What is “Traditional” Chiropractic?

Recently someone in the office mentioned seeing a “traditional” chiropractor.  The meaning behind the phrase was in reference to the method of adjusting.  I adjust using Network Spinal Analysis which utilizes a light touch, as opposed to the other form of chiropractic which is often the hard thrust.  Since NSA is newer in the chiropractic scheme of things, the structural adjustment must be traditional.

Actually, referring to a chiropractor as traditional vs. something else, like ‘modern’ I suppose, should not refer to the method of adjusting.  I refer to myself as a traditional chiropractor, not because of what I do, but why.

From its inception as a profession in 1895, chiropractic is a holistic approach to the total health of an individual.  The philosophy states that the nerve system coordinates all the functions of the body and the ability to function in life.  A healthy nerve system creates a healthy body, a sick nerve system creates a sick body.  Stress in life makes the nerve system sick within the spinal cord, and it has been proven that the chiropractic adjustment restores integrity to the NS, restoring health to the body.  It is as simple as that.

Over the years many methods of adjusting the spine/ spinal cord have been developed.  Some of them are hard and some of them are gentle.  But the idea behind the adjustment, traditionally, has been to help the sick heal by restoring integrity to the NS.

For most of the 20th century, chiropractic was not respected or recognized as a “real” profession.  The reasons for this would require another essay.  But because of this thinking, chiropractic was not included in insurance coverage.  But in the ’80’s insurances began to cover chiropractic since so many people were starting to utilize it.  But they wanted to know what chiropractors did. Insurance companies cover “Treatments” and our philosophy is different.  So to get coverage, chiros had to treat something and they said “We’re good at back pain, neck pain, and headaches”.  And the shift to becoming a physical therapy approach was born.  Now, most DC’s have physical therapy and rehab clinics, and most people think of chiropractic as such.

But there are still those of us who cling to the original philosophy of total health chiropractic, as I do.  This is especially important in today’s world of drugs, drugs, and more drugs.  Chiropractic is the only profession that offers another approach to health that doesn’t deal with drugs.  It is the only one that can help people get well, and stay well, using the body’s own natural healing abilities.  This is the “Traditional” approach.  The modern approach of physical therapy and rehab has thrown the original philosophy out the window.

So any chiropractor who adjusts the spinal system to restore health to the NS, and, therefore, the body regardless of the technique, is “Traditional”.  If he/she is adjusting to treat a sprain, then they are just modern physical therapists.