"History" didn't just happen, either. Events happened, but men passed that information from generation to generation. Today the "social scientist" (historian) has access to volumes of historical materials to peruse, and has refined that passing on of information with painstaking research of the historical record and piecing together the puzzle of our past.
Chiropractic didn't just happen, either. I was once again reminded of that fact when talking with DCs at the World Chiropractic Congress in Tokyo. In Asia and elsewhere, there has been a traditional art of bonesetting that is many centuries old. The practice of bonesetting has been described in very early writings, and certainly existed in some form long before that.
Bonesetting and traditional healing throughout the ages around the world were the quest for health and homeostasis: which leads us to chiropractic. In essence, man has always been a creature in need of chiropractic. And it is reasonable to assume that efforts to address this need would come from sensitive, intuitive individuals who sought to meet the needs of suffering people.
Of course there is a big difference between bonesetters and a formalized chiropractic profession, just as there is a big difference between man's early efforts to understand nature and today's science. Today, societies place many demands on the healing professions: education; practice standards; accreditation; and licensing requirements. This is where bonesetting and traditional medicine are transformed into what Westerners call chiropractic.
But as we survey a map of the world, it is clear that chiropractic has a long way to go to truly become a worldwide profession. South and Central America, most of Africa and Asia, most of the Middle East and even some of Europe are still working towards establishing doctors of chiropractic as recognized health care providers.
Chiropractic pioneers around the world are sacrificing their time, energy, and money to bring chiropractic care to the people in their countries. DCs are still facing jail sentences just as they have in almost every country. The war is far from over: it's just moved to different venues.
Chiropractic solidarity will be the added strength our DC brethren need to win their local battles for recognition. You and I will need to join them in sacrificing a little of our time (to write letters and send faxes) and money (donations to local chiropractic associations) to spread chiropractic further.
The small number of DCs in various countries cannot be asked to bear the full weight of the battle for chiropractic. They are our comrades and the victory will benefit us too.
At the World Chiropractic Congress, DCs from across Asian countries sought assurances that you would be willing to assist them when the time came. They wanted to know if you'd come through when the battle reached its peak and victory was in sight.
I told them they could depend on you. I told them that all they needed to do is let us know, and we would do our part.
Chiropractic care is needed by every person alive. Our only decision is who will deliver that care.
The need is universal. Our profession should be also.
Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h)
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