Reality Check

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Those who have read my writings know that I am by nature an optimistic person.  I try to be fair in showing the good and, in my opinion, the superior aspects of my manner of practice.  I do not make it a practice to attack medical doctors or mixers.  I may point out the philosophical problems and inconsistencies of other types of practices but I try not to get personal.  I am extremely positive when it comes to the ADIO philosophy, but I am not overly optimistic about its growth and success.  Some within our profession, particularly those in the traditional straight chiropractic community, think that we are making great strides toward growing as an approach to health.  Much of this divorcement from reality is a result of not understanding the philosophy.  This thinking leads to some problems, which is the only reason I bring it up.  It would be similar to thinking that just because the communists are no longer building nuclear bombs that they are now more amiable or tolerant of freedom and democratic principles.  They are not.  They are just taking a different tactic in their attempt at global conquest.  If you understand their philosophy, you realize that it necessitates world domination. 

Similarly, there is a good deal of talk today about how the world is coming around to our way of thinking and how thousands of people daily are changing from traditional medical health care to an alternative practitioner.  A recent study showed that more people go to alternative-care practitioners than to medical doctors.  In my opinion, all the study really showed was that people had more visits to alternative health-care practitioners than to medical doctors.  When you take into account that the average person goes to a medical doctor three times a year while an alternative health-care practitioner may want to see the patient three times the first week, the figures are not so impressive.  Further, many patients are probably seeing the medical doctor and the alternative health-care practitioner at the same time so they have not really “switched over.” For these reasons, I am not sure that the statistics represent any change in the last 100 years.  Alternative healers of all kinds have been around for centuries.  D.D. Palmer was one of many even before he discovered chiropractic.  Even if the increase is significant, I am not sure that it means anything.  There are more people in the country that go to the doctor today than 100 years ago. 

Further, the increase in the number of people going to alternative health-care practitioners does not necessarily demonstrate a shift in people’s thinking.  It may mean that because medicine has failed them in the alleviation of a particular condition or disease, they are willing to try something else for the treatment of that disease.  If the Phillies are playing especially poorly during a game, I may switch channels to watch a movie or some alternative form of entertainment.  That does not mean I am no longer a Phillies fan or that I will never watch them again.  Peoples’ use of chiropractic or alternative health care does not mean that there has been an awakening to the ADIO viewpoint of life.  We have to realize that many people who are going to a chiropractor (perhaps most) are doing so because they have found it to be a superior treatment for some medical condition, most commonly back pain.  When the pain is gone, so are they.  Why would they stay under care if they do not understand the definition of true health, or the concepts of health maintenance, innate intelligence, or how chiropractic care can help them reach their full potentials in every area of life.  In other words, they have not embraced the ADIO philosophy, they have just conformed chiropractic to an outside-in philosophy.  They have made chiropractic a therapy.  What is so exciting about that? All they know is that if they develop back pain in the future, they might try a chiropractor first.  I find it hard to see how going to a chiropractor for bad backs demonstrates a significant shift in people’s thinking.  They will continue to go to medical doctors until they think that some alternative can better help them and then they will try that.  It may on occasion be chiropractic.  But there are plenty of alternative health care systems with which we must compete.  Even if people are turning to drugless alternatives, it is still outside-in.

It seems to me that we are really not making any progress in our profession.  Oh, some chiropractors are in small ways with their practice members or perhaps in their community but being an alternative health care will no more get our message across to the public than will becoming mainstreamed into medicine.  We need to be far removed from everybody to get our model accepted.  We need to make sure that the public knows we are not part of medicine nor are we an alternative to the medical objective.  It does not matter whether the medical objective is being accomplished by medicine, alternative health care, or chiropractic.  The results are the same.  The public misses out on the truth of the ADIO philosophy.  We need to realize we are not making great progress simply because a few studies show people turning to alternative treatment care.  We need to more clearly present our non-alternative, non-therapeutic model to the public, and then we can see some changes that reflect something better for mankind. v15n1

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