The Objective Straight Chiropractic Viewpoint
November 5, 2000
I understand the purpose of your web site, as many individuals in the public are being led astray as to what Chiropractic really offers them. There are those in society who choose a profession as an easy means of personal benefit (power, money, etc) with deceit and scams. There are also individuals who choose a profession and strive to build it up with 100% professionalism, ethics, not compromising their principles and for humanitarian reasons. I am the second type. My ultimate wish is to have the public view Chiropractic as to who and what we really are, without any illusion. It is not until an individual knows exactly this information can they make an informed decision to receive Chiropractic care.
I graduated from Western States Chiropractic College and have been practising . . . since 1997. My comments as to why Chiropractors practise a certain way originates back to the education they received. I do not know of any Chiropractic institution in the world that is not modeled upon a medical curriculum and accredited by the government or an agency in the same manner. I am not opposed to teaching subjects like general diagnosis, anatomy, physiology, etc., because anyone involved in health care must be knowledgeable in these areas. By presenting the subjects one can appreciate what services other disciplines provide and if presented with a non-Chiropractic finding, one has the knowledge to direct that person to one qualified to diagnose disease or symptoms = medicine. There is no alternative to medicine or Chiropractic, both are mutually exclusive but required by everyone. The problem exists in the way the information is presented as this ultimately forms the thought process as to how you view and care for an individual. Why was I educated to view the body and do procedures exactly as medicine does, when I am a Chiropractor and not a medical doctor? This is the big question.
Chiropractic since its inception in 1895 has never viewed the body as medicine does. We do not diagnose, monitor disease/symptoms or provide treatment for any ailment as this is what medicine has already been licensed to perform. Medicine looks at the body through a systematic reductionistic approach based upon normal versus abnormal (disease, pathology, symptom). This approach in itself is 100% diametrically opposite to what I do as a Chiropractor.
I do not hold a medicine degree - I am a Chiropractor, therefore any case history, investigational procedure should be aimed at the Chiropractic objective and not at any medical one. Diagnosis of disease and treatment of symptoms are important issues but that is what a medical doctor is licensed to perform and not a Chiropractor.
Most Chiropractic colleges and universities grant you a Chiropractic degree although the entire educational procedure was directed towards diagnosing and treating symptoms which is exclusively medicine's domain. In my training I learned how to do minor surgery, gynecological exams, interpret x-rays, etc. But most importantly I was given a medical methodology as to viewing the body and ruling out abnormalities on a systematic basis. Again very confusing when most people in society have a poor understanding of what health is and only consult any health professional when they have a symptom or disease. I am not trained or even licensed to deal with these individuals' symptoms or disease as I am not practising medicine.
From your web site I can see you really bash the concept of Vertebral Subluxation. Unfortunately, this is all I view that the Chiropractic profession deals with, symptoms or not. Any procedure or investigation should exclusively be centered around this objective (location and detection of Vertebral Subluxation). In my office from the beginning it is stated that if you are seeking a diagnosis or treatment for any condition, that is not the service I provide and I ask you seek a medical practitioner's advise if this is what you desire. We only deal with the detection and correction of Vertebral Subluxation and these are not synonymous with pain or any disease. Chiropractic cures nothing and is not a means of treating anything although as a side effect some people might feel better with care. I do not use x-rays as this is a medical procedure and I am not adequately trained to read such films and it is impossible to visualise a Vertebral Subluxation on film.
I analyse what your body uses to correct Vertebral Subluxations, i.e. muscles. A muscle can only do two things: contract and shorten or relax and lengthen to move any joint. By analysing these muscles we provide a force (adjustment NOT manipulation) only if required so your body can take this force and re-align the segment. Your body knows the proper position not me. There is a pre and post check every time. Any force (chemical, emotional and physical) that is beyond your body's ability to adapt can result in a Vertebral Subluxation. Although your body can self-correct people's lives change every moment so that is why we check people regularly.
Remember what travels through the spine is the nervous system. This is the system that your body uses to run, heal, balance body chemistry and operate every human function without your input or thought. Chiropractic is not arrogant as we know we cannot change and alter how your body functions or even tell you why you have a symptom or not. All we do is help improve the alignment of everyone's spine as it makes more sense to minimise Vertebral Subluxations than to leave them in your spine.
Chiropractic, like diet and exercise, has no guarantee and does not promise prevention. It is always more logical to engage in these activities as they contribute to your health rather than not do them. In addition, I do not use fear based tactics like the "silent killer"—only education, so someone can make an informed decision.
The outside public cannot understand Chiropractic if they first do not have a frame of reference in which to receive it. In order to make a decision to receive Chiropractic care first requires you to initially understand its basic principles. This can only be accomplished one-on-one with a complimentary consultation as most individuals perceive us to be an alternative method to treat their medical conditions. How can you charge someone for a service you do not provide? Vertebral Subluxation is not a medical condition or diagnosis and is unique to Chiropractic.
Most Chiropractors treat the body from a symptomatic viewpoint because of their educational modeling and therefore market it in this light. Advertising the "8 danger signals" is 100% unethical from my point of view because these are medical conditions but some Chiropractors honestly believe this is appropriate. I do not advertise in this manner and would be more than happy to show you any of my ads as they are 100% ethical with no contradictions about what service I provide.
You support all the organisations that promote Chiropractic from a medical model at the bottom of your home page. Very contradicting. You live, breathe and understand the medical model because you are medically trained, but ostracize all other Chiropractors if they practise away from this medical model and term them quacks. I thought quackery was professing knowledge or guarantees of which you cannot provide. I view practising Chiropractic from a medical model to be quackery. In contrast keeping Chiropractic 100% unadulterated is the most honest, ethical and professional way to practise. Imagine if everyone was at this level you would not have a web page.
I have received Chiropractic care for most of my life and get my spine checked every week. I have never felt any different with Chiropractic care, exercise or diet but to me personally it makes more logical sense to engage in these activities.
I understand your objective as it is the same as mine—public protection and getting the correct information across. I attempt to educate and not bash anyone—medicine or other Chiropractors. Bashing other professions to build a platform for your cause is not the way. My web site as has more information and links to position papers that I honestly feel will shed some light on the above topics. I would also like at anytime to talk to you as I am not the enemy.
The author has informed Dr. Barrett that he decided to leave the chiropractic profession (in good standing) in late 2001 to pursue another career.
This page was revised on March 3, 2007.