Author: Virgil Seutter
Date:     October 8, 1997
Parent Node:

1.0  Prologue

1.1. Examination and understanding of alternative medicine may not be possible without examination of the holistic concept and the role of chiropractic as a participant in this movement. Nurturing the idea that an innate ability exists within the body to "heal itself," the chiropractic profession has relied upon a philosophy as an explanation for the benefits derived from its manual approach (manipulation of the spine) to health care. (1.1) In order to understand chiropractic, and possibly lend insight into the alternative medicine concept, an examination of the holistic construct in thinking is necessary.

1.2. Explanations for the shift away from classical medicine to that of alternative health care have been obscure. Questions emerge, whether the trend reflects a failure of classical medicine as a reductionist/mechanistic methodology, or whether something exists that has not found explanation through normal methods of inquiry. The problem for alternative medicine is finding explanation that supports the concept of holism as viable in the application to health care. The possibility that holism defines an information system as opposed to the classic engineering/mechanistic principles for inquiry is not without consideration. It would imply that the neuro physiological basis for understanding the body may be incomplete. It would suggest that a linear wiring system schema, as a construct in examination of the nervous system, may be incomplete without recognition of a superimposed information system.

1.3. This latter possibility is supported by the idea of self-organization. While this may not be unique to biological systems, it is certainly highlighted in the morphological changes from a cellular genesis to embryo. The sequences of information keyed into genetic coding demonstrate a self-organization as part of the "intent and design" of the organism. Once complete, continued self-organization manifests through neurological mechanisms. While chiropractic has confined its theory (subluxation complex) to that of a linear, wiring system schema, the nature of self-organization manifests through learning and feedback (environmental and behavioral modulation) mechanisms that transcend the mechano-engineering model for inquiry. Chiropractic explanations may need to examine self-organization as a biological function linked to a coordinational system. This may not be possible until chiropractic begins to understand the differences between classical holism versus contemporary holism in its discussion.

Seutter, V. "Commentary: Holism, Alternative Medicine, and Why Chiropractic Embraces It. Prologue" Chiropractic Resource Organization. 8 Oct 1997. ChiroZine ISSN1525-4550
(c) 1997-2001 All rights reserved.

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(c) 1997 Chiropractic Resource Organization. All Rights Reserved. Reprint by permission.

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