Commentary: Will Chiropractors Ever
Can the philosophy ever be challenged?
Virgil Seutter, D.C. editor, ChiroZine.
Has anyone ever wondered why the chiropractor seems to be so
rooted in his philosophy that he seldom questions the authenticity of his
I recently returned from an acupuncture seminar in which the
nuances in explanations between chiropractic 'innate' and acupuncture's 'energy'
principles seemed to fulfill the suspicion that no matter what is presented
to the profession, the original ideas contained within vitalistic principles
are hard to displace. What depressed me most was that after attempting to
present another side to the chiropractic theory, that a possible cognitive
function might be detectable and confirmed by recent findings in science,
the teachings within chiropractic and acupuncture remain the same despite
new advances in science.
Of course, the
lecturer(1) in acupuncture was not
aware that his explanations of an 'energy' principle to the acupuncture meridian
theory was based upon his understanding of linear principles (and old theory).
These principles are based upon early research into a linear, wiring system
schema of the nervous system and, as a hardware system of the body, is accepted
as valid. I guess, based upon some leap in logic, the association of electricity
with energy is a likely analogy to a principle that has yet to be verified.
In other words, it's still theory. It's still assumption.
But the statements of our lecturer reinforced the errors in
logic and perpetuated ideas that have not yet been confirmed and remain as
speculation. The lecturer did not present the differentiation to his student,
rather content with the energy theory as valid and presenting as such for
the edification of his pupils who can't think beyond the box already framed
by early pioneers in the 'theory' of chiropractic principles. It
did not give the student an opportunity to "think," merely emulate previous
thinking (no doubt the lecturers).
The possibility that a nonlinear, neurocognitive function might
be recognizable, and demonstrated via mathematical, computational means,
has not been on the lecturers
list. Of course, it hasn't been published in peer reviewed journals,
either, so there! The point in all this is that these are new ideas, difficult
to confirm until other bits and pieces in the research begin to reveal the
correlations. This has been occurring and will remain for others to confirm
and expand upon rather than me. For now, however, it might be important to
point out that no change will occur in the chiropractic profession if the
teachers cannot teach the differences inherent in the 'theory' versus the
'fact' and be willing to experiment with new ideas. Those ideas reflect the
questions that ought to be asked: whether cognition is the same as energy?
...especially if the chiropractor talks about an innate intelligence. Does
energy fulfill the criterion of intelligence? or are we looking at something
within a communication networking (cognitive) function that might be more
appropriate than energy? The explanations must change for any credible
association of ideas to make any sense.
Virgil Seutter, D.C.
18 Aug 2002
above reference to a specific lecturer is coincidental. Many who teach within
the technique framework in chiropractic are inclined to embellish their
statements as valid, not realizing the differentiations that are needed to
contribute to critical thinking for the student. The acupuncture reference
illustrates the problem since energy and innate function often are synonymous
for the chiropractor and should be recognized as an illusion creating delusion
in our thinking.]