chiro history : research

(links to this research enclosed)

Dear Colleague—

In my 33 years as a chiropractor, I have seen the profession face many difficulties. Our profession has survived these challenges for two reasons: 1) the powerful, positive effect of chiropractic care on human health; and 2) our commitment to those we serve. I'd like to share with you what I consider to be three pivotal studies that have the potential to change your practice, and the direction of chiropractic care. Read on to find out what these studies are, and how their "real world" application can grow your practice.

Most of you know that the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance (CLA) is the technology leader in chiropractic. Thousands of doctors and millions of patients have benefited from the use of our Insight™ technology. Yet many doctors of chiropractic may not realize that the CLA vision goes far beyond the development and manufacturing of instruments to objectively measure nervous system function. We are interested in a result, not merely a product. The result we are seeking is improved quality-of-life through lifestyle-based chiropractic care.

CLA is proud to have supported a landmark study where chiropractors collaborating with researchers at the University of Lund found that chiropractic care could influence basic physiological processes affecting oxidative stress and DNA repair. The study examined serum thiols in patients under short-term and long-term chiropractic care. Serum thiols are primary antioxidants, and serve as a measure of human health status. The test provides a surrogate estimate of DNA repair enzyme activity, which has been shown to correlate with lifespan and aging.
Comparing serum thiol levels in nearly 50 patients receiving short- or long-term chiropractic care with controls, researchers found:

Simply stated, as we live life, we are subjected to physical, biochemical, and psychological stress. Our ability to repair damaged DNA is an important factor in health and longevity. Oxidative stress is now a broadly accepted theory of how we age and develop disease. Oxidative stress results in DNA damage, and inhibits DNA repair. In short, we now have evidence that chiropractic adjustments affect the chemistry of biological processes on a cellular level.

This study, published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, was reported in Medical News Today. You can read this report at . The study was also featured in, the world's most popular natural health newsletter. See "Doctors Crack Code on Chiropractic Care . News items also appeared in Natural Health magazine, and other publications, producing tremendous positive press for chiropractic as a long-term wellness strategy.

Just as exciting, the study is listed in several biomedical indexes, including MANTIS, CINAHL, and Google Scholar. This means that researchers using these indexes to locate articles on chiropractic, oxidative stress, and DNA repair will find this study. You can see the abstract at .

The second study was conducted by Dr. Ron Rupert and his team at Parker College. The study surveyed 311 chiropractic patients, aged 65 years and older, who had received chiropractic care for 5 years or longer.

Can you imagine the potential economic impact of cutting medical provider visits by 50%? You can read the abstract here:
This, and similar studies were the basis for my testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee. While we have not yet seen research appropriations for chiropractic wellness care, we are slowly making inroads among decision makers in Washington. You can read my Senate testimony here:

The third study was conducted by John Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., and his team. Dr. Zhang investigated the effects of chiropractic adjustments on heart rate variability. Heart rate variability (HRV) measures the overall tone of the autonomic nervous system, which controls the organs, glands, and blood vessels. It also shows the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the autonomic system by looking at how the brain and heart are communicating with one another. This test is well accepted in the medical and scientific community. The test is important because decreased heart rate variability is associated with increased mortality risk, is seen in depressed patients with coronary artery disease, and is associated with aging and obesity.

Dr. Zhang's team examined pre/post changes following a single chiropractic adjustment in 625 patients from 96 offices. His team also followed 132 patients for a four-week period. They found that not only did the patients report decreased pain as indicated by the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), but improved function of the autonomic nervous system. According to the study,

"It was concluded that the multi clinic study of chiropractic care on the heart rate
variability has demonstrated consistent changes in HRV and VAS in patients who participated in this study. The decreased heart rate and increased total power from the HRV analysis indicated a healthy autonomic nervous system balance after correction of vertebral subluxation."

The findings were originally presented at International Research and Philosophy Symposium: Abstracts. Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic. Spartanburg, SC. October 9 10, 2004. An expanded version was later published in the Journal of Chiropractic Education, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2005.

CLA has brought this technology from the laboratory to chiropractic clinic, and it is available, right now, as part of the most significant achievement in chiropractic patient assessment that I have seen in my 33 years as a DC. Before I tell you more about this, let's step back and look at the "big picture" that we face in chiropractic today.

What do these three studies have to do with your practice and your future? The answer is "everything." Heath care in the United States currently consumes about one in every six dollars spent in the United States, and will consume an estimated one in every five dollars by the year 2015. It is projected that by the end of the next decade, the government will be paying about half of the nation's medical costs. A report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimated that both government and private spending for health care will average $12,320 per person in 2015, almost double the 2005 figure of $6,683. The nation's health care bill could total more than $4 trillion in ten years. (U.S. Health Care Bill by 2015: $4 Trillion. 2/22/06).

As chiropractors, we hold the key to solving this problem. We have shown you how research has shown that:

We face a formidable challenge. Yet it is one within our reach. As Margaret Mead wrote, "Never underestimate the ability of a small group of committed individuals to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." The key is having the tools to turn vision into reality.

That's where CLA comes in. For two decades, Dr. Gentempo and I have assembled a world-class team to provide chiropractors with the tools to provide the certainty, credibility, and communications to achieve excellence in chiropractic practice.

The breakthrough we have achieved is the development of the Insight Discovery™ system and the Neurospinal Functional Index™. This system provides objective measurements of sensory function, motor function, autonomic function, adaptability, and spinal motion. The results of five examinations (which can e performed by a CA in most states) are integrated to generate a single number which is easy to understand. Our vision is for the Neurospinal Functional Index™ to become as well accepted and understood as blood pressure and cholesterol numbers.

Why do you need this? Because the health benefits and cost savings that can change the healthcare landscape were only seen in patients who were under long-term care.

If your patients quit when their pain disappears, or their benefits run out, they will not experience the full potential of chiropractic care. This places an awesome responsibility on your shoulders: effectively communicating the need for care; and objectively demonstrating improved function after the symptoms have disappeared.
This technology has another significant benefit to you and your patients. It permits you to be a more effective clinician, by using objective measurements to deliver the most effective chiropractic possible.
Yours in the vision,

Christopher Kent, D.C., J.D.
Co-Founder CLA
Chiropractic Leadership Alliance