on the inferior angle of the scapula and the subsequent overreaching at the glenohumeral joint, causing micro trauma in the rotator cuff tendons.  While this is elementary to a chiropractor, our medical counterparts choose only to look at the inflamed tendon and intervene at that level, whereas the chiropractor will clean up the motion deficits in the kinetic chain, recommend repetitive motion exercises to restore normal muscle and joint function, thus eliminating the cause of the injury and rehabilitating the injured tendon.5

Let’s now look at a third principle. All soft tissue injuries are caused by exceeding the tensile strength of the tissue.1,2 Consider, however, the intrinsic factors, primarily joint dysfunction, that predisposes the athlete to exceeding the tensile strength of the tissue. When a joint does not move or moves improperly, the connective tissue traversing that joint shortens, weakens and becomes dysfunctional, both in the support of the joint and the dynamic function of the joint.4 Studies have shown that improper proprioceptive afferents into the central nervous system (CNS) further disrupts coordinated motion patterns in the extremities. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to normalize joint motion, activate mechanoreceptors which impact the CNS in coordinated movements and restore normal joint stability, including the soft tissue traversing the joint. This, coupled with rehabilitation exercises to restore tensile strength and joint neurology, proprioceptive afferents, goes a long way in the prevention of overload injuries when detected before excessive stress occurs and enhancing the therapy post injury.3 Remember, all therapy speeds up, slows down or modifies the natural healing process. In the acute phase, we want to slow down the inflammatory process; in the healing phase, we want to speed up the process; and in the rehabilitation, we want to modify the process. Apart from motion, joints and soft tissues heal improperly and normal function is lost.4 Statistically, an improperly rehabilitated ankle sprain has an 80% chance of causing an injury farther up in the kinetic chain, most commonly the groin.6,7

To have a successful sports medicine practice at any level, from the child athlete to the professional, to the weekend warrior, knowledge of the basic biomechanical factors of sports performance and pathophysiology are essential. Beyond that, especially at the high school or club sport level where you may be required to do sideline or on the field evaluations, an advanced  knowledge of things like concussions, when to transport, and play-no-play decisions require the chiropractor to get training beyond our basic chiropractic education. Dealing with the female athlete and the child athlete requires one to have unique insight into the different problems presented by these population groups. Finally, a thorough understanding of the role of exercise and resistance training, as it relates to performance and injury prevention, is a real asset to any chiropractor wanting to develop a sports medicine practice.

The chiropractic profession has come a long way since Drs. Leonard Schroeder, James Ransom, Bill Womer and others started the Council on Sports Injuries. We owe a great debt to those pioneers. Now it is our great opportunity to move the profession into the forefront of the sports medicine world. Along with this opportunity, we must realize an even greater responsibility to represent our profession with the utmost integrity and professionalism.


Dr. Jack Dolbin is a 1977 Graduate of the National College of Chiropractic. He did his undergraduate work at Wake Forest University, where he was an All ACC running back and leading scorer on the track team.  He started 67 consecutive games at wide receiver for the NFL Denver Broncos between 1975 and 1980, including Super Bowl XII, where he was the leading Bronco receiver. He was named most valuable player in 5 NFL games. Dr. Dolbin is the owner of Pottsville Sports and Rehabilitation Center, a multi discipline practice, employing chiropractors, physical therapists, and exercise physiologists. He served on the staff of Villanova University sports medicine team from 1993 until 2003. Call 1-570-622-7291 for more information.


Principles of a Sports Medicine Practice—by Jack Dolbin, D.C. (pg. 18-19)
1. Leadbetter, MD. Clinics in Sports Med 1995; 14(2):353-410
2. Kibler, MD. Clinics in Sports Med 1995; 14(2): 447-457
3. Seaman, DC, MS Top Clin Chiro 1997;4(1) March vi-viii
4. Nelson, DC. Top Clin Chiro 1994;1:20-29
5. Herring, MD. Med & Science in Sports and Exercise 1990; 22(4) 453-456
6. Weisel, MD. Backlete 1997; 12 (5): 57
7. Kibler, MD. Sports Induced Inflammation 1990; 759-769
Advances in Sports Chiropractic from the Olympic Athlete to the Weekend Warrior—Class IV Deep Tissue Laser Therapy
by Phillip Santiago, D.C. and Julie L. Scarano, D.C. (pg. 22)
1. Steinlechner C, Dyson M, Laser therapy 1993; 5 (2): 65-74
2. Friedman, H., et al.  J Photochem Photobiol B Biol 1991: 11 87 – 95.
Recognizing Drug Induced Nutrient Depletion in Chiropractic Practice
by James B. LaValle, R.Ph., M.S., N.D., C.C.N. (pg. 26-27)
6.  Gau JT, Heh V, Acharya U, Yang YX, Kao TC. Uses of proton pump inhibitors and serum potassium levels. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2009 Sep;18(9):865-71.
7.  De Groote D, d'Hauterive SP, Pintiaux A, Balteau B, Gerday C, Claesen J, Foidart JM. Effects of oral contraception with ethinylestradiol and drospirenone on oxidative stress in women 18-35 years old. 1: Contraception. 2009 Aug;80(2):187-93. Epub 2009 Apr 22.
8.  Pincemail J, Vanbelle S, Gaspard U, Collette G, Haleng J, Cheramy-Bien JP, Charlier C, Chapelle JP, Giet D, Albert A, Limet R, Defraigne JO. Effect of different contraceptive methods on the oxidative stress status in women aged 40 48 years from the ELAN study in the province of Liege, Belgium. Hum Reprod. 2007 Aug;22(8):2335-43. Epub 2007 Jun 20.

Instrument Adjusting Panel
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Cover Stories
Written by TAC Staff   
Friday, 25 December 2009 00:00

• Activator Adjusting Instrument • Impac’s Pro-ArthoStim
• Neuromechanical Innovations’ Impulse® and Impulse iQ® • Sense Technology’s PulStar

So many great adjusting instruments out there, but who’s got the time to figure out which one is right for them, right? Well, as always, we here at The American Chiropractor Magazine know exactly what you are looking for. We went ahead and contacted the marketing department of four of the most popular adjusting instruments in the Chiropractic Profession. We asked each of them one simple question, that each were happy to answer, although a little upset in the space constraint that we gave them, as each was happy to talk for pages on the topic: What is the one factor that differentiates the instrument you represent from the others in the market? Please read what each of them had to say.

Activator Adjusting Instrument Methods International has been providing chiropractic care, resources and training since 1967. Established on the principles of clinical research, the company’s major contribution to chiropractic care is the discovery and development of the Activator Method Chiropractic Technique and the associated Activator Adjusting Instrument. Activator Methods was co-founded by Arlan W. Fuhr, DC, who serves as the company’s CEO. Activator Methods International; 2950 N. 7th Street, Suite 200; Phoenix, AZ 85014; 1-800-598-0224;


Activator Methods: Over the past four decades, the Activator Method has grown to become the world’s number one instrument adjusting technique for chiropractors. The mainstay of this gentle, low-force technique is the Activator Adjusting Instrument, which is supported by extensive research, provides unparalleled reliability and produces positive results for patients.

Why is the Activator Adjusting Instrument the superior option for chiropractors worldwide? Unlike other chiropractic adjusting instruments, the patented design and engineering of the Activator has been proven effective through clinical trials, as evidenced in numerous published papers.

The Activator Adjusting Instrument is made of quality, sturdy materials, including stainless steel, and is covered by a one-year warranty, the best in the industry. And Activator Methods also provides product liability coverage for doctors who use the Activator Adjusting Instrument.

The Activator Adjusting Instrument is available in several models, to suit the varying needs of every chiropractor. The Activator II is ideal for the newer doctor who is recently trained on the Activator Method. This instrument is constructed of stainless steel exclusively and has variable settings, ranging in force from 11 pounds for pediatric care to 28 pounds for adults. The Activator II is available in both regular grip and EZ grip models for ergonomic comfort.

The Activator IV, developed for the more advanced chiropractic physician, is constructed of lightweight materials with special ergonomic handles. The range-of-force settings offer great flexibility, with 16 pounds to 38 pounds of thrust. The Activator IV’s ratchet setting also ensures exact force from each setting. The most unique feature of this instrument is its five pound preload capability that automatically tells you when to stop pressing on the patient before an adjustment.

Regardless of which Activator Adjusting Instrument chiropractic physicians choose, they can rest assured that they will be using a highly-developed instrument and one that will, no doubt, bring much needed relief to patients.

For more information about the Activator Adjusting Instrument, visit


Impac’s Pro-ArthoStim Inc. began producing high quality instruments for the chiropractic profession in 1982. Their product line has continued to expand and evolve over the last 27 years. Their ArthroStim® and VibraCussor® instruments are currently used in many thousands of private clinics worldwide and they are an integral component of many somatic techniques. Impac Inc. designs and manufactures all of their instruments onsite, in the USA. This enables them to provide rigorous quality control and helps to ensure availability of the instruments. They are able to provide custom manufacturing services to enhance a specific technique approach and to facilitate research. Call 1-800-569-8624 or visit


Impac: Some would answer that because the Pro-ArthroStim has a number of patents, and some pending, that this alone makes it unique. Among the many innovations of the Pro-ArthroStim, one of the favorite ones that doctors appreciate is the Pro-ArthroStim’s intuitive "tactile sense thrusting technology". This technology is designed to mimic a "hands-on" feel and action that most practitioners are accustomed to. It allows the doctor to sense changes in tissue and muscle tone directly through the instrument. The Pro-ArthroStim’s design also permits a practitioner to change the amount of thrusting force that is produced—without stopping to reset knobs, switches or software settings. For example, the thrusting force can be increased or decreased simply by changing the amount of set-up/pre-load pressure that is applied—like manual adjusting.

The Pro-ArthroStim’s unmatched adaptability permits a practitioner to remain in control of the adjusting process-as opposed to being overruled by a machine or computer.* A practitioner can instantly customize the thrust dynamics to meet the needs of each individual patient. Most importantly, the ability to readily control the thrust dynamics allows a practitioner to transfer clinical skills they have accumulated from prior hands-on experience and apply them via the Pro-ArthroStim instrument.

The Pro-ArthroStim instrument generates a spring-cushioned recoiling thrust—rather than a "hammer-anvil" type thrust, which is used by other adjusting instruments. The Pro-ArthroStim also comes with a full cushion grip handle and an exclusive "comfort-trigger" feature. These features minimize the amount of force transferred back into the practitioner’s hands. When combined with the instrument’s ergonomic design, these features make the Pro-ArthroStim the most comfortable multiple thrusting instrument in the market place. Additionally, the Pro-ArthroStim offers the widest selection of tips in the industry. The wide variety of tips enables practitioners to apply the Pro-ArthroStim instrument in a broad range of protocols.

The Pro-ArthroStim instrument also comes with an extended 4 year warranty and a quarter-year long, money-back satisfaction guarantee. IMPAC is able to back-up the Pro- ArthroStim instrument with an unparalleled performance guarantee as a result of refining and manufacturing the instrument for more than 27 years.

*Other adjusting instruments limit a practitioner’s ability to freely determine the pre-load pressure and/or the thrusting force. Some instruments restrict a practitioner to just 2 or 3 force settings.

For more information, visit

Neuromechanical Innovations’ Impulse® and Impulse iQ® Innovations is a research-based medical device manufacturer of the patented, FDA registered, and UL listed, Impulse® family of chiropractic adjusting instruments, in use in over 5,000 chiropractic offices in every state in the USA and over 40 countries around the world. Neuromechanical provides educational training in Impulse Adjusting Technique® at more than 25 seminars each year in most major US cities and international hubs.

Contact: David Chubb, Director of Marketing, Neuromechanical Innovations, 101 S. Roosevelt Ave. Chandler, AZ 85226 USA, Tel. 1-480-785-8448, Fax. 1-480-785-3916, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,


Neuromechnical Innovations: "In God we trust, all others, bring data," is a fitting and illustrious quote from physicist and quality improvement pioneer W. Edwards Deming. Simply stated, the differentiating factor that makes the Impulse® and Impulse iQ® Adjusting Instruments so unique can be answered with one word: Research. Both Impulse® devices were prospectively born out of research to create the most efficient and effective chiropractic adjusting instruments in the industry.

To improve upon the traditional spring-loaded activation devices, the waveform of the Impulse Adjusting Instrument® was optimized to emulate the half-sine wave of a manual thrust—but 100x faster—producing more bone movement with less force (JMPT, 2005, 2006). Impulse® was then shown to produce a wider range of forces for clinicians to choose from and more vertebral motion during an adjustment in a follow-up study (JMPT, 2006). The multiple-thrust feature of Impulse® was also found to increase mobility by 25% over single thrusts (Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 2006). These features along with single and dual stylus’ and preload indication, with the affordable cost of Impulse® ($789) are responsible for its exponential growth in the chiropractic industry to 5,000 offices in the USA and over 40 countries around the world.

In studying how vertebrae moved, a gold-standard biomechanical assessment of actually placing steel pins into the spinous processes to measure spine motion was conducted, along with measuring neurophysiologic responses of adjustments. After tuning in what speeds, frequencies, and forces provided the most effective adjustments, a motion sensor was added to Impulse® which is connected to a computer microprocessor inside the instrument allowing spinal motions to be measured non-invasively. Impulse iQ® was born. We validated this technology to the gold-standard and published it in the August 15, 2009 issue of the orthopaedic journal, Spine. The Auto-Sense® technology of Impulse iQ® enables the adjustment to be tuned to the natural frequency of the individual segment in each patient while providing the clinician with biomechanical feedback about the body’s response to the treatment. As motion improves during the adjustment, the iQ’s Auto-Sense® technology recalibrates the adjustment frequency in real time to keep up with the patients new motion pattern and thrusting stops when motion has been maximized. This patented technology is a truly distinguishing feature from any other adjusting instrument available at any price point.

Neuromechanical Innovations is the first and only manufacturer or distributor of chiropractic adjusting instruments to receive the prestigious UL-Listing mark for the Impulse® family of adjusting instruments and is among few in the chiropractic industry with such designation.

For more information, visit

Find references online at


Sense Technology’s PulStar goal of Sense Technology and everyone associated with the Company is to provide instrumentation that will enable clinicians to provide patients with the most efficient and effective therapy possible while maximizing the number of patients that can be treated by the clinician. Sense Technology originated the computerized adjusting system known as the FRAS (Function Recording and Analysis System) and currently markets the latest state-of-the-art spinal analysis and adjustment system, the PulStar. Published research documents the reliability and efficiency of this affordable system. For more information on Pulstar call 800-628-9416 or visit


Sense Technology: When the PulStar adjusting head with automatic pre-load impulse mechanism (US Pat #4,841,955-1989) was introduced, it changed instrument adjusting forever. For the first time, the chiropractor could apply a measured and repeatable adjusting impulse to the patient. Although copied by others, this mechanism has been refined over the years and now automatically matches the force setting chosen for the adjustment.

In 1993, the precision controlled impulse was extended to analysis of the patient’s spine with Computerized Fixation Imaging™ a graphical pre- and post-adjustment display (US Pat # 5,662,122). This computerized system enables the control of analysis and adjustment through the computer screen or from the adjusting head and allows the patient and physician to see the results of the adjustment in real time. The full spine display ensures that problems between each area of the spine are dealt with effectively and the graphical record can be printed out for the patient and used to:


• document each patient visit

• obtain reimbursement

• enhance patient referrals


The PulStar has more rates and force levels available for adjusting and analyzing than any other system. The force of the impulse is settable from 5 pounds to 35 pounds. The rate of impulse application automatically adjusts to the severity of the spinal fixation during adjustment or can be set from 2 to 20 Hz at all force levels and to 90 Hz in the sweep mode.

Unlike systems that feature only one position, the PulStar adjustment can be made in the prone, sitting and standing positions and enhanced through positional adjusting where preloading the body is achieved with no stress on the chiropractor. The PulStar’s quiet adjustment is produced through a true impulse rather than an impact. Unique to the PulStar is the computer voice prompt at each phase of analysis and treatment allowing the chiropractor to focus on the patient rather than the computer screen.

The PulStar also includes a networked patient database which allows the chiropractor to access any patient file from any PulStar. Initial patient entry into the database is made at a front desk computer and effortlessly accessed from any adjusting station. The database contains patient demographics as well as parameters of adjustment including vertebrae adjusted, force setting and number of impulses used on each patient visit. The database interfaces with multiple independently developed documentation and billing systems giving the doctor more flexibility in their choice of EHR systems.

All-in-all, the PulStar represents a unique advance in instrument adjusting that is constantly being improved by a dedicated team of engineering and scientific professionals as well as many, many members of the chiropractic profession.

For more information, visit

The State of the Chiropractic Profession
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Cover Stories
Written by TAC Staff   
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 00:00

As The American Chiropractor celebrates its 30 Year Anniversary, our panel of leaders look back on just how far the chiropractic profession has come and what lies ahead.



Dr. Louis Sportelli
President of NCMIC

 Dr. Sportelli has served in many capacities throughout his 47-year career in chiropractic. He is currently serving as President of NCMIC Group Inc., which provides malpractice insurance and financial services to doctors of chiropractic. Another area of interest has been patient education, and he has written a book, Introduction to Chiropractic™, which is widely used by doctors of chiropractic across the world and is now in its 12th edition.



TAC: The past thirty years have been controversial for chiropractic. What would you say have been the milestones that have occurred and how have they impacted chiropractic?

There have been several that have happened in the past 30 years. A few years earlier than 1979, the most significant achievement occurred and that was the recognition of CCE by the United States Department of Education. That single event changed the entire educational process for the profession, established one standard, provided loans for prospective students and removed a stigma from the profession that chiropractic education was inferior. Following that event, the long awaited success of the Wilk v AMA litigation, which essentially provided information from the legal discovery process which enabled the profession to fully understand the events of the past and pave the way for future advancement based on the AMA conspiracy. Then, the starting of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) in 1988, the AHCPR recognition of spinal manipulation and the most current accomplishment with the publication of the proceedings of the Bone and Joint Decade–Neck Pain Task Force, which was the most comprehensive research consortium ever assembled from around the world. The significance of that research and scientific collaboration has yet to be fully realized. These events have continued and will continue to change the public, private and professional view of chiropractic.

TAC: What is the most pressing issue of the moment for the profession?

Without question, The Health Care Reform, and whether or not chiropractic will be included and in what fashion. This new health care model will change the direction of chiropractic availability for decades. This issue is far more difficult to expound upon because no one knows precisely where the debate will take us and upon what the reform will focus. Without a doubt, however, the health care debate will provide the most significant challenge to the profession ever.


Dr. James Winterstein
President of National University Health Sciences

 Dr. James Winterstein is a 1968 graduate of National University of Health Sciences. He completed his residency in diagnostic imaging in 1970 and became a diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology in May of 1970. Dr. Winterstein has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of Illinois Independent Colleges and Universities for the past 18 years and also serves as a board member for Alternative Medicine Integrated Inc.



TAC: What would you say was the largest missed opportunity for Chiropractic?

During the past 30 years, the chiropractic profession, which prior to 1970, saw itself and practiced as a diagnostically, therapeutically conservative primary care profession, had the opportunity to demonstrate its potential as a source of conservative primary care providers–the necessity for which has become very clear in the past several years, as the deficiency of primary care providers becomes ever more evident. Unfortunately, the chiropractic profession chose to restrict itself almost completely to musculoskeletal disorders, primarily because of reimbursement opportunities provided by the insurance industry during the 80’s and 90’s. It sold its true value for the sake of increased income. As this took place, the third party payer industry took note through its actuaries and, gradually but consistently, contained and further restrained the chiropractic profession, by virtue of its own profile of practice to limited musculoskeletal therapeutics. The missed opportunity has resulted in a boxed in profession and, except for some small future opportunities, it might well never recover from this error of professional judgment.

TAC: What, in your opinion, was the most significant event that unfolded in the past 30 years?

The most significant event to have unfolded in the past 30 years was the development of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, which, until recently, was the only peer reviewed and fully indexed scientific journal of the profession. Prior to this, the development of educational accreditation by the Council of Chiropractic Education as a true watershed event. Also of true significance for the profession has been the development and federal funding of basic and clinical research at a high level of scientific attainment. These three accomplishments, which actually cover the period from 1974 to the present, are, in my estimation of greatest significance to the development and recognition of the chiropractic profession.


Dr. Joseph Brimhall
President of Western States Chiropractic College

 Joseph Brimhall, D.C., President of Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Oregon, since 2003, was in private practice for twenty-two years. He has extensive experience in regulation, professional testing, chiropractic accreditation (national and international), and regional accreditation. Dr. Brimhall was CCE President, CCE-COA Chairman, and is President-Elect of CCEI.



TAC: What has been the single biggest deterrent to unity within the profession?

The question, itself, reveals the restraint—the perception that the profession lacks unity may actually be the principal dilemma. Second to that quandary is the illusory notion that somehow "unity" is a necessary or desirable attribute for the profession.

The chiropractic profession is unified where it counts, with recognized educational requirements, dependable evaluation processes, professional licensure and regulation in jurisdictions around the world, and strong ethical values. Yes, we disagree about practice scope and philosophy and techniques and many other things. We have a variable mixture of attitudes and a broad dissimilarity of professional philosophies. Is that a bad thing, or is the diversity of thought a strength?

My view is that the range and assortment of clinical and philosophical approaches is an asset—that we benefit from having multiple views and opinions, because it forces us to persistently assess and evaluate our direction and our values. I’m not talking about those that use the profession for unethical purposes—we need to continue to weed those elements out in order to protect our patients and our professional integrity. However, I believe that honest disagreements provide grist for the mill in advancing the profession. Otherwise, we become a profession of homogenous zombies that are unable to make new discoveries or adapt to changing environments.

Our disagreements need to continue as great debates. As changes occur and health care evolves, we can discover our direction and our identity only through open dialogue, mindful deliberation, and decisive action.

It is not the lack of unity that binds us; it is the failure to engage. A critical majority of the profession is willing to simply sit on the side-line and observe, too lazy or too afraid to take a stand and work for the greater good. If we expect the profession to develop and thrive, we need to be willing to ask the difficult questions, to fight for what we believe in, and to grapple with our differences until we find accord. This is a continuous and necessary pattern. If we expect to grow, the process must repeat itself over and over. There is no easy path to success, and advancement of the profession cannot be accomplished by spectators.


Dr. Gerry Clum
President of Life Chiropractic College West

 Gerard W. Clum, D.C., is president of Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, California, and is the most senior chiropractic college president in the world today. He will begin his 30th year as president of Life West in January 2010. He has served in the leadership of the ICA, ACC, WFC and the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.



TAC: What is the Most Pressing Issue of the Moment for the Profession?

Perspective. We are in a moment of great fluidity in our culture. Further, we are in a moment where the focus of this fluidity has the potential to greatly impact our circumstances.

I am not naïve. I understand there is a great deal at stake in the current discussions regarding health reform. But I also understand that this focus on health reform has brought conversations forward that would have been hard for us to imagine months ago. When the President of the United States predicates a dialogue about health care reform with the premise that we do NOT have a health care system, we have a sickness care system, something we have longed for has arrived. When policy makers and pundits alike agree that health care reform will not reform health, something we have longed for has arrived. When the great "answer" for health reform is not big pharma, but clean living, something we have longed for has arrived.

If we can gain a perspective on how the thinking of large and powerful portions of society is aligning with our viewpoints and understandings, we can begin to further appreciate how the firmament is being prepared for a transition that will be far more welcoming to our practices than we ever dreamed possible.

Joseph Campbell was fond of remarking that, to change a culture, one must first change the metaphor of the culture. The metaphors of health and health care have changed and the culture is changing accordingly. The culture wants and needs a new model of health care—and we are in remarkable alignment with what they are seeking.

Our task today is to gain a broader view of our world and its directions and express our views in language and metaphors that are consistent and synchronous with their view, so that we may be more easily heard and more fully appreciated for our contribution. We are on target. We do not need to change our path. Rather, we need to appreciate the alignment of the hearts and minds of our society with our thoughts and practices. Dr. Sid Williams often quoted Columbus’ log, "Today, we sailed due West, because it was our course." Stay the course, but do so in the language and with the cultural understandings of the day.


Dr. Scott Haldeman
Chairman of the Research Council of the World Federation
of Chiropractic.

hadelmanScott Haldeman, D.C., M.D., Ph.D., is a Clinical Professor of the Department of Neurology, UC, Irvine; Adjunct Professor of the Department of Epidemiology, UCLA; and Past President of the North American Spine Society and the American Back Society. He is chairman of the Research Council of the World Federation of Chiropractic. He has published over 185 articles or book chapters and has authored or edited 7 books.



TAC: What are the challenges that face the chiropractic profession in the 21st century, in the next decade, and beyond? How could the growth and progress of chiropractic be advanced or stymied during this time period?

The past 20 years has seen a marked increase in the amount of research into the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders associated with the spine, especially back and neck pain. The therapeutic benefit of spinal manipulation for back and neck pain is no longer seriously questioned and there are growing research efforts to look into the impact of this treatment approach on other conditions.

The research support for spinal manipulation has resulted in the situation where chiropractors are generally accepted as valuable members of the health care team. The acceptance of chiropractic has resulted in a debate within the profession concerning the future role it wishes to play within this team. The potential future roles for chiropractors include 1) a limited practice to that of a skilled practitioner of spinal manipulation; 2) a wellness/holistic clinician focusing on preventative health care therapies; or 3) the primary spine care clinician.

Recent publication of the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders and a special issue of The Spine Journal on Evidence Informed Management of Chronic Low Back Pain emphasized the fact that many of the treatments that have been demonstrated to be effective in the management of back and neck pain, such as exercise, education, mobilization, manipulation and NSAID’s, are neither high tech nor expensive and could easily be offered by chiropractors.

The position that offers the greatest opportunity for chiropractors is that of primary spine care clinician. This position assumes that the chiropractor will become the most knowledgeable clinician in the field. A decision to strive for this role in the health care system will require a change in the culture of the profession. Practicing chiropractors will be expected to attend the major chiropractic research meetings, such as the World Federation of Chiropractic and the RAC conferences. They will have to participate in greater numbers in the inter-professional spine research meetings, such as the North American Spine Society Congress. They will also be required to subscribe to and read the major spine journals in order to achieve the knowledge necessary to become the authority on the spine. Chiropractic colleges will have to change the curriculum to train students to accept this role. Graduate continuing education programs will have to include a strong scientific component.

It is not yet clear whether individual chiropractors, the colleges or the state and national associations have made the decision as to which of these roles would serve the profession the best. It will be very interesting to see what role the chiropractic profession will decide to assume in this very exciting evolution of health care.


David Chapman-Smith, LL.B, F.I.C.C.
Secretary-General of the World Federation of Chiropractic

 Mr. Chapman-Smith, a Toronto attorney, is Secretary-General of the World Federation of Chiropractic and editor/publisher of The Chiropractic Report. His introduction to chiropractic was as legal counsel for the New Zealand Chiropractors' Association before the famous New Zealand Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic in 1977/78.



TAC: If you could have your wish to change the profession, what would be the thing you would change?

Nothing fundamental to the profession should change–such as its philosophy of health and its central focus on skilled assessment and treatment, by hand, of subluxation/dysfunction in the spine and the neuromusculoskeletal system.

The profession that so many of us admire, and to which I have devoted my last 30 years, will have lost its way, if new generations of chiropractors are not skilled and confident in joint adjustment–spine, pelvis and extremities.

Two of the major issues for the profession today, related to each other, are its relative isolation within health care and the lack of public funding for education, research and practice that it needs and deserves. On isolation, a chiropractic friend of mine who holds qualifications in both chiropractic and medicine is an executive in a large Canadian health services corporation. This employs many MD’s, DC’s, PT’s and others. It seeks contracts with large employers, insurers and others for the health plans it offers. He sees much more of the health care world as it actually is than you or me. His conclusion, after watching all the above professions at work with NMS patients, and seeing which services are most in demand and how they are priced–"chiropractic is the best kept secret in the world. DC’s offer such a superior service but nobody knows."

What would I change in the profession? It would be something key to bring about more rapid knowledge, acceptance and, therefore, use, funding and support of chiropractic services within mainstream healthcare. I would like to see all chiropractic students having at least part of their clinical training in a multidisciplinary setting that includes medical services and, ideally, medical students.

This is already happening in many chiropractic schools internationally. In Denmark, chiropractic students complete most of their clinical training in a major spine care hospital. In Mexico, all graduates complete a first clinical year in state hospitals.

In the US, eleven chiropractic colleges now have some students doing rotations in VA and DOD hospitals, but this exposure to broader clinical training and other professions and healthcare students should be available for all.

This will strengthen clinical training. However, my point here is that it will continuously educate others influential in health care about chiropractic—and this will lead to the greatly increased community acceptance and funding that the profession and its patients need and deserve.


Dr. Vernon Temple
President of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners

 Dr. Vernon R. Temple is the president of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. A 1977 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, he is past president of the Vermont Board of Chiropractic and past chair of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards. Dr. Temple is a diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists.He continues to practice in Bellows Falls, Vermont.



TAC: If you had one piece of advice for new graduates starting into practice in 2010, what would it be?

The most important piece of advice I can provide to the new practitioner is to develop a Patient-Centered (PC) practice. This means that the full intent of doctor and staff regarding all patient contact is always to be focused on the best interest of the patient.

Some of the key areas where the practitioner can incorporate PC include:

1. Patient Education


Patients come into your office with the same four basic questions: "What’s wrong with me?" "Can you help?" "How long will it take?" "How much will it cost?"

To meet patient’s needs, the doctor will completely answer these questions; but, to truly have a PC practice, the doctor should also educate the patient about their role as a partner in their health care. The PC doctor ensures patients understand how chiropractic will relieve their current condition and contribute to long-term health.

2. Patient Services


As the new practitioner develops office procedures, both the doctor and staff must put patients’ needs first. From the initial phone call, to the first time a patient comes in to fill out forms, to the initial consultation, to the report of findings, through the final staff encounter, all processes must be convenient for the patient and must make the patient feel cared for.

3. Empathy


Having a doctor and staff who demonstrate a sincere and genuine passion for the patient’s well being will build a lifelong successful practice. Empathy for the patient’s suffering gives the patients confidence that their health is in the hands of caring people. Not only will these patients return, but they will refer their family, friends and loved ones to receive that quality of care.

4. Financial arrangements


Payment for services will always be a consideration, but should never take priority over patient needs. A PC practice dictates that patient contact and care always remain in the best interest of the patient. Ensure that all financial arrangements are based upon the needs of the patient and then billed appropriately. The fruits of an ethical practice are a waiting room full of patients appreciative of a doctor they know is working in their best interest.

5. Continuing Education for the Doctor and Staff


Doctors of Chiropractic should always continue to learn, to expand their knowledge, to continue to invest their time in order to enhance their abilities to meet their patients needs. Ongoing staff training regarding procedures and patient interactions represents another avenue to meet the goals of a PC practice.

If all doctors incorporate the philosophy of patient-centered care, they will be rewarded with a comfortable living, an enjoyable career and, most important of all, the satisfaction of helping thousands of patients in their community live healthier lives.


Dr. William Morgan
Champion for Chiropractic Integration

 Dr. William Morgan, a champion for chiropractic integration, has been credentialed in four hospitals, including Bethesda and Walter Reed. He is the resident chiropractic consultant to the government clinics that care for our nation’s leaders in Washington, D.C., and is on faculty of three chiropractic colleges and one medical school.



TAC: Where do you see the next great challenge to face chiropractic?

Cultural Relevance. Contrary to what other futurists may predict, I do not see chiropractic’s next big challenge to be attacks on our market share by competing professions or insurance companies, nor do I see it as exclusion from Congress’ health care bill. I do, however, see chiropractic’s next big challenge to be more fundamental: the loss of cultural relevance. Cultural relevance is maintained by being embedded in the popular culture; to speak the same language, to understand the culture, and to have a position in the culture that is valued. In the current congressional healthcare debate, no adversary is seeking to confine us, because we aren’t even mentioned. Have we lost our impact on the debate? Is society becoming indifferent towards chiropractic? If these are indicators of a trend, chiropractic will gradually ebb. The danger of this type of challenge is in its insidious nature, slowly eroding our niche; so slowly, that it is hardly recognized.

The vertebral subluxation is neither the cause nor the solution to our problems. Certainly, I can use this term when engaged in discussions in chiropractic circles, or I can speak with more standardized neurological/biomechanical terminology when engaged with medical specialists. To most of our culture, whose goals are pain relief and health, the word subluxation is simply jargon. To establish our relevance, we need to move past jargon, beyond practice management schemes, past intra-professional disagreements, and emerge with a higher degree of professionalism and maturity.

If chiropractic attains cultural relevance (some would say cultural authority), then our other concerns should take care of themselves. With relevance, chiropractic will be in demand and, whether or not we are included in government health care plans or covered by insurance, will not matter. Patients will seek us regardless of coverage or competition. Think of dentists or optometrists. Whether covered by third party payers or not, our culture will continue to utilize dentistry and optometry. These professions have cultural relevance.

What will it take to attain strategic cultural relevance? We need to align our profession with the needs of the culture. We need to develop a realistic sense of self-awareness and, instead of trying to bring the culture around to our way of thinking, we need to listen to the culture, learn what the culture values, strive to fill a niche that is valued by the culture, and communicate to the culture in the predominant forums of the day.

By Chiropractors for Chiropractors Since 1979
Cover Stories
Written by TAC Staff   
Wednesday, 25 November 2009 00:00

Three Cheers for The American Chiropractor magazine!  Hip, Hip, Hooray!  This marks the 30th anniversary for The American Chiropractor in publication, and things have never been more exciting!



Our Mission

Evolving over the years from its beginning as a high energy upstart, for the "Education and Entertainment of The American Chiropractor," today The American Chiropractor (TAC) is "Dedicated to the Continuing Education and Advancement of the Chiropractic Professional," a subtle change indicative of the emphasis over the years from being a publication that mirrors and reflects the state of the profession, to being one which is dedicated to the continued advancement of the chiropractic professional.



Established in 1979, The American Chiropractor is a second generation family publication, originally founded by chiropractor (and father) Richard Busch, Jr. Now, over 30 years later, TAC is proud to claim three chiropractors in the family who are involved in the editorial direction of our publication. This firsthand access to the perspectives of two different generations of chiropractors is useful in guiding editorial content to connect with, and respect the different and growing needs of each genre.

Just within the last five years, there have been some amazing changes that have really been transformative for TAC. The first of which was a decision in 2006, to have our circulation audited voluntarily by BPA Worldwide, one of the most respected circulation auditing organizations in the publication industry. This is an expensive and time consuming process which TAC has taken upon itself as a way of further improving the publication’s credibility, and therefore, also that of the chiropractic profession as a whole. Our efforts have been rewarded by the acceptance as a BPA Worldwide member since July 2007.

Moving further in our quest to strengthen our reach in the chiropractic profession, as of January 2009, TAC increased its circulation by 40% from 35,000 to 50,000 chiropractors, effectively reaching at least 80% of the chiropractic market with every issue of TAC that mails.

More than Just a Magazine


also offers you a newsletter, reader surveys and latest promotions from our advertisers via email. Send us your email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you’d like to be added to any or all of these lists!

As the years progress, TAC remains committed to exploring new and exciting ways to spread the chiropractic message worldwide, as well as fostering a greater sense of community among chiropractors everywhere. Thanks for helping us make it to 30 years! Keep reading and participating! We look forward to celebrating with you the even greater things for chiropractic that lie ahead! To help give you an idea of where we’ve been and where we’re headed as a profession, be sure to read our leadership panel starting on page 14.

Keep up the great work!


Dr. Joseph Busch                       Jaclyn Busch Touzard                       Tracy Busch Pate

JP      JT                TP


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