Dr. Tedd Koren is well-known in the profession as the developer of Koren Specific Technique (KST), which he teaches in various countries around the world.His decision to teach the technique to German non-chiropractors in June 2007 caught the attention of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). The organization ultimately sanctioned Dr. Koren after several requests to cancel his Berlin seminar.1
In 2008, Dr. Koren again scheduled a seminar to teach his KST in Berlin on Oct. 24-26. The current WFC president, Dr. Stathis Papadopoulos, wrote letters to Dr. Koren asking him to refrain from teaching the course. The WFC presented its "major concerns with your proposed seminar" in a letter dated Oct. 15, 2008:2
- It is being offered in partnership with the illegitimate Berlin School of Chiropractic which, as you know from complaints made when you gave a similar seminar in June 2007, has no qualified chiropractors on staff, is commercializing low-quality and unaccredited training in chiropractic, and is strenuously opposed by the European chiropractic profession. The Berlin School is able to operate because there is no law to regulate chiropractic education or practice in Germany.
- Your seminar is being offered to non chiropractors - lay practitioners or heilpraktikers, many of whom will go on to claim they are practicing chiropractic. Further, they will be free to teach chiropractic technique in seminars like yours. Past international experience suggests that some will do so, particularly given the large financial returns possible.
- Your seminar is clearly marketed as chiropractic - "professional, low-risk chiropractic from the USA."
- There is the suggestion that chiropractic and osteopathy are the same thing.
In its letter, the WFC went on to note: "The position of the World Federation of Chiropractic is that your current and proposed activities with respect to delivery of seminars in Germany and elsewhere in Europe represent serious professional misconduct. First, it is clearly against the public interest, encouraging persons without adequate chiropractic training to offer and seek to provide chiropractic services. Second, it is against the interests of the profession, undermining its reputation particularly in Germany, and its continued efforts to gain public confidence and legislative recognition throughout Europe."
While most of these issues were presented by the WFC in its 2007 correspondence, Dr. Koren's e-mail response to the WFC on Oct. 17, 2008, included statements to a "Mr. Schwarz," who is apparently a representative of the Berlin School of Chiropractic.3 It is likely that many in the chiropractic profession will find some of Dr. Koren's comments surprising:
- "KST is an analysis protocol not a chiropractic technique. Please remove anything that implies that I am teaching chiropractic.
- "Taking a KST seminar does not give a person the right to say they are chiropractors or to say they practice chiropractic.
- "As I have written numerous times KST is an analysis protocol similar to AK and may be applied to many different health care professions.
- "KST can even be used on oneself and can be used by lay people (as AK is taught to lay people, as demonstrated in the book Touch for Health, and BodyTalk is taught to lay people). Surely I am not the only chiropractor to teach methods for public or lay use."
But these statements seem confusing when compared to statements on his Web site (www.teddkorenseminars.com):
- "KST is a healthcare protocol that any provider can use to improve their results and expand their ability to help others.
- "KST grew out of my experience with two marvelous chiropractic techniques: Directional Non-Force Technique (DNFT) developed by Richard Van Rumpt, DC and Spinal Column Stressology developed by Lowell Ward, DC.
- "In addition to its chiropractic application, KST's more universal applications have permitted it to be used by healers of all kinds, even lay people to access information.
- "As a chiropractor, I initially saw KST as a way to improve chiropractic care. I realized that I had 'something' when doctors and patients would repeatedly say, 'That was the best adjustment I ever had in my life!'"
Assuming KST is "not a chiropractic technique" begs obvious questions. Does it still fit into the chiropractic scope of practice of all states? Should DCs be providing it to their patients, or is it a non-chiropractic technique DCs should be teaching to patients to perform on themselves?
Since KST appears to require the purchase of adjusting equipment and assuming all KST seminar "graduates" can purchase the equipment, are seminars to lay people designed to sell this equipment to a larger market? And since the use of KST by lay people assumes a diagnosis/analysis and use of the equipment, doesn't this essentially eliminate the need for DCs in the minds of lay persons who can use KST on family, friends and co-workers? What's to keep lay "graduates"from teaching KST to other lay people?
There is clearly a line between what a DC is qualified to do and what lay consumers should do for themselves. DCs will have to wonder if KST hasn't crossed that line at the expense of both the profession and the patient.
- "In Defense of Legitimate Chiropractic." DC, Aug. 13, 2007. www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=52290
- Letter to Dr. Koren from the WFC, Oct. 15, 2008. www.dynamicchiropractic.com/koren
- E-mail to the WFC from Dr. Koren, Oct. 17, 2008. www.dynamicchiropractic.com/koren
- Response to Dr. Koren from the WFC, Oct. 21, 2008. www.dynamicchiropractic.com/koren