The conference presented a distinguished faculty of expert presenters that offered the doctors a program that focused on the science, art and philosophy of chiropractic. The three-day event opened with greetings from senior political leaders from Portugal and welcome addresses from ICA President Dr. Robert Hoffman; Dr. Antonio Alves, president of the Portuguese Chiropractors Association; Dr. Wesley Mullen, president of FACTS; and conference chairman Dr. Fred Barge.
"ICA has historically been the philosophical conscience of chiropractic, fostering and promoting the development of chiropractic as a separate and distinct science, art, philosophy and practice, based on the subluxation and the chiropractic adjustment to restore normal nerve function," Dr. Hoffman told the assembled crowd.
"We do not seek to compete directly with any national organization, but to cooperate and share our resources, vision and values in an effort to foster and support the global growth of chiropractic," he added.
"I have been in practice for 24 years, and I can hardly remember the last time I had goosebumps at a chiropractic meeting," observed a European chiropractor. "More amazing than that, I can never remember having a lump in my throat because of the pride I felt in my profession as I did when I was at the opening session of this symposium."
Dr. Fred Barge, the chairman of the symposium, gave the keynote address: "The Future of Doctoring."
"The universal relevance of chiropractic's founding principles and the unique power of our science brought this diverse group together and we should embrace this unifying strength with great pride and, I might add, passion," Dr. Barge commented.
There was a broad range of presentations, including Dr. Peter Fysh's "Common Childhood Disorders and Chiropractic Care," Dr. Daniel Murphy's "Chiropractic and the Cerebellum," and Dr. John Downes' "The Vertebral Subluxation and its Effect on Athletic Performance."
The proceedings also included the presentation of the 15 research papers by an outstanding group of chiropractic authors and scholars.
The highlight of the weekend was the Saturday evening black-tie gala banquet hosted by ICA at the Royal Palace at Quelez, the 18th century residence of the Portuguese royalty. The ICA reports that theirs was the first private group in 22 years granted such access to this national treasure.
The evening's guest speaker was Dr. Guy Riekeman, president of Palmer College of Chiropractic, who presented "Hope for Humanity's Future Lies within the Human Heart," an emotional and powerful address.
Planning is already underway for a second European conference to be held in cooperation with other national associations