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Dynamic Chiropractic – March 26, 2005, Vol. 23, Issue 07

Are You Truly Grateful?

By Perry Isenberg
The goal of this column is to provide various points of view from people in chiropractic, so they can share with you both their knowledge and their commitment to helping our profession be everything that it can be. I am pleased to announce that Perry Isenberg has written the column for this month. Mr. Isenberg is a partner of Performance Health, Inc., which manufactures and markets Biofreeze® Pain-Relieving Gel to health care professionals. He has over 20 years experience in marketing and advertising. -- Kent Greenawalt

In order for this writing to have any value, I must start by giving you a little background about myself and some insight, so hopefully, you'll respond as I intend.

I am a partner of Performance Health, the company that manufacturers Biofreeze. My two partners are Craig Cox and Chris Cox. I am 44 and we started the company 14 years ago. Our first chiropractic convention was the FCA National Convention in Orlando in August 1991.

At the time, I was living in Toronto in a one-bedroom apartment. My wife was driving a dented Dodge Omni given to us by her parents, and I was driving a dented, rusted Chevy Cavalier that I borrowed $5,000 from my grandmother to buy - I was paying her back $100 a month.

By world standards, we were rich; by North American standards, we were average. In my opinion, North Americans have a distorted view of comfort. We can't separate needs from wants.

For the past 14 years, my partners and I have worked very hard to take advantage of the opportunity given to us. Our gift was the Biofreeze product and the opportunity to work in the chiropractic profession.

I'm grateful for our partnership. I'm fortunate our product works so well. I'm fortunate the chiropractic profession embraced us. I'm fortunate there are chiropractors fighting for our profession. I'm fortunate our company is strong enough to give back to the profession. I'm fortunate our company is smart enough not to take our situation for granted. I'm fortunate we have trusted, loyal employees. In a world filled with so much turmoil and pain, it is important that we not take our good fortune for granted.

Approximately five years ago, our business reached a position whereby we were able to start giving back to the profession that has given so much to us.

When we make decisions, we take many things into account. Is this good for the company? Is this good for our profession? Is this good for our community? Almost always, if something is good for our profession and community, it is good for our company.

Your decision to participate in the Campaign for Chiropractic is good, good and good. Every aspect of your life will be enriched. If we are successful at bringing more patients to your practice, your community, practice and profession will thrive. The domino effect is inevitable.

We need to stay focused on the important issues of health, family and the opportunities to make a comfortable life for ourselves. We need to remember how lucky we all are, and we need to always be participants for progress and never be spectators.

If the founders of the profession had not pressed on, your patients would not be recipients of your natural care and you would never be a chiropractor. If it were not for those before us, our society would never be on the cusp of embracing health, wellness and preventative health as we are now. We would still be in the mode of fixing problems after they happen. We all know that social health is changing, and it is because of those in our profession who fought the fight and did not stand by and let political and medical bodies bully the profession around.

As opposed to some in our profession, I embrace some of the division that goes on in the profession. The different positions force opposing groups to challenge the status quo, and we all know that only good comes from challenges.

I do, however, believe in the call for unity for a defined purpose, if it is the best way to achieve an agreeable goal by all groups within the profession. When Kent Greenawalt made us aware of his vision and why, we jumped at the chance to be involved - to help make a difference. A call for unity to educate the public on the benefits of chiropractic care so more people can be patients - less pills, less cutting. An action and program designed to take chiropractic to the next level - more people educated about chiropractic and more people cared for naturally. If you believe as we do, now is the time to unify to "talk to the people."

Things happen for a reason, and timing is everything. If the Campaign for Chiropractic had been attempted five years ago, it would not have worked (prior efforts have failed). Back then, the public was still satisfied with the health care structure.

Never before has the public been more vested in their own health. They challenge their current doctors and take the time to educate themselves; the information age is allowing this to happen. You now have patients saying no to pills and to the knife. They want a better way and chiropractic is a solution.

It is time to get involved and give back. We need an ongoing "war chest" of funds to drive ongoing communications to the public, to make them aware of chiropractic values and benefits. For numerous reasons, less than 10 percent of the public uses chiropractic. That is a shame and must change.

The facts are, whether we like it or not, chiropractic is not perceived (by 90 percent or so of the population) as legitimate, viable health care. Recently, a half-hour sitcom played out the following skit: "If you can't be an MD, you become a dentist; if you can't be a dentist, you become a veterinarian; if you can't be a veterinarian, you become a chiropractor; if you can't be a chiropractor, you become a massage therapist; and if you can't be a massage therapist, you become a..."

This type of negative PR must stop and we must use our unity and resources to stop it. Current research suggests that the general public does not trust chiropractors.

The only way to make a meaningful change is a constant, consistent message. I believe with all my heart that the answer to change is a constant message. It must be done and it takes money.

Founders of the profession went to jail and faced ongoing forces, but they pressed on so patients could be treated because they believed with conviction. We are getting off easy. We do not need to be prosecuted to practice, but we do need to keep moving forward; otherwise, political and association groups will force us back into the closet.

We need to raise 40 million dollars over five years, which should be a breeze. My goal is to raise $20 million from manufacturers and suppliers - all those that make a living in the profession. Kent's goal is to raise $20 million from you, the doctors.

We need to unite to build our profession, to treat more patients, and to help our society be healthy, naturally. We owe it to our current patients, future patients, our founders and ourselves.

Tomorrow morning, while getting ready to go to work, look in the mirror: Are you a participant or a spectator? Are you truly grateful?

Make a commitment of $100 a month, charged to your credit card, in return for your good fortune; in respect and gratitude to our founders; and to thank your first patients who helped you get started.

It's a no-brainer.

Perry Isenberg
Margate, Florida

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