Why is it that the chiropractors who call themselves principled or straight are not having the impact that they had five or ten years ago? There are probably many reasons. The schools, for one, are a major factor. There is no doubt that they have given up on their chiropractic emphasis. Part of that is due to the accreditation pressures put upon them. Whatever the reason, there is more medicine being taught in chiropractic colleges than there is chiropractic. Consequently, the student coming out of a chiropractic college is practicing more drugless medicine than chiropractic.
Money is a second factor. A well-known chiropractor said ten years ago that the thing that would destroy this profession would not be the medical profession or the straight-mixing battle but greed on the part of the chiropractors. Chiropractors seem to be more interested in knowing how to fill out an insurance form than in knowing the chiropractic philosophy. They are more interested in whether their technique is impressive in the courtroom than whether it corrects vertebral subluxation. Chiropractors seem more interested in impressing the patient with the fact that they are real doctors than in teaching the patient about the principles and philosophy of chiropractic. There is nothing wrong with money. There is nothing wrong with insurance, techniques or professionalism. However, our priority must be correcting subluxations and teaching the public about chiropractic.
The straight-mixing controversy is another cause. You can just fight so long and after awhile you become tired. When your time, money, and energy are being constantly drained in what appears to be an internal strife that has lasted 80 years with no end in sight, it takes an unusual person to keep battling. The chiropractic profession has a few of these people, on both sides. They are the professional soldiers in chiropractic. They just enjoy the conflict. But the majority of us are draftees. By the time “enlistment” is up we’ve forgotten what the battle is all about, especially if there is no one around to continually remind us. So we drop out. We say “I don’t need this aggravation. I’m going back to private practice.” The professional soldier doesn’t need to be reminded. He loves the battle. He’s the Patton of the chiropractic profession. But most of us don’t like to fight.
Perhaps we just alluded to the greatest cause for this lack of impact by chiropractors. There is no one around to remind us anymore. There are no inspirational, motivational, chiropractic speakers around anymore. If there are, they are convinced that no one wants to hear them. The seminars that once attracted thousands and got us excited about being chiropractors and “turning on life” are now mostly practice building seminars or worse. The chiropractic excitement of the late 60’s and early 70’s has largely disappeared. While much of it was not very professional, it nevertheless had the effect of making chiropractors proud to be chiropractors. But, we’ve gone from wanting to change the world to wanting to own it. How can we rekindle that flame of enthusiasm or light it in the young chiropractors where it has never been? We see no magnetic personalities on the horizon. The only other place it can come from is really the most logical place, within. We must generate our own excitement, our own enthusiasm, our own pride in what we do. It’s not easy but it can be done. Here are some practical ways.
1. Study chiropractic philosophy – read a green book; dissect it, think about it, write down your thoughts on paper. Who knows but someone else may even want to read them!
2. Listen to chiropractic tapes – old B.J. tapes, or others.
3. Read other books and articles – then relate them to chiropractic. Philosophically analyze articles in chiropractic journals.
4. Lecture to your patients – the greatest reinforcement of your philosophy is to espouse it day after day. Most chiropractors who do lay lectures say that they are more excited about chiropractic after having given a lecture.
5. Write a newsletter – even if you only have it printed and left in your waiting room. Getting your thoughts on paper is important.
All professions must continue to study to improve themselves. Yet how many of us ever try to improve ourselves as professionals in the area of philosophy? Taking technique courses is fine; practice building courses may be helpful (for some necessary). However, everyone needs to be continually studying and growing in the philosophy.
There are only two directions a chiropractor can go with regard to his understanding and application of the principles and philosophy – backward or forward. If your understanding of chiropractic is not growing every day then it is going backward. Go back far enough and you are no longer practicing chiropractic.  V3n2

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