This previous week, I had the pleasure of attending a conference
in our nation's capital. The American Chiropractic Association
(ACA) has their national conference in Washington, D.C., every
year. It is known as the National Chiropractic Leadership
Conference, or NCLC for short. However, this year there were three
conferences in one!
The World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) had their biennial
conference and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACA) had
their Research Agenda Convention at the conference as well. The
three associations combined for what was known as DC 2017 - Impact
Spinal Health. As members of the Student American Chiropractic
Association (SACA), my colleagues and I came to lobby for the
American Chiropractic Association. We presented legislation to the
House of Representatives as well as the Senate in order to advance
the profession and advocate general health care bills that will
also affect chiropractic. It is a great opportunity to network,
learn, and advocate.
The first day in D.C., I lobbied on Capitol Hill with my
colleagues from Florida as well as students from New York
Chiropractic College (NYCC) part of Pinellas County where NUHS is
located so our Dr. Joseph Stiefel, our president, joined us for the
meeting. We discussed the issue briefs as well as the political
climate in D.C. regarding health care and the upcoming proposed
Congressman Charlie Crist was cordial and empathetic. He told us
he would co-sponsor a couple of the bills we presented which made
the meeting a huge success. I was delighted to meet him and even
happier he decided to co-sponsor our bills. After meeting with him
we met with a staff member of Congressman Vern Buchanan and then
with Congressman Gus Bilirakis. I went on to lobby with students
from NYCC with representatives from my home state of New Jersey. I
ended up running from building to building to make the meetings
because I wanted to meet with as many representatives as possible.
It ended up working out because one of the groups didn't have
anyone from New Jersey and it really helps when you have a state
resident in the room.
Following the lobbying, we had a reception with beer, wine and
appetizers. We then went to the ballroom to listen to speeches from
the keynote speakers. The keynote speakers were innovators in the
chiropractic profession who came from all around the world to
present their work. There were other speakers such as U.S.
lawmakers and people who were helped by chiropractic telling their
story and why it was important for chiropractic to continue to grow
in health care.
It was an amazing experience to listen to one of the top
researchers in biomechanical medicine from Denmark as well as a
researcher in neurophysiology from New Zeeland. Those two were the
most profound talks of the conference but listening to U.S.
legislators and the aides to the surgeon general talk about
chiropractic in the solution to the opioid epidemic was
awe-inspiring. The conference was a life changing experience filled
with cutting edge information and passionate speeches about the
past, present, and future of the chiropractic profession. The
conference not only inspired me but also helped educate me on
different mechanisms I was unaware of.
I also enjoyed the city of Washington, D.C. while at the
conference. Dr. Guadagno and I woke up early the next day and went
for a 6-½ mile run from our hotel around the national mall and
back. The ACA Sports Chiropractor of the year not only treats elite
athletes, he stays healthy by living an active lifestyle. He is a
great example of who to be as a health care practitioner because he
practices what he preaches. It was great to be able to run through
the beautiful city of D.C. taking pictures at every site with one
of my professors and someone I have grown to admire.
Later that day we had the breakout classes - 10 classes offered
in each two-hour time slot. I chose to go to one that was given by
the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, which discussed marketing
and how to relay our profession's message to the public. I then
attended a class with Dr. Arland Fuhr, the founder of the Activator
technique and had an abbreviated activator seminar. Activator
Methods is the second most popular technique behind diversified
technique, which is hands on-manipulation. It was a really cool
class because Dr. Fuhr was taking people from the class, and I
needed an adjustment after my run. I was a bit skeptical of
Activator because it is instrument-assisted manipulation, but it
worked well. My tight low back was alleviated immediately after the
treatment. After the classes, we all went out for some food and
drinks before our flights back to Florida.
If you have any questions about student life at NUHS FL please
email me at ChristopherKotwicki@student.nuhs.edu
A lot happened this week both in and out of school. I was
introduced to a few more modalities this week in Physiological
Therapeutics. I also practiced an old technique from undergraduate.
The new modality that was introduced is called Interferential
Current also known as IFC. It is a form of electrical stimulation
and it is used to control pain and illicit muscle contractions. If
a patient has muscular atrophy, there are other electrical
stimulation techniques that are more beneficial but IFC could be
used as well.
In ambulatory trauma, Dr. Guadagno (ACA Sports
Chiropractor of the Year), reviewed ankle bracing with athletic
tape. As a former kinesiology major, ankle taping is nothing new
but it was good to refresh. We practiced brace taping, which could
be used prophylactically to prevent ankle sprains or it could be
used to immobilize an injury.
I am wrapping up my second wave of exams for the trimester but I
am also staying heavily involved in the community. This week was
the Kiwanis Club's Annual Firetruck Pull, as well as the Gulfport
Neighbors Beach Cleanup. This was the second firetruck pull I
participated in since coming to NUHS. Last year our team won first
place and we were looking to defend our title. We pulled the
firetruck in 23 seconds flat, beating the second place team by 0.6
seconds. It was a lot of fun and for a great cause.
I also participated in the monthly Gulfport Beach Cleanup. As
the president of the Chiro Games Club, I am responsible for
scheduling a community outreach project. Every trimester we do the
beach cleanup because I am passionate about the environment and
local wildlife. We cleaned up over 50 lbs. of trash. Littering can
kill animals and also can be detrimental to the local ecosystem. I
am happy be involved with the Gulfport neighbors because they work
with "Keep America Beautiful." It was a great way to give back but
also walk around the beautiful beaches of the area. After we
finished, we ate lunch at a local seafood restaurant with a
beautiful view then played some beach volleyball.
It was a great way to end the weekend, especially before we head
up to the cold weather of Washington, D.C. I will be going to D.C.
next week for the National Chiropractic Leadership Conference
(NCLC). If you have any questions please email me at ChristopherKotwicki@student.nuhs.edu
This past weekend, I attended a hands-on certification class for
Kinetic Treatment with Rehabilitation, or FAKTR for short. It
is pronounced "factor." The FAKTR technique has been developed by
some of the most influential sports doctors in the world including
Dr. Greg Doerr, Dr. Tom Hyde, Dr. Warren Hammer, and Dr. Mike
Schneider. All of the aforementioned doctors are brilliant and have
contributed a lot to the field. If you haven't heard of them
definitely check them out.
I had the pleasure and privilege of shadowing Dr. Greg Doerr
back in New Jersey thanks to a recommendation made by a professor
at NUHS. After witnessing his hands-on soft tissue treatment,
kinesiology taping, functional rehab exercises, and unique
application of Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation or
IASTM, I knew I had a lot to learn.
We were exposed to IASTM and kinesiology taping in soft tissue
class during 5th trimester, but I wanted to take it a step
further. Instead of taking Graston, I chose FAKTR because it is the
evolution of Graston Technique in my opinion. We also cannot take a
Graston class until we are within one year of graduation, but FAKTR
does not have said restriction.
The class was held at Elite Strength and Conditioning in Tampa,
Florida. The weekend consisted of 14.5 hours of hands-on
application of functional soft tissue concepts. Dr. Doerr actually
rewrote the class from FAKTR to functional soft tissue because he
isn't just teaching IASTM. We learned functional movement
assessments, hands-on myofascial release techniques, IASTM, and
rehab exercises for many of the most common conditions.
There are five concepts of FAKTR and three types of
applications. We went through the different concepts, why they
work, and how to clinically apply them. The technique was extremely
effective. We were able to correct abnormal movements and muscle
firing dysfunctions within minutes by applying the FAKTR
There were about 18 people in the class, which helped out,
because there was always at least one person in the class with the
condition we were learning to treat. In the two days, we went
through the entire body, and we learned how to progress through our
treatments, which will improve our patient outcomes.
All of us who took the class can also take the exam to become
certified FAKTR providers upon graduation. Not only is the
knowledge applicable to many of the neuromusculoskeletal conditions
that we will be faced with on a daily basis, we will be able to
market ourselves to a wider population and show potential employers
that we took extra initiative while in school. I just had to
purchase a FAKTR tool at the conclusion of the weekend. We were
given a 33% discount on tools that weekend and that is an offer I
couldn't pass up. The FAKTR tools are made of stainless surgical
steel. They are of the highest quality of IASTM tools
It was a long weekend but absolutely worth it. I learned so much
and I cannot wait to use this new technique to treat my future
That's all for this week, if you have any questions please email
me at ChristopherKotwicki@student.nuhs.edu
In my modalities class, I have been learning about
thermotherapy. There are a few thermotherapeutic modalities we use
in our class at NUHS. The first we discussed is application of a
hot moist pack, which is abbreviated as HMP. We, as practitioners,
use heat when we want increase perfusion to an area. HMP is usually
used for sub-acute and chronic problems and should not be used in
an acute/inflammatory phase of an injury.
The second thermotherapeutic modality we went over was paraffin
wax. Paraffin wax can be used to coat a specific area such as the
hands or feet. Once the wax is applied, it is wrapped in a plastic
coating then wrapped in a towel or mitt to insulate the area to
maximize the conduction of heat to the body. We tried it out and it
felt very good.
In addition to HMP and paraffin, we also went over combination
therapy. We combined electrical stimulation with therapeutic
ultrasound on the solaris machine. Therapeutic ultrasound is
another form of thermotherapy but it has a different mechanism of
conduction than an HMP. Rather than the heat from the HMP warming
the body via conduction, ultrasound penetrates the body using sound
waves at whatever frequency and intensity that the practitioner
designates. The solaris can deliver electrical stimulation and
ultrasound at the same time from the head of the applicator. I had
not seen this type of combination therapy prior to this class and
it was very cool to see it, use it, and have it done to me. One
could also use the electric stimulation with a HMP instead of the
combination therapy with ultrasound and stim. Both accomplish
Over the weekend, NUHS-Florida hosted Campus Visit Day. I
attended to represent the Chiropractic Games Club, of which I am
the president. I also sat on the student panel and answered
questions from the prospective students about my experiences as an
NUHS student. I felt it went very well, the questions were well
thought out and allowed us to elaborate on our experiences at NUHS.
I look forward to seeing some of them next trimester and look
forward to meeting more prospective students at the next Campus
Following Campus Visit Day, I went to Madeira Beach for some
beach volleyball. My friends and I played two-on-two for a few
games, grabbed a bite to eat, and laid out in the sunshine. We
finished the day by watching the sunset. It was a great week and an
even better weekend.
If you have any questions please email me at
This week in Sports Council we went over cupping therapy.
Cupping is a modality from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and
has been practiced for over 3,000 years. It has gained attention recently
because of the Olympics. Michael Phelps was seen with large
circular bruises on his back and many people were wondering what
happened to him. The bruises are from superficial profusion due to
cups that were suctioned to his back.
According to An Updated Review of the Efficacy of Cupping
Therapy, "Meta-analysis showed cupping therapy combined with
other TCM treatments was significantly superior to other treatments
alone in increasing the number of cured patients with herpes
zoster, facial paralysis, acne, and cervical spondylosis. No
serious adverse effects were reported in the trials."
It is also an efficacious treatment for neck and shoulder pain
according to The Effectiveness of Cupping Therapy on Relieving
Chronic Neck and Shoulder Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Though many articles show it is effective, there are still many
detractors. I think if it is good enough for the greatest Olympic
swimmer to ever live, it is good enough for my future patients.
After briefly discussing the different types of applications such
as dry vs. wet cupping, we broke off into groups and practiced on
Over the weekend my soccer team and I went on a Pedal Pub tour
in downtown St. Petersburg. We met at Urban Brew and BBQ for lunch
then walked to the meeting place for the Pedal Pub. The Pedal Pub
is a bar on wheels and is powered by the riders who have to pedal.
It is "bring your own beer" for the pub on wheels. We ride around
St. Pete taking in the art murals on the way to some of St. Pete's
favorite local bars. We started at Three Daughter's Brewery where
we played some ping-pong and corn hole. Then we went to Urban
Comfort Restaurant and Brewery and played shuffleboard. We finished
our tour at Dog Bar, a local hangout with a dog park and bar in
one. Four players on my soccer have birthdays in February,
including me. This Pedal Pub tour was our way of celebrating as a
team and it was a great way to spend a beautiful February
On Presidents' Day, we had the day off from school and I spent
it with my friends from NUHS. We met at Madeira Beach for a
well-deserved beach day. We bought smoothies and lunch at a nearby
restaurant and then set up some beach chairs and soaked in the sun.
The water was perfect. It was clear, refreshing, but not too cold.
We played beach volleyball with a few people we met at the beach
and finished up the day by throwing the Frisbee. The exercise and
vitamin D was exactly what the doctor ordered. I had a great
Presidents' Day weekend, which is exactly what I needed with
midterm exams around the corner.
That is all for this week!
If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com.
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