Attempting to identify yourself as a straight chiropractor is becoming rather ludicrous. It’s ironic that the term was begun years ago by B.J. and resurrected again in the mid 70’s in order to clarify a chiropractor by his objectives. It seems that so many chiropractors with such diverse methods of practice are calling themselves straight that one wonders if there is not a conspiracy to confuse. Another possibility is that there is, in the minds of many chiropractors, certain status attached to being identified as a straight chiropractor. You never see a sign in front of an office, a business card or an ad in the yellow pages saying “John Doe, D.C., Mixer Chiropractor.” The third possibility is that many “straight” chiropractors really do not understand what straight chiropractic is all about.
We see the chiropractors who have graduated from straight colleges and who identify themselves as straight chiropractors doing some pretty strange things. Some of the advertising done by straights looks no different than the average mixers. They advertise the “eight danger signals” or list conditions or symptoms. If challenged about it they would say “I realize it’s not chiropractic but it gets the patients in the office where I can educate them to what chiropractic is.” That’s dishonest advertising! Many straights advertise “auto and work accidents” or “personal injury cases” or “sports related injuries.” The worst part is that most never even think about those things as not being straight chiropractic. Chiropractors correct subluxations and don’t relate to their cause. I could keep going on, the point is we can hardly say who is straight anymore. Thom Gelardi, D.C., who must be considered the spokesman for the straights, once said “Principled people use terminology to clarify, unprincipled people use terminology to confuse.”
We have “straights” who diagnose to know whether the patient needs to be referred out for emergency medical care. That’s not consistent with our philosophy. If a person is coming to us as an alternative to medical care we have missed the boat in educating them or worse failed to realize our true objective.
We have “straights” who claim not to diagnose but do all kinds of diagnostic procedures to monitor the health of their patients. That’s not consistent with our philosophy. We are not in the business of monitoring health.
Perhaps we have reached the point where we must think up a new term to describe the chiropractor who only locates, analyzes and corrects subluxations. Personally I hate the thought of doing that. I never liked having to use the adjective “straight.” As far as I am concerned, and I’m sure I speak for others, there is only one chiropractic. But, language is supposed to clarify.
When it ceases to do that we must look at the reason or reasons and then we need to develop clearer ways of expressing ourselves. If that necessitates a new adjective such as “orthodox” or “traditional” then we must be willing to make that change.
However, when you think about it further, you realize those “conspiring to confuse” would just assume the new term. Those who think there is a certain status to being recognized as straight would also assume the new term. We will never resolve that problem no matter what we call ourselves. The last group, however, those who really do not understand what straight chiropractic is need to realize that they do not and then need to learn. Perhaps the greatest need in our profession is in the area of continuing education in the philosophy of chiropractic.  V2n6

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