Category: Distinctions between Chiropractic and Allopathic Medicine

Allopathic medicine’s view of alternative methods

November 14th, 2009 — 9:24pm
 Greetings. I want to take some time in this letter to discuss the increasingly volatile health care environment. Many patients have been asking questions about and commenting on recent reports showing a steady increase in the number of visits to alternative therapies while at the same time questioning chiropractic’s effectiveness and appropriateness as well as that of alternative health care in general. Here is a response.

 Allopathic medicine is on the offensive regarding its ability to influence public opinion and utilization of alternative care. Anyone who questions this should read the medically generated reports and studies regarding the efficacy of alternative options. There is a decidedly critical stance relative to “scientific validity”. The chief of general medicine at a local hospital recently predicted that 95% of alternative therapies would not withstand scientific scrutiny. Allow me to stick my neck out and agree that most alternative systems will never be scientifically proven or dis-proven, at least not in any classical sense. Most of them are better explained by a quantum model and the sooner the alternative care community embraces this instead of trying to make excuses for it, the sooner the debate can really be clarified. In any case, medicine creates a serious dilemma for itself by focusing on this point. Only 30-40% of medical practice is actually proven scientifically; the rest is based on clinical trial studies and the vast majority of this “science” occurs in the treatment of chronic illness. Granted, clinical trials can be an investigative step along the way to scientific fact but they are most certainly not science in of themselves. When you look at the incidence of iatrogenic (caused by treatment) illness and mortality (now the third leading cause of death in this country), especially in light of estimates that early next century one out of two middle-aged adults will have at least one chronic degenerative illness, serious questions could be raised about medicine’s effectiveness as primary gatekeepers of non-critical health care.

There has also been a noticeable escalation in the already saturated advertising campaign by medicine designed to keep people in the “sickness/reactive” health care mindset. Most troubling to me is the explosion of ads for prescription drugs. Especially for children, these ads plus the constant barrage of messages for over-the-counter medication encourage a belief system that health care is about getting sick and then trying to figure out how to make it better. It ensures almost obligatory compliance with the allopathic system and inherently shifts the focus away from a preventative, wellness approach to health.

These trends will continue and the debate over them will shape the future of our health care system. It will get more heated and the stakes will get higher. I believe there will be many casualties as a direct result of this escalation and I encourage all of my patients to consider carefully the implications for themselves individually as well as for their friends and family. I think there will be increasing pressure from the medical and scientific community to regulate, restrict and even prohibit access to alternative care and it may well be insufficient to sit on the sidelines, hoping it will “all come out in the wash”. I encourage you to stay informed.

Sixty years ago many chiropractors were in jail, charged with practicing medicine without a license. Only through extraordinary commitment and perseverance were we as a profession able to establish that we are practicing something entirely different from medicine; something called chiropractic. In fact we are not in the business of treating disease, but rather locating and correcting vertebral subluxations which interfere with normal neurological function and the ability for the innate intelligence in the body to express balance and homeostasis. And in keeping with the wellness approach, chiropractic has historically promoted healthy life-style issues regarding diet, exercise and soundness of mind, even before it was fashionable to do so. The same challenges faced by my profession for 103 years are now being brought to bear on other alternative methods as well and again it will require persistence and fortitude to overcome them. I encourage patients to present questions and concerns to me regarding these matters and to do so without reservation.

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“Health” is not the lack of symptoms

November 13th, 2009 — 11:41am
In my 17 years in practice I have witnessed a growing anxiety and concern among people about their health and the possibility of developing some dis-ease state. This observation seems to parallel an ever increasing focus on the part of mainstream medicine and the media on chronic sickness and ill health. While it is certainly important to acknowledge the advances medically, in treating disease, my concern is the substantial imbalance in the preoccupation with sickness as opposed to wellness. The media’s tendency to play to people’s fears for ratings purposes is a direct factor as well. We, as individuals and a society need to reject a mindset where the absence of feeling bad equates with good health. Given the fact that about 97% of function in the body is not experienced by the conscious mind, using symptoms as the dominant barometer for health is highly suspect. Pro-active lifestyle choices are the key to enjoying real health. These include diet, exercise, rest, attitude and engaging in support systems designed to remove internal interference in the body (chiropractic, shiatsu, acupuncture, etc). I acknowledge that virtually all of the people who initially seek my help are attempting to relieve a “condition”, but its critical to point out that I cannot adjust a symptom away. If you experience a good outcome under spinal care it is because the adjustment removed interference to the nervous system, allowing the body to express its true capability in terms of healing and homeostasis. The change in the symptom is a “side effect” of the adjustment. In my opinion, in order for us to truly become a healthier society we must adopt more of this mindset. So I encourage everyone to take steps on their own behalf. Come in periodically to get your spine checked and adjusted, whether you feel badly or not. You will be truly healthier for having done it.

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