Is Straight Chiropractic a Health Profession?


     From time to time people inside and outside the straight
chiropractic community question whether the model that we
present in straight chiropractic is really part of the health
field.  We do not want to diagnose or treat disease which is
the most common aspect of health care.  What’s more, we say
that our approach is to allow the innate intelligence of the
body to better express itself by removing nerve interference
at the vertebral level.  That apparently does not address
health or disease in any manner.  There are a number of
issues that are bringing this question to the forefront of
people’s thinking.  The issue of managed health care and
chiropractic inclusion is one.  Straight chiropractic’s
similarity and close association with Spinology has caused at
least one critic of the profession to question whether we
also belong in the health field.
     The question has two aspects to it.  How do we define a
health profession?  Medicine is a disease profession.  It
treats disease and its symptoms and to a lesser degree
attempts to prevent disease.  Yet, in spite of this, medicine
is considered to be the most utilized of the health
professions.  We must define health, Webster says it is,
“soundness of body and mind, wholeness.”  It seems that to
qualify as a health profession, attention must be directed
toward making the body “whole” in some manner or other or in
some aspect.  The fields of psychology and psychiatry do not
treat all diseases, only those affecting the mind.  Yet they
realize that the soundness of the mind is integrally related
to the health of the whole body.  They qualify as a health
     There is perhaps no other profession that affects the
whole person as much as chiropractic.  By correcting
vertebral subluxations the nervous system works better,
enabling every aspect of the individual to reach a greater
potential, including his/her health.  So in this sense,
chiropractic is a health profession as much or even more than
any other.
     The second aspect of the question involves what I call
“true health.”  Health is the body adapting to its
environment in a positive manner.  In that sense, health
comes from within and only the body can create health.
Therefore, there is no such thing as a health profession.  No
one dispenses health or gives health to people.  Further, as
we point out so often as chiropractors, health is the
responsibility of the patient.  People must take control of
their own health and do those things necessary to attain and
maintain it.  There may be no such thing as a health
profession but if there is, then chiropractic qualifies as
one, more so than any other. v11n4

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