8 Fundamental Principles of Chiropractic
What follows is a partial list of the major principles and concepts of chiropractic. An understanding of these is necessary in order to begin to understand what a chiropractor does, and why he or she does it. This list is by no means complete, but it does contain essential concepts. For a more complete study I have listed several resources at the bottom of this page.
1. The first principle is our foundation. It is from this that everything else follows. It is therefore known as the “Major Premise” of chiropractic. It states that, “A universal intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence.1” This statement is an “a priori”, or prescientific* assumption. That is, no one can prove or disprove the existence of a universal intelligence. Chiropractic recognizes the cause – effect relationship of the universe, or that there is order and organization in the universe. We see that wherever there is organization, there is intelligence. Further, chiropractic realizes that there is a wisdom greater than that of man’s finite educated mind.
2. Chiropractors recognize a law or principle resident within living things known as “innate intelligence”. “Innate” can also be thought of as “inborn”. Each living thing is born with an innate intelligence. It is not acquired, nor is it universally existent. The purpose if innate intelligence is to maintain the material of the body of a “living thing” in active organization. This intelligence guided the development of each “living thing” in the universe. It is also this intelligence that heals a cut, mends a broken bone and wards off disease. It also runs the body, controlling the heart rate, temperature, metabolic rate and all other vital functions. It is exciting to realize that all of us, whether genius or ignoramus, millionaire or pauper, possess this amazing ability to heal and live. In order to express 100% of our potential, one of the requirements is 100% expression of this innate intelligence.
3. Chiropractors recognize that the expression of innate intelligence can be blocked or interfered with. The term for this interference with the expression of innate intelligence is a vertebral subluxation. Vertebral subluxations literally block the expression of life. Chiropractors further recognize that vertebral subluxations occur in all human beings on a very frequent basis. Subluxations have devastating effects. It is for this reason that chiropractors focus on locating subluxations.
4. Human beings cannot reach their potential in health or any other area when vertebral subluxations are present. The innate intelligence utilizes the nerve system as its communications system. In this way it is in contact with every cell, tissue and organ of the body. Interfering with the main communication system will logically impair the ability to function optimally.
5. Every human being is better off with a good nerve supply and either no subluxations or as few subluxations as possible.
6. Chiropractors recognize that vertebral subluxations occur in all human beings on a very frequent basis. The causes of vertebral subluxation are physical, chemical and emotional trauma. Most individuals have a significant amount of these stresses or trauma in their lives. Since it is impractical to eliminate stress, it makes sense for all people to be checked for vertebral subluxations on a regular basis to ensure the full functioning of the nerve system.
7. Chiropractic is not a branch of or a part of the practice medicine. We are a separate and distinct vocation. Further, chiropractic is neither a substitute for nor an alternative to medicine. Medicine and chiropractic have entirely different objectives. Chiropractors provide a unique service for which there is neither an alternative nor duplication. What is the alternative to breathing? Not breathing. To Eating? Not eating.
8. Chiropractors define their professional role by their objective. That objective is to locate, analyze and correct vertebral subluxations to enable the innate intelligence of the body to better express itself, thus allowing the full expression of life in an individual. We do not correct vertebral subluxations to treat disease, cure disease or even remove the cause of disease, but to allow greater life expression.
* Before it is assumed that chiropractic is unscientific because of being based upon an a priori assumption, please note that physics and astronomy utilize an a priori belief in the orderliness of cause and effects, and in the potential discoverability of cause-effect relationships. Medical scientists have long adhered to the concept of disease, also a prescientific assumption. If it is assumed that the aforementioned are scientific, then chiropractic is at least as scientific.
1 Chiropractic Text Book, R.W. Stephenson, 1927 p.xxxi.
Suggested Reading for Further Study:
Chiropractic Text Book, R.W. Stephenson, 1927.
Chiropractic Philosophy, Joe Strauss, 1991, Foundation for the Advancement of Chiropractic Education.
Chiropractic. Because every man woman and child
deserves to experience all that life has to offer.