14th Annual IRAPS

14th Annual IRAPS

Sherman College Gathers Leaders in Philosophy and Research for

14th Annual IRAPS, October 7-8

14th annual irapsSherman College of Chiropractic will host the 14th Annual International Research and Philosophy Symposium (IRAPS), a peer-reviewed conference on vertebral subluxation research and the philosophy of chiropractic, in Spartanburg, SC, October 7-8, 2017. Up to 12 hours of continuing education credit are available.

The goal of IRAPS is to bring together leaders in philosophy and research as well as practitioners who are centered on the vertebral subluxation practice, to build a stronger academic community worldwide regarding the subluxation model of chiropractic. The symposium’s intent is to foster a view that the chiropractic profession is centered on vertebral subluxation, based on vitalism, dedicated to research and developing a discipline of philosophy.

Highlights include the following presentations:

  • Vertebral Subluxation, Critical Thinking, and Evidence-Informed Practice – Christopher Kent, D.C., J.D.
  • What is Radical Science? – Bill Decken, D.C., ’86, D.Ph.CS
  • Vertebral Subluxation Models & Definitions: Is There Really Anything New? – Matt McCoy, D.C., M.P.H.
  • Pragmatic Research, Quality of Life and Salu­togenesis Research – Joel Alcantara, D.C.
  • Resolution of Low Back Pain and GERD in a 20 Year-Old Male Patient Following Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: A Case Report – Charmaine Herman, D.C., ’09

Presenters include the following:

Joel Alcantara, D.C.
Brigette Bowler, D.C.
Rick Brescia, D.C., D.Ph.CS
Carly Lentzt Carney, D.C.
Ron Castellucci, D.C., A.C.P.
Bill Decken, D.C., D.Ph.CS
Brian Dooley, D.C., A.C.P.

Curtis Fedorchuk, D.C.
Tate Gentile, D.C.
Matthew Hartenburg, D.C.
Charmaine Herman, M.A., D.C.
Nicole Hirshowitz, D.C.
Sarah Hock, D.C.
Christopher Kent, D.C., J.D.

Daniel Knowles, D.C.
Dejan Kotur, D.C.
Michelle MacCarthy, D.C.
Matthew McCoy, D.C., M.P.H.
Eric Russell, D.C., D.Ph.CS
Anna-Marie Schmidt
David Starmer, D.C.

For additional information, go to https://www.sherman.edu/iraps.
Registration is open at http://www.cvent.com/d/z5qv1n.


Sherman College of Chiropractic provides students with a comprehensive chiropractic education, preparing them to enter the field as doctors of chiropractic who are highly skilled, compassionate, ethical and successful. On its 80-acre campus in South Carolina, Sherman offers a first professional degree program unique in its approach to health care and known globally for the skill and art of chiropractic delivered by graduates. For more information, visit www.sherman.edu or call 800-849-8771.

For more information, contact:

Jillian Kersh, D.C.
Director of Continuing Education

Sherman College of Chiropractic
Phone: 800-849-8771, ext. 229
E-mail: jkersh@sherman.edu

Chiropractic Techniques

Chiropractic Techniques

An Introduction to the Art and Science of Chiropractic Technique

chiropractic techniques

Students beginning their chiropractic studies can look forward to learning a wide range of techniques with which to locate, analyze and correct vertebral subluxations. In addition to understanding the difference between terms like Gonstead and Toggle Recoil, D.C.s-to-be will develop a deep appreciation for the precise art and science of the chiropractic adjustment needed to establish successful careers.

Read on for an introduction to chiropractic technique with insights from Sherman College’s Dr. Ron R. Castellucci, chair of the Chiropractic Technique Department.

Doctors of Chiropractic Use Diversified Technique

“Many chiropractors mistakenly believe Diversified technique to be an assortment of non-specified manual adjustment techniques with no origin,” says Dr. Castellucci. “On the contrary,” he explains, “Diversified technique has its roots with BJ Palmer as he was experimenting with various methods of adjusting the spine.”

Diversified technique is as old as the practice itself (although it was later modified and refined by Dr. Otto Reinert of Logan College). It involves short, specific, powerful thrusts delivered by hand that helps realign the spine. It is one of the most widely used chiropractic techniques today.

Gonstead Technique Helps Chiropractors Correct Subluxations

The Gonstead Technique was first developed by the famous doctor of chiropractic, Dr. Clarence Gonstead, who was a student and contemporary of B.J. Palmer. During the 1920s, Gonstead established one of the most successful chiropractic practices in history. Working long hours, he saw as many as 300 to 400 patients a day.

During the course of his extraordinary and prolific chiropractic career, Gonstead developed his own technique. Named in his honor, the Gonstead technique emphasizes the importance of the spine’s fundamental alignment. Dr. Gonstead noticed that misalignments caused the body to compensate along other points of the spine He developed the concept of “primary” vs “secondary” subluxations, which are analyzed and corrected differently.

As a pioneer and innovator, Dr. Gonstead also developed the Hi-Lo and knee-chest tables to help facilitate specific adjustments. “Chiropractors adjust a patient seated in a special chair or lying on his or her side because of the contributions of Clarence Gonstead Dr. Castellucci explains.

Chiropractors use Toggle Recoil to Align the Bones of the Neck

“Toggle Recoil, developed by B.J. Palmer, is one of the original techniques in the chiropractic profession,” says Dr. Castellucci. It was a technique taught in early chiropractic colleges, and because of its effectiveness, is still an enduring part of chiropractic education today.

“The focus of toggle recoil,” Castellucci explains, “is the upper cervical spine, specifically the atlas and axis (1st and 2nd bones in the neck). The construct is that everything in the body is controlled by the brain via nerves that pass through the spine; yet, all of these nerves must exit the skull passing through the atlas and axis. If these two bones are misaligned (subluxated), the entire nervous system will be interfered with and the entire body adversely affected.

Chiropractors Use Analytical Procedures to Identify Subluxations

Before using any of these techniques a chiropractor must first evaluate the patient carefully to determine which technique will be most beneficial. Dr. Castellucci explains that “the analysis of a subluxation involves a health history, palpation evaluation, thermography study, leg checks, and often, x-rays. This thorough process of assessment involves many different tools for identifying misalignments.

Chiropractors become proficient to use their hands to feel any potential subluxations along a patient’s spine. This is known as a palpation examination.

Another method chiropractors use to identify subluxations is thermography. Thermography shows which parts of a patient’s nervous system and surrounding soft tissue emit the most heat. Any inflamed areas will be highlighted, confirming the presence of a vertebral subluxation. Doctors of chiropractic also use x-rays when necessary. 

But, Dr. Castellucci emphasizes, “perhaps the most important part of the analysis is the post check. This is intended to assess whether or not the correction was made through the spinal adjustment.

Interested in learning more about chiropractic technique and the Sherman College training program? Why not book a tour of our campus and talk to our professors in person!

Chiropractic is a Top Job

Chiropractic Profession a Top Job for Those Looking to Change the World

chiropractic is a top job

Payscale has placed the chiropractic profession at number seven in an article it recently released titled “Best Jobs for Do-Gooders”. The organization reports that 94 percent of chiropractors report a high sense of job meaning, and they earn more than the median salary for U.S. workers. PayScale analyzed thousands of job titles to identify the best jobs for do-gooders. People in the top 10 professions named were most likely to say their jobs “make the world a better place.

Chiropractic is a rewarding career choice that allows graduates to serve their communities and make a positive impact in people’s lives. Chiropractors take a natural, preventative approach to health care, without the extensive use of drugs or surgery, helping patients enjoy a greater potential for health and optimal human performance.

MarketWatch, Fast Company, Forbes, Career Cast and other organizations repeatedly name chiropractic as a leading job. Aside from the personal satisfaction of helping people, a chiropractic career is in demand; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the employment of chiropractors is expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2022.

Because chiropractors emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles, chiropractic care is appealing to many health-conscious Americans. Projected job growth for the chiropractic profession stems from increasing consumer demand for a more natural approach to health care.

Sherman College: A Leader in Chiropractic Education

Sherman College’s Doctor of Chiropractic program is unique in its approach to health care and known globally for producing highly skilled doctors in their delivery of chiropractic care. The college prepares students to become compassionate, ethical and successful doctors of chiropractic.

Sherman College offers a friendly environment, individual attention, mentoring, expert faculty, hands-on instruction, and a balanced curriculum in basic science, chiropractic technique and philosophy, and practice management. Students in the final stage of the program complete a clinical internship coordinated by licensed doctors of chiropractic. This allows them to practice chiropractic under the close supervision and constant consultation of our faculty experts.

The Palmer Legacy

The Palmer Legacy

Pivotal Moments in Chiropractic History: The Palmer Legacy

palmer legacyFor much of its history – especially early on – chiropractic was officially founded and evolved with the help of two pioneering professionals: Daniel David Palmer and Bartlett Joshua Palmer. This father-son team played a pivotal role in the development of chiropractic theory and practice, contributing enormously to its increasingly valued approach to natural healthcare.

The Birth of Chiropractic

The birth of chiropractic can be traced back to one significant day in 1895. On September 18, Harvey Lillard, the janitor for the building where D.D. Palmer worked as a magnetic healer, was describing the day he lost his hearing 17 years earlier. He told Palmer that while he was bent over in a cramped space, he suddenly felt his neck “pop. And not long after, he said, his hearing completely disappeared.

Convinced the two events were linked, D.D. Palmer asked if he could examine Harvey Lillard’s spine. He noticed a bump on the back of Lillard’s neck, and after moving it back toward normal alignment, Lillard’s hearing was immediately restored.

This moment sparked D.D. Palmer’s lifelong passion for chiropractic.

The Philosophy of Chiropractic

After adjusting Harvey Lillard in 1895, D.D. Palmer became fascinated with the role the spine plays in the overall function and health of the body. He began performing more adjustments and uncovering evidence that the nervous system, particularly the alignment of the spine, affects the body’s ability to recover from illness.

D.D. Palmer believed that the body possesses an innate intelligence, which the ancient Greeks referred to as “vital force.” This innate intelligence, he theorized, depended in part on a healthy, functioning nervous system which could become interrupted by misalignments in the spine called subluxations. By adjusting the subluxation, Palmer was able to help the body recover its inherent ability to stay healthy and ward off illness. This discovery by D.D. Palmer led to one of the founding principles of chiropractic education and practice  chiropractic adjustments help the body restore its capacity to heal itself.

The First School of Chiropractic

D.D. Palmer founded the Palmer School and Cure in 1887. This first chiropractic college produced a small but notable graduating class of highly skilled professionals. Among them was another important figure in chiropractic history: B. J. Palmer, Daniel David’s son.

B.J. Palmer Continues his Father’s Legacy

B.J. Palmer soon found that he shared his father’s passion for chiropractic. He graduated from the Palmer School and eventually replaced his father as head of the college in 1906. Under his leadership, the field of chiropractic continued to garner respect and attract new prospective practitioners. Enrollment at the Palmer School boomed to 1,000 students by the 1920s.

B.J. Palmer also believed in incorporating the latest technology into the field of chiropractic. He advocated for the use of X-rays in 1910 and temperature instrumentation in 1924 to improve diagnostic methods. And throughout his chiropractic career, B.J. pushed for the wider acceptance of chiropractic in the community at large, ultimately helping to establish the Universal Chiropractic Association.

Students beginning their chiropractic careers today will discover that much of the education and foundational principles they learn was developed by this visionary father-son team. The Palmer legacy lives on in today’s leading chiropractic colleges all around the world.

Interested in learning more about studying to become a Doctor of Chiropractic? Visit Sherman College of Chiropractic to get started.

Principles of Chiropractic Philosophy

Principles of Chiropractic Philosophy

An Introduction to the Principles of Chiropractic Philosophy

Principles of Chiropractic Philosophy

For chiropractic students who love the simplicity – and the concreteness – of working with their hands, the abstract realm of philosophy may seem a bit nebulous and intimidating. While they might certainly expect to learn about anatomy and physiology in great detail, chances are an aspiring D.C. is not anticipating delving into metaphysics during the course of their training!

Read on to discover why metaphysics does indeed matter, and how the philosophy of chiropractic touches every aspect of the profession.

More Than Meets the Eye: The Nature of Life and Health

Genuine learning and progress come from asking questions – the kinds of questions that prompt a closer look at accepted theories and practices, and push the boundaries of the status quo.

Students in chiropractic college test their assumptions about the body by inquiring into the metaphysics of human life and health, considering questions like, “Does life consist of physical and chemical processes working together, or is there more?”

Chiropractic philosophy maintains that there is indeed more to the body’s workings than meets the eye.

D.C.s often refer to this unseen element as a “vital” force that operates behind the physical body we observe. There are several ways to think about this force; founder of chiropractic philosophy, B.J. Palmer called it the body’s innate intelligence. Sherman College refers to it as the “principle of organization in living things,” emphasizing that the harmonious alignment between the physical body and this unseen force is necessary for us to enjoy optimal health.

The Difference between a State of Ease and a State of Dis-ease

According to chiropractic philosophy, we are in a “state of ease” when the body’s innate intelligence is able to properly express itself through our physical form. We are hampered by a loss of function, disharmony, and experience dis-ease when something interferes with that expression – such as a vertebral subluxation.

Subluxation occurs when a vertebra (one of the bones of the spine) impedes the transmission of information along the spine and throughout the central nervous system. These lost messages to and from the brain disrupt the body’s functioning as a whole. Chiropractic seeks to restore the communication flow with spinal adjustment. The chiropractor delivers a force that the person’s body can use to correct the subluxation, facilitating the body’s natural ability to adapt, regulate and heal itself, through its own innate intelligence.

Enhancing Health, not Treating Symptoms

The idea that chiropractors facilitate natural, holistic healing – rather than treat the symptoms of dis-ease – is foundational to the philosophy of chiropractic. This concept may be difficult for clients to initially understand, particularly if they subscribe to a more conventional model of healthcare in which an intervention is sought only when pain or dysfunction arises.

Throughout their chiropractic careers, D.C.s often take on the role of educators, helping their clients understand that regular adjustments should be integrated into their comprehensive healthcare plan. Dr. Decken, Chair of the Philosophy Department at Sherman College, says that ignoring the benefits of regular chiropractic care is “like an athlete not tying his/her shoes tightly for competition. They can still compete but their ‘equipment’ will not perform to the best of its ability, or design.”

Chiropractic education emphasizes that although plans of care are customized for each client, chiropractic is beneficial for virtually anyone who seeks to live in a state of ease and optimal health.  From newborn babies and teens to adults and seniors – we can all benefit from having our most precious ‘equipment’ tuned up by expert hands.

Serving others by helping them maintain optimal health through natural means – this is the chiropractors’ mission and the philosophy that guides instruction at Sherman College of Chiropractic.

Click here to learn more about Sherman’s Chiropractic training program.

What element of chiropractic philosophy do you find most intriguing or inspiring?

Humanitarian Opportunities

Humanitarian Opportunities

Humanitarian Opportunities for Chiropractors

Humanitarian Opportunities for Chiropractors

Many students are drawn to chiropractic college because they’re inspired by the idea of natural, non-invasive healthcare. They envision themselves making a genuine difference in the lives of others by offering care that enhances the body’s natural capacity to regulate and heal itself.

For some graduates, the drive to empower others through holistic healing leads to involvement in humanitarian efforts. Such initiatives focus on providing education and chiropractic care to communities with little or no access to such services.

There are several organizations around the world that offer practitioners a way to combine their chiropractic career with charitable giving  both at home and abroad. Read on to discover how you could give back as chiropractic humanitarian.

Chiropractic & Disaster Relief

One non-profit organization has a goal to provide humanitarian aid and chiropractic care for people in developing countries, launching many community-based programs that help familiarize locals with the principles and benefits of chiropractic.

For example, in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, one such organization rallied a team of 20 chiropractors who provided thousands of spinal checks, as well, as fed and provided shelter for many displaced people.

Bringing Chiropractic to Latin America

Several non-profit chiropractic organizations aim to provide compassionate healthcare throughout Latin America. For example, in El Salvador, one organization sends teams of D.C.s to check and adjust patients where access to health care is extremely limited.

Participants report that their services are much appreciated by locals and encouraged by resident medical professionals. In addition to providing screenings and adjustments, many of these mission services are dedicated to raising awareness of chiropractic as a natural, non-invasive healthcare option.

Giving Back Closer to Home

Humanitarian Opportunities for Chiropractors

For students in the process of completing their chiropractic education or established D.C.s who can’t accommodate an overseas mission, there are plenty of opportunities for giving back closer to home. Many clinics and chiropractic colleges offer community outreach services, such as:

  • Lunch-N-Learn programs at local businesses
  • Free care clinics for rescue missions or veteran associations
  • Nursing home programs
  • Programs for local sports teams or athletic commissions

Sherman College’s own Outreach Program offers interns a variety of ways to get involved with local organizations that could benefit from chiropractic education and care. Our student interns and faculty work with children, seniors and those without access to healthcare, as well as participate in a wide range of healthcare events and promotions.

With its focus on helping patients achieve overall wellbeing, chiropractic and humanitarianism are intuitively linked. There is no greater reward than seeing a single adjustment transform into a new understanding or life-long commitment to improved health…all with the power of your two hands!

Would you consider joining a chiropractic humanitarian mission? Where would you travel first?

Unique Career Paths: Animal Chiropractor

Unique Career Paths: Animal Chiropractor

Animal Chiropractic

Chiropractic has long been recognized for its capacity to help human bodies perform at their best. But over the last few decades, animal adjustment has also expanded in practice and appeal, offering new career paths to students currently enrolled in chiropractic training. Read on to learn more about the evolution of animal chiropractic, and how one Sherman graduate transformed her passion for horses into a thriving private practice.

History of Chiropractic Practice on Animals

Animal chiropractic originated around 1895, at about the same time human chiropractic was developed. The practice, however, did not gain wider appeal until 1985 when the late Sharon Willoughby, a veterinarian, and chiropractor, took the reins of an organization called Options for Animals, which provided instruction on how to adjust animals.

In 1986, Dr. Willoughby gave a short course on equine chiropractic (spinal adjustment for horses) in Arkansas. Following the workshop, participants – a mix of veterinarians and chiropractors – formed the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) and chose Dr. Willoughby as their president.

The AVCA was among the very first to develop an educational curriculum around chiropractic theory and technique, build a link between chiropractic and veterinary practitioners and ultimately, apply chiropractic care to the quadruped.

Throughout the last decade, the public acceptance and demand for animal chiropractic care have grown, inspiring new graduates of chiropractic college to pursue this rewarding career path. One of those graduates is Natasha Jaskiewicz, D.C.

adjustments beneficial for animals

Natasha’s Success Story

Born in Singapore, Natasha Jaskiewicz moved with her family to Anacortes, WA in 1985 at the age of three. Natasha has always been an avid animal lover, and from a young age, she owned her own horses. She became involved with 4-H early on and began to train and show horses, especially hunter/jumpers.

Natasha graduated from the University of Findlay in Ohio with a degree in equine business management and soon began working as a freelance horse trainer, first in Washington and later in Texas. In Texas, Natasha encountered a Certified Animal Chiropractor who was also a D.C. and was truly amazed at the work she did with horses. After witnessing how applied animal chiropractic helped horses naturally, without drugs or surgery, Natasha was inspired to pursue a brand new career path.

Upon graduating from Sherman College of Chiropractic in 2007 and obtaining national certification by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, Natasha established a mobile practice that specializes in animals. Now she travels throughout the Carolinas and across the globe, working not only with horse and rider teams but also with a variety of other animals including conformation and agility dogs that compete at international levels. Natasha is truly an inspiring example for anyone looking to combine a chiropractic education with a love of animals.

The Benefits of Animal Adjustment

Approaching chiropractic care for animals is (for obvious logistical reasons) quite different than with humans – but the rationale for doing so, and the benefits of chiropractic, are surprisingly similar for both. Vigorous activity, repetitive actions, or wear and tear due to aging are experienced by animals just as they are by humans. Consider the physical force required of racehorses, the shock absorbed by a dog’s body after a high leap, the effects of a lifetime of wearing collars or saddles…the list goes on. Regular chiropractic adjustment helps mitigate those daily stressors, keeping the spine aligned and the central nervous system functioning optimally – best practice for any living creature, two-legged or four.

What would inspire you to pursue a career in animal chiropractic?

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

How important is education? What topics deserve the most attention? Math, science, health, arts, or writing? I had the pleasure of discovering a TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

In this video, Sir Robinson proposed the idea that creativity is the missing link in education. He supports that intelligence is more than an ability to exceed in school, but rather, a diverse and distinct entity not being optimized by the current education systems used in schools. 

I agreed with several points made in this video. Schools, like our society, seem to be on a reductionist model. People must learn so much information about certain topics in order to be considered educated. Some topics are elevated and others are chastised. This causes the minimization of potential innovators that don’t fit in the box of accustomed society. It would be tremendous if everyone could learn how to acquire and possess the vast amount of knowledge found in our society today.

I think the education system also indirectly minimizes fields like chiropractic. Health and wellness is a topic typically minimized from K-12th grade. I can only remember taking 1 required health class in high school to the 4 years of math and science. Science can be given a healthcare focus, but there is so much more to learn about chemistry and physics that matters for college entrance.

Things get a little better in the college setting, but my experience was limited. I felt that my college didn’t offer a degree that was useful for someone going into alternative medicines since there is so much money in pre-med programs. So, I would be in favor of seeing some changes to education.


The Great Debate – Reggie Gold

The Great Debate – Reggie Gold

The Great Debate – Reggie Gold

I watched this old Reggie Gold video on YouTube. Despite being filmed long before I was born, I think this held some good insight into subluxation and the grind of old time medical doctors. This is an interview with Dr. Terry RondbergDCDr. Jerome Williams, MD, Dr. Reggie Gold, DC, and Dr. John Grant, physician.

Reggie Gold did an admirable job of defending the chiropractic philosophy in this interview. When this interview was originally taken, the relationship between medicine and chiropractic was clearly still tense from attempts by the AMA to degrade the credibility of DCs. Dr. Rondberg and Dr. Gold both had a united front for the purpose and abilities of chiropractic. It is for the “restoration and maintenance of health (Dr. Rondburg). It is about the alignment of a vertebra compared to the above and below segment. The consequent compression and damage of misalignment leads to malfunction of organs at end of the nerve fibers. This ideal stems from the view of the whole body suffering from the presence of a subluxation regardless of the symptoms. This is similar to inadequate nutrition causing a lack of resilience of the body rather than specific disease (Dr. Gold).

The first half of the interview seemed to be focused on getting the DCs to admit they in some way treated symptomatology. The moderator was continually attempting to get Dr. Gold to say that since a patient may seek chiropractic care to help with asthma (a diagnosis) must mean a DC is treating the disease. It seems to be the vitalistic worldview that medicine and moderator don’t like or cannot comprehend. Reggie maintains that the DC is content to address the damaging effects of the subluxation as an entity of itself instead of a diagnosis. This elicits an “agree to disagree remark” from the MDs.

Meanwhile, Dr. Grant clearly explains the goal of medicine is to treat what seems appropriate for the individual parts of the body (disease). Both MDs agree with the major premise that nerve damage is bad when it causes symptoms while holding that the practice of chiropractic is based on faith and not science. Dr. Williams even claims there is no doubt in its lack of scientific validity. He says “there is no doubt” about as many times as Dr. Gold states he would like to finish answering the question. Dr. Gold correctly points out that faith isn’t a complete explanation for the favorable outcomes of chiropractic care since most patients use it as a last resort and its outstanding results on animals.

I respect Dr. Grant for accurately identifying that there is a force that heals the body. He stated, “…some [patients get better] from what we do, sometimes by faith in us and sometimes because the body has a way of healing itself. He also agrees that medicine is limited in its ability to offer permanent, long-lasting cures to diseases beyond symptom removal. Conversely, Dr. Williams was unreceptive to the possibilities of chiropractic. One of his first remarks stated that he knew very little about chiropractic care, but had already concluded from simple research it is ineffective. This man I considered to be smug and a borderline annoyance. 

It was interesting to see this discussion forum that took place long before I was born to learn from the leaders in healthcare from that time. The debate on the validity of chiropractic is still seen today so this topic is still very relevant. It is up to each doctor to weigh their own personal philosophy and hone their healing art, but there is clearly something involved in the power of the chiropractic adjustment. Dr. Rondberg and Dr. Gold could recognize it clearly. Hopefully, I can do my part in advancing this profession we call chiropractic.