Understanding Your Holistic Chiropractor & Holistic Chiropractic
Holistic chiropractic practice and holistic chiropractors are not well understood by the general public. There are two major reasons for that.
First, holistic chiropractors have not been able to deliver a message that is heard by the public considering the influence of mainstream medicine and the broad reach of the pharmaceutical industry.
The untold billions of advertising dollars spent nowadays by pharmaceutical giants to spread their message of drug-reliant living are incomprehensible. The subtext in brilliantly produced ads is that for every symptom there is a new and great drug. Real causes of illness and substantial prevention strategies are not part of the message.
The sheer volume of pharmaceutical advertising obscures access to natural healing in general, and to chiropractors that are holistically inclined.
Second, there is such a large variation of practices by chiropractors, that even in the profession, there is no consensus for a definition of “holistic chiropractor.”
In the early 1900’s when the chiropractic profession was young, its practitioners were often very eclectic in the way they approached healing. Some chiropractors excelled in prenatal and infant care and delivered babies by home birth.
Chiropractors often used herbal and homeopathic medicine. Many were skilled general practitioners who used spinal manipulation as a central tool in their broad approach to healing.
As decades went by, chiropractors’ scope of practice was severely challenged by the most effective trade union in the world, the American Medical Association. Restrictive laws were enacted state by state, and chiropractors were fighting to maintain the right to practice at all.
So, effectively, a decision was made whereby chiropractors took the niche where organized medicine does not operate, and chiropractic practice became more and more focused on manual manipulation of the spine. Organized medicine agreed to let chiropractors operate in that restricted area.
Then in 1976 a courageous group of chiropractors sued the AMA, several nationwide healthcare associations, and a group of physicians for violating sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Every tactic possible was employed to overturn the chiropractic lawsuit, but with great perseverance, after an 11 year battle, the presiding judge made her ruling that the AMA had engaged in an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade “to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession.”
When the lawsuit was first filed (and especially after the landmark legal victory in 1987) a segment of chiropractors felt they had more freedom to practice sensible preventive care and conduct general practice for the welfare of their patients.
Many reflex diagnostic screening practices were developed and utilized, and though spinal, cranial, and soft tissue manipulation has stayed the focus of chiropractic practice, many other highly effective treatments are often included in patient care delivered by holistic chiropractors.