Recently, I traveled to Madrid and London for an academic presentation and a technique seminar, respectively. At the invitation of Dr. Ricardo Fujikawa, who leads the chiropractic department at Real Centro Universitario Escorial, Maria Cristina, I was asked to discuss ways to enhance the college's Activator Method Chiropractic Technique course that is included in core curriculum, and speak to the students who attend RCU. The campus includes a 16th century monastery, where I was provided accommodations during my stay.
At first, I was a little anxious, as the monastery was breathtaking, but sparse. None of the typical luxuries of a U.S. hotel room were included, not even a telephone or television. Only a crucifix hung over my bed, in a room that was simple but clean, just as you would imagine for a monk. After one good night's sleep, I began to enjoy the serenity and forget about those standard comforts of home. The environment also enabled me to focus more directly on my presentation for the students, and inspired some of my comments to them.
I had planned to speak to the student body about the nearly 45-year history of instrument adjusting involving the Activator Method. But after touring and staying at the monastery, all I could think about was that modern-day chiropractic is still very much in its infancy. I'm sure those who constructed the monastery never imagined a world with smartphones, flat screen televisions, motorized vehicles and airplanes, but those advancements have been influenced by the foundations created by the people of centuries past.
In parallel, today's chiropractic, at least in the United States, has its roots in a small town in Iowa, and its full integration into academic institutions around the world has taken a relatively short period of time. While we still have so much to accomplish in our profession, with research guiding our course, we should take a moment and look back on history, feeling proud of how far we've come. I hope the students I met during my stay in Madrid can look back four decades from now and feel the same sense of accomplishment and hope for the future as I do.
Dr. Arlan Fuhr travels extensively to chiropractic seminars, conferences and events around the world. He will be providing his insights and perspectives from these visits as a regular guest commentator for The American Chiropractor. You can reach him at 602-445-4230 or email