Position Paper # 4 OSC Terminology


The purpose of words is to communicate thoughts and ideas. Part of the big idea or one of the big ideas of objective straight chiropractic is that it is not medicine. Chiropractic is unique. Further, as objective straight chiropractors, we endeavor to distance ourselves from the medical/therapeutic model as much as possible. It is the belief of objective straight chiropractors that every other approach to chiropractic is moving the profession closer to the medical model, either knowingly or unknowingly, and ultimately to absorption and or elimination. To this end, some chiropractors cannot understand our seeming preoccupation with specific and unique terminology. We want the public to clearly understand that chiropractic is not a substitute or an alternative to medical care. It is a unique service that everyone needs regardless of the presence or absence of medical conditions. Consequently, we try to use terms that are unique to us. Sometimes we do it because it purposely sounds non-medical. The term “non therapeutic” fits into this category. A therapy, as commonly understood, is directed toward a medical entity. The subluxation as we describe it, relating a misaligned vertebra causing an interference with the full expression of the forces of the innate intelligence of the body, is not recognized as a medical entity by the medical profession or by us. Sometimes we make up unique terms because one does not exist that adequately describes the chiropractic concept. Innate intelligence is such a term. It is neither a scientific nor a theological concept. It has never been exactly described (with any other term/s) the way we describe it. Some unique objective straight chiropractic terms fit into both the above categories. They are non-medical and also describe the difference of the chiropractic approach. For example, we use the term adjustment rather than treatment. Therapeutic approaches treat, chiropractic adjusts. To adjust means to “bring into right relationship.” The chiropractor is bringing into right relationship two adjacent bones of the spine, as well as the spine and nerve system, (both mechanistic) and from a philosophical standpoint the intelligence and the matter of the body (vitalistic). Words and their meanings change over time. The objective straight chiropractor endeavors to look at the meaning of words as the general public perceives them. Our intention is to make the objective and philosophy as clear to the public as possible so that they might avail themselves of objective straight chiropractic care for its true purpose and understand its philosophy to express a fuller life. In making the objective and philosophy as clear as possible we also reduce the probability that the public will have any unfulfilled expectations from their chiropractic care. Because of these concerns and because of the changing meanings of words from time to time, the objective straight chiropractic community changes its terminology to more clearly present our objective. As we evolve further and further away from the medical model, we are and we will undoubtedly continue to add and delete terms from the objective straight chiropractic lexicon. This requires that we learn and teach a new vocabulary to the public and other professionals both in and out of chiropractic. Since old habits are difficult to set aside, you may occasionally hear an objective straight chiropractor or one becoming an objective straight chiropractor use words that have been deleted from the objective straight chiropractic vocabulary. Hopefully, this does not confuse or detract from the message of objective straight chiropractic.

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This article has 1 comment

  1. don 08/02/2014, 4:53 pm:

    Good article!
    Seems to recognize that words are meant to communicate meaning and the goal is to make OSC easier for the public to understand.
    Learning and teaching new vocabulary may be a contentious issue. For example, using terms like spinal subluxation in lieu of vertebral subluxation coul be acceptable depending on who you ask. Using the term innate instead of innate intelligence makes some very uncomfortable. Some may even use the term ‘allostatic load’ to describe a familiar chiropractic concept. And lastly, there are those that want the term subluxation dropped entirely for a generally accepted term that is easier for the public to understand.
    Where does an individual (or profession) draw the line on terms that can change without loosing the essence of the term/lexicon of the group/profession?

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