|Daniel Kamen, D.C.
Certified Animal Chiropractor
| I've been a chiropractor for 20 years. When
I graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa
in 1981 I had no idea I would be working with animals. No chiropractic
school teaches a course on animal adjusting and back then, there was no
extracurricular course available that taught you how to adjust animals.
Even the vets didn't adjust horses back then, except maybe one here and
there who learned a technique or two from the rare chiropractor who did.
I guess the question is why. Why hasn't there been a course of instruction
teaching animal chiropractic until recently. After all, chiropractic
has been a recognized profession for 106 years. I'll tell you why.
Most U.S. states do not allow chiropractors to autonomously
adjust animals. Where it is allowed, the chiropractor must first
obtain a veterinary referral. This is not to say that the vet has
to refer the patient to the chiropractor. Rather, the patient hires
the chiropractor to adjust their horse, then the chiropractor asks the
patient to contact their vet, and have the vet fax them the ok. This
is fine. I'm not opposed to this. This is the way it should
be. Some chiropractors are not familiar with animal diseases.
But my problem is unique. I conduct animal chiropractic seminars
around the country. I did 45 of them last year. And there are
a number of states that have shut me down. Those states
Two years ago, during my Las Vegas seminar,
the Attorney General's office sent an undercover investigator to spy on
me. The investigator paid the full price ($325.00), asked questions
like a seasoned horse person, and participated in the hands-on adjusting
clinic. A week after the seminar, I received two certified letters
at my Illinois office. One was to appear in court to answer charges
of practicing veterinary medicine without a license, and the other was
a fifteen page "rap" sheet, outlining all of my criminal activities.
The worst offense was when a horse nipped me during a shoulder adjustment.
Here's what happened. While lifting up the horse's front leg to mobilize
the shoulder, a horse fly the size of a chicken, bit the horse on the back
which caused the horse to jump. I would too. The investigator
mistook the horse's reaction as pain caused by the adjustment.
For those who like to be amused, I suggest you fire up your search engine and type in, "Las Vegas Sun." Once you get to their site, type in my last name, "Kamen." The Sun did several articles about this. For the record, I still plan to do equine chiropractic seminars in each of those above mentioned states. Yes, I could get arrested. But what the heck. It's no sense being an animal chiropractor if it's the same as being a citizen.
What article would be complete without teaching you how to do something. While I have dozens of techniques, among the most important would be to adjust the poll or atlas, the first cervical vertebra. The move I'll describe here is called the "posterior arch" move. It is one of four moves to adjust the poll, and the best.
The two areas of the horse's body that need to be adjusted the most are the atlas, poll and the pelvis. These two areas are particularly vulnerable to subluxations (misalignments) because there is so much movement there.When the horse unexpectedly jerks his head, a muscle spasm will arise, generally on one side of the atlas causing impeded movement.
In the horse world, you will often hear the word "poll" used instead of “atlas.” The poll is really the back of the occiput, more precisely, the EOP (external occipital protuberance). But in the vernacular, if a horse has something wrong with his poll, his atlas needs to be adjusted, and you're restoring motion to the atlanto-occipital joint. This joint is known as the "yes" joint because it allows for extension (head up), and flexion (head down). By comparison, a dog has much more extension at the poll than a horse. A dog can extend his head up until his nose points towards the ceiling. A horse has one third less extension. A cat, no one knows. The reason why a horse has less extension at the poll is because the occipital condyles are long and protrude deeply in the atlas sulci. A dog's atlas sulci are shallow and allow for more movement.
TESTING THE ATLAS FOR SUBLUXATIONS
I think we can all agree that before adjusting the atlas, the first step is to find the misalignment and the area of pain. For this there are two tests; static palpation and motion palpation.
The static palpation test is to stand in front of the horse and place two fingers (the long ways) into the space between the atlas wing (which is huge) and the mandible on both sides (figure one). Make sure the horse is standing square and his head is straight. The narrower of the two sides is the painful side and usually contains are hard, round muscle spasm that will make the horse react when probed.
Next, as in most adjustments, the step before the thrust or impulse, is to stretch the joint and bring it to tension. For this you'll need to push down on the atlas and at the same time, lean backward to goose neck the joint. Once this is done, pivot your shoulders away from the misalignment. This opens up the closed side. Now the joint is fully stretched. Lastly, while maintaining this sturdy position, quickly impulse straight down and release. You might get an audible, but maybe not. An audible isn't necessary to prove the success of the adjustment. Simply retest the motion test (the "yes" test) and see if both sides feel equal.
|For questions or more information, you may write to
Dr. Daniel Kamen,D.C. at
1121 Highland Grove Drive--Buffalo Grove, IL. 60089.
Or call 1-800-742-8433. Website.
Books and videos are available on my web site.
My next seminar is in Idaho, then West Virginia, and South Dakota.
and THEN Fill out form below.
OR Fill out Form Below and mail check.
Check made out to:
P.O. Box 54
Waynesboro, Georgia 30830