Monday, February 20, 2012

History of Chiropractic Bias Continued...

From a political standpoint, all BJ Palmer - the developer of the chiropractic profession and the inventor of the practices and procedures now known as Upper Cervical Care - ever wanted was for what he did and what he taught (and, thus, those that he taught) to be distinctly recognized as different from medicine.  He spent a great deal of his life fighting for that cause.  In front of House and Senate committees, Palmer argued that every man or woman with a license to practice chiropractic be confined to that and only that.  He defined said practice by what he called the Above-Down, Inside-Out principle, in which conditions and dis-eases developed from a problem inside the body from an interference that fundamentally prevented the brainstem and brain from performing adequately the routine processes and functions that ensure optimal health.  Palmer stated that any deviation from this principle, by way of prescribing vitamins or doing physical therapy, would fall outside of the scope of practice for the licensee and, thus, be considered the practice of medicine - which seeks to treat disease by methods that produce the effects opposite of symptoms.

The argument made a lot of sense, but the amendment for which the above was argued did not come to pass...

The profession that Palmer developed is not what you see from every Doctor of Chiropractic in your town.  Far from it.  Palmer, circa the late 50s, would have been disappointed at where our profession is at right now.  He was a man of principle and he thought that one of the main problems in the budding medicine vs. chiropractic rivalry was that medical doctors could not respect a doctor of chiropractic if the chiropractor was treating disease and of the same mindset as a medical doctor.  Chiropractic blurred the line in their own scope of practice and began treating symptoms, just as medical physicians, only with different tools.  Spinal manipulation (not to be confused with correcting specific misalignments), physical therapy, and nutritional advice can all achieve certain ends naturally and often more effectively than medication and/or surgery, but those methods are used for the treatment of symptoms and, as such, do not fall within the original intention of chiropractic, which was founded and developed on the reputation of removing CAUSE of a health condition; not treating its EFFECT.

Palmer felt (and I'd agree) that if chiropractors would stick to the practice of chiropracTIC, then perhaps medical doctors would still not agree with our philosophy but they could respect our methods.  If you look at the methods advocated by Palmer, you'd be astounded at the detail.  He was one of the first to use thermal imaging (which is now used to assess the risk for breast cancer by oncologists) all the way back in the twenties.  He would use thermal imaging to assess and monitor the function of the nerve system's hub, the brainstem, as a means of detecting distortion.  He used x-rays analysis.  He had a facility in Iowa dedicated to research, which employed medical doctors run their medical tests to clinically verify internal changes made by correction of an Upper Cervical misalignment (that had been affecting the brainstem and, thus, the internal function of the body, causing the patient's body to break down).  Palmer was very meticulous in his methods and no one would ever mistake him for a random manipulator or bone cracker.  Medical physicians respected him for the work that he put in and he expected that all of those that practiced as he did would garner that same respect.

My dad recently told me that, during a fact finding series of phone calls to local chiropractors, he had asked each office if they used digital imaging and x-ray analysis in their clinical assessments.  Several did x-rays, a handful used scanning (although for educational purposes more than clinical), and two, as my dad was told, didn't need to use either because his hands were so well trained.  

Ask yourself this question, "If I do have a bias against chiropractic, where did it come from?"

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