Realizing TIC to Its Fullest
Realizing TIC to Its Fullest
Standing on Lasting Purpose
There are few doctors of chiropractic who have done as much to advance the profession as chiropractic advocate, Nancy Torres. And there are few people in the world who can legitimately claim to have been signally instrumental to opening an entire country to chiropractic. Best of all, her commitment is not just to chiropractic, but to the Vitalistic philosophy on which it’s based, allowing for even greater health benefits to her native Costa Rica.
TCL is pleased to honor Ms. Torres for her role in creating strong partnerships between chiropractic and the Costa Rican Ministry of Health, the National University, and the Costa Rican Institute of Sports, all of which open a wealth of opportunities for the chiropractic profession and its students. As if that weren’t enough, Torres has embodied Lasting Purpose in a foundation that has begun providing scholarships for Costa Rican students to study and, ultimately, pioneer the implementation of chiropractic in Costa Rica.
TCL: For which professional achievements will you most want to be acknowledged?
Torres: I thank TLC magazine for giving me the opportunity to express myself. If you ask what is my purpose in my professional life, I would tell you that I committed myself some years ago to help establish and develop chiropractic care in Costa Rica at the highest level. I believe that if we could educate the masses on the importance of chiropractic care not as an emergency solution, but rather as a preventive procedure, we would have a much healthier society in every way. It would also affect the public health insurance budget that provides patients with too many drugs, addressing only their symptoms rather than their diseases.
We have everything we need here in Costa Rica – the perfect climate to produce the most delicious tropical fruits and vegetables all year round, we have no army so our children have never seen a soldier, and the government budget is invested in public education and medical care for everyone. Most important, Costa Rica is one of the few countries where chiropractic is regulated by law and recognized by the Minister of Health as a part of the primary health care spectrum. The problem is that people know little about chiropractic and believe it’s related to bones and back pain; few realize the importance of regular adjustments that benefit the nervous system which control all our functions.
Long ago, I realized that we needed the cooperation and support of the government as well as the Health department, and sought the approval of an agreement among the Costa Rican Institute of Sports, the Department of Social and Medical Insurance, and Life University. Within this agreement, Life University has an established a chiropractic clinic at the National Stadium in the heart of San Jose. There we offer chiropractic care to every athlete –and there are 18,000 people registered in different sports federations now able to receive care at the Stadium. Additionally, this agreement enables us to participate in joint educational programs with the government and the Costa Rican Social Security. This partnership will provide opportunity to educate the general public regarding chiropractic care including a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, minimal recourse to drugs, exercise, and a more positive attitude.
The best way to bring about recognition and awareness of the chiropractic profession is to integrate it into an institution of higher education already established in Costa Rica; a partnership to enhance our work and will benefit our students at LIFE. Today, we have two important agreements with National University of Costa Rica, specifically with the department of Health Science and Quality of Life.
Finally, I created the Giving and Serving Program, which is an outreach program based on Lasting Purpose, “to give, to do, to love, to serve, from abundance.” That is what Life University means to me – excellence at all levels, not only academically. When this program becomes a Foundation, we may then help athletes reach their potential through chiropractic care. By promoting healthy nutrition and exercise within the chiropractic framework, we are forming advocates to expand chiropractic with Life University values throughout the country and the rest of the world. The foundation Giving and Serving chose two students from Costa Rica, Deilyn Solano and Gabriela Alpizar, two outstanding young ladies recognized by the US Embassy in Costa Rica for their integrity, leadership, and exemplary compatibility with Costa Rican society. They are pursuing chiropractic degrees at Life under full tuition scholarships, to return to Costa Rica after completion of their studies to join the Chiropractic Association and support Life U in all its endeavors. We may not be able to change the world right away but we are making a good start on the future with these two young women who one day will make a big difference.
TCL: What projects are you working on now (or have worked on recently) that you are most excited about and would like more people to know about?
Torres: National University, through the remarkable support of Dr. Felipe Araya, Dean of the School of Health Science, had welcomed the responsibility to introduce chiropractic care within their health related projects and educational system, and decided to build a chiropractic clinic on campus. They invested in chiropractic equipment and work directly with Life University on this project. Presently, the clinic is sharing a space at the Cardio Rehabilitation Center on campus. The Clinic will provide care for the general public and will be located at the new building on campus, to be inaugurated in April of this year.
We now hope to open an exchange student program where students in the Sport Health Science Masters programs at LIFE can participate in a research project at National University under the direction of Dr. Cathy Faust and Dr. John Downes from LIFE, and Dr. Felipe Araya of Costa Rica. Afterwards, we want to open internships for chiropractic students in Costa Rica.
I am attempting to expand chiropractic outside San Jose, and hope next year to present a project to the President and Board of Trustees to open a clinic on the Pacific coast in Guanacaste. It’s an area of Costa Rica that is becoming an American retirees destination and located on the Nicoya Peninsula, which has been designated as a Blue Zone by National Geographic. Furthermore, I would like to dedicate more efforts to bring all chiropractic institutions around the world to unify their efforts to share a common goal; to preserve and enhance and promote chiropractic education everywhere.
TCL: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Torres: I would like to add that none of this would have been possible without the vision and unconditional support of Life University president, Dr. Guy Riekeman. I share his commitment to extend chiropractic care everywhere in the world. He has written a new Costa Rican history of chiropractic, accessible to all, to welcome more chiropractors not only to Costa Rica but to all of Central America and his works will remain to enhance our lifestyles throughout the future. Gracias!