Dr. John Brimhall has been referred to as “The Father of Wellness Care in Chiropractic”. The much-lettered Doctor began a stellar career, which has now spanned more than three decades, with a single degree, a cum laude Doctorate in Chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic, in 1971. Since that time, he has become an author, lecturer, formulator of over 50 nutritional products, and an inventor holding patents on two chiropractic instruments.
In an interview with The American Chiropractor (TAC), Dr. Brimhall shares his philosophy on wellness care, which includes chiropractic, nutrition, acupuncture, Applied Kinesiology, and careful attention to the needs of the individual patient.
TAC: Can you give us some background on yourself?
Brimhall: I went to chiropractic school after I developed severe back spasms and was, basically, numb from the waist down and in pain from the waist up. Medically, there seemed to be no hope. So I had to be carried in for my first chiropractic adjustment. I walked out with the feeling back in my legs and the spasms out of my back. This Doctor of Chiropractic said I needed to be a chiropractor and do for others what had been done for me. At that time, I was in school to be a dentist. I called Palmer College and, within the year, I was on my way to Davenport.
Prior to that, though, Palmer College had me call another Palmer graduate that took me under his wing and gave me the philosophy of chiropractic. He also gave a Grostic adjustment to my bride-to-be, Claudette, and her headaches of five years, following an auto accident, left immediately. So, we were married and left for this lifetime adventure called “Chiropractic”... When we arrived at school, we only knew that I had been crippled and then walked after my first full spine adjustment; and Claudette had had severe headaches for five years that left after one Grostic adjustment. The first story we heard at Palmer was about Harvey Lillard’s getting his hearing back after a thump on the back. So we were on fire with anticipation, in March of 1968, to start chiropractic school.
TAC: What would you say is your main mission as a chiropractor?
Brimhall: God was kind to us and we set up in a town of 5,000 people and got a lady out of a wheel chair in one adjustment in the first few months of practice. Then, another lady that had had migraines for 14 years came in that had received a vagotomy and a hysterectomy to seek relief, to no avail. With one adjustment, the headaches left. Our reputation grew rapidly and we were soon seeing 70 to 100 patients per day and had to add another doctor. We added onto the clinic three times, built another, and added another doctor and a satellite clinic 30 miles away to keep up with demands.
I was sure nothing was too tough for chiropractic; and then it happened. Another migraine sufferer was sent in and adjusting didn’t help much. Dr. George Goodheart always teaches that nutrition is part of the health triangle. So, I hit the books and eventually finished a BS in nutrition. In the meantime, we found this lady’s migraines responded to nutritional support and the adjustment.
Then, here came another severe condition that would not respond until we used the proper adjustment, the proper nutrition and emotional release techniques. She had been molested as a child, and no amount or kind of treatment was effective until the emotions were addressed. Then the adjustments would hold.
For thirty-three years we have tried and tested the concepts of D. D. Palmer and all of the great chiropractic pioneers since. We now realize there are six major parts of the health puzzle that must be addressed for a person to hold an adjustment: Structural imbalance, electromagnetic radiation, nutritional deficiencies, allergies and sensitivities, negative emotional patterns, and toxicity. Subluxation causes disease, but we must identify what causes the subluxation(s) for each patient.
TAC: Tell us about your book.
Brimhall: The book, The 10 Steps to Wellness, is about identifying the “six interferences” that cause subluxation and the “10 steps” for correcting them in a turnkey fashion.
It is about our lifetime of discovery and teaching putting all of the pieces of the health puzzle together after studying all the greats in our profession, like Dr. Goodheart, Dr. C. S. Gonstead, and many others.
Dr. JOHN BRIMHALL Profile
Married to wife, Claudette, for 36 years.
Children: “Dr. Ian, 33, (his wife, Dr. Jennifer, and 3 children), Dr Brett 30 (his wife, Holly, and three children), Sherida 27, Broc 25 (He and his wife, Kendra, are on their way to dental school and are expecting their first child), Kody 23, Brittny 21.”
Recreation and Leisure: “We love the outdoors and are involved as a family in boating, fishing, hiking, skiing, hunting, and exercising.”
Professional Affiliations: Diplomate of the International College of Applied Kinesiology and member of the American Chiropractic Assoc., and the Arizona Chiropractic Assoc.
Seminar Attendance: “Our team does about 40 seminars a year. So, I get to hear many of the greats in our profession when I share the platform with them in State Associations, etc. I also take as many seminars as I can to stay abreast of advances.”
Vacations: “I have to admit I use to get more vacations before I started teaching full time. We have a houseboat on Lake Powel we love. We are also building a log cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona where we hope to spend some time cooling down. We go to Mexico and fish a time or two a year.”
Clinic: “Two clinic locations: One is in Mesa, Arizona. We have three DC’s there and Dr. Brett Brimhall is the Chief. We are associated with an MD-DC office in Phoenix with Dr Bruce Shelton, an MD and HMD.”
Office Hours: The Clinics are open from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday.
Techniques: “A blend of many great works that has come to be called the ‘Brimhall Method’. We evaluate and identify the six possible interferences that cause subluxations and correct them with ‘The 10 Steps To Wellness’. The 6 interferences we evaluate for and correct are structural, electromagnetic, nutritional, emotional, allergies/sensitivities and toxins. We use very specific adjusting techniques of the spine, extremities, fascia and craniosacral mechanism, utilizing the Erchonia Adjustor, Percussor, Laser, etc.”
Staff: “The Mesa office has three DC’s with one LMT (our daughter Sherida), and six support personal.”
It is in the editing stages now and the pre-printing work with e2I Books. They may want me to change the title a bit for more universal appeal.
TAC: What do you feel should be the role of nutrition in chiropractic?
Brimhall: Nutrition, or the lack of proper nutrients, is one of the “6 interferences” that robs us of our health and wellness. It can be totally deficient, inadequate or in imbalance. It must be addressed, in almost every patient, if you want him or her to hold an adjustment. Five of the “10 steps to wellness” have to do with evaluating and balancing the patient’s nutrition.
We have a turnkey way of evaluating and recommending adequate nutrition for the patient that takes only a few minutes. We also have a comprehensive understanding of lab evaluation and complete recommendations for the more complicated case history.
TAC: What is your view on synthetic and whole food supplements? What do you advise your patients to use?
Brimhall: I am a consultant and formulator for Dr Paul White and his family at Nutri-West, in Douglas, Wyoming. We have the philosophy that natural is the best and that it should be pharmaceutical grade in quality, quantity and purity. Therefore, we use only the purest and most natural nutrients available and the most advanced techniques in preserving those nutrients in there most energetic form.
For example one of my favorites is Total Veggie, that is a combination of 14 nutrients and many are from organic sprouts. These add many complete nutrients, alkalinity and energy balance to the patient with a single product.
TAC: How can you tell if the supplements are working for you and your patients?
Brimhall: We test patients for increased range of motion, increased muscle strength and a reduction of pain when they are holding the nutrient, for example, in their mouth. The change is immediate and most impressive. Of course, we may also use lab tests for diagnosis, evaluation and the monitoring of results. We may use blood, urine, saliva, hair or EAV (electro dermal testing).
It is important to understand the physical signs a patient is manifesting. White spots on the nails can be a sign of B6 deficiency or lack of utilization. A cracked tongue may indicate a vitamin B deficiency; ridges on the nails may be due to an iron deficiency; dry or falling hair may be low thyroid, etc. Naturally, as you correct with proper nutrients, adjusting support and detoxification, the symptoms resolve.
TAC: What techniques do you use or recommend?
Brimhall: I am a true believer that every chiropractic technique works. We currently, have and have had, some of the true geniuses of the world in our profession. It is an honor to share chiropractic with all of them.
We have developed a complete system of adjusting using the “Adjustor”, manufactured by Erchonia, for instrument adjusting that is easy on the doctor and the patient. We use all of the insights from structural correction to the neurological model and myofascial release. We adjust the spine, correct discs under stress, evaluate and seek a central integrative state of the central nervous system, adjust extremities, use organ adjustive techniques and balance the craniosacral and fascial systems with the “Variable Percussor”, also manufactured by Erchonia.
TAC: Do you feel acupuncture should have a role in chiropractic? If so, what?
Brimhall: I have no idea how anyone could practice in the healing arts and not have an insight into acupuncture. For instance, if a patient has a headache every morning at 2:00 AM, and you don’t know of the 24-hour clock and the horary points, what do you do? With acupuncture knowledge, you realize the liver has the greatest amount of energy at that time and the small intestine has the least. So you check liver 1 and/or small intestine 5 bilaterally, and you will find the culprit. Then, one must stimulate the appropriate point(s) and help the patient.
The acupuncture meridians are like highways of energy that flow through the body, just like interstate roads travel through states and provinces. They get traffic jams and need repair, just like the external roads we travel. We cannot and must not ignore them, if we want the results we seek in correcting subluxation complexes. D. D. Palmer said that too much or too little nerve supply is dis-ease. The acupuncture system is a must for understanding nerve and energy homeostasis.
We have some of the greatest acupuncture teachers is the world in our profession, e.g., Drs. John Amaro, Richard Yennie, etc. If one doesn’t want to use needles, one can use the 635nm Erchonia cold laser to balance the meridian systems of the body, as well as treat the nerves, cells, tissues and systems simultaneously.
TAC: Who are some of the advocates of health and wellness you’ve had the opportunity to learn from?
Brimhall: There have been many, but the most influential for me were Dr. Goodheart and Dr. Gonstead. They have given the profession so much. I learn from everyone and give credit to him or her when I do. We must give each other credit and not fight among ourselves. I have never taken a course directly from Dr. Don Harrison, but I read his work and have taken classes from his students and it is truly wonderful work as are many other techniques in our profession.
TAC: What helped you become a better chiropractor?
Brimhall: I have studied many disciplines, e.g., cranial and organ adjusting, nutrition from many and have had the privilege to speak with over 50 medical doctors on nutrition and wellness. Dr. Fabrizio Mancini introduced me at Parker College as the “Father of Wellness Care in Chiropractic”. I suppose that has some real truth to it, but it makes me sound old. When it comes down to it, though, I guess the only two famous chiropractors I never met were D. D. and B. J.
TAC: Do you have any final words or advice for our readers?
Brimhall: This is the greatest profession that exists today and we are all on the same team. I pray we will see each other’s genius and not take away but add new knowledge and abilities to chiropractic to identify and remove vertebral sub-luxations. I feel we must honor D. D. Palmer, who was a magnetic healer and the founder of chiropractic. It would be good for us to u read The Chiropractic Adjustor, by D. D., and to realize that he was way ahead of his time and his truths of over a hundred years ago are proven more each day.
Dr. John Brimhall may be reached at Brimhall Wellness Seminars, visit www.brimhallseminars.com, or call 480-964-5198; email
. Brimhall Wellness Center may be reached at 480-964-5107 and www.brimhallwellness.com
Dr. JOHN BRIMHALL TOOL KIT
To give you a clear idea of what an Amazing Chiropractor uses to run his practice, we’ve asked Dr. John Brimhall to share with us some specific products & equipment that he uses to reach his practice’s goal of bringing health to its community.
READING MATERIAL: “Some MD friends of mine call me a pathogenic learner. They recognize I am constantly studying and upgrading my skills. I also recognize some of the brightest minds today are in the chiropractic profession and that all of the techniques and schools are a credit to our profession and humanity. So, I read and study the leaders of our profession. Gerber, in his book, The E-Myth, states those that are successful have a constant need to learn more; and those that fall short are always defending what they think they already know. I am reading between one and three books at a time. In our teaching manual we have a comprehensive reading list. As chiropractors, we must be well rounded. We are the foundation and the keystone of ‘WELLNESS CARE’”.
TABLES: “We love the Lloyd table with the features of being able to raise the patient up and down for the patients’ and our comfort. We also use the Leander table for Dr Cox’s disc work.”
DIAGNOSTIC EQUIPMENT: “We use a Myo-Logic instrument for ROM, electric muscle testing, etc., with computer generated reports for evidence-based documentation. We use a SpectraVision for electro dermal testing for the complicated patient and research.”
REHABILITATION EQUIPMENT: “We use both active and passive forms of rehab from Synergy and Foot Levelers, along with upper body ergometers and wobble boards utilizing the Erchonia PL5 Lasers.”
NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: “I have formulated over 60 products for Nutri-West of Douglas, Wyoming. It is owned and operated by Dr Paul White, a chiropractor, and his family. They have 500 products in their catalogue and we have used a vast majority of them through the years. Drs. Dan Murphy and Evan Mladenoff (Kansas City Chief’s chiropractor) also formulate for them.”
X-RAY EQUIPMENT: “Standard X-Ray of Arizona has taken good care of us for many years.”
OTHER COMPANIES I LOVE: “Mark Victor Hansen says you need a Dream, a Theme and a Team. Our Dream is to take ‘Wellness’ to the World, our Theme is it must be Win-Win-Win. We have put together a Dream Team that meets all of our needs: Nutri-West for nutrition, Erchonia Medical for most of our equipment, (Adjustor, Percussor, Lasers, EB305 foot baths, etc.), Myo-Logic for evidence-based chiropractic, Chiroplanet for our websites, SpectraVision for our electro diagnosis, Capacity Management for teaching our doctors how to implement ‘Wellness Care’, Grafix-2-Go for our educational material, Foot Levelers for all of their great products, Greg Stanley of Whitehall Seminars for profitability training and High Tech Health for Far Infrared Saunas.