THOUGHT: A new name for the profession


If we cannot get our approach to chiropractic across to the public today with all the different types of media we have at our disposal, what makes us think we will do any better by giving the profession a new or different name?

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This article has 13 comments

  1. Bob Vano, DC 10/14/2011, 5:43 pm:

    I’ve thought about this before. Our profession has failed miserably to market appropriately (meaning the way we practice) and also inappropriately (meaning as a therapeutic service). In other words, marketing/public education has been poorly done as a whole. To do it right, massive action and loads of money would need to be expended. Lack of unity does not have to matter as long as there are enough to take massive action to spend the money to get it done. As I think more, I’d still rather be a chiropractor and have to up the efforts on educating people before I have to try to explain a whole new profession. However, I think Reggie did the right thing with Spinology. I just wish more would have had that profession on solid ground when I entered the picture.

  2. Matt Santos 10/14/2011, 6:04 pm:

    The problem isn’t that the message hasn’t gotten across. It’s that we, as a profession, are sending the wrong message. If you ask anyone on the street what chiropractors do, they will almost without exception tell you that chiropractors fix your back by cracking/popping it. Very few wouldn’t have heard of a chiropractor and fewer yet wouldn’t know about the non-therapeutic chiropractic approach. Just like it’s much easier to teach chiropractic to someone who has never been to a chiropractor, it’s even easier if they haven’t heard of chiropractic before. Imagine if nobody coming into your office had any preconceived ideas about what chiropractic was/wasn’t. That’s how it would be if we had a different name like spinology. You would start with a clean slate. The question is, would we screw that profession up just as we have with chiropractic?

  3. Steven Sciame, DC 10/15/2011, 8:23 pm:

    It might not be a bad thing to start with a fresh slate. It can be easier to show someone something new than to completely change the way they think about something they already “know”. As soon as you mention the “C” word, people can’t help but conjure up images in their heads that are completely different from the images we want them to have. We are fighting an uphill battle!

    Another term might be better, though even the word, “Spinology” can easily be misunderstood to be some treatment for back problems especially since most people will be trying to figure out what the word means from their Outside-In viewpoint.

    Maybe Coordinology or Expressiology or Potentiology would serve us better?… 🙂

    • Terri Galant, DC 10/17/2011, 6:31 pm:

      I just listened to a marketing expert who spoke about “branding.” Everything he said applied to us OSC’ers! He said you have to create a new category. You have to have a single “nail” – a very specific “edge” that no one else has. Examples: VOLVO – safety;
      CHRYSLER – accessibility; get this one MAYO CLINIC – scheduling.
      You have to know WHY your work matters – people buy WHY YOU DO IT. APPLE COMPUTERS mission statement says nothing about making computers; its says something about the human spirit & it’s ability to dream or create (or something like that). A YMCA camp’s numbers were going down every summer so they changed their mission statement from a place to have fun in the outdoors to an experience to build one’s self esteem etc, etc.
      Maybe we could use some expert guidance at this point.

  4. Lisa 10/16/2011, 10:53 pm:

    If you ask most people about chiropractic, they will smile and say, I was helped quite a bit from it. But it’s still up to us to keep the conversation going.

  5. Steve 10/17/2011, 4:23 pm:

    Chiropractic is what it is. The name does not define the goal. To be most descriptive we would use the term “Nerve Tone Specialist”. That after all, is what the adjustment does. Subluxations affect the substance of the nerve and alter nerve tone or conductivity, therefore expression. Innate and ADIO should be part of the core teaching, but our main thrust (no pun intended) should be telling people what we do. We remove tone altering irritation from the nerve system. Then we have a chance and reason to explain why. If we could teach the concept of subluxation worldwide, I think things would fall into place. Those who want to change the profession (add meds) should change their name.

  6. Bob Vano, DC 10/19/2011, 2:55 pm:

    Teri is right. We need a “brand”. We do not need to change the name – we just have to come together to brand ourselves through marketing. Separate ourselves from the pack and say “follow me” with a message that resonates with the public. But as I said, we need a mass effort, not just one at a time. Sure, one at a time can benefit that one, but it doesn’t change the world. If it had, then that would have been done by now. It is rare that physical medicine docs would give up what they have, Let’s leave them behind and move forward with our own efforts. The brand or message that we create will never allow them to communicate properly — they have to have it in their heart to communicate what we communicate. I know this is harsh, but my attitude is join us or leave us and label yourself as physical medicine specialists.

    • DrC 10/20/2011, 5:05 pm:

      This it seems to me, may be separatist (dualistic) thinking. At what point does an Adjustment cease to be a joint/soft tissue/kinematic chain modality and become a metaphysical force setting into motion changes that can alter a person’s life? It is the same Adjustment. When, years ago, I Adjusted a young woman who was in an abusive relationship – and promptly thereafter – she sought separation and divorce from her abuser, did I go in thinking “Gee, she has all this postural distortion with it’s neurological component piggy-backing on an emotional crux of abuse, and its structural crux at T4, I am going to Adjust her into Divorce?” Of course not. Yet the two incidents are related (at least, in my experience and mind they were, and my certainty on it is quite high, as supported by her gratitude).

      Adjusting is a physical action whose effects are global. That is, neurological, emotional, and eventually, perhaps, if your line of thinking supports it, “spiritual.” One problem I see is that we (or at least I) was not taught that in school. (And I went to a “Philosophically Straight” school!) Fortunately, I was exposed to other lines of thinking before attending Chiropractic school, which enabled me to grasp at this. Using modern neurological models, we could teach this model of SC (notice I said SC, not VSC because I do not believe only VSCs affect neurology, I believe ANY SC at ANY joint can create a noxious afferent bombardment to the cord that might tip the scales to a person’s detriment) and UNITE Chiropractors as opposed to DIVIDING them, create a big enough umbrella that Chiropractic might fall under, with enough commonality (and clarity in it) that the public would no longer be confused about what we do. (As opposed to Chiropractic being “Joe’s Flavor” and down the block, “Bob’s Flavor” and my Flavor etc.) This is one of the largest problems I see with Chiropractic today. (There are others, but hey, I’ve got more work to get onto today  ) Look at Dr Faye’s work (he has been intent on uniting Chiropractors for some time) and even Mark Charrette’s work (that relates to Extremity Adjusting and why) and that might help bring more tolerance to our profession as opposed to fueling the “circle the wagons up and let’s all shoot at each other!” mentality.

      • JStraussDC 10/20/2011, 5:23 pm:

        Fellow Readers, I need some help here. Perhaps I’m having a bad day but I have no idea what Dr.C is talking about and how it relates to my post. He obviously took some time in putting his comment together and deserves a response but personaly I am at a loss as to how to respond. Any ideas?

      • Steve 10/21/2011, 5:22 pm:

        Dr C, studies have shown the one thing most chiros agree on is subluxation (for goodness sake use the word subluxation, with VSC or SC, the C is redundant). The question is why we adjust. This seems to be at the heart of the division. Many do not recognize the metaphysical or innate aspect of the subluxation but merely see it as a physical anomaly that must be eliminated by any (and all) means possible. It still comes down to ADIO or OIBU. This is why there will never be true unity within the profession. We can agree to disagree on subjects like technique or location, but it always comes down to WHY we do what we do. This has been a problem since the beginning of Chiro time. DD taught MDs and hoped they would give up medical practice and ways, to enable the body instead of treat it. The same thing is occurring today, some want to release the human potential, others want to make the body conform to a standard established by consensus. In your example above, many would say the adjustment could have had nothing to do with your patient releasing the source of her stress. (I would tend to agree with you, clearer body = clearer mind. Being subluxation free can help us to make better decisions.) Our problem now is how to differentiate one type of chiropractor from another by motivation and then how to educate the public on that difference.
        Change the name,I think not. What we need is lots and lots of GOOD public education (ADIO education),. We need a Bill Gates type that can saturate the market with the TRUTH!

      • Bob Vano, DC 10/24/2011, 4:46 pm:


  7. Claude Lessard 10/20/2011, 9:24 pm:

    Dr. C.
    The definition of a chiropractic adjustment is: “a SPECIFIC thrust applied to the vertebra utilizing parts of the vertebra and contiguous structures as levers to DIRECTIONALLY correct vertebral subluxations”

    The definition of a modality is: “a THERAPEUTIC method that involves the physical TREATMENT of a disorder”.

    To equate the adjustment as a modality, which is an impossibility according to the definitions, brings me at a place of deductively
    reasoning that the premise of your post does not speak so much to “tolerance within our profession” as it is does to ambiguity around definitions. It is not congruent with the philosophy of chiropractic.

    • 10/21/2011, 2:37 pm:

      An interesting quote:

      “ADJUSTMENT is the result of an action upon a SUBLUXATED vertebra, upon the part of a CHIROPRACTOR, using external applied force, meeting with internal resistance force upon the part of a live sick patient, intentionally located and intentionally positioned, which changes a SUBLUXATION to its normal apposition with its superior and inferior co-respondents, which information is secured by the competent use of an NCM to secure knowledge of LOCATION and the use of a SPGH to secure knowledge of POSITION; which, because thereof, reopens the occluded foramen, release pressure upon nerves, reduces interference to transmission, lessens resistance, and restores transmission of mental impulses between brain and body, and does thereby ADJUST the cause of dis-ease in one or multiple places in the body below, or above. An ADJUSTMENT can be given only to a living body.”

      Palmer, 1934 p. 78

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