More than 1,000 doctors and students of chiropractic gathered at the sixth annual The Wave chiropractic conference.
It was held in San Francisco on August 4–6, 2016 and featured chiropractic educators and experts presented by Life Chiropractic College West.
Central to this year’s conference was the message that chiropractic has the potential to play a vital role in turning around the health of many Americans who suffer from one or more lifestyle- related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, depression, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Several presenters noted the habitual behaviors Americans have engaged in since the mid-20th century have resulted in disease proliferation, adding that only by overhauling our society can a new course of health be charted.
Chiropractors are poised to navigate that change, and create health by relieving patients of subluxations, helping patients choose proper nutrition, and co-creating with patients an enhanced experience of life.
“What do we do with chiropractic? We help the experience of life be the best it can be, without nerve interfer- ence,” said Brian Kelly, DC, the driving force behind The Wave and president of Life Chiropractic College West, located in the Bay Area city of Hayward.
“I know that what we’ve done in 120 years has been great,” Kelly added, “but it has to be greater than it is now.”
Create health early
Co-presenters Theresa and Stuart Warner, DCs, brought their three children on stage at the beginning of their talk, “Pediatrics to the Max, Leading the Children’s Health and Wellness Revolution in Your Town,” to show the audience kids who have been adjusted since the very start of their lives.
All the Warner children received their first chiropractic adjustment before their umbilical cords were cut, said Stuart Warner, who explained that the newborns were placed on their mother’s chest while he adjusted them.
For most American kids, though, ill health is increasingly typical, Stuart Warner said. Many pediatric diseases, including colic, reflux, allergies, autism, and ear infections, have “skyrocketed” in the past decade. “Parents are desperately looking for better approaches and solutions, but they don’t know where to turn.”
According to the Warners’ presentation, chiropractic can provide health benefits that American parents are eager for their children to experience. For this reason, chiropractors should focus on securing pediatric rather than adult patients, said Theresa Warner, who with her husband, operates a chiropractic family wellness center.
“If you can position your practice in your community so the child is the first person in the family to receive care, the parents ‘get it’, it’s a no- brainer,” said Stuart Warner. “We’re calling on the family chiropractor to take over raising healthy children in our society, partnering with the patients and have the world change.”
Create health with nutrition
Damian Kristof, DC, doesn’t eat according to the USDA’s food pyramid—and he doesn’t think chiropractors or their patients should, either. The pyramid’s recommended six to 11 daily servings of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta, for example, could set a person up to crave simple carbohydrates, and the dairy that lives toward the top of the pyramid isn’t necessarily going to support the body’s self-healing mechanisms.
In his presentation, “Harnessing More Innate in Our Lifestyle—The Power of Food,” Kristoff, who is a nutritionist and naturopath as well as a doctor of chiropractic, explained that choosing food containing “intelligence” will in turn power up the body’s innate intelligence, the life force that keeps us functioning and enables us to heal.
Examples of intelligent nutrition are foods eaten in as close to their living state as possible, such as fruits and vegetables, fresh (not canned) meat, and carbohydrates such as beans and nuts—not pasta.
“Eat intelligent nutrition, things that will break down and not just sit inside you,” he said, explaining that the process of being broken down by enzymes and bacteria in the body is how food imparts its intelligence.
“Information [such as calories] is always present, but the intelligence declines the more that food is processed, the more that it sits around,” Kristoff said. It takes an astute eater to learn which food is intelligent, especially when two foods can contain the same basic ingredients yet have very different nutritional IQs, he added, giving the example of dark chocolate containing more intelligence than dark-chocolate cookies.
What comes out of the body is as important as what goes into it, Kristoff said. “Food that goes into the body and doesn’t come out becomes toxic,” he explained. “It should be out within 12 to 24 hours.”
Anyone wondering if their digestive system is on track can take the sesame seed challenge, he said: Drink a glass of water with a spoonful of sesame seeds and notice how long it takes for the seeds to reappear.
Create health in the brain
As a nation, two-thirds of Americans are overweight and one third obese, said Daniel Amen, MD, and obesity is a risk factor for some 30 medical illnesses. In his presentation, Amen focused on the health practices that can stave off Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other diseases of aging that are oftentimes related to obesity and attendant conditions, and thereby help create a healthy lifestyle.
“You are in a war for the health of your brain and body,” Amen said, in his presentation titled, “The Brain Warrior’s Way.”
The real weapons of mass destruction, which Amen termed as such for the damage they inflict on the health of America, are foods that are highly processed, pesticide-sprayed, high glycemic, low fiber, and food-like substances that contain little, if any, nutrition.
Amen is the author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. He is also a pioneer of the use of single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) brain imaging, which uses gamma rays to garner 3-D images. SPECT is a diagnostic tool that can help determine the health of a patient’s brain and the likelihood of that person developing Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Reversing damage to the brain caused by poor lifestyle choices is well within reach of patients who navigate their health with good diet and exercise choices, Amen added.
“The most exciting lesson we’ve learned from 125,000 brain scans is you are not stuck with the brain you have; you can make it better even if you have been bad to it,” Amen said.
A lifestyle that incorporates SPECT imaging, to see the direction one’s brain is healing in; optimizing numbers related to blood glucose, body mass index, blood pressure and the like; ingesting omega-3 fatty acids and supplements including alpha-lipoic acid and B vitamins, among several other practices, can help reverse lifestyle-related damage to the brain, Amen said.
Chart a future course
Kelly concluded his presentation with an emerging vision for Life Chiropractic College West that he said will propel the chiropractic vision forward: A new campus, where 2,000 chiropractic students will study, by 2025.
“We are going to build the nation’s largest chiropractic university,” Kelly said, detailing a campus that will offer chiropractic education; a bachelor’s program; master’s degrees in neurology, pediatrics, and vitalistic sports chiropractic; a senior center; and a PhD track for research.
“What are the possibilities if we do this?” Kelly asked attendees. “What are the ramifications if we don’t?”
Based on The Wave 2016 presentations, the possibilities related to a lifestyle that incorporates chiropractic, as well as smart choices related to exercise and nutrition, are key to reversing many types of diseases so prevalent in the American populace.
For information about next The Wave conference, visit lifewestwave.com.
Karen Menehan is editor-in- chief of MASSAGE Magazine, the sister publication of Chiropractic Economics.