Profession Responds to Koren Article and E-Mail Blasts
On Jan. 19, 2009, Dynamic Chiropractic posted an article titled "Chiropractic Profession in Europe Asks DCs to 'Say No to Dr. Koren'"1 on the Web at www.dynamicchiropractic.com. (This article also appeared subsequently in the Feb. 12 print edition of DC.) The article presented an open letter to the chiropractic profession from the European Chiropractors' Union (ECU) asking the profession to "Say no to Dr. Koren." This open letter was supported by similar open letters from 11 national chiropractic associations throughout Europe and followed on the heels of a sanction of Dr. Koren by the World Federation of Chiropractic a year earlier.2 In addition, the article included an e-mail interview with Dr. Koren (he was given four days to respond to the comments made by the ECU prior to our press deadline).
On Jan. 22 and again on Jan. 29, Dr. Koren sent out the same mass e-mail presenting his interview and a copy of a previous article in DC. Dr. Koren also asked the recipients to forward the e-mail to others. Unfortunately, the two e-mails Dr. Koren sent did not include a link to the article containing his interview, which caused a certain amount of misunderstanding and confusion.
DC received more than 20 responses to the article and Dr. Koren's subsequent e-mails, many in support of Dr. Koren and KST. A number of doctors praised the KST technique highly. Other responses were less supportive. The following are excerpts from those respondents who spoke to issues raised by the ECU's open letter and Dr. Koren's interview.3
- "Chiropractic Profession in Europe Asks DCs to 'Say No to Dr. Koren.'" Dynamic Chiropractic, Feb. 12, 2009. www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=53630.
- "In Defense of Legitimate Chiropractic." Dynamic Chiropractic, Aug. 13, 2007. www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=52290.
- Complete copies of Dr. Koren's aforementioned reply e-mails are available at www.dynamicchiropractic.com/EuropeSaysNotoKoren.
KST and Other Teachings Strengthen the Profession
I have been in practice as a chiropractor since 1978. During that time I have taken a multitude of seminars. Among those developed by chiropractors are the following: Applied Kinesiology (Dr. Goodheart), Neuro-Emotional Technique (Dr. Walker), B.E.S.T. (Dr. Morter), Contact Reflex Analysis (Dr. Versendaal), Nutritional Response Testing (Dr. Ulan), Body Talk (Dr. Veltheim) and Kaufman Technique (Dr. Kaufman).
All of these systems were developed by chiropractors, then taught not only to chiropractors, but [also] to licensed/certified practitioners and therapists of various backgrounds. Many of them are also taught to lay people. These teachings do not weaken the chiropractic profession; they strengthen it by expanding exposure to chiropractic concepts in broad application.
It was my privilege to be in Dr. Koren's first KST class. I have been using it successfully ever since. It is vitalistic in every sense of the word and, in my view, is completely compatible with [the] original concepts of chiropractic espoused by D.D. Palmer.
Terry L. Burk, DC
KST Is "Well Within My Scope of Practice"
I am a massage therapist who just completed a Ted Koren Specific [Technique] seminar. Dr. Koren is not the first doctor I have taken a seminar from. I learned CranioSacral work from John Upledger, DO, I learned Biokinetics Health from [Larry] Newsum, DC, and I learned the Myokinesthetic System from [Michael] Uriarte, DC. Each doctor taught a different way of communicating with the body and learning from it how best to proceed in order to help it heal itself.
The techniques I will take away from KST are well within my scope of practice and will only make me a better massage therapist. I suggest the problem is with licensing and people who falsely claim to be chiropractors, not with non-chiropractors who take this work back to their own professions and use it within their scope of licensure.
Kristine Jelstrup, LMT
"Any True Academician Values the Free Exchange of Knowledge"
Knowledge is knowledge. Any true academician values the free exchange of knowledge and professional debate and critique. The people behind the attempted character assassination of Dr. Koren have disgraced themselves in the eyes of truly educated people.
Dr. Koren developed a protocol. Dr. Koren is one of this profession's better read doctors in the debate of vitalism versus mechanism. Regardless of one's opinion on the issue, one cannot accuse Dr. Koren of ignorance of the issue. He considers his protocols to draw heavily on vitalistic principles, and he offers that knowledge in the public arena. If his ideas do not appeal to fellow professionals and other interested parties, it will fail. His work has drawn mostly, but not exclusively, doctors of chiropractic.
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. It will stand or fall on its merits on the battleground of professional academic critique.
David L. Williamson, PhD(c), DC
KST Training Has Proven Invaluable
I am a CranioSacral therapist who has taken the KST training and just completed a refresher last week. The material presented has proven invaluable! I still refer my clients to chiropractors when needed. But to say that KST should not be taught to chiropractors is dead wrong!
Jeannine Kiger, CST
Perhaps We Should Call It "Korenpractic"
In essence, it seems both Dynamic Chiropractic and the WFC are accusing Tedd Koren of unprofessionalism. Let's call a spade a spade: Tedd Koren is guilty of unprofessionalism and I support him for it. I doubt he has done this intentionally; otherwise why would he be upset by your editorial. I believe he is teaching a legitimate chiropractic method to everyone and this is great because [it] is exactly why chiropractic came into existence: to help people heal.
Just because he is teaching it to non-chiropractors will not allow them to hang up a "Chiropractor" shingle. If a non-chiropractor happens to learn the technique, they will have to call it something else; maybe Korenpractic or something like that.
John Wynhausen, DC
What's Wrong With Helping People Become Subluxation-Free?
I am not going to debate the validity of the arguments involving KST seminars. I just wanted to add that any seminar that allows DC program students to attend could very well be teaching non-chiropractors, as these students may never graduate; and should they graduate, may never pass their board examinations. Many seminars also allow their non-DC staff to attend. It is highly doubtful that all technique seminars vet their attendees (or that your publication vets all seminar and product advertisers).
With only approximately 70,000 chiropractors worldwide, what would be so terrible if more of the over 6 billion inhabitants of this Earth could become subluxation-free? It seems to me that no matter how many KST seminars are given, chiropractors will still have a vast resource of potential patients and income.
Henry M. Rubinstein, DC, Esq.
North Miami Beach, Fla.
"If It's Everyone's, It's Not Chiropractic"
When the day comes that I can prescribe drugs and surgically butcher people (which I don't want to do, but I could put the extra income to good use), I will open chiropractic techniques to the rest of the world. Until then, if it's chiropractic, it's ours. If it's everyone's, it's not chiropractic. Why is that so complicated?
Gideon Orbach, DC
KST: Application for Other Professions
Now, as we know, there are core techniques that are taught at the various chiropractic colleges and at universities which provide chiropractic education. There are also elective techniques taught both inside and outside these institutions, to which students are encouraged to attend. The Koren Specific Technique should be one of them.
Much has been said about the presentation of this technique to members of other professions, but the fact is that it does have an application for other professions. Should we be so insular that we do not share our knowledge of a new health care procedure with other recognized health care practitioners?
R. Graham Hunt, AM, DC, MCSc, Dip. LS, FICC, FACC
Vice President, Chiropractic Association of Malaysia
Let Others Use KST as Their License Permits
In regards to Dr. Koren allowing lay people and other health professionals into his seminars, I feel there is a major shift in people's consciousness with their health care that has come to demand this type of openness. (I have been to other chiropractic seminars for over 25 years and gradually, more and more lay people and other professionals are attending.)
More and more people are realizing that they are responsible for their own health. They research and take nutritional supplements. They decide what over-the-counter and prescribed medicines to take or not to take for themselves and others. These are essentially lay people practicing medicine with no health care training whatsoever.
For other health professionals, if KST is applicable, let them use it as their license permits. In many states, chiropractors practice medical procedures as their license permits.
John E. Foley, DC
"Who Should Learn How to Use It?"
I am bewildered that [Dr. Koren] should be singled out and attacked for teaching KST to non-DCs when there are other technique founders who do the same. KST is actually not a chiropractic technique, but rather a way of accessing information from the mind/body.
It begs the question: "Who should learn how to use it?" There are many techniques that require sophisticated analysis and adjusting procedures, so it would be inappropriate to teach these to people who don't have the training, knowledge, skills or equipment to perform the techniques safely and properly. This is not the case with KST (keep in mind that it is not even a chiropractic technique, as I mentioned above).
The possibility of danger from chiropractic adjustments is very small (as evidenced by our low malpractice insurance premiums compared to the medical profession). The possibility of danger from KST adjustments is miniscule even compared to "traditional" chiropractic techniques. The possibility of good from KST (in my opinion) far exceeds that for many/most protocols.
Leigh Charley, DC
Nothing More Than a Political Turf Battle?
This "controversy" about Tedd Koren presenting a seminar in Germany looks to me like a political turf battle, not unlike the one fought a couple years back between Life University and the CCE, which tried to pull Life's accreditation but ultimately lost the subsequent lawsuit. I think it is as simple as this: In Germany, there exists a HP license and an MD license - that's it. There is no DC license, and any DC (a degree designation) who wants to be allowed to touch someone legally in Germany must have an HP or MD license. I doubt the MDs raise a fuss if a non-MD wants to attend a seminar on neurology; in fact, I receive invitations to such symposiums from time to time.
I've taken Tedd's seminar on KST, and I'd have to say it's not only one of the best run I've ever been to, but the information is well-presented, well-documented and has amazing application in practice. I have no problem with Tedd presenting a seminar in Germany at which HPs and MDs can attend. Don't we have more important battles to fight? Circling the wagons is fine, but please don't shoot inward.
Daniel R. Hilsman, DC