Monday, April 17, 2017

An Open Letter Encouraging Change, Innovation, and Opportunity

The following is written specifically to the Chancellor, Provost, and Board of Trustees at North Carolina State University, in hopes of breaking new ground in health care through the opening of the first public Chiropractic school in the United States.

Dear Dr. Woodson, Dr. Arden, and Others To Whom It May Concern,

I write to you today thinking about innovation and opportunity for North Carolina State, my alma mater, and encourage NCSU to consider advancing the cause of the first public university school of Chiropractic in the United States. 

In the winter of 2005, I was in the midst of completing my undergraduate degree in psychology and had been accepted to the two most prestigious Chiropractic colleges in the United States.  I went onto receive a merit scholarship, for which one of the requirements was a written essay about the future of the Chiropractic profession. 

At that time, I was just beginning to learn about Chiropractic’s place in American society.  I knew of it previously only through a patient’s perspective.  I was thirteen years old when I experienced my first debilitating bout of pain.  Medical physicians knew not what to do with a case like mine other than to prescribe pain medication, but a family friend, who was a Doctor of Chiropractic, got me back to functioning and feeling relatively normal again.  It was not until years later, when I began to consider becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic myself, that I first learned that seeing a Chiropractor was uncommon or that it was considered “unscientific” by a medical community whose leadership (namely the American Medical Association) had been found guilty of violating the Sherman Act with an unlawful conspiracy against Chiropractic by the United States District Court (1), a decision affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals in February 1990 (2). 

With the above in mind, I wrote my merit scholarship essay about the advancement of Chiropractic in the mainstream through a new Chiropractic college set to be opened by Florida State University.  There are presently only fifteen schools in the United States which offer the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree; FSU would have been the first public school to house a Chiropractic college on its campus.  Unfortunately, Florida State rejected the project, citing protests primarily by its medical school staff, but the subject of my essay has stuck with me and I have long thought my own alma mater to be the perfect site of the nation’s first public Chiropractic school.  Since receiving my Doctorate in Chiropractic, I have seen firsthand the perception that my profession faces; I have seen the public resistance in my own clinic; I have seen graduating classmates, frustrated by the lack of acceptance for Chiropractic, return to school for medical doctorates or leave the health care field altogether.  It is, in some ways, a constant uphill battle.  However, change does not happen without forward-thinking innovators, the types that we produce regularly at North Carolina State.  I like to think that graduates of NCSU are the more logical sorts who, in a world where so many see a problem and circle around it endlessly, instead draw a straight line toward getting to the root of the issue and solve it. 

It is a very logical assertion that Chiropractic as a profession would greatly benefit from an association with a school like NC State and that, in turn, NC State would greatly benefit from its forward-thinking status as the home of the first public Chiropractic school in America. 

From a business standpoint, the front-end costs (such as facilities and staff) would be quickly off-set by the popularity of the program.  If NCSU were to adopt a similar tuition-structure as the Veterinary School (roughly $80,000 total over four years), for example, the 10-trimester or 14-quarter D.C. program would be more cost-effective for aspiring Chiropractors than any other school in the country which, combined with the early year novelty of attending the first public Chiropractic college and the eventual reputation for an unmatched standard of excellence that I can only assume NCSU would produce, would make for a very profitable venture. 

In addition to tuition fees and the added influx of what realistically could reach as high as 150 students per graduating class, NC State could expect to be a harbinger for federal grants related to researching alternatives to medicine.  The results when Chiropractic has been properly studied have disproven the dated, unjustified notion of it being unscientific; for example, a 2008 randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study through the University of Chicago showed a highly specific correction  in the upper neck (down to the nearest millimeter and degree) was more effective at consistently lowering blood pressure than two antihypertensive medications (3); and an on-going study by a team of medical scientists in Italy of an upper neck misalignment’s direct link to the disruption of cerebral spinal fluid flow (4) and its consequent causative relationship with the onset of conditions such as Migraines and Multiple Sclerosis has offered powerful evidence to support the outcomes that millions have achieved through specific chiropractic procedures. 

So, again, I return to my thoughts of innovation and opportunity for NC State.  We need change in American health care.  A report of the Commonwealth Fund stated in October 2015 that the U.S. spent 17% of its GDP on health care – more than 50% greater than any of the other countries studied (5) – yet according to the World Health Organization, we rank 37th in health statistics (6) despite our consumption of 80% of all the pharmaceutics produced in the entire world (7).  Americans collectively suffer from a lack of education and understanding about the basic necessities for healthy living (8). 

We have to shift health care’s priorities in the United States.  A grassroots movement to broaden the philosophic scope of health care research has been underway for years, with people becoming increasingly sick and tired of being sick and tired, and chiropractic has been a leader in that movement.  It would be of great benefit, though, if the process happened faster and I believe that the nation’s first public chiropractic school could further stimulate the necessary adjustments.  A mutually beneficial relationship between North Carolina State University and the chiropractic profession is just waiting to be cultivated.  Will you accept the invitation to help us lead American health care out of the doldrums and into the future?

Yours in Health,

Dr. M. Chad McIntyre

1- Wilk v. American Medical Ass’n, 671 F. Supp 1465, N.D. III. 1987
2- Wilk v. American Medial Ass’n, 895 F.2d 352, 7th Cir. 1990
3- Journal of Human Hypertension (2007) 21, 347–352
4- Mandolesi S, et al. Ann Ital Chir. 2015 May-Jun.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Guest Blogger Series: From The Corporate World To The Healing Art Of Reflexology

There are some days in life that you never forget; Friday, December 4, 2015 was one of those days. I had just finished a sales call with a prospective client, as I was working at the time for the world’s largest online faith and spiritual website. Working from home was a dream! Flexible schedule, the ability to take care of my wife who was recovering from knee replacement surgery and connecting with people all around the United States; what’s not to love? I receive a phone call from the home office in Denver and it was the president. The CEO is a High A, driven, ex-military, commander in chief at our organization and thankfully he liked me and we had a great rapport. I could tell by the tone in his voice that today’s call was serious. He just came right out with it;”Troy, we like you and you do a great job, but we are selling the company and your position is being eliminated.” I was stunned but had peace. As he went on with details and the standard separation speech, my mind was racing with worry, fear, and trying to determine next steps. This was the fifth layoff in my career and I was done working for corporate America!

It’s amazing how things from your past, play an important role in your future. 18 years ago I became fascinated with Reflexology, the science of reflex points in the feet and hands that correspond with specific organs in the body to help stimulate blood flow and bring about natural healing. My wife’s aunt is a practitioner in a little town in Blue Ridge, GA and her passion and zeal to help others utilizing this form of work made a lasting impression on me. I decided to take the course and become certified in the art of Reflexology and for a short while worked part time in this healing art. It was actually more of a hobby and when people were ailing with aches and pains that could not be corrected with traditional medicine, I’d offer a hand and they experienced amazing results! I was in need of Reflexology myself and went to a local studio to get some work. While there, I mentioned that I was a reflexologist and to keep me in mind if they ever needed assistance. A seed was planted and started to germinate and as it turned out, their reflexologist became ill and could no longer practice and they offered me an opportunity to serve.

At the urging of my incredible wife, she suggested that I give it a try; “What do we have to lose? You’re a gifted man, great reflexologist and you’ve always wanted to work for yourself, so go for it.” I was in awe of her support, love and belief in me and we started in January 2016. I started working one day a week and my mom was my first client! As word spread, my practice continued its growth and then two full days a week started becoming the norm. It soon became necessary for me to move to a larger practice space and I started at The Wellness Collective on Fifth, in June 2016. An amazing health and wellness center with other likeminded phenomenal practitioners, I had found my tribe, my calling and my new journey to help others! I’m happy to say that I now work five days a week and have helped hundreds of people with their health and wellness goals through the power of Reflexology.

Along this journey, I’ve accepted the mantle of becoming a healer. I’m thankful for my Christian roots and faith and also grateful for my intuitive gifts that I have discovered along the way. People have often asked me if I had ever thought about becoming a minister; funny, because I used to do that type of work in various capacities. Although this work is “Hands On” physical work, stimulating the feet to help increase blood flow, it’s much more spiritual and emotional than one may realize. So in a many ways, Yes, I am a minister, but not in the traditional sense of the word. I am also a Reiki practitioner and taking classes to become a medical intuitive, to continue my abilities to help others. I’ve learned many things on this new journey and one of the most important discoveries: Never underestimate the power of love and encouraging words! Having my wife believe in me, when I did not believe in myself was more powerful that she realized. Listening to my client’s needs and concerns aids in the healing process. Listening to the body’s needs is important as well, for if we stop, ask and listen it will tell us what needs to be done to help facilitate healing. Although fearful at first, I am now fearless in my passion to help educate others to the healing power of Reflexology, the healing power of words of encouragement which leads to healing of the spirit, soul and body. I am now truly happy and have found my calling; service to others is the greatest work on earth!

Troy Hurst is located at The Wellness Collective, 823 West Fifth Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 and can be reached by calling 336-831-5615,, Planet Reflex Wellness Management.