As Brazil settles down after a powerful showing at the World Cup games in Germany, the country gears up for another major event - the first large-scale international chiropractic congress in the nation's history (I Congresso Brasileiro de Quiropraxia).It is estimated that there will be more than 500 participants from all over this immense country, the Americas and beyond in Curitiba, Brazil for the Sept. 12-16, 2006 event. Prominent international speakers will be presenting, including David Chapman-Smith, secretary-general of the World Federation of Chiropractic; Ian McLean, DC, DACBR; Thomas Hyde, DC; Jeanne Ohm, DC; and others. This promises to be an informative and, as only Brazilians know how, an extremely festive event. (By the way, Curitiba is well-situated for a side trip to the breathtaking and mammoth Iguazu waterfalls.)
In the United States, it is easy to take an event of this size for granted. While the chiropractic profession has been growing in the U.S. for more than 110 years, in Brazil, this remarkable growth has occurred in only 15 years. Dr. Sira Borges graduated from Palmer College in 1990 and returned to her native Brazil. At that time, she was able to locate only three Brazilians practicing chiropractic. A Brazilian Chiropractic Association was formed in 1992 and she became the first president. From those meager beginnings, the profession has exploded to include more than 840 members (either practicing or enrolled in a chiropractic college). During this brief 15-year period, two Brazilian universities have created chiropractic programs with significant support from U.S.-accredited chiropractic colleges (current combined enrollment: 700).
There is absolutely no precedent internationally for such rapid growth in a country with virtually no prior chiropractic history. Equally laudable is the concerted effort by Brazilian chiropractors to set the highest standards for chiropractic, both professionally and academically. One of the most exciting recent developments is the Ministry of Education's approval (a long and arduous process) of both academic programs. This approval now provides powerful legitimacy to this new profession and will help in its struggle for governmental recognition. Current federal legislative efforts are underway to gain full professional, licensed status. Many battles have yet to be won, and the physical therapy profession is currently fighting hard to make spinal adjusting their exclusive domain.
Dr. Ricardo Fujikawa, president of the Brazilian Chiropractic Association and a Palmer graduate, invites the international community to be a part of this historic event. Anyone interested in information regarding the first Brazilian Chiropractic Congress (I Congresso Brasileiro de Quiropraxia) may inquire at: www.quiropraxia.org.br/congresso (this site is in Portuguese only). Inquiries in English can be made to the travel agency coordinating accommodations: , or to Dr. Sira Borges: .
Submitted by Brent McNabb, DC, at the request of Dr. Siri Borgas and David Chapman-Smith.