The DCTree Vision—Acknowledge the Strength of Our Heritage

I have seen many changes to the Chiropractic Profession in my 38+ years of clinical practice in Port Angeles, WA.  Many of those changes have created improved clinical results.  However, the most disturbing change I have witnessed within the profession is the trend toward
suppression of the founding principles of chiropractic.
  Done in an attempt to “fit-in” to a model originating from other elements of the health care system, it is a denial of what we are at our core. My perspective on this subject originated in my youth—from my first encounter with chiropractic at the age of 10.  In the early 1960’s, my 85 year old chiropractor, Dr. Jennings, told me stories of his teacher, Dr. D.D. Palmer.  He graduated from the first class at Palmer School of Chiropractic. Dr. Palmer taught that the body was smart enough to heal itself if not
obstructed by subluxation, poisoned from the outside or influenced by negative “auto-suggestion”.

 Dr. Palmer taught that the body had in “intelligence”, which he named “Innate”, that is part of a great Universal Intelligence.  This is a concept that I also came to believe; that we are all a piece of something greater than what is revealed by our human 3D experience.  This idea is the very basis of chiropractic. The early background of my chiropractic exposure has influenced my entire career.  Each working day for the past 38 years, I have pondered these concepts as they apply to each of my 400,000+ individual patient encounters.

What is the best way to honor the path of the Innate Intelligence for the health improvement of the person right in front of me?

The nutritional issues confronting modern America has been a recurring theme.  Although Dr. Palmer acknowledged the problems of ingested poison, he probably never envisioned a world where everyone was consuming artificial food.  Things like genetically modified organisms, pesticide and herbicide ladened vegetables, high fructose corn syrup, chemical vitamin supplements and trans fats did not exist in the early 20th Century.

In clinical practice, I lived the experience of having patient healing paralyzed by chemical poisoning from the artificial food they
routinely consumed.  I have also witnessed dramatic health improvement when the diet is corrected or the proper organic whole food supplement is recommended. I have attended over a hundred nutrition-focused post-graduate classes, trying to compensate for the inadequate nutrition training I received in chiropractic school.

I found myself attracted to the nutrition classes that emphasized the power of the properly performed muscle-response test.  The idea of matching a person’s nutritional program to their nervous system had a great deal of appeal to my Innate Intelligence-driven way of practicing chiropractic.  Although I knew that each muscle testing system I tried had some flaws, I found the overall concept to have tremendous value.  I continuously worked to increase my skill and reduce the flaws.

One of the flaws of muscle response testing was noted by Autumn Smith, a nutritional therapist who worked in my office.  She stated that any muscle testing “conversation” with the nervous system should be at the cellular level.  What type of nutritional intervention was needed to improve cellular regeneration? Immediately, it was clear to me that she was completely correct, since the cells make the tissues then the tissues constitute the organs.

Up until that point, all nutritional muscle-response testing had been a conversation with the organs, not the cells.  Together, we developed a new type of testing aimed at conversing with the cells instead of the organs.  The process required that we test within the
body’s energy resonance field.

Named for the process of morphinogenesis, identified in the early 20th Century, we called our new testing procedure Morphogenic
Field Technique or MFT.

I have been teaching our breakthrough technique throughout the United States since 2009.  We were contacted by then-chiropractic student Cory St. Denis, DCTree Co-Founder and Creative Director, about teaching an MFT class for the DCTree in St. Louis in early 2014.  I was very excited to participate in this inaugural DCT event when I learned of his vision for all chiropractic students, the future of our profession.

The DCTree team desired to create a social network to expose chiropractic students to Innate-based healing.  This idea immediately struck a chord in me.  Cory expressed his concern that chiropractic students are not being exposed to effective clinical healing procedures that featured Innate-based analysis.  He correctly believed that knowledge of the existence of these procedures was being suppressed by the chiropractic teaching institutions.

Cory was wishing to push-back against an environment which did not allowing for a free-flow of information about the best ways to create health improvement in patients.  As a former chiropractic student, I found it easy to relate to his frustration.   I remember having the same feeling when I was a student 40 years ago.

I am proud and pleased that The DCTree reached out to partner with MFT as the nutrition-leg of their Innate-based package of
techniques, along with Koren Specific Technique, Neuroinfiniti/Neurologically Based Chiropractic, Poter Vision, and The Masters Circle.  Thank you Cory and the DCTree team, for all you are doing to bring chiropractic back to its roots!!

The Truth of the Matter PT II — Foundation of Care Plans

Foundation of Care Plans

One of the greatest challenges for the  clinical application of Chiropractic care
lies in the justification of care plans for patients, which become moving
targets depending on the intent of the care.
We see a wide range of patient care plans across the spectrum of
chiropractic offices which creates confusion and challenges to the profession.

If the intent of care is to simply reduce pain then the
care plan ends once the pain is reduced. However, if the intent is to stabilize
neurological function, then care ends once that has been demonstrated.
  The important aspect to either of these
examples lies in the ability to measure the outcome of care intent.

Chiropractic has come under criticism due to a lack of
evidence of many claims being made about how Chiropractic alters a patient’s
health.  The profession has relied on
subjective responses to substantiate these claims. While this continues to work
on a practice survival approach, it does nothing to bring credibility to the
profession from a science foundation. Therein lies the great challenge to the
future of the chiropractic profession. Chiropractic continues to have post
graduate programs on practice building based on care plans with questionable
foundations. Most Chiropractic colleges have moved the focus of Chiropractic
care from a neurological foundation to physical medicine.  This shift in education has moved
Chiropractic into the realm of physical therapy which brings with it a shift in
the intent of care.

Today we find Chiropractic caught in a state of change
with older well established practices setting care plans based on one approach
and new grads setting completely different plans which leaves both the public
and the profession very confused.

The call for evidence based care started several years
ago and while this sounded like progress for the profession, the challenges
became what was to be considered acceptable evidence.  Enter the role of health insurance and
billing. The involvement of insurance coverage for Chiropractic has altered the
intent of care due to the need for medical coding. Medical coding is based on
signs and symptoms, so the standard of care is restricted by the reduction or
elimination of these signs and symptoms. This is the reason the Chiropractic
Colleges have moved the profession toward physical therapy and medical billing

Enter the effect of neuroscience in the last 10 years
into this confusion and we have an opportunity to reverse the restrictions
placed on Chiropractic care.  The history
of Chiropractic reveals that the intent of the Adjustment was directly linked
to neurological function, albeit a theory of nerve root pressure at the
intervertebral foramen.  The critical
issue is that Chiropractic has a neurological foundation. Different techniques
or methods of adjusting added to the challenges within the profession as many
didn’t involve manual (structural) approaches; yet, the patients demonstrated
reduction in signs and symptoms. In many situations patients reported overall
health issues improving.

The missing link over the last 119 years has been the
ability to prove that Chiropractic adjustments directly alter central nervous
function. Today the evidence is in. Three papers have finally proved the
effectiveness of Chiropractic beyond symptom relief. Today you can set care
plans based on a patient’s neurological needs and measure their changes, which
provides evidence to support the need
for care beyond symptom relief.

Now the question is – how long will it take before the
profession and its educational institutions grasp the critical importance of
the neuro-scientific research information and bring the profession back to its
real potential

Survival of the vibrancy and health of both the profession and individual practices depends on the adoption of Neurologically Based Chiropractic (NBC).

The practice of today is able to measure and address the neurological condition and needs of the patient
and from this determines appropriate care plans. Even the term “wellness” takes
on a new meaning when we can establish care based on a specific neurological
response long after any sign or symptoms have gone. Welcome to the future of

See part III of the Truth of the Matter series by clicking HERE.

The Truth of the Matter Part I — Unreal Practice Expectations

 Unreal Practice Expectations 

I remember the excitement and anticipation I was
feeling 50 years ago as I realized my dream of graduation from Canadian
Memorial Chiropractic College was only 2 months away. I was ready, or at least
I thought I was, but what was to come certainly didn’t fit my expectations.

I had experienced my education at CMCC through the
worst of its years: low enrolment, internal upheaval at the college board
level, and subway construction going on under the classroom building and I mean
literally. There was a good side to this in that our class was fortunately
exposed to the likes of Drs. E. Homewood, H Himes, and R.J. Watkins. These men
were extraordinary chiropractors and it was through them that I, still today,
carry a commitment to the power of Chiropractic.

I returned to my home town in British Columbia to join
in practice with the man who had inspired me to enter this field. His name was
Gordon Potter.  Gordon went on to get his
MD degree and was then responsible for the Saskatoon experience that later included
Drs.WH Kirkaldy-Willis, and D. Cassidy. (This is another story).

Shortly after joining with Dr Potter, he sold his
practice to me and moved to Australia, so here I was in what would seem to be
perfect position. The one area of the education at CMCC that wasn’t covered
(well that is being nice) was how to run the business of practice. I had no
idea about setting care plans past symptom relief. Needless to say I had my
first lesson arrive rather quickly – if you are a half decent Chiropractor you
will see reduction of symptoms within 5 to 6 visits. This, I thought, was great
and while it got me great marks in Clinic, it creates a drop off of patients in
practice. Month’s end continually arrived and the bills seemed to be
approaching faster each month.

The only real practice management program around at the
time was Dr. Jim Parker’s and his method was to schedule a new patient three
times a week for 2 weeks, two times a week for 2 weeks and 1 time a week for 2
weeks,  then once a month. The idea was
to build a “maintenance” based practice with a secure stable income.  Sounded great to me – so implement and move
ahead, which I did.  There can be no
doubt about this – it worked, even though there was no clinical justification
for the care plan or the shift in the visit scheduling.  At this point I must remind you that we are
talking about the 1960s time frame so no insurance coverage, no care codes, no
CE credit requirements and a visit fee of $2.00 per visit. To top this off, it
was at the height of the attack on Chiropractic with the local MDs doing
everything they could to discredit you.

Things were not as “rosy” as I had dreamed while in the
shelter of College but I survived and in doing so saw a change going on the
profession. The desire and push within the profession for greater acceptance
was moving Chiropractic toward low back pain management. Then came “Socialized
Medicine” in Canada with the inclusion of Chiropractic services which included
a raise in pay to $4.00 a visit. Well, I thought I had it made and it was just
going to be easy street from here on out. Lesson 37 (I just don’t want to talk
about lesson 2 to 36 – just too painful). What I didn’t see was that we were
limited to 12 visits a year at $4.00 – wait – maintenance based practice at
once a month – hey, no problem – that meant all I needed was 30 patient visits
a day on the once a month plan to generate $2520.00 a month – gravy days!!!!! I
mean I know that gas was about .35 cents a gallon then so $2500 was a lot of
money.  It turned out it wasn’t as much
as I thought. (I was still in student poverty mode). Not only did this place a
huge demand on the need for new patients but also frustration in trying to
schedule patients onto the once a month plan.
As we had sold the public on spinal care and pain management.

I also noticed that all I ever saw in the office were
patients in trouble, and they had high expectations that I would “fix” them in
a few visits, no matter how long their challenge had been going on.

Over the next 20 plus years I saw the fee from
socialized medicine climb very slowly while the cost of operations of the
practice climbed and climbed and climbed.
The profession had agreed to a contract that would not allow us to bill
the patient more than their fee, so, the only answer was to see more patients.
Practices had to see 40 to 50 patients a day to have a survival practice. I got
very good at maintaining a high volume practice and after running at 120 to 130
patients per day I began to hate what I was doing. I was seeing patients with
complaints all day long and the minute I got them out of pain they were gone.
This was not the vision I had when I graduated. This was not the Chiropractic I
had dreamed about so many years earlier.

I have watched the decline of Chiropractic to the point
where Chiropractic offices have become: weight loss centers, supplement
dispensaries, Physical Therapy offices and/or stop smoking clinics, among other
things.  Listen up – I am not questioning
the value of any of these but what the hell happened to Chiropractic? Did
Chiropractic stop getting results? I don’t think so!

It all comes down to just some sound business
fundamentals.   When you lose your unique
marketing position you will get a decline in the return on your investment.
Chiropractic was once the leader in the alternative health care professions.
Today we are not even mentioned. Today the public views us as a strictly back
pain management profession in competition with medical pain killers (more
effective at killing pain) and Physical therapy (that has better insurance

Where do we go from here?

We need to get back to our roots! This does not mean
back to a profession that is only philosophy based – that time has passed us
by. Today is the time of evidence based care. I think I heard someone ask,
“What evidence?”

Today Chiropractic stands at the most critical
crossroads in its history. As a profession and as individuals we have the
opportunity to retreat from the march into the medical model and to restore the
real power of Chiropractic.  Neuroscience
of the last 15 years now supports the basic tenet of Chiropractic – it is the
nervous system that controls the destiny of a person’s health. The search for
the evidence of what we have claimed for over 100 years is finished. The only
question that remains is whether the Chiropractic profession is willing to
stand up and be counted. We are no longer limited to back pain relief or by the
constraints of insurance coverage.

I am watching practices around the world present
Neurologically Based Chiropractic, a concept that I founded fourteen years ago,
and flourish in the times of diminishing practices that are stuck in the pain
relief model.  What are you missing? It
costs nothing to check it out!

I will be doing a series of these “The Truth of the Matter” articles for the DCTree — see the next article in the series HERE.




“That’s the coolest formula ever — it’s very reassuring!”

The DCTree is so organized and structured. We operate like a well oiled machine and the project is only in its youth — and it’s all thanks to our open minds and incredable team.  This type of networking has existed forever, but is only now starting to surface with the newest generation’s technology.  The implications are overwhelming and exciting, or at least they should be if you’re going to be a chiropractor and own a small business!

All we did was make a couple of changes to the technology available today, and we’ve made major shifts in understanding the chiropractic profession and it’s constructs.  From complex neurological protocols to whole brain balance, everything is becoming a functional model…everything is progressing further.

We identify parts of a system that need to be tweaked.  The changes we make can cause radical shifts down the road.  Stop using your processing resources to over-think the things that happened before your time, or the things you’ve left behind you.  You have to embrace what’s going on in FRONT of you to make your dreams come true.

If you try to be less, and do less, that’s not progression.  It’s about being more creative and more interactive. You have to ENGAGE in your lifework, for it to amount to anything more than a job.

Today’s DC students are not fearing change, they’re expecting change.  They are actually demanding change.

It’s pretty cool.

So You’ve Chosen A “Career”

I just have to look at the dictionary to be sure of what I write hereCareer– the course or progress of one’s life or lifework.  We tend to use the word career often and while we seem to have the right usage, it appears to me that we sell it far short of a complete meaning or application. Most often we hear it used as “chosen work”. Current concepts with regards to life and work is that most people will have 5 different careers in their lifetime. Anybody else see the misuse here? Our lifework is fast becoming a question of commitment.

When we look at the definition of career, the words which stand out for me are – “life” and “lifework”. It doesn’t say time period of work or current job. I clearly remember the “jobs” I had while attending Chiropractic College. They served a higher purpose, which was to earn enough money to allow me to continue in pursuit of my lifework – “Chiropractic”. I remember the challenges of the last two years of college – remember now this was before student loans, of working at three jobs, plus clinic, plus regular college courses. Looking back I would call this a serious pursuit. I think about the 50% of the class who dropped out over the years and wonder if they found a career in their lives. I know of a DC who took 8 years to complete the 4 year program – more power to him as I’m sure it would have been easier to drop out. He had a vision of his lifework and nothing was going to stop him from achieving it.
Many make the mistake of assuming that just because they have found their career, for the rest of their lives, the water will just flow downhill and all will be easy. I can guarantee this – there will be water shortages, flow blockages, floods and other diversions along the river bed; some so large that the downhill flow will seem to stop and you will find yourself in the middle of a great lake. Do not stop the forward motion; do not forget the intent of your career! At the end of the lake you will find the outlet and probably the ride of your life.If you are paying attention, you will have noticed that I slipped in the “INTENT” word. If you have had the good fortune and awareness to find your “CAREER” then you will find that along with this has come a clear understanding of the “INTENT” of the process. The mere fact that it is your “Lifework” suggests that there must be a level of intent or desired outcome involved.

Chiropractic has provided me that greatest of opportunity, to express a value of my life and I am thankful and humbled in its gifts. When I talk to others about Chiropractic I continually have a thought running in the background of the discussion; the thought being – If these people could only experience what incredible results Chiropractic has had for the people under care, they would literally “stand” in awe and respect. Children becoming responsive human beings, chronic illness disappearing, people regaining the ability to walk, asthma disappearing, and the list goes on. We in Chiropractic know these results because we have experienced these wondrous things.


Because we stayed the course and never lost sight of our lifework, our career. Part of any career is founded on the necessity of “earning a living” but if that is the only consideration then sadly it will not be a very fulfilling career. There will never be enough money to add up to the value of helping others; the personal value of what you do to enrich other’s lives. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have created a foundation to help people but in order to do this they had to build a career of making money first. This is the difference between a “job” and a “career”.

The job of making money (pursuit) versus a career of helping others (Higher purpose).  As a Chiropractor, or Chiropractic staff or Chiropractic advocate you have the opportunity to get the human value return by just offering chiropractic care.
How does it get any better than this!
Richard Barwell, D.C.

What Can The DCTree Do For You?

Our mission is simple.  To update the paradigm of modern Chiropractic by empowering all who are involved with us to take up-to-date information and use it to expand their impact, thus expanding the impact of Chiropractic and Chiropractors globally.  The main focus of this project is to effectively share and promote the rapidly expanding movement of Neurologically Based Chiropractic by creating a network of knowledge and access that has never been available before.  This is a collaborative effort that includes networks from around the world made up of practicing Doctors of Chiropractic, DC students, and carefully chosen visionary leaders in the Chiropractic profession.

The goal is for this platform to become the cornerstone for up-to-date discussion topics relevant to current and future Chiropractors alike.

Our intent is to explore:

  • Neurologically Based Chiropractic (NBC)
  • Personal and Practice growth and Prosperity
  • Technology and Neuroscience Implementation
  • Adjusting Mastery and Case Management

Leaders in the Chiropractic profession are jumping on board with the DCTree to continue elevating the profession to new heights.  This project will supply social and professional connections through focused networking opportunities.  Check back often for updates and please start sharing and contributing to the largest network of forward-thinking D.C.’s on the PLANET.

Technology. Application. Planning.

TAP into the Tree

Communicating with Innate: Binary biofeedback Part 4

We are only limited by the questions we ask

Using a binary biofeedback device (such as muscle testing, the occipital drop [OD], the short leg reflex and many others) makes it possible to obtain information about a patient quickly, easily and accurately.

Initially Koren Specific Technique (KST) used the patient’s occiput to obtain  information. It was later discovered (actually re-discovered) that information from the patient’s body could be obtained by using a surrogate – for example, we could obtain information from a mother’s body about her child while she was holding the child.

But then we found the mother didn’t have to hold the child, anyone could hold the child and their body would give us information.

Non-local connection

Then we discovered a “non-local” (non-physical) application of this phenomenon: the mother or any person who was a surrogate didn’t have to be touching the child. We could get information from their body about the child if they just thought of the child.

This phenomenon got “curiouser and curiouser” when we discovered the doctor could be a surrogate for his/her patient. The doctor could get information from his or her own OD (or biofeedback device) about the patient.

This aspect of Koren Specific Technique means the doctor can use him/herself as a binary (yes/no) testing device. It’s a very accurate and very versatile means of getting information. We gave a few examples of this in the previous article.

So now we were no longer limited to pushing, pulling or otherwise challenging vertebrae and body parts to find if they were subluxated or under stress.

We could ask questions (verbally or mentally) to get information about their body. We discovered a whole new world of possibilities – we were only limited by the questions we asked. What kind of questions?  

The first question

Using KST we discovered that nearly everyone working on patients was missing a very important element in subluxation correction – the posture of subluxation. We found that subluxations were posture specific.

Subluxations are sneaky things that come and go as a person moves, sits, stands, lies down and assumes different postures. Chiropractors often insist on working on patients as they lie face down on a table, but who gets subluxated in that position?

So KST’s first question deals with the position in which the patient should be checked or analyzed. Standing? Sitting? Prone? Supine? Posture of injury? Emotional posture? We could now locate (and correct) subluxations that otherwise would never turn up by having a patient assume different postures.

The most annoying teachers

Which patients teach us the most?Those who respond quickly? Or those who don’t respond to care or who plateau? They annoy us and cause us grief but teach us the most. KST is built on failure. Well, hopefully temporary failure, as we try to discover what we’re missing in our most difficult patients.

What am I missing?

KST is a very quick and easy way to locate and correct structural subluxations, fixations, distortions, imbalances and other physical stresses in any posture or while doing any movement. But what do we do when the patient is still not responding? Simple, we keep asking questions.

“What am I missing?” we must ask. “Is it here?” “Is it there,” “This posture?” “That posture?” The body speaks binary so the questions need to be phrased so the answer will be either yes or no.

The next questions

After exhausting body structure we learned to ask about many other common things undermining a person’s health such as dehydration, dental issues, emotional issues* and dropped organs.

For example, we can ask, “Is the patient dehydrated?” We’ll get a yes or no. If we get a no we look somewhere else. If we get a yes we can ask, “On a scale of 1 to 10 how dehydrated?” A severely dehydrated person can have a wide range of health issues from musculoskeletal pain to high blood pressure (and more). It’s the same with many other factors that are typically ignored. Using this tool we become explorers, searching for the myriad factors that may affect a person’s health and wellbeing.

The last question

I call it the last question but it can be asked at any time. That question is, “Is there anything this person is doing that is damaging their health?” Is it something they are drinking? Eating? Breathing? Touching? Is there something in their environment that is damaging their health? Is it in their home? Bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc. On their property? In their car? In their workplace? In the gym?  At someone else’s home?

For example I asked one patient’s OD the last question and I got a yes (an OD). At work? No. Car? No. Home? Yes. Bathroom? No. Kitchen? No. Living room? Yes. Hmmm. I asked, “Is there something in your living room that is affecting your health?” (When all else fails ask the patient.)

She knew it immediately, “Yes, it my husband’s #%^$% fish tank. It’s making me sick. It’s full of algae, he never cleans it….”

Explore this aspect of healthcare. You’ll be amazed at what your patient’s bODy will reveal.


And then we discovered ways of getting information we hadn’t expected.

See part 5.

*NET (Neuro Emotional Technique) developed by Scott Walker, DC has an excellent flow chart for locating “emotional subluxations.” KST as well as other mind-body procedures also have emotional flowcharts. Any and all may be used

Communicating with Innate: Binary biofeedback Part 3

Whose bODy is it anyway?

Binary biofeedback devices have been a part of healthcare since time immemorial. They are a quick, easy to use and accurate method of obtaining information about the body.

Using these devises Koren Specific Technique (KST) brings chiropractic to a new level of effectiveness and speed and makes practice more exciting.  Doctors have discovered a new world of healing using KST.

The more we explored the use of binary biofeedback devises, it got “curiouser and curiouser.”

The next discovery – non-locality

The biofeedback information correlated no matter what kind of binary biofeedback device we used – the occipital drop (OD), short leg reflex, manual muscle testing (MMT), applied kinesiology (AK), still point and others. All were in agreement when performed by those skilled in the different procedures.

But we soon discovered there was a non-local (off the body) way to use a biofeedback device: in addition to using the patient’s body to get information (“yes” or “no”) about their own body, we could use someone else’s body to get information about the patient’s body.

For example, if a baby were sleeping in her mother’s arms I’d say to the mother, “Don’t wake her up, I’ll check the baby through you” and I’d use the mother’s OD to ask about the health of the child she was holding.

How did patients relate to this?

I expected a lot of weird looks in the office when I used the OD in this “surrogate” (by definition, using a substitute or having one take the place of another) manner. But patients as a whole took this for granted; the mother wouldn’t bat an eye. Perhaps parents naturally know that they are connected to their children.

From surrogate to surrogate

Checking babies through parents while they were being held was one thing, but checking a child through the parent even when the parent wasn’t physically holding the child was stretching it a bit. But I found I could use the mother’s OD (or any biofeedback device) to check her child. It appears that they were “connected” even when they weren’t physically touching.

This is referred to as Era 111 medicine or non-local healthcare as described by Larry Dossey, MD in Recovering The Soul. Non-locality is related to the collective unconscious, quantum physics and prayer, which we’ll touch upon in this series. But I digress.

Surrogates galore

Let’s continue with the next discovery. We found that getting information from a surrogate wasn’t limited to using the mother, father, grandmother, grandfather or any relative of the patient. A friend or even (most surprising) a stranger’s body could be used.

Why limit this application to children? The patient didn’t have to be a child; I could use the OD from virtually anyone to get information about anyone else. We could use a third person’s body to find out about a patient.

The doctor as surrogate

But then we had another leap. We discovered that the doctor could use his or her own body (his or her own binary biofeedback device) to get a yes or no about the patient’s body. The doctor could be a surrogate for the patient. This was easiest (in my opinion) done when the OD was used.

Surrogate work was getting more interesting and versatile.

The advantages of this approach

In hindsight it was a simple leap to using one’s own OD to check patients. Why grab a patient’s skull for an OD, and why bother someone else when you could use your own? It was so easy. The doctor or practitioner could be a surrogate for their patient simply by looking at or thinking about the patient with the intent that they’d like to get information from that person.

This is very useful in situations where you simply cannot reach the patient’s OD. That would be, for example, when they lay face up (supine), when they have really, really thick hair and you can’t even feel their occiput, and when they are Rastafarian (those dreadlocks are just about impossible). But it was also useful when checking an autistic that didn’t like to be touched, a hyperactive who wouldn’t stop moving, a sleeping baby, an adult in a coma or in other situations where the patient’s skull could not be used as an OD.

It is a simple method to get information easier and faster than you would otherwise. And then we made another leap – truly off the body.

Where did we go? Find out in Part 4.

Communicating with Innate: Binary biofeedback Part 2

Using biofeedback devices in rather powerful ways

Binary biofeedback devices have been a part of healthcare since time immemorial. They are a quick, reproducible method of obtaining accurate information about the body and body/mind.

What are they? You don’t find these devices in a store (or even online). They are autonomic physiological reactions to stress. We can use them to obtain information about patients.

Examples of binary biofeedback devices are AK (applied kinesiology), manual muscle testing (MMT), the short leg reflex, the occipital drop (OD), the still point (CranioSacral Therapy) and even a “gut” feeling, among others.

In order to use them the practitioner employs the three Cs:

The three Cs: Challenge, Check, and Correct

1.      Challenge: First we challenge or “ask” the body or mind/body a question. Challenging may be done in many ways (see below). Practitioners typically ask for the location of stress, subluxations, blockages, interferences, imbalances, disharmony etc.

2.      Check: Now we check to see if the challenge caused a biofeedback reaction. In AK a muscle reaction is checked for, in CranioSacral therapy practitioners feel for a “still point”, in Koren Specific Technique (KST) we check for an occipital drop or OD. The next thing done is:

3.      Correct: The practitioner makes a correctionto release the stress, subluxations, blockages, interferences, imbalances, disharmony, etc. that the biofeedback located. The correction can be done in various ways depending on how the practitioner practices.

Thousands of doctors are using the OD (or similar biofeedback devices) in this manner.

Physical, verbal, mental

A fascinating clinical discovery (actually a re-discovery) was that the binary biofeedback device could, in addition to responding to a physical challenge, also respond to a verbal or mental challenge.

The OD (or any biofeedback device) responds even if the practitioner does not physically touch a patient’s body; the practitioner can verbally, mentally or visually ask/challenge and the patient’s body will respond with a “yes” (an OD) or a “no” (no OD) or a strong or weak muscle or a short leg reaction and numerous other ways as well.

VanRumpt’s disaster

Although ancient, this non-physical response was re-discovered by Richard VanRumpt, DC who developed Directional Non-Force Technique (DNFT). Dr. VanRumpt first checked the patient using a mental challenge and then performed a physical challenge. The physical and mental challenges had 100% reliability.

Dr. VanRumpt announced his finding at a major DNFT conference. It was a bold statement announcing that the practitioner didn’t have to physically challenge a body part to elicit a short leg reflex – the mere thought of the challenge could elicit a reaction.

Perhaps it was the time (it was in the ‘60s). Perhaps it was the (then) more medically repressive healing environment, perhaps it was fear of medical attack or perhaps it was the mechanistic model that dominated healthcare.

Whatever the reason, VanRumpt’s revelation was a business and professional disaster. He was ridiculed and rejected by many of his followers who could not accept this “innate to innate communication,” as he termed it.


I must admit that when I re-discovered this phenomenon I was initially hesitant to openly teach it. How would my students relate to it? Would they walk out and never return as happened to VanRumpt?

I felt obliged to impart to the students everything I knew. Honesty required it; it felt unethical to withhold valuable and useful information.

I continue to teach KST that way. In the spirit of empirical philosophy (of which chiropractic belongs) we humbly respect the wisdom the body reveals.

Following the body (or the bODy as we say in KST) is a non-linear, non-intellectual approach. We in chiropractic discuss the wisdom of the body as if it were an abstract philosophical concept. But it is more than that; it is real and it is powerful – why not use it in day-to-day clinical practice?

Therefore, no matter how out-of-the-box a discovery initially appears if it works and is helpful it is taught. But the next discovery really shocked me.

In part 3 we’ll see an unusual way to obtain this information.

Communicating with Innate: Binary biofeedback Part 1

Biofeedback may be a modern day word but it is of ancient lineage and used in many healthcare systems today. A body biofeedback device (or mechanism) is similar to a lie-detector test – it reveals body changes when a question is asked.

What kinds of changes? What kinds of questions? Let’s explore this.

Many biofeedback devices

There are many different biofeedback devices that are used in healthcare today. Common ones are Applied Kinesiology (AK) and manual muscle testing (MMT) that use muscle strength or muscle “locking” to obtain an immediate yes/no or binary response to a challenge or question. Some other binary biofeedback devices used in healthcare are the short leg reflex, the sweat response, “still point” (used in CranioSacral therapy) and the occipital drop.

KST practitioners use a binary biofeedback device called the occipital drop (OD). The OD is the apparent movement (or “drop”) of one side of the occipital bone in response to a challenge or question.

How it this used?

First a body part is “challenged” or questioned (physically or mentally) and the body’s binary biofeedback device is checked for a “yes” (a stress response) or “no” (no stress response). It’s a “yes/no” or binary system.

Using a “yes/no device” we can ask the body (KST practitioners refer to the OD as “asking the bODy”) various questions to obtain information.

Doing the OD

After a challenge the practitioner tests to see if the occiput of the skull is level or not. If it is level there is no stress response. If the occiput is uneven then there is a stress response.

Why KST prefers the OD

The occipital drop (OD) has certain advantages over the more widely used AK and MMT or the short leg reflex. One advantage is that there is no muscle fatigue as can occur with both AK and MMT. The OD can be comfortably performed dozens of times a minute with no fatigue.

The advantage the OD has over the short leg reflex is that the OD is not limited to the patient lying face down. The OD may be performed while the patient is standing, sitting, lying down or assuming other postures. The practitioner using the short leg reflex is limited to prone or supine postures.

As you’ve probably guessed, the OD, as with any biofeedback device, is ultimately a communication tool.

What kinds of questions?

What kinds of questions can we ask? All kinds of questions: questions about the physical body, questions about emotional stress or incidents, questions about physiology, questions about any body part, questions regarding the best posture in which the patient should be worked on. In KST we have a saying: you are only limited by the questions you ask.

To help speed the process people who use KST or other biofeedback devices employ a flowchart or protocol to quickly locate the precise area of the patient’s body/mind they wish to address.

Of course the flowchart questions will depend on whether the practitioner is a chiropractor, dentist, psychologist, massage therapist, medical doctor, osteopath or other practitioner. Flowcharts or lines of questioning may be customized to a particular profession or discipline. For example, a sophisticated emotional flow chart was developed by Scott Walker, DC who teaches Neuro Emotional Technique (NET). It is excellent at locating emotional “subluxations” or areas of emotional stress.

The doctor is affected by its use?

We soon realized that practicing the OD on patients had an interesting effect on the doctor. This was an unexpected discovery. Doctors began commenting that after practicing KST they would often “know” the answer before checking for the OD. When they did check with the patient’s OD their “knowing” was always confirmed. Apparently they began developing increased sensitivity to their patients.

I soon learned that this was not unique to KST practitioners. AK, leg check and other biofeedback practitioners also commented upon this increased sensitivity when they paid attention to it.

This “knowing” is much more common than we were aware. It happens in day-to-day practice all the time.

For example, a common experience of many doctors is the following: the patient is lying face down as the doctor enters the room. The doctor casually touches the patient who suddenly exclaims, “That’s the spot.”

“What a coincidence,” the doctor thinks, “I found the area of involvement before the patient told me.”

When we use biofeedback devices, these “coincidences” happen all the time.

In part 2 we’ll see how to incorporate this phenomenon in our practice.