Chiropractic Irony #2: Pride vs. Humility


There is no doubt that pride is appropriately described as the first deadly sin. It is especially prevalent among members of the health care community. We, as health care providers having the health and well-being, and even the life and death, of people in our hands can become preoccupied with our own self- importance. Any health care professional is subject to the problem of pride. We’re not talking about self confidence about what you do, but rather the inflated opinion of yourself and the importance of what you do. Chiropractors are especially subject to excessive pride because of the importance of the service they perform.

Correcting vertebral subluxations is essential to peoples’ health. No other aspect of a health program can be effective if one is walking around with nerve interference. People cannot get the benefit of eating good food, getting the proper rest or exercising if they have vertebral subluxations interfering with the function of their nerve system. Not only is the correction of vertebral subluxations an important service that we chiropractors perform but there is no one else that can do it. All the best medical doctors in the world, even those who specialize in orthopedic problems and the spine, are not capable of locating vertebral subluxations or correcting them, even if they could find one. They simply are not trained in chiropractic analysis and adjusting.

On the other hand, we chiropractors must realize that the greatest aspect of the service we perform is done by the body itself. The innate intelligence of the body, that principle of life that resides in every living organism, does the healing. The chiropractor does not heal or cure people. The body, or to be more precise, the innate wisdom within the body, does the healing by creating new, living cells to replace sick or dying ones. That is why healing is not an instantaneous act. The creation or replacement of new cells takes time.

The most humbling aspect of giving chiropractic care is that the chiropractor does not even make the adjustment. The chiropractor simply introduces a force into the spine, hopefully it is one that sets the bone in the right direction and is the amount of force needed. The innate intelligence of the body then takes that force and moves the bone, using the muscles of the body placing the bone in the exact position in which it belongs. It is the inborn wisdom which is responsible for 99.9% of what occurs in making an adjustment. The .1% is the chiropractor knowing where and when to introduce the force. That is a very humbling thought and should keep the pride of the chiropractor at a minimum. This balance between the fantastic service we perform and the small part we play in that service is one of the great aspects of chiropractic practice.

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This article has 17 comments

  1. Steve 01/27/2012, 6:17 pm:

    C’mon Joe, can’t we even have a whole percent? 1% is not too much to ask, is it? The government takes a third (30%+) the church gets 10%, all I’m asking for is a meeeeasly 1%. Innate still gets 99%, that’s fair I think, don’t you? [HAPPY FRIDAY]

    • JStraussDC 01/27/2012, 7:14 pm:

      Alright Steve. I’ll give you the 1% if you agree that falls, car crashes, and other accidents correct more subluxations in the course of a day than all the chiropractors in the world put together 🙂

      • Steve 01/30/2012, 6:14 pm:

        Sure Joe, BJ said 80-85 % of subluxations were self corrected or cleared with common activities. Accidental correction has existed as long as spines have. (I think DD said something to that effect)

  2. Terri Galant, DC 01/27/2012, 8:10 pm:

    Joe, I agree with you 100% (not 99.9%), but what are your thoughts about chiropractors getting a bit sloppy in their adjusting because of that fact??

    • JStraussDC 01/28/2012, 12:47 pm:

      Terri, I’m not sure our percentage of participation makes a difference. A person who is conscientious will be so regardless of whether his participation is 99% or 1%. Although there may be a tendency to paraphrase the old Vietnam war saying “hit ’em all and let innate sort them out”. I don’t think that philosophy is good in killing the enemy or correcting vs.

      • Terri Galant, DC 01/28/2012, 5:46 pm:

        I’m not sure I get what you are saying. My point is that if a chiropractor is putting all his emphasis on the philosophy, which is, Innate will use the force for the best purpose, then is there not a tendency for the chiropractor to get sloppy in the science and art, because they are sure that the ii of the person getting adjusted will do the best no matter what.

        • JStraussDC 01/28/2012, 9:55 pm:

          Whatever our degree of involvement is in the adjustment, we should be endeavoring to do it to the best of our ability. That is part of our professional and technique responsibility. Just pushing promiscously on the spine, is not being faithful to accomplishing our less than 1%. Perhaps BJ had that in mind when he said “chiropractic is specific or it is nothing.”

        • Steve 01/30/2012, 6:32 pm:

          This is the old ” Hate Straight ” propaganda. Philosophical Chiros are actually some of the best adjusters because they feel it is a mission, at least in my experience. What is science without philosophy, mixing? What is philosophy without art, theory? What is art without philosophy, manipulation? Chiropractic is an Art, Science and a Philosophy. Only with all three aspects is it Chiropractic.

          • JStraussDC 01/30/2012, 6:47 pm:

            Good point Steve. I think some of that “propaganda” comes from the fact that philosophical chiropractors often see many more PMs, and the false argument is made that number of Pm’s seen is inverely proportional to the quality o f care. But I agree with your observation.

  3. Paulo Henrique Sugimoto 01/28/2012, 8:23 am:

    Does the innate really heal? or is healing just another process of we, “living things”? The way I see it innate is part of the healing process, for if we were dead there would be no healing; nonetheless, in my humble opinion I find it disturbing to say “innate heals”.

    • JStraussDC 01/28/2012, 9:16 pm:

      Paulo, I think you are splitting hairs, which is not bad and what philosophy is all about. We should be making clear what we do. Life , the expression of intelligence through matter is what heals. Heal is a verb, the ii of the body is the subject, the matter is what receives the action of the verb, the object of the healing. That’s why we are not quite correct when we say the “body heals itself” unless we incorporate in that the idea that a living body is one expressing an ii through the matter. Innate Intelligence cannot heal without matter through which it works and matter without innate intelligence cannot heal.

  4. Paulo Henrique Sugimoto 01/28/2012, 8:58 am:

    to make an analogy, it would be the difference between saying that innate digests the food vs. the stomach digests the food, innate is the principle which maintains the stomach working in coordination with itself and the rest of the body.

    • Claude Lessard 01/28/2012, 3:29 pm:


      Go back to what you mentioned a few days ago about the mission of innate intelligence is to maintain the material of the body of a “living thing” in active organization (pri. 21) and it’s you WHO will see WHAT is going on.

      Innate intelligence is NOT about healing….. Innate intelligence IS about principle (21)!!!! 🙂

      • Paulo Henrique Sugimoto 01/28/2012, 5:49 pm:


    • JStraussDC 01/28/2012, 9:44 pm:

      You make a good point Paulo. Actually, I think you can carry it further. Neither the ii nor the stomach digests the food alone. It is the ii of the body being expressed through the glands of the stomach and other organs, dozens of chemicals and dozens of processes that cause the proper digestion of food and it only happens in living people. This morning in our study of the Bible, we were comparing two events in Jesus last night before the Cross, found in Mark 14: verses 25 and 26. However in the gospel of John, there are 125 verses relating what was said and done.(John 13:31 thru 17:26). Mark wrote down the events, probably as Peter related them to him. John described what took place and was said between those two events. Both were totally accurate.
      Similarly, when we say “innate digests the food” we are relating two events but not all the facts, namely the thousands of actions occurring between intellectual adaptation by the ii of the body and the processof digestion in the stomach. I think that is acceptable as long as we do not give the impression that all the other amazing actions are not taking place. It’s okay to say “the body heals itself” as long as incorporated in that statement is an understanding that it is the living body that does it and that it is limited by limitations of time and matter. It’s okay to say we are “giving an adjustment” as long as the person knows we are only introducing an EIF, that the ii of the body will make the actual adjusatment. As always Paulo, I appreciate your introspection and stimulation of thought in others.

      • Claude Lessard 01/28/2012, 11:48 pm:

        It IS extremely urgent to discipline ourselves when we explain WHO we choose to BE and HOW we choose to convey WHAT we do. And make no mistake…. it is a CHOICE. It is about understanding deeply within ourselves the truth of chiropractic and ALL its principles. We were handed a sacred trust and it is up to us to choose WHO to BE with the philosophy, science and art of chiropractic.

        The model that was handed down to us was a blueprint “sketchy” at best. No one understood fully the revelations that was coming forth from the early pioneers. They did not KNOW and the philosophy, science and art of a profession was BEING developed. BJ had an inkling about it and did his best to expand WHAT became the foundation of the philosophy, science and art of our profession. The result was confusion and uncertainty disguised under the authority of some WHO established themselves as such. It was a starting point. It was the beginning of an ongoing process of SEEING what was before us and finding a way to describe it. Of course, PRIDE and HUMILITY were the main “players” on the stage of chiropractic.

        Egos were BIG and necessary to formulate that which was seen in a way that would articulate the truth of chiropractic. The problem is that truth can NEVER be put into words. Words ONLY point to the truth. That’s WHY truth can ONLY be sighted suddenly and then YOU might get it!

        Now comes the BIG part. HOW translate that which got sighted in a way that will be acceptable by others. Authority and dogma are valid only if they are true. Empiricism cannot quantify the metaphysical. Intuition requires sensibilities few possess. Rationalization and reason demand discernment.

        Today we are called to CHOOSE to adopt what I called a “beginner’s mind”. That requires HUMILITY and SELF-AWARENESS. To KNOW deeply the philosophy, science and art of chiropractic and to SERVE EXCLUSIVELY its 33 principles. WHO choose to BE this particular servant will serve the world with integrity. WHO, then, will participate in their own self-transformation and the transformation of the world?


        • Claude Lessard 01/29/2012, 3:00 am:

          And, YES! One of the great aspect of chiropractic practice is the balance between the great service we perform and the small part we play in that service. The beauty of the LAW of organization is that it is PERFECT: innate intelligence – which is a part of (collective) and a part from (individual) universal intelligence.

          It up to WHO to always know that WHO doesn’t know, cannot say, and dare not try to prove or assert too strongly… because what WHO does know is that there is ALWAYS MORE — AND ALL WORDS WILL FALL SHORT.

          The “beginner’s mind” is precisely the person WHO agrees to live in that unique kind of “learned ignorance”. This is truly a paradox of the triune itself which is that intelligence expresses itself through force in matter. One cannot grow in the great art form, of FORCE which is the integration of MATTER and INTELLIGENCE without:

          1) A strong tolerance for ambiguity

          2) An ability to allow, forgive, and contain a certain degree of anxiety

          3) A willingness to not know and not even need to know.

          This is how WHO remains HUMBLE and respectful of the triune of life (physical and metaphysical components of the living human body). All else is simply PRIDE, the weakness of ego.

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