By: Fabrizio Mancini, DC
“You cannot solve problems with the same level of thinking that existed when the problems were created.”
This quote by one of the brightest minds in history is simple in its genius. It opens one story in Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul about a mother and daughter whose actions embody that shift in thinking. The pair finally learns of a solution to the girls’ health problems with Chiropractic when traditional medicine simply did not work, saving her from a lifetime of sleepless nights and embarrassing mornings. Studies show that this family is one of several million in America who actively seek healthcare alternatives to traditional medicine in what is now called the wellness movement.
A 2001 Harvard Medical School study revealed that complementary and alternative medicine use had increased 33% among the pre-baby boom generation, 50% among baby boomers, and as much as 70% in the post-baby boom generation.1 Even so, just over 25 million Americans currently seek regular Chiropractic care.
How can Chiropractors reach the more than 250 million people not receiving Chiropractic treatment? Will they grasp the philosophy and science upon which the practice is based? And, most importantly, will they spread the healing message of Chiropractic to their friends and family and encourage them to make it a part of their lifestyle?
These questions can be answered by simply introducing a shift in thinking to the general population. The solution to healthcare problems faced by so many today requires a new solution, and Chiropractic is the answer. To bring about a shift of this magnitude the Chiropractor must educate the public to open its mind to a different way of thinking. By relating the everyday miracles that patients and doctors experience with Chiropractic through a vehicle familiar to the majority of Americans, Doctors of Chiropractic can reach that target, build the profession, and, in turn, increase the success of their own practices.
Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul, which I co-wrote with Chicken Soup for the Soul creators Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield, combines the widely recognizable brand of the internationally successful series with real-life stories of Chiropractic healing. The stories in this book share the meaning of Chiropractic with those who may not be familiar with the philosophies and science behind the practice. And it helps those who have experienced Chiropractic care to more fully understand the scope of healing available to them.
You may have heard of Olympic gold medalist Dan O’Brien and his inspirational story of rising above pain and failure to grab the gold. But did you know that he overcame that pain and enhanced his performance through Chiropractic care? His story, which opens the book, is one of the many first-person accounts of the power of Chiropractic.
In another story, a Chiropractor shares the story of a tired Vietnam veteran who endured the torture known only to prisoners of war. His Chiropractor helped him overcome a long list of ailments and eventually shared in his triumph when the patient won his state’s golf tournament for amputees. A woman, who had previously been labeled infertile, tells of her joy when she became pregnant after receiving Chiropractic treatment for a stiff neck. A Chiropractor writes about a painful childhood clouded by migraines and later only relieved by Chiropractic. He is inspired to share this gift with others who have the same problem by becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic.
Doctors of Chiropractic can use these stories and the many others found in Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul to reach out and educate the hundreds of millions who are not aware of the benefits Chiropractic can bring to their lives. The true stories in the book, coupled with data from recent studies and other statistics, can convince even the most earnest critic that Chiropractic care and the wellness movement are the future of health and a lifetime of wellness.
According to a national study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association to address the increase in use of Chiropractic and other complementary and alternative medicines, “the majority of alternative medicine users appear to be doing so… largely because they find these healthcare alternatives to be more congruent with their own values, beliefs, and philosophical orientations toward health and life.”2
Most patients seek Chiropractic care for the alleviation of low back pain, and the conclusions of recent research indicate that Chiropractic is just as effective for back pain as medical treatments and procedures.3 But many studies have pointed to the effectiveness of Chiropractic in all realms of health care. Research for headache treatments found that Chiropractic adjustments “result in immediate improvement in headache severity.”4
A study conducted by the Michigan Chiropractic Council in 1996 tested patients with an average age of 10 who showed asthma symptoms. Before the study, patients averaged four attacks daily, and after 30 days of Chiropractic care, that number was reduced to an average of only one. The role of Chiropractic in the care of oncology patients was the focus of another study. The study cites two specific case studies in which Chiropractic treatment eased the pain of the cancer patients and improved their quality of life.5
Research has even documented the alleviation of symptoms after Chiropractic treatments for individuals with allergy and Crohn’s disease.6
The alleviation of these symptoms is only the beginning of the benefits that Chiropractic care can provide. And these studies are just a few examples among thousands that support the treatment Chiropractors give.
As a profession, Chiropractic has tremendous room for increased success. To reach the far-reaching potential we, as Doctors of Chiropractic, can communicate the healing message to the people who are not aware of the healthcare option of Chiropractic, and further, educate those patients who have regular Chiropractic care. This ultimately translates into success for the individual practitioner and, most importantly, it means a healthier population.
The following story is an excerpt from Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul submitted by a Doctor of Chiropractic.7 By giving both current and prospective patients educational tools like this book and arming them with information, the Chiropractic message will spread to the huge segment of the population not receiving the many benefits of Chiropractic.
Adding Life to Life
A gentleman came into my office who seemed otherwise like every other fifty-year-old man with a sacroiliac problem. What made this man different were the interesting questions he asked me about how much weight my adjusting tables could bear and what was the heaviest patient I had ever treated. The answers were 500 and 400 pounds, respectively.
These and many other questions, I learned, were originated by his wife, Janice. Janice entered my life weighing 323 pounds. She was taking eleven prescription medications and an average of thirty Advil® a day to manage headaches. She had undergone a number of surgeries in her lifetime including back surgery, and was scheduled for neck surgery. Her hope in coming to my office was to reduce her Advil® intake to ten a day or less to prepare for the impending surgery.
Janice was and remains the most unique patient I have ever seen. One of her unique features was her willingness to take personal responsibility for her health. She took extensive notes and typed them up for me. Her notes were her responses to the treatment I gave her and a record of other doctor visits and her prescriptions.
At the time Janice entered my office, she had about a four-hour period of function during the course of the day. Her husband and two teenage children provided much of the assistance she needed. But in a very short time, Janice began to realize the possibilities that awaited her with treatment.
Within a week she achieved her original goal of reduced Advil® intake. Due to her very positive response to adjustments, her goals quickly changed. Within months of beginning treatment, she was completely off all but two prescriptions, decided to cancel her surgery, and changed her diet and exercise habits.
The medical doctors who were managing her care told Janice that her life expectancy was compromised and that she would need multiple surgeries to prolong her life. Janice decided to make me, her Chiropractor, her primary doctor. Even though her insurance would not accept the change, she committed to follow my counsel.
Janice lost more than 150 pounds, and she was able to function more than sixteen hours a day every day. She was then diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Although traditional medicine recommended chemotherapy and radiation, she elected to follow a more conservative approach through Chiropractic, nutrition and positive thinking. That was five years ago. Since then, Janice’s health is better than ever. In her own words, she is “healthier now than I have ever been in my entire life.”
Chiropractic has dramatically changed her life. In Janice’s own words “Chiropractic has saved my life.”
Janice now has a life of good health and an expectancy of many years to grow old with her children and unborn grandchildren.
1. Annals of Internal Medicine Aug. 21, 2001; 135(4).
2. Astin, JA. Why patients use alternative medicine. J Am Med Assn 1998.
3. Annals of Internal Medicine June 3, 2003; 138(11).
4. Gray R, Hasselbald V, McCrory DC, Penzien D. Evidence Report: Behavioral and Physical Treatments for Tension-type and Cervicogenic Headache. Duke University Evidence-based Practice Center.
5. J Manip Physiol Ther 2001; 24(1).
6. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research 2003; 4(4).
7. Holland J. Adding life to life. In: Canfield J, Hansen MV, Mancini F. Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc., 2003:204-205.
About the Author
Dr. Fabrizio Mancini is president of Parker College of Chiropractic & Parker Seminars. He is a co-author, along with Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, of Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul.
Dr. Mancini came to the United States in 1978 from Colombia. He graduated from Parker College of Chiropractic in 1990 and later established a practice in Irving, TX. In 1999, Dr. Mancini was named president of Parker College of Chiropractic.