Written by Dr. Richard E. Busch, III, D.C.
Thursday, 01 December 2005 15:50
The fastest way to affect public opinion is through television. Shows like CBS’ Two and a Half Men, in which one of the lead characters is a chiropractor, show that the profession has, indeed, entered the mainstream of American culture… albeit with a less than ideal portrayal of a chiropractor, it’s a start.
So how do you use this mega-tool to promote your practice and enhance your image? Here are three proven options available to get you started.
Do-it-Yourself TV Advertising:
After ten years advertising on TV in his local community, Dr. Richard Busch III shares some tips for you to get the best results on your own.
Describe the process for creating your own commercials:
The first step in creating a commercial is simple but not easy. It takes critical thinking, evaluation and consulting with others to decide exactly what about your business you need to advertise.
Develop a specific definition, statement and slogan about your business. You can have more than one statement, but only one slogan. What exactly do you do besides run a chiropractic clinic? Are you the most-on-time, most gentle, most kind, most fun, easiest to get to, the most successful clinic in the area? The more common the benefit you have, the easier it is to market.
It can be very easy to make a commercial. You can consult with a local or cable television station or full-service production company, comparing fees and quality. There can be a drastic quality difference. The lower end looks adequate, like a good video camera; however, eventually, you want to have the quality of a national commercial. This is all part of your perception and image. However, you have to stay within budget. It is wise to get a quote and request a clear discussion on the exact process involved.
You need to know your target market. Lacking that knowledge, you can be certain you may be throwing some of your money away! But, not all your money, because it is better to have some coverage rather than no coverage. You will learn as you go!
The actual process of writing the spot is as simple as sitting at your computer and talking out loud! Then, just type what you say, read it out loud, add and delete parts, then read it again. Most television commercials are 30 seconds long and not all that time will be allocated to your exact message. There should be an introduction, message, and exit. This doesn’t allow for much verbiage. Ask your television representative for help. If you can get something started on paper, the process falls in line. It is a matter of rewriting and rereading against the clock. Remember your mission, vision, results and your slogan. Keep these as part of your commercial. Think of Hertz and “We try harder!” Use testimonials; they sell you the best! Your patients will be delighted to be in your commercial. It just takes coordination, and that is simple.
Busch Chiropractic Centers began 10 years ago and, initially, had negotiated the commercial production into the cost of the over all commercials—in essence production was free. As time went on and our needs began to change, and we wanted to have a higher quality spot, we actually went to a production company and filmed our commercials and infomercials in their facility with a director and cameraman. This is definitely more expensive, however it does look a great deal more professional, and that is an important message to convey at any stage of your career. Always dress for your part; dress for success. You are the finest doctor delivering the finest care because you care!
What’s the budget required?
The budget to produce a commercial can vary from nothing to thousands of dollars; it really just depends on where you’re producing. Your advertising schedule could offset your production expense in certain markets. Higher quality costs. It also depends on if you want to re-film frequently, run longer-term, or try for free production. However, a quote to you is free! So call your television stations, and have them come out and visit. See what the representatives have to offer in both personal knowledge and added value for your business. Most of the time, you can expect help in script writing, which you should expect to rewrite. You are the one with the intimate knowledge of your business, vision, mission and personality. You are your business. Don’t be afraid to change things.
What results can be expected?
When it comes to advertising, there is nothing that can be taken for granted; it is something you have to commit to and you must stick with it. The only thing you can expect is there is no way to receive results if you don’t advertise. Responses will begin slowly and then build on themselves. There is no way to advertise a fire sale and expect a full office. You can work on a full marketing program to back up your commercial. Contact your local publications, magazines, and newspapers, all of them; ask for news releases and news stories. You will surprise yourself with what you will accomplish. You must commit to marketing and that is more than one commercial.
How should the results be measured?
The only way to measure results is with statistics. You have to measure the new patients you are seeing prior to the advertising campaign and then you must track the new patients and where are they coming from. Are they coming from TV advertising, radio, newspaper or referral? Graph the results and also compare overall numbers. The only way you can measure the success is to look at the past and compare the past to your new effort.
Have set tracking methods in place, begin asking your patients, “How did you hear of us?” Then write this information down and graph it monthly. Or you can say, “Please help us with our marketing by filling out this form, telling us more about your viewing and listing preferences.” Larger groups can use specific telephone numbers tagged with a specific commercial.
What is the Return On Investment (ROI)?
Well, I don’t really think you can paint it in that much of a black and white picture. Again, it really depends on your goal. If you look at it from the right perspective, when you spend 100 dollars and you collect 110, I’d call that a success. That, of course, is on the very low end of the scale, though. In an ideal world, advertising budgets should be about 10% of gross collections.
Any other information you think is pertinent/relevant?
I think it is important to note that what you commit to you must follow through on. Otherwise, you cannot determine the extent of success; and you cannot determine success with just a week or month of advertising—it will take much longer than that, but the long-term commitment is worth it!
Additionally, interview advertising agencies; they may have ways of actually paying for themselves! They may be able to negotiate bulk rates based on their client base and, while you’re interviewing them, you have the opportunity to learn a lot about marketing! Don’t be afraid to ask for value-added bonus spots, interview opportunities and ways to participate in your television stations’ community involvement.
Know that, when you are seen on a television commercial, it is a one-on-one experience with the viewers. It is as if you are a guest in their home and they feel as if they know you!
Dr. Busch can be reached at 888-471-4090 or at www.buschchiropractic.com.
Written by Boyd Williams, D.C.
Saturday, 26 November 2005 22:46
Dr. Boyd Williams is a 1987 graduate of Northwestern Chiropractic College who practices in his hometown, Rochester, Minnesota, with his wife, Cindy, a 1996 graduate of NWCC.
Beginning his practice as a sole practitioner in 1988, Dr. Williams became a certified Chiropractic Sports Physician in 1991 and the first sports chiropractic diplomate in Minnesota in 1994. Then, he enthusiastically set out to develop a successful sports chiropractic practice.
Nearly fifteen years later, though, the Doctors Williams found themselves on the brink of burnout, disillusioned and exhausted from the stress attendant to trying to manage an insurance/pain-based practice, and decided it was time for a change.
In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Williams describes a remarkable process of transforming his consciousness, his life, and the lives of his patients by refocusing his efforts on establishing a family-wellness, subluxation based cash practice. As he says, “The amazing fact we experience everyday is that, when we tell the truth (i.e., chiropractic removes nerve interference and, with less interference, comes more life) people will pay cash for long-term care for themselves and their families.”
TAC: What inspired you to become a chiropractor?
Williams: I entered the chiropractic profession at age 14, working as a chiropractic assistant for my uncle, Dr. Robert Jensen, in Stewartville, Minnesota. The experience of seeing first hand the wonders of the chiropractic adjustment compelled me to pursue an education from a young age and a career as a chiropractor.
I entered Northwestern College of Chiropractic in 1983, graduating in April of 1987, and returned home to begin practice with my uncle, until I opened my own practice in 1988 with the help of family, friends and a number of “seed-patients” uncle Bob gave me.
TAC: What type of patients do you generally treat or attract?
Williams: Our “practice member” clientele is comprised of adults and children. We have a family wellness practice, which has been our goal and focus in developing over the past 3 years. Our practice family ages range from 3-day-old infants to patients in their 80’s and 90’s under wellness care.
The specifics of our practice members would be a 60:40 split (female to male), predominantly white collar professional, only 5% auto or work-comp and approximately 85% cash (self-pay). Two-thirds of our office visits are multiple family members.
TAC: Which techniques do you use and why?
Williams: Diversified techniques, lifestyle modification/coaching addressing the 3-T or 3 dimensions of life stress (physical, psychological, biochemical). We discontinued being a physiotherapy clinic three years ago and now focus on subluxation removal alone.
TAC: What diagnostic testing procedures do you use and why?
Williams: We utilize the Waiting List Practice (WLP) system for patient testing, report of findings and retention. This includes postural analysis, biostructural evaluation, and X-ray analysis. Also we use neurodiagnostic testing including thermography and surface E.M.G (Insight Millennium Subluxation Station). Also, all of our adult practice members go through the Creating Wellness testing.
TAC: We understand your practice is based on the “Creating Wellness” principles. Can you explain what that means in treating patients?
Williams: The Creating Wellness Alliance (CWA) is the brainchild of Dr. Patrick Gentempo, of the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance, who, with others from within and outside the CLA, had the vision and drive to invest themselves and their resources in positioning chiropractic clinics in a national brand to be at the forefront of the current Wellness Revolution explosion in this country.
The Creating Wellness Assessment is a comprehensive profile of over 25 physiological tests and questions that reveal the level of health in 3 dimensions of negative life stresses: physical, biochemical and psychological. We look at each of these areas and how they are affecting overall health. The Creating Wellness profile is the only program developed that looks at these three dimensions of life and computes a “wellness quotient number,” determining how it compares to normal healthy values, and then develops a plan with our coaching and the chiropractic-care program to help you move to a higher level of health and wellness.
TAC: Tell us two or three of your most amazing patient success stories.
Williams: There are numerous patient success stories all chiropractors are blessed to be part of. Some which come to mind include individuals with multiple sclerosis experiencing elimination in chronic symptoms of numbness, weakness and energy loss; elderly patients in their 70’s, 80’s & 90’s who “hear the message” why not to give up on their health and life and, instead, experience dramatic subjective and objective improvement in their health; and, of course, the numerous pediatric miracles, involving recovery from asthma, colic, ear infection, bed-wetting, failure to thrive and many other conditions. It is always and honor and sacred trust when a parent entrusts their child to you for care.
TAC: What has really impacted your growth as a chiropractor and that of your practice?
Williams: Mentors, teachers and practice coaches are an essential to a successful business. My energy and focus toward the fundamental precepts of chiropractic (i.e., philosophy) is another key to success and enjoyment in my practice. Being purpose-minded and staying on-purpose is a constant exercise. The many distractions of daily life, both in and outside of the practice, will always tend to pull us away from what’s important (my coach calls it making a difference vs. making a living). A strong purpose, rooted in a strong philosophy, I’ve found, is what makes chiropractic separate and distinct from the other health professions; it makes chiropractic great.
TAC: What marketing strategies do you use to attract new patients and to keep current patients?
Williams: Our marketing and advertising consists of primary community exposure through screenings, lectures, and work-site and industrial talks. We follow through with a systematic WLP patient education program, involving daily “table talk,” workshops, and reports…. It’s comprehensive!
TAC: What else makes your practice different from other practices?
Williams: We share most of the common traits and challenges of most DC’s but we are unique in that we have truly clarified our purpose and focus: subluxation based family lifetime wellness.
TAC: With your practice being cash-based wellness care can you tell our readers your advice about setting up and maintaining such a practice in today’s healthcare system?
Williams: Well, my story is a little different, because I didn’t start out to have that kind of practice. In the first many years of practice, it was my desire to develop a sports chiropractic practice.
But, after several years of practice growth, staff additions and clinic expansions, my wife, Cindy, and I had an epiphany. After years of working long and hard to grow the practice, we had hit a wall—a “glass ceiling,” if you will. We, as so many of our chiropractic colleagues were experiencing burnout. We were attending seminar after seminar, pursuing numerous marketing programs and never-ending efforts to motivate staff but, yet, falling short of our goals. The revelation that came to us was this: Working to grow a successful, profitable insurance pain-based practice was NOT fun (or rewarding)!
So, we knew, if things were ever going to change, we had to change. Our change began with a new found purpose. We found our purpose in philosophy. Cindy and I had graduated chiropractic college strong in the “science” of chiropractic; years of practice had made us solid in the “art” of chiropractic; but we had been ever lacking in the “philosophy” of chiropractic. Why is it that the busiest, happiest and most profitable DC’s seem to be those who have deep-rooted philosophy first (and foremost) in their practice?
We met and began learning from purposed-based DC’s What we discovered was a newfound energy, joy and passion for this wonderful profession. We quickly dove in and changed our practice systems, procedures, policies and, most of all, our patient education. We utilized the advice and experience of other successful chiropractors and coaches and we’ve seen a 3-fold growth in our office visits and retention in 2½ years.
The keys to success are Purpose, Passion and Never-ending Training (“Practice makes better!”). Cindy and I are now enjoying the fruit of a step-by-step conversion, from an insurance/pain-based practice model to a family-wellness, subluxation based cash practice. The wellness component became complete in 2004, as we became one of a growing number of Creating Wellness Centers.
The amazing fact we experience everyday is that, when we tell the truth (i.e., chiropractic removes nerve interference and, with less interference, comes more life) people will pay cash for long-term care for themselves and their families.
TAC: So, then, what single piece of advice would you give a new chiropractor just starting out?
Williams: I would encourage new graduates and established practitioners alike, to, first, position themselves away from insurance.
Second, align yourself with organizations that are leading the way into wellness-based family care. Learn from others (D.C.’s, consultants) who are successfully using proven and ethical cash programs. The public wants what we have and they will choose to pay for it!
Finally, don’t be afraid to get out of your office and regularly share the truth about chiropractic. It works! Do talks, screenings, workshops, etc.
TAC: Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?
Williams: The future of chiropractic is bright! Who else will save the country from its health crisis? Who else will give its “huddled masses” an option other than a lifetime of drugs and surgery? Who else is going to lead the Wellness Revolution?
You may contact Dr. Boyd Williams at
Written by Karl Parker, D.C.
Wednesday, 26 October 2005 22:02
After a controversial change of leadership at Parker College of Chiropractic 7 years ago, which stunned the entire United States chiropractic community, Dr. Karl Parker, son of the late Dr. James Parker, was summarily “relieved of his duties” as President of the college, an institution founded by his late father, leaving the former PCC President and heir apparent to the Parker Foundation stripped of his birthright.
At the time, Dr. Karl, as he’s affectionately known in the profession—never down and certainly never out—pulled himself up by the bootstraps and, looking forward rather than at what might have been, set out to recreate himself and the legacy his father had left behind.
Legally prohibited from using even his father’s name or any reference to him in his promotional material, he launched his own seminar series, determined to continue serving the profession he loves as he had been taught. Within three months of leaving Parker College, he debuted the first of his own seminars, with nearly 500 DC’s and CA’s in attendance!
Then, not long after, Dr. Karl received another and more crushing blow when he lost his beloved son, Chance, to a lengthy battle with renal cell carcinoma. Chance who has been president of the Parker Professional Products, was also terminated shortly after his father and 2 years after his grandfather’s dismissal.
But, if ever anyone has personified the success principles he teaches, it has to be Dr. Karl Parker, whose credo throughout everything has remained “Be happy.”
In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Karl Parker shares his dream for chiropractic and a truly groundbreaking new approach to getting the message out to his professional colleagues—with a special offer to TAC readers, in particular.
TAC: It’s been 5 years since our last interview, Dr. Karl. Bring us up to date on what you’ve been doing.
Parker: I am still continuing the mission of service to chiropractic that was my father’s before me and that he instilled so well and deeply within me. We continue to use the full resources of the Parker family to bring greater success to chiropractors; only we are taking it to the next level, to encompass more than just success. Our mission is to bring greater health, abundance, peace and joy into the lives of all members of this profession and those they serve.
TAC: So, you are still doing seminars for chiropractors?
Parker: Yes, we are presenting at least 8 seminars a year: 2 in Las Vegas, 1 in Chicago, 1 in the Northeast and the rest in the South, most often in Dallas. Generally, the Las Vegas seminars are called our Main Events, which usually begin on Thursday and go to Sunday and have about 44 speakers and 100 classes in 8 tracks with 24 hours of CEU’s. Most of the others are our Weekend Specials, which begin on Friday night and go to noon Sunday, usually with about 12 speakers and 40 classes in 4 tracks with 20 hours of CEU’s with no lost time out of the office. We feel this system best serves our profession’s needs. Besides presenting the seminars, we have an organization called ParkerSource.
TAC: What is ParkerSource?
Parker: It is an affordable practice success membership organization that provides 8 modules of live success seminars, ongoing online practice success training, consultations, practice problem solutions from over 55 experts, over $5,000 of free practice products and services, annual license renewal and a buyers service that can save thousands…all for the small monthly fee of $97. Basically, it’s for doctors who want a very cost effective way to tap into all our resources to help their practices.
TAC: Well, that sounds innovative…and reasonable! Now, tell us about this dream you want to share.
Parker: That’s what this interview is all about. It is to announce that a 20-year dream of mine has finally come to pass. Now, for the first time ever, we are inviting ALL of TAC’s readers to attend a top 5 national chiropractic event with no registration or tuition fees, so basically…FREE!
TAC: How did this 20-year dream get started?
Parker: In 1985, my father turned his attention to growing the chiropractic college he founded and left me with the responsibility of running our family seminars and product company. As I became more of a visionary for the seminars and saw so many in chiropractic not making a good living, I felt it was my personal calling to make our seminars available to the profession so no one had an excuse for not making it, or not being highly successful—because excellent help was available. The only way to remove any excuses was to make the seminar available FREE! I well remember the night we had an executive conference to bring Dad up to date on how things were going and I announced I had a dream of giving our seminar away free by growing the product company large enough that it could support us in doing that.
TAC: How did he take that?
Parker: Oh, he didn’t like it much! I remember; he said, “Well, that’s a lofty goal…but you forgot one thing: the Law of Compensation!” So that was the end of that. Besides, it was taking all the resources of our organization to support the tremendous growth of the college.
TAC: What did he mean by the “Law of Compensation”?
Parker: He felt strongly it was important that the doctors pay something for the great value they were receiving from the seminars, as that would help move them to put the tools to work; and, if it were free, they may not see the value in it and not use the information for their greater benefit. And, of course, he was right, as usual!
TAC: If so, then why are you giving your top seminar of the year away to our readers?
Parker: Because I want to, I can afford it, chiropractic needs it, and I feel it is the service-oriented thing to do. Organizations like The American Chiropractor, Myo-Logic Diagnostics, Texas Chiropractic College, as well as about 100 team members are supporting it and I have figured out a way that, I feel, does not violate the principle of compensation and can be perpetuated, so that it’s not a one shot deal, but can always be available to chiropractic, as long as enough doctors take advantage of it.
TAC: How can you give a top 5 national seminar away free, not violate the law of compensation and perpetuate it forever?
Parker: Low overhead, of course! Just kidding!
Well, actually, that is part of it; we do run a tight ship, but here’s how it works. The seminar is FREE of any registration or tuition fees to TAC readers. We are not charging them a fee for attending the seminar. There are two situations that make this possible. One, the FREE offer is for guests of the hotel we hold the seminar in. We have contracted with the hotel to reduce our hotel costs dramatically, in exchange for requiring the free seminar attendees to stay in their hotel. Secondly, there is a $100 Commitment Deposit per person, which will be refunded to be spent at the seminar.
TAC: So the attendees can come free, if they stay in the hotel. But what if they live in the area, have friends there they want to stay with or want to stay somewhere else?
Parker: We really need attendees to stay in the hotel to make the seminar’s hotel cost feasible and not charge a tuition fee. But, in those special situations, we can allow a few to do that with a $50 per 2 person “no hotel stay” fee and they can still take advantage of the free seminar, as that compensates for the loss of hotel credit for meeting rooms.
TAC: Why is there a deposit, if it is being refunded?
Parker: This is an important part of what makes this work, will allow us to perpetuate this indefinitely, and fulfills the law of compensation that concerned by father. The deposit creates a commitment. The deposit is fully refunded at the seminar in the form of what we are calling Bonu$$, for the express purpose of spending at the seminar. This serves several purposes. It, most of all, insures that the doctors will take home some tools to enhance their lives and their practices. It also helps us get more vendors to attend our expo that want to participate in accepting the Bonu$$ towards their products and services. The vendors can redeem the Bonu$$ for a percentage of face value. The doctors can spend their Bonu$$ with us for our products, services and other seminars we offer, which helps us be able to continue to provide this particular event free to the profession. We actually lose money on the seminar, but hope to make it up on product sales and vendor redemption of Bonu$$. And, the doctors can get full value for their deposits, making the seminar free of registration fees. Everybody wins!
TAC: What is the regular price of the seminar that doctors are saving?
Parker: Our standard seminar fee is $297 for doctors and $197 for staff and all others.
TAC: So all this really works? You can afford to continue to do this?
Parker: Yes, we can…IF we have enough doctors come and take advantage of such an excellent value. We need a minimum of 1000 attendees to be able to continue it. We did a trial experiment with this concept last February and that is how many we had. It really becomes feasible as we grow to 1500 to 2000 attendees, which we expect to do this coming January in Las Vegas. And the more that attend, the better seminar and expo we can provide, because this is all for the profession and it all goes back into making this a top event for the profession.
TAC: What kind of seminar do they get, since it is free?
Parker: One heck of a lot! But that is part of our problem in getting the word out about how great an event it is, because people don’t realize it is chock full of value, even though it is free. We don’t hold back. We have the same caliber of great speakers and course presentations we always have when we charge full fees. Nationally known professional speakers like Charles “Tremendous” Jones, top chiropractic instructors like Dr. Dan Murphy, and famous staff trainers like Sherry Hodge and many more. We will actually have at least 44 different speakers presenting over 100 classes in 8 tracks! And these are not just bait and switch introductory presentations; these are classes crammed with practical stuff you can use, and full courses where you can sink your teeth into some great training and go home having really learned something worthwhile—plus 24 hours of license renewal available with X-Ray, technique, risk management, CPR and more, that meet the full licensing criteria of almost every state.
TAC: Sounds great! We appreciate your making your dream available to our readers.
Parker: It is truly awesome! Everyone exclaims how wonderful the seminar experience is. Personally, I don’t believe there is any program that creates the sharing, loving, learning energy this seminar does; and I know there are none that do it for FREE! I sincerely appreciate TAC for allowing us to share this dream and wonderful experience with your readers. TAC has been and continues to be an excellent service dedicated to chiropractic for over 25 years…and we appreciate you!
Our sincere thanks to Dr. Karl and the Karl Parker Seminars for making this available to our readers. For more information, send a blank email to
or fax you email address or fax number to 509-352-8511 or call 888-4DR-KARL (437-5275).
Written by Steve Thaxton, D.C.
Wednesday, 26 October 2005 21:59
Dr. Steve Thaxton is a graduate of Abilene Christian University (ACU) and Parker College of Chiropractic, a Board Certified Acupuncturist and Rehabilitation Specialist, and Brimhall certified.
Dr. Thaxton served as the personal chiropractor and fitness consultant for the rock band Guns N’ Roses for their 2-1/2 year world tour, and has also been Jon Bon Jovi’s personal chiropractor and personal fitness consultant for the past decade, including four world tours.
Dr. Thaxton’s sports background is extensive, with a state pole-vaulting title and AAA first team All State football team selection. He also qualified for the United States Olympic trials in both 1984 and 1988 and was the 1986 National Pole Vaulting Champion. He is currently one of the top ten mountain bike racers in the state of West Virginia, ranking second in the nation in 2004 and 13th in the world.
In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Thaxton describes some pretty amazing things that are going on in his insurance-based practice, where he treats everything “from Anger to Zygomycosis.”
TAC: What inspired you to become a chiropractor?
Thaxton: In the spring of 1987, I was the defending Division II National Pole Vaulting Champion and, on a Tuesday night, I hurt my back in the weight room while training. My teammates took me to the hospital because I could not walk or stand. The hospital did the usual with painkillers and muscle relaxing prescriptions and told me to stay in bed for 2 weeks.
Well, at ACU, you miss 7 classes and you’re out; and I wasn’t about to give up 2 weeks in the middle of my senior season of Track and Field.
So, the next morning, one of my roommates—a big football player—said, “Still can’t walk, huh?”
I said, “Heck, I can’t even sit-up.”
Then he said, “That’s it. We’re going to the chiropractor.”
I said, “What’s a chiropractor?”
He picked me up, carried me out, put me in the back of his pick-up truck and drove me across town to a small office, where he carried me in. Thank God for Dr. Bud, because I walked out and, by Saturday, I could pole vault. To me, that was miraculous and, from then on, it was all about being a chiropractor!
TAC: What type of patients do you generally treat or attract?
Thaxton: We attract patients with all types of diseases, from Anger to Zygomycosis. Of course, like any other chiropractic office, we routinely treat patients with low back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and sprained ankles and knees.
TAC: What are your specialties?
Thaxton: I’m certified in acupuncture, chiropractic rehabilitation, and John Brimhall’s Ten Steps to Wellness. The acupuncture class was the best $537 dollars I spent in chiropractic school. It has allowed me to help and understand patients in ways I never thought possible. The rehabilitation certification has been great for helping patients return to their normal lives much faster. We have even developed valuable relationships with local orthopedic surgeons and we are doing rehab on their post-surgery patients.
TAC: We understand that you have had great success treating patients with the laser. Could you tell us a little bit about your experiences?
Thaxton: Yes, we were able to help extend the life of a very, very special man with Lou Gehrig’s disease by 2-3 years using the laser and E.B. 305 detox bath.
I was also able to help Anthony Quinn finish his last movie, Avenging Angelo, with the laser. He was having trouble being able to speak and his director called and asked if I could fly up to the set to help. I got there and suggested to Mr. Quinn that he might be having mini strokes and should get to the nearest hospital; but, like the true professional he was, he insisted on doing his lines first. Later, he signed a movie script for me, “Thanks Steve. You gave me back my voice.” His passing was one of Hollywood’s biggest losses.
We also treated a young girl, a softball player for the local high school, who got hit in the eye with a softball on a Wednesday evening. She came into the office with her eye already swollen shut and noticeable discoloration beginning. The biggest problem was her senior prom was only three days away and she didn’t want to have an eye that matched the color of her dress.
We put the safety glasses on her and began to use the laser around the area. After the first treatment, she was able to get her eye open enough to see again. She was treated 1-2 times per day for the next three days and was able to go to prom with only a minimal amount of make-up to cover the remainder of the bruising.
TAC: Tell us a couple more amazing patient success stories.
Thaxton: A friend called one day and asked if I would see his mother. When he brought her in, her right arm was drawn and the wrist was in extreme flexion. She had slurred speech and had last control of her right side facial musculature. I sent her to the hospital, fearing she would have a full-on stroke before they got her there.
After 3 days of testing, they released her and said they could find nothing wrong and she just must be stressed.
So, my friend called again and said his mother was insistent on getting an adjustment. I was hesitant, but agreed because he confirmed they had tested and tested her.
She came in again with the same drawn arm, slurred speech and loss of facial muscle control. I adjusted her thoracic spine and cervical spine, and helped her sit up.
She put her right arm on the table and turned to her son and with perfect facial tone and voice, said to him, “I told you, all I needed was a chiropractic adjustment!” My staff and I nearly fell to the floor.
I also had a 16-year-old male patient who had been to 4 local MD’s and the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics for his headaches, with no relief. His parents had spent $100,000 and had all but given up. He had fallen when he was 11 and, two weeks later, developed severe migraines. He could not attend school and his mother had quit her job to home school him ever since.
I checked the usual suspects—C-spine, foods, etc.—with no real findings. But, when I touched his skull, it felt like a rock or telephone pole. I did some cranial work and, the next week, he and his grandparents came in to say that it was his first week of headache relief in five years. They called a month later to say they were forever grateful. He’s back in public school and has not even had a trace of a headache.
TAC: What has really impacted your growth as a chiropractor and that of your practice?
Thaxton: Dr. Mike Brumfield, a great chiropractor, in Lewisburg, West Virginia, helped me make my 2nd Olympic Trials in 1988. He had used the standard AK protocols and I was like a sponge trying to absorb everything. When I started chiropractic school that fall, I was motivated beyond my wildest dreams. He also has advised me, as the years have gone by, on everything from office design to billing and office policies. I’m forever humbled by his desire to serve and help.
Dr. John Brimhall has amazed me with his life work and research. His accumulation of knowledge is mind-boggling and he has changed chiropractic for the better forever. He put together therapies that I had tried and discarded because I couldn’t figure out how to use them in everyday practice. His 10 Step Protocols are life changing and a force for good we can all admire.
TAC: What marketing strategies do you use to attract new patients and to keep current patients?
Thaxton: I believe that if you make a difference in a patient’s life, that success will return three fold in your office. We have come to expect miracles in our offices every day. I really do not do a lot of advertising because, as in Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” We have built our expectations and they have come. This has been more successful (letting the patients do all of the promoting) than any type of advertising strategy could have been.
We also do community services, such as one free sports physical night a year in both of our offices, that we make a fun experience with a DJ, door prizes, and free T-shirts (with our Logo and am inspirational statement, such as “Train Hard, Win Big”). Much to our surprise, they have become a local fashion statement with the kids and, now, we have 500 walking billboards in our community. We also provide the athletic training staff for 2 local high schools and I volunteer as the doctor for the local games.
TAC: With your practice being insurance-based, what advice can you offer our readers about setting up and maintaining such a practice in today’s healthcare system?
Thaxton: You have to be available to all people. We never want $$$ to keep people out of our office. Study Dr. Jim Parker’s principles for success and always give your best!
TAC: What single piece of advice would you give a new chiropractor just starting out?
Thaxton: Your learning has just started. NEVER STOP LEARNING!
TAC: What general advice would you give an established chiropractor whose practice might be struggling?
Thaxton: Leave your personal problems at home and, when you walk through the door, turn on the light switch with your smile and desire to help!
TAC: Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?
Thaxton: Tough question. Evidence based is the flavor of the day; but patients are looking for deeper healing. I feel holistic is the future and providing services that help balance the body, from the structural, nutritional, emotional and energetic perspectives, will ultimately prevail—no matter how they are delivered.
TAC: Any final words for our readers?
Thaxton: You’re a chiropractor. EXPECT MIRACLES. Nothing else will do!
You may contact Dr. Thaxton at
Written by David Chapman-Smith
Monday, 26 September 2005 21:11
David Chapman-Smith, a Toronto lawyer and author of The Chiropractic Profession (NCMIC Group, 2000) is Secretary-General of the World Federation of Chiropractic. He is also editor/publisher of The Chiropractic Report (www.chiropracticreport.com). His introduction to chiropractic took place when he acted as counsel for the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association before the New Zealand Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic in 1978-79.
In the following interview with TAC, Mr. Chapman-Smith discusses his views on the chiropractic profession and its future worldwide.
TAC: Tell us about yourself.
Chapman-Smith: As my brief biography indicates, I am a lawyer, originally from New Zealand. I knew nothing about chiropractic prior to acting for the profession before the New Zealand Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic in 1978-79. Since 1982, I’ve been based in Toronto, representing the chiropractic profession full time. My wife and two other members of the family are Palmer graduates.
TAC: What makes the chiropractic profession so special in your view?
Chapman-Smith: For chiropractors, it’s a combination of its philosophy of health, its non-invasive and drug-free approach, and the ability to help so many patients with significant problems that no one else can address as well. For me, it is special to represent a newer profession with great potential as it fights to break down unfair barriers in health care. Additionally, chiropractors are generous by nature and, therefore, rewarding to work with.
TAC: Do you have any special concerns regarding the profession of chiropractic?
Chapman-Smith: Yes, some. Now that it is established in terms of legislation and licensure, the profession urgently needs to develop its identity, allies, reputation, market share, and fair allocation of public funding for education and research within the mainstream health care system. I am concerned that the profession is not doing more to create public trust. Frankly, this requires more definitive disciplinary action against those who are flagrantly unethical, seriously undermining the reputation of the profession.
TAC: What is the role of the WFC?
Chapman-Smith: A key role is to provide a truly democratic and broadly accepted international forum where chiropractors can debate the big issues, carve out an agreed upon way forward and, thereby, promote the best possible international growth and success of the profession. The WFC exists to welcome all national associations and qualified chiropractors, whatever their philosophies and cultural differences, and to promote mutual respect and the successful advance of the whole profession.
TAC: How are chiropractors benefiting from the actions of the WFC?
Chapman-Smith: Take the area of education, as one example. The WFC has an excellent relationship with the Association of Chiropractic Colleges and other educational bodies worldwide. The WFC and ACC have held major successful conferences on philosophy (Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 2000), clinical education (Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2002) and a consistent approach to diagnosis in clinical education (Toronto, Canada, 2004)—all well attended by colleges worldwide, all yielding detailed consensus statements, and all providing a vital common basis for chiropractic education worldwide.
Additionally, the WFC has worked with the World Health Organization to define guidelines on chiropractic education that emphasize to governments worldwide that chiropractic is a separate and distinct profession, not a set of techniques.
Take legal scope of practice, as a second example. Through the WFC and its influence on member associations, we are getting a similar scope of practice worldwide—always on a primary contact basis with the right to diagnose and practice independently.
Finally, take the example of the public identity of chiropractic. This has long been debated, outside experts have explained the urgency of the profession having a better identity, and the WFC has just completed an exciting and comprehensive identity consultation in which chiropractors worldwide have agreed unanimously on identity.
TAC: Really? What is that identity?
Chapman-Smith: It was agreed at the WFC’s Assembly in Sydney, Australia, in June. This followed a two-year process led by a 40-person Task Force and included an electronic opinion survey of chiropractors worldwide, as many of your readers will know—they were part of the excellent response rate.
The core identity chosen is “the spinal health care experts” in the mainstream health care system. However, there are several important qualifying statements, including the particular focus of the profession on the spine and the nervous system. Full details can be found at www.wfc.org, under Identity Consultation on the home page.
TAC: What are the WFC’s plans for the upcoming year?
Chapman-Smith: We have more exciting projects than we can handle. First, having established an agreed identity, the WFC must communicate this widely and help its smaller national association members to implement this identity in their countries. Since 1997, the WFC has been in official relations with the World Health Organization and important current projects with WHO include collaborating in the preparation of WHO documents on the effectiveness of chiropractic and its legal status worldwide—these are, obviously, particularly important for governments in countries where the profession is not yet established.
Other important ongoing work is helping the profession’s pioneers set up the profession in countries such as Botswana and Uganda in Africa, Argentina and Chile in Latin America, and Malaysia and Thailand in Asia. There are now more chiropractic colleges around the world than in the US and several more will open within the next two years. The WFC has a major hand in putting these partnerships and projects together.
TAC: Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?
Chapman-Smith: Chiropractic has fought magnificently to achieve independence; but to be highly successful, as Stephen Covey has told us in his 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, individuals, corporations and professions must move on to interdependence. For chiropractic, this means creating collaborative relationships within mainstream health care. As the profession does this, it must maintain its distinctive philosophy, focus and clinical services. Its non-drug, non-surgical approach to health care is a major brand advantage and a key component of the identity agreed on in the WFC identity consultation process.
TAC: Do you have any other issues you’d like to present to our readers?
Chapman-Smith: I have probably preached more than enough already. I would say this, however, to an audience of US chiropractors. Notwithstanding the ravages of managed care and the much publicized reverses the profession has from time to time, you have good grounds to be optimistic about the future of the profession. From where I sit, there has been wonderful international growth and success—particularly in Asia, Europe and Latin America–during the past 10 years.
It is important, however, that we work together and pool resources. As a chiropractor, your fundamental obligation to this wonderful profession that gives you a philosophy of health and a livelihood is to belong to a state and national association—despite any shortcomings they may have. For $180 per annum, you can also be an associate member of the WFC, materially helping us to fight for legislation and your colleagues in countries as far apart as Argentina, Greece and Korea. Do that today. Much more can be done if many more contribute a small amount each.
For more information on the WFC, visit www.wfc.org, contact
, or call 416-484-9978.
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