We Were Right!

by Robert Braile, D.C., F.I.C.A.
President, International Chiropractors Association

I’m speaking of the chiropractic profession as a whole. We were right! For a century chiropractors have claimed that there was a better alternative available rather than the treatment of disease and sickness through drugs. We were right! For over a hundred years chiropractic has stood up against a huge political and monetary medical force and proudly proclaimed that healing came from the inside and not from the outside. We were right!. For decades we in chiropractic have said the present system of insurance and allopathic health care would collapse due to its own weight. Well, we were right!

For a hundred and two years we have said that chiropractic offered the public a safer, more natural way to solve many of their health concerns. We were right! We said that chiropractic offered a chance at wellness from a perspective not available from any other health care system. We were right! We have even been so bold as to question many accepted medical rituals while insisting the public have the right to making an informed choice. Again, we were right!. In fact in our short one hundred year history we were right about every basic fundamental principle chiropractic held at its core.

Thank goodness we held our ground. Thank goodness we didn’t give up our principles and follow the path of the osteopaths. Thank goodness we stood up and proudly proclaimed our independence, our uniqueness and our desire to remain separate and distinct. Thank goodness for the ICA!

For over 71 years the International Chiropractors Association has proudly maintained its principled positions on chiropractic as a separate and distinct health care delivery system. For over 71 years ICA has not wavered on the chiropractic principles just to conform with the passing fashions of health care economics. Since ICA’s creation in 1926 by B.J. Palmer, we have always believed the best way to serve the profession was to save its principles.

B. J., and all the great leaders in chiropractic that followed after him, understood that the answer to the public’s search for health would eventually lead them to chiropractic. All we had to do was continue to stay the course and promote and protect the chiropractic principles. So for the past 71 years it has been the mission of the ICA to do just that, promote and protect chiropractic as a separate and distinct Science, Philosophy and Art. The ICA always has, and always will, continue to proudly profess the chiropractic paradigm as an idea vastly ahead of its time.

Being ahead of your time, however, exacts a heavy price. Many of our profession’s pioneers found this out when they were arrested and jailed for practicing chiropractic. Being ahead of the times also meant consistently coming to the legal rescue of those pioneers in need, as the ICA did for decades. Being ahead of the times meant stepping up and being the lone voice supporting an antitrust suit for many years, as the ICA did in the Wilk suit long before any other national associations would dare to join in.

Being ahead of the times also draws criticism for your stance. Chiropractors drew much criticism for caring for children, and daring to suggest parents should have freedom of choice on the issue of vaccinations. And when the Wall Street Journal published an article attacking chiropractic the ICA did not weaken our message or response. The ICA then stood as the only chiropractic organization on record as having a freedom of choice policy on vaccinations.

But the ICA has grown accustom to being ahead of the times. The ICA supported subluxation research long before it was popular. The ICA continually introduces legislation on a national level to expand the public’s ability to seek chiropractic care without financial barriers. The ICA has garnered celebrity support to expand the appeal of chiropractic to the public. The ICA has gotten many articles placed into national publications including the recent ones on children and chiropractic in Parenting and Child magazines, all to continue to tell the true story of chiropractic.

At times the ICA has had the fortitude to take the unsafe stand against things in chiropractic that we felt were detrimental to our distinct and separate premise. The ICA has always said no to drugs of any kind anywhere in the profession. The ICA said no to standards documents such as Mercy that did not reflect chiropractic values, principles and practice. And the ICA said no to going along with medical dogma just for the sake of acceptance.

Being ahead of the times also means working for the good of chiropractic years into the future. In that light the ICA is introducing a standard of care document and process where by the entire profession will be asked for input and consensus. The ICA is spearheading the formation of the Council on Chiropractic Codification whose 5 year goal is the profession wide consensus and acceptance of a set of complete chiropractic codes owned and controlled by the chiropractic profession, similar to what the dentists have done.

Being ahead of the times means up to date communications. So in addition to our vast variety of top quality publications, the ICA has initiated a free chiropractic weekly E-mail news update called the ICA Leadership Line. This electronic weekly newsletter is free to everyone who wants it, anywhere in the world.

But being ahead of the times also means cooperation within the profession when needed. That is why the ICA co-founded, and is an equal full partner with the ACA both financially and creatively in the Alliance for Chiropractic Progress. We in the ICA are committed to help see this project through by lending our full support to this effort. To show our commitment the ICA will be allowing all new ICA members to choose to earmark a full one third of their years membership to the Alliance.

The Alliance for Chiropractic Progress is an historic effort by the ICA and ACA to work together to promote chiropractic. This endeavor is not a small one, and it requires the dedication and cooperation of many experts and leaders within our profession. But most of all it requires you. Unfortunately a full 75% of the population of chiropractors in the US alone do not belong to either the ICA or the ACA.

This lack of membership sharply discounts the amount of resources we can commit to this very important project. Imagine the resources we could use if 75% of the population were members. For this reason we are asking you to make the commitment and join us. This is your opportunity to directly effect the outcome of chiropractic’s future by your participation. I would obviously like for you to join the ICA, but at least join something!

The ICA has been the rock of stability in chiropractic for over 71 years. Despite threats to our profession, attacks against our practitioners, and struggles to save the chiropractic principles, the ICA has not wavered in our determination. Even in these recent uncertain times of insurance reimbursement, the ICA continues to grow and now approaches record levels of membership. By holding the line, by protecting and promoting the uniqueness and distinct principles and practice of chiropractic, the ICA has assured us all a secure and resolute place in the future of health care.

If you look around the profession at our practitioners you begin to see a pride emerging. A pride that comes from knowing that we were right! A pride for being a doctor of chiropractic and embracing the uniqueness we claim our as own. The ICA feels privileged to be a part of that pride in protecting our heritage, while promoting our future. Join the pride, join the ICA!