There is quite a controversy within our profession over the use of non-prescription drugs and there are even a few advocating the limited use of prescription drugs. The one side argues that we must move with the times, recognizing the value of medication in certain situations. The other group argues that chiropractic has historically chosen to be a drugless profession and that we should respect and tenaciously adhere to that historical position.
I must disagree with those who maintain that chiropractic historically chose to be drugless. It did not. Chiropractic was drugless because giving drugs was not consistent with our philosophy. We established a philosophy. Being drugless was just the natural outgrowth of that philosophy. It was not necessary to choose it. In fact, it never occurred to our founding fathers to add drugs because that would be totally inconsistent with the principles of practice. There was no need to think about, debate over, or hold state board hearings as to whether we should or should not. It was totally unthinkable. It was not unthinkable because drugs were bad or dangerous, but because deductive reasoning concluded that the use of drugs would be a divorcement from the reality of our philosophy and would be totally hypocritical. If we historically chose not to associate ourselves with drugs, we would have left open the option to change our minds. All branches of science and the healing arts change their minds often. Medicine is now changing its mind concerning chiropractic. Osteopathy began as a drugless healing art. At a point in its history, however, it changed and chose to incorporate the use of drugs and surgery. Its philosophy (or lack of philosophy) allowed it. We did not choose to exclude drugs from our procedure. It was dictated to us by the chiropractic philosophy. But then so were many other things. It really does not matter whether the drug is over the counter or not. It does not matter whether the drug is man-made or found in nature. It may even be a vitamin used to treat a disease. It does not matter whether it is injected into the body or created by stimulating the body’s own chemical producing system by such things as acupuncture or the newest gadget which supposedly “stimulates the brain at specific frequencies” producing such chemicals as endorphins, seratonin, norepinephrne and catecholamine.
Our philosophy taught from the beginning that medicine educatedly determines what is best for the body and goes about choosing the most effective method of bringing about their desired result. It just so happens that in the past 100 years that method has been the use of pharmaceuticals. Chiropractic, on the other hand, does not educatedly decide what physiological functions should be occurring in the body. Instead we remove an interference at the vertebral level which enables the innate intelligence of the body to determine what is best for the organism. If you understand our historical, philosophical perspective and our present straight chiropractic philosophy, then it is not even an option to make a choice to be drugless or to use drugs. v7n6


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