Dr. Tannberg, with his daily “green drink,” in his clinic where he still sees patients every week
Why did you decide to become a chiropractor?
My father was a medical doctor during World War II in Germany, and I was under pressure to follow in his footsteps. In 1958, while working to earn money for my medical studies, I was involved in a motor vehicle accident. I was told the only solution for my bulging disc and degeneration was a back operation. My chances of being in a wheelchair were one in two. Unwilling to take those odds, I declined.
My cousin had heard of a chiropractor and drove me to get my first adjustment. I was able to move again! After more treatments I had renewed hope — chiropractic had saved my life. I quizzed Dr. Jackson extensively, and he encouraged me to visit Palmer College of Chiropractic. I applied for admission and was accepted in 1964.
What do you remember most about your first days at Palmer?
Soon after the move to Davenport, we learned that my wife was pregnant with our first son, Hagen. My late wife, Clarice, decided she would prefer I deliver the baby, so when she went into labor she called Palmer. I was called out of class and two hours later our son was born. It was one of the most memorable days in my life.
What do you remember about your first experiences as a Doctor of Chiropractic?
I felt like a baby bird that had just been kicked out of the nest! The day when I was going to lay hands on my first patient in my own clinic, the little gremlins of apprehension and anxiety made themselves known. Reminding myself of what chiropractic had done for me and the excellent training I had received, I took a deep breath. The patient and I survived.
What words of encouragement would you give a student on his or her first day at Palmer College?
Believe in what is right, be true to yourself. My best friend and wife, Airynaa, has been by my side at the clinic for more than 40 years. At the age of 88, I have been practicing for more than 50 years and still enjoy every day I am able to assist those who are suffering.