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Dynamic Chiropractic – July 2, 2001, Vol. 19, Issue 14

WFC Lays Foundation for Worldwide Chiropractic Unity

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
While there were many happenings at the 6th Biennial Congress of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) in Paris, perhaps the most profound event was the WFC's adoption of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges' "Chiropractic Paradigm." This step effectively brings together the national chiropractic associations in 77 countries under a single chiropractic paradigm.

Take a good look at the "ACC Chiropractic Paradigm". By the WFC adopting the paradigm, the WFC member nations have accepted a number of significant premises:

  • "Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.


  • "The purpose of chiropractic is to optimize health.


  • "The body's innate recuperative power is affected by and integrated through the nervous system.


  • "The practice of chiropractic includes:
  • establishing a diagnosis;
  • facilitating neurological and biomechanical integrity through appropriate chiropractic case management;
  • promoting health.
  • "The foundation of chiropractic includes philosophy, science, art, knowledge, and clinical experience.


  • "Chiropractic is concerned with the preservation and restoration of health, and focuses particular attention on the subluxation.


  • "A subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.


  • "A subluxation is evaluated, diagnosed, and managed through the use of chiropractic procedures based on the best available rational and empirical evidence."

Notice that the Chiropractic Paradigm does not shy away from most of the critical issues we have been debating for decades. "Subluxation," for example, is addressed and defined. It should also be noted that the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) jointly presented the Chiropractic Paradigm for adoption.

The adoption of the ACC Chiropractic Paradigm by all of the major chiropractic associations around the world lays the groundwork for our profession to speak with one voice. It presents the world position statements that can be relied upon as representative of what chiropractic is and what doctors of chiropractic do. It allows us to be understood.

Now that the WFC has laid the foundation, how can we build on it?

Are there issues that we can now set aside?

Are there arguments that can finally cease?

Can we build on what we agree on and relegate what we still don't agree on to another day?

This is a very significant step for our profession. The Chiropractic Paradigm was first developed by the ACC in July 1996 and published in Dynamic Chiropractic early the next year. Since then, it has been adopted by various organizations in the U.S. Now the paradigm represents chiropractic around the world.

Please read and seriously consider the "ACC Chiropractic Paradigm". (You may even want to print it out and keep a copy in your office.) True, you may not completely agree with all of it, but every college in the U.S. signed it, and now the established national chiropractic associations around the world have adopted it through the World Federation of Chiropractic.

This should be the framework for more unified action in chiropractic, and help abate the kind of incessant arguing in favor of a true willingness to work together under a common understanding.

Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS,HCD(hc),FICC(h)
Dynamic Chiropractic

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