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Dynamic Chiropractic – May 23, 1990, Vol. 08, Issue 11

"The Chiropractic Wall"

By Richard Tyler, DC

It seems that it has been almost forever that the Berlin wall has divided that city. For a while it seemed that it would be a permanent fixture like the Brandenberg Gate. But, as this is written, it's beginning to crumble.

And little did anyone imagine that the despotic communist regimes of Eastern Europe would begin to crumble like the wall that was its symbol of repression.

Communication has been the answer. Repressive regimes in the past have lasted hundreds -- even thousands -- of years because there wasn't a strong communication between people. The result was that the minds and very souls of the repressed were subjected to the will of a very few.

Now someone can cough and it's relayed by satellite around the world and exploded into your living room. Since freedom is contagious, everyone wanted to know about it and before long wanted to catch it. Even those who had never tasted it before pressed their faces against the candy store window of free enterprise and yearned to possess what they saw.

With all the euphoria came the usual assorted criminals who had subjugated the people who, when caught, denied that they were doing anything but "following orders." Shades of the old Nazi regime.

It seems the same thing is happening to chiropractic. To hear some super straights tell it -- with wide eyes -- they just want to "live and let live." Why golly gee, let's all be one big happy family. Let's break down the Chiropractic Wall that has separated us for so long.

Wonderful. This is what Dynamic Chiropractic has always hoped for. But can the fanatics be trusted? Fanatics, by their very nature, justify anything they do to attain the end result. In other words, if we shake hands, do we have to count our fingers?

Sometimes we yearn for peace so badly that we can end up as a prisoner of someone else without having fired a shot. Remember -- a super straight just wants to adjust the spine and, therefore, has nothing to give up -- nothing to compromise.

If the supers are really serious, they shouldn't care about the scope of practice since no one would ever force them to practice any way they don't wish to. They would also open their schools to expose their students to a more dimensional practice. They would stop being afraid that their students would be "poisoned" by that evil ultrasound machine. Believe me when I say that some of the straightest straights I have ever known have come from mixer schools before they "saw the light," while some of the roundest mixers have come from straight schools. Each individual will find the "truth" as he believes it to be, and exposure to a variety of ideas will only help them make more intellectually honest decisions.

All this makes sense, doesn't it? But let's go back to the beginning once more -- can we trust a fanatic?

Just recently I received a letter from a member of the Vermont chiropractic board. He was quite concerned with the sunset review of chiropractic in the state. A new definition of chiropractic has been proposed. He wrote, "Apparently the person who wrote the bill knows nothing about chiropractic and was lobbied by a small group of super straight chiropractors. You will note that graduates from schools accredited by the Straight Chiropractic Academics Standards Association (SCASA) will be eligible to practice in Vermont. Under this proposal, chiropractors would be prohibited from (1) physical therapy, (2) dispensing vitamins, (3) massage, (4) range of motion or other mobilization procedures, (5) braces and supports, (6) SOT, (7) spray and stretch, (8) any low force adjusting procedures, (9) chiropractic as it has been practiced in the state of Vermont." Under the new proposed law, the only two legal acts a chiropractor would be allowed to perform would be to diagnose spinal disorders and adjust using only a high velocity, low amplitude thrust.

If this is a sample of the new SCASA, then caveat emptor and count those fingers. On the other side of the coin, we have a school approved by SCASA in Southern California offering a 200-hour graduate course in homeopathy. Could it be that there is a dichotomy within SCASA?

Yes -- we all want peace. We all want unity, but it will take more than platitudinous rhetoric from the philosophical thugs that form the super straight "dignity battalions."

One is reminded of what the founder of Dynamic Chiropractic, Dr. Donald M. Petersen, wrote before he passed away that same year: "----the vast majority of DCs have great patience and tolerance, and 90 to 95 percent hope for the day when colleges like Sherman and Pennsylvannia----will conclude that their purpose is first to provide their students with a "first class" chiropractic education so they can go anywhere in the world to practice and be accepted, but still maintain their SUPER-straight philosophy, if they choose.

"That way, their graduates can practice as they desire, but when the chips are down, they will no longer be an embarrassment to the rest of the profession. Instead, they will enable the profession to spend its time and money to bring more people to chiropractic rather than waste both on frivolous lawsuits and other costly efforts to try to maintain a standard of chiropractic education the profession can be proud of, and the public will respect.

"Anything short of that----is not acceptable and will continue to keep chiropractic from what it could be in our generation.

"But then----those who think like that don't really care. How sad."

Those words by Dr. Petersen were true then -- they are today, and will be tomorrow. If the supers really want to tear down that wall that's been separating us -- go ahead, do it -- and I'll even hand them the hammer. The cameras are on -- the lights are lit and the world is watching. Your move.


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