A (hopefully corect) Chronology


Chiropractic as a cure for deafness-1895
Chiropractic as a cure for all disease-circa 1896
Chiropractic as a correction of DIS-EASE-circa 1900
DIS-EASE as the cause of all disease-circa 1905
DIS-EASE as the cause of some disease-1914
The cause of DIS-EASE-1927
Vertebral subluxation as the cause of DIS-EASE-1927
Purpose driven/mission driven or objective driven chiropractic. circa 1976
Dr. Thom Gelardi who is responsible directly and indirectly for some of the greatest and most important contributions to modern chiropractic philosophy and practice has given us a term that demands study and analysis. He said recently that “the mission of the chiropractic profession is the center of the profession”. Whenever Dr. Gelardi speaks, he makes me think and for that I will always be grateful to him for having increased my knowledge and understanding. He was the first (to my knowledge)to teach chiropractors that all other professions are defined by their objective. I used that phrase (Objective Straight Chiropractic) in my 1994 text, Refined by Fire, the Evolution of Straight Chiropractic, describing the approach to chiropractic that began with the opening of Sherman College and the formation of the FSCO (now the IFCO). At the time, I did not give Dr. Gelardi the proper recognition for that philosophical breakthrough or at least the term. Primarily because I only saw it as a period of the evolution of straight chiropractic. Dr. Mark Romano is largely responsible for it becoming a description of a segment of the profession. I would like to rectify that omission now.
At the 2014 IRAPS, Dr. Gelardi used the term vertebral subluxation centered ({VSC}- not to be confused with the vertebral subluxation complex, a term coined by the late Dr. Joe Flesia many years before). This along with describing the mission of chiropractic and the emergence of Objective (straight) chiropractic has created conflicts among some of the profession. As B.J. said, Conflicts Clarify. Hopefully an understanding of these terms and how they relate to present day chiropractic will create a clarification for at least a certain segment of the profession.
The mission of the profession is the center of the profession, according to Dr. Gelardi and he most astutely observes that there is a “vertebral subluxation centered segment of the profession.” However, by doing that he is acknowledging, and rightly so, that there is also a non-vertebral subluxation centered segment of the profession, which might be described as “therapeutic centered chiropractic.” This segment of the profession may include those who would like to remove the word subluxation from the profession’s lexicon, to those who would like to add everything from physical therapeutics up to and including the prescription of drugs. While they are not the focus of our attention here, they do represent a significant, perhaps even a majority of the profession and should be considered in any professional description. In an effort to help clarify these terms as they relate to the chiropractic profession, I would like to combine all of those who utilize or would like to utilize some type of therapeutic/medical procedure into one group and consider them under the title “therapeutic chiropractic.”
In a talk given at the ACP on October 17th, 2014, prior to IRAPS, Dr. Gelardi said that “the mission of the profession is the center of the profession.” The mission according to the dictionary is “the task, the understanding, the work”, in this case of the chiropractor. I think those in the VS centered segment would agree that the center of that task/work is the location, analysis , and facilitating the correction of vertebral subluxation (LACVS)
The Mission of Chiropractic
Here is the problem: while the mission of the profession has at its center, the LACVS, that does not describe its objective. I think, and I would hope that Dr. Gelardi would agree, that the objective and the mission are two totally different concepts, and while the mission should not be ignored, neither should the objective. He says that “the mission of chiropractic is to contribute to health by correcting vertebral subluxations” and he may see that as synonymous with our objective. However, it cannot define us as a profession. There are numerous procedures, including the practice of medicine that contribute to health. There is nothing in our chiropractic philosophy’s 33 principles that relate to health. There is nothing in the definition of chiropractic, at least in B.J.’s/RWS’s 1927 definition that mentions health. If the mission of chiropractic is to contribute to health, by correcting vertebral subluxation that creates little difference between us and any other “health care profession.” That may be why chiropractors want to add other procedures they think will contribute to people’s health and why other health care providers want to add “chiropractic” (in the form of manipulation) to their contribution to health care. In my opinion we must clearly differentiate what different chiropractors do. I think that should be done by defining our objective. If the mission is to LACVS then the objective is the reason or why we do that. The original reason for correcting vertebral subluxations was to cure deafness. The traditional chiropractic objective is to get sick people well. Both are worthwhile objectives. So is the idea of contributing to the health of individuals and society in general. There are a number of wonderful objectives in vertebral subluxation correction. It is not our place to judge the value or the validity of those objectives. They can all be described as follows:
a.to cure deafness
b, to cure all disease
c. to cure disease or its cause
d. to remove the cause of DIS-EASE
e. to improve human potential
f. to get sick people well
f. to enable the forces of the innate intelligence to be more fully expressed by the LACVS
g. to contribute to the health of the of the body an individual.

2. The Objective of Chiropractic

All of the above may be worthwhile objectives. Some need to be proven by empirical research and some can only be demonstrated deductively. All are practiced partially or fully by a percentage of the chiropractic community, some by a greater percentage than others.

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Posted in: Thinking Straight

This article has 3 comments

  1. william hollensed 05/09/2016, 3:22 pm:

    “to enable the forces of the innate intelligence to be more fully expressed by the LACVS”

    In my opinion expresses the unique objective of chiropractic. The others are certainly possible results and should not be dismissed but are not the first objective. Better expression reflects no degree or completion just the enabling of innate to work better.

    By the way you have two “f'” in the outline

    • Joe D. 05/09/2016, 5:04 pm:

      I agree with Dr. Hollensed. I see all the others as “side effects”, nobody says that side effects need to be bad or negative, but they are all unintended though desireable.

  2. Brad Winter 05/10/2016, 1:44 pm:

    The mission of chiropractic to provide a service that results in greater expression of life and greater connection with life for the whole planet can only be accomplished by having subluxation adjustment as the objective of chiropractic. The objective of therapeutic manipulation: move better and feel better. The confusion is when docs have a mission of greater expression of life with the objective of making people move better and feel better. What’s the objective of insurance approved chiropractic manipulation? Move better feel better. Doing that serves the mission of the fallacy of the non-necessity of life. Since we’re dealing with life, the only thing that will bridge the chasm of making people feel better (and getting paid for it) and adjusting subluxations (and getting paid for it) is faith. Many of us, including myself find it hard to jump out in faith because we anticipate a huge crash with a lot of rejection. So we suffer, serving a mission that has nothing to do with life.

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