Life University is the largest single-location chiropractic college in the world, and our universe of chiropractic graduates is well over 15,000 and growing each year. At LIFE, we produce principled chiropractors who are fully committed to subluxation-based chiropractic care and philosophy.
Being the largest also brings with it a greater responsibility. At LIFE, we are leading the vital health revolution. More than just a clever phrase, we strive to be leaders not just in the chiropractic profession, but also in health care. For too long, Chiropractic has been focused on surviving; it is time to focus on thriving.
A revolution takes bold strategy and necessitates a long list of tactics. This new section of Today’s Chiropractic LifeStyle is dedicated to connecting with every one of our readers in order to lead you into this new frontier, and hopefully get you on board with changing the face of health care. The following pages are just a few of the ways we are leading the revolution. In subsequent issues, we will delve deeper into some of these programs, and introduce you to some of our other programs.
Life University is the largest, single-location chiropractic program in the world. So why would we be revising our chiropractic curriculum? In 2007, Harvard University shocked everyone when it announced it was revamping the curriculum for its world-renowned business school. Harvard school officials stated, “If Harvard wants to produce the people who will run the future of the business world, then that’s the criterion you have to be accountable to.”
At Life University, we hold a similar ideal. If LIFE is to produce the practitioners and leaders who will shape the future of Chiropractic, then that is what our curriculum needs to be accountable to, and what it needs to contain.
Ralph Davis, D.C., Dean of the College of Chiropractic at LIFE, and Leslie King, D.C., M.Ed., Associate Dean, have been working closely with Rob Scott, D.C., Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, to overhaul the curriculum at Life University.
Some of the overarching goals are:
Beyond the overarching goals, Life University is also addressing the delivery of the curriculum. In 2010, LIFE introduced its Quality Enhancement Plan for students. The basis of the plan is to foster “engaged learning,” meaning active learning strategies, increased use of technology in the classroom and lab, as well as more partner and group activities to get students out of the seats and into practice. “Students today learn much differently than even 10 years ago,” says Davis. “Interactive learning and more hands-on experience is the future, not just in chiropractic, but in all areas of education.”
Revamping the curriculum is just one more way LIFE continues to set the pace for the profession. In addition to the classroom, lab and clinical education, LIFE requires all students to achieve certain core proficiencies. These include competencies in areas such as integrity and citizenship, contemporary scientific paradigms and critical thinking.
“It needs to be clear what the purpose of a chiropractic education is,” says Scott. “It must be strongly rooted in a vitalistic approach and grounded in the effects of the subluxation and the nerve system’s role in restoring, maintaining and promoting health. An education needs to be real and practical in order to be worthwhile—not just to our students, but to the patients they will serve. This has been LIFE’s approach and will continue to be into the future.”
Above all, Life University remains steadfast and committed to delivering a comprehensive chiropractic education founded in the principles and philosophy of vitalism. LIFE is committed to defending and promoting chiropractic to be forever the world’s finest drugless health care profession.
Chiropractors often wonder what the chiropractic colleges are doing for them. DCs need real solutions to their everyday lives in the field—how to get more patients, how to retain more patients or how to be recognized as a local expert in health care. Beyond those very important aspects, DCs also have an undeniable link to a higher calling. They have found their purpose in life and want to practice it, share it and live it. Life University understands and wants to help with a program called LIFE In Your City.
Ask yourself, “Why did I decide to become a chiropractor?” Do you remember? Do you recall that spark that you received during your first philosophy course? LIFE In Your City will help you regain that passion and purpose with useful advice and tools to help you rediscover your Soul Purpose.
Practice Your Soul Purpose – Eric Plasker, D.C., will help you recreate, redefine or even renew your practice model with one that allows you to exude that lifestyle so that it defines you.
Share Your Soul Purpose – Living the chiropractic lifestyle is one thing, but how does one convince others to do the same? Jason Deitch, D.C., founder of the Chiro Social Media Academy, will address the topic of social media’s role in the modern practice.
Invest in Your Soul Purpose – Garrett B. Gunderson, a financial advocate and author of the New York Times bestseller “Killing Sacred Cows,” will show you how to build sustainable wealth consistent with your passion, purpose and knowledge through the value of Soul Purpose.
Special Patient Evening
Life University President Dr. Guy Riekeman hosts a special evening presentation for your patients. Riekeman’s presentation, called “It’s Your Life—Live with Inspiration,” is a message that will not only resonate with your patients, but also further establishes you as the health care expert among your patients.
The cost is minimal: $100. The return is immense, giving DCs knowledge, purpose and inspiration. Check the LIFE website to see when LIFE will be in your city.
Life University’s Functional Neurology Center (FNC), established in partnership with The Carrick Institute in January 2012, continues to garner significant national and international interest within the health care community, as well as from major news networks and media outlets like ABC and Sports Illustrated. While some of the recent attention stems from the Center’s role in caring for elite professional athletes such as NHL star Sidney Crosby, who credits Distinguished Professor of Neurology and head of the Center’s clinical team Ted Carrick, D.C., Ph.D., with a successful return to the ice following a severe concussion, it is the Center’s groundbreaking success in addressing a broad range of neurological conditions without invasive drug and surgical treatments that has the global spotlight trained on LIFE’s Marietta campus.
In keeping with the LIFE’s vitalistic-chiropractic-based wellness philosophy, which holds that all living systems are innately created to be self-developing, self-organizing, self-healing and fundamentally healthy, the Center’s goal is to provide effective, integrative care for even the most severe and persistent neurological conditions by optimizing the function of the central nervous system (CNS) and activating the innate ability of the CNS to heal and repair itself.
“What we are coming to understand more and more clearly is that Chiropractic can influence central nervous system health by assessing and interpreting functional problems when the brain has been injured,” says Stephen Bolles, D.C., spokesperson for the FNC. By carefully observing and testing the expression of the CNS—for example, how patients’ senses operate, how their limbs move, how their speech is organized—Carrick and his staff can identify where and how the CNS is currently compromised by a particular neurological condition or inference (often triggered or exacerbated by physical, chemical and/or emotional trauma). “And while we cannot adjust the brain,” Bolles continues, “we can provide specific and precise beneficial input to the brain through certain techniques, much as we adjust a spinal segment to normalize movement, and permit the nervous system to restore normal function.”
The positive effects of such techniques—which can include physical retraining of the brain and CNS through the use of vestibular stimulation therapies like the on-site GyroStim, a precisely controlled multi-axis rotating chair that represents one of only five such devices currently in existence—are often immediate and significant for many patients. For those who have not realized meaningful improvement or relief through traditional, often invasive and debilitating medical interventions, care at the FNC under Carrick and his team is a life-changing experience in more ways than one. Not only do many patients achieve measurable improvements in relation to their conditions and to their overall qualities of life, they are also empowered as agents of their own recoveries within a paradigm that recognizes and promotes their innate power and potential as living beings to essentially heal themselves. It is this vitalism-based paradigm, in stark opposition to traditional medical, pharmaceutical and surgical models, that is at the core of the Center’s mission and highly visible success as a pioneering institution of the vital health revolution.
As part of this mission, the FNC accepts patient referrals from practicing DCs, medical doctors, neurologists and other health care providers. Patients are returned to the referring clinician with full reports and recommendations for ongoing care. Self-referring patients are in turn referred to chiropractors in their home communities following care at the Center. To refer a patient, or to be listed as a DC accepting patient referrals from the Center, please contact the Functional Neurology Center directly.
For more than 100 years, Chiropractic has had to contend with seemingly insurmountable obstacles such as a powerful medical lobby, public skepticism and the expense of marketing. Those days may be at an end with the advent of modern technology.
Social media has completely changed the landscape of the way humans communicate and interact with each other. Now chiropractors can connect with patients and spread the message of health, wellness and vitalism to the profession and the general public in a way that is both inexpensive and instantaneous.
Modern technology can be daunting, especially for DCs who may be outside the Millennial generation. That is why Life University has partnered with Jason Deitch, D.C., to create the Chiro Social Media Academy, a free, easy-to-follow instructional series that allows chiropractors to use social media, such as Facebook, to spread the chiropractic message.
Posting a message, article, picture or video to your patients can have a multi-faceted outcome. The message can be shared by all of your friends’ friends. The article can gain widespread readership. The video can go viral and be viewed by millions of people within hours. At the very least, your post will be absorbed by your patients, strengthening your position as a health and wellness expert.
But it goes far beyond your practice; it has much broader implications for the profession as a whole. Facebook and other social media can reach literally billions of people in the blink of an eye. This means the chiropractic philosophy of vitalism and true wellness can be the new health care paradigm if chiropractors can embrace the technology and understand how to use it properly.
LIFE President Dr. Guy F. Riekeman’s passion throughout his career has been patient education, and the Chiro Social Media Academy is his latest project. The goal is to provide chiropractors with the education and training necessary to thrive in today’s marketplace by connecting with existing and potential patients to spread the chiropractic message of health, wellness and living a vitalistic lifestyle.
Deitch, a 1997 graduate of Life University, heads up the venture as LIFE’s social media consultant. Deitch’s wife was Facebook’s first Director of Marketing, and his exposure to social media qualifies him to lead the Chiro Social Media Academy.
“Our vision for Chiro Social Media Academy is for chiropractors to learn how to use Facebook as a tool to create a movement in their community. When used correctly, Facebook is becoming chiropractors’ No. 1 new source of referrals and new patients. The free seven-day Facebook training teaches chiropractors exactly how to do it,” says Deitch.
The Chiro Social Media Academy is perhaps the most important training the chiropractic profession needs at this time. All chiropractors can register for a free seven-day Facebook training on how to use the world’s No. 1 social network and learn how to share the world’s best-kept secret.
Seth Godin, renowned speaker, blogger and expert in marketing, has a theory about tribes. He describes a tribe as “any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader and an idea. For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It’s our nature.”
With technology eliminating many barriers, tribes can now connect and communicate in ways never conceived before. Now you can create a tribe of 20, 2,000 or 2 million if you have a leader, an idea and a few committed followers. Our tribe is called LIFEforce 1000.
LIFEforce 1000 is a group of 1,000 dynamic Chiropractors who have committed to Changing the World. We believe that 1,000 members of a committed tribe can make the difference in helping LIFE spread principled, vitalistic chiropractic and Lasting Purpose around the world. Our tribe will not stop until we have established worldwide access to Chiropractic and a chiropractic education for anyone who wants it.
We are establishing clinics and schools in China and Costa Rica, creating a world-class think tank (Octagon) for thought leadership and social change, transforming chiropractic education and the campus and creating a waiting list of students to get into Life University.
The LIFEforce 1000 tribe is currently dedicated to two projects: looking for 1,000 committed members and filling Life University with students who are passionate and will spread Chiropractic around the world, now and for decades to come. We are barely graduating enough DCs to replace those retiring or passing away.
There are 360 million people in the United States, and there are only 68,000 chiropractors (compared with 1.1 million MDs). Worldwide, it’s even more dramatic. The European Union has 700 million people, but there are less than 5,000 DCs. China is home to 1.3 billion people and there are about 20 DCs. Life University is both committed to increasing the influence of the profession here in North America and starting chiropractic programs throughout world.
Members of this tribe have committed to each other to do three things:
Want to be part of this tribe? Contact Rachael Boyd at Rachael.Boyd@LIFE.edu or visit our website at LIFE.edu/LIFEforce.
In the August/September 2007 issue of Today’s Chiropractic LifeStyle, we ran a cover story about how rugby became Chiropractic’s sport. The principles of success, integrity and hard work are things both rugby and Chiropractic have in common. What’s more, Chiropractic helps rugby players with the grueling physical toll it takes on a player. But why has Life University made a long-term commitment to making rugby an integral part of the institution?
First of all, sports are such a vibrant part of the fabric of our society. Watching human beings strive for success, trying to go farther, higher and faster, has become great theater for millions of people. Former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Earl Warren once said that he would always read the sports section of the newspaper first because, “The sports section records people’s accomplishments; the front page nothing but man’s failures.” Sports are good for society and offering them at Life University is as important to the authentic university experience as room and board.
Rugby is an international sport, second only to soccer in worldwide popularity. While it may not make the “SportsCenter” highlight reel on Sunday mornings, the other nine-tenths of the planet love and follow the sport with as much enthusiasm as college football fans in the Southeast. Offering rugby attracts international students to the campus, which in turn means sending graduates back to their home countries with the skills and knowledge necessary to affect lives in countries where Chiropractic is not as widespread as it is in the United States.
Rugby has been called “… a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen.” There is perhaps no other contact sport where honor, respect and integrity are on display before, during and after a match. Thirty guys will bang heads and bodies together at a fever pitch for 80 minutes, and then enjoy a meal together at the same table afterwards. At Life University there is a set of Eight Core Proficiencies each student must master before graduating. Among these proficiencies is integrity and citizenship. Integrity provides the underpinning for the responsible exercise of our rights and responsibilities as human beings. Life University teaches students how to manage personal integrity and function as valued citizens within the academic, healthcare and larger communities.
Student athletes have an incredible amount of pressure on them as they juggle a full course load, lectures and clinic with practices, games and travel. They must manage their time well if they want to be successful in both pursuits. Student athletes graduate with a great understanding of balance in their lives. They know the value and rewards of hard work, discipline, teamwork and dedication to a cause. That is exactly the type of chiropractors we should all want out in the world spreading the message and leading the vital health revolution.
Life University had made a commitment to rugby not just for the enrollment prospects and prestige of having intercollegiate sport on campus, but also for the ideals and principles that mirror those of Chiropractic.