From time to time I will post writings by others in this blog. Dr. Barwell’s excellent piece about “Integrity Lost” in consideration of our amazingly unique health profession is worth reading AND thinking about. Please post comments below and thank you for visiting this blog.
Richard BarwellIntegrity Lost. By Richard Barwell, D.C. Jan 16 2019 (article #48)
The current policies of many Chiropractic boards throughout the world are pushing the profession toward restriction of scope of practice. While there are still those few Chiropractors making claims of Chiropractic in the treatment of specific diseases, the use of these practitioners as the excuse to reduce the application of Chiropractic to low back pain as its only benefit, demonstrates a total lack of leadership within the profession. This movement is a clear sign of the loss of the very foundations of Chiropractic as a separate individual profession from that of Medicine. When you separate Chiropractic into parts, in this case being only accepted for treatment of low back pain, you lose the completeness of its total value. If this isn’t a form of reductionism in action, I don’t know a better example. The complete picture of Chiropractic lies, not in the treatment of anything, but rather in its ability to assist the nervous system toward improved function. Chiropractic is not about moving a bone, the relief of pain, a straight spine or a better range of movement. While as I stated that the intent of Chiropractic is to improve neurological function, there remains some confusion between “Why” we do Chiropractic and “How” we do it. The profession became so focused on the physical adjustment (especially on the spine) and its defense, that it lost sight of the bigger picture of the wide range of effects on the overall health of the patient.
Integrity means completeness, being whole or structurally sound. The shift of the profession’s leadership (used loosely) toward the reduction of the scope and message of the profession, is the manifestation of the loss of integrity at the highest levels. This shift had to begin within the educational systems and the infiltration of the medical model due to the criteria for acceptance of Chiropractic Colleges into the University system. The great mistake the Chiropractic Profession made was not in understanding that its uniqueness lay outside the medical model and that its survival was to be found in its acceptance by the public as an alternative heath profession and not in acceptance by third party payers.
This loss of the whole picture of health is not just affecting Chiropractic. North America especially gives witness to the total love and trust of the medical model with its over-prescription of drugs and lowered standard of health. America is number 37 in world health standards. NUMBER 37!!! It is the most over-weight country in the world. It has 5% of the world population but consumes 50% of all the drugs worldwide. When you only look at health being chemically based you are only looking at a small part of the reality. Reductionism in action and it is killing us! Our understanding of the real meaning of health has to include something bigger than chemical or the physical. This includes the push toward genetics as the end all and be all of reductionism. If it was totally your genetic pattern, then you would be predestined toward one disease or death based on some gene. What we now know is that not every gene gets turned on, so the pattern must be controlled elsewhere. Are you ready for this – The environment plays a role, through the nervous system, to turn on and off your genetic expression. We are in a live time neurological exchange between our environment, our stressors and pleasures, our foods, the air, the water we drink, the toxins in our world and our relationships. The power of Chiropractic lies in its effect on our neurological ability to better cope with these challenges for survival.
I know that the first response from the reductionist Chiropractors will be, can I prove it. I don’t need to prove it, as the proof has been around for decades. How many papers will it take to prove that patients under Chiropractic care have demonstrated improved health for issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, immune system responses and dare I say cancer and others. Does Chiropractic treat any of these so called diseases? The answer is absolutely NO! Chiropractic does not treat anything! The intent of Chiropractic has always been to improve neurological function and let the body’s system regain its integrity. This is the completeness of Chiropractic! This is Chiropractic with integrity regained. It is time to change the leadership!