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Dynamic Chiropractic – November 22, 1991, Vol. 09, Issue 24

Phase "A" Chiropractic -- When in Rome ...

By Charles Rollis, DC
After practicing chiropractic for some time now, I have seen many changes in the intricate fibers of chiropractic.

Let us step back and take a look at the chiropractic profession from my point of view.

Further back, to get the big picture.

The Birth Phase

I am too young to remember or be a part of the birth phase of chiropractic. Reading the writings of D.D. and later writings of B.J. you get a sense of excitement, daring, risk-taking and thought.

The history of chiropractic, to me, is simultaneously exciting and frightening. Exciting in the sense that you can feel the emotion of men who fell in love with something. This wonderful, pulsating, tremendously uplifting, dare I say spiritual, communication with the universe, innate, nature ... life. Frightening in the sense that some have tried to force their individual explanation of this love upon the others. The negatives where disrupting and shoving aside the gentle force, the seemingly fragile, precious communication with life. Fortunately, this force is much, much stronger than we can ever imagine. Fortunately, this force is as gentle as a mother's kiss to her baby, yet strong enough to outlast and withstand our meddling. We must remember that life holds us in a balance, not we her.

We talk a good game about above-down/inside-out. But does that mean I am above you looking down, while I turn your pockets inside-out? Look about you ... see anyone like that in our beloved profession?

D.D. stated beware of the educated brain. Did he mean the sly trickster who has one up on you because of your innocence? Did he mean to warn us of the sophistication of greed, egotism and power of this type of person?

Man's ego and pursuit of power forces the next phase.

The Straight vs. Mixer Phase

This is one of the twin phases.

Many, many individuals, organizations, even governments always ask, "Why can't you guys get together?" This old bug-a-boo is one of those frightening aspects of chiropractic that seem to be our albatross, our Achilles' heel. Why?

Does this reflect back to the origin of chiropractic where one person or group thinks they have the exclusive knowledge of the expression of life? Is it the perpetuation of ego and quest for power?

I have a feeling that most chiropractors are a hybrid of the two. That way we can do what is best for our patients. Ask any of your colleagues to define themselves. I'll bet you'll get the hybrid. It is the far, far ends of the spectrum that need to be looked at.

This phase feeds and nurtures the "A" phase to be discussed below.

The Political Phase

This is the second twin phase.

This is an interesting continuous phase. At times you cannot tell the two phases apart. But they truly are separate entities. They feed one another and feed off one another.

Consider the recent past president of one group leaving and joining the other. Have you really thought about this? What does this really mean? Does this mean that there was a glimmer of unity, a chance to make chiropractic whole, but was missed? Did politics dispatch that idea?

My politics? I'm a practicing golden ruler. Didn't Plato say something about politics? Enough said.

The "Technique" Phase

This is a peculiar ongoing phase.

Having a science background prior to entering chiropractic I find it amusing and perplexing that the profession is full of variations on a theme. The theme is simple bio-mechanics; how the human body works or does not work and how to treat it without drugs and/or surgery. Some would repackage the theme and sell it to you as the new and improved version.

Do we blame them or should we look at ourselves? What is it that we don't understand that makes us unsure and seek other "authorities"? There are a lot of mystiques and clandestine goings-on here. The more secretive I make it, the more money I can make.

The Insurance Phase

We wanted to be included so badly in Medicare that we accepted a bone scrap -- limited visits, no x-rays. Finally, there is an attempt to make things right, going on right now.

Unfortunately, the other types of insurance carriers are doing their best to wipe chiropractic out of existence. It seems like every two or three years some different way to cheat us out of our fees comes up and national, state, and local chiropractic organizations have to re-educate them as to the latest facts and figures. Do the cost containment departments of these companies know any other statistics than their own? How many insurance companies really care about the RAND report?

The Accreditation Phase

I was in chiropractic college when this phase was in its heyday. I was really sweating it out. Was my college going to be accredited or not? There was a lot of gnashing of teeth, sweating palms and diatribes concerning this "standardization" that was taking place. Each college would lose its individuality, its niche in some sort of hierarchy of what college is the best. That didn't happen. Each college maintains its individuality while having a form of standardization. They survived -- those who realized that all was not philosophy in this age of "science," yet maintained their philosophy. Chiropractic is indeed an art, a science, and a philosophy. A rightful balance. Sounds like nature, life itself.

The Management Phase

This phase may also be called the cannibalistic phase. This is where seemingly good chiropractors sell their ideas, plans, and materials to seemingly good chiropractors. Sounds fine on the surface. What went wrong here? Greed? I don't know. There are some management companies being sued and some not. Are we so insecure in our beliefs and understanding that others have to conduct our practices for us?

Why do we seek the management people? Do they tell us things we already know but are frightened to act upon? Are they the scapegoats that can be pointed to and criticized for the failure of their ideas, for messing up our practices?

This is really a two-way street. Are the management companies really the mommies of our profession who take us under wing and point us in the right direction when we really should stand on our own two feet and do chiropractic?

Refer to all other phases.

The "Feel Good" Phase

This is where we took on the AMA and others came out as top dog legally but still left out in the cold with the same approximate 10 percent of the public receiving chiropractic care. Why? We proved that we were cheated, lied to, etc. What did it get us? Where did it get us?

It is a sorry state to be enthralled when a national women's magazine prints a favorable article about chiropractic.

The ACA did a fantastic job with the Reader's Digest pull out. My chiropractic ego was soaring. The reality was that one patient brought it in "in case I missed it," and I did not get one referral because of the pull out. Why? What didn't work? Why aren't we seeing 83.68 percent of the public? False victory? Did the AMA really win by maintaining the status quo after paying a few token dollars?

The "A" Phase

This is the most dangerous phase of all. This phase will allow chiropractic to exist or perish.

This is the phase I call the "acceptance" phase.

Witness the current and pamphlets you are receiving. Manipulation under anesthesia, hospital privileges, pharmaceutical dispensement -- what do these have to do with chiropractic? Nothing. Unless some factions want to be included in the allopathic sphere of influence. In order to be "accepted" by the medical model of protocol, rationale, and criteria, some would want to change the protocol, rationale, and criteria of chiropractic.

Be aware of others criticizing and labeling intellectual query as someone being ignorant. And then they want to educate one by offering to sell a videotape that will explain their protocol and smarten up that poor ignorant chiropractor. The query was not lack of understanding of the straightforward protocol of the scientific method. The question was about this seemingly forced direction for chiropractic.

Be aware of others calling you confused. Again, a simple ploy. Calling someone ignorant and confused is a red herring when someone questions and peers through a facade. The facade is calling it the chiropractic model whereas the foundation is the medical model. The facade is stating that hospital privileges will expose more of the public to chiropractic whereas the main thrust is that of acceptance by the allopathic world. When in Rome ...

Look about you, please. Some factions have overtures in this direction already and are trying to place new definition upon you. I hope that I will never see an application to the Blank College of Medopractic.

It is a shame that one of the professions of this planet that touches and is touched by life has to slowly give it up for base self-gratifications in the form of greed, ego and power. Perhaps the general public senses this conflict on a level we can't even imagine yet, a sixth sense. Perhaps this subtle metamorphosis is repugnant to the public and will be the completion of the death of chiropractic. The death caused by the forces that we ourselves have allowed to happen, have set into motion, have condoned, and participated in.


Don't write to me and call me names. Write your own article.

Charles M. Rollis, B.S., D.C.
San Jose, California

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