From the Mailbox


A young chiropractor recently wrote to me expressing his concern and displeasure over a Pivot article about the relationship between the objective straight chiropractor and what we would call the traditional chiropractor, the “chiropractic gets sick people well” type, those who usually identify themselves as being subluxation-based. He felt that, while we have some differences, we have much more in common than do the broad-scope practitioners and that we should be focusing on our areas of agreement rather than being divisive as he perceived my article to be.

I admit that sometimes my articles can be somewhat inflammatory, but then they are nothing compared to many written by B.J. when these traditional chiropractors use as a model. I guess it is only inflammatory if you do not agree with it. If the articles were written so as to be agreeable to all the readers, I personally feel that they would not be worth reading. They are designed to make you think. As for the content, it is true that the objective straight chiropractor and this traditional chiropractor have more in common than they do differences. Both acknowledge the philosophy of innate intelligence. Both see the vertebral subluxation as the area of expertise of the chiropractor. Both believe mixing medical practice and chiropractic practice is detrimental to chiropractors. These are three commonly held tenets. It would be fine if we left them at that. But all philosophers, as well as seekers of truth are obligated to search further, to dig deeper in order to find the truth. “For unto whomsoever much is given of him shall be much required” (Luke 12:48) I believe that principle holds true outside the theological realm. For example, we expect more from a teenager than we would from a five-year old. We, who have been given this innate philosophy, have a responsibility to understand it, clarify it, and apply it accurately in our practices. Slight differences can be fatal. The osteopathic profession once held to a vitalistic philosophy. It was slightly different than ours yet look where they are today.

In looking closer at both the differences between the objective straight chiropractor and the traditional straight chiropractor become evident. We both embrace an innate philosophy, but we have some differences as to how to describe innate intelligence, what its role in the body is and what its limitations are. Objective straight chiropractic do not think that innate intelligence is a being, or a spirit guide, and it does not usurp the role of the educated intelligence. Both groups focus on the vertebral subluxation. We have that in common. But we have differences in why we make it our area of expertise. The objective straight chiropractor does so because vertebral subluxations are, in and of themselves, a detriment to the well-being of the human organism. Nothing more, nothing less. The traditional chiropractor sees them as the cause of disease, as an interference to man being a perfect expression of God or as something else. Some think that as long as we are both correcting vertebral subluxation that it does not matter. Your intent and your objective always matters, that is why we call it “objective” straight chiropractic.

Both groups believe that mixing chiropractic and medicine is wrong, but we have differences as to what we consider mixing. The objective straight chiropractor sees making judgements about medical practice or procedures to be mixing. Presenting chiropractic as an alternative to medicine gives people the idea that the two have similar objectives. Similarity is mixing. Discussing disease or medical conditions in a chiropractic context is mixing. The traditional chiropractor thinks it is alright to discuss the “cause” of disease.

The conflicting ideas between the objective straight chiropractor and the traditional straight chiropractor are admittedly small, but they represent divergent paths and as you travel on divergent paths you become further and further separated and alienated. That is the reason why we have great extremes of thinking and practice in the chiropractic profession today, possibly more than any other profession or school of thought (with perhaps the exception of religion). It seems to me it is better to air our little differences, discuss what may seem to be minor conflicts and clarify this chiropractic philosophy than to wait, as we have done in the past, until we have even a greater disparity within our profession.   v18n2

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