“Chiropractic is a philosophy, science and art of things natural; a system of adjusting the segments of the spinal column by hand only, for the correction for the cause of dis-ease.” -R.W. Stephenson
The definition of Chiropractic above by R.W. Stephenson was written over 100 years ago with terminology that could be substituted for today’s reader:
“Chiropractic is a philosophy, science and art based on the principle of an inherent recuperative power to heal from within; a practice of adjusting segments of the spinal column for the correction of vertebral subluxation that causes a state of dysfunction to well-being.”
Looking at the definition of Chiropractic along with a logical reasoning process can lead yourself towards the answer for the question; are Chiropractic Adjustments Effective?
Chiropractors utilize a deductive reasoning process when investigating the principles of self healing, well-being and practical approaches to removing interference to the body’s inherent quality of life.
Deductive reasoning is an act of reasoning that is characterized by or based on the conclusion of particular instances from a general law or principle.
In short, you’re creating an answer or conclusion to a new question based on an already accepted fact, principle or truth. Using this thought process is a means of creating an answer based on principles or facts.
Lets utilize deductive reasoning for the question at hand in regards to effectiveness with chiropractic adjustments.
Deductive reasoning draws information out of that which is already true, which then makes more truth and fact within the new deduced perception.
Deductive reasoning was used in our profession by starting with a major premise that cannot denied and then logically concluding statements that must also be true by reasoning from the major premise. This process of deducing truth from a major premise was useful early on in our development of our profession while we were building certainty, but is just as powerful now as it was over one hundred years ago.
Lets look at the first three principles of Chiropractic referenced in R.W. Stephenson’s Chiropractic Textbook that were utilized to answer questions about health and well-being and see how our early forefathers in chiropractic deduced the principles that are used in practice today.
Ralph Stephenson, DC started with the first principle and titled this the major premise to Chiropractic and through deductive reasoning created more principles based on the first premise.
- The Major Premise – A Universal Intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence.
- The Chiropractic Meaning of Life – The expression of this intelligence through matter is the Chiropractic meaning of life.
- The Union of Intelligence and Matter – Life is necessarily the union of intelligence and matter.
These principles within chiropractic can become our scientific platform to answer Chiropractic Questions such as effectiveness with Chiropractic Adjustments.
Claude Lessard, DC states in his 2017 A New Look at Chiropractic’s Basic Science:
“All scientific disciplines, chiropractic, physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, etc., have basic and applied aspects. Basics science is more basic in the sense that without discovery of PRINCIPLES…there is nothing to apply. Applied science relies on and could not exist without basic science. For example, aviation uses two basic laws, the law of gravity and the law of aerodynamics and applies it to its objective which is flying. In the same way, chiropractic uses two basic laws, the law of organization (universal intelligence) and the law of ACTIVE organization (innate intelligence) and applies its objective which is to locate, analyze and facilitate the correction of vertebral subluxations for the full express of the innate forces of the innate intelligence of the body.”
So…are Chiropractic Adjustments effective?
It depends what basic principles you are utilizing as your foundation for reasoning for that question to, but if you were to utilzie the definition of Chiropractic and the 33 Principles that R.W. Stephenson documented in his Chiropractic Textbook-then the answer would be YES-Chiropractic Adjustments are effective for the correction of vertebral subluxation which can create interference to the body’s inherent recuperative powers and cause a state of dysfunction to well-being.
The practice of chiropractic has a focus on the relationship between structure and function: the structure of the spine and the function of the neurological system.
This structure-function relationship has an affect on your well-being that creates the position of chiropractic. A position statement is a viewpoint or thesis to describe one side of an arguable viewpoint, in other words, what you stand for.
The position of chiropractic is that “there is an inherent recuperative power within the body to heal itself.”
Your body has an innate characteristic of restoring health or strength. It naturally wants to heal damaged cells and tissues. Sometimes too much damage has occurred to the cells and tissues within the body and, therefore, healing is limited. In this case, the principle of healing and restoration is still valid, but to a lesser degree. Chiropractors recognize limitations of healing and practice with the responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care providers for the best interest of the client. Just like limitations to healing based on the extent of the injury or trauma, so too can there be limitations to healing due to interference in the neurological system at the spinal cord level.
The power to heal the body utilizes the neurological system to coordinate and direct the trillions of cells working together towards an optimal state of wellbeing. Your highest quality of well-being is coordinated by your neurological system through communication of mental impulses from the brain to the body and the body back to the brain through the nerves. This process needs to be free of any interference in order for an optimal state of communication and increased wellbeing to take place.
The practice of chiropractic focuses on the spine due to the intimate relationship the bones of the spine have with the neurological system, which is the structure-function relationship that was mentioned earlier. The structure or alignment of your spine affects the function of the neurological system.
The power within the body to heal back to an optimal state of well-being is coordinated through the neurological system, and the ability for the neurological system to function is affected by the structure or alignment of the spinal bones or vertebrate.
Chiropractic Adjustments can be effective in correcting vertebral subluxation which in turn influences the neurological function to express a higher state of well-being through the inherent recuperative power to self-heal and self-function.