“An Unchanging Principle in a Changing World”


The principle of chiropractic, that a vertebral subluxation interferes with the expression of the innate intelligence of the body and that by correcting that subluxation the body has greater potential in all areas of life, has been an unchanging principle since the first man walked the earth.No one really began to understand it until 1895 when D.D., somewhat by accident, stumbled across it. We have been refining the principle, or more properly the clear expression of it since D.D.’s time.A principle cannot be refined, it is perfect from the beginning.There have been however, interferences if you will, to the perfect expression of the chiropractic principle and interferences topeople’s ability to understand it and accept it.Straight chiropractors have dedicated themselves to removing these interferences. The first interference to the perfect expression of the chiropractic principle had to be the early position that chiropractic was a cure for deafness.Fortunately, thatimpediment was removed rather quickly.If it had not been, we would not have grown as a profession.Other interferences over the years include the position that chiropractic is a cure-all and the idea that chiropractic gets sick people well or corrects the cause of all disease.Yetanother interference, and one that we see probably more than any other today, is the idea that chiropractic is a therapy, part of the medical model or that it is a treatment for musculoskeletal conditions.All of these interferences have prevented the chiropractic principle from being expressed to the fullest, that is, to the fullest benefit for all of mankind.Fortunately, straight chiropractors have come very close to expressing the chiropractic principle in a consistent manner, as it was meant to be, without the extraneous baggage and impediments to it.We make no claims and no promises, except for those that we can truthfully make. For example, we claim that the body works better without interference in the nerve system due to vertebral subluxation.That is true and it is always true.

You might think now that straight chiropractors have an unchanging principle, a principle that we agree upon and that makes sense, that all we need to do to get universal acceptance is to clearlyarticulate it.So why is that nothappening?Despite our understanding this unchanging chiropractic principle, many chiropractors still have difficulty building practices or even surviving. Many chiropractors are clearer on their principle than B.J. and his contemporaries and we have more and better tools with which to communicate it than we have ever had in the history of the profession.Yet universal acceptance eludes us.The problem is not our principle or our tools.Theproblem is that we have an unchanging principle in a changing world.The fact is many of ourchiropractic tenets are no longer part of the thinking of the Americanpublic and the rest of the world.

The strong individualistic philosophy that was characteristic of this country is fast disappearing.This country began in 1776 by apeople who wanted freedom and nothing more than to be left alone to live their lives, enjoy their liberty and have the freedom to pursue their individual idea of happiness.They did not want to be the wards of King George and enjoy the protection of what was at that time the most powerful nation on earth.

Today many, perhaps even most, people in this country believe that the government should take care of all their health needs from thecradle to the grave.When individual responsibility is set aside, individual rights are sure to follow.It is true that there are people unable to care for themselves, people who need help to sustain themselves.But historically that has not been the role of government.It has been the role of other people through a mechanism called charity, which has its literal and functional basis in love for one’s fellowman.When government takes over the responsibility for the less fortunate, people lose their ability to love and help those people.When that is lost, something dies in the human soul.I think chiropractors are a good example of this problem.As a profession we seem to be very interested in getting in on government programs.Yet I see very little evidence ofchiropractors doing charitable work in chiropractic, whether it is among the indigent of the inner cities, a third world country or the less fortunate in our own communities.The principle of helping your fellowman has been replaced by letting the government do it.That is a change in the thinking of a profession that was begun to serve mankind and it unfortunately reflects a change in what was at one time the most generous and charitable nation in the history of the world.

Recently, I had the opportunity of participating in a weekend re-enactment of late 18th century life.(I really have a life outside of chiropractic!)What impressed me was how hard life was in those days, the daily life of the average person was a difficult one. Yet we have no indication that people were any less happy in those days.Today we want an easy life and look forward to vacations, long weekends and early retirement. There has been a definite change in the work ethic principle.Similarly, people want “easy health” even if they have to take a pill to achieve it.They want to express their full potential but want a “five minute workout” to reach that potential.People know they need good nutrition in their life but apparently are convinced they can get it at a fast food drive-in.These changes in people’s thinking do not bode well for chiropractic care. You mean I and my family must come every week for the rest of our lives?”That idea is notconsistent with people’s ideas of wellness, health or however you want to classify chiropractic.

We live in a changing world, one that appears to me to be more and more embracing an outside-in viewpoint of life.We can adapt chiropractic to that outside-in thinking. Many in our profession are trying to do just that.Of course it means abandoning our unchanging principles. That is unacceptable to many of us.We can resign ourselves to taking care of and impacting a continually smaller and smaller segment of society.Or, we can dedicate ourselves to changing people’s thinking. If we can overwhelm the public with such sound common sense thinking, if we can strike a chord within the collective thinking of society, we can cause them to realize that these principles we call the ADIO philosophy and the specific ones relating to thevertebral subluxation are so profound that they cannot be ignored. Then and only then can we begin to make positive changes in this changing world.It will not be an easy task.Each one of us along with our organizations must step it up a notch in our own work ethic.Each one of us must determine whether it is important enough to do that.  v17n2

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