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Dynamic Chiropractic – July 1, 2010, Vol. 28, Issue 14

Media Exposure for Chiropractic on Memorial Day

By Peter W. Crownfield, Executive Editor

Retired Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead, spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, was the perfect candidate to spread the chiropractic message this past Memorial Day, and she did just that on both television and radio, appearing on Fox & Friends and The Jim Bohannon Show.

In the morning, Fox & Friends featured Gen. Halstead in a short TV segment highlighting ways to remember our men and women in uniform. Halstead emphasized that one way to honor those who have served or are currently serving is through our "programs and politics." She then said this about chiropractic:

"I've been very blessed with the chiropractic foundation to get care that has helped me work through some of my fibromyalgia ... chiropractic helps our soldiers maintain - sustain - their whole physical statures ... wearing heavy gear, it's a whole new war out there.

On the Jim Bohannon Show, which aired that evening, Halstead and Bohannon had an extensive discussion of the U.S. military and her experiences, including her personal battle with fibromyalgia, which Halstead said ended her military career prematurely (and led her to chiropractic care):

"I retired because I was diagnosed with chronic fibromyalgia about four years previous to my retirement ... I was on a plethora of drugs and trying to work through it. When I came back from Iraq, I thought perhaps being out of the combat zone, I could have a little more normal life and kind of get it under control, [but] it didn't seem to work. So I finally one night decided that it was time for me to retire ... and work on getting well. And part of that getting well was a strong introduction to the chiropractic community, which I think would have really helped me if I could have gotten that while I was on active duty."

Halstead explained that fibromyalgia is a musculoskeletal disease characterized by chronic pain, and Bohannon mentioned that a recent Johns Hopkins study found that musculoskeletal and connective-tissue injuries, not combat injuries, are the top reasons for medical evacuations from Iraq. Halstead then shared the following:

"Think about the conditions that our soldiers are living and performing in. I just recently visited the Connecticut VA center, and I was speaking to a young sergeant who had redeployed from Iraq ... He spent two years getting physical therapy for a herniated disc, and finally he was able to get to a chiropractor within the VA system, and I happened to be at the VA center the day he was being helped [by the chiropractor], and he said, 'Ma'am, think about it; if when we came in off our patrols - if we could see a chiropractor down range, can you imagine how much better we would feel on a daily basis?'"

Gen. Halstead also mentioned that chiropractic has been approved as a military benefit for 10 years, but isn't fully resourced yet; and then made perhaps her most powerful observation regarding the value of chiropractic care, particularly as it relates to our nation's armed forces:

"I happen to be a firm believer ... that we could exponentially improve our readiness if we sustained and maintained the human piece of equipment the way we [do] our vehicles and everything else. And a part of that, I really believe, would be chiropractic care that keeps you from breaking [rather than fixing things after they've been damaged]."

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