Immigration and Chiropractic


It appears we are about to see a great influx of immigrants into this country as our government prepares to open the doors, and perhaps give amnesty to those who are already here illegally. It is quite likely to happen and it presents some great opportunities and challenges to chiropractic. The opportunity lies in the estimates that in the next 10-20 years we could see as many as 60-110 million new people come into this country. Whether these people come as a result of amnesty or the government’s refusal to enforce existing immigration laws is an issue that should concern all Americans but is not a chiropractic issue. They will have spines and are in need of chiropractic care whether they are in the 3rd world environment of Mexico, a central, south American country or here legally or illegally. Stories from chiropractic mission trips and chiropractors who have emigrated to that part of the world indicate that these people are very positive toward chiropractic. Inasmuch as most of us do not want to leave the comfort and abundance of living in the United States I think it behooves us to somehow make arrangements for the care of those that come here. Chiropractors have related how people line up by the hundreds, even thousands to have their spines checked. You do not see that in this country at your average mall spinal screening. I am not sure of the reasons and do not know whether it will translate into more people coming to chiropractors from immigrant communities or not. However I have found that these groups tend to be close knit and when one person comes into the office they often refer others. This held true for Hispanic, Asian , Middle Eastern and East European communities in my practice area. There is a great opportunity as people from these countries pour into the United States in unprecedented numbers. I would venture to say that this phenomena is likely to spill over into other countries in Europe and the Pacific Basin.
With this great opportunity to serve more people comes the challenge of creating a learning opportunity for them to become more knowledgeable about chiropractic. We are going to have to find ways to educate people who are not conversant in the English language. This is especially important when you are practicing a non-therapeutic approach to chiropractic, an approach that will be as foreign to an immigrant population as it is the average American.

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This article has 1 comment

  1. Tom 12/08/2014, 5:16 pm:

    Joe has produced a wordless, 7-minute movie for non-English-speaking people using photographs and drawings to introduce them to the uniqueness of chiropractic.

    This is a MUST have educational tool for every chiropractic office particularly those of the non therapeutic approach. It helps remove the language barrier by visually “explaining” chiropractic in a simple and understandable way.

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