This past weekend was a very happening weekend in the chiropractic profession. There was Parker Seminars in Dallas, TX. There was The Gathering with Dr. Sigafoose in Palm Beach, FL. There was the Master’s Circle Super Conference in Orlando, FL. And of course, there was the seminar I attended, Upper Cervical Fusion in San Jose, CA.
Several years ago, the ICA created a Council on Upper Cervical in hopes of establishing a 300 hour diplomate program to further the expertise of Upper Cervical Chiropractors. The Council, which consists of Dr. Shawn Dill, Dr. Darren White, Dr. Robert Brooks, Dr. Stan Pierce, Jr., Dr. Thad Vaugniaux, Dr. Julie Mayer-Hunt, and Dr. Bo Rochester have been working on outlining a curriculum that would fulfill that goal. As a result, the Council on Upper Cervical decided to put together an event that would culminate in a gathering of various upper cervical technique organizations and their leaders in a further show of unity, similar to the AUCCO in the 1990′s and Upper Cervical Evolution in recent years.
I will say that prior to Fusion, I did not know what to expect. In talking with others at the event, including several from the Council itself, I don’t think anybody knew how it would turn out or what it would be like. Would it be like Evolution? Would it be better? Worse? Something different altogether?
Overall, I think Fusion turned out to be a great success. I think it stands alone as its own event and gives the upper cervical community one more event each year to come together and work on furthering the cause.
I thought I would give a recap of Upper Cervical Fusion below.
- Dr. Robert Brooks started off the event on Thursday giving a lot of individual respect to past and present influential Upper Cervical Chiropractors. I found this a very classy and very great way to start off the event. For those of you reading this who don’t understand what I mean, there used to be a lot of rivalry in the upper cervical community. Basically it was a “mine is bigger than yours” mentality. Since the inception of Upper Cervical Evolution several years ago, and now Fusion, that mentality has gone by the waist side. Mmm mmm mm mm mm…
- Following Dr. Brooks was B.J. Kale. He touched on chiropractic philosophy throughout his talk.
- Dr. Robert Kessinger touched on how he came to include Blair views in his Knee Chest analysis. This was something I was always curious about and never knew why, so it was interesting to hear.
- Dr. Stan Pierce, Jr. gave a great talk, once again, on quality control and upping our standards within upper cervical.
- Dr. Scott Rosa gave one of the best actual presentations of the weekend. He has done extensive research on pre and post upright spinal MRI. He showed countless cases of MRIs where prior to an Atlas adjustment, you could see the cerebellar tonsils being pulled down beyond the foramen magnum because of the C1 misalignment. It wasn’t Chiari malformation, but it was concerning to look at. Post MRIs showed normal cerebellar tonsil position above the level of the foramen magnum. He also showed how the blood flow increased in the cerebral arteries post Atlas adjustment via MRIs, as well as increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow following an Atlas adjustment post MRI. It was truly amazing, as well as exciting, information.
- Friday morning started out with Dr. Bo Rochester covering the research showing the safety and effectiveness of Upper Cervical Chiropractic. He covered x-ray safety, of which I will cover in an upcoming blog post, as well as the effectiveness upper cervical adjustments have on back and neck pain vs diversified adjustments. It came out to a quarter less adjustments needed to alleviate the pain with a C1 adjustment vs generalized manipulation. Great stuff!
- I enjoyed Dr. Michael Lenarz’s story about his granddaughter. There were complications with her birth, among them a punctured lung from the respirator in the hospital. He decided to fly out to London and eventually had the chance to lightly adjust his baby granddaughter’s C1. She was out of the hospital 12 hours later, after having been there for days. I found it to be very moving and it was a great reminder why it is important for babies to get checked right at birth. Sometimes, their health literally depends on it.
- The technique break out portion was well organized. The only problem that I knew of was the Orthospinology portion started out in a small room, but was moved to a bigger space later on in the day. Dr. Julie Mayer-Hunt covered upper cervical with the pediatric patient Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Dr. Bo Rochester and Dr. Michael Wagner took turns covering the basics of the Orthsopinology procedure and x-ray analysis. It was good to be there for my own slipping and checking with the basic fundamentals.
- Dr. Bryan Duff spoke in the early evening. I was interested in hearing what he had to say because he is known as an instrumentation expert and I find that to be a very fascinating subject and practice. It gives the Upper Cervical Chiropractor another objective tool to know when and when not to adjust, and listening to one of the experts on this topic was great.
- Dr. Todd Hubbard talked about the research he’s working on up at Palmer, which was very inspiring to me. If each of us as Upper Cervical Chiropractors put together or contributed to case studies and research to further our cause, I think we would see some amazing results.
- Dr. Gerard Clum, president of Life Chiropractic College West, gave an amazing talk about the state of the profession, the recent CCE proposed standards, and the chiropractic profession’s unified response to it. He also spoke about the future of upper cervical and what needs to be done to protect out practice rights. It was the first time I have heard him speak and I was blown away. I was honored to have the chance to finally meet Dr. Clum afterward. Definitely a great guy.
- The final speaker of Fusion was the keynote speaker, Michael Port, best-selling author of Book Yourself Solid. I read this book while still a student at Parker and loved it. Unfortunately, I had to catch an early flight out of San Jose so I could not attend his presentation. However, I know a number of people reading this blog did attend and will happily fill in the missing details in the comments below.
I would also be remiss in not giving credit to the M.C.s of the event, Dr. Drew Hall on Thursday, Dr. Chris Wolff on Friday, and Dr. Jeff Scholten on Saturday. They all did a great job.
Overall I had a great time, I learned a lot, and it was fun to finally meet people I have interacted with here on The Atlas of Life and on Twitter and Facebook. People like Dr. Erik and Dr. Paige Van Slooten, Dr. Andy Roberts, Dr. Michael Lenarz, Dr. Jared Kohler, Dr. Julie Mayer-Hunt, Dr. Elizabeth Hoefer, Dr. Eric Wright, Dr. John Chaney, recent Life West graduate Ryan Lawlor, soon to be Life West graduates Sam Zoranovich, Noah Kaplan, and Steve Perry, Akala Lemus (who I had a great religious discussion with), and my good buddy Dr. Ian Davis-Tremayne.
It was also fun to, once again, see people I already know, like Dr. Payton Ely, Dr. Bo Rochester, Dr. Tony Monnin and his wife Julia, Dr. Darren White and his wife Dr. Toni Best, Dr. Doug and Chandra Endel and their son Parker, Dr. Michael Wagner, Dr. Tom Forest, Dr. Dave Phillips, Dr. Mychal Beebe, Dr. Shawn Dill, Dr. Wendee Whitehead, Dr. Tim McFadden, Dr. Rob Clarke, Dr. Fred “Where is all my hair?” Schurger, Dr. Thad Vaugniaux, Dr. Todd Hubbard, Dr. Scott Glocke, Dr. Lauren Clum, Dr. Mariza Snyder, Rylan Porter and the Parker crew, and Dr. Jaime Browning, just to name a few.
Next year’s Fusion in Chicago, IL should be great!