A Force for Change
by Dr. Stephanie Harris
Long time IFCO member Brigette Bowler, D.C. knows chiropractic. Her passion was ignited when she learned about BJ’s and DD’s philosophy of minimizing intervention and maximizing results. An upper cervical doctor for her 30-year career, she exclusively practices Hole in One. She intends to dedicate her next 30 years to instituting a difference between health care and symptom management care on a public administrative level. Dr. Bowler indeed walks her talk, backing it up with peer-reviewed research and her own model of care called Structural Hygiene for the Developing Human ®.
After graduating from Rutgers University’s Douglass College for Women, Dr. Bowler began her working career teaching 8th grade Earth Science at a public school in New Jersey. It was during these years as a teacher, in the mid 1980’s, where she was invited by her chiropractor (Sherman graduate, Bradley Blank, D.C.) to a chiropractic talk given by Donny Epstein, D.C. and Arno Burnier, D.C. Since her chiropractor was a Sherman alumnus, Dr. Bowler investigated Sherman College of Chiropractic and enrolled immediately.
She graduated in 1988, and has been making a difference in the profession from her Michigan practice ever since. “I’ve been practicing on the same block on Woodward Avenue in Ferndale, Michigan for 27 years,” she relates. She has been inspired by Danny Knowles’ efforts to make changes in Colorado politics, and she is using his model to present to the Michigan Chiropractic Board to initiate similar changes in her state.
Dr. Bowler has been involved with the IFCO since her student days. “As a Sherman student, I understood the political oppression against straight chiropractic,” she wrote in an email. “The IFCO represents how I practice and I like that it is a federation of organizations, rather than a status quo trade lobby group,” she added. She insists that anyone who wants to protect the health care model called Chiropractic needs to be an IFCO member. “The ability to opt out of Medicare and Medicaid and practice a subluxation correction method rather than a diagnosis/treatment method is in grave danger, and IFCO is the organization doing the most to protect that,” she said.
What keeps her going after all these years? A former practice member who is currently a Sherman College student plans to join her thriving practice in 2018. She also presents her peer reviewed research, adding that, “Participating in IRAPS (International Research and Philosophy Symposium) from 2009 to 2014 has helped anchor my conviction that we have to take a stand for keeping healthy people vibrant by reframing belief systems stemming from a sick mechanistic view of biology to a vitalistic, holistic view of biology.”
Married to her husband, Stuart Boyer, for 27 years, the couple has a wonderful son who attends Kalamazoo College. She is grateful to him for driving her through bad weather to Chicago several times last year so she could complete the Academy of Chiropractic Philosophy (ACP) in 2015. Her family enjoys music, dancing, and socializing with like-minded people and good food.
Her involvement in politics, both locally and globally, keeps her on purpose to “constantly be a force of change toward a more sustainable, sharing economy.” Her goal is to improve the idea of chiropractic becoming a household name for maintaining sustainable living. She and her son are soon endeavoring to create a documentary film chronicling the story of the “chiropractic vs. medical model struggle” that happened in Detroit in the 1920’s through the 1940’s. If you have the chance to talk with Dr. Bowler, listen carefully, as she has a wealth of passion and knowledge that is contagious!