The answer is "aphorism." Aphorisms are short, precise statements dealing with a particular truth.In other words, the laws of healing. In homeopathy, there are about 300 of these laws. Aphorisms allow the practitioner to know the status of the patient under any given circumstance. Without mastery of the aphorisms, it is possible to heal only by accident.
This issue has long been chiropractic's "Achille's Heel." Unfortunately, chiropractic has very few clearly defined laws of healing, and none of our chiropractic colleges, to my knowledge, teach them. Lacking this critical knowledge, we have fabricated a smoke screen of the straights and mixers issue to cover our ignorance. We, as chiropractors, are conditioned to have patients receive unnecessarily high numbers of prescheduled adjustments. We withdraw from the total dynamic scope of chiropractic physicians into the severely limited scope of sore back technicians. We look for answers in every tent meeting "rah rah" philosopher. We incorporate many of the failure methods of allopathic medicine into our practices. We become easy prey for every technique peddler.
We know that chiropractic works but few chiropractors are capable of accurately monitoring the totality of the case. Homeopathy, on the other hand, excels at this. With a mastery of the aphorisms, there is no guesswork. The doctor knows what is taking place on every level -- the physical, the energy, the mental, the emotional, and how they biodynamically interact with each other.
But the truly exciting aspect is that it does not matter if you are a straight or a mixer. At last chiropractic has something to unify our profession -- the laws of healing.
With mastery of the aphorisms you know when to adjust, when to wait, how long to wait, what is and isn't retracing, when you are producing (ch)iatrogenic (chiropractically induced) disease, when the patient has reached maximum improvement, when a patient is incurable, when to repeat the same adjustment, and when to change the adjustment. In other words, the tools for maximum cost containment. No longer is it necessary or even wise to keep adjusting. Now we clearly see how little we can do, at how few places, how rarely, and how quickly it can be done, to accomplish the greatest changes in the shortest space of time, at the least cost, and to know what to do and why we do it, before doing it."1
Straights and Mixers
Thus, homeopathy has vital lessons for both the straight and mixer. Mastery of the aphorisms dramatically enhance our respect for innate and universal intelligence. They make us the true healer. Aphorisms are the tools that make chiropractic miracles routinely happen. And best of all, straights as well as mixers can use them without feeling that we have violated some sacred trust.
"The physician's highest calling, his only mission, is to restore the sick to healthy, to cure, as it is termed."2 It is not to peddle techniques, create philosophical guruships, found family fortunes, see how many can be pushed through sheep-dip office procedures in a day, put on chiropractic circus tent shows, or any of the other things that we have come to incorrectly associate within chiropractic.
The chiropractor's only excuse for existing is to get people well. If months or even years later we are still seeing the same patients for the same problems and giving the same adjustments, then we have not gotten the patient well. And if we have failed to treat the cause of disease, then we are practicing allopathic chiropractic -- treating symptoms.
In the textbook, Chiropractic Clinical Controlled Research, B.J. records cases who were referred to him by field doctors who had been adjusting the patients for literally months and even years and they still were not well. They came to see B.J., were adjusted only two or three times, and their epilepsy, hydrocephalus, cancer, sciatica, multiple sclerosis, encephalitis, and recurring streptococcal infections were healed. Why could B.J. do that when the field doctor couldn't? Did B.J. have some special dispensation from God? No, he instinctively understood the aphorisms.
To illustrate, "In a large majority of cases, when original pressure returns, it is temporary and usually disappears by itself in a day or two unless there has been some trauma such as a fall, jar, twist, or severe emotional upset. In those cases, we find it necessary to readjust because reading seldom will disappear by itself. Where there is a return of pattern without evidence of trauma, it is considered to be in a normal cycle of correction, and in most cases, reading clears without aid of a chiropractor. An attempt to give an adjustment in this cycle of correction is seldom justified."1
Furthermore, "At first return of evidence of nerve interference, we usually do not readjust, knowing that muscles in the patient's spine must, through intellectual adaptation, eventually make the correction permanent -- hold the vertebrae in their normal position. Practically every case goes through what we refer to as a cycle of correction. Evidence of pressure may return after the adjustment is made, but in a few days this evidence usually disappears and the patient is much better than if outside help by another adjustment was required to reduce the interference."1
B.J. is talking about (ch)iatrogenic disease from over adjustment. Yet, many chiropractors think nothing of routinely adjusting patients dozens of times. According to B.J. and the aphorisms, such novices are the cause of disease in their patients.
These are the things that differentiate between technicians and doctors of chiropractic. Now just think of the wealth of knowledge in the hundreds of other aphorisms.
- Palmer, B.J. Chiropractic Clinical Controlled Research. W.B. Conkey Co., 1951.
- Hahnemann, S.; Dudgeon, R.E. Organon of Medicine. 5th & 6th ed., B. Jain Publishers, Ltd., 1990.
C.C. Wilcher, D.C., F.I.A.C.A., D.N.B.H.E.