A Simple Choice

A Simple Choice
Student LIFEforce
By Zach Thomas, DC Student

My journey to Life was somewhat simple. I made the decision to apply for school in March of 2013. That June, I received my acceptance letter from Life and I was on my way. I never came to a LIFE Leadership Weekend, never visited the campus, and never looked at any other schools. I arrived at LIFE for the first time at New Student Orientation in the fall. When I got here, I had no idea what to expect, even less about what Chiropractic truly was. All I brought was a desire to learn and a passion to help people. Student LIFEforce helped me to go from a student just going to class to an “on fire” student who is ready and willing to give back to a school and profession that has done so much in so little time for me.

I attended my first Student LIFEforce meeting after the last LIFE Vision Seminar in January. Not only was this the first one I attended, it was actually my first chiropractic seminar ever. The atmosphere in the building was off the chart! Walking in that room, I could feel the energy and realized there was something special going on that weekend. From the first speaker to the last word of the seminar, I was truly ignited about chiropractic for the first time. I knew I wanted to be a part of something like that so I immediately found Rachael Boyd, Student LIFEforce advisor, after the seminar, and asked how I could be a part of Student LIFEforce. She told me all I had to do was come to the next meeting. Things really took off from there.

The following week, I attended my first Student LIFEforce meeting not knowing really what was going to happen or what the group really did. I had heard about Student LIFEforce and the LIFEforce 1000 doctors through a couple friends who were already a part of the club and ALWAYS had great things to say. The first meeting was like any other club when you attend for the first time. Sign in, put down your email, and wait to see what is going to happen. I soon learned what the club was all about. As a member of Student LIFEforce, we don’t just help set up and tear down LIFE Vision Seminars. We are more than assistants with LIFE Leadership Weekends, LIFEforce 1000 weekends, and Life University volunteers. Most people might be thinking “Why would I want to do that?” It is really a question of “why not?” If you want to be around students and DCs who share a common goal of loving and sharing chiropractic with the masses, then Student LIFEforce is where you need to be.

For me, Student LIFEforce was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. After my first quarter in the DC program, I was still unsure of what chiropractic really was and my role within chiropractic. After going to LIFE Vision for the first time, that hazy, unsure feeling began to remove itself. Every day since I joined Student LIFEforce, my understanding of chiropractic and my role within it has started to become clearer and clearer. While volunteering for the last LIFEforce 1000 and LIFE Leadership Weekend, I had the privilege of meeting and talking to many of the LIFEforce 1000 DC’s and getting to know them professionally and personally. I was recently elected Secretary for Student LIFEforce and found that leading something bigger than myself has helped clear my vision. Although these things are amazing, they still do not match being around students who are going through what you are going through, and share the same passion and fire for chiropractic as you. These relationships have helped me the most.

Student LIFEforce is more than just a club that volunteers at campus events and gets to network with DCs. We are a group who is focused on bringing our student body together as one. No matter if you like Gonstead or Thompson, NSA or CBP, Upper Cervical or Full Spine, we are ALL here for the same thing… CHIROPRACTIC!

Warning! Warning! Warning!

Warning! Warning! Warning!
Learn from My Mistake
By Michael Hollerbach, DC Student

I write this article in hopes of saving students time, money and frustration. Consider this my community service message of the quarter. They say knowledge is power and I inadvertently just gained some very expensive power from a situation I ran into. I have been enrolled at this university for more than four years now and I was unaware of a very important financial policy here at this school. Recently, I was enrolled in Pathology I and, due to circumstances not interesting to anyone but me, I decided to drop the class from my schedule this quarter and put in a full effort next quarter. I dropped this class before I even took my first exam. On Tuesday of fourth week I went to the registrar’s office to drop the class. It was there I was informed when I turned in the proper paperwork that I would only be reimbursed 25% of the tuition that I paid for the class, and in addition, there was a $25 fee. Pathology I is a four credit class and we paid $307 per credit hour in the Spring quarter. So every DC four credit class costs $1,228. When I dropped the class I was credited with $282. This class which I dropped cost me $946 for nothing. A complete waste of money!

According to the Academic Quarterly, the Bible of Life University, up until Friday of first week you can drop a class without forfeiting any funds. If you drop a class in the second week of the quarter you are entitled to 90% reimbursement. And, if you drop a class during the third week you forfeit 50% of the tuition you paid. I have very few complaints about this fine institution but this seems a bit steep to me. It is true I should know the rules, especially since I have been here a while, but keeping 75% of our money when we have taken less than 30% of the class? Is the school this desperate to fulfill the 20/20 Vision that they need to take advantage of students’ busy schedules or individual circumstances?

When I learned of this situation, I did a little bit of research and I went asking questions. I started off at the financial aid office. When I asked what the $25 fees are used for and why are they in place, I was referred to Kay Freeland. Kay’s reply to my question was, “The add/drop fees are to recoup administrative costs associated with processing dropped and added courses.”

Really? $25 to push a few buttons on a computer, shift some numbers around add some funds to my account, and remove me from the class roster. $25 really? I wonder how many students drop classes each quarter and how much income is made from this $25 fee, not to mention the amount the school gains from the percentage-based drop forfeiture scale.

Next I approached Mr. Bill Jarr, Vice President of Finance and I asked him, “Why are the percentages so extreme? It appears to me if you drop a class in fifth week you should get 50% of your tuition back and if you drop it three quarters of the way thru you should get 25% back. Why is it not set up on a per usage basis?”

His response was, “The policy for refunds is set out in the Academic Quarterly on page 45. We have not made any changes to the policy since I have been here, ten plus years. I am fairly certain that the add/drop fees are brought up in orientation as well.”

So, when I asked Kay what advice she would give other students so they do not make the same expensive mistake I made she said, “Read the quarterly and ask questions before taking action.”

Great advice Kay! But, like the Bible, that book is huge and few read it cover to cover. Well, moral of the story, there was once a Romanian proverb that said, “Only the foolish learn from experience — the wise learn from the experience of others.”

So call me a fool. Go ahead, I deserve it. But please be wise and learn from my mistake. If my mistake helps anyone, it makes my mistake less costly overall. Thanks for taking the time to read my rant!

Rugby Sevens – From the Media Box

Rugby Sevens
From the Media Box
By Penny Aviles, DC Student

The Collegiate Rugby Championship Invitational is a fast paced event where high performance athletes give it their all for 14 min. It starts with 5 pools of 4 teams each and ends with only one big winner. RugbyBallLife performed great at the beginning beating Penn 34-0 on Friday night and kept clear from trys on Saturday too. The first game, Life U against Virginia Tech, I experienced from the Media Box. I tell you, it was an experience of a lifetime. I never imagined reporting a rugby game from a media box in a stadium. Thanks to the Vital Source for sending me and to the kindness of Dr. Gooding (Super League Champion in 2000) who let me miss my Extremity CLET iRAT. I got to see the actual “Behind the Cameras” of a sports championship. Thankfully I was well advised by the Vital Source’s freelance rugby analyst and undergrad student Frank Sutton. Of all the people in that three-walled room, he was the “rugby connoisseur.” Most of the reporters there were as ignorant as I was on the sport. The reason being: rugby is a pretty new sport in the U.S. and has just recently picked up importance on national TV.

Saturday we beat Virginia Tech 19 to Nada! Life U started strong with Blane Mcllroy scoring the first try and Harley Davidson following right after. Within two minutes of the first seven-minute half, Life already had two trys in our favor. The Running Eagles spent the last four minutes of the first half holding their try zone strongly. One ruck after another Virginia Tech could not get past the last five meters needed to score a try (yes, it’s measured in meters not yards). War chants of the Life U fans could be heard all the way across the field from the media box singing: “Where are you go-ing? Nooooo-where.” Life U cleared the field later that Saturday with another victory against Arizona State. Even with a game “analyst” whom earlier recorded the Life-VA Tech game, Arizona Wildcats couldn’t figure a way to score a single try against us. The last try scored by Glen Maricelli gave Life U another 19-0 victory. The excitement to see our ruggers resist till the last second was more than words can tell. There was a huge sense of pride amongst our Lifers.

On Sunday morning Life U played against Navy. Maricelli managed to score two trys along with Harley Davidson (yes I know, I thought the same thing, and even reporters from other schools and magazines asked me “Is that his real name?”). This time the opponent team proved a tough adversary and would not let us go easy. Navy’s star player Johnson “AJ” Alexander scored the try that evened the game 26-26 due to a bad slip of Paris Hollis (hey, poop happens) in the very last minutes of the game. But Hollis recouped his fame by scoring the last try that gave Life the victory 31-26 over Navy with CERO seconds on the clock! Things got real. Paris moved us up to the Semifinals!

Before going any further on this report on the games, I have to describe how awesome it is to be recognized as one of the favorite teams in Philly. Our crowd was the strongest despite Life U being one of the smallest universities to compete in this kind of event. When you see schools like University of Texas, Arizona State, Penn State, UCLA and others with over 30,000 students you certainly can’t expect Life’s fans to compete in terms of cheering power on the stands. autographsI was surprised to find the complete opposite happening. Life U had one of the biggest crowds, with the most coherent colors and cheering aids. When walking around the stadium and exclusive areas, people stopped us to say our team had the best school spirit! Children asked Doc, our mascot, and players like Paris Hollis for autographs and said they used our team T-shirts as pajamas. The advertisements on the CRC programs say, “the NOT SO little university that’s CHANGED THE WORLD”; the Life U commercials streaming on the stadium screens advertising Life as the biggest chiropractic school in the world; and the vendor stand with the word “Chiropractic” in the background, have certainly imprinted chiropractic into people’s minds. Leaving a good impression created high expectations for Life U’s comeback against Cal. When opening the official CRC program magazine, the picture from last year’s championship portrays our very own Paris Hollis running with the ball and right next to him a legend that says, “Life is one of the only teams who could unseat Cal at the CRC, and it wouldn’t be an upset” (Booom! Take that Cal). Even in the media box, I noticed reporters ruling for our team during the matches. We are admired, we are loved, other teams wear our T-shirts, and we were surely the favorites this time around.


Before getting to beat Cal, we had to get through the semifinals game against Kutztown, a local Philly team who improved their performance tremendously since last year. I spent this game as close as possible to the action: running back and forward taking pictures of the players. I wanted to capture the moment of a try, of a ruck, of blood-spit, and of a tackle (it is called a tackle right?). So there I was with my iPhone and a tourist pocket-sized digicam trying to capture images of plays at least 50 meters away. I was rubbing shoulders with professional photographers and their $4,000 USD zoom-in lenses. All the commotion, all the running on the sidelines made it tough to see who was scoring what. I learned to keep some track of the scoring on my cellphone: Paris Hollis, try #1 (1 step closer to finals); Harley Davidson, try#2 (I can smell that late evening bus ride already); Hiko Malu, try #3 (oh man, isn’t he sexy? Just kidding Rocky!). We had a really good team, really good support and still that wasn’t enough to beat the local favorite Kutztown. Right at the final minute Kutztown scored leaving us down 19 to 17. The official CRC website described it as a battle “against a hard fighting Life U who had a strong contingent of fans cheering them on” (usasevenscrc.com). Kutztown moved on to the championship beating everyone’s expectations for a Life U rematch against Cal, the now two-year champion (that’s right, Kutztown couldn’t beat them). Our hearts were sad but our pride remained intact for our Running Eagles were exceptional and it truly was a weekend full of surprises. The rugby sevens proved to be a very challenging sport with many unexpected turnouts which make it even more exciting to watch. So hey, there’s always next year!

Prisoner in a Bottle

Prisoner in a Bottle
Recovering from Addiction with Chiropractic Care
By Brittany Anderson, DC Student

What if your nervous system was wired to draw you into self-destructive behaviors that would cost you your job, your family and your health? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, an estimated 18 million Americans suffer from alcohol use disorders. Mind you, this staggering statistic does not even include the millions of others suffering from the 5 categories of addiction: work, food, sex, gambling and drugs.

In the early 1990’s Dr. Jay Holder, founder of Torque Release Technique, and Dr. Kenneth Blum, modeled the Brain Reward Cascade; the neurological mechanism for achievement of a state of wellbeing. The function of the Brain Reward Cascade is altered in those suffering from addiction. This mechanism begins with the secretion of serotonin from the hypothalamus followed by the release of met-enkephalin (opiates) which inhibit GABA production in the substantia nigra. GABA, in turn, keeps the secretion of dopamine from the ventral tegmental region in check. If balance is achieved in this system, proper amounts of dopamine will be released in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala and the state of wellbeing will be achieved. The person will experience just the right amount of happiness and contentment with just the right amount of dopamine.

However, if the cascade is interfered with, causing an over or under secretion of GABA or met-enkephalin, the person will either become manic, with abnormally elevated energy levels due to too much dopamine, or depressive, with an over production of GABA destroying too much dopamine.

The dysfunction of the Brain Reward Cascade is known as Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS). The lack of ‘sense of wellbeing’ experienced, unconsciously leads the person to crave pleasure outside of themselves, oftentimes, and to seek mood altering substances and activities. As this entire system is seated in/around the sphenoid bone, which has direct dural attachment to the nervous system, chiropractic adjustments can affect changes in the Brain Reward Cascade, creating balance and helping the patient achieve the sense of wellbeing that is desired. Once achieved, neurological cravings for external stimulation can be eliminated.

Dr. Jay Holder, referring to the tonal model of chiropractic, states that chiropractic does not cure addictions. However, chiropractic adjustments clear the interferences in the nervous system, which keep the addict from experiencing a state of wellbeing and realizing their body’s unique potential. It is important to remember that liberation from addiction is a happy byproduct of chiropractic care, but not often the main focus. Both BJ and DD Palmer predicted chiropractic would empty the prisons. All addicts are prisoners of a subluxated nervous system, in which their state of wellbeing has been compromised. By resolving RDS, chiropractic can liberate addicts from their addictions, giving them the opportunity to rebuild their lives and the freedom to express their full potential.

There will be a TRT Seminar this Quarter on August 15-16, 2014.

Life Vision – July 25-26, 2014

Life Vision July 2014LIFE Vision July 25-26, 2014

Happy Monday Lady Says Hello!

Happy Monday Lady Says Hello!
Thirty Four Years and Still Loving Life
By Michael Hollerbach, DC Student

Holla Back Y’all is a regular column which gives one member of the Life University community an opportunity to share themselves with the rest of us and for the community to be able to get to know one of the many incredible people on this campus.

Anybody who has passed through the “unknown named” building that houses the library and the registrar’s office has passed a very unassuming, yet hidden, gem on this Life University campus and if they were friendly enough or fortunate enough they would be greeted with a cheery, “happy Monday” or “happy Tuesday” depending on the day of the week. happymonday2Mostly hidden from view, sitting behind her desk, this wonderful woman with the friendly greetings is a longtime employee of Life University and her name is Larrie Smisson. Recently, I took the time to sit with Larrie and get to know her a little bit better. She was very excited to be able to share some of her stories with the Life community.

Vital Source: You have a very unique name. Is it a nickname?

Larrie: My name is Larrie Smisson. Larrie with an “ie” I always say that because I get a lot of strange looks. Actually no, I’m not a mistake! It’s a third generation name which I am proud of!

VS: You have been here a long time, what has it been like for you?

Larrie: My life at Life started in 1980. I started in the Mailroom and Printing. Then ventured to Shipping and Receiving and Purchasing. I do have to say I learned a lot from each of those jobs!

When I started at Life I had always heard of “Dr. Sid and Dr. Nell” and had seen them from a distance. At the time, I didn’t have any vacation so we could work during the holidays. I remember being in the Admin. Bldg. cleaning the baseboards. No one was in the building, so we thought, so we had a rock music station on very loud! I recall seeing two large shoes come up beside me. I looked up and there was Dr. Williams!

Dr. Williams was very involved in the community so there was an annual event called Run for Life. I believe it started as a 5k run. It was a great way for Life to be a part of the community and the community to be a part of Life. As the Run for Life grew popular, we reached almost 2000 runners. Wow! The set up would begin Friday afternoon, as did the partying! BBQ was cooked all night. Volunteers came in at 3 am to make sandwiches, set up the race route and all the other tasks that had to be done. It was exciting! Then there was the beer truck! After all or most of the jobs were done some volunteers disappeared. Guess where? Behind the beer truck we would go! I remember popping my second beer and who comes around the truck! Dr. Sid! We all just knew we were going to be in trouble!! But all we got was a smile!

VS: Oh that is great what kind of beer do you prefer?

Larrie: I like several types of beer. Angry Orchard, Michelob Light and Tecate and I love my Pina Coladas! A variety is always good!

VS: You have been here quite a while. What are some of the better changes you have seen?

Larrie: In the first few years I can remember a student that lived in a camper in the woods, which is now the Rugby field. And another student that lived in a teepee! I really admired that! When we became Life University the basketball team was born! There are many, many stories during that timeframe. Faculty, staff and students worked hard and played hard together! There were so many ever changing events; you were never bored, to say the least! I think the changes that have been made by the current administration are incredible! The Café and Village Retreat are projects that were discussed for quite a while and are now a reality! As the dynamics change I love the way Life is going onward and upward for Chiropractic!

VS: So besides Life University, tell us something about yourself.

Larrie: Besides Life and chiropractic being a big part of my life, I love to travel! The Northeast Kingdom has become my favorite. I have children, but they have four legs! We adopt older, special needs, abused dogs. We have 6, but smaller dogs.

VS: What part of the world are you talking about when you say Northeast Kingdom?

Larrie: The Northeast Kingdom is Vermont. It is absolutely beautiful there!

VS: Is there anything else you would like to share with the Life community?

Larrie: I would have to say my philosophy in life is from a quote that says: “I’m still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”

VS: That is fantastic, thank you for sharing yourself with us Larrie.

Larrie: I hope I haven’t bored you all-too-much! I have met so many awesome people and am still meeting awesome people! There are so many people and so many stories that give, love and serve for Life University and chiropractic.

Happy Everyday Everybody.

Letter to Editor – Cadaver lab

Just sending along some input I have regarding the potential loss of cadaver lab. It’s something that I am very upset about for many reasons.

First of all, gross dissection is truly a rite of passage for doctors across the board and is something that cannot be duplicated through virtual imaging. That’s not to say that the anatomy tables aren’t going to be a great addition to our education, these virtual tables seem really great, but I feel strongly that they will be best utilized as a supplement to the cadaver experience; not a replacement.

When I chose Life University, it was my understanding that the cadaver experience was going to be part of my education. I think there needs to be a priority check. I want to feel like the school wants me to graduate as a great chiropractor, not just as a chiropractor, and when budget concerns are prioritized over the quality of my education, it’s upsetting.

Thank you for putting your time in to write about this. It means a lot that upper-quarter students think it is so important for us to have the cadaver experience even though they themselves may already be past it in their academic careers, so again, thank you.

In Health,
Jillian Ouellette