Life Chiropractic College West’s annual conference, The WAVE, promised world-class speakers, valuable learning opportunities and chances to network with friends and colleagues. More than 1,000 conference-goers ventured from various countries to the Oakland Marriott City Center to enjoy the festivities, which lasted four days and were packed with different events.
The event kicked off with the Alumni Grand Reunion on Thursday, Aug. 15. Alumni and friends came together to celebrate their experiences and the school that brought them together, and members of the classes of 1984, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 were honored in a special ceremony.
The theme of The WAVE, “The Science, Philosophy and Art of Chiropractic: The Salutogenic Model,” provided the framework for speakers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as they discussed research findings and the latest news from within the profession.
The proceedings were kicked off Friday by longtime Life West faculty member Dan Murphy, DC, whose scientific messages were accompanied by an analysis of the challenges facing current students and future chiropractors.
“You’re dealing with things DD Palmer and BJ Palmer never had to deal with,” he said, referring to challenges in the field such as pharmaceuticals and more prominent conditions and diseases that didn’t exist or weren’t understood in the same way when the founders of chiropractic were practicing. “It makes for an even greater need for chiropractic.”
Later that morning, inspirational speaker Colin O’Brady chronicled his journey from a traumatic experience in Thailand to a career that has included four world records. Most recently, O’Brady became the first person to complete a solo journey across Antarctica, and he credits chiropractic care for keeping him in top physical condition. O’Brady’s presentation included reflections on moments of self-doubt during his unprecedented trip across the icy continent. These were accompanied by videos he took, some of which featured him questioning his capabilities and drive to complete the mission. However, his message to those who saw his speech was to maintain a positive self-image and never give up.
“You are strong,” he said in closing. “You are capable. You are possible.”
The final portion of Friday’s program featured a presentation from Life West President Ron Oberstein, DC, and a keynote speech by Heidi Haavik, DC, PhD. Dr. Oberstein addressed the issues facing chiropractors and the chiropractic profession, specifically the attacks on the industry in countries such as Canada and Australia. He echoed the calls of previous speakers to better educate the public on the benefits of chiropractic care.
“We as a group, as a vitalistic community, have to come to grips with what we’re dealing with and stand above it,” Dr. Oberstein said. “We need to let people know what chiropractic is and how it works, and that the body functions better without interference.”
Meanwhile, in addition to presenting her ground-breaking chiropractic research, Dr. Haavik imparted words of wisdom to the students in attendance. Specifically, she referenced the ability chiropractors have to inspire those receiving care.
“What you tell your patients genuinely matters,” she said. “If they believe you, it becomes part of their reality. Hope is an incredible gift you can give your patient.”
Saturday’s slate also featured an all-star lineup of speakers and presenters. World-renowned trauma specialist Scott Rosa, DC, was one of the first to take the stage. Prior to his presentation, which focused on combating the effects of brain injuries through chiropractic, he stressed the need for new chiropractors as the profession deals with conditions that require specialized care.
“There has never been a better time to be a chiropractor, in my opinion,” Dr. Rosa said. “The things I’m about to show you are things only a chiropractor can do.”
Later that day, several speakers urged new and aspiring chiropractors to try new things outside of their comfort zones.
“Be honest with yourself,” urged Martin Rosen, DC, one of the country’s foremost authorities on pediatric chiropractic. “You need to take a leap of faith and get out of your comfort zone to experience something new.”
“We need to take that leap of faith,” added Peter Kevorkian, DC, who spoke twice during the conference. “We get locked into patterns of doing the same things. The thing we really need to do is jump. We might not be successful, but the parachute is designed to open. When you follow your heart, the parachute will always open.”
Saturday’s keynote speaker was Ted Carrick, DC, who took his audience through several cases he dealt with at the Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies, which offers clinical neuroscience education. Dr. Carrick gave guidance on how to provide care for patients who have experienced significant trauma.
“Sometimes we get so balled up into what we want to see that we don’t see the things we should see,” he said. “The consequences of stimulating brains are different because all brains are different.”
Other speakers at The WAVE included chiropractors Lona Cook, DC, and Monika Buerger, DC. Life West faculty members Ankur Tayal, DC, and Jeff Scholten, DC, also graced the stage, as did motivational speaker Ron Chhinzer and filmmaker and investigative medical journalist Del Bigtree.
In addition to the presentations, there were several other events on Saturday. An alumni luncheon was held during one of the breaks, and a special President’s Reception was held following Dr. Carrick’s presentation in the Marriott’s Skylounge, which provided panoramic views of the city of Oakland.
The Life West Institutional Advancement team also gave away a Clearlight Infrared sauna. The sauna was donated by Clearlight founder and 2000 Life West alumnus Raleigh Duncan, DC, who provided the college with two other saunas earlier this year (located in the gym) and a third that was won by student Kris Nguyen at the Life West Golf Classic this past May. The winner of the giveaway was Reuben Sendejas, DC, a 1996 Life West graduate.
Finally, Sunday’s schedule featured a five-hour X-ray seminar led by Jamie Motley, DC, DACBR, and Bryan Gatterman, DC, DACBR. Attendees earned CE hours while learning how to read and interpret radiographic images.
The WAVE would not have been possible without the support of faculty, staff and students, who worked registration booths, scanned badges and ensured those that went to the conference had an engaging experience.
“This was a team effort,” said Life West Vice President of Institutional Advancement Mark Zeigler, DC. “We couldn’t put on this signature event without the support of the Life West community. We are so proud of the work the community does for the school.”
While this year’s renewal is officially in the books, preparations are already underway for The WAVE 2020. Life West’s annual conference is scheduled for Aug. 21-23, and registration is available here. More details will be announced as the conference draws closer.