Terry J Van Dervort, DC, ACP, DPhCS
In the June 12, 2015 New York Times article “Organic Farmers Object to Whole Foods Rating System,” Stephanie Storm writes, “Like a whale and the myriad barnacles clinging to its sides, Whole Foods Market and organic farmers have long had a symbiotic relationship.” Her description of Whole Foods and their suppliers caused me think of the relationship between chiropractors and chiropractic organizations.
We have a number of national, state, and local organizations that represent the varying philosophical definitions of chiropractic, and as professionals we choose to affiliate with the organizations that best represent and support our practice and business models. In this case the International Federation of Chiropractors and Organizations (IFCO) is the whale lumbering through the tumultuous waters of our profession, and we, the like-minded chiropractors that support the IFCO’s mission “to protect, promote, and advance chiropractic as a separate and distinct profession dedicated to the detection and correction of vertebral subluxation for the better expression of life,” are like the barnacles that cling to the whale. We support the IFCO with money in the form of dues and donations, and it is our membership that gives the IFCO a voice and the power of numbers.
One of the most important issues facing our profession at this time is defining a “standard of practice.” On the subluxation-centered side of the aisle, a standard of practice must consider all the diverse methods of locating, correcting, and initiating the correction of the vertebral subluxation without becoming so broad that it becomes irrelevant. We need to identify the common thread that ties all the like-minded providers together without creating anxiety or division.
On the other hand, the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB) has created a Model Practice Act for Chiropractic Regulation that had to be extremely broad in scope in order to cover the entire chiropractic profession. They are now putting this document before the state boards for acceptance.
An example of their attempt to be compatible with condition-based chiropractic is that the FCLB has dropped the term “vertebral subluxation” and replaced it with a more inclusive and broader-scope term: “Chiropractic Subluxation.” “Chiropractic Subluxation means a biomechanical and/or physiological condition or disorder of the axial or appendicular body areas that result in neural compromise and organ system dysfunction.” (Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards 1/30/2015. Model Practice Act for Chiropractic Regulation, p. 22.)
If anything that causes neural compromise and results in organ dysfunction is considered to be a “Chiropractic Subluxation,” then could any treatment for conditions that result in neural compromise and organ dysfunction be considered a “Chiropractic Adjustment” and an approved chiropractic procedure?
Subluxation-centered chiropractic has evolved over the years within the bounds of the very specific and focused definition of the vertebral subluxation that is found in R. W. Stephenson’s Chiropractic Textbook:
Art. 26. THE CHIROPRACTIC DEFINITION OF SUBLUXATION. (See Prin. 31.)
A subluxation is the condition of a vertebra that has lost its
proper juxtaposition with the one above or the one below, or both; to an extent less than a luxation; which impinges nerves and interferes with the transmission of mental impulses.
All the factors of the foregoing definition must be given to make it complete and to make it Chiropractic. The student is advised to learn it verbatim.
Dislocations and fractures, also, can impinge nerves and interfere with the transmission of mental impulses, but fractures and dislocations are not in the realm of Chiropractic. (pp. 2-3)
Subluxation-centered chiropractic is anchored by Article 26. Because we want the chiropractic profession to maintain a recognizable identity and stand for something rather than for everything, we must get the word out and encourage all our like-minded peers to join with the IFCO. Then we can all experience a symbiotic relationship in which our voices will become a part of the conversation that will specifically define subluxation-centered chiropractic.