« The MMR Vaccine and Autism: An Interview with Dr. Andrew Wakefield | Main | Are you kidding me? »

The Obituary of Dr. Donald D. Harrison

Donald D. Harrison, DC, PhD, MSE, (also known as Deed by his family and early life friends) passed away 2 weeks ago on Wednesday, July 20th, 2011. He was 65 years old residing in Wyoming with his loving wife Dr. Sang Harrison. Due to complications from Type II Diabetes, he passed peacefully with his wife Sang, his son Deed, and his daughter Holly by his side.

Don Harrison was born May 11th, 1946 in Port Angeles, WA to his parents, the late Robert (Whitey) and V. Earlene Harrison. He was the second born of four children including his elder sister Linda, younger brother Glenn, and his younger sister Kitty; he is survived by each of his three siblings. Don was fortunate to have numerous high quality friends throughout his life and he remained in contact with many of them until the end.

Don's Personal Family--

Don was a lucky man in as much as he found 3 women in his adult life to love, share with and marry. He married his first wife Linda Minish-(now Springob) in the late 1960's and they had two children together; Deed and Holly. In the late 1970's he met Deanne L. J. Harrison and they married a short time after. In the mid-1980's, his second wife Deanne passed away. Don then met his 3rd and final life's love Sanghak O. Harrison whom he stayed with until his passing. From a pre-existing marriage, Sang had her son Erin Molyneux who Don happily raised as one of his own children showing no favoritism to his two blood related children.

Don regarded education as one of the most important life achievements a person could pursue. To this end, he earned a joint BS in Mathematics at the University of Washington in 1968. Later he earned his MS in Mathematics at the University of Texas at El Paso in 1971. Next he also received a secondary teaching degree from Western Washington University in 1973.

Don's Pre Chiropractic Work History--

Prior to becoming a well-known-Chiropractor and spine researcher, Don Harrison

had a significant and diverse work history. From 1964-67, he worked vacation relief at Crown Zellerbach Paper Mill (Port Angles, WA). From 1968-1969, Don worked as a Ranger for the Department of Interior (Olympic National Park). In 1969-71, he was drafted into the Vietnam War and worked as an E5 for the US Army. After his service in the War, he was a Grad Teaching Assistant  (1971-72) at Washington State University (Pullman, WA. Next he taught Math at Peninsula Community College and at Stevens Junior High (Port Angeles, WA) from 1973-1975 followed by a 2-year stint as the Math Instructor at Mount Hood Community College in Portland, OR (1976-1977).

Don's Chiropractic Path--

After struggling with a back injury as a result from back packing out a WA. state black tail deer for several miles, Don sought out Chiropractic care from the late Dr. Hansen in Port Angeles, WA. He was so impressed with the recovery of his back injury due to Chiropractic care (when standard medical management had failed for him) as a patient that he wanted to become a Chiropractor. He earned his Chiropractic degree in 1979 from Western States Chiropractic College. He lectured as an Assistant Professor from 1979-80 at Northern California College of Chiropractic and as a Part Time Instructor Life Chiropractic College-West (1984-1985)

Some of the best years of  Don's life were spent practicing Chiropractic. From 1979-1985 he and his partner at the time, Dr. Dan Murphy, owned and operated Bell Plaza Chiropractic Office in Sunnyvale, CA. In 1985 he sold Bell Plaza and moved to Evanston, WY with his Wife Sang and his boys Erin and Deed. Part of Don's decision to move to WY was for the love of the outdoors and he wanted his boys to grow up in a smaller town environment where they could learn to hunt, fish, and appreciate nature. Together, Don and Sang started Evanston Chiropractic Center (1986-1992)

At the age of 47, in 1993, Don and Sang made the decision to concentrate on spinal research and he went to graduate school and received his MSE in Mechanical Engineering in 1997 from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and a PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1998 from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).  Don had to get special approval from the UAH education board to work on these two difficult degrees simultaneously; his tenacity and unmatched work ethic allowed him to persevere.

Dr. Don's Professional Activities and Accomplishments.

Don's political professional affiliations were never in question. He was a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Chiropractic Association, was an ICA member since 1977, was nominated as a Fellow of the ICA (FICA in 1990), and received the ICA's Chiropractor of the Year award in 2006. Don was also the ICA Representative for the state of Wyoming in the years 1986-1993, 2001-2004. And he was the past President of the Wyoming Chiropractic Society in the late 1980's.

Don once told his son, Deed, that the only professional goal he did not achieve was becoming the President of the ICA; this was likely due to his onset of illness in early 2008.

Dr. Harrison was an Extension Faculty member for several Chiropractic Colleges including: Life Chiropractic College-West, Life University, National Chiropractic College, Cleveland CCKC, and the Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres.

Don's professional accomplishments were not just limited to the Chiropractic profession. Dr. Harrison's dedication to advancing the Chiropractic profession through quality research, led him to becoming one of the most published Chiropractic researchers in the history of the profession; with over 80 peer-reviewed publications to his name. These publications were not limited to Chiropractic journals and have appeared in the top physical medicine, orthopedic, biomechanics, and spine research journals around the world. Due to his dedication to spine research, and specifically the lumbar spine, Dr. Harrison was voted in as member of the prestigious orthopedic research society: The International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS). For several years, Dr. Don acted as a reviewer for one of the top Chiropractic journals, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.

Don's Greatest Professional Achievements and Living Legacies

  1. Arguably one of Dr. Harrison's greatest achievements and his greatest legacy for the Chiropractic profession is the fact that he was the primary origin of Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP®) Technique (1980), with its Mirror Image® methods. Of course he was not alone in the effort to develop CBP Technique; his brother Dr. Glenn Harrison was a founding member of the technique and Don indicated that to decipher what Glenn developed compared to what he did was not possible due to their close relationships as brothers and business partners. Also, instrumental in the development of CBP Technique were Dr. Dan Murphy, his late wife Dr. Deanne L.J. Harrison, and his current widow Dr. Sang Harrison. For CBP Technique methods, Don's background in mathematics and mechanical engineering influenced his choice of Linear Algebra methods applied to the human spine and posture.

In the 1980's Don hit the road as he developed and taught CBP Technique Seminars to Chiropractors around the world. Don authored and edited several text books for Chiropractors including the widely known: CBP Technique: The Physics of Spinal Correction (now in its 7th edition) and Spinal Biomechanics: A Chiropractic Perspective, (4th Edition).

  1. One of Don's greatest frustrations was the slow acceptance of CBP Technique by the Chiropractic profession and the lack of engineering-biomechanics education in the Chiropractic professional's training. To this end, in 1991, Drs. Don and Sang Harrison started a quarterly trade journal called The American Journal of Clinical Chiropractic (AJCC). The AJCC is now in its 21st year and is owned and operated by Don's son Deed.


  1. Also, out of a frustration with the direction of Chiropractic research, Don and Deanne founded a non-profit spinal research foundation dedicated to the advancement of Chiropractic and spine sciences. CBP research foundation was founded in 1982 and was registered as CBP Non-Profit, Inc. in 1989. Through this organization Dr. Don and colleagues first published in 1993 and since then have funded and published more than 140 peer-reviewed spine and Chiropractic research publications. Further, CBP Non-Profit, Inc. funded many scholarships as well as donated chiropractic equipment to many chiropractic colleges always trying to support chiropractic advancement and education.  Dr. Don was the acting president of CBP Non-Profit, Inc. since 1982.


  1. Lastly, from the years 2005-2008, Dr. Don Harrison and his son, Dr. Deed, spearheaded a team of Chiropractic researchers and clinicians who produced two monumental Chiropractic practice guidelines. The first of these guidelines is the ICA Practicing Chiropractors Committee on Radiology Protocols (PCCRP) document. The PCCRP Radiography guideline has and will enhance the quality of care for countless millions of Chiropractic patients. This document identified and emphasizes that routine spinal radiography is the Standard of Practice in Chiropractic and has been for nearly 100 years and that Chiropractors can utilize Plain Film Radiography to detect and measure subluxations. The PCCRP document provides thousands of scientific references, indications on radiation safety and quality control as well as clinical indicators for imaging children younger than 10 years old (This document has been accepted for inclusion in the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC)). The guidelines are available for review at http://www.PCCRP.org.


Dr. Don's final 'gift' to the Chiropractic profession was the second of these clinical guidelines known as the ICA Best Practices and Practice Guidelines (ICA Guides). Dr. Don was a founding Co-Chair of the ICA Guides and this is the only guideline in the chiropractic profession to include ALL levels of evidence while excluding personal/consensus opinion. Instead of ignoring research on specific Chiropractic Techniques, ALL papers published by ANY Technique were included in the ICA Guides. Over 1400 original clinical papers were included in the database, dating back to the early 1900’s. Over 300 health conditions were shown to be successfully managed with chiropractic care. The ICA Guides serves as a valuable clinical reference tool for practicing Chiropractors to learn which methods have been found to be beneficial for various health conditions. The findings of the ICA Guides serve to protect the principles and tenets of the practicing ICA and all Chiropractors worldwide.

Don's Hobbies, Interests, and Personal Attributes

Don Harrison was an avid sportsman and outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, backpacking, exploring nature, and horseback riding. He loved both dogs and cats and even brought a stray cat across the country from Mississippi to Wyoming when he found the cat at a hunting camp. Don and Sang owned 4 quarter horses in Wyoming in the late 1980's-early 90's and in his later years, for a hobby, he and his wife, Dr. Sang Harrison, fed up to 200 mule deer through each winter in their back yard.

Don was known by his friends as one of the greatest story tellers of all time. He loved practical jokes and innocent tricks. More importantly, Don was one of those old school men of this world--- he was a man of his word and his hand shake meant more to him than any legal proceedings or contract. He'd go to the end for the sake of the truth and give the shirt off his back to a friend or a stranger if he thought they'd need it more than him. Don was a family man, a father and a husband. In the end, Don left Chiropractic and the world better than he found it. For this he will always be remembered by his family and friends.

Don's Surviving Immediate Family

Regarding his immediate family, Don Harrison is survived by his wife Sang Harrison and his three children: Holly Glebe of Bonney Lake, WA, Deed Harrison of Eagle, ID and Erin Molyneux of New York, NY. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Zachary and Alexandria Glebe, Aden and Damien Harrison, and Nina Molyneux.

Don's Memorial Service

A memorial service and celebration of Don Harrison's life is being held in Eagle, ID on Saturday Sept. 3rd. This event is for personal friends and family members of Don. If you would like to attend this event you may inquire further with Don's son, Deed Harrison (drdeed@idealspine.com).

Don's Memorial Funds or Donations

In lieu of flowers and cards, the family of Dr. Donald Harrison is establishing a memorial fund in his honor to further Chiropractic education and research. To this end, the family requests that any donations to be made in his name be sent to the NonProfit research foundation that Don established and ran: CBP NonProfit, Inc. P O Box 1590, Evanston, WY 82931-1590.

If you would like further information on this, please call 1-800-346-5146 or you can go online and donate specific numerical amounts; enter for 'Dr. Don Harrison Memorial Fund' in the comment box:  http://www.idealspine.biz/c-25-cbp-non-profit-research-cd.aspx

Thank you for your attention.

Drs. Sang, Deed and Shirlene Harrison, and Holly Glebe and Erin Molyneux

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend