Conflict of Philosophy-Part I The Future of Chiropractic


The division within our profession is one of philosophy and that philosophy is part of our world and life viewpoint. It touches upon every aspect of our profession, including how we view the future of our profession. Further, and without question, how we view our profession affects the politics of chiropractic.

The ADIO viewpoint maintains that we are responsible for the success (or failure) of our profession. Those who hold to the ADIO viewpoint believe we must base our actions on principles which should guide our decisions. Our destiny is in our hands. It is not in the hands of insurance companies, the government, or even the public. We are the masters of our professional fate. History has shown that we did not break under strong medical opposition, legal persecution by the government, or the attacks by an ill-informed public. On the contrary, as a profession, we grew and prospered during those times. Without accreditation, licensure, student loans, or medical acceptance we grew as a profession because of our adherence to our principles and the internal strength that those principles fostered. The outside forces (the external environment) did not frighten us as a profession.

The outside-in viewpoint says that we are victims of our circumstances and that we should change according to outside pressures. That our future depends not upon our principles but upon government, the insurance companies, and public perception that we must do that which is necessary to foster the approval of these forces, even if it means compromising our principles. Some in our profession have done just that. What was the most important or first area of compromise? I believe it was when we concluded that to gain acceptance we had to look more and more like medicine and less and less like something else. So the leadership in our profession decided that we should strive to be like medicine. They believed that this would impress an outside-in legislative system, the outside-in therapeutic insurance system, and a largely outside-in thinking public. They were right. We gave up principle for acceptance. We gave up the principle that its not about your back but about your life to be accepted as back doctors. It was hard to argue with results of being accepted as back doctors, unless results are not what you are looking for. But apparently for many that was their ultimate goal.

Many point to the time in our history when the ICA decided to join the CCE. However, that was only the result of a loss of vision, after the profession had decided that the principle was secondary to acceptance. Compromise occurred in the mentality of their soul (in their head and heart) long before that August when the vote was taken. B.J. pointed it out so clearly when he said that what would destroy our profession was the “boring from within.” When the outside-in viewpoint permeated the profession’s thinking it was only a matter of time for the changes to take place and for the profession to no longer resemble what the builders of chiropractic envisioned.

Will the chiropractic profession survive? I have no idea. Will our government based upon liberty survive? Will the Church survive? (We might as well ask will the law of gravity ever be repealed?) The government may not survive but the principle of freedom will. Local churches may close their doors, even entire denominations may disappear, but the Word will remain forever. The law of gravity can only be repealed by the Lawgiver. Our profession may not survive, at least not as we would know it but the principles of chiropractic will. The law of life will remain as long as biological organisms can adapt. Chiropractic may exist as another profession with another name but it will exist. Chiropractic, the principle, existed long before the profession began. Long before D.D. Palmer gave the first adjustment, the principle of subluxation correction, improving the expression of the body’s innate intelligence, was working. We never knew it but it was happening in spines. We did not call it chiropractic but it was occurring. It will continue to occur, perhaps not as chiropractic, perhaps not as a profession, but as a principle. There is satisfaction in knowing that.


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