Philosophy and Objective


There appears to be a resurgence of interest in the philosophy of chiropractic today, especially the writings of D.D. and B.J. This is great and is definitely good for the straight chiropractic message that our Founder and Developer desired to see propagated.

That said, I believe it is important that we also promote our chiropractic objective. There is a difference between the philosophy and objective. Both have come down to us from the Palmers through the Green Books and other writings. Chiropractors in recent writings have added to our philosophy. Many of these additions have been good and have further deepened our understanding of the Palmers’ work. Some of it has distorted the writings of D.D. and B.J. Some of it has pointed out their errors and misapplications, which has been good for the profession except for those who mistakenly see those writings as iconoclastic. There are many chiropractors and even non-chiropractors who believe they are promoting the philosophy. Some are, some are not. We can and should be continually developing and expanding our philosophy.

There is one problem, however, in expanding our philosophy. We may expand our practice in directions that the Palmers in all likelihood never intended. That’s where the objective becomes important. It is the restraining force on our chiropractic philosophy…what prevents us from taking it in directions it was not intended to go. In all the writings of the Developer of chiropractic, there is one overriding theme: the objective of chiropractic is to correct vertebral subluxations to enable the innate intelligence of the body to be better expressed. His and D.D.’s writings occasionally drifted, not away from the objective, but they explored what would happen and did happen to people with medical and psychiatric problems when the innate intelligence was expressed more fully by vertebral subluxation correction. They proposed theories as to what could happen to future generations and to the world should these vertebral subluxations be corrected. But regardless of the theories and conjectures, B.J., as the leader of the chiropractic profession, never left the spine because the objective undergirded the profession. Was it because B.J. felt that humankind needed nothing else but vertebral subluxations corrected (and the body could or would do everything else) or was it because he felt that locating, analyzing, and correcting vertebral subluxations was enough of a challenge and a mission, to keep any chiropractor busy for a lifetime? That question is open to debate. Regardless of which side you are on, the bottom line is that there is no need for the chiropractor to do anything else but correct vertebral subluxations.

Today our profession is full of chiropractors who would like to expand or change our professional philosophy. They think that while the correction of vertebral subluxations cannot solve the world’s problems, the chiropractor can, by adding other things to chiropractic. They have mixed other procedures with chiropractic, called it chiropractic and somehow in their minds, created a philosophical justification. The only thing that prevents them from further distorting this mixed version of chiropractic is the idea that chiropractic is defined by its objective which limits chiropractic to the correction of vertebral subluxations in order to allow greater expression of the innate intelligence of the body. Our objective limits our philosophy, our philosophy supports our objective, and together they define and limit our practice. Without both the objective and the philosophy, we cannot expect our profession to survive. While it is great to be exploring and expanding our philosophy, we cannot do it at the expense of our unique objective.

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This article has 2 comments

  1. Paulo Henrique Sugimoto 07/18/2011, 3:53 pm:

    Great post Joe!

    Our philosophy tells us how the universe works and our relation to it.
    Our objective tells us what our job is in order to activate that philosophy.

    • JStraussDC 07/19/2011, 5:46 pm:

      Well said Paulo!

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