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I received the following question from a Pivot reader: Do you teach your practice members that they are responsible for their subluxations? First, no one is responsible for all of their subluxations? A subluxation occurs when an external invasive force overcomes the resisting forces of the body. The innate intelligence of the body is responsible for the creation of internal resistive forces. External invasive forces come from various sources both outside and inside the body. Those outside the body would include falls and accidents. Clearly, you are not responsible if you are sitting at a traffic light and someone hits you from behind. However, falling down a flight of steps is your fault even if it is an accident. External invasive forces can also come in the form of emotional or chemical forces. In the case of chemical forces, these can originate from outside the body like alcohol, caffeine, toxins and other poisonous substances. In sufficient quantity or in a weakened body they can overcome the body’s internal resistive forces and cause a subluxation. In these cases, an individual would be responsible for bad choices even those made in ignorance. As the police officer will tell you, ignorance of the law is no excuse. In this case, the law of nutrition. Chemical forces, however, can also originate inside the body. For example, certain chemical imbalances within the body can act as an external invasive force and overcome the internal resistive forces of the body. An excess of lactic acid in the body will cause an external invasive force. Actually it may be caused by an imbalance of the body chemistry for any reason. Some might argue that that would only occur as a result of a predisposing subluxation but I believe that is an assumption that our non-therapeutic model of chiropractic can no longer make. Consequently, a practice member is not always responsible for all of their vertebral subluxations. We try to help our practice members understand all of this.

It is interesting to look at the question another way as well; that it is not that the practice member is responsible for getting their subluxation but that he/she should be responsible for correcting them. Obviously, it takes the hands of a chiropractor to introduce a force into the body, but it is the practice member’s body that makes the actual adjustment. It is the body that takes the force that the chiropractor has introduced and moves the bone to the correct position. The chiropractor is merely setting the bone into motion in the direction that the body wants it. So technically, the chiropractor is assisting the body in the correction of the subluxation. We do absolutely teach our practice members that.

Finally, we might consider one other way of looking at this question. It is so obvious that it is often overlooked. It is clearly the responsibility of the spine’s owner to see the chiropractor on a regular basis. The chiropractor cannot assist in correcting subluxations without the cooperation of the practice member in getting into the office on a regular basis to have the spine checked for subluxation. We definitely teach all of our practice members that too. V24n4

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