Health Care Reform: A New Way of Thinking

June 18, 2014

Discussions about health care reform tend to focus on payment methods. Critics assert that insurance companies (in concert with pharmaceutical companies and hospitals) are the primary causes of runaway costs. While there is a relationship between payment methods and quality of care, too much time has been spent on the former part of the equation. To reform the American health care system we must begin our analysis by looking more deeply into how care is delivered. Read the rest of this entry »


Chiropractors, Carnivals and Clowns: Seeking the Soul of My Profession

April 25, 2014

I have treated many performers: musicians, actors and dancers. They are a colorful, exciting group of men and women who choose to follow their dreams, listen to their inner voices, and dedicate their lives to the creative process. I respect and admire them.

A particular subgroup of that culture has become a treatment niche of mine: the tribe of circus performers. I have treated trapeze artists for shoulder injuries, contortionists for low back pain, and clowns for a multitude of “clown injuries”, ranging from falling off chairs (backwards) onto their backs to sliding down poles upside down and hitting their heads. (Ouch!) Read the rest of this entry »


The Insurance Game: A Brief History of the American Health Care System from the Perspective of a Chiropractor with a View Toward the Future, Part One

June 15, 2013

A few weeks ago, a patient gleefully told me that he had gotten excellent new health insurance through his employer. The coverage included more chiropractic visits than his previous insurance plan, yet his co-pay was still minimal.

It was difficult for me to share his excitement—especially since I knew what he would tell me next. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Symptoms Matter….And Why They Don’t

October 22, 2012

You’ve been at the computer for six hours and feel that familiar tug.  From your upper back, spreading slowly to your neck and grabbing the base of your skull, stiffness turns to pain and the dull ache turns sharp.  Your movement becomes restricted.  Unable to turn your head, you tell yourself that it is time to see your chiropractor.  You remember that it has been a year since you saw him last. Read the rest of this entry »


Levels of Healing, Part One: Physico-Chemical Dimensions

September 15, 2012

Most people come to see me because they have pain: neck pain, lower back pain, head pain. And they want relief.

I first take a history. How long have they had the complaint? What makes the pain worse?  What relieves it? Have they had any car accidents or sports injuries?  What kind of work do they do?  Do they exercise? And so on. Read the rest of this entry »


Travel, Fear, and Misperception: Burma as Destination and Metaphor

April 13, 2011

I first traveled to Burma in 1996, co-leading an educational tour with a group of eighteen students from New College of California.  Burma had just opened to the west after thirty years and Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected president, who had been under house arrest by the military regime since her election in 1988, had just been released. Read the rest of this entry »


Norm and Normal: The Social Construction of Health

February 16, 2011

You go for your yearly medical check up. The doctor listens to your heart and feels your pulse.  Your blood is drawn and your blood pressure is taken. Looking at the sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff), she reports a number: 120/80.  “Perfect”, she says and when your lab results come in showing all of your serum levels falling within the normal range, you are declared healthy and told to return in a year for another evaluation. Read the rest of this entry »


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