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Chiropractic Response to Terrorism:
Have Your Spine Adjusted

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Eric Plasker, D.C., a Life University graduate who practices in Marietta, Georgia, is an aggressive promoter of subluxation-based chiropractic. For several years, he has been marketing practice-building programs geared toward persuading people to have periodic checkups and spinal adjustments throughout life. Plasker asserts that "everyone on this planet should have access to chiropractic from the time they are born until the time they draw their last breath!" [1] He opposes childhood immunization and links from his Web site to a major anti-immunization site.

A few years ago, Plasker founded the Traumatic Brain Syndrome Research Foundation to investigate his contention that "traumatic birth may result in vertebral subluxation in the newborn." He has expressed the hope that the foundation can establish protocols and develop research that would "attract a new level of attention to correcting vertebral subluxations in children." He also founded the Chiropractic Mothers Morning Out™ program, which uses "an army" of mothers and mothers-to-be to spread the word. According to a 1998 ad, his first three programs produced "46 committed, lifetime new patients and an extra $31,000." Plasker also suggests that his program can enable chiropractors to "turn every new patient you get into a Chiropractic Family for life" [2]

Today, Plasker's overall program is called Lifetime Care for Everyone (LCFE). His Web site states: "Are you tired and frustrated with screening hundreds of people to get only three committed new patients? . . . The Family Practice Marketing System includes contemporary, turnkey health programs that have efficiently generated hundreds of thousands of committed new patients for DC's around the world." Its "Family Practice Referral Packages" are said to "communicate the value of chiropractic from birth through senior life with contemporary language and photos that your patients can understand and relate to their own life." His "Chiropractic World" poster describes a world in which everyone is free from drugs, disease, pain, suffering, poverty, war, anger, hostility, chemical imbalance, ill mental health, and vertebral subluxation. The cost of the LCFE program for 15 to 24 months ranges from $6,970 to $14,125, depending on the intensity and payment schedule.

Plasker's "Magic Visit Report of Findings" is claimed to educate patients "in such a way so they choose the chiropractic lifestyle, with their families, pay for their care, and refer like crazy." An article on his Web describes the "magic visit"as one in which a patient "either has a miraculous chiropractic experience and they are very excited about their results, or when the patient gets the big idea." (The "Big Idea" is the chiropractic concept that the body heals itself when interference to the proper functioning of the nervous system is removed [3].) Plasker recommends having a "Well Bell" that gets rung whenever a good result occurs; asking patients who feel helped to immediately write a testimonial; and "putting patients on a mission" in which they persuade family and friends to attend promotional events [4].

Within two days after the September 11th terrorist attack, Plasker published a strategy for chiropractors to promote their services as part of the public response. His Web site suggests:

In the wake of the recent tragedy that has rocked the security of America and its citizens, it is our obligation as chiropractors and leaders in family health care to help initiate, contribute to and lead the healing of our country by making a commitment to laying our hands on as many people as possible in the coming days.

By placing your caring and compassionate hands on people's spines and delivering chiropractic care from your heart with love, you will be helping individuals and our nation heal. Begin the process today with some of these helpful tools.

The tools to which he refers are a press release, a public service announcement (PSA), a patient education article and a Stress Relief Day flier, all of which urge the public to donate money through chiropractic offices for victim relief and to lower their stress level by have their spine adjusted. The PSA promises a free chiropractic adjustment to those who donate to the Red Cross relief efforts. The Website urges chiropractors to:

Download and make copies of the patient education article and Stress Relief Day flier for your patients. Put them in your exam rooms, reception areas, restrooms and other hi-visibility areas and hand them out like crazy in your office and all around town.

Use these articles and handouts for your practice and have the greatest impact on your community that you possibly can. Reach out and make a difference… and thanks for your commitment to making the world a healthier, safer place and making LCFE (Lifetime Care For Everyone) a reality in your community and across the world [5].

Here's the press release:

Chiropractors United to Raise Millions

PRESS RELEASE (your city and state): Stress levels are at an all time high today. With the recent downturn in the economy and security challenges brought up by the terrorist attacks in the United States, stress is challenging the resiliency of the minds and bodies of every person in the world who values their freedom. How will these issues impact your life? How can you and your family stay physically and emotionally healthy so that you can deal with these issues in a constructive manner?

On Wednesday September 19th, (YOUR PRACTICE NAME HERE) will join with hundreds of other chiropractors across the country as they host STRESS RELIEF DAY in an effort to raise over $5,000,000 for the Red Cross relief efforts. (YOUR PRACTICE NAME HERE) will offer free chiropractic services in exchange for a donation to the American Red Cross.

"Chiropractors want to provide much needed stress relief for the nation and financially contribute to the rebuilding of our country," said (YOUR NAME HERE). The public is invited to attend and receive a free chiropractic adjustment and special education on stress reduction. On Tuesday, September 25th, 2001, contributions from this organized effort will be collected and donated to the American Red Cross to help with the over twenty billion dollars in estimated damages from these attacks.

By now, most of us are aware of the impact our mind can have on our physical health. Messages communicating over your nerve system can affect the function of every cell of your body. Messages that are distorted due to interference from mental and physical stress, can distort your body's ability to cope and thrive under stressful circumstances. This can cause immediate health problems and chronic health deterioration if not handled appropriately now. These strategies can help families and individuals limit the impact of stress and thrive during difficult times:

1. Don't Panic- certainly this is sometimes easier said than done even when we all know that panic can make a bad situation worse. There is no doubt that we are all experiencing challenges in our lives right now. Let's make the most of those challenges. Make and take the time each day to clear your mind and focus on the things in your life that matter the most. Spend time in silence either meditating or refocusing your energy away from stress. This will enable you to focus on positive solutions and decisions that support the best outcomes for yours and your family's life now and in the future.

2. Don't Numb Yourself- many people who are challenged by stress turn to drugs, alcohol and numbing medications as a way of coping with stress. While in some very severe instances this might provide a temporary relief, the side effects of these numbing agents can be worse for you than the stress itself. Many of these agents can cause chemical addictions that can haunt you for a lifetime. Reach out to friends and family members- try everything else first.

3. Keep Your Stress Reaction in Check- just as your mind can run wild in times of stress, so can your body have a chronic and constant stress reaction. These stress reactions can cause physical, mental, spiritual and organic exhaustion that lead to immediate and chronic health problems. Chiropractors globally see millions of people who suffer from the negative impact of stress. Chiropractic care calms the nerve system and promotes immediate stress relief as well as long-term health and well being. Removing the pressure from your nerve system and keeping the pressure off consistently, will help you maintain a high level of energy and a high level of health. Chiropractic keeps your nerve system balanced and in check even when times are hard.

For more information contact (YOUR OFFICE NAME AND PHONE NUMBER).

Courtesy of Dr. Eric Plasker and The Family Practice™

References

  1. Plasker E. Lifetime care for everyone. The Family Practice Program Web site, accessed Sept 15, 2001.
  2. Plasker E. Traumatic birth syndrome and the need for infant spinal care. Today's Chiropractic 27(1):24-33, 1998.
  3. Homola S. Inside Chiropractic" A Patient's Guide. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1999.
  4. Plasker E. The magic visit. The Family Practice Program Web site, accessed Sept. 15, 2001.
  5. Plasker E. Chiropractors - Lead the healing. The Family Practice Program Web site, accessed Sept. 15, 2001.

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This article was posted on September 15, 2001.