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Dynamic Chiropractic – March 12, 2009, Vol. 27, Issue 06

Ours or Everyone's?

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher

The teaching of the Koren Specific Technique (KST) to non-chiropractors in Germany,1 the resultant sanction from the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) in 2007,2 and last year's Open Letter from the European Chiropractors Union (and 11 other national chiropractic associations) asking DCs to "Say No to Dr. Koren"3,4 have stirred up an underlying issue that may need to be revisited by our profession.

There is actually no debate regarding Dr. Koren teaching his KST to non-chiropractors. This was plainly stated by him in a recent interview: "For this reason, any licensed health practitioners are welcome at my seminars. DCs, MDs, osteopaths, dentists, nutritionists, optometrists, naturopaths, CranioSacral therapists, orthopedic surgeons, herbalists, specialists in Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and psychologists have attended my seminars both in the U.S. and Europe."3 However, there is apparently some disagreement as to whether KST is "chiropractic," as evidenced by some of the correspondence in the "We Get Letters" section of this issue. While some suggest that "KST is actually not a chiropractic technique," others clearly believe that it is.

The KST Web site presents what should be the final word on the subject: "What is Koren Specific Technique? The procedure is made up of three steps (the 3 Cs)" The "3 Cs" are: challenging, checking and correcting. Correction is made with the patient standing giving them an adjustment using an adjusting instrument.5 Assuming that KST is a chiropractic technique, several of the readers who responded to Dr. Koren's flurry of e-mails made statements suggesting that any health care practitioner should be allowed to learn and practice "chiropractic" techniques:

  • "Should we be so insular that we do not share our knowledge of a new health care procedure with other recognized health care practitioners?"
  • "The fact that he has allowed interested people other than chiropractors (including a few lay persons) to be exposed to his work should not bother us in the least."

These comments seems surprising, given the decades-long battle to protect chiropractic from those professions that would attempt to include some form of manipulation in their scope of practice. There have been no shortage of battles on both a national and state level against physical therapists and other professions,6,7,8 and some of these battles continue to this day. But perhaps the world is changing. Perhaps our profession is now more comfortable with physical therapists, massage therapists, CranioSacral therapists and others learning about and offering manipulation to their patients.

As a chiropractic patient, I would be concerned about a massage therapist or even a physical therapist trying to adjust my neck, my back or any part of me. If I were a doctor of chiropractic, I would be just as concerned about having massage therapists, physical therapists and other non-chiropractic health care professionals advertising in my community that they can provide KST or "whatever" using their hands or an adjusting instrument. (Please note that two of the comments in our We Get Letters section are from a massage therapist in Florida and a CranioSacral therapist in Pennsylvania, both of whom attended a KST seminar in the United States.)

But in the end, it really doesn't matter what I think or, for that matter, what Dr. Koren thinks. What really matters is what you think. Do you want our national and state associations, along with our state licensing boards, to continue to protect spinal manipulation/adjusting as belonging to the chiropractic profession (ours)? Or are you happy to let other health care professionals learn and provide their own version of manipulation (everyone's)?

This is your chance to be heard on the topic. Please go to and let us know what you think. We will publish the results of the poll on this topic, as well as a representative sample of the comments, in an upcoming issue. Your comments will assist our leaders as they consider how to respond to threats against our profession. Thank you in advance for taking the time to get involved.


  1. Koren 2007 Seminar
  2. "In Defense of Legitimate Chiropractic." Dynamic Chiropractic, Aug. 13, 2007.
  3. "Chiropractic Profession in Europe Asks DCs to 'Say No to Dr. Koren.'" Dynamic Chiropractic, Feb. 12, 2009.
  4. Complete letters from the ECU and the 11 chiropractic associations are available at
  5. "Koren Specific Technique."
  6. "Texas AG Restricts Acupuncturists From 'Manipulation.'" Dynamic Chiropractic, July 2, 2001.
  7. "APTA Claims Rights to Correct a Subluxation." Dynamic Chiropractic, June 18, 2001.
  8. "Physical Therapists Declare War on Chiropractic." Dynamic Chiropractic, June 18, 2001.

Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.

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