Cover Stories


The Landmark Victory for Surface EMG
Cover Stories
Written by TAC Staff   
Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:59

In January of 2005, David Marcarian and his company, PBI/MyoVision, defeated a group representing most of the major insurance companies and the State of Florida, who questioned the validity of surface EMG.  The case was appealed to the Superior Court of Florida, with an attempted appeal to the Supreme Court of Florida. Marcarian and MyoVision again prevailed with a unanimous decision, proving the validity of the surface EMG technology Mr. Marcarian developed twenty years earlier.

It was a landmark decision causing reverberations throughout the chiropractic profession as well as other healthcare professions. This definitive case evaluated the scientific literature and determined that the equipment is capable of differentiating injured patients from those who are not.

In an interview with The American Chiropractor, David Marcarian talks about the victory that surface EMG won for chiropractic and how surface EMG proves chiropractic efficacy.

TAC:  What is the behind-the-scenes story regarding MyoVision’s formation?
Marcarian:
  After developing a surface EMG technique at NASA in the mid-80’s, I was awarded a $450,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to design what is known today as the MyoVision. Precision Biometrics, Inc., (MyoVision) is the oldest and most respected supplier of surface EMG equipment in the world. 

TAC:  How did you become involved in the chiropractic profession?  What inspired you?
Marcarian:
  What inspired me was that, in 1988, a DC who had been the bottom gunner on the B-17 Flying Fortress in World War II called me and told me that he had read about my experience at NASA and thought that the technology I developed under the NIH grant could be helpful to chiropractors.

He had never flown since WW II, so I agreed to fly to his office, as he was sixty-five at the time. He was one of the kindest souls I have ever met. His name was William McIlvaine, DC, and he was known throughout Oregon as one of the best chiropractors in the state. 

Anyhow, I flew to his office, and tested all his patients one day.  I was shocked to see that their muscle tension patterns correlated completely with their complaints and that their muscle tension dropped significantly post adjustment.  There was one exception: a patient who had very even, very low levels of muscle tension. 

I said, “Dr. McIlvaine, there is only one problem.  This one patient has no issues at all that I can find.”

He said, “He is a friend without any issues, and I threw him in to see if your machine was foolproof or not.”

After that, I was hooked on both chiropractic and proving the value of it.

TAC:  What are your goals for the chiropractic profession? 
Marcarian:
  My goals are to offer the chiropractic profession a new way to solve three major problems: ethical marketing, tracking progress and protection against insurer’s attempts at refunded payment due to lack of documented justification for care. My goal is to encourage doctors to use objective data, instead of clever marketing techniques, to obtain new patients and grow their practices in an ethical, scientifically sound manner with the resultant improved public perception of chiropractic.  There has been a sudden increase in the number of cases where insurers are actually going after doctors for back pay for cases lacking documented proof of the need for care.  Insurers are actually reviewing patient records and demanding a refund of payment for care where the doctor cannot prove objectively that the patient needed care. Recently, a MyoVision owner reported winning such a case, saving $50,000 in payments and $20,000 in legal fees, because she documented the need for care with her MyoVision. 

The need for documentation should be a requirement for practice.  How many of us would see a dentist that selects the tooth to drill into by intuition?  Or a medical doctor that prescribes a level of thyroid medication without blood tests?  All other health care professionals use objective data for determining treatment, and so should we.

In the past, we used to go to dentists when in pain.  Now, we go to prevent pain.  What changed dentistry?  They began using those little red tablets (disclosing tablets) that “show” plaque, proving the need for care.  I am offering a tried and true marketing method, similar to the dentists’ disclosing tablets, which may replace questionable marketing techniques with the use of objective data. Surface EMG provides this visual proof for chiropractic in the same manner the disclosing tablets do for dentists. 

By using the simple-to-understand visual, graphical representation of subluxation, you no longer have to waste your time with a futile attempt to convince people of their subluxations. As the color graphics, which correlate with subluxation (you cannot measure subluxations directly) do the job for you. Furthermore, this objective data makes you a much better doctor, since you are relying upon solid outcome measures, and not just your intuition.

So many doctors have told me how surface EMG has prevented the loss of patients, because they alter their adjusting technique if they are not seeing improvement in the tests.  To add to it, patients get very involved in their own progress by using the scans as a means of tracking their own personal progress.

The appealing color graphics lead patients to refer friends and family for testing as a secondary benefit.

The main reason instrumentation is so effective is it focuses the patient on function and not symptoms. We all know that symptoms are not the most effective way to determine spinal dysfunction.

I also want DC’s winning major legal victories for their patients.  Through proper use of instrumentation, you can win Personal Injury and Workers Comp cases without ever appearing in court.  By presenting objective data using the combination of dual inclinometry range of motion and surface EMG, attorneys are much more likely to settle cases.  The last thing they want presented to a jury is the objective evidence that a patient is injured. 

But, to be fair, it also benefits insurers. I, personally, was involved in three cases where a total of 2.5 million was being sought. All three cases were dropped after testing, as the patients turned out to be symptom magnifiers.  But, the bottom line is that the purpose in using objective data is to get the truly injured the care they deserve/need, and those that are not injured removed from the system; so it truly makes the entire system function more fairly for everyone. 

The reason that it is so effective in the legal arena is the same reason I have never lost a case in court:  The opposition presents their “opinion” (with no data) that the patient is not injured almost as policy; and I present objective data, proving the presence or absence of soft tissue injury. Objective data (dynamic sEMG and ROM) always wins over opinion. When doctors utilize it properly, they regain control of patient management, and their decisions cannot be questioned because they have the data to back them up. 

TAC:  Tell us about your victory in the Florida Superior Court case.
Marcarian:
  The state of Florida determined, based partially upon doctors who were trained to focus on the use of the sEMG for marketing purposes only (using static sEMG and not dynamic), that the device was not medically valid and, therefore, made it illegal to bill personal injury for it (PIP insurance).

TAC:  Can you give us a summary, or the highlights of that case?
Marcarian:
  The most interesting thing about the case was that I was the only person out of all the sEMG companies to show up in court!  It was me against nine attorneys and, I believe, eight expert witnesses. Their star expert witness was an individual with an MD/PhD who specialized in surface EMG.

The big surprise was the Florida Chiropractic Association. When I arrived in court, I believed that the FCA would be on “our” side, there to help the chiropractors; but, instead, their representatives testified on behalf of the insurance companies and the State of Florida, that there was no validity to sEMG.

Why was I the only person to show up?  After reviewing the literature that was considered admissible in court, it became quite clear.  MyoVision was the only multifunction sEMG system with research that met all the quality standards/requirements requested by the court.  Furthermore, there were no direct financial ties between the publishers of the research and my company. This made it impossible for the attorneys to attack the validity of the research I presented in court.

In court, the attacks on me, personally, were brutal. The nine attorneys did everything they could to destroy my credibility; but each time they attempted, my credibility was further bolstered, and they eventually backed down.

Perhaps the most fun interaction was when an attorney “threw down” an advertisement in front of me, and raised his voice (just like on TV), implying that this advertisement proved my actual goal for my company.  The advertisement had a headline, which stated something to the effect: “HOW TO DRAMATICALLY INCREASE YOUR INCOME WITH SURFACE EMG.”  He was so excited, as he felt he had finally nailed me. 

Well, unfortunately, he had not read the ad carefully, and the ad turned out to be from another company!  I believe the judge asked him to sit down after that.
Another major highlight for me, personally, was how the judge, in my opinion, relied heavily upon research performed with my equipment in making her decision.  It was a wonderful feeling to know that this device I invented was given so much respect.

The bottom line is that I presented, in a completely unbiased manner, the scientific literature in as pure a form as possible. The judge agreed with my interpretation of the literature, and the case was won.

TAC:  What is the impact this has on the chiropractic profession as a whole?
Marcarian:
  Impact?  This case will have a monumental impact on chiropractic in so many ways.  It gives chiropractors the power to determine when and how to care for their patients, and the power to prove to insurers the need for care by simply performing dual range of motion testing and dynamic surface EMG.  We now have a court-validated, research-validated tool which can be used to show that chiropractic is effective, to document injury or the lack thereof, and a precedence-setting case which can be used to establish the validity of surface EMG in any court in the country, if it is questioned.  

No longer will a doctor be called in for review with only his or her opinion for justifying why a patient is a chiropractic patient. No longer will chiropractors have to fear going to court, as they have the security, when owning unbiased court-validated instrumentation, that the tool can be used to support their position.  Chiropractors now have objective data to PROVE that what they do really works. 

But the main achievement here is that now chiropractors can proudly practice as professionals, and use instrumentation that helps them focus on patient care.  By using instrumentation, there is no need for clever marketing schemes, as patients will provide referrals for spinal screenings and doctors can build their practices based upon doing a good job and simply proving it with objective scientific data. 

To continue development, we are currently in the middle of numerous major research studies with famous researchers who have selected MyoVision as the “tool of choice,” due to its proven record of reproducibility and quality.  I am confident that these studies will further prove the value of chiropractic.

TAC:  How is this victory important to chiropractors on an individual basis?
Marcarian:
  There has been a major shift in the world of insurance and workers compensation:  If you cannot prove through objective documentation that the patient needs to be cared for, you can forget about payment.  This case effectively establishes a manner by which doctors can protect themselves against the scrutiny of insurers and worker compensations boards by having the established objective data required to prove need for care. 

In addition, winning this case helped lead another major insurer, American Specialty Health Network, to alter their policy on surface EMG.  Up to this point, any users of surface EMG equipment were excluded from their extremely fast-growing provider network.  I presented the research to their extremely well qualified Technology Assessment Committee (TAC) and their policy was reversed the following week. This means that thousands of doctors who were not formerly eligible as ASHN providers can now re-apply and begin seeing patients almost immediately.

TAC:  What is the most common problem you see among chiropractors today?
Marcarian:
  The gap in utilization of high tech instrumentation between the chiropractic profession and all other health care providers is the biggest problem.  Patients have become accustomed to determining the doctor’s credibility based upon the technology they have.  Dentists have digital X-ray, medical doctors use all kinds of high tech tools, and we need to also utilize technology, if we are going to be viewed as credible health care providers.  Patients expect it and, if we don’t respond, we are going to lose credibility.  Use technology, and everyone will know the value of what we do and how well it works.

TAC:  In the most recent Best Practices Low Back draft document written by the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters (CCGPP), the authors sited two studies, Haldeman, et al., {Haldeman, S., Chapman-Smith D., et al., 1993 1369/id} and Henderson, et al., {Henderson D., Chapman-Smith D., et al., 1994 526/id}, that led the CCGPP to the conclusion that there was insufficient evidence available to recommend the use of the surface EMG.  Is there any evidence you can provide for them in support of this technology?
Marcarian:
  What a great question.  All one must do is look at the dates on their references and the names of the authors to recognize the lack of validity to their claim. First of all, these are not two independent reviews. The same author is on both papers, meaning that it is their opinion and, without two completely independent authors, is lacking the scientific scrutiny one would expect from a truly scientific review. It is typical, when attempting to prove one’s theory, to rely upon multiple independent researchers, not the same researcher.  The biggest issue with their viewpoint is the fact that they are relying upon papers published sixteen years ago to support their position. If we were to rely upon information sixteen years ago, we would still be using antibiotics to treat ear infections.
You have to ask the question, “Why would they ignore the most recent literature on the topic?” 

Perhaps, because this new literature supports the use of surface EMG, which makes you question their motives in ignoring data which support the use of it.
Since the year 2000, there has been an explosion of research supporting the technique for sEMG evaluation provided by dual range of motion combined with surface EMG, and this is summarized best by reviewing the papers I presented which lead to winning the Superior Court case in Florida and, by simply reading the paper which summarized all this research, authored by Geisser, et al., 2006, titled “A Meta-Analytic Review of Surface Electromyography among Persons with Low Back Pain, and Normal Healthy Controls,” published in the Journal of Pain, November 2005.  This paper summarized, quite nicely, forty-four studies, and up-to-date research (beyond 1993), and is, therefore, a more reliable source of information with regard to the validity of surface EMG.  As stated in the abstract: “SEMG measures of flexion-relaxation appear to distinguish LBP (low back pain) patients from controls with good accuracy….” 

It was after I presented this new evidence to ASHN that they altered their policy. For ASHN’s Technology Review Committee to alter their policy on sEMG, as I mentioned earlier, makes us further question the CCGPP’s motivation and conclusions with regard to surface EMG. 

It is actually quite simple: In the court case, the State of Florida and all the major insurers threw the absolute best expert witnesses at me and I still proved the validity of surface EMG in court.  If they could not win this case, it was purely due to the fact that surface EMG is, in fact, valid when performed properly.  If the CCGPP were to, instead, state that properly performed, surface EMG is valid, I would agree with this statement, as it applies to any diagnostic equipment. That is what I believe they truly wanted to make clear but, obviously, they threw out the baby with the bathwater.

Perhaps the most unfortunate result of their conclusions, contradicting the most recent scientific literature, is that CCGPP’s guidelines have no credibility and appear to be more of a political statement, rather than a set of guidelines based upon science and logic. I would love the opportunity to present some of the literature that has been published in the sixteen years since the publications they referenced, so that their guidelines more accurately reflect the scientific validity of surface EMG.

TAC:  Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?
Marcarian:
  Chiropractic is on the verge of a major breakthrough. Through the integration of technology and high tech tools, the public’s perception of chiropractic will improve dramatically, and it will turn into a field, like dentistry, where people visit their chiropractor to prevent illness rather than treat it.

TAC:  Any final words for our readers?
Marcarian:
  One of the unfortunate aspects of a profession filled with such passionate individuals is that we sometimes make decisions, not through the use of critical thinking but, instead, by “following” what those we want to believe in as our leaders tell us.  I have proven myself in a major court of law, which gives me AND my equipment a proven credibility with regard to instrumentation.  It is important that you purchase equipment from individuals with similar experience, since you are eventually going to need them to support your use of the equipment, if questioned by insurers, your board, or workers compensation boards. 

Drop the emotion.  Avoid sub-standard equipment by doing your research. Does the device have a dual inclinometer?  It is required by the AMA to bill insurance.  Was the device designed to perform the sEMG’s test properly? Remember the test must be performed properly to be considered valid. Does the device have a separate probe for dynamic sEMG?  Does the thermography device have tubes at the end of the sensors to push the hair out of the way for a measurement above the hairline?  

Too many doctors have called me pleading with me to take a trade on a three-month-old machine they purchased impulsively from another company I can’t help them.  Take your time; learn everything about a tool before jumping on the bandwagon. There are no silver bullets or instant solutions, so do your research before you buy. 

Remember that philosophy is wonderful and is the backbone of the profession, but you can’t take it to court. Let your thorough research findings be what guides your equipment selection decisions.

David Marcarian, M.A., is founder and president of Precision Biometrics, supplier of the MyoVision sEMG and Thermoglide systems. He lectures for Palmer College of Chiropractic, Life Chiropractic College East and all U.S. chiropractic associations that mandate sEMG training endorse his course. He has personally instructed more than 6,000 chiropractors on proper sEMG use.

Mr. Marcarian can be reached at 800-969-6961, by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit his company’s website at www.myovision.com.

 
The International Growth of Chiropractic
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Cover Stories
Written by David Chapman-Smith   
Tuesday, 14 November 2006 16:14

What’s ahead for chiropractic? In the following interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), David Chapman-Smith and Sira Borges, D.C., discuss the rapid growth of chiropractic in Latin America and worldwide.

TAC: What are the roles of the WFC and FLAQ?
Chapman-Smith:  Details of the WFC, whose voting members are national associations of chiropractors in eighty-six countries, including both the American Chiropractic Association and International Chiropractors Association in the United States, are at www.wfc.org. A key role of the WFC is to promote the international growth and success of the chiropractic profession, based on consistent educational standards, market identity, and legal scope of practice.

Borges: The role of FLAQ, which works closely with the WFC, is to advance chiropractic in Latin America.  This is particularly important today.  This is partly because in many countries—such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Guatemala—there is no law regulating chiropractic education and practice and many unqualified people are claiming to be chiropractors as chiropractic services become better known and more popular.  There are now three university-based chiropractic schools in, Latin America—in Brazil (2) and Mexico (1)—and many more DC’s practicing in the region.

TAC: Can you tell us about the schools in Mexico and Brazil?
Borges: The Mexican school, at the Universidad Estatal del Valle de Ecatepec (UNEVE), is in a state university with student fees almost fully paid by the government.  The four- year fulltime program is at the same level as US chiropractic colleges, and is delivered with faculty support from Parker College in Dallas, Texas.  On graduation, students complete a one-year hospital rotation during which they are paid by the government.  After that, they go on to private practice.  This has worked so well that it is expected that there will soon be another two or three Mexican schools in state universities.

In Brazil, there are two four-year university-based schools similar to the one at UNEVE, and with a total of approximately seven hundred students.  One is at Feevale Central University in Novo Hamburgo in the south of Brazil and has been developed in partnership with Palmer College.  The other is at the University Anhembi Morumbi (UAM) in Sao Paulo and has been developed in partnership with Western States Chiropractic College.

TAC: Are other schools planned in Latin America?
Borges:  Several are in the planning stage.  Next schools are, most likely, in Argentina and Chile, both of which now have an established chiropractic profession, and Costa Rica, which is in the final stage of passing laws to recognize and regulate chiropractic practice.

TAC: Will the WFC and FLAQ be able to guarantee similar educational standards for chiropractors internationally—and how important is that?
Chapman-Smith: It is of fundamental importance—just ask osteopaths, who have lost their international identity and are not growing nearly as successfully as chiropractic because of different educational standards in different countries.  We all know the world gets smaller every day.  It is crucial that DC’s everywhere have a distinct philosophy, practice and identity, based on common education and values.

And, yes, the WFC and its partners, such as the Council on  Continuing Education (CCE) International and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) are succeeding in keeping one international standard of education.  A huge step in that direction came last year when the World Health Organization (WHO) published its Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Chiropractic.  The WFC worked with WHO for six years on that project.

WHO, which has huge influence in most countries, recommends to governments in its guidelines that chiropractic should be an important part of each national health care system, but that the practice of chiropractic should be regulated by law and limited to individuals with proper education.  The WHO Guidelines have already been translated into several languages (e.g., Finnish, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish) and are proving a great help to the chiropractic profession worldwide.

TAC: How is the profession developing in Asia?
Chapman-Smith: Rapidly—which is important since fifty percent of the world’s population lives there.  Chiropractic is only recognized by law in Hong Kong (with sixty-five DC’s) and Thailand (twenty DC’s) but is legal in most countries.  The largest number of chiropractors is in Japan, with approximately ten thousand, though not all with a high standard of education.  There are chiropractic schools in Japan and Korea, and draft chiropractic legislation is presently before legislators in Korea and Taiwan.

TAC: How about other parts of the world?
Chapman-Smith:
Chiropractic is growing faster in Latin America and Europe than anywhere else. In Europe, there are chiropractic schools open or soon to be opened in Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland and the UK (with three schools already).  But North American DC’s may be surprised to learn, for example, that Middle Eastern countries, like Cyprus, Iran and the United Arab Emirates, have chiropractic legislation and thriving chiropractic professions.  One hospital in Saudi Arabia has six DC’s on staff.  Chiropractic is well-established in Israel, where the government pays for chiropractic services through HMO’s.

TAC: Explain the WFC’s recent work on a market identity for chiropractic and why that’s important.
Chapman-Smith:  Is chiropractic mainstream or alternative? Will chiropractic practice grow to include use of prescription drugs? What is the key identity and role of chiropractic services?

Chiropractic has been at the crossroads on all of this, with many predicting significant loss of market share unless the profession had a much clearer identity.  As a result, WFC member associations asked the WFC to lead a major consultation on identity in 2003.

This finished in June 2005, with the WFC members unanimously accepting the recommendations of the forty-person task force that chiropractors should be seen as “the spinal health care experts” within mainstream health care.  That is the leading concept. There are several important supporting statements, and the full identity and Task Force Report can be found at www.wfc.org.  Significantly, the agreed WFC identity was recently supported by the international chiropractic educational community at the WFC/ACC Conference in Cancun, October 25-28, 2006.

Borges:  FLAQ and chiropractors in Latin America fully support this market identity, which is much wider than back pain but more focused than general wellness care.  Under the WFC identity, chiropractic remains a drug-free profession. FLAQ will be encouraging individual DC’s in Latin America to be consistent with the WFC identity in their marketing efforts.

TAC: What are the major plans of FLAQ and the WFC for the year ahead?
Borges:  FLAQ has an important meeting in the Republic of Panama on February 22-23, at TAC’s Chiropractic’07, to pass an amended constitution, elect new officers and plan for the year ahead.  One area we are emphasizing is sports chiropractic.  Next year brings the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro and FLAQ is working with others to see strong representation of sports chiropractic at this important event.

Chapman-Smith:  The WFC’s biggest meeting—which I encourage all DC’s to consider attending—is the WFC Congress in Portugal, May 17-19, 2007.  There is a great venue, a superb social and academic program, and we expect approximately eight-hundred DC’s.  All details are at www.wfc.or/congress2007.

Work with WHO is ongoing, including a new WHO publication on the proven benefits of chiropractic care.  However, perhaps the WFC’s priority will be international adoption of Straighten Up America, the impressive program headed up by Dr. Ron Kirk from Life University, which has just been adopted worldwide as the theme for spinal health by the Bone and Joint Decade.  There are already versions, for example, such as Straighten Up Australia and Straighten Up South Africa.  The WFC is promoting Straighten Up events in all its member countries for World Spine Day on October 16, 2007.  Straighten Up is a superb public health program in itself, but also fully consistent with the profession’s identity and an excellent vehicle for promotion of the profession.

The World Federation of Chiropractic is a co-sponsor of the 2nd annual International Chiropractic Symposium in the Republic of Panama Feb. 22-24.  The Federation of Latin American Chiropractors (FLAQ) will also be using this event as an opportunity to nominate leaders and establish a constitution for the association. For more information call 1-888-668-8728.

 
A Man with Insight
Cover Stories
Written by TAC Staff   
Wednesday, 18 October 2006 15:46

He was a popular, charismatic high school student. A national AAU karate champion. An inexperienced, undersized member of the school’s wrestling team.
How did Dr. Patrick Gentempo Jr. become one of the most influential minds in today’s chiropractic world?

Well, being undersized and inexperienced may have actually helped.

“I injured my neck in a wrestling practice and my mom took me to a local chiropractor. The rest, as they say, is history,” says Gentempo, now the Chief Executive Officer of the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance (CLA)—one of the largest firms in the industry.

CLA’s original roots date back to 1988, when Gentempo and his long-time friend and colleague, Dr. Christopher Kent, were working together with surface EMG technology and its applicability to chiropractic. In 1997, three businesses Gentempo directed were merged into a single entity and given the name Chiropractic Leadership Alliance, which he co-founded with Kent.

CLA was created for the purpose of empowering chiropractors with information and technology that would be effective in helping the DC transcend the challenges the profession faced.

Today, these two innovative doctors provide products and services to over 8,000 chiropractic clients on seven continents. CLA’s feature product is the Insight Subluxation Station whose technology has grabbed the attention of NASA and the nation’s space program. The new Discovery model contains a software breakthrough that Gentempo predicts will change the way people view chiropractors as well as how they care for their bodies.

In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Gentempo tells how he plans to wrestle the obstacles he feels prevent chiropractic from taking a larger role in the world’s healthcare model.

TAC:  What is the behind-the-scenes story regarding CLA’s formation?
Gentempo: CLA was born out of my own challenges in practice.  I faced the horrible contradiction of promoting my services to my patients and community for the purpose of improving the function of the nervous system, which would lead to better health and well-being.  I would explain that lifestyle stresses cause vertebral subluxation, which disturbs neural function and results in decreased ability of the body to heal and regulate.  Yet, simultaneously, for my exam, I did the traditional othro/neuro evaluation which, of course, doesn’t meaningfully address subluxation.  I was good at the ortho/neuro exam; I taught it in diplomate programs.  However, this approach in examination was contradictory to the clinical goals I had for my patients and, as a result, my practice and my psychological experience in practice suffered. 

Then, one day, Dr. Kent showed up with a handheld surface EMG technology and my world changed.  While working at Palmer, he had performed research with this technology.  Now, I could actually look at patterns of nervous system function and have more confidence, certainty and credibility regarding my services and outcomes.  We developed applications, protocols, indications, and normative data for sEMG that we published in peer-reviewed research journals.

Microelectronics and computer technology were on the rise.  Next thing you know, we had a very necessary business that would significantly shape the future of the profession in a positive way.

TAC:  What are your goals for the chiropractic profession? 
Gentempo:
  My goal for the chiropractic profession is simple: World Domination of Healthcare in a Chiropractic Model!  It is critical that the chiropractic paradigm become the dominant paradigm for consumers around the world.  In this country, we spend almost two trillion dollars on what we call healthcare—but is really sick care.  When you take sick care and apply it to a society as healthcare, you end up with a sick society.  We spend this incomprehensible amount of money, yet we are sick, as a culture. This has gotten out of control and it would require a book for me to discuss all the implications.

The allopathic healthcare paradigm must be supplanted by something more rational and closer to the truth.  Enter chiropractic.  That is my goal for this profession…which is really a goal for the world.  To us, at CLA, this is not hype.  It is a reality we get closer to manifesting everyday.

 TAC:  What is the most common problem you see among chiropractors today?
Gentempo:
  This is a very important question.  The biggest problem facing chiropractors today is they are selling a product they are not sure they are delivering.  They are selling a thing called improved health due to improved nerve function—which results from regular chiropractic adjustments. But, they do evaluations that don’t let the DC or the patient know if this is happening.  You can’t make this determination from lifting legs and pushing on heads.  I call this hellish contradiction the “silent dread.”  When a chiropractor says to a patient, “I’ll see you twice next week,” why twice?  Why not once?  Why not three times?  What do we base it on?

This situation is a serious malignancy that we have been working on correcting for many years.  The implications are huge and it is one of the main reasons why so many chiropractors have a vision for a lifetime family wellness care practice but experience the discontent of a back and neck pain practice.  It is a problem that we’ve helped solve for thousands of DC’s but, unfortunately, there are many thousands more who still suffer from the silent dread.  We have a lot of work to do…and we’re up to the task!

TAC:  What is the biggest problem or challenge you see in the chiropractic profession today? 
Gentempo:  I see internal disharmony and insurance dependency as two major issues facing the profession.  I am one of the few chiropractors alive who has received high level awards from the American Chiropractic Association, International Chiropractors Association, and World Chiropractic Alliance.  I believe we need to find a way to harmoniously co-exist with our differences. Total unity in the current culture doesn’t seem possible and maybe it isn’t even desirable.  Points of view vary tremendously.

However, unity on broad-based concepts, such as creating wellness as a clinical objective, is obtainable.  Documents like the first Association of Chiropractic Colleges Doctrine received universal support from the disparate groups of our profession, while documents like the Mercy Guidelines were universally rejected by many of these same groups. These reactions are glimmers of hope. The first step in the process is tolerance.  When we can demonstrate that, then unity can follow.

Insurance dependency is also something that represses the profession, for obvious reasons.  Helping DC’s build fun and profitable non-insurance dependent practices has been a real strength of CLA. 

TAC:  How do you help DC’s become “non-insurance dependent?”
Gentempo:
  If I have a particular talent, it is being able to properly anticipate trends and changes.  CLA has been promoting the non-insurance dependent practice model since 1991. This is when insurance reimbursement was still, for the most part, pretty good.  I started to see two things happening:  First, the momentum of managed care; second, the initial sparks of the wellness revolution...crisis and opportunity, if you will.  No consumer thinks it is a good idea to entrust one’s health and well being, or that of one’s family, to the insurance industry or the federal government.

Also, consumers are spending billions of dollars out of pocket for things that contribute to their general health and well being. My good friend, economist Paul Zane Pilzer, predicts that the wellness industry will be a one trillion dollar industry in the US by the year 2010. Through the 90’s, a signature lecture of mine reflected upon the implications of consumers spending out of pocket on things they felt contributed to their general health and wellness:  things like health clubs, health foods, and drinking water. They expect their insurance to pay for conditions, but they expect to pay out of pocket for general wellness products and services.

See a picture forming here? If the DC can get out of the pain-based, treat-a-condition model of practice and move toward a lifestyle, wellness-based practice, then he/she can become non-insurance dependent and have a lifetime family wellness-based practice. Things like being dependent on traditional ortho/neuro tests for evaluation are obstacles.

This is where the Insight comes in. This is not a snap of the fingers.  It requires an enormous amount of breakthrough in one’s understanding, precise systems of thinking and, further, a practice model that actualizes all this. It is exactly what we handle at our Total Solution seminar program.  It is amazing how, in four days, we can really see the lights come on and DC’s ready and excited to make this change. 

I will also say that the most rational way to make the switch from insurance dependency to non-insurance dependency is through a process over time. I have seen practices do it cold turkey and, sometimes, it isn’t pretty.  It has to be done right and we are experts at it.

TAC:  Is CLA’s Insight technology or any other technology in its category insurance reimbursable?
Gentempo:
  The answer is yes and no.  As anyone in the industry knows, third party pay is finicky, at best, and changing by the minute. What is reimbursed today is not tomorrow. Good coverage from a carrier in your area goes into managed care that may not even include you when you wake up tomorrow. This is why we promulgate and teach the non-insurance dependent practice.

There are five different technologies on our Insight Discovery platform.  Some have specific CPT codes for their use and, as of the time of this interview, are often reimbursed.  Others require use of a miscellaneous code, and reimbursement is hit or miss. Many of our clients include the entire Insight evaluation in their routine exam and price it accordingly, rather than unbundle it and charge for each test.

In the end, it is our technology and practice model that help the DC not care about insurance reimbursement anymore. True happiness and freedom for the chiropractor is not being dependent on third party pay and not letting the insurance industry dictate how they will practice.

TAC:  Dr. Gentempo, are there regulatory issues that people should be aware of with technologies such as yours?
Gentempo:
  This is an important question. The FDA considers devices such as the Insight to be Class II medical devices. It is critical that FDA compliance is met, which is the responsibility of the manufacturers. When multiple technologies are coupled together, even if they each individually have FDA certification, this is not enough. They must also be registered together as the integrated unit. Some manufacturers try to fly under the radar and don’t do this. To not have the right regulatory compliance puts the DC who uses such a technology at risk.

The Insight has proper FDA registration. To keep this current, it takes an enormous effort and a considerable amount of investment capital. Unfortunately, some other companies who distribute DC products in the same category as the Insight don’t have proper registration. Also, it is important to understand that it has to be sold and utilized within the context of the registrations “intended use” representation.

For example, some surface EMG’s sold in chiropractic are registered as biofeedback devices, which is a treatment category, but are sold to do diagnostic evaluation. This is wrong.

The Insight is registered with the FDA as a diagnostic device.  The Insight has also met and is certified with ISO 9000 standards. Very few tools in our market can make that claim. As well, it is registered as a Class II medical device with Health Canada.

CLA is very diligent on these matters. Credibility is paramount. There are reliability studies for the Insight that have been published in peer-reviewed research journals. Also, multiple new reliability studies have been done by independent researchers and institutions and are being submitted for publication as I speak—some of which were brought to my attention only after they were completed. I am happy to say that the results were extremely positive.

TAC: Tell us about some of the other services and products that you offer chiropractors and how or why you offer them. 
Gentempo:
  CLA offers a variety of products and services to the profession.  Aside from the popular Insight Subluxation Station assessment technology, we have founded Total Solution, a four-day intensive training program, and we produce On Purpose, a monthly audio series.

Some people call Total Solution a “boot camp” styled, program.  In 1995, after selling advanced technology to chiropractors for over seven years, Dr. Kent and I came to a very sobering conclusion:  It is not a technology alone that gets a result; it is the person using that technology that gets results. We didn’t want to sell equipment. We wanted to sell a result!

After traveling and lecturing in this profession for so many years, I realized how crippled many chiropractors were when trying to grow their practices. The field is filled with so many contradictions that, unless they get resolved, true and lasting success is improbable…especially with the decline and upheavals in third party pay. The profession was, and is, in real trouble.

But, simultaneously, it has incredible upward potential. We have a focused system of thinking, a breakthrough service model and powerful economic model for chiropractic that really works. So, we put together our Total Solution training program and offer it to those who buy our Insight technology. To date, we have over 5,000 Total Solution graduates.  We take each group to a remote, but esthetically beautiful and comfortable location, where real transformation can occur. Most people come with the expectation of learning how to operate the equipment. What they leave with is truly life-changing. We cover the entire realm of chiropractic experience, from A to Z, and show a view of it that is thought through and without contradiction.  In our files, we have thousands of testimonials about how Total Solution has changed the participant’s life in almost inconceivable ways. I get teary reading them.

When someone gets a crystal clear vision of their purpose, their life changes in a significant way for the better.  That’s what Total Solution is all about.
On Purpose is our popular monthly audio series that is in its twelfth year.  We have over 2,000 listeners on seven continents. (Yes, we send a set to Antarctica each month.)  On Purpose gets its name from our contention that success doesn’t happen by accident—it happens On Purpose. In order to make good decisions and lead yourself to success, you must be informed.

Every month On Purpose offers three programs each on its own CD (or MP3 downloads).  One is a review of the relevant scientific literature to keep chiropractors up-to-date on the latest research that supports chiropractic.  Second, we do a political review of what is going on in the profession—the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s all important. Third, we do a philosophy, practice development interview with some prominent member of the healthcare community. Over the years, this interview CD has included important thinkers like Deepak Chopra, Bernie Segal, Joe Mercola, Dan Murphy, and too many others to mention.  Suffice it to say, it is a “Who’s Who” of the influence keys of our profession.

It is such a struggle to stay in the right mindset and stay informed.  On Purpose opens up a whole world of information to the chiropractor that they can absorb just by driving to the office and back each month.  It is like a listening family and our slogan for On Purpose is, “You are not alone.”

TAC:  Can you think of one change that a chiropractor can do to significantly impact his/her practice’s growth immediately? 
Gentempo:
  Yes. Think!  Think through your premises and clarify your purpose.  Answering three questions can really take you to higher ground: 1) What is the clear purpose of your practice? 2) What is the clear goal you have for every patient that comes to your practice? 3) Where do you want your practice to be in five years? 

If you do some deep thinking, rather than give off-the-cuff lame answers to these questions, and reconcile your actions and procedures with these answers, your practice will not only grow in quantity but, more importantly, it will increase qualitatively. Once you have meaningful answers to these questions, you will know how to deliver on the promise of your care, and you can then turn vision into reality.

Also, I think it is important to belong to a coaching/personal development program.  When I was in practice, I belonged to what is, today, known as The Masters Circle.  It made a substantial difference in my success and experience.  CLA doesn’t do contract coaching, but we certainly recommend our clients find a program that works for them.

TAC:  Do you have any recommended marketing strategies that chiropractors can use to attract new patients and/or to keep current patients?
Gentempo:
  The Insight technology does both of these things better than anything else in existence. Our clients report, on average, a 350-percent increase in new patients from screenings and events and a very impressive increase in their patient retention. Things like a NeuroSpinal Functional Index (NSFi) give patients an incentive to come back so they can continue to improve their NSFi.

Also, the majority of DC’s in my audiences do not have twelve-month marketing plans. How does one expect to succeed in getting new patients without a plan?

TAC:  What single piece of advice would you give a new chiropractor just starting out? 
Gentempo
:  Get crystal clear on your vision and hang out with successful groups and individuals.

TAC:  What general advice would you give an established chiropractor whose practice might be struggling?
Gentempo:
  Unfortunately, there are too many of these. First and foremost, don’t give up! Second, get your head out of “survival mode.” When consciousness is about survival, survival is all you will ever get. A survival mentality makes one defensive physiologically, and my saying on this is, “You can’t score points on defense!”  Ninety percent of success is just showing up. Get out of your office and go to successful and stimulating environments, all the while considering your purpose on this Earth. Money needs to be the effect of who you are, not the cause. When you truly “get” that and act on it, your struggle will be over.

TAC:  Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?  
Gentempo:
  Technology is a major part of our destiny. Technology is a best friend to the chiropractor, increasing certainty, credibility and value. This is why CLA focuses on technology and continues to develop it, using the latest advances.

The immense success of Dr. Moe Pisciottano and his ProAdjuster technology is another example of how technology is taking center stage in this profession. Chiropractic is headed toward sophisticated, technology-based practices that are steeped in the principles of lifestyle wellness.

The CLA/Creating Wellness economic model puts less emphasis of the top line revenue on DC dependent services and grows revenue in the direction of staff performed wellness evaluations and staff transacted affiliated wellness products. Further, I have directed our clients to set a goal for 2007 where fifty percent of their new patients come from groups and organizations. This getting-new patients-one-at-a-time stuff is horribly inefficient.  Groups and corporations are aggressively seeking wellness services. This is what our Creating Wellness project has been all about. No doubt in my mind, it is the future.

TAC:  Any final words for our readers? 
Gentempo:
  I’d like to know what you see when you look in the mirror in the morning? Is it the face of a hero with a purpose that seeks to make people’s lives better and the world a better place?  When you consider the stress and anxiety of living in a post 9-11 world—full of war and terrorism—and the fact that multitudes of people are turning toward medically prescribed drugs or “comfort foods” to feel better, a sense of urgency should rise within you to be a voice of reason in this tragic circumstance. Set an agenda to bring true wellness to people’s lives through the chiropractic lifestyle, and you will have more fun with less stress while making more profit…and the world will be a better place!

May I offer your readers a gift?  We have a CD/DVD package that we normally sell for hundreds of dollars. It includes a video on the science of vertebral subluxation that Dr. Kent hosts and it can help really boost the DC’s certainty and perceived value of service. Also, there is audio programming including a signature presentation of mine, Prosperity on Purpose, along with some other items. This may sound like a “sales gimmick,” but take it for what it is…a very wealthy and successful colleague desires to help other DC’s grow and achieve. If, somehow, this article or our gift helps…then, I am a very happy man.

You may contact Dr. Patrick Gentempo at 1 International Blvd. #750, Mahwah, NJ 07495.  Phone 201-252-3220, Executive Assistant Mike Thompson, Ext. 114; www.subluxation.com; www.creatingwellness.com.

For your free gift, contact Lisa at CLA: 800-285-2001, Ext. 143, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Removing Interference
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Cover Stories
Written by TAC Staff   
Thursday, 28 September 2006 23:54

Dr. M. T. Morter Jr. is an internationally recognized authority on health.  He is a past president of both Logan and Parker Chiropractic Colleges.  In his nearly forty-five years as a practicing chiropractor and health care specialist, Dr. Morter has developed the revolutionary Morter HealthSystem, which is based on his Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique.
 
B.E.S.T. has been at the center of many research studies documenting the success of this neurological refining technique.  Dr. Morter and his certified staff of instructors have taught this system of health care to tens of thousands of health care providers and have lectured to hundreds of thousands of others.

Dr. Morter is the author of five nationally released books on nutrition and the mind/body connection.  He and his children—all accomplished chiropractors in their own right—currently conduct programs for health and life improvement; instruct weekend seminars to train health care providers; conduct private life-changing sessions with select clients; bring the philosophy of Morter HealthSystem to nationally prominent groups such as Chiropractic Leadership Alliance, The Masters Circle, Tony Robbins, Parker School of Professional Success, and Transformational Leadership Council; conduct corporate health programs for major corporations around the world; and produce a specially formulated supplement line.

In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Morter discusses his unique body, mind, spirit approach to health and healing.

TAC:  Dr. Morter, what influenced you to become a chiropractor?
Morter:
  When I was about fifteen years old, my younger brother was hurt in an accident, and we took him to the hospital, where he lost consciousness.  The medical doctor there told my folks that, despite his efforts, he was losing their son.  I can still remember them telling that to my dad. 

“We don’t really know why, but he is just going away, and we think he’s going to die.” 

So, my dad, disregarding the rules, took my bother out of the hospital saying, “They told me he was going to die, so I’m taking him home to die.” 

He took him home and promptly called our chiropractor.  That man left his office full of people to drive over an hour-and-a half to get to our house.  He walked in, and went in to treat my brother.  In only a few minutes he came out and said, “Your boy is going to be all right.” 

When I went in the room a short time later, my brother was up playing with his toys.  Now, that made an impression on me!  We were just in this big hospital with all these doctors and nurses and they were going to let him die, and this chiropractor, with nothing but his hands, had saved my brother’s life!

TAC:  How did you become interested in nutrition?
Morter:
  I noticed that some patients responded faster than others to my chiropractic care, and I assumed it was due to diet.  So, I asked those patients about their diets.  I assumed that those who ate a wholesome diet—you know, home-raised food from the farm, like milk, eggs, beef, chicken—would be the ones that responded to care, and the ones who grabbed a cup of coffee and doughnut on the way to work were the ones who weren’t responding.  What I found was quite the contrary!  The people who got a cup of coffee and doughnut were responding faster than the others!

Now, I knew that didn’t make sense.  There is no nutritional value in a cup of coffee and a doughnut.  So I went out and bought all the literature on the market at that time on nutrition.  And, talk about confused!  All the theories seemed to contradict each other.

So, instead of all that, I simply went back to the anatomy and physiology textbooks.  If each cell of the body worked perfectly, what was required nutritionally to augment that—to keep those cells healthy?

What I found was that first, people on the wholesome “farm” diet consumed much more protein than the coffee and doughnut sect.  And, so, I began studying just how the body handles protein.  You know, we need protein to live, but too much protein will kill you.  The most significant thing that alters cell physiology is intracellular pH.  Therefore, intra-cellularly, all cells are alkaline.  Protein has an acidifying effect on the body and, if you consume too much protein, it will acidify your body entirely.  But, just when that gets bad enough to kill you, the body has a beautifully designed backup system of producing ammonia.  The urine will then become alkaline, because of the ammonia.  However, your urine will also be alkaline if you are on a vegetarian diet.  So, if you are testing the pH of urine and you find it to be alkaline, you really don’t know that much about it.  Is it alkaline because of the sodium minerals you are getting from your vegetable diet, or from the ammonia produced to save you from your high protein diet? 

I’ve developed a three-day acid challenge test to find out.  For sure, ammonia odor in urine is a sign of an overly acidotic body.

So, basically, I got interested in nutrition because I discovered that those persons who ate less protein got well faster.  And, of course, I had to know why!

TAC:  What have you discovered about nutrition and its role in being healthy as well as correcting and preventing disease?
Morter:
  I discovered that alkalizing the body will normalize, stabilize, and energize the body.  It has to be done.  The only things that will alkalize the body naturally are fruits and vegetables.  The body can make acid, but it can’t produce alkalinity.  It has to be consumed in the form of fruits and vegetables.  Basically, you have to have sodium minerals to eliminate the acid of the body.  Sodium minerals only come from fruits and vegetables.  This is not sodium like table salt.  That’s another misconception out there.

TAC:  With all of the changing information about what’s “healthy” that we’re bombarded with, do you have recommendations for how our readers can best determine what’s really healthy for themselves as well as their patients?
Morter:
  High protein diets have been the fad recently.  Initially, they do often help people have more energy and lose weight; but, if these people continue to follow these high protein programs over time, they’ll end up with osteoporosis or some even more catastrophic illness. 

A natural diet is the only healthy diet.  Sixty percent of the body is water.  It is alkaline by nature, but acid by design.  If you are alive, you’re producing acid.  You have to counter that by consuming alkaline. 

I researched how a cell functions to determine just what would make the cells more alkaline.  Here’s what I found.  What’s healthy is that which will put the least amount of stress on the body: a diet with good, healthy, pure water and high in alkaline minerals.  I recommend the ideal diet to be between 70-75% fruits and vegetables and between 25-30% seeds, nuts and grains.  I’m not saying you can’t have meat, but it should only be consumed as less than 10% of your diet, not 90%, as a lot of people do.

TAC:  What kind of results or changes can a person expect from decreasing protein intake?
Morter:
  Well, if the person is a big protein eater, and then drastically decreases that intake, the initial results are not going to seem too pleasant! 

So, I recommend you gradually increase your servings of vegetables and then of fruits, while gradually decreasing everything else until you are eventually eating 75% fruits and vegetables and 25% grains, meats, and dairy. 

The reason I believe this is a healthy way of eating is that your body isn’t operating in damage-control mode trying to subdue excess dietary acids.  Most fruits and vegetables leave ingredients that actually help the body neutralize hard-to-eliminate acid; they help to keep your body alkaline, and your cells work best in that internal environment.  The results?  A healthier body, functioning with more energy, more vibrancy and a healthy immune system.  Talk about slowing down the aging process!

TAC:  What about nutritional supplements?  Are they really healthy and effective?  How can you tell?
Morter:
  I do use supplements that I created.  For supplements to be effective, they must be a whole food concentrate.  In other words, just a food, not synthetically made.  Nature has the answers.  The supplements I recommend are as near nature as they can be.  The less man has to do with the formulation of supplementation, the better.  Nature always knows best.  It’s not just a matter of the ingredients in the substance. Man could put all ingredients in, but he can’t get the relationship to everything as in nature.  Nature is smarter than we think and smarter than we can think.  Whatever you consume must augment and be low stress on the body.

TAC:  Do you have an overall philosophy about nutrition and health?
Morter:
  Our philosophy of the Morter HealthSystem is that we all “are” because of six essential things:  what we eat and drink, how we exercise and rest, what and how we breathe, and what we think.  And, what we think is more important than the other five combined.  So, in my work, I’m concerned with the thought processes and emotional processes when dealing with the health of an individual. 

It is my belief that every physical ailment is a physical expression of a suppressed emotional memory override—a lesson that was not learned, because it’s all about how we respond to stress.  If we learn the lesson, there is no judgment, and then forgiveness is not necessary.  Judgment causes interference, and interference is the big cause of disease—that is, interference with the power that made us.  B.E.S.T. was developed to address and remove this interference, as well as subluxation.

TAC:  Tell us about the B.E.S.T. technique of which you’re the founder.
Morter:
  B.E.S.T. (the Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique) was developed because I found that people would come to me, and I would adjust the subluxation, and they would be better when they got off the table. 

But, many times, I would hear them say the symptom, or another like it, was back a short time later.  I got to thinking, what is the cause of the subluxation?  I learned along the way that, if you adjust a vertebra and you had the patient get up and move around, one of three things happened: 1. It came back out; 2. The one next to it came out; or 3. The opposite came out.  So, I realized that subluxations are compensations, and that all subluxations are a perfect response to interference.

The number one cause of interference is the improper use of the conscious cognitive mind.  Then innate—which doesn’t think, judge or reason—responds to the interference.  In other words, your body responds subconsciously to the interference as if it were a new innate.  And, that isn’t the real innate, so things start to go wrong. 

I developed B.E.S.T. as a technique of locating and removing the cause of the subluxation, which is the cause of the symptom that brings the patient to us.  I felt we had to learn how to adjust and correct the cause of the subluxation at the same time we correct the subluxation itself.

TAC:  Is there anything controversial about the B.E.S.T. Technique? 
Morter:
  In my mind, there’s no controversy!  However, there seems to be some none-the-less.  All I know is that I believe the cause of disease is interference, which is created by choices we make in six essential areas.  And, you can’t eat your way out of a subluxation, nor adjust your way out of a nutritional deficiency.

TAC:  Do you have a check point system of the whole body, to help our readers make sure not to overlook any problem on their patients?
Morter:
  Yes, I do.  If the patient is face down on the table, and you look at their legs in the down position –are they even?  And, then, you raise them to the up position.  Are they even?  Then you turn the patient over; are the legs even in length?  When you internally rotate their legs, are they loose in spasticity?

In an arm check, are both arms strong with the eyes open and closed? 

Now, if all of these things are positive, that person will get better between now and when you see them again.  It doesn’t matter what technique you used; you got that accomplished. 

On the other hand, if any of the things I described is not true, there is more you can do to bring about a better homeostasis within that patient.  What I have found is that they are segmented, and innate intelligence is working on one part of the body and ignoring another.  Where it’s ignoring, disease like cancer could develop, and where it’s paying attention, pain will develop.  By balancing the body, you can bring it back into alliance so it’s able to receive the power that made it, which is the only power that can heal it.

TAC:  What is your favorite success story?
Morter:
  One of the most dramatic stories—and I’ve seen many over the years using B.E.S.T.—happened just recently. 

I was on stage, doing one of our B.E.S.T. Life Intensive seminars in California.  There were over 500 people in the audience, and I asked for someone to volunteer to be treated on stage as an example.  The lady who came up (they had to help her to the stage) was standing by the table, and I said for her to bend forward as far as she could until it hurt.  She, basically, just moved her eyeballs. 

So, I asked her to bend backward until it hurt.  She really couldn’t move at all in any direction. 

I asked her if that was all she could move, and she said that it was.  I also asked how long she had been like that, and she said that she has been disabled for fifteen years.  I told her how I was surprised they hadn’t fused her spine.  She said they had—that she had had spinal surgery and remained disabled.

My first thought was, how could I expect her to get better when her spine had been fused?  And then I thought, who was I to determine how good this person could get? 
So, I immediately went to work and removed the interference between her and the power that made her.  I’d get some work done, and have her think about her low back pain and instantly she’d freeze up.  So, I’d do some more work.  It probably took twelve to fourteen minutes.

And then I had her think of her back pain and it didn’t change her physiology.  Keep in mind, any thought that changes physiology is interference. So, I helped her off the table and I moved her gently to bend forward and backward, just a little bit.  I didn’t want her to activate the fight or flight reflex she had been stuck in. 

I then told her to bend forward slowly until it hurt.  And, she bent forward farther and farther until she touched the floor with the palms of her hands!  I looked at that, and I was amazed!  I knew I was seeing it!  She then stood right up and said, “And it doesn’t even hurt!” 

Well, needless to say, the crowd went wild!  Later in the seminar, she was even up on the stage dancing!  I realized later that this was the lady who had been in a motorized wheel chair when she came in.  I hadn’t even put that together when she came up on stage.  Her husband then told me that, previously, she had not been able to stand for more than five minutes because the pain in her back would be so excruciating that she’d have to sit down.  I have seen her at subsequent seminars and she’s been dancing and, happily, normal.  Now, to me, that’s a miracle—being able to remove the interference so the power that made her body could run her body.

TAC:  Any final words for our readers?
Morter:
  As far as I’m concerned, chiropractic needs to expand its concept of its function in relationship to the welfare of mankind, worldwide.  We need to be able to look at the human body differently.  The body was built perfectly, and it cannot do anything wrong. 

Our job is to find out why it’s been doing what it has, that has lead to disease. 

Because, whatever it’s been doing is a perfect response to something.  An effect.  Move away from diagnosis and then subsequent treatment, and move toward finding and addressing the cause of the condition.  Until we address the cause directly instead of chasing symptoms, we are doing nothing more than giving an aspirin for a condition.  That’s healing from the outside in, instead of what it should be: healing from the inside out.  We must remove the interference with the power that built the body in the first place—reestablishing the original, perfect connection.

For more information on learning the B.E.S.T. Technique, go to www.morter.com or call 1-800-874-1478.

 
The Quest for Athletes’ Peak Performance
Cover Stories
Written by George LeBeau, D.C.   
Monday, 28 August 2006 21:19

Dr. George Le Beau is a 1972 graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College of Los Angeles. His thirty-four years of continuous private practice have been devoted, in large part, to the treatment of athletes from Gymboree toddlers to the Senior Olympics. Since 1984, Dr. Le Beau has taught more than 350 seminars on spine and extremity techniques to more than 10,000 chiropractors worldwide.

In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Le Beau discusses the process by which he grew from a one-doctor, 800 square foot office to Olympic Team Doctor in just over ten years.

 

TAC: What influenced you to become a chiropractor?
LeBeau:
I started at Cleveland Chiropractic College of Los Angeles in September of 1969, shortly after getting out of the Army. I had my Veteran’s school benefits and Disability Award and wanted to go to college.

While trying to decide what I wanted to do, I talked with my brother-in-law, Dr. Art Rehe, in Northern California, who was in this weird kind of school called chiropractic college. At first, I thought he was kidding me; I’d never heard of this stuff! Finally, I went with him to the school, met C. S. Cleveland and Dr. Dorothea Towne and started learning about chiropractic. I thought, “What the heck, I can always quit and try something else if this doesn’t work.”

You all know, as soon as you start chiropractic college, you are assigned a Clinic Doctor and start treatment, right? All of my skepticism left when, within six weeks, the severe acne that I had developed at age thirteen, and continued to suffer from for ten years, completely disappeared! I threw myself into this career and have never regretted it for a minute!

TAC: What kind of practice do you have?
LeBeau:
Today, I’m sixty-years-old, and practice part time about twenty hours a week.

My practice is very eclectic. I treat babies, retirees, and families—just about everyone. I currently have about eight or ten serious athletes who compete in professional baseball, full contact karate, diving, auto and bicycle racing. I also have quite a few chiropractors and their families who come to me for treatment on a regular basis.

TAC: How did you go from such a small, “one man office” to the Olympic Team?
Le Beau:
Working with athletes was a goal of mine since my first year in chiropractic college. When I finally did get into practice, I started looking for ways to make it happen.

I have always been a believer in “growing where you are planted;” so, in my first full year in practice, 1973, I started working with the Chargers, Raiders, Broncos, Hawks and Panthers. Of course, they were Pop Warner teams; but, what the heck, you have to start somewhere.

From that first year, I worked with five teams (200 kids, ranging in age from eight to fourteen), two nights a week and all day Saturday, for five years.

The nice thing about working with kids is, they grow up. So, by 1978, I was working with several high school and local college teams. That was the year I was approached by Athletes In Action, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ, and asked if I would come to their practices one day a week to treat their athletes. I took all day Thursdays, drove to the University of California Irvine, in Orange County, and worked with many of their athletes, from six to eight teams including Track & Field, Wrestling & Basketball. About that same time, I also started volunteering as Team Doctor / Athletic Trainer for the San Diego Sharks Semi-Pro Football Team. I continued working with these groups until 1983.

About June of ’83, a former patient that had been a judo athlete contacted me. He had “retired” from competition and was now involved with the National Governing Body of US Judo “in development.”

He said, “Doc, I know you work with all kinds of sports teams. We’re putting together a group of young athletes for a competition and we need a doctor. I was wondering if you would be interested”.

“Sure,” I said. “Where we going?”

“England,” he said.

In October of that year, I traveled with nineteen athletes, two coaches, a manager and several referees to the British Open Women’s Judo Championships. They liked the treatment I provided and, over the next ten years, I traveled to more than fifty national and international sporting events in twenty-five countries on six continents.

TAC: What was that like?
Le Beau:
It was just amazing. As Team Doctor, I had a tremendous amount of authority and responsibility. I could not tell a player he or she had to have an evaluation or treatment; but, if they chose to do so, I would do everything in my experience to help them perform at peak efficiency. One of the young women on that trip won the Gold Medal in the heavyweight division. She came up to me after her presentation and said this was the first time she had ever competed without back pain.

Over that week at Crystal Palace auditorium in London, I treated over a hundred athletes, coaches, referees and officials from several dozen countries and became friends with people who determined future events. I was asked back many times (usually by request) and, whenever I was present at a tournament, I was automatically considered the “unofficial” doctor for many of the teams.

TAC: What is your favorite success story?
LeBeau
: There are quite a few, but the one that I like to tell is about when I accompanied the Junior Olympic Team to the Pan Am Games in Mexico City. These were all tough young guys, trying to prove themselves at their very first International Competition. Our “heavyweight” was a seventeen-year-old athlete named Joey. During his second match, Joey did a spin move and threw his opponent completely over his head and the other player landed flat on his back, ending the match.

Unfortunately for Joey, he had used so much force that the momentum of his move caused him to land on top of his head. He told me later that he started feeling “weird” right away. By the time the referee awarded the match to Joey, he had lost the vision in his right eye. He was freaking out! The coach and other people brought him to the bleachers where some of the medical staff started examining him. The only thing that kept Joey from totally losing it was there were a lot of young pretty girls around.

Finally, the coach said, “Go get Doc.”

I had been in the training room, working on some of the other team members when they told me what happened. When I came up to Joey, I put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Joey I just want to.…”

And he yelled, “Do something!”

His eyes dilated normally; no dizziness, no nausea. Everything checked out OK, he just couldn’t see from the right eye!

While I was evaluating him, I noticed his head was tilted quite a bit toward the right and his Atlas transverse process was sticking out to the left.

I stood behind him, tilted his head to the left (opening the occiput-Atlas joint on the opposite side) and, with my left thumb, I applied a very light thrust onto his left Atlas transverse toward the center of his spine. There was a very slight “pop” and he jumped up and said, “What did you do?”

I took a step back and said, “Why?” (He was a lot bigger than me.)

He then said, “When you popped my neck, it was like a big flash went off in my head and I can see now!”

I stepped a little closer, put my hand on his shoulder and said, “Well, of course, what did you expect!”

Whew, what a rush. I told that story at a seminar in LA and the brother of one of the chiropractors in attendance happened to be an ophthalmologist. He stood up and said he had personally treated people with similar symptoms. He said the prevailing theory was a blockage of the vertebral artery, which supplies blood to the occipital lobe of the brain, where visual images are interpreted. He said the eyes were working OK, but the pictures weren’t getting developed. Then he said, “When you adjusted his Atlas, you removed the interference, restored the blood flow and he was able to see again.”
Works for me.

TAC: As a chiropractor, did you ever experience any resistance to your presence at the Olympic games?
LeBeau:
Well, if it had been up to the Medical Committee, I would never have been asked back as Team Doctor. In 1987, the Medical Committee was successful in “bumping” me from the World Championships and replacing me with a medical doctor (a vascular surgeon).

They were never able to do that again. Why?

Think about it. He could not perform any treatment. He could evaluate an injury but, then, he had to make a referral to someone else to do the treatment. He had no idea at all about how to tape an injured extremity for competition and he was certainly unable to provide competent chiropractic care. The resulting uproar from the coaches and athletes assured that I was never “cut” again.

It was this demand that enabled me to travel with the teams. I was traveling with teams so much, it got to the point of disrupting my practice. In 1986, I was gone fourteen weeks from my practice and traveled almost 70,000 miles. While this was good for my frequent flyer rewards, it seriously impacted my practice.

After that year, I limited myself to four or five trips a year. Remember, this is not a paid position. All of these trips are completely voluntary. We might get a small per diem of $40 or $50 a day (if the budget allows), and all travel expenses are paid, but there is no salary. However, the thrill and experience of working and traveling with Elite Olympic Athletes over a ten-year period is incomparable.

TAC: What have you learned from your experience with athletes that would be useful for chiropractors dealing with their not-so-athletic patients?
LeBeau:
What I want doctors to remember is, an injury is an injury. What I mean is, a sprained ankle suffered by an Olympic gymnast is no different from the sprained ankle of the sixty-year-old woman who trips over her dog.

When you work with World Class Elite Athletes, you are dealing with people who do not have time to be injured. They will ignore injuries until there is a significant impairment in their performance. Then, when they finally do admit to the injury, they want to be well RIGHT NOW! As the Team Doctor, you usually get one chance to prove yourself and get the athlete to trust you. That is a frightening and powerful responsibility. Because the techniques I use are gentle and work quickly, I was able to gain the trust and respect of not only the athletes, but the coaches, team managers and many of the official referees, as well.

How do I know this? Admittance onto the “regular” panel of doctors was not completely controlled by the top governing body representatives. The athletes and coaches had a very big say in whom they wanted to accompany their team as doctor. In the ten years from 1983 to 1993, all of the fifty-or-so trips I attended as Team Doctor were by direct request. Because I was invited on so many trips over a relatively short period of time, I was able to make friends with many coaches and athletes from around the world who, in turn, would introduce me to other athletes in need of help.

A good example of this was, in 1984, after the ’84 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. I was invited to the very first “Matsumai Judo Cup” held in Vienna, Austria, where I met a superb athlete from Yugoslavia named Radomer. He had a lower back injury, which caused him to stop competition due to very severe pain. When I met him, he said, “I hab ’da numbs.”

His right leg was completely numb from his back injury. He walked with a noticeable limp and could not bend or lift at all. After many months of treatment in Europe with minimal success, he went to live in Japan so he could get daily acupuncture treatment. This did help him to, literally, get back on his feet again, but he still had his pain and constant numbness. At 6’ 9” and 280 pounds, he was way too big for my table, so I adjusted him on the bleachers. After I balanced his psoas muscle, then adjusted his spine, he stood up and, for the first time in over five years, had no pain.

TAC: We’ve heard a lot about the Le Beau Technique. What is it and how is it different from other techniques?
Le Beau:
Because of numerous injuries and a military disability, I realized early in my education I would not be using the techniques I learned in chiropractic college. They were just too difficult and painful for me to perform. I went to many seminars looking for the “right” technique but could not find one that “fit” me.

Then I met Dr. Russ Erhardt, one of the truly great doctors of our profession. During one of the many seminars I took from him, he said, “If you can find a way to ‘open the articulation,’ you have already made your job 50% easier.”

Wow, what a tremendous concept. For me, it was like the cartoon where a light bulb appears over someone’s head. I got it! That concept became the basis of what I now call the Le Beau Technique. Believe me, when a 6’ 10”, 380-pound judo player drags himself into the treatment room and says, “Don’t hurt me,” you listen. So, with this application in mind, over the next few years, I developed a “head to toe” gentle technique with emphasis on the extremities.

TAC: Can you elaborate on the term open the articulation?
LeBeau:
When I speak of “open the articulation” I’m talking about slightly expanding or distracting the joint surfaces in order to create an opening effect within the joint which, in turn, reduces the resistance to the adjustment.

A good example of this is, recently, a Formula 3 racecar driver came to me for help with a clavicle problem. He had injured his shoulder when he fell at home. The shoulder injury, itself, had resolved; but he still had a large “lump” at the end of his clavicle where it attaches to the sternum. His clavicle had subluxated anterior and slightly superior, creating pain, inflammation and loss of movement in his left shoulder. I have treated literally hundreds of these over the past twenty-three years, but I was never taught how to treat this condition. It had never occurred to me that this joint could subluxate.

Then, in 1987, while in Austria at the Women’s World Championships, I was working on a number of athletes when a young woman came to me and asked, “What can you do for this?”

She opened the top of her judo gi (competition uniform), and I saw that her left clavicle was completely out of position and sticking up into her throat. She said, “It only bothers me when I turn my head to the left.” Then she turned her head to the left and started gagging!

This wasn’t just a subluxation, this was a full on dislocation of her medial clavicle head. I not only had never treated something like this, I didn’t even know it existed. To reduce this dislocation, I had her lie on her back on my treatment table, then I extended her left arm out and off the table with the wrist toward the floor, which “opened” the sterno-clavicle articulation. At the same time, I pulled downward on the medial shaft of the clavicle and, to my complete surprise, the clavicle head “popped” into the joint space and she was immediately able to turn her head with no choking or gagging.

After that, I started looking for clavicle subluxations and found I had been missing these for years. I can guarantee your readers that, if they go back and look at some of their AP cervical spine X-rays of people who have been in car accidents, they will see one of the clavicles subluxated (usually on the side of the seat belt).

So, getting back to my racecar driver, I dropped his arm off the table, applied my adjustment along the long axis of the clavicle toward his shoulder and, because the joint was “open,” the clavicle slid into place and his pain, inflammation and loss of movement resolved.

TAC: What’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in five years?
Le Beau:
I know I will never totally give up practicing. I see myself, at ninety, shuffling around treating patients one or two days a week. But, for now, I want to concentrate on teaching seminars, nationally and internationally. I have been teaching for twenty-two years and have had more than 10,000 chiropractors as students throughout the US and in Europe, Asia, Australia and, now, Central America. At the present time, I’m working on sponsoring my own seminars for license renewal credits and working on a project that may take me to a more international market.

TAC: What questions are you asked most frequently during your seminars?
LeBeau
: During thirty-four years of practice, I have developed dozens of techniques and, most frequently, I am asked, “How did you come up with that?!”

I’ll give you one example. I was shot in the left lower leg in Vietnam in 1968. As you would expect, I have a very chronic problem with my leg and foot.

One evening, during a particularly severe episode of pain and burning in my foot brought on by nerve regeneration (“Wallerian Regeneration”), I started rubbing my foot. I was on the floor with the lateral surface of my foot against the carpet and my knee bent in full flexion. I rose up about six inches and pushed downward on my heel with one hand and my toes with the other. There was a very loud audible and my pain and burning stopped right away. I have been teaching that technique now for over twenty years. I call that one “the everything” technique because, when performed correctly, it moves just about every bone in the foot. I don’t know what made me think of doing that. It just seemed like a good idea at the time.

TAC: Do you have any secrets to your success in practice? In life?
LeBeau
: In practice, the line between “working hard” and “burning out” is really fuzzy. Just don’t work so hard early on that you forget what it is you are working for!

Practice Management groups tell us to set goals and then, when you reach that goal, celebrate, reward yourself and your family. Too often, I see chiropractors that become so focused on the goal they forget the reward. Next, they’re selling real estate or vitamins.

Have fun but, when you are attacked, don’t back down. Get angry and fight back! When I was first asked to work as the Pop Warner Team Doctor, in 1973, angry letters went out from every pediatric group in Vista, California, stating, “Any of you parents who allow your children to be treated by this chiropractor will no longer be accepted as patients in this office.”

Even though it has been almost thirty-four years since reading that letter, I remember it like it was yesterday. The Commissioner of the Pop Warner League called me, personally, and said he was being forced by his Board of Directors to rescind my offer.

Man, I was angry! I asked him to give me a few days; and he said the next meeting was scheduled for the following week.

I contacted an attorney I know and went to see him. You should have seen the smile on my friend’s face when I told him about this letter. He said, “George, let me take care of this.” I did.

Just before the next Board Meeting, I received another phone call from Al, the Commissioner, who told me, “We just got a copy of a letter that went out from all of the pediatric groups, apologizing to their patients about the previous letter, concerning the chiropractor, which had been sent in error.” They were very sorry for any inconvenience that letter may have caused and would, of course, welcome any of their children as patients at any time.

I called my attorney friend and asked what he had done. He stated, he simply advised those doctors about the laws regarding malpractice and patient abandonment. He had so much fun doing this he never even billed me!

TAC: Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
Le Beau:
Yes, there is. In my thirty-four years of practice, with personal and business travel to more than fifty countries, I have never encountered a more organized, professional and hospitable group as I did with The American Chiropractor magazine and the people of Panama this past February at “Chiropractic ’06”. I know this may sound corny or commercial, but if you are thinking of taking one really great International Seminar, I, personally, feel you could do no better than “Chiropractic ’07” in Panama. I am honored to have been a small part of that seminar this year and feel doubly honored to have been asked back again next year for “Chiropractic ’07”.

TAC: Since you brought it up and you are speaking at Chiropractic ’07, in February 2007, would you give us a sneak preview of what, our sources say, will be a particularly dynamic presentation?
LeBeau:
For ’07, I plan to present a much wider range of new techniques I am in the process of developing that involve the use of patient resistance during the adjustment, as well as the always very popular “Thoracic Block” technique.

Dr. Le Beau practices at Chiropractic Industrial and Sports Center; 1365 West Vista Way, Suite 100; Vista, CA 92083. If you have questions or comments for Dr. Le Beau, he can be reached by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
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