Joe Janse and the Non-Surgical Spine Specialist


I am in the process of reading Reed Phillips’ biography on Joseph Janse (Joseph Janse the Apostle of Chiropractic Education ) that Dr. Phillips was kind enough to autograph and present to me over lunch in Montreal.  The book is a very detailed, loving tribute to a great chiropractor, educator and champion of quality in the profession.  I am particularly struck by an excerpt from an article Janse wrote in the ACA Journal of Chiropractic (“Let’s Stop Fighting Windmills”).  The importance of this article is not overshadowed by the fact that it was written in May 1966 (43 years ago):

It is my considered conviction that the “role and scope” of chiropractic practice has been rather completely defined by circumstance, events and the assignments of public need.  Certainly, there is no need for a third medical profession.  The traditional practitioners of medicine and surgery and the now aspiring osteopathic physicians of medicine and surgery commendably fit the bill.  Hence, any attempt in that direction would be an untoward intrusion and a compromise.  However, in the field of specific manipulative therapeutics, especially as it relates to the spine and pelvis – therein resides definite need.

This need is not being fulfilled in either the medical or osteopathic professions and never will be, because they are over involved in the responsibilities of internal medicine and surgery.  This need defines itself eventually in the daily lives of most people, and hence cannot be ignored.  The most common ailments that beset man are the spinosomatic and the spinovisceral syndromes, and because of them, extended discomforts, reduced daily efficacy, and frequent  partial disabilities are incurred.

This, then, is the area in which this profession must function – efficiently and with full prerogative.  It represents a broad field and certainly constitutes a scope of need and practice that defines our profession well; that provides it with containment and direction; that assigns it responsibility and line of demarcation.

Dr. Janse, some 43 years ago, was stating a very similar mission as the West Hartford Group states now.  That chiropractic, in order to thrive and promote a responsible character as well as achieving social, professional, and cultural authority,  should focus its attention on the spine.  The model common to both WHG and Janse is of the chiropractic physician as the spinal health care expert within the health care system — as society’s non-surgical spine specialist.

Reading this comes at a week when I have heard no less than five patients tell me they were being sent for a consultation with the “spine specialist”.  I am a spine specialist, I tell them.  Can you be more specific? Who are you seeing?  An anesthesiologist?  Orthopedist?  Neurosurgeon?  Who is this spine specialist that trumps all others?

As chiropractors, we need not limit ourselves to treating only the spine, but rather need to promote and shift attention to the area where we can have the greatest impact and best manage our resources both financially and in terms of research energy and personnel.  Do what you will that is reasonable and responsible, but for the betterment of the profession and your patients, put your resources toward the promotion of non-surgical spine care.


Brett L. Kinsler, DC is a non-surgical spine specialist in Rochester, NY and a proud member of the West Hartford Group, a chiropractic think tank.


Chiropractic Think Tank Launches Website


The West Hartford Group, Inc., (WHG) is a chiropractic think tank dedicated to the advancement of the chiropractic profession in an ethical, responsible, evidence-based way.  The WHG is a pro-active and positive force moving in the direction of cultural, social and professional authority to improve the profession’s standing within the health care system and society.

Some of the members of WHG include such chiropractic notables as Michael Schneider, Richard Vincent, Stephen Perle, Donald R. Murphy, John J. Triano, David Seaman and Lawrence Wyatt.

 The West Hartford Group’s website was launched today.  Soon, position papers and other information will be added to help promote the non-surgical, patient-centered, spinal specialist model embraced by the think tank.  The website is located at:

Why Should Chiropractors Care About the West Hartford Group?







Alright.  There, I’ve said it.  I’ve let the cat out of the bag.  Some of you may already know about the West Hartford Group (WHG).  Some of you may have just heard a rumor that it exists.  Some people knew something was abuzz in the chiropractic profession but didn’t exactly know what it was.  For the past couple of years, we weren’t allowed to talk about it.

Well, now I can tell you.

The West Hartford Group is a chiropractic think tank.  It is a non-profit, non-political group formed to take strong stances on issues that our national and state chiropractic associations are unwilling to tackle.  It has been kept quiet until recently though membership continues to be only by nomination.  The goal of the WHG, essentially, is to advance the chiropractic profession in a responsible, patient-centered, evidence-informed way to create meaningful reform.  Membership includes some of the best minds and researchers in our profession today.  People on the cutting edge of integrative practice and non-surgical spine care.  People who are responsible for many of the positive articles that are published and research that has been generated.

As the WHG becomes more public, much of what has been going on behind the scenes will become more apparant.  There is some exciting stuff coming down the pike and I cannot wait!  There’s lots I still can’t talk about but I will try to give you the scoop when I can.

The chiropractic profession is ready for a huge change and as a recently elected member of the board of directors, I am thrilled to be a part of driving this change!  Got questions?  Comments?  Need to be a part of the change you know is coming?  Let me know!  Make your comments below or drop me a line at

Dr. Brett Kinsler is on the board of directors of the West Hartford Group, an international Chiropractic Think Tank.

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