Recapping Dr. James Chestnut’s Visit and Message
Students had been anticipating the arrival of Dr. James Chestnut from the moment Dr. Riekeman announced last fall he would be speaking at Life in different venues, including: Assembly, a dinner with students in PLI, and at Life Leadership Weekend. Many students were familiar with Chestnut’s popularity but most did not know the content of Chestnut’s speeches. The feedback following the events of that weekend demonstrated the quality and power behind his message.
The premise of Chestnut’s presentations came from his new book The Wellness & Prevention Paradigm. Through simple analogies and terms, Dr. Chestnut was able to present his viewpoint of health-care and the role of chiropractic to a crowd of prospective students along with their parents, current students, faculty members and field doctors.
On the Friday night of Life Leadership Weekend, Dr. Chestnut proclaimed on stage that health is our greatest asset, but then noted that humans are the sickest species on the planet. He continued by saying that humans are animals, and over the centuries we have disconnected from that reality and have developed an unconscious feeling of superiority over all other animal species. According to Dr. Chestnut, “We are all animal species, and the human species is very sick whereas other animal species don’t get sick unless their environments are dramatically altered. It is ridiculous to think that humans are getting sick from genetic problems. Our genes have really not changed at all in the last hundred years and yet disease and sickness rates are skyrocketing.” He explained that all animal species, including humans are genetically made to be perfect for adaptation and survival.“The two most important questions we should ask ourselves is: why are we sick and what do we need to do in order to stay well? Because humans have separated themselves from animals, they have fallen into a prevailing belief system that humans are sick because of bad luck, bad germs, or bad genes. That’s bad science. It is not those that cause us to be sick, but it is bad choices. We are marketed today to believe that our choices don’t have consequences to us.”
Dr. Chestnut explained the gravity of our healthcare situation. He stated that 80% of the workforce in the United States has been diagnosed with a chronic condition. When someone is diagnosed with a chronic condition, they are almost certainly prescribed medications for that condition. Chestnut asked the audience how often a chronic patient comes off medication, the response being “never.” He further mentioned that there is only one guarantee when a patient is prescribed medication that it is a precursor of more prescriptions to come. Those statistics are critical to insurance companies and the future of our current healthcare system.
Chestnut went on to explain that we need to awaken a wellness and prevention paradigm and bring awareness to our current belief systems. He iterated that there is no better profession to lead this revolution than chiropractic. He asserted that for years, we in the chiropractic community have been fighting the wrong fight. “The chiropractic world wants to fight the medical community with philosophy and the medical world wants to fight us with research and science. We should be fighting science with science, because the science is on our side.”
To Chestnut, what is determined to be successful in the management of a patient is different between chiropractic and the medical community. Success in the medical world is the creation or blockage of a chemical reaction, where the patient’s long-term progress is irrelevant. Chiropractic measures success in the short and long-term progression of a patient’s health and their ability to adapt to their environment. He continued to say the medical profession doesn’t care about patient outcomes when they are knowingly prescribing more and more drugs and surgeries that reduce health and vitality, and that chiropractic must serve their patients and monitor the progression of their outcomes, otherwise we become allopathic in our care. With the overload of the current healthcare system and the financial burden that insurance companies face, the system is doomed to collapse under its current paradigm. It will be up to the individual chiropractor in his/her community to bring about health and vitality to the patient.
Dr. Chestnut introduced his Wellness & Prevention Paradigm by stating that reforming the current paradigm will not lead individuals to get well and stay well. Offering drugs and surgery as a solution for chronic disease is illogical, unsupported by science and hopeless for the patients. The only logical solution that is evidence-based is lifestyle intervention. This places the responsibility of the patient’s health outcomes on them. He indicated that “Chiropractic care with lifestyle is better than lifestyle alone. Medical care and lifestyle is worse than lifestyle alone. In the world we live in now, it is a distinct possibility that maybe getting adjusted with no other advice about lifestyle might not cut it. What determines if you are going to be sick or be well is how you eat, move and think. When people are dying from the way they eat, move and think they are committing suicide by their life choices. Until those bad choices are changed, a person has no chance of being well.”
In addressing chiropractic’s role in the wellness and prevention paradigm, Dr. Chestnut defined “Wellness in practice is the removal of the toxic interferences to and the provision of the necessary materials for the genetic expression of homeostasis.” In Chestnut’s viewpoint, if chiropractic is not leading the wellness paradigm to return people to health, there is no other field going to do it right. He proclaimed, “Wellness is a responsibility, not an opportunity. A wellness practice isn’t a marketing tool to generate more income, but rather an opportunity to produce the highest of health outcomes.”
He continued to stress the importance of chiropractors living the wellness they would be preaching as many chiropractors today are hypocritical in lifestyle choices, some of which don’t get adjusted themselves. He said that some chiropractors are focused only on the subluxation and are denying the patient an opportunity to increase their vitality that they won’t find anywhere else. He made the analogy that humans are treading in deep water today with a backpack strapped upon their backs. Each stress they incur is a rock dumped into the backpack, and unless that stress is removed, the patient is sinking lower into the water. He stated, “The subluxation is only one of the bricks that is weighing down that backpack.”
After concluding his speech Dr. Chestnut received a standing ovation. His materials, including his new book The Wellness & Prevention Paradigm sold quickly. For many of the prospective students and their families accompanying them it was a transformational experience.
Dr. Chestnut had mentioned to the students of PLI that he had never found an institution or chiropractic setting in which he could call his home, and to him Life University has become that home. He has become a LifeForce doctor and will be directing prospective students to Life because he believes the mission, principles and philosophy of the institution will align with his paradigm. He also has designed a wellness certification program for students and doctors.
For more information on Dr. Chestnut and his materials, visit www.thewellnesspractice.com. Look for updates on Dr. Chestnut’s modules and influence coming to Life University.