Put Chiropractic ‘On the Frontline’ with an NCHM Proclamation in Your State, Community

There are about eight weeks left until National Chiropractic Health Month 2022 kicks off on Oct. 1. If you have not done so already, now is the time for you or your state association to start working on an NCHM proclamation. The process can take a few weeks to complete, so it’s always best to start early.

This year’s theme, “Chiropractic: On the Frontline for Pain,” will highlight the benefits of chiropractic services and show how research and guidelines today support the use of chiropractic and other non-drug approaches. For example, in the latest draft of its prescribing guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) promotes “diverse approaches and varied pain management solutions” and specifically encourages the use of non-opioid/nonpharmacologic therapies as a first line of treatment against pain. (See ACA’s recent comments to CDC here.) These are important messages to share as the epidemic of opioid overuse and abuse continues to take its toll in the United States.

A proclamation is a formal announcement made by a state or local government on a topic important to members of that community. Asking your state or local government to issue a proclamation for National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) is a great way to raise awareness of chiropractic services and their role in helping to stem the opioid epidemic.

Many ACA members and state associations have been successful in obtaining proclamations over the years. The advice we hear again and again is “Start the process early!” and after that it’s a matter of following the specific steps your state or local government requires.
ACA offers basic instructions on how to obtain a proclamation at acatoday.org/NCHM – including sample proclamation text. Below are a few highlights to give you a sense of what is involved.

Get Started

  1. Identify who handles proclamations in your local city, county or state government offices by looking on city, county and state websites, or by calling the offices. If there is no one who deals exclusively with proclamations, try contacting a public relations or public information officer. An office manager or an office administrator may be able to help, as well.
  2. When calling or emailing the proclamations office, be prepared to provide information about the importance of conservative care for people in your area. Also be sure to ask the right questions:
    • What is the process to obtain a proclamation?
    • Do they want you to draft the proclamation or to do it themselves with information you provide?
    • In what form would they like to receive the proclamation text and where do you send it?
    • Can you arrange a signing ceremony and invite guests or media?
  3. When submitting the required documents to the proclamation office, remember to include the following:
    • A cover letter/email with some facts about the importance of conservative care as a way to stem the opioid epidemic.
      Be sure to mention that your clinic/organization will be celebrating National Chiropractic Health Month along with the American Chiropractic Association and doctors of chiropractic nationwide. Note that the goal of NCHM is to bring attention to chiropractic’s non-drug approach to pain management, which can help some people lessen or eliminate their need for prescription opioid pain medications. Include the date and theme of the proposed proclamation (October; “Chiropractic: On the Frontline for Pain”) and your contact information.
    • A draft of the proposed proclamation (see sample text here). Please note that you can alter the proclamation text to include information specific to your state or city, making the case for chiropractic even stronger.

Once you receive your proclamation, display it in your clinic the entire month of October and share it via social media with the hashtag #Frontlineforpain so ACA can repost it and share it with our extensive community of members and followers.

Annette Bernat is ACA vice president of branding and communications.