Love and the Normal Spinal Model
Don and Sang were always yelling at each other. They loved each other so much and were completely dependent each other to maintain the CBP Non-profit load they too care of, but they did like to yell. Not in a mean way, just loud. When Don died, the house was very quiet. I miss him and looking back, I know it was just how they communicated. Back then, Sandy and I had just arrived from Elko and we really didn’t know what they were going to have us do in the time that we were there. When we got there it was so cold, but not near as cold as the upcoming winter. Don’s herd of deer piled around the house and the piles of grain Don would give them to keep them from dying in the brutal Wyoming winters. I helped finish the bathroom downstairs and created a sound proof box for a noisy pump next to the “nerve center” of CBP, Sang’s basement office. But my work there went from physical to cerebral very quickly.
It was right to work, right away. I was told by Don that I was to start writing the missing parts to several clinical studies and research that was sitting around and piling up. Don did not like to see projects go unfinished. He was an incredibly steadfast worker and he would start early in the morning at the computer writing paragraph after paragraph and reference list after reference list to satisfy the demands of the most prestigious journals in the world. He would usually keep working until dinner at 6 and then often go back to it until 9 at night. Don would sit in his room on the south side of the house and the blasting Wyoming sun would pour into the window and light up the room. He would print tables and charts from the various other contributing authors and would sit and stare at these single pieces of paper for incredibly long periods of time.
When he was done analyzing the charts, graphs and tables and scripts that were being sent to him he would come into the kitchen. The open format of the house had the table just off the kitchen (where I worked) and he would get another cup of Coffee or grab something to snack on from the fridge. He would feed Spot a few pieces of bologna and ask if I wanted to see what he was working on. Most of the time I was eager to listen and learn from what I knew was education material way beyond my understanding. Some of the time the things that Don would try to explain to me just made me feel so ignorant, I didn’t even comprehend what I didn’t understand and I was essentially left speechless.
But Don was a patient teacher. He would take the time to show me the scatter plots and re-enforce the meaning of the values and tell me if that particular table or chart fit into a larger matrix and he would try to explain the mechanics of the topic, the various linear algebra concepts that he knew I could only understand as a doctor, but not as a mathematician. Don was not afraid to laugh at my stupid questions, but he would always know that the questions I asked him were sincere. He would walk into his office and pull out a book or two and turn to where my questions would be answered.
Don would yell down the stairs that my gorgeous future wife Sandy had forgotten to refill the coffee pot and she needed to come make a new pot. Sang would come up early in the afternoon and start making the vegetables and meat that she would later have us combine with the constantly full rice maker. She loved the spicy Jalapeno and the occasional Asian peppers that would come through Evanston, so it always smelled good. She would spend the whole time prepping the food teaching Sandy and I how to market, micro-reporting to the patient,s and the general state of compliance and political shenanigans in the profession.
Many of the days were spent preparing the packages for Spine and the other journals. This required multiple color copies of any table, figure, and multiple copies of the text, references and information on the contributing authors. All of the papers to be scrutinized by the hardest reviewers in the world needed to be perfect if there was even a remote chance that the paper would be accepted for further review.
I remember hours and hours that Don and I would pour over the papers, editing the biomechanics book, workin on the cervical rehab book and later the lumbar rehab book. Don was working on the studies to silence the generally ridiculous complaints that those who did not understand CBP® fully would make. But in reality, he was publishing and working so hard to add credibility to what he saw was the most elegant and effective way to improve quality of life through better spinal biomechanics. Don attempted to reeducate the entire profession of chiropractic and the community of spine and spinal disorders and rehabilitation with the understanding of the normal spinal model and the importance of normalizing abnormal postural biomechanics.
This concept of a normal spinal model using finite element mathematical concepts and the fundaments of linear algebra was an undertaking that the profession of chiropractic had never seen before Don Harrison. Don took his understanding of mathematical stresses and strains and the effects of those strains on tissues and created a model that was explainable, repeatable and reliable in understanding loads on the human spine; and what improvement of those loads through specific forms of rehabilitation did for health.
Don was a revolutionary and his passion, like that of most fiery revolutionaries, created tensions with those in the profession. These tensions usually originated from those that felt that Don was now telling other doctors that what they had been doing for years or decades was wrong, inadequate, or foolish.
Objective viewpoints are often met by the strongest opposition when emotions are high. Like many healing professions, when the application of one’s treatment leads to improvement in the subjective nature of the patient’s conditions, ego and arrogance can overtake rational thought. But it’s never too late to put those emotional biases away and learn what can be monumental to understanding what to do for suffering patients.
Many chiropractors didn’t understand that Don was not looking at these topics of spinal analysis and treatment from the perspective of just a tremendously successful practicing chiropractic physician, but also from his deep and credentialed understanding of mechanics, a most fundamental branch of all of the sciences. Those in the profession that were open minded and understood the importance of science to justify philosophy generally embraced Don. Those that were of the more esoteric, vitalistic, or experimental portions of the profession seemed to rebel strongly against Don, for his “mechanistic” viewpoints. However, Don taught me quite simply that Philosophy, or the love of knowledge came from the scrutiny of nature, or essentially, science. The “philosophical” chiropractors didn’t understand that Don was giving the philosophy of chiropractic a firm foundation in scientific scrutiny of the spine! Don was validating the philosophy!
What people fail to realize is that Don scrutinized EVERY aspect of every problem he was faced with. If he had been given a process, he would take it apart and see what the likelyhood of that process being repeatable, reliable, valid and applicable. The development of the Mirror Image™ Adjustments, Traction, and Exercise were the result of Don scrutinizing all of the possible interactions that a person could have with a chiropractor, physical therapist, DO, MD, or any of the other “specialists” that even attempt to address abnormal spines. Don was looking at the spine from such a deep perspective that through his work, he was able to establish a much better position for the profession in the professions of the spinal surgeons, diagnosticians, and researchers. Don added his credibility to a profession that, before him, was floundering in the scientific scrutiny that is necessary for any Licensed profession that treats spinal disorders and health in general.
Don and the CBP® protocols spread to many clinics around the country, is now taught as core curriculum in chiropractic colleges and the research and evidence that Don presented has been used in numerous trials and court hearing when advancing the understanding of spine trauma and disorders has been of question.
Fortunately, Don was wise enough to instill in his son the importance of the work that he had dedicated his life to, the knowledge he had acquired and the skill at patiently teaching the material to those in this profession. He gave Deed Harrison the tools and the know-how to be a great clinician and treating physician as well as a phenomenally credentialed and researched leader of the profession. There are many chiropractors that learned CBP® from Don and may have had the opportunity to meet Deed once twice, or maybe attended seminars in the last ten years, but have not kept up with the material.
For those of you that feel that you know CBP®, I want you to know that there are many, many new pieces to the puzzle that Deed has placed. He has designed a scalable model of business understanding, clinical application, patient and doctor education tools, and a treatment protocol that is second to none. Deed has taken the love and understanding of the treatment toward the normal spinal model and created clinical procedures and patient tools that make improving spinal disorders a repeatable, reliable skill that passionate chiropractors can take advantage of.
If you have a desire to truly help more patients, if you want certainty in the application of your trade, and if you are ready to be the distinguished member of your local area with proven, effective, safe and reproducible results, please see what Dr. Deed has created in the CBP® Doctor Institute. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.