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Reversing the Decline

Our Healing Tradition as Chiropractors

D.D. Palmer giving the first chiropractic adjustment

By Freddie Ulan, DC, CCN

When I was a kid, my father was miraculously cured—by a chiropractor—from an athletic injury pronounced “incurable” by the best orthopedic doctors, neurologists and other esteemed medical professionals (who wanted to put him under the knife anyway, because he had “nothing to lose”).

After his recovery, Dad became a “chiropractic zealot.” Any visitor who showed up with an ailment would find himself whisked away to a chiropractic office—whether it was a friend with lupus, a young cousin with rheumatoid arthritis, a woman with debilitating migraines, the son of my dad’s best friend who had asthma, an uncle with incurable ulcers, or a baby with Crohn’s disease. Dramatic recovery after a few adjustments was the order of the day.

Healers, or just “pain guys”?

When I graduated from chiropractic college and went into practice in 1965, I fully expected to become known as one of those healers. Instead, I found myself characterized by society as “the pain guy.” How did that happen?

I’d had some great successes along the way. But as time went on, the regularity of these healing miracles became less and less, and my practice became more and more just a “pain clinic.” I saw the same trend playing out in the profession as a whole, with insurance companies dictating what was considered a legitimate treatment for which we could be paid.

The original vision of chiropractic

Chiropractic fell out of touch with the vision D.D. Palmer had set out for us:

“I hold it to be self-evident that all men and women who have acquired sufficient knowledge and skill to remove the nerve tension which prevents physical, mental and spiritual development, are engaged in a work of a higher order than that ordinarily required of, and performed by, the physician.” [The Chiropractic Adjuster, p.14]

His understanding was very specific:

“Now that we have learned the cause of disease—displacements of some part of the skeletal frame superinduced by accidents and poisons, we should make much more rapid strides toward health and longevity.” [p. 737; emphasis added]

A toxic lifestyle takes its toll

Writing in 1910, Palmer could hardly have envisioned the degree to which poisons in our food, water and air supplies would come to dominate the health (or disease) picture. It was this factor that very nearly killed me in 1991, and drew me back into the healing profession after more than a decade spent crusading for other causes.

Years of traveling all over the world, living in hotels, eating in restaurants, and always being on a weird body schedule finally caught up with me. My body literally collapsed. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome—incurable, of course. My heart was failing, my adrenals didn’t work, my thyroid didn’t work, my whole endocrine system shut down. I was aging incredibly rapidly. My pains became more chronic and resistant to the many excellent adjustments I received from really good chiropractors.

I was suffering from secondary subluxations, which were constantly being created by internal weaknesses, toxicities, and imbalances, faster than spinal adjustments alone could correct them. As it turned out, all of it was traceable to nutritional deficiencies produced by unwittingly eating a steady diet of adulterated food.

“Physician, heal thyself”

My wife Dana and I went many thousands of dollars into debt trying every therapeutic modality that seemed to hold out even the faintest promise of relief. The technology to resolve my case literally didn’t exist yet.

More than anything, I didn’t want to die and leave Dana stuck with all that debt. So, I set about to complete my education in nutrition and the diagnostic methods that were available in 1991, including Applied Kinesiology in its many variations. We found so many deficiencies that it seemed I would choke to death on vitamins if I didn’t bring my pill count under control. This drove me to develop our current methods of determining exactly how much of each nutrient the body requires and in what priority.

I devised a sensible program which opened the door to a most amazing thing: my adjustments started holding again, and with the reduced and corrected subluxations, my health started to return. I took on a few patients, working out of a good friend’s chiropractic clinic in a small town where I didn’t know anybody.

Growing a practice by referral

Dana canvassed the downtown area with a clipboard and a few survey questions. She asked people if they had any chronic health problems and, if so, were they interested in a non-conventional approach? As a thank you, she offered each person a complimentary health check.

We were going to use the survey answers to create a flier, but I had my hands full with the business generated from those free health checks. Of the first thirty women I examined in 1993, twenty-five are still in the practice, and their referrals generated more referrals—literally by the thousands. We never did send out that flier.

That small town of 15,000 had at least 35 chiropractors within a short drive of my office, yet I didn’t regard them as competitors. I encouraged patients to stay with their existing chiropractor if they had one. I had to concentrate on nutrition visits just to keep up with the workload.

Before long, I had people flying in from Southern California, Korea, Germany, South America and South Florida in the middle of the winter to spend a week or two or three in incredibly cold, miserable, bleak weather because they weren’t confident anyone else could help them.

I had done the impossible. I had enabled my own body to experience the miracles of chiropractic as D.D. Palmer laid it out, and my results were consistently duplicatable with others. I had a earned the reputation of a healer in the grand chiropractic tradition.

I realized I couldn’t keep this subject to myself.

A nationwide network of healers

My next challenge was to make it possible for all of my chiropractic colleagues to become known as healers again. After years of developing our training methodologies at Ulan Nutritional Systems, I am proud to announce that we can achieve this goal uniformly with every chiropractor we train.

From a lone practitioner in upstate New York, we have grown to over 500 clinical masters throughout the U.S., whose reputation as healers is well established and growing.

Practicing all aspects of chiropractic as D.D. Palmer envisioned and specifically wrote about in his landmark book, The Chiropractor’s Adjuster, in 1910, we can each take our place as true healers in a society that needs healing more than ever before.

Yes, we can relieve pain. But now, by incorporating Nutrition Response TestingSM—which is truly Advanced Chiropractic Nutrition—into our practices, each of us can be known as the healers we always aspired to be.

Turning Point

Achieving Broad Recognition As a Wellness Practice

Marty Furlong, DC, testing a patient for nutritional deficiencies

By Alan Graham

There’s a new health care destination in Minnesota. Eighty miles north of the Mayo Clinic, and smaller by roughly 32,000 staff, the MetroEast Wellness Center doesn’t hook people up to multi-million-dollar machines. They just get their patients well—and the news is spreading.

“We’ve been discovered,” says clinic director Marty Furlong, DC. “For my first twenty-three years in practice, my client base never extended beyond the suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul. I am now receiving patients from the upper Midwest states, and referrals from all over the country.”

The change started four years ago, when Dr. Furlong began incorporating Nutrition Response TestingSM methodology into office visits where indicated. This is the most advanced system of chiropractic nutrition, because it alone assesses the functional status of the autonomic nervous system directly.

He didn’t promote for new nutrition patients. He simply began solving his most difficult chiropractic cases—the ones with chronic, recurring musculoskeletal complaints.

“Doug had been coming to me since 1986 to handle hip, shoulder and back pain resulting from hard physical labor. In 2009, I told him, ‘Let’s add a nutrition component to your treatment.’ I tested him and gave him a nutrition program, which he followed concurrent with the adjustments. His urinary incontinence cleared up immediately. This problem had caused him plenty of embarrassment at work, but he never mentioned it to me until it was gone. Now he just comes in for monthly checkups—and reports no hip, shoulder or back pain.”

Referrals snowballed.

Doug’s daughter got a big improvement in her acne condition. His 84-year-old father, also a nutrition patient, recently reported his best golf score in a decade. Why? “I don’t fall over when I lean over the ball, because my feet aren’t numb.”

In March 2012, Doug referred a friend who sells high-end RVs. She had multiple immune challenges and extreme abdominal pain that had on occasion forced her to cut short her sales talks. She complained of a severe skin rash, lightheadedness, frontal headaches, and dry mouth; she had to carry a water bottle and take sips during presentations.

This poor woman had been to the Mayo Clinic and other specialists with no results. She’d never been to a natural practitioner and was a little hesitant, but she followed the program—all the while consulting her Mayo doctors for checkups and blood work. One year later she reported, “No complaints at this time!” She referred her parents, who have also become nutrition patients.

A 76-year-old patient referred her massage therapist, starting another referral snowball that expanded 150 miles north of the practice and 70 miles south.

Most of the nationwide referrals come from Nutrition Response Testing patients who have friends or relatives in the upper Midwest states. Their local practitioner refers them to the Ulan Nutritional Systems website, where they simply click the “Find a Clinician” button and fill in a form. The friend’s or relative’s contact information is relayed by the UNS team to the nearest qualified practitioner.

“If they are under the care of another healthcare practitioner, I encourage them to continue that relationship,” Dr. Furlong says. “I also introduce chiropractors in my area to Nutrition Response Testing via the UNS-sponsored Study Groups which I lead in my office every other month. They try it out and have wins on the easier cases. The tough ones, they refer to me. And that’s a great referral.” These Study Groups are free, and you can sign up here.

The practice reports a 100% collection rate for nutrition visits.

“Many patients look to our clinic first for all their health needs instead of seeing us as merely a back pain or headache pain clinic,” concludes Dr. Furlong. “Now that I’m using the complete science of chiropractic, including state-of-the-art nutritional support, my reputation as a healer has grown beyond all expectations.”

Our Healing Tradition as Chiropractors
by Freddie Ulan, DC, CCN
Achieving Broad Recognition as a Healing Practice
by Alan Graham

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