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Life West takes a victory lap with first-ever online WAVE conference

Life West is celebrating after delivering its annual conference, the WAVE, in an online environment for the first time. While the setting for Life Chiropractic College West’s premier conference changed, this year’s first-ever virtual conference still included a powerful speaker lineup and opportunities for alumni to reconnect with their alma mater.

“Life West couldn’t be more thrilled about the WAVE,” said Dr. Ron Oberstein, president of the college. “After having to pivot quickly to an online format, our internal and external community came together to hit a home run!”

Live sessions

Dr. Dan Murphy goes online to speak at the WAVE.

Nine live sessions took place Friday, Aug. 21, through Sunday, Aug. 23, with three speakers taking the virtual stage each day. Life West faculty member Dr. Dan Murphy headlined the first day of presentations with a look at spine pain and the chiropractic adjustment. His session featured updates on the latest research focused on chiropractic and overall wellness.

“You must be more than a mechanically based chiropractor,” Dr. Murphy said. “You must be an innate chiropractor. Innate chiropractors understand that chemical balances are required based on evolutionary biology.”

Dr. Selina Sigafoose-Jackson and Dr. Ryan Lazarus, who also spoke on Friday, discussed chiropractic’s 33 principles and how chiropractors can help their patients achieve optimal health, respectively.

“By no means is being on this road a perfect path,” Dr. Sigafoose-Jackson said in discussing how to put the principles into practice. “It’s not an easy road, but it’s the right road for the right reasons.”

“Adjustments are important,” said Dr. Lazarus, “but understanding our patients and what we can correct changes their level of inflammation and makes their bodies feel better.”

Saturday’s scheduled was capped off by a presentation from Dr. Ron Oberstein, president of Life West. In a discussion that also included updates on what’s happening at Life West, the college’s leader discussed chiropractic heroes and the responsibilities of vitalistic chiropractors.

“The world is looking for heroes,” he said. “What we do in chiropractic is heroic. When people look to us, they look to see if they can heal.”

Earlier in the day, Betsy Butterick and Dr. Devin Vrana inspired the WAVE audience with presentations focusing on tough questions about communication and the responsibilities chiropractors have to the public.

“We think we’re being so clear and specific,” Butterick said. “The reality is, how easy is it to miscommunicate in our day-to-day interaction?”

“Are you playing as big as you could be?” Dr. Vrana asked, in a challenge to listeners. “Are you serving as many people as you can with your hands and your voice?”

Saturday’s program also included a virtual alumni luncheon hosted by the Life West Alumni Association and the school’s Institutional Advancement office. The program featured the announcement of annual awards, which were won by Student of the Year Maxwell Kelly, International Alumni of the Year Dr. Jake Hollowell, and Alumni of the Year Dr. Lauren Clum.

Dr. Selina Sigafoose-Jackson kicks off the WAVE.

Sunday’s live speaker lineup included Dr. Claudia Anrig, who spoke about what she sees in her family practice. Among other topics, she discussed family planning and working with patients to guide them through positive changes, in some cases a year before a baby is conceived.

“You have to be able to negotiate changes in lifestyle with your patients,” Dr. Anrig said, emphasizing the need for a positive rapport. “Never go all or nothing.”

Dr. Justin Ohm and Dr. Mindy Pelz also spoke on the final day of live presentations. Dr. Ohm discussed pressing issues in providing care for expectant mothers and babies, while Dr. Pelz explained how she provides care to the modern body.

“What if we could avoid birth trauma?” Dr. Ohm asked. “Not just adjust the child after birth, but avoid birth trauma in the first place? We need to step up as chiropractors with a focus on pregnancy to be able to support these moms.”

“The body that I am adjusting today is different from the day I graduated,” Dr. Pelz said. “What do I need to do to help my patients adapt? How is innate adapting to this new world?”

Members of the Life West administration were thrilled with the event and were quick to thank those who helped make it happen.

“With over 1,100 people in attendance, along with vendors and sponsors who see the bigger picture to support the profession and practitioner, I am so proud to witness how the virtual WAVE changed the playing field,” Dr. Oberstein said. “My greatest gratitude goes to all of our phenomenal speakers, MCs and supporters.”

“We enjoyed a tremendous virtual WAVE this year, providing an exceptional program and still staying connected to our alumni and friends,” added Dr. Mark Zeigler, Vice President of Institutional Advancement. “For those that missed the WAVE this year, you still have the opportunity to register and enjoy 20 hours of CE and learn from our lineup of international speakers.”

Wait, the WAVE isn’t over yet?

There’s more to this year’s WAVE than just nine live sessions. In addition to the live offerings, the WAVE has an extensive lineup of on-demand presentations available, analyzing the science, philosophy, and art of chiropractic. In total, chiropractors can earn up to 20 hours of online CE credit.

WAVE registrants have access to these sessions through the end of the year, and it’s not too late to sign up for access. If you missed the live presentations as they happened, those are archived online, too.

“The breadth and depth of the talks were truly wonderful,” Life West Director of Postgraduate and Continuing Education Laurie Isenberg said. “The WAVE has everything, from foundational chiropractic principles to COVID-19, and so much in between. Our speakers brought energy and grace to the virtual WAVE, and we are grateful to each and every one of them. If you haven’t registered for WAVE 2020 yet, you can and you should – I know you’ll love it.”

Sign up for the WAVE 2021

We’re already planning for next year’s conference! The WAVE will return Aug. 6-8, 2021, and registration is now open.

“Next year we will be holding the WAVE on campus, and it will be a momentous occasion as we celebrate Life West’s 40th birthday,” Dr. Oberstein said. “Make plans to be there. It will be historical!”

“We invite everyone to sign up early for next year’s WAVE,” Dr. Zeigler added. “Reserve your spot in one of the best experiences on the West Coast.”

More information on the conference format, speakers, and events will be available as the event draws closer. Stay tuned to the Life West website and our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram outlets for updates.

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