There have been more internal battles in chiropractic over the last thirty years, than any other profession that I am aware of. Granted, there have been no internal strikes, but we aren’t set up for that. There have however, been many chiropractors who have come into the profession, not because of a love for the profession. But rather from a desire to have the “doctor” title, or because they read that it was a growing profession, or perhaps some other reason. Many of the chiropractors who join the profession with this kind of motivation, do not appreciate the philosophical position that the profession was founded on.
Let’s go back and review. DD Palmer discovered chiropractic (we use discovered because we don’t believe a man invented it, but rather this was from God… laying hands to heal was and is the method of choice from a Biblical perspective), in 1895 in Davenport Iowa when he adjusted Harvey Lillard and restored hearing. This began the start of a very vitalistic approach to health of chiropractic, and was expanded upon by BJ Palmer (son of DD) through his lifetime. This approach is the one that we use to govern our treatment philosophy. Basically, you are an amazing and magnificent creation with vital life forces flowing through your nervous system. To truly measure those signals is impossible, and to try to quantify life forces is an endeavor that will fail miserably as their are inexplicable intricacies to life that will remain illusive. The goal of care then, is not to guarantee a specific outcome, but rather support bringing the body back to its normal function. If that means greater symptoms, then it is a proper endeavor.
This is in stark contrast to the mechanistic philosophy that has governed medical practice for years (though recently there has been large groups of MD’s who are departing from this philosophy). The growth of animal science as it relates to quantum physics has been a contributor in the growing number of questions of this philosophy. The sad thing, is that in chiropractic, their has been a division for years, that is based on this difference. Many chiropractors who have come into the profession (as stated above), have sought after mainstream acceptance. In many cases it is because of the desire to be more financially successful, thus insurance acceptance has been a goal, along with hoping to come alongside MD’s and receive referrals.
In other cases, it is common to see chiropractors working with MD’s these days. Though from the outside, that might seem like a very promising idea to many of you. However, if we dig in and consider the implication, you will realize that it is probably not the best situation for you, them or the profession. The number one reason according to industry surveys for MD/DC clinics is to allow for greater insurance billings for the DC (if MD’s refer and prescribe specific treatments, then bill those treatments under their license, those treatments will receive higher insurance reimbursement, than in a DC office). This has come under great scrutiny, and their have been massive insurance penalties levied on some of these practices (not good for anyone).
In addition, most of these DC’s do not maintain as one of their practice goals the desire to get their patients off of medications (makes sense). So are there any of you reading this who would prefer to take medication over being free of them? So then who is to help lead you? If one your goals would be to live a life as free from meds as possible, then you probably want someone leading you that way. If all the effort from your health care providers is to treat with meds, then you WILL end up on them. We have learned this all too often, from the most conservative anti-med people around, who have ended up taking them. It’s part of leadership towards health.
OK, let’s keep going on this path. Have any of you ever been adjusted by an Osteopath? I know some of you have, as we have talked about it. The DO designation started as a license to treat disease through manipulation of joints of the body, to improve blood flow and restore circulation. Many osteopaths were much like the chiropractors of today though. Complaining about low volume practices, wanting greater involvement in the insurance reimbursement world, these doctors have gone the way of the MD, choosing to prescribe medication instead of manipulate (they have been trained in full medical practice, and awarded an MD degree benefit along with their DO degree). Now it is hard to find a practitioner who manipulates, as most examine, diagnose and prescribe medications as their usual office protocol.
So, where are these roots in chiropractic? Well, one of the greatest chiropractic accomplishments of the recent past has been the explosive growth of practices in Maximized Living. There are more patient visits that happen in these offices, than in the offices of ten times the number of other chiropractic offices. Which means that much more influence towards healthy lifestyle, corrective focus of care, an understanding of the value of lifetime care, and a bent towards natural health and clean living. The model is one that helps to rescue the insurance problem that exists in our country, while rescuing from the chronic disease problem as well.
In the last few weeks I have had several cool testimonials come out, from a man in his sixties telling me that his balance has improved dramatically, to another telling me that he has been able to eat spicy foods again without heartburn, to another telling me that their daily headaches have stopped, and lastly another who fought through the flu in 2 days, which their immune system has never been able to do. Chiropractic has found its roots!
Be well, be well adjusted! – Dr. E