Reaching the Different World Views


For the purpose of understanding chiropractic there are essentially two world views. We commonly refer to them as Above-Down (ADIO) and Outside-In. If we expect to truly influence the world at large and our individual communities in particular, then we must understand these world views and how they impact the lives of our practice members and our potential practice members. This will enable us to present chiropractic in the clearest manner and to avoid unrealistic expectations in being able to reach certain groups of people.

While there are two different world views, these views create three distinct groups of potential practice members and those who ultimately join a straight chiropractic practice. We shall examine these three groups.

1. The first group consists of people with an ADIO world and life viewpoint.

This is the group of people who clearly live their lives from an ADIO viewpoint. Their profile is usually that of a person who has a religious belief or at the least, recognizes a power or deity greater than themselves. They are the types of people who display a certain degree of independence, take responsibility for their life and their actions, and see the role of government as being limited in their life. With regard to the practice of medicine, while they may use medical procedures, they understand that it has or should have a minor role in their health and life. They try to avoid drugs as much as possible and they see the need to be proactive regarding health (i.e., doing things to be healthy). This group makes the ideal chiropractic practice member. When they hear and understand the philosophy of chiropractic, they generally respond very positively. They have a vitalistic philosophy of life and chiropractic fits beautifully into it. These people will become the bulk of a practice’s lifetime chiropractic practice members. The challenge in making them lifetime practice members is in convincing them of the need to be “dependent” on a chiropractor on a regular basis. Their independence and self reliance tends to cause them to not want to depend on anyone. Guessing as to what percentage of the general population of the country is made up of this group would be only that, a guess. However, it appears that the percentage of the population making up this group is dwindling every year. In the early part of the history of this country, this group probably made up the vast majority of the population. I would say that today it represents a minority.

2. The second group consists of those with a clearly outside-in philosophy of life. They are mechanists. They are materialistic and if they have a religious persuasion, it is superficial and probably only out of habit from youth or to please a spouse or parent. This person is impressed with the accomplishments of science, as well as those of medicine. They believe that the answer to man’s problems will ultimately be found in scientific discovery, increased education, and the enlightened few controlling the lives of the unenlightened masses. This thinking, in addition to science, extends to such areas as health care practices, sociology, politics and government. Usually they reject chiropractic care and are often vehemently antagonistic toward it. These people, on the whole, will not be reached. However, there are some of them that will seek chiropractic care. These are usually the last-resort types who see chiropractic as a treatment for a certain condition, usually back pain. They will only use chiropractic on that basis. They will never become a lifetime practice member and will reject overtures by the chiropractor to get them to come on a regular basis. Their responses will vary from condescending to indignant should they be pressed to become regular practice members. They will continue to come as they choose and when they choose until either they find that chiropractic no longer “works” for them or until the chiropractor either dismisses them or drives them away with his “badgering” about the need for regular care. Occasionally, one of these types will change. It is usually the result of a radical change in other aspects of their life and in their general world view. However, for the most part, chiropractors must realize that we will never make great inroads into this group. They have bought the lie of the outside-in viewpoint of life.

3. The final group, in my opinion, represents the great masses of humanity. They live what I would call a life of incongruency. If given a clear description of the two world viewpoints, they would definitely claim to adhere to an above-down one. However, most aspects of their life are totally inconsistent with that viewpoint. Their thinking is superficial. Their understanding of an ADIO philosophy of life is weak and they rarely question whether something is consistent with that philosophy. They do not look for or think about congruency in their life. These people need to be taught. They need to understand the ADIO philosophy and how it impacts upon every aspect of their life. They need to see how chiropractic, while addressing the need for maintaining a good nerve supply, is part of a greater philosophy that needs to be applied to all aspects of their health and life. Whether the chiropractor should be doing this education is up to the individual, but the more they are taught the ADIO philosophy, the more they will be able to apply it to their understanding of chiropractic and to become better practice members.  v16n3

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