Commentaries are provided to either 1) clarify an article or an issue contained within that article or 2) to editorialize on topics of concern to the profession.

Article Contribution: Articles are always welcome for either the ChiroZine or the Clinician's Review. We are always looking for educational material that may contribute insight into chiropractic and the theoretical and research findings.

Commentary: Will Chiropractors Ever Learn?

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 thinking?

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 reading 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

[disclaimer: The 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.]


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