ANOREXIA PHILOSOPHICA

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For those within our profession that have a predilection towards diagnosis we have a new disease. Unfortunately those who practice “diagnostic chiropractic” are the ones least capable of recognizing this condition. However, it appears the problem is not confined to any one group but is endemic throughout the entire profession. The signs and symptoms are classical, the chief of which is a lifeless practice. The majority of the patients come for symptomatic relief of bad backs and stiff necks; very few families; even less children as patients. No educational program for the patient, a lethargic attitude by the office staff, and an obvious lack of enthusiasm on the part of the doctor are other symptoms. Unfortunately, as with most diseases, the condition begins very insidiously and the chiropractor usually doesn’t realize he has it, primarily because there almost always is a feeling of well being and success while the condition is developing. By the time the chiropractor realizes he is suffering with anorexia philosophica, he thinks he is too far gone to seek help and begins to think that this syndrome is a normal state and that there is really nothing wrong with him. It appears the condition has one predominant cause: the lack of desire to metabolize philosophy. This usually begins in chiropractic college. The student is presented the chiropractic philosophy in either a palatable or unfortunately unpalatable manner. But, that is really not an excuse for lack of metabolization. Granted, the more esthetically pleasing the food, the easier to get it down. But, from a nutritional standpoint it means very little. (Didn’t it always seem as we were growing up that the yuckiest looking food was supposedly the best for us?) To get it down was unpleasant and took a certain amount of discipline self discipline or that imposed by our parents. In any case, it was necessary. The chiropractic student refuses or rejects the philosophy because it appears unusual, goes against his preconceived ideas. Or he rejects it because it is too “dry.” Unlike certain foods we were made to eat, you cannot “wash down the philosophy” without diluting its nutritional value. If we somehow force feed the philosophy down the student’s throat, it merely remains there to be regurgitated at mid-term and final time. As everyone knows, regurgitated food has no nutritional value and produces no growth. The same is true for regurgitated philosophy. Unless it is digested and metabolized it does not become part of our being. The innate intelligence of the body is responsible for the metabolization of food. The Big Idea is responsible for the metabolization of chiropractic philosophy. It appears then that you have to get the Big Idea before you can begin to metabolize the philosophy, make the information useful to your everyday practice and a part of your very being. That appears to be a catch-22. You cannot understand the philosophy without having the Big Idea and it would seem that you cannot get the Big Idea without first understanding the philosophy. If that’s the case we are all in big trouble for if you get the Big Idea all else follows. By all else we assume understanding, application, and spizzerinctum. It would logically follow then that if we don’t get the Big Idea, nothing else follows, Hegelian logic.
The Big Idea then is that which takes the food (philosophy) sitting in the stomach (brain) and transforms it into utilizable substance (information). Fortunately with regard to food, it is purely an innate function and we do not have to think about digestion and assimilation. However, with regard to the philosophy of chiropractic, it appears to necessitate an action of the will, which is a function of the educated brain. We must come to accept the Big Idea, whatever it might be, through some means, deductive reasoning, faith, or empiricism, before we can begin to make the chiropractic philosophy a utilizable force in our lives and practices.
If you have the ability to ingest and metabolize the philosophy and yet do not exercise that ability it is absolutely worthless to you. It is possible to starve to death in a room with tons of good nutritional food. You must make the effort to eat it, raise the fork to your lips and start to chew and then swallow. That’s a fairly elementary process, wouldn’t you say? It takes very little effort and after you begin that process, the innate intelligence of the body takes over, swallowing, digesting, metabolizing, etc. No more effort on your part, only the rewards. How could anyone allow themselves to starve to death in a room full of food? We would conclude that he or she were malfunctioning mentally (if we were prone toward diagnosis). Yet thousands of chiropractors are starving philosophically while green books sit on the shelf collecting dust, articles go unread, tapes not listened to, seminars unattended. Granted there isn’t a plethora of philosophical information available to the field chiropractor. But there is surely sufficient to keep you from starving to death chiropractically or even manifesting the above symptoms of anorexia philosophica.

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