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New Beginnings
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Next New Beginnings - October 20 - 23, 2005

A New Beginning for a New Future

Letís Philosophize; letís think a little! What is Chiropractic? What do Chiropractors do? What should Chiropractors do? Why are miracles in Chiropractic on the decline? Are we missing the big picture in Chiropractic? Do you do the adjustment or does the patient? Do you treat patients or do you serve practice members? Are we there to reduce pain or are we there to connect man the physical with man the spiritual? Why should infants and children be adjusted? All these questions are for DCs and students to think about.

I see Chiropractic as the best profession on earth because we have the most important job on earth; we correct vertebral subluxations. Nothing more, nothing less; allowing the body to express life at its fullest potential. I know this is a touchy subject for quite a few, but this is how I see it true. You are entitled to your own opinion, so donít get upset if these statements offend you. This article is to get you to think a little. Do you want to work in the allopathic model or the Chiropractic model?

Another issue that I want to discuss is miracles in Chiropractic and why they are not happening often enough. Chiropractic was once a profession that allowed the Chiropractor to help the person they were serving to connect man the physical with man the spiritual through the correction of vertebral subluxation. They werenít adjusting the disease, just removing the interference (I understand this word upsets certain people in this profession, but this is what I am choosing to use) in the nervous system, which allows the vital force to flow at its highest potential. Now I see that Chiropractors want to diagnose disease, treat patients for disease, use multiple modalities (electric stim, ultrasound) to treat symptoms, and adjust under anesthesia.

The way I will practice Chiropractic will be to analyze, detect, and correct the vertebral subluxation, step back and allow the body to heal itself. I donít think this is a hard concept to grasp. Some practice this way now and many have practiced this way in the past. Miracles were once a common thing and have been on the decline ever since the Chiropractic profession has been trying to be accepted by the allopathic model of healthcare (which is really disease care). Think how the osteopaths were a sole profession that wanted to be accepted by the MDs (allopaths), pushed for it, and then finally were gobbled up by the AMA. Now I donít know if there is really any difference between MDs and DOs. This is very unfortunate. Chiropractic is separate and distinct in itself. I say we keep it that way, so we donít become musculoskeletal manipulating technicians that treat just back pain; or worse yet, ďAllopractors!Ē

I am writing this article for you to think about your life choice to be a Chiropractor or as a Chiropractor. I donít write this to offend anyone, just to let you think; think about your philosophy, and to think about where you want this profession to go. Only you can choose. I am available for discussion @ Philosophy Club at Palmer Florida or you can continue this discussion via email with club members at

Thank you, Josh Handt Palmer Florida Q8 student

Chiropractic Questions

I have often wondered how our great profession reached its current status in the world. As a starting point I review the history of how chiropractic started. Hearing restored by an application of principle. The very beginning of "hard bone on soft nerve." Simple and complete for it's time. Yes, DD did write about the spiritual and religious aspects of what he was doing but what caught on-to my reading- was the mechanical aberration. Move the bone off the nerve and restoration of life occurred. Like I said, it was a very simple time.

When I first started going to a chiropractor, brought to a chiropractor is the more accurate term since I was 11 and couldn't drive, it was to one who "moved the bone". This was the mid 1960's. Thousands of people walked through his converted garage and had the power turned on. They came and listened to a lay lecture about vertebral subluxations interfering with life's expression from the brain to the body. Interference caused by a hard bone on a soft nerve. Simple.

Back then people brought other people to the office. In droves. The waiting area was SRO- standing room only. Sure, it was a GPC practice, a box on the wall phenomena. No insurance. No fancy pamphlets. No office manager, public relations CA, or consultant on call. Neuropatholators were around as were spine models but that was about it. Simple.

Then the 1970's and 1980's came around. Insurance reimbursement was the rage. Medicare reimbursed chiropractors for caring for senior citizens but, and this is interesting, only for correcting vertebral subluxations. Ironic because it was Medicare that initially gave the vertebral subluxation legs. Against the odds they validated the existence of the vertebral subluxation. You couldn't get paid if you didn't correct subluxations and, as the logic follows, they must exist because you received a check. Other insurance companies got into the act. Creative billing accompanied by justification and rationalization for our new found financial (and some say, professional) status was all that was talked about. The medics did it, why shouldn't we? "What code you using?" was the greeting to a colleague now. It was the era of the seminar and the birth (in a big way) of consultants. No longer were schools able to teach students how to be chiropractors. Pre and post graduate seminars were necessary now figure out how to be successful. Parker, DE, Wes Trout, Renaissance, and others brought chiropractors together to learn what was in the way of the simplicity of success. Patter was learned, office procedures instituted, and offices transformed. They often linked our philosophy with science in a well produced educational format. The Vertebral Subluxation Complex or VSC was born. Purpose was still being spoken even while a count of those in the seminar rooms showed greater meeting attendance in Insurance Coding and even Acupuncture than in philosophy. Discussions in the hallways were often more about boosting the bottom line than in giving a better adjustment. State boards continued to demand the institution of continuing education as a means of raising the status by which they believed we were being held by the public and the medical establishment. Boards started punishing chiropractors for simply telling the story or letting a patient's testimonial be published. Simple was fast falling away in favor of complex.

The 1990's saw more of the same. Small cadre's of men continued to get together to map out their idea of the future of chiropractic. Away from the simple and straight (no pun intended) into the complex. One. Two. Three. Four parts of the National Board. Millions into the testers coffers. No evidence of competency or professional skills benefiting mankind were ever shown to be evident as a result of what was being asked in a test booklet or practical exam. Schools began to not only teach outside the original ideas of chiropractic but actually changed their names to reflect the lowered level of importance placed on the vertebral subluxation. Now it was natural healing that was the rage. The "New Age" had returned (I always thought it was the Old Age that had returned). Chopra and Weil were heroes to chiropractors. Prattling our philosophy of life on the stage trying to accomplish with needles and herbs what chiropractors could do with our hands. Research that was done had little to do with chiropractic principles and more to do with chiropractic techniques applied to the medicalized treatment of a limited number of disorders: menstrual cramps, back aches, neck pain. Once again, simple had become more complex, very complex.

So here in the early part of the 21st century we can already see much of where we may be headed. More simple into complex. That same small cadre of men were still doing mischief. Closing schools, demanding more money for tests, trying to pull all continuing education under one roof with one approving body, the punishment of chiropractors who would dare "treat" asymptomatic" patients or-god forbid- children, trying to create a one world chiropractic governing body, attempting to sue our way to equality, and on and on and on. We've also seen the metamorphosis of chiropractic care into something called wellness. Simple was, do I dare say, being transformed into complex.

Now I don't have a major problem with the push towards a wellness model. Early on we called something similar the five facets of health. Remember? Here's a refresher for those who don't: Good food, Exercise, Rest, PMA (positive mental attitude) and, of course, chiropractic care. Everyone I knew taught their patients the mantra. Overnight I somehow was transformed from a chiropractor into an expert on sleeping and choosing the right bed. I was an exercise guru and nutritional expert rolled into one. And of course I had a chronic condition of PMA. Rather than be seen as the person to go to for correction of nerve interference, I was being morphed into a Health & Wellness coach. Sure, people will benefit from my knowledge. But it seems overly complex to me now. I can't seem to remember the grade I received in my stretching class. My nutritional instructor in school spent most of the quarter talking about coffee enemas. It seems that it was society that was directing the changes that were taking place around me. It was an outside-in and not an inside out flow that was moving chiropractic from the simple to the complex. Baby boomers were older therefore I had to change or be left behind.

I don't buy it.

Not a drop.

In my opinion it was the shift away from our earlier and simpler times that has caused much of the problems we have today. Under the name of chiropractic all manner of practices are/were incorporated into our offices. The philosophy was still there but it got diluted by mixing it with other practices. We stopped doing one thing well and tried to do it all. Even today, with chiropractors wanting to prescribe drugs or do what MD's do, we're still taking the simple and making it complex. That small cadre of men, who ultimately are nothing more than suppressive and mad with power, continues to try and dictate our future. We can't let that happen because once it does chiropractic will cease to exist. The practice of chiropractic will become so complex that the subluxation will be relegated to a footnote in our profession's history. Bad backs, anyone?

Keep It Simple, Smartguy. People are still the same as they were in DD's time. Why did we change? Why might you have changed? Had we been able to keep it pure and unsullied would chiropractic be a more dominant force in society today? Are we moving in a good direction? Are you still telling the story?

Yours for the principle,

Harvey Fish DC

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