Now, this is really an interesting topic in that it reflects the core of chiropractic philosophy, and opens up a pandora ’s box, so to speak, of controversy for some. Chiropractic is a triad, involving art, science, and philosophy. There are those whom do not really understand or value the philosophy aspect of chiropractic, and in fact for many years I was not really big on chiropractic philosophy.Part of my undergraduate degree included a major in classic philosophy and logic from a traditional educational institution -- Loyola Marymount University.
When I was introduced to chiropractic philosophy, I was unable to wholeheartedly embrace it. I maintained a bias that the only “real philosophy,” is that which is taught in a major university setting. As I matured and learned more about health, healing, and the chiropractic perspective, I then grew to accept, understand, and then to appreciate and value that part of the chiropractic triad, chiropractic philosophy. I learned that from a practical standpoint, any organized set of principles aimed at answering the Why we do something, is a philosophy.
The philosophy behind traditional chiropractic is based on the concept that the spinal column, including the spinal cord therein, and spinal nerves, are a central component to overall health. The spinal cord and spinal column is after all the first distinguishable element in a developing embryo. To be sure, there are so many things in life that can compromise the integrity of the spine, i.e., put pressure on it and therefore impede 100% function (things like, sports; cumulative trauma; posture, stress., etc.) The essential philosophy of chiropractic is to remove this pressure thus allowing our bodies to function closer to 100% optimum level.
When we chiropractors remove pressure from the spine, we are improving the function of the nervous system, which communicates with all the cells, tissues and organs of our body. So if you accept this basic tenet, and I have come to accept it, and experience it as truth, then having your spine checked for pressure is a rather basic event that promotes health and wellness. In this sense, most people could improve their function by receiving an adjustment. However, let’s, for the purpose of being more conservative on this topic, assume there is no philosophy component to chiropractic – and the Why behind what we do has nothing to do with the spine and nervous system, but rather it is all about back pain, neck pain, and the like.