My Remembrance of Donald D. Harrison PhD, MSE, DC
It with great sadness that I write this today. My mentor and friend, Dr. Don Harrison died last week. He was a pioneer in the fields of chiropractic and mathematics and will be greatly missed by myself and this profession. He taught our profession so many things over his lifetime, was a great clinician, and was the spearhead of research validating over 100 years of chiropractic care.
Without Dr. Don, I would not know that a normal spine exists. I would not know a normal spine can be measured and quantified. Without Dr. Don I would not know how to properly take and analyze a patient’s x-rays. I wouldn’t know that I could, with science backing me, tell a patient, “This is where your spine is and this is where it should be.” Without him, I would not have practice guidelines validating what I do every day.
Without Don I wouldn’t know that you can change a spine from abnormal to normal. I wouldn’t have the tools to help change a person suffering from numerous health conditions to a healthier state overall by correcting their spine. Every one of the thousands of patients I have helped over the years owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Don for giving me these tools.
Without Dr. Don I wouldn’t know the consequences of leaving a person with abnormal posture. I wouldn’t know the detrimental effects that abnormal posture has on the nervous system and on every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. I didn’t learn these things in school, Dr. Harrison taught these things to me.
Without Dr. Don, I wouldn’t know that leaving a person with abnormal posture and an abnormal spine will lead to future degeneration and worsening of disease. Dr. Don changed everything about the way we look at the human spine and posture and thus the brain and nervous system. And he did it with mathematics, the language of the universe. With his writings and the amazing illustrations done by his wife, Dr. Sang Harrison, our understanding of what normal is and how to correct abnormal spines advanced like never before.
Don was a close personal friend too. He gave me many heartfelt laughs over the years with his brash humor and his ability to tell it like it is. He taught me how to be fearless in the face of adversity and he taught me to never give up when you know that what you’re driving toward is unique, special, and right. Don’s honesty and genuine character made him unique and his stories never failed to amaze.
Don was one of the most generous people I know. He was always willing to give what he had to those who had less than him, and he was relentless in his pursuit of the truth. Dr. Don gave his life to my profession and without him, I would not be a Doctor of Chiropractic today. Don furthered our profession so greatly and I am comforted only by the fact that his work has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people all around the world. Thank you Dr. Don, you will be missed.
Dr. Jason W. Haas