In trying to figure out how to angle this particular post, I came across the website for the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). It took me a very short time before the flame within exploded into a full-fledged fire.
To begin, here is the ACA stance on chiropractic and chiropractors:
“Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
Doctors of Chiropractic – often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians – practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counseling.”
People have no idea what chiropractors do, and it’s no wonder why. The ACA, CCE, CCGPP, and a whole host of other organizations have bastardized chiropractic into a wannabe subset of Medicine. With physical therapists now having the ability to become doctors themselves, why would anyone go to a chiropractor when a PT can now treat neuromusculoskeletal conditions? Not only that, but they can do it with more credibility and respect within our society today.
First off, chiropractic DOES NOT focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal and nervous system. True principled chiropractic focuses on one disorder: the vertebral subluxation. Chiropractic is about finding the subluxation, removing it, and letting the body’s innate intelligence patch up areas of dis-ease with its healing power.
As a profession, chiropractic has to get away from this mindset that a specific adjustment isn’t enough. It was enough for 95 years, and then for the last 20, the profession decided it wanted to start getting paid by insurance companies.
Second, let me focus on the term “chiropractic physician.” This has got to be one of the dumbest terms around. Let me explain by giving you different definitions of the term “physician:”
1. A person licensed to practice medicine; a medical doctor.
2. A person who practices general medicine as distinct from surgery.
3. A person who heals or exerts a healing influence.
A physician is a person trained in the art of healing. In reality, contemporary physicians express their skills by combining art with science. A physician is also referred to as a doctor of medicine.
The term “physician” is used somewhat differently in different English-speaking countries. For example, in the UK a physician is a specialist in internal or general medicine while in the USA it is a more general term for a doctor of medicine.
1: a person skilled in the art of healing ; specifically : one educated, clinically experienced, and licensed to practice medicine as usually distinguished from surgery
2: one exerting a remedial or salutary influence
A person qualified to practise medicine.
Did you see the trend? Did you read the definitions the same way I did? If so, you will notice that in every single entry, the word physician related to someone practicing medicine.
As far as I am concerned, that is the job for the MDs. But, apparently the ACA, FCLB, CCE, and a whole group of other “chiropractic physicians” decided differently. Lucky us. Their take on what a chiropractor is should be defined as “practicing pseudo-medicine by hand.”
The public is confused by what we do. MDs are confused by what we do. PTs are confused by what we do. WE are confused by what we do.
How are people ever going to understand what chiropractic is when organizations in the profession are telling them we are, in fact, second-rate physical therapists?
I did not go to school to become a physician. I did not take MCATS and get a low score, thus choosing chiropractic school because it was easy to get into. I have no desire to come up with a differential diagnosis in order to come up with my final diagnosis. I have no desire to “treat” anyone or anything. I will never palpate for cardiac thrills or perform Homan’s test.
Getting the chance to be a portal-of-entry physician is just a way to get into the insurance game, to get into Medicare, to see if we can get the MDs to like us. What ever happened to taking a stand and focusing on removing the cause of all dis-ease and becoming excellent at that?
Instead of the incompetents bringing us down away from that, why don’t they get competent and aid in the cause? Maybe we would have more research proving the vertebral subluxation exists, that a specific adjustment can have a powerful, lasting effect when done correctly, that Innate Intelligence does exist and does work powerfully when free from interference.
I chose chiropractic because it changed my life, my wife’s life, and my five kids are the five healthiest kids I know.
When done correctly, chiropractic is about keeping the nervous system interference-free. I have witnessed and felt the power of a nervous system getting cleared from interference. It reminds me why I do what I do. It’s not high volt or ultrasound or laser that does all that.
So, how can I throw my hat in with a group of people that discount the power of true, principled chiropractic and want to relegate me to being a second-rate PT?
If anyone has an answer, let me know.