The ancient Greek Hippocrates handed down his classic admonition in the 4th century B.C., contained within the Hippocratic Corpus.
What you may not know is that these four words are absent in today’s version of the Hippocratic Oath medical schools administer to their graduates. And as a result, all types of medical mischief abound, from abortion, infanticide and doctor-assisted suicide to becoming the lapdogs for pharmaceutical companies peddling concoctions that routinely kill hundreds, probably thousands, worldwide every day.
So, we shouldn’t be surprised that chiropractic isn’t immune to the same pressures of cultural relativism, political correctness and the Cult of Scientism. This is borne out by the growing number of chiropractic influencers (I don’t know what else to call them. They’re not leaders.) who are embarrassed by the principles laid down a century ago establishing chiropractic as a separate, distinct and nonduplicative healing art, separate from the practice of medicine.
I assume these misguided individuals who are ashamed of terms such as innate intelligence and subluxation mean well. It must be frustrating to be so enlightened, yet surrounded by a vast majority within the chiropractic profession content to salute their quaint hundred-year old philosophy.
And help people.
Lots of people.
People willing to reach into their pocket or purse and pay cash for a service their insurance carriers refuse to reimburse for. Do these patients have extra cash lying around? Could they be merely experience junkies with extra time on their hands to traipse to their chiropractor for a feel-good adjustment? Or maybe it’s just the placebo effect and a hypnotizing look (or touch) from their chiropractor?
I don’t think so. Something’s going on in hundreds of chiropractic practices with thousands of delighted chiropractic patients that refute the left-brain arguments advanced by a handful of chiropractors drinking the Kool-Aid of atomism and reductionism.
I know. I had to look it up too.
Atomism: A view of the world that sees it composed of individual particles. This is how medicine is set up, separating the body into identifiable parts with specialists who devote themselves to knowing more and more about less and less.
Reductionism: The belief that all complex systems can be completely understood by simply understanding their smaller, component parts.
Besides our metaphysical and spiritual qualities, what’s missing from both of these tenets of Scientism is the concept of holism, which, among chiropractors who “get” chiropractic, is the underlying foundation of practice. Instead of being misled by the patient’s presenting symptoms—named or unnamed, they focus on the whole person who happens to have the named or unnamed condition. Huge distinction.
Lacking this holism lens, oncologists (for example) regularly go to war against tumors, virtually ignoring the psycho-social-environmental aspects that create the circumstances in which the cancer can establish and take over the body. (Read more about my personal experience with this.)
Now, do I think subluxation is the cause of all disease? Nope. (Subluxation is a symptom; a short-term survival strategy that helps the body accommodate physical, chemical and emotional stress.) Do I think subluxation is present when someone is lacking the ability to fully adapt and relate to his or her environment? Highly likely.
How do I know? By keen observation. Is that too anecdotal for the evidence-based crowd? Probably. Or maybe it’s the word “subluxation” and how chiropractors define it differently than medicine. True, the medical definition is considerably more gross than the subtle nuances of subluxation observed by chiropractors. But the meanings of words commonly differ among separate disciplines.
Enamel has two very different qualities depending upon whether you’re a dentist or a painter.
Pitch has two very different meanings depending upon whether you’re a musician or an aviator.
Balloon has two very different meanings depending upon whether you’re in real estate or heart surgery.
Need I go on? Words are merely symbols that stand for ideas. Placeholders, actually. They help us make meaning of the world and reveal our point of view. That’s true for subluxation, innate intelligence or any other term used in chiropractic. Their meanings are different because chiropractic is different!
Innate intelligence: The characteristic of living things to regulate and orchestrate bodily functions, adapt to its environment and self-heal, mediated over the nervous system.
Subluxation: An interference or distortion of neurological integrity, usually along the spinal column, in which brain-to-body or body-to-brain communications are compromised, producing dysfunction or disregulation of the body.
So, you tell me. What sounds more scientific? Expensive, sometimes harmful symptom treating that ignores the underlying cause by fooling the body with numbing agents, or locating and reducing subluxations by using chiropractic adjustments to revive a patient’s innate intelligence to self heal?