There is something powerful in an ultimatum, especially when it involves making a comparison or calling someone's bluff. There is a certain decisiveness to the phase, "Put up or shut up," that just can't be denied.
Now I have to admit early on that what appears simple to most of us can be very complicated for the researchers who have to actually design a viable study, get it funded, do the work and produce results that say something relevant. I have great admiration for our research community, how hard they work and what they are able to accomplish with very limited budgets.
Still, there has to be a way to design a pilot study that can examine the results of living a wellness lifestyle free of antibiotics, vaccinations and other drugs. It's my opinion, based on the studies I read every day, that the consumer public would welcome such a study and consider the results as they look at their own health.
And while I wouldn't want to "predict" what those results would be (must stay objective, you know), my belief is that the results would be eye-opening to health care providers and decision-makers alike. This would be particularly true if the study (or a follow-up study) were able to examine the impact that living according to a wellness philosophy has on the final stage of a person's life. What do the last 20 years of a wellness senior's life look like in terms of cognition, mobility and overall quality of life?
If we take the concept a little further (with considerably more funding) I could see a type of wellness "faceoff" under investigation. Let's compare the health of chiropractic children with children of medical doctors, assuming medical doctors practice at home what they prescribe at their offices.
Another study (requiring even more money than either of the two suggestions above) could look at the generational impact of wellness. Imagine a study that looked at second- or even third-generation chiropractic children (that's me) and how their health compares to that of people who have grown up believing every sniffle requires medication.
Again, I'm not a researcher or even close to one. My science grades in college were barely passing. But this kind of research would be very popular and probably receive significant support within our profession.
Part of the chiropractic message is that our wellness lifestyle will not only yield substantial benefits in greater health, but also at a much lower cost. This message will certainly resonate in today's economy if the research supports it. This may seem like a bit of a dream, but why not? Let's put our research where our mouth is and begin demonstrating the advantages of health according to chiropractic principles.
The consumer public is making poor health care decisions not because they necessarily agree with the medical model, but because they don't recognize their choices. We need to give them the data required to help them understand that they do have choices and that the right choices can change their lives.
Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.