Category Archives: News

News Articles

Animal Chiropractic: Vets and Chiros

Animal Chiropractic:
Vets and Chiros
By Yamila Cruz-Martinez, DC student

Animal chiropractic is a controversial profession; it is a growing profession in the United States and the rest of the world. The controversy arises because the veterinary profession is not educated in the use of chiropractic on animals and there is limited research available about chiropractic. hurleyMany laws have been passed limiting the practice of animal chiropractic and the requirements needed.

The major debate regarding animal chiropractic is who should be allowed to practice and perform the chiropractic adjustments. Post graduate certification is available in Animal Chiropractic. The certification is regulated by American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) and requires between 205-230 hours of training; with approximately 5 lectures and 5 lab practical tests, plus the finals of each program and the Board test. The trainings are offered to Chiropractors and Veterinarians, students of both fields can begin the training a couple of months before graduation but won’t receive the AVCA Certification until after graduation and passing the Animal Chiropractic board exam.

The discrepancy comes on both ends of the rope, Chiropractors and Veterinarians. The chiropractic profession does not think veterinarians understand the philosophy, the art, or the science of chiropractic. The veterinary profession believes chiropractors have not been trained in the areas of animal anatomy, diseases or physiology.

There is validity on both sides. You see, the certification consists of different VetChiromodules and topics like chiropractic philosophy, chiropractic evaluation and adjustments, anatomy of different animals, neurology, pathology, drugs and herbal medicines, jurisprudence, and radiology (when you think you can’t get more of those X-rays with Fox!!), among others. Courses are instructed by chiropractors, veterinarians and lawyers.

Yes! Of course a couple of months training won’t make you an expert in either of them but the cooperation of both professions can lead to a better outcomes for the animal and brighter future for Animal Chiropractic. The importance here is to stop pulling the rope at either end and to take advantage of the great opportunity to expand the chiropractic profession, allowing the innate of humans and animals flow in homeostasis.

– American Veterinary Chiropractic Association: (2000).
– AVMA. Scope of Practice: Complementary and alternative veterinary Medicine (CAVM) and exemptions. New York: AVMA, 2011.
– Keating, J. “Further Comments on Veterinary Chiropractic.” Canadian Veterinary Journal (2000): 518-519.

What is Positive Psychology Anyway?

What is Positive Psychology Anyway?
By Jill Driver, Senior UG Student in Positive Psychology

In 1998, Dr. Martin Seligman coined the term positive psychology. He proposed a shift in focus from the negative aspects of humanity to the positive aspects (Baumgardner & Crothers, 2009). People know what not to do, but do they know what is good to do? Negative emotions may hinder growth, but do positive emotions accelerate it? Negative thoughts may perpetuate depression and helplessness, but do positive thoughts and affirmations lead to empowerment? Research investigates why marriages fail, but does research explore why marriages succeed? These questions are at the center of positive psychology. This new perspective of psychology is a call to equip society with the knowledge and tools to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives, not just to avoid unwanted outcomes. Positive psychology suggests it is just as important to know what is beneficial and healing; in addition, to knowing what is detrimental and harmful. Even more, people know what will harm them and what to avoid, but they lack the understanding of what will also strengthen them.

In addition, positive psychology does not entirely ignore the negatives, it simply embraces a more genuine and balanced view of human behavior that includes strengths and virtues. Often in health sciences like psychology, the medical community is consumed with defining disease, whereas, the positive psychology community shifts the motivation towards defining healthiness. In other words, positive psychologists attempt to define concepts like well-being, happiness, fulfillment, meaning, and joy. Instead of asking what makes someone abnormal, a positive psychologist asks what makes someone healthy and whole.

Lastly, a vitalistic perspective maintains that the organism is self-healing, self- maintaining, and can thrive when placed in the proper environment with adequate resources. Positive psychology also suggests that individuals are innately equipped with strength and resilience. Positive psychologist, coaches, chiropractors, and other professionals can work together to promote these vitalistic, positive perspectives to the community. This shift in focus can pave the way for individuals to reach their full potential not only in health but in life as a whole.

Baumgardner, S. R., & Crothers, M. K. (2009). Positive Psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Why Keep Vitalism to Ourselves?

Why Keep Vitalism to Ourselves?
By Penny Aviles, DC Student

My High School music professor told me once, as he was coming back from the Dean’s office, due to his attempts to kick me out of the classroom, “a good leader doesn’t come up with problems, but solutions.” Meaning, he never really made it to the Dean’s office and tried to coexist with me. Little does he know, I still remember those words with a visual image of his face saying them. I didn’t become submissive as he expected, but his wise words and my free self-expression are partly why I’ve gotten involved in organizations that seek to solve issues pertaining to chiropractic. Sometimes politics can be a slow and frustrating endeavor, but without critical thinking, debate about our profession, and the wish to take it further, Chiropractic would have continued as an underground profession in a little corner office in Davenport, IA.

wccs_logoLast March 27th – April 2nd, the World Congress of Chiropractic Students (WCCS) 37th Annual General Meeting took place with 134 critical minds in a tiny touristy place on the sides of the Mediterranean called Malaga, Spain. It was quite the gathering and yet, we have no words to express such a powerful, seven-day experience. Lifelong bonds of friendship and trust with future leaders of the profession from around the world are sometimes the best things that someone takes out the experience on a personal level. But looking at the bigger picture, we were a monumental part of the solution.

When being part of congress, not only do you get to represent the student body of your school at a global level, but you form part of history in chiropractic. WCCS is the oldest, international, student-run chiropractic organization and consists of 24 chiropractic school members which represent over 10,000 chiropractic students. We have no “big brother” organizations, we are independent and neutral. In WCCS you can find a safe platform for either side of the chiropractic spectrum to have a voice, because we embrace diversity. As Luke Schmidt, president of the WCCS Board of Directors, says, “The friendships that have been made through the WCCS are proof that it is possible to be diverse, yet still united.” Students involved develop leadership skills, friendships and a better understanding of chiropractic around the world than they could get in their tiny bubble we call school.

There is a middle ground where all of us studying chiropractic can meet, and that’s where we admit our role as leaders and work together towards our goal: “To advance and unite the global chiropractic profession through inspiration, integrity and leadership” ( delegationWe have influenced policy changes in countries and continue to work towards regulations in chiropractic for the protection of the public. Our presence in Malaga, Spain this past spring (a country where Chiropractic is not regulated) caught the interest of the local press and allowed open dialogue with other health care professionals. In other regions like Japan, chiropractic has no regulations either, and WCCS has worked hard on getting recognition for chiropractic. One step we helped accomplish a few years ago was the introduction of the word “chiropractic” to the Japanese dictionary. These are not simple steps and definitely not fast processes, but one thing we WCCS’ers know is, we are being part of the solution. Do you dream of a world where chiropractic is highly recognized, and of a world where you didn’t have to convince anyone that it works? If this is your vision we need YOU!

Out of all those 24 chiropractic schools, only FIVE are vitalistic schools. We are outnumbered, and sadly also by students representing each school. This year we achieved our highest number of student delegates from Life U attending congress: nine. Sherman College only had one delegate representing them. Life University is the biggest chiropractic university in the world, and therefore should have a bigger delegation to represent its student body. Next Congress will take place in our own alma mater April 2015, so all you interested in participating won’t have travel expenses to worry about. As the Head Delegate of the WCCS Life Chapter, I highly recommend everyone get involved. It is our duty not only to live vitalism, and practice it in our school and future chiropractic offices, it is important we share it with the world and, trust me, this is the right place to do it. Students around the world crave for a principle bigger than a reductionist back pain and neck pain model. If you’d like to form part of the solution, come to club to hear more about it. We meet Wednesdays at 5pm in C149, or throw us a line to
WCCS Meeting

Meet the Mormons

Meet the Mormons
Saints at Life Potluck
By Vince Methot, DC Student

At Life University there are over 30 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of this church are often called Latter-day Saints or Mormons. In August, students, staff and families met together for the first time for a ‘Saints at Life’ potluck. There were 16 families who came. Of those, there were two staff members and 14 DC students. None of the undergrad or masters students were present.

While there are varying views as to what a saint is, the simple SaintsatLifePotlucketymology of the word means ‘holy’; these are people who are holy or who can become holy through the cleansing power of Jesus Christ. In the Church of Jesus Christ, both ancient and modern, saints are those who have been baptized into His church by someone with His authority. The qualifier ‘latter-day’ distinguishes those saints in Christ’s church today from those of His ancient church and has reference to the second coming of the Savior of the world.

Beliefs that are not unique to this church are belief in God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit; that Jesus is the Savior, Redeemer and Judge of the world; and that He lived, died, was resurrected and lives again. Beliefs that are unique include living prophets and apostles who talk with God today and who can trace their authority, apostle by apostle, directly back to Jesus Christ through His first apostles Peter, James and John; that God has revealed more of His words than just those written in the Bible, written in books such as the Book of Mormon – where the nickname ‘Mormons’ came from; and that these books confirm and support the teachings in the Bible.

For clarification purposes, it is not the Mormon Church or the Latter-day Saint Church; rather, it is the Church of Jesus Christ with members who are latter-day saints. There are over 15 million members of this church in the world. A congregation of saints of the Church of Jesus Christ is called a ward or a branch and a group of five to ten wards and branches is called a stake, as in a tent stake (see Isaiah 54:2). There are ten stakes of the church in the Atlanta area. Saints at Life come from over nine wards in six stakes around Atlanta.

There is a full length feature film that came to theaters on the weekend of October 10th, 2014 called Meet the Mormons. The BishopIt is a documentary about six Mormon’s lives; one of which lives in the Atlanta area. To find out more about the movie, the people, or the church go to, or If you want to meet a saint here at Life, ask around, everyone knows someone who is a Mormon. If you are a latter-day saint and would like to join with others on campus, you can join the Facebook group titled ‘Saints at Life’; there you may find other saints and learn about any future events including the next potluck event on November 1st.

Safety Pin

Everyday Vitalism
Safety Pin
By Rebecca Koch, Director of Service Initiatives

So, how did a giant safety pin – a mammoth representation of a simple symbol near and dear to generations of chiropractors’ hearts – serendipitously end up at one end of Celebration Plaza, outside the Center for Chiropractic Education? Moreover, how is it possible that a privately commissioned artwork of this scale could come to LIFE at virtually no cost? Close the PinIt was such an extraordinary series of events that came together so seamlessly that, according to Dr. Riekeman, “it seemed as if the Universe simply wanted us to have it.” And, when it comes to relating most acts of fate, we have to start at the beginning.

A few years ago, a local businesswoman, Joan Barnes of Marketing Specifics, Inc., commissioned the safety pin sculpture to commemorate her 50th birthday. Why a safety pin? She wanted to symbolize her philosophy of simplicity as a designer. As Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” and the safety pin is the essence of simplicity; it has every part it needs and nothing more.

Several years after her birthday, Joan sold her business and wanted to donate the sculpture to a place where it would be cared for, seen and enjoyed by many people for years to come. Again, fate played a part because Joan’s former business happened to be located in Kennesaw, also home to one of the most community minded chiropractors in Georgia (and maybe in the US), Dr. Cris Eaton-Welsh.

How was Dr. Cris’s involvement fateful? It would take a chiropractor to know the safety pin serves as a symbol for the philosophy underlying chiropractic, a healing profession that helps patients by restoring and improving the function of the central nervous system. For chiropractors, this simple machine – the safety pin – perfectly and simply illustrates the effect of the care chiropractors provide. When engaged, a safety pin completes the connection between its open ends just as corrections provided by chiropractic care complete the connection between brain and body. In fact, this simple machine has served as a symbol for chiropractic for nearly a century.

It also happens that Dr. Cris is a LIFE alumna. Once she learned her neighbor, Joan, was looking to find a home for the sculpture, Dr. Cris wasted no time contacting her alma mater to ask if its president, Dr. Guy Riekeman, would be interested in accepting the donation of a giant safety pin. Dr. Riekeman immediately saw the value of such an unbelievably relevant symbol and seized the opportunity to provide a permanent home for the donation. He instantly saw the “sculpture’s value as a reminder that all students come to Life University in that unconnected state, open to learning how to close the loop between their desire to live lives of success and significance, and the acquisition of the knowledge and skills they’ll need to do it. It’s our job to help them learn to make that connection.”

It also happens that Life University’s Grounds team is led by John Wheeler with a can-do attitude when it comes to making things happen on campus. Again, fate stepped in to play a role because LIFE also has a Physical Plant director, Mike Sterling, who – remarkably – had previous experience moving a gigantic sculpture through Metro Atlanta traffic. Together with the Grounds team, a plan was developed for relocation and the Grounds team went into action. Within days, they’d borrowed the perfect trailer (one used to haul the also-gigantic Lights of LIFE displays), broken down the sculpture’s stone base, loaded it up, moved it, and stored it safely away until summer break, when Mike and his Physical Plant team could design and build a new mounting system.

In the end, everything came together almost seamlessly, making it seem inevitable that this delightful work of art should find it way to LIFE’s campus. Clearly, the Universe had known from its beginning that the world’s largest privately commissioned safety pin* and the world’s largest chiropractic program were made for one another. And that is how a beautifully simple – and awesomely huge – safety pin came to be a perfect part of the Life University campus.

In summing up the receiving of a giant safety pin as a perfectly symbolic and delightfully whimsical donation to LIFE’s campus, Dr. Riekeman said: “First, in addition to it being a chiropractic symbol that represents the neurological connection between the brain and the body, it also represents the notion of how the body interacts with the environment. This is a symbol of how all the systems of the body and the environment work. So, in our Statement of Purpose, as approved by the Board, it states that we believe these systems work best when they are free of interference and that there are three interferences to the nervous system which interrupt the flow of information…physical trauma, environmental toxins and emotional stresses. Thus this represents all of our programs at Life U. Finally, the reason it is open is to remind each of us every day that our job is to go out and educate and care for the world by reconnecting (closing the loop/pin) through our chosen disciplines. When we have corrected all the interferences to the innate expression in all people, we will close the pin.”

*The world’s largest safety pin is 21-feet tall (LIFE’s is approximately 15 feet tall) and located in San Francisco at the public De Young Museum sculpture garden. (

Functional Fresco!

Functional Fresco!
Nutrition Class Cooks up Gourmet Deliciousness
By Michael Hollerbach, DC Student

On a quiet Thursday evening in April a few fortunate people were invited to an outstanding healthy meal cooked up by the Quantity Food Production class in the Nutrition Department. The meal was prepared in the Nutrition Department kitchen and served in the Nutrition classroom behind the large glass windows adjacent to the cafe. The guest list included Dean of Undergraduate Studies Michael Smith, Vital Source staff, the wrestling team and various other lucky guests. A total of fifty meals were prepared as part of the class requirement.

The event was titled Functional Fresco and was a delicious array of freshly prepared healthy foods. It was an outstanding six course meal which included an appetizer, soup, salad, entree, dessert and a scrumptious Miso-Creamed Kale dish. All ingredients were chosen to provide the guests with the most nutritious balanced meal possible. The main course was a Preserved Lemon Relish Cod entrée which was a flavorful mix of sweetness with only a hint of fish taste. The guests were served buffet style with the nutrition students doing the serving and answering questions.

Along with the delicious dinner each guest was given a detailed menu with a list of the ingredients along with copies of the recipes for them to take home to recreate the deliciousness if they choose. In addition, each guest was given a pamphlet titled Functional Fresco which had all of the ingredients from the meal listed and a description of how these ingredients have healing benefits in the body. For example it stated: miso aids in the prevention of radiation injury and cancer; also acts as an anti-hypertensive. The guests were not only given a delicious healthy meal but, they were also educated on the benefits of choosing the right foods for a healthier body.

In addition to the Functional Fresco title, there was also a powerful enlightening motto for the event printed on the pamphlet. This motto can be used to educate every person who chooses what foods they put in their bodies. The motto was “The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

When asked about her thoughts on the dinner, 10th quarter DC student Penny Aviles said, “I loved how the menu included literature on each of the ingredients and their benefits to our health. I think every restaurant should include that as a glossary in their menus to educate people on what they are eating.” Ms. Aviles went on to say, “The food was delicious, especially the Gazpacho, it was amazing. The students presented healthy food in a very tasty innovative way.”

Dietetics student Laura Gerhart was asked how the menu was decided. Laura replied, “The theme and various components of the menu were decided upon collaboratively by the class. The first step in our planning process was to collectively brainstorm and pitch menu theme ideas that we felt reflected our department’s nutritional expertise and values related to food’s crucial role in health. We all loved the idea of showcasing how functional, fresh ingredients can be combined in synergistic ways that were not only tasty, but also provided remarkable health benefits via their nutrients. After developing our menu items, we then realized that our theme provided a unique learning opportunity for our guests to gain a deeper understanding of the unique functionality of the ingredients we used.”

The remainder of the menu included the appetizer which was a Quinoa-Nectarine Salsa served with Crispy Spiced Tortilla Strips- a multi textured fruit dip with seasoned herbs and a spicy kick. The second course was a cold soup, Green Gazpacho, which is a bit unorthodox but nonetheless extremely tasty. “A surprising twist from your ordinary gazpacho, this features green grapes, cucumber, avocado, and an assortment of fresh herbs.” In addition the salad was a very fresh Fava Bean Salad with Fennel and Radish mixed with arugula and accented with walnuts and Romano cheese. Although every item on the menu was delicious in its own way, the most popular item was the Lime Cheesecake on Coconut Macadamia Crust. It was so deliciously sweet and refreshing many people ate two helpings.

The professor of the course, Denise Pickett-Bernard PhD, RDN, LDN, explained the details of the course. “NTR415 Quantity Food Preparation is required by students majoring in dietetics. Any student could enroll in the class if they met the prerequisites or by permission of the instructor. This particular class is fully enrolled with dietetics majors. The class is offered once per year.” Denise went on to say, “When I teach the class, I structure the preparation component to allow for two quantity meal preparation days, or dinner parties and one Cupcake War. This gives the students the opportunity to cook for 50 under the pressure of time constraints. With the Cupcake War, the students not only have to cook 200 cupcakes per team within the allotted time period; but their teams’ production will be judged with a winner as the outcome.

In closing Laura was then asked, what is the basis of the class and what are the learning outcomes? She said, “The basis of the class is to learn the principles and techniques of quantity food production with an emphasis on recipe development. However, Dr. Pickett-Bernard has expanded the course parameters to include hands-on experience and opportunities to utilize our skills to design healthy meals and serve the Life community.”

The Quantity Production class is offered each spring quarter and they cook two six course meals for the Life Community. If you are interested in learning more you can contact the Nutrition Department.

A Kiwi Takes the TIC Torch

A Kiwi Takes the TIC Torch
WCCS represented at Talk the TIC!
By Penny Aviles, DC student

Talk the TIC finals took place at Life University during this quarter’s first assembly on July 24th, 2014. The Life Chapter of the World Congress of Chiropractic Students (WCCS) was proud to be there and show support for Andrew McCracken–a WCCS member of the New Zealand College of Chiropractic–a_kiwi who not only traveled more than a day across the globe to compete, he won the first place.

The contestants were of the highest quality. The students who attended assembly got to watch the three best in action, but those were not the only ones who flew to Marietta to compete. Earlier in the day, before assembly, Andrew had to compete against five other really good contestants. One of them being Derrel Pratt-Blackburn from Parker University, the 2011 Talk the TIC winner. This time around, Derrel couldn’t make it to the final three. However, our very own Samantha Thomas Brooks, whose expertise is mostly thanks to her long-time commitment in the Innate Enterprise student organization, did make it into the final three. Competition was tough, as you can imagine, yet Andrew delivered a lay talk like no other. From 50 shades of healing, to a microwave interfering with webcam communication (Skype), his analogies were right on point explaining subluxation and chiropractic.

Right before Andrew’s talk, Dr. LaMarche was kind enough to make an announcement for our club: the WCCS Life Chapter. He encouraged the student body to be part of the amazing organization that is WCCS. andrew winsIt was very humbling, especially because he has interacted with WCCS in two past occasions when he was still at Parker University. He emphasized the commitment we have as a student-run organization looking to leave the stamp of chiropractic on health reform internationally. We are honored to have his help and support, especially when we have a big WCCS event just around the corner: the 37th Annual General Meeting on April 2015, when 150 international chiropractic students will congregate to talk about chiropractic issues for eight full days of work and fun. Our club was happy and honored for Dr. LaMarche’s announcement and for having such a principled representative like Andrew McCracken win the Talk the TIC competition.

This is not the first time a WCCS member has competed at Talk the TIC and finished in the top three. Julia Pinkerton from Life West ended as a runner up in 2011 at Parker; as well as myself in 2012 for the first ever Talk the TIC Spanish edition in Mexico City. This year, on October 3rd, 2014 the Mexican chiropractic school, UNEVT, is hosting the second Spanish edition of Talk the TIC. Life University is proud to send two Puerto Rican students this year: Yamila Cruz and Andrés Juliá. Curiously enough, both Spanish events have been created and promoted by student leaders who, just like Andrew, are also WCCS members. It is students of the same passion and dedication such as Andrew’s that get involved into organizations like WCCS, where we would go across the world to share the chiropractic message and to look for means to progress and advance chiropractic for better public health awareness. You can look at Andrew’s talk at our Facebook page ( If you’re interested to learn more about us, you can contact us at and come to our meetings Wednesdays at 5pm in C-149.