Chiropractic Philosophy

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Doing the Same Thing and Expecting a Different Outcome: It Is Time for a Questioning Philosophy
and Theory-Driven Chiropractic Research

Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 2019 (Dec 10);   26:   6074

Modern health care professionals often embrace philosophy. Philosophy can serve as a description for what we collectively believe. When applied in the practice setting, it guides our thinking, resulting in clinical questions naturally derived from our practice activities. When these questions are made into testable hypotheses and subjected to inquiry, the findings ultimately strengthen or refute the very philosophical underpinnings of our practices. By use of a questioning philosophy all truths related to practice behaviors, activities, and outcomes are brought to light, ultimately leading to improvements in procedures and outcomes. Traditional chiropractic philosophy, however, has often been of the unquestioning variety, unable to trigger changes in practice or procedures, nor in the philosophy itself. Hence, this approach limited truths applied to practice, since it incorporated research findings only if they were convenient to the original Palmerian philosophy, or some close variation. It is proposed that 125 years after its birth, the use of integral pluralism may be a philosophical method well suited for the evolution of chiropractic into the 21st century, where a more questioning philosophy is needed to move the profession forward.

Maintaining a Vitalistic Perspective in Chiropractic in the Postmodern Era
Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 2005;   12 (1): 2-7   55-66

Vitalism is only problematic if we begin with the assumption that a mechanist worldview or paradigm is the correct way to explain the world. In postmodern thought, a multiplicity of worldviews may coexist. One view is no more valid or correct than another and these divergent views are judged best by their utility under various circumstances. Exploring clinical practices and methodologies, such as whole systems research, arising from a vitalistic perspective could lead to innovations in both patient care and research, if pursued with flexible non-dogmatic thinking.

Does the Vertebral Subluxation Exist?
Tedd Koren, D.C.

The location and correction of the vertebral subluxation are the heart and soul of chiropractic it is what makes the chiropractic profession unique among healing arts. Yet the very existence of the vertebral subluxation (VS) has, at times, been questioned by those within and without the profession.

"But That's Not Chiropractic..."
Rand Baird, D.C.

Another frequent refrain from students is, "But that's not chiropractic." I always get a kick out of this one, because it seems odd to me to have a classroom filled with students, each of whom has his or her own definition of chiropractic and a technique preference - and on day one of chiropractic college! As the research instructor here, I have, for years, heard students complain about how unnecessary it is to study research - after all, what does research have to do with being a chiropractor?

Divided Legacy and Vitalism
Tedd Koren, D.C.

I used to think that all vitalism meant was that there was a vital energy in all of us. I heard of life energy within: anima, elan vital, life energy, prana, chi, ki, life force etc.   But there is more to vitalism than vague life energies.+

Medical Philosophy vs. Chiropractic Philosophy
Tedd Koren, D.C.

Chiropractic and medicine disagree on what constitutes health, disease, the meaning of symptoms, and the goal of care. These are philosophical differences that go back over 2,500 years.

Philosophy Connections
Tedd Koren, D.C.

Chiropractic is the art, science and philosophy of making connections. Making connections is the key to clinical success, the heart of our philosophy and the goal of our practice. Making connections is what life and chiropractic are all about.

Philosophy and Science versus Dogmatism in the Practice of Chiropractic
Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 1998;   8(1):   55-66 ~ FULL TEXT

In the minds of many chiropractors, there is an ongoing battle in the chiropractic profession between two factions, one of which believes that the practice of chiropractic should be guided by philosophy and another which believes that science should guide the practice of chiropractic. It is my contention that a battle between philosophy and science does not and cannot exist within the chiropractic profession or any other discipline. I contend that the real battle is between the great majority of chiropractors who unknowingly allow dogmatism to guide the practice of chiropractic and the extremely rare variety of chiropractor who's practice of chiropractic is guided by philosophy and science.

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