Originally the word grafted, in the Greek, had the connotation of being impregnated, taking on a new character but still maintaining some of the qualities or characteristics of the original organism and not just physical. Anyone who has had a pregnant wife knows the truth of that. There is a difference between the character of her during pregnancy and before, and not just in physical appearance. But she still maintains some of the characteristics of before. I’ve told the story before of our minister who grafted a white dogwood into a pink dogwood and produced a tree that every spring had half pink and half white blossoms. It was a new species, a new creation. A situation like that has occurred in the chiropractic profession. I imagine since the practice of medicine was around long before chiropractic it is only fair to say that chiropractic was grafted in. Although the principle of the body having the inborn ability to heal itself was around from the time Adam first stuck his finger with a thorn. Any grafting process is not a nature phenomena. It is unnatural. Pink and white blossoms do not naturally grow on the same tree. It must be purposefully and intentionally done and for the purpose of educatedly creating a new species, different from the original. Who precipitated the grafting? It surely was not organized medicine. They in fact, opposed it almost from the beginning. It was not the true chiropractors (yes, there were some OSC chiropractors around then even if they did not identify themselves as such). Most had every intention of beginnings a new and different profession, one that was based on correcting the causes of diseases, actually a very specific and singular cause, the vertebral subluxation. In reality, it was both, those who wanted a better method of addressing disease. Since both groups were ultimately trying to find the cause. Many medical doctors were disenchanted with the results or lack of results of medical practice, who believed they could graft a new approach into their old objective, that of alleviating disease. Those that did not accepts that idea, those that held to traditional, orthodox medicine fought against that idea and those (OSCors) who had been inadvertently grafted in. They fought against the idea and were caught in the battle. Unfortunately they did not know enough about what they had in this now profession to realize that they were not a new species of the practice of medicine. This was particularly true of BJ and his followers. As time wet on the new species, neither medicine or chiropractic began to control the profession leaving three professions, allopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine and non-therapeutic chiropractic.
grafting or mixing?
What’s the difference? Mixing is something that every chiropractor does at one time or another. It might be something as as innocuous as a spouse saying, “would you give me an adjustment, I have a headache”? It is adding something to chiropractic that the chiropractor expects will purposely affect or change the outcome of the chiropractic adjustment. It is creating a result that is not the correction of a vertebral subluxation to enable the innate forces of the practice member’s body to be more fully expressed. It has a medical objective.
In the early history of the profession it was adding a medical procedure to the adjustment to affect a medical objective. Later on it became adding drugless procedures like heat, cold, and electrically created. therapies. Then it was divided into those who used “natural procedure” like vitamins and or massage to distinguish them from non-natural drug less procedures. In the end it resulted in making the adjustment itself a medical procedure having the intention of treating, curing, alleviating a medical condition or its cause. In other words, it was not adding a medical procedure but making the adjustment a medical procedure. The medical profession (correctly) saw this as the practice of medicine. They began to acknowledge that it was not the procedure that defined medicine but the objective and chiropractors were using their unique procedure to accomplish a medical objective, even though chiropractors were claiming not to treat disease but correct its cause. At this time some chiropractors realized that to treat disease, its effects, its symptoms or even its cause was the practice of medicine. So they began to define chiropractic by its objective of removing a vertebral interference to the expression of the body’s innate forces, the fourth and the only metaphysical component of the vertebral subluxation thus accomplishing something medicine never addressed, the metaphysical/physical component of the cause of DIS-EASE. Medicine has and continues to address only what they see as the physical component or components.
It was at this time that BJ and his followers began to explain chiropractic in terms that did not involve disease or any medical condition. From their description what became known as the 33 principle were distilled, principles that described the deduction of chiropractic, separate and distinct from the medical objective of treating sick people. Any approach to chiropractic that involves an objective other than that described by the 33 principles must incorporate or graft in something of the medical objective. There are other procedures and activities that can be grafted into chiropractic that in the end create a new creation. I would not attempt to list or outline them for fear of missing one and thereby giving it creditability by omission or listing one that is not, condemn it. Let me classify them as outside-in and representing that particular world and life viewpoint. Many of them involve the use of the educated brain and are mistakenly described in terms of innate function. D.D. Palmer dabbled in some of these areas before the discovery of chiropractic and I’m not sure he totally rejected them after he became “Old Dad Chiro”. Perhaps his leaving this earth when he did could be said to be Providentially in the best interest of our profession. But believing in Providence would apply that same concept to all of us.

grafting in the Chiropractic Philosophy

Unless you are a second or third generation chiropractor and maybe not even then, you have grown up with an outside-in world and life viewpoint. Perhaps it has not affected every area or aspect of your life but it more than likely it impacted the area of health and human function. For some of us our first exposure to he chiropractic philosophy radically changed our lives. For most of us the grafting of the chiropractic philosophy was a process of varying length of time and to various degrees. For some that graft never took and eventually the chiropractic philosophy just “died on the vine”. For me, my first exposure to the chiropractic philosophy impressed me but impression is not grafting in. It was like the ivy that grew on my former property. It took over great parts of the yard. Its “tentacles” even embedded themselves in the wooden fence. It was in the fence but not part of the fence. It left traces of itself in the fence and we finally decided to pull it out in order to paint the fence boards. It had left an indelible mark in the wood of the fence. Obviously it took on none of the characteristics of the wooden fence. The fence, while once alive was now dead and had no qualities or characteristics to bestow upon the ivy. In a similar manner many people have the marks of the chiropractic philosophy, the title chiropractor, some of the jargon and the words, they bear the marks of the chiropractic philosophy but it has not taken root, none of the life of the philosophy is in them anymore. It doesn’t even rise to the level of a parasite. The “halls of ivy”, the great learning institutions of 3 centuries ago, have no ADIO life in them, just life on them. Unfortunately the same could be said about the teaching of many of them.
For a graft to “take” requires a number of things:
1.The fist thing is that both must be alive. You cannot graft a dead branch into a live tree or a live branch into a dead tree. Both must have life. The chiropractic philosophy is alive. Whether the individual is receptive to it is often hard to tell. Some chiropractors appear to but in the end something prevents the graft; fear, finances, peer or family pressure. Many things can prevent the philosophy from taking hold.
2.It takes time. In my case it took almost 2 semesters under the tutelage of Reggie Gold before the philosophy “took”.
3.There must be compatibility. I think this may be the biggest problem. People who do not truly have an ADIO world and life viewpoint or cannot develop one, cannot get the big idea. It just wont take. Pink and white dogwood trees have compatibility, fences and ivy do not. The ivy actually grew on our oak tree. In that case the oak tree was acting as a host and the ivy as a parasite to some degree. It was not getting sustenance from he oak tree but getting something from it. Many chiropractors are getting something from the chiropractic philosophy perhaps only a living from being a chiropractor. However, whenever they adjust a patient, they are utilizing the 33 principles, whether they know it, deny it, or never give it a thought, they are utilizing the basic science of chiropractic
4.There must be constant nurturing. It’s not a one shot deal. You must continually nourish your self with studying the philosophy.
We have begun to think that mixer is too kind a word to describe chiropractors who utilize chiropractic with some therapeutic procedure (including diagnosis. Perhaps they should be called chiropractic parasites.

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This article has 5 comments

  1. Richie Barone 12/09/2015, 7:19 pm:

    This is the garbage we have to deal w/ from within!

    • Joe Strauss 12/10/2015, 2:29 pm:

      “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

  2. David Suskin 12/09/2015, 11:53 pm:

    I am currently reading the Pivot Review 1998-2003. It is almost 2017!
    It’s amazing, absolutely amazing, how little things have changed.
    Important questions and inquiries by a most astute and talented educator. Thank you Joe.

    • Claude Lessard 12/10/2015, 1:10 pm:


      You just made an OUTSTANDING observation! Thank you!

      – When you realize that the 33 principles of chiropractic’s basic science are immutable and you PRACTICE them, things don’t change, YOU undergo a TRANSFORMATION!!!-

      – The CONSTANT study of the chiropractic philosophy and the CONSTANT practice of the chiropractic objective, will invent, in time, a NEW possibility to RESONATE with the individual. If it INSPIRES that individual, it might MOVE that individual towards a higher level of consciousness that includes a deeper understanding of chiropractic philosophy. –

      – However, as Joseph stated above: “4.There must be constant nurturing. It’s not a one shot deal. You must continually nourish your self with studying the philosophy”.-

      – CARRY ON… ADIO. 😉

    • Joe Strauss 12/10/2015, 2:18 pm:

      History Repeats-BJ.- Palmer
      Those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it.-Numerous
      History repeats because people don’t get it the first time.-Woody Allen

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