Bringing Chiropractic to China
Life University (LIFE) is, and has always been, committed to growing Chiropractic everywhere – at the community, state, national and even the global levels. This indeed is our duty as an institution that prides itself in being the not-so-little University that is changing the world with a vision of maximizing the expression of the perfection within every human being on the planet. To that end, recently we marked an important milestone in establishing the profession of Chiropractic, as well as making a footprint for LIFE, in the most populous country in the world, China.
On October 31, 2017, I, along with officials from Kaifeng, China, signed an agreement that truly demonstrates the commitment of both LifeUniversity and the city of Kaifeng to ensuring that Chiropractic is established in China, as well as PEAK training center opportunities for our students. Dr. Wang Yong Gang, President and Party Secretary for the number 2 Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, and Dr. Mu Hong Di, Director of Kaifeng City Health and Family Planning Department, participated in the signing and were very impressed with the beauty of the LIFE campus, our attention to details and the fellowship amongst our LIFE community. Most of all, the Kaifeng officials left impressed with our Lasting Purpose mindset, with service to people as our number one goal. This agreement could reasonably lead to many clinics, recognition/licensure for the profession and a Chiropractic college to serve as a model for all of China.
China is populated by approximately 1.4 billion people, but has only a handful of chiropractors, not anywhere near enough to make headway in the country’s healthcare regime. Currently, we have four chiropractic students enrolled at LIFE from China, and we hope to see that number grow exponentially in the coming years with our work in the country. We want to grow Chiropractic in China by further expanding relationships with university and governmental agencies, as well as making connections with healthcare leaders in the country, an expansion of the initiative we started back in 2006. Read more information below on our global initiatives in Greater China.
Dr. David Bellin is the Executive Director for LIFE’s Global Initiatives – China-Asia, and a Senior Visiting Scholar at Tsinghua University. Through his clinical and social skills, Dr. Bellin has had the opportunity to interact and provide care to a full spectrum of Chinese society, including National Team and Olympic athletes and top levels of leadership in industry, higher education, hospital administration and local/national government. Through these interactions and platforms, Life University has a leadership role in promoting Chiropractic in China by providing chiropractic care through clinic systems, research, symposiums and higher educational efforts.
In 2006, a group of chiropractors from Michigan approached me about Life University taking over a service clinic they had established in a small city in China at the Peoples #1 Hospital of Zigong. At this clinic, several Chinese Nationals were serving as translators, and Peng Li (known as “Fresh”) was one of those translators. As part of our partnership, I offered three translators the opportunity to become chiropractors and return to China to assist LIFE in establishing Chiropractic as a profession in Mainland China.
Fresh was the first candidate who fulfilled their agreement, and upon his return, he was offered a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Tsinghua University. The significance of this opportunity was that it was the first one for Chiropractic ever in China, and at China’s top university. During his more than five years of service with LIFE, he has had the opportunity to interact with people from all aspects of Chinese life, from farmers and blue collar workers, to captains of industry and top levels of leadership in the national government. He has experienced Chiropractic first-hand, helping people with all sorts of symptoms and disorders beyond what Chinese people could think Chiropractic would help with, including elevating athletic performance, and caring for patients with epilepsy, double vision, Parkinson’s, tinnitus, and functional nerve deafness, to name a few.
Life University has signed an initial agreement of cooperation with the Open University of Hong Kong to establish a Chiropractic degree program. Supported by the two major Chiropractic Associations in Hong Kong, both universities have working groups actively developing the design and size of the program and its potential launch date. Further information and agreements are expected by the end of December 2017 (Update: Next steps in agreements are scheduled for March, 2018).
Life University has a cooperative project with the city government of Kaifeng, China. Through this cooperation, we are in the process of defining Chiropractic as a unique profession within the government system. In addition, this program will include clinic systems, clinical research and chiropractic education. Dr. David Bellin has been designated as the Ambassador for the Kaifeng Free Trade Zone, which is the only one in China focused on International Healthcare, and Life University is the gatekeeper. (Update: Grand opening of the Kaifeng Chiropractic Center is currently scheduled for March 2018).
Life University is currently in its sixth year of cooperation with Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. As one of the premier universities in China, the center serves as an excellent platform to promote Chiropractic to academic elites, high-level government officials, industry leaders and National Team and Olympic athletes. The Tsinghua University-Life University Chiropractic Research Center has two full-time positions: one with Dr. David Bellin serving as a long-term Tsinghua University Senior Visiting Scholar, and the second, with Dr. Li Peng, who served as a former Tsinghua University Post-Doctoral Fellow. The research center engages in clinical research, scholarly activities and public outreach, while serving as an office of representation for LIFE. The significance of this opportunity is that these two positions are first of their kind for Chiropractic in China, and at China’s premier university.
In December 2015, Life University signed an undergraduate/graduate articulation agreement with Wenzhou Medical University in Wenzhou, China. This agreement allows Wenzhou undergraduate seniors to attend Life University and obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science, and then be able to go on to LIFE’s Sport Health Science master’s program. Qualified students may enter the Doctor of Chiropractic program as well.
Wenzhou Medical University has a student base of 22,000. Says Dr. John Downes, Vice President for Global Initiatives at Life University, “This opens the door to Chinese students’ awareness of Life University and all of our programs, including Chiropractic. Wenzhou Medical University is famous for its innovation and entrepreneurship, so I see this agreement as the start of a great opportunity for LIFE’s Global Initiatives in this region of China.”