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Terry A. Rondberg, D.C.

the evolution of CHIROPRACTIC

Terry A. Rondberg, D.C. 2683 Via de la Valle Suite G 629 Del Mar, CA 92014

Copyright © 2011 by Terry A. Rondberg

All rights reserved. No part of this book or site may be reproduced or redistributed in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from Terry A. Rond berg, D.C., except by a reviewer who may quote brief passag es in a review.

The author of this book does not dispense medical advice or suggest the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a qualified wellness professional, either directly or indirectly. In the event you use any of the information in this book, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions. The author and publisher are in no way liable for any misuse of the material.

First edition 2011 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

ISBN 10: 0615561330 ISBN 13: 978 0615 56133 2

About the author

Few wellness practi tioners and authors have had as profound an impact on the chiropractic profession as Terry A. Rondberg, D.C. During his 30+ years working in and for the chiropractic community, he’s been called everything from the “modern day BJ Palmer” to “the most dangerous man in

c hiropractic.”

to “the most dangerous man in c hiropractic.” Respected by supporters and feared by opponents ,

Respected by supporters and feared by opponents , his life has been dedicated to safeguarding every person’s right to choose non medical wellness ap proaches for their health care. Through a communication network that has reached to all corners of the world, he has communicated, with passion, th e fundamental precepts of chiropractic as a drug fr ee, non invasive, and vitalistic wellness discipline.

Dr. Rondberg has written and fought against those critics who’ve attempted either to categorize chi ropractic as a therapy for back pain or to eliminate it altogether as a separate and distinct profession. He’s seen chiropractic evolve from an energy bas ed system focused on improving total neurological function to a medicalized subset of physical thera py and back again to its roots as an art, science, and philosophy of “being” that transcends the lim its of traditional ideas of disease care. More than a passive spectator, he’s been a driving force for th e return of chiropractic to those roots, and is now leading the way to even greater expansion of the profession by positioning it as the key element in a wellness paradigm that embraces physical, mental, emotio nal, environmental, and even spiritual well b eing.

After his graduation from Logan College of Chiropractic, Dr. Rondberg built successful private prac tices in St. Louis and Phoenix. He was noted for his emphasis on public and patient educatio n as well a s his innovative business procedures.

In 1986, Dr. Rondberg began publishing what has become one of the leading monthly chiropractic newspapers The Chiropractic Journal with a worldwide readership of more than 70,000. In an nouncing its launch, he stated: “The Journal was born out of a belief that members of the chiroprac tic profession need, want and deserve a reliable, credible source of news and information relating to our profession. We want a newspaper that will re spect our intelligence by bringing us the facts relat ing to important events going on in the associa tions, courts, legislative halls, colleges and other places where our future and the future of our profession is being determined.”

He went on to say: “Chiropractic is a wonderful profession practiced by many fine men and wom en. We hope to bring an abundance of good news of its accomplishments and those of individual doctors. We trust in universal principles. We be lieve the members of this profession, of whatever school of thought, possess much wisdom, honesty and dedication, but do not have a corner on those or other virtues.”

Today, The Chiropractic Journal remains the prima ry source of information on affirmative activities within the profession, including global humanitarian efforts, individual achievements, and positive media coverage.

Dr. Rondberg also founded and published the Jour nal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (now the Journal of Subluxation Research ), a peerreviewed scientific journal publishing original research on the impact of subluxation on human neurologic func tion.

In 1989, Dr. Rondberg established the World Chi ropractic Alliance as an international professional organization, creating a global network of contacts and resources. Using highly refined motivational methods, a thorough knowledge of electronic communication, and exceptional organizational talents, he guided the group from its earliest stages through its present status as a major association recognized as an NGO (NonGovernmental Organi zation) with the Public Information Office of the United Nations, with members on five continents.

During the course of his career, at critical junctures Dr. Rondberg has been intensely involved in the political process on both the state and national le vels. Through his work in Washington, D.C., he formed productive relationships with numerous Senators, Representatives, and other government officials, as well as top lobbyists. Demonstrating a keen understanding of the political process, he was instrumental in the passage of a major piece of legislation that was signed by President George W. Bush in 2001, as well as several other bills and government actions. He also served on the Department of Defense Chiropractic Advisory Committee to help establish the protocol for making chiroprac tic services available to active duty military person nel.

Over the past decade, Dr. Rondberg has written and published three highly acclaimed books that have sold more than half a million copies through out the world, generating widespread publicity along with a reliable source of revenue. A sought after speaker at chiropractic events, he also au thors several blogs and websites, taking full advan

tage of electronic media to communicate his message to the profession and the public.

Dr. Rondberg’s latest efforts have been directed to providing several vital tools for wellness practition ers and their clients and patients, including Integra tive Outcome Measurements, a scientific health related quality of life (HRQOL) assessment tool, which provides a subjective evaluation of various components of wellness.

In this volume, Dr. Rondberg reviews the evolution of chiropractic from his unique perspective as a chiropractic leader, supporter, and practitioner and explains the stages of its growth. Additionally, he considers its ultimate destiny as a true vitalistic ap proach to well being that can help all people lead healthier, happier, and longer lives.

Other books by Terry A. Rondberg, D.C.

Chiropractic First

Under the Influence of Modern Medicine

Chiropractic: Compassion and Expectation

The Philosophy of Chiropractic (Green booklets)

Chiropractic Malpractice Prevention Program (co authored with Timothy Feuling)

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

The Beginnings

Chapter 2

Historical Foundations

Chapter 3

Medicalizing of Chiropractic

Chapter 4

The Final Step: Energy Healing

Chapter 5

The New Chiropractic and Science

CHAPTER 1 – The Beginnings

In 1895, there were fewer than two billion people on the planet. Yet, one of them, David Da niel (DD) Palmer, founded a profession that would change the face of health care forever. The achieve ment can never be overstated, especially considering that his creation (chiropractic) became the first and only alternative approach to loosen the medical industry’s iron grip on health care. In his book “The Chiropractor,” DD Palmer was open and honest about how he came to “discover” chiropractic. “The me thod by which I obtained an explanation of certain physical phenomena, from intelligence in the spiritual world, is known in biblical language as inspiration,” he wrote.

from intelligence in the spiri ‐ tual world, is known in biblical language as inspi ‐

Never restricted by known physical sciences, Palmer established as the basis of his entire concept the existence of a Universal Intelligence that manifests itself in living beings as “Innate Intelligence.” He further proposed that health is the expres sion of this Innate Intelligence through Innate Mat ter, via Innate Energy. As a “magnetic healer,” he understood the work of magnetic and energy forces in play throughout the environment and in our own bo dies. His application of chiropractic was his unique way of influencing those subtle energy fields. Palmer’s son, Bartlett Joshua (BJ) Palmer, later took up the work his father had begun and developed chiropractic into a field that in a few short decades became so in fluential it posed a threat to the domina tion of allop athic med icin e. These two men –

so in ‐ fluential it posed a threat to the domina ‐ tion of allop athic

the founder and developer of chiropractic – were intelligent, farsighted, dedicated and determined individuals. The profession, and the entire world, owes them a great debt of gratitude. They weren’t, however, infallible, which doesn’t make them any less great. It simply means we need to view them in the context of their times to truly understand their concepts and goals. The same is true of so many other great individuals in history. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, for example, were true political and so cial geniuses who overcame great odds to found a new nation based on ethical and moral principles. Yet, both owned slaves, a situation we now naturally find abhorrent. Would they, if they lived to day, own slaves? Of course not. The times and attitudes have changed radically. No doubt if DD Palmer were alive today, he would alter some of his concepts and conclusions in light of advanced scientific findings and our un derstanding of the interconnectedness of all energy forces on earth. He was never reluctant, even in his own lifetime, to change his ideas and conclusions. He wrote his books on paper; he didn’t chisel them in stone.

In his book, “The Glory of Going On,” BJ Palmer told his fellow chiropractors: “You HAVE in YOUR possession a SACRED TRUST. Guard it well.” He admonished them to “keep this principle and practice unadulterated and unmixed.” Still, BJ was an open minded teacher, who encouraged his students to use their own reasoning power to arrive at solutions to problems. And BJ loved new technology. He owned the first automobile in the Davenport, Iowa area. In 1922, when the medium was still in its infancy, he purchased a local radio station to spread the chiro practic message. He adapted existing technology to the Palmer School of Chiropractic, and built new instrumentation and research tools. He was un afraid of trying new things and of advancing the science of chiropractic to keep up with the sciences of physics, biology, chemistry, and medicine. Yet, he never forgot the main principles passed down by his father, DD Palmer, that the essence of chiropractic was the elimination of interference to the vital energy forces governed by Innate Intelligence. In rethinking chiropractic for the 21 st century, it’s important to maintain our strong admiration

for the Palmers and all those who worked with them in the opening decades of the profession. We need to remind ourselves of the pioneering and courageous work they did and the remarkable achievements they made. It’s also essential to keep the basic chiropractic principles at the heart of our understanding of the discipline – the “bottom line” premises about the existence of Universal and Innate intelligence, as well as a grasp of how that intelligence works through matter via energy. Thanks to advances in quantum physics, an abiding respect for the Palmers is NOT incompat ible with a strong scientific grounding. As this book will explore, their original views on chiropractic meshes perfectly with today’s awareness of bio energy fields, cellular biology, and body mind connection.

CHAPTER 2 – Historical Foundations

Throughout their lives and careers, DD and BJ

Palmer refined their ideas about the process of chiropractic, subluxations, nerve interference, and other aspects of the profession. They tried, adapted, and discarded new technologies. Yet, the basic chiropractic foundation never changed. The major underlying precepts were (and re main):

There exists a Universal Intelligence, which brings organization to all matter and main tains its existence;

All living things have inborn, or “Innate” Intelligence which adapts universal forces and matter for use in the body;

Every living thing has ALL the Innate Intelligence it requires to maintain its life and optimal health;

Health is the expression of the Innate Intelli gence through Innate Matter, via Innate Energy;

When there’s interference with the trans mission of Innate Energy, the result is a de crease in the expression of Innate Intelligence, which chiropractors call dis ease (not to be confused with disease!). A review of these basic precepts is always helpful.

Universal Intelligence

Our existence isn’t mere “luck” as nothing in the natural order of the universe is random. Since chiropractic is a deductive science, it be gins with a major premise upon which all other conclusions are based. That primary assumption is that a Universal Intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence. Blind faith or religious fervor had nothing to do with the adoption of this premise. This is a con clusion based upon observation of physical evidence. Just look around you. Is it logical to think that everything in the universe is the result of ran dom selection or mere chance? Is it luck that a bird ʹ s wing is perfectly designed for flight, right down to the tiniest pinfeather? Is it just accidental

that a plant ʹ s roots travel downward into the ground where it will find water and minerals, and its leaves grow upward where it will find sun and air? If we lived in a truly random universe, at least some plants would send their roots straight upward, and bury their leaves in the soil. It’s unlikely anyone has ever reported seeing such a plant. Believing the universe is devoid of intelligent organization is like thinking that the Great Pyra mids of Giza were the result of a rock slide. Could any random action have possibly created them? The Empire State Building? A bird’s wings? The roots and leaves of a plant? Intelligence is clearly behind the natural ʺ won ders ʺ that surround us, just as architectural won ders owe their existence to human intelligence. Obviously, human intelligence isn’t responsible for the complex order of the universe – it hasn ʹ t yet begun to understand even a tiny part of it! It had to be something much greater. That ʺ something ʺ is what we call Universal Intelligence. While we aren’t sure what it is, where it came from, what its intent is – or even if there is an intent involved – we do know that it must exist, or nothing else would.

Is this Universal Intelligence God? No one knows. There’s no way to ʺ prove ʺ the existence of

God, or describe God ʹ s characteristics. Nor is there

a way to prove the existence of Universal Intelli

gence, or describe its characteristics. How, then can

anyone say whether they mean the same thing? Some people believe God is the source of that Universal Intelligence. Others can accept the con

cept of a Universal Intelligence without believing in

a God. Either way, through observation and deduc

tive reasoning we know that such an intelligence has to exist in order to prevent all matter from passing into chaos. During the Age of Technology such notions were often criticized as being ʺ unscientific. ʺ What critics really meant was that the premise couldn ʹ t be proved, and wasn ʹ t arrived at through inductive reasoning. Of course, neither was the idea ʺ All men are created equal, ʺ or that there were vacuum cleaners called black holes (a theory, by the way, also scoffed at when first announced). Yet, the first axiom doesn ʹ t require proof, and the second was valid even before proof was found. And so it is with the premise of Universal Intelligence. It, too, is

a ʺ truth ʺ so basic that it transcends science and can be arrived at only through deductive logic. Today, a broader view is being accepted as science expands in the areas of ʺ new physics ʺ and quantum mechanics. New ideas are cultivated, with deductive reasoning recognized as a valid form of logic. At last, the realization that a Universal Intelligence must exist is being taken for granted. Chiropractors smile at the notion that ʺ science ʺ is only now ʺ discovering ʺ that idea. After all, the entire profession is built around that profound yet simple truth. Doctors of chiropractic understand there’s order and intelligence to the whole universe. By deductive reasoning, they also know this order and intelligence applies to every part of the universe, including the human body. That conclusion leads directly to another of the principal premises of chiropractic philosophy: A living thing has an inborn intelligence within its body, called Innate Intelligence. No word in chiropractic philosophy is as filled with meaning as the word Innate, for it refers to the sole element that sets living beings apart from non

living things, and is the reason that chiropractic exists.

Innate Intelligence

“Innate Intelligence” is in every living thing guiding it on the path to health. In discussing Innate Intelligence, it’s necessary to clarify the concept of intelligence. It’s important to understand we’re not talking about education or the ability to learn things. Human beings can at tend school and learn computer programming, or ʺ pick upʺ several foreign languages when they tra vel. But this isn’t what’s meant when we say intelligence. The intelligence we ʹ re talking about is the ʺ knowledge ʺ that every living entity is born with, and which allows it to adapt to the environment in order to survive. If you put a plant on the window sill, in a day or so it’ll have positioned its leaves to face the light. Turn the plant around and in another day or so, it again will have turned its leaves to re ceive the light it needs to maintain its normal functions.

The plant doesn ʹ t use logic to figure out that it needs light, or decide to turn its leaves around to

face the window. It isn’t self aware, and while it doesn ʹ t ʺ think, ʺ the intelligence it possesses allows it to go from a tiny seed to a lush plant; to send roots into the soil to find water and nutrients; to search out and utilize light and air; to transform those elements into additional leaves, roots, sprouts, and even more seeds, which will be carried on the wind to start the process all over again somewhere else. Not random action, but intelli gence. Not education, but inborn knowledge. In nate Intelligence. But what is this intelligence? Where does it come from? How does it work? Nobody has defin itive answers to these questions. Living things aren’t chance collections of molecules and atoms. They’re all organized into functioning entities that adapt to their environment. Therefore, we accept as

a basic principle that there’s an order to the body,

which we’ve chosen to call Innate Intelligence. Like Universal Intelligence, we don’t have the ability to understand exactly what this intelligence is or how

it works. We only know it exists.

It’s the Innate Intelligence that regulates the number of heart beats per minute in a newborn ba by. It “tells” the baby how to ingest and digest nutrients and eliminate waste, how to develop and utilize white blood cells to fight infections, how to communicate its need for outside assistance. No one has to teach an infant these things. Yet, Innate Intelligence can only guide the child’s internal functioning. It can’t enable her to manipulate her environment or do more than her body will permit. Anymore than a plant can turn on a lamp if it needs more light, the baby can ʹ t, for instance, walk over to the refrigerator and get a snack if she ʹs hungry. That action will take training and education rather than inborn (Innate) intelligence. It’s remarkable that every living thing pos sesses 100% of the Innate Intelligence it needs. Youʹ ll never see a plant that ʺ knowsʺ its roots need to grow into the soil, but doesn ʹ t also ʺ know ʺ its leaves need to grow upward toward the light. Can you imagine the poor plant pushing both its roots and its leaves downward because it only had 50% of its Innate Intelligence?

By its very definition, Innate Intelligence is always normal, and its function is always normal. This means our bodies ʺ know ʺ exactly what they need and how to adapt to the environment in order to function best. If our physical and emotional health relied exclusively on our Innate Intelligence, we’d all be ʺ perfectly ʺ healthy. But there are other factors at work. A master carpenter might be an expert in building a table, but with his arm in a cast he can ʹ t apply force to his hammer, or without the proper tools it’s unlikely the table he’s working on will come out very well. Your Innate Intelligence runs your body expertly, unless it’s hampered by the lack of force (Innate Energy) or proper tools (Innate Matter). Without these, the result will be a less than normalfunctioning. Since Innate Intelligence has the ʺ expertise ʺ to properly maintain the human organism, chiropractors don ʹ t address that area. Neither do they concentrate upon the “tools” – the body and internal organs. Instead, they’re concerned with the In nate Energy (or force) providing the link between the Innate Intelligence and Innate Matter.

Universal Forces

Innate Energy

Tame a lightning bolt and you have the Innate Force in the human brain. The universe is filled with natural forms of energy. In fact, astronomers say the universe was created by a burst of energy, which pre dated all matter. The ʺ big bang ʺ theory is still debated, but we need no theories to witness energy at work all around us. Wind rushes through the trees, water cascades down a mountain, lightning streaks through the sky, solar radiation heats our earth. For the most part, these environmental forces co exist peacefully with all life forms. At times, however, they demonstrate their magnificent pow er and destructive potential. The wind increases to hurricane velocity and rips roofs off houses; flood waters carry buildings away; lightning sets off rag ing fires. Such destruction can seem meaningless, so we often talk about ʺ Mother Nature going crazy. ʺ But scientists and environmentalists now acknowledge that the devastation has its purpose in the natural scheme of things.

A fire started by lightning, for example, is an efficient way to thin a stand of trees. When a forest becomes overgrown, the lush vegetation cuts sun light off at the ground level, making it impossible for new seedlings to grow. The ʺ destruction ʺ of a fire provides the new generation of trees the light and compost it will need if the forest is to survive. When that same forest is ʺ managed ʺ by humans, the naturally set fires are often extinguished. Then, these same caretakers deliberately set fires to do the job the extinguished fire would have done. There’s a purpose to the fires, and to the hurricanes and floods. There’s an order to their appearance, and an intelligence in their functioning. The Universal In telligence ʺ knows ʺ that forests need thinning, and uses the Universal Matter available to it to accom plish this. The link that enables the intelligence to use the matter is natural energy, or Universal Forces. For most of human history, the most we could do was try and stay out of the way of these forces. In modern times, our educated minds have developed means of adapting them for constructive purposes. We build windpowered generators, hydroe

lectric plants, irrigation canals, dams, and solar heating panels to harness these energy sources. We ʹ ve even learned to adapt for our purposes the electricity showcased in a lightning bolt. Living things are like microcosms of the un iverse. We ʹ ve seen how they’re each endowed with a portion of the Universal Intelligence, called the Innate Intelligence. They also possess the ʺ specia lized ʺ version of Universal Forces, which chiroprac tors call Innate Energy. Our Innate Intelligence takes the Universal Force of electricity and adapts it for constructive use, just as our educated minds have adapted natural forces. It’s well documented that the human body runs on electricity. Many medical testing instruments record and measure the electrical impulses generated (or, some say, converted from some oth er source) by the brain for use in the body. There may also be other innate forces at work in our bo dies that we haven’t yet identified, but electricity is the one we’ve proven to exist. Because Innate Energy is being adapted in the body by the Innate Intelligence, it can never be de structive as can ʺ wild ʺ Universal Forces. And, since Innate Energy is created and directed by the Innate

Intelligence, 100% of what’s needed by each partic ular living thing is available. The energy is required to impel the cells to function according to the wish es of the intelligence. In nature, matter remains in ert until energy is applied. Air and water remain stagnant, and the internal molecular structure of the tree stays stable until energy’s applied. Only then do changes occur in the matter to cause mo tion and function. It’s the same process in the body. The Innate Intelligence can’t manipulate matter without energy. Muscles are unable to expand or contract according to the instructions of Innate Intelligence unless energy is present. In fact, in the absence of Innate Energy, the body ceases to function – ceases to live. Innate Energy, then, serves as the vital link that enables the intelligence to express itself through matter. Taken together, these three ele ments – Innate Intelligence, Innate Energy, and In nate Matter – make up the ʺ Triune of Life, ʺ one of the most important concepts in chiropractic philos ophy. In some respects, the “energy” component of chiropractic is the key concept. Today, we apply

more scientific terms to it, such as neurological functioning or bioelectrical current, and the field of energy “medicine” is growing in acceptance even among the most empirical scientific researchers. The importance of the neurological component of the subluxation, and of chiropractic, can’t be un derestimated. Time and again, DD and BJ Palmer spoke of this concept and it was an absolutely es sential factor. “We Chiropractors work with the subtle substance of the soul,” said BJ Palmer.“We release the imprisoned impulse, the tiny rivulet of force that emanates from the mind and flows over the nerves to the cell and stirs them into life. We deal with the magic power that transforms common food into living, loving, thinking clay; that robes the earth with beauty, and hues and scents the flowers with the glory of the air.”

The Triune

The Triune of Life = Innate Intelligence + In nate Energy + Innate Matter. According to the precepts of chiropractic philosophy, every living thing has 100% of the Innate

Intelligence it needs AND 100% of the Innate Force it needs. It also has a given physical form, to make up the third element of the Triune. In order to have perfect health, there must be 100% of intelligence, 100% of force, and 100% of matter. In other words, all three elements must be present in optimum quantity and quality. We’ve already seen that this is always true of the first two elements. Nevertheless, the structure of our ʺ mat terʺ our physical bodies – is sometimes less than 100%. There may be flaws in them or their ability (temporary or permanent) to allow expression of the intelligence. That means that ʺ perfect health ʺ is a relative term for human beings. Each of us can only be as healthy as the limits of our physical matter. Those born with a congenital heart defect, for instance, can only be as healthy as their structures will permit.

People who’ve undergone amputation of an arm can’t re grow the limb, even when there’s 100% intelligence and 100% energy. There are limitations inherent in the human body that can’t be transcended by Innate Intelligence.

However, within the limits imposed by our particular physical structure, our Innate Intelligence and Innate Energy will strive to maintain the highest level of health possible. Sometimes, that effort is thwarted by interferences to the normal transmission of the energy. To see what kind of interference a body may be experiencing, we need to understand how the Innate Intelligence directs the body parts through Innate Energy. As noted, the brain generates, or converts, the electrical impulses, which spur the individual cells and tell them what they have to do to adapt to the body’s needs. Those impulses are propelled along a complex system of nerves connecting the brain to the organs, tissues, glands, and cells of the body. Think of the nerve system as a thick rope, made of numerous individual strands bundled to gether. When this nerve ʺ rope ʺ exits the brain, it travels down the spine, protected by a flexible bony structure. As it progresses downward, sections of the rope separate and pass through small openings between the spinal bones (vertebrae). Later, they separate further until each individual strand con nects with its designated target.

Occasionally, the vertebrae become subluxated (out of their proper alignment), and close off part of the opening. This can ʺ impinge ʺ on the nerve and decrease or distort the normal flow of Innate Energy through the body. The result is similar to putting a kink in a water hose – the water still flows through the hose, but not at full strength. When there are subluxations, they interfere with the 100% expression of intelligence through 100% energy and the body is said to be in ʺ dis ease. ʺ This shouldn’t be confused with the term disease, which refers to specific conditions medical doctors name, diagnose, and treat. The chiropractic term dis ease refers to a situa tion where there’s less than 100% expression of In nate Intelligence. Since everyone’s body is different and every bodily change can have many different ramifications, chiropractors don’t become involved in the futile exercise of labeling a condition or try ing to administer drugs or therapy to treat its symptoms. Chiropractic goes to the root of the problem and works to restore the body ʹ s ability to reach 100% expression of its Innate Intelligence. It does this by finding and removing any subluxations that

might interfere with the flow of Innate Energy. Once that flow is restored, the body will resume its natural striving for optimum health. The working of the Triune of Life – Innate In telligence, Innate Energy, and Innate Matter – is the supreme accomplishment of Universal Intelligence. It would be ignorant as well as arrogant to think its design could be improved upon. Chiropractors don ʹ t attempt such a task. In stead, they focus their efforts on permitting that design to function as it was meant to – without in terference.

CHAPTER 3 – Medicalizing Chiropractic

Although many of the first students to receive training in chiropractic were medical doctors, the concept of a drug free, non invasive way to allow the body to heal itself didn’t appeal to the medical establishment. It wasn’t long before the medical industry perceived chiropractic as the competition; even as a threat. The attacks on chiropractic (and any other alternative form of health care) were swift and aggressive. Chiropractors were thrown in jail, denounced as “quacks,” and threatened with bodily harm as well as professional censure. Doctors of chiropractic reacted in two different ways. Some stood their ground, defiantly refusing to change the original chiropractic principles and purpose. They continued to define chiropractic as a way to allow the body to experience normal nerve function, without interference by subluxation. They continued to emphasize the impact of adjustments on neurological function.

Yet, others felt the medical industry might be appeased if they were to carve out a smaller niche for chiropractic. Instead of addressing health issues in general, they pinpointed back pain as the major target of chiropractic care. They backed off the con cept of impacting the whole neurological function ing of the body, and framed chiropractic as a mus culoskeletal therapy. They also adopted medical or quasimedical terminology in order to gain at least some acceptance by allopathic medicine. Applauded by some DCs and condemned by others, the adaptation of medical purpose, vocabulary, techniques, instrumentation and even dress had a profound effect on the chiropractic profes sion. Slowly, a portion of the profession moved into the medical sphere, forgetting or ignoring the neurological component of subluxation and redefining chiropractic solely as a mechanical “manipulation” of vertebrae to relieve musculoskeletal conditions. At first, this move appeared to reduce the pressure put on chiropractic by the medical profes sion. But, as chiropractic grew in popularity, the resistance was renewed.

Until 1983, the American Medical Association (AMA) had labeled chiropractic ʺ an unscientific cult ʺ and barred its members from even associating with DCs. Finally, in 1976, a group of chiropractors headed by Dr. Chester Wilk took the AMA and other medical groups to court, accusing them of violating antitrust laws and conspiring to destroy chiropractic. They introduced evidence showing that the antichiropractic actions were primarily based on economic factors. The AMA was afraid of the loss of income caused by millions of people migrating from medical to chiropractic care. In 1987, a federal judge ruled against the AMA, finding it and several other aligned organizations guilty of an unlawful conspiracy in restraint of trade ʺ to contain and eliminate the chiropractic pro fession. ʺ In her ruling, she noted that the ʺ AMA had entered into a long history of illegal behavior.ʺ While the AMA was no longer permitted to openly forbid members to work with chiropractors, the ruling failed to stop the organization from en gaging in more subtle forms of antichiropractic rhetoric and practices. It reinforced the idea of chiropractic as a limited therapeutic approach, push ing it into progressively smaller boxes until it was

designated as a possible alternative, under medical supervision, for the treatment of low back pain in adults.

Medical alternatives

While the AMA was working to “expose” chiropractic, the scientific community and the press were becoming more and more open about expos ing the risks and faults of medical interventions. Despite efforts to rein in the news media, reports surfaced about dangerous drugs, unnecessary surgeries, conflicts of interest in research journals, and government complicity with drug manufacturers. As stories became more frequent, the drug in dustry stepped up its advertising and marketing campaigns. Billions of dollars were poured into print and broadcast media outlets that were reluctant to risk losing income by “offending” their ad vertisers with negative news coverage. Increasing ly, news stories related the latest socalled medical “miracle.” Still, it was impossible to keep a lid on the growing problems of medical errors and risks. Numerous negative statistics, reports, and articles

made it into the news during the post Wilk vs. AMA case period. And, it would be an unders tatement to say that many – if not a majority of these problems increased in frequency and severity as health care moved into the 21st century. The following sections provide a glimpse of the risks inherent in medical treatment, as documented by scientific research papers or reported by the press.

Plight of the elderly

Medicine created the attitude that growing old is a disease that needs to be treated, practically en suring senior citizens would become one of the most vulnerable segments of the U.S. population. For one thing, misdiagnosis is an everpresent reality, especially where the expectation exists that a particular condition “comes with the territory” of being old. Despite better knowledge today about the aging process, stereotypes remain – even if subconsciously affecting the way materia medica ap proaches seniors’ mental and physical health needs.

Then, there are those countless numbers of elderly Americans taking multiple drugs at the same time (it’s been estimated as many as 15 different prescriptions – and frequently many more). Yet, as incredible as it may seem, their doctors often aren’t even aware of the potentially dangerous effects of drug combining. And, as will be shown, it’s unrea listic to expect that pharmacies will catch the omis sions and mistakes doctors make. Additionally, there are the not infrequent incidents of the elderly being administered inappropriate medications. This unfortunate situation can be partially explained by doctors and hospitals commonly re commending visits, drugs, and tests that will be