Sherman College of Chiropractic
Arno Burnier , D.C.
When the Student Becomes the Master
by Freelance Writer Beverly Knight
Arno Burnier, D.C., arrived in Spartanburg from Paris in 1973 armed only with a telephone number. He had no course booklet, no application, no idea of what to expect when he used that number to call Thom Gelardi, D.C., the founder of Sherman College. But the decision to leave France and pursue his dream of becoming a chiropractor at the newly-formed college of chiropractic is one that Burnier has never regretted.
“I had met a very charismatic chiropractor in France who told me that if I wanted to study chiropractic, the place to do that was at Sherman College,” Burnier remembers. He arrived in South Carolina to discover that there was no established “college,” only an empty building on Main Street in Spartanburg. “There was no physical school, but there was so much excitement and enthusiasm. I stayed and helped frame the walls of the classrooms. We built the infrastructure of our own school,” Burnier explains.
He graduated in 1977 and opened a practice specializing in infant, children and family care in Yardley, PA, where he worked for 20 years. He describes that time as “a blast, fun, a life party every day.” But more importantly, as a member of that pioneering class, Burnier continued to grow in professional leadership along with the college itself. He had many visitors to his office, students from different schools and other chiropractors who were interested in learning about his methods and techniques.
“During the last five to six years I was practicing, there was a growing demand to teach students, other chiropractors and the people I was adjusting and serving,” says the man who in 1983 was named an Outstanding Young Man of America and in 1993 chosen as one of America’s 27 Best Doctors of Chiropractic by Self Magazine.
His reputation for leadership in the profession led him, beginning in 1983, to teach adjusting seminars outside his practice on weekends. The increasing demands on his time finally led him to close his practice in 1997 and devote himself full time to teaching others.
He relocated to Durango, CO, and set up a training camp where people came from all over the United States and even from outside the country to share experiences. Over the years, accolades mounted for the man who authored numerous articles on chiropractic, health, healing and wellness. He appeared on radio and television talk shows and was an international guest lecturer at conventions, seminars, colleges, organizations and lay groups.
Sharing his philosophy became his driving passion. To accomplish that goal, the founder of MLS Adjusting Seminar, Master Piece Seminars and the Café of Life Vitalistic Practice Model, recently launched Zeechi which he describes as "a path of mastery and success in life and chiropractic." The Zeechi team, led by Burnier, is made up of vitalistic chiropractors, as well as Burnier’s wife, Jane, who is a certified life coach, who have dedicated themselves to helping others uncover and develop inner potential.
Zeechi offers group and individual coaching, tele-consulting and on-site consulting, webinars and mission trips with the goal of creating a network that supports the sharing of common experiences, vision and aspiration.
Burnier loves sharing his experiences, or as the accomplished communicator says, “encouraging the mass consciousness to move toward taking care of themselves.” What he advocates is “a true proactive wellness practice.” Burnier firmly believes that people should not wait until they are sick, but should adopt a “wellness discipline” that embraces the idea that the best “treatment” is a preventative healthcare delivery system. That is one of the principles that he conveys to all those that he touches.
When speaking to students about to enter the chiropractic profession, he stresses that adjusting should be their number one priority. Further, Burnier advises them to graduate from a professional school and train constantly, remembering how important it is to be a professional in adjusting. “Study all of the curriculum,” he says, “not just to know the names but to be in awe of how it has been designed.”
Burnier has become a leader in chiropractic by staying true to his principles, and he has received acclaim for his accomplishments by following the advice he gives to other members of his profession: “Learn that communication is the essence of a pure practice and that true leadership arises not out of ego but out of the path life has for you.”