My first experience working in chiropractic began over 30 years ago. Since then I have seen tremendous changes in the business side of the profession -some of them good, many of them bad. I’ve also witnessed many advances in the clinical side of chiropractic both in technology and techniques. Yet working closely with Dr. Richard Barwell these past few years, I believe we are on the verge of the largest transformation in Chiropractic since the days of B. J. Palmer. Ultimately, I believe this change will put chiropractic where it truly belongs amongst the healing arts.
The following article is my version of the thought processes of many of our current clients. I hope that it resonates with you enough that you will take the time to learn more about the future I see for Chiropractic.
I’ve said the words so many times I don’t even think about what I’m saying anymore. Like a robot the words leave my mouth. I’m on autopilot.
“A bone is putting pressure on the nerve…”
The patient standing in front of me is here because they have put their faith in me. They are willing to invest their money and time with me in the hope that I can help them. And I can. Chiropractic works.
“A bone is out of place and it’s cutting off the nerve supply.”
It’s important that new patients are comfortable with the process so I say it with great confidence. Lately, however, the emphasis I add is more for me than for them.
“We take x-rays in order to see any spinal misalignments…”
What I don’t share is that I can find misalignments with my hands; that I rarely take post x-rays; and that there isn’t always a direct correlation between spinal hygiene and patient health. I quickly continue in an effort to drown out the little voice in my head.
“You’ve come to the right place. Trust me.”
Like a mantra, I repeat the words to myself: “Structure governs function. Structure governs function.” It’s my foundation. Or at least it used to be. Even though doubts grow in my head, my faith in chiropractic is unwavering. I know it works. It works every day. It works miracles.
Is it possible to get great results even with a flawed foundation? Over one hundred years as a profession and we have absolutely zero scientific research to prove that misaligned bones cause nerve root pressure that cause a cascading series of maladies. Zero proof.
“You’ve come to the right place. Trust me.”
As I struggle for answers, I fight to suppress the word that is so often tossed about by the skeptics, “Placebo!” But I know that can’t be the case. If the results we achieve were simply the result of the placebo effect, how in the world would children respond so well to chiropractic care? They have no idea what the intended result of an adjustment should be.
And if proper chiropractic care required us to – as D.D. Palmer once put it – rack a bone “back in position”, how in the world do many of the lighter touch techniques get the results that they do?
“Structure governs function. Structure governs function.” Hmmm . . . really???
I feel that there is something missing and it is getting on my last nerve!!!!
But what if it doesn’t? What if structure doesn’t govern function? What would it mean to chiropractic if we have been wrong all these years? What would it mean to the profession if we have had it backwards all of these years? Is it possible that physical, chemical, and emotional stresses actually cause compromised neural integrity, which leads to a cascading series of maladies, among which is muscle imbalance and ultimately misaligned bones? Have we had it backwards all of these years?
I believe we have all been wrong since the beginning.
Well… not all of us: Function governs Structure –
“The majority of Chiropractors work with the concept that THEY are the all-important feature of adjusting subluxations; and it is with this thought they proceed to push vertebrae into the position THEY think they need to be pushed into. ‘Adjusting’ in their minds, means pushing bones into adjusted positions. I never had such a concept! Palpation, x-rays, taut and tender fibers, and contracted muscles only locate misalignments.”
– BJ Palmer, “The Hour Has Arrived”
BJ noted that the subluxation was in the impulse not simply a misaligned bone. Where the Chiropractic profession will go remains to be seen. As for me, I’m getting off of my last nerve because now I see what comes first!
Function governs structure –
Chiropractic is a science of functional neurology with a specific philosophy and an applied art of various techniques to access neurological change.
I speak with doctors every day who have a tremendous love of chiropractic, yet find themselves frustrated, burned out, and on the verge of pursuing other careers. I implore you to take a little time and invest in your potential future in chiropractic. Below is a link to a series of videos and websites about Neurologically Based Chiropractic. It’s powerful. And it’s free.
Please feel free to contact me with any question you may have.