"Why Not Start in Your Own Backyard?"
Editor's note: The following letter is directed toward Dr. Bob Hoffman, who guest authored Kent Greenawalt's "Unity" column in the Nov.30, 2004 issue of DC.
Dear Dr. Hoffman:
After reading your quite eloquent article, "United We Stand," I felt compelled to write the following response. While there is absolutely nothing in your article that I disagree with, I have one big problem with you writing the article.
In my little section of the country, New York (your own backyard), we do not have unity between the two state organizations, the New York Chiropractic Council and the New York State Chiropractic Association. We did not have unity while you were president of the New York Chiropractic Council; we did not have unity while you were president of the ICA; and we don't have unity in New York now, at the time you wrote your article on unity.
Sure, we have made some progress over the past decade or so, in that we work together on legislative efforts and some other small initiatives, but with these few exceptions, there is really no unity in New York and for that, I am, as you should be, embarrassed. I am embarrassed that some leaders of my profession cannot put aside their egos to better the profession. I am embarrassed that apathy pervades our profession to the point of paralysis. I am embarrassed that the "leaders" of this great profession show utter contempt for the desire of the constituents they allege to represent. (As you so aptly stated, "This is our profession and it is time we stop allowing outside influences and the small minority to decide what chiropractic is for us.") I am embarrassed that semantic minutiae stall the path of progress for this profession. I am embarrassed that scare tactics are so frequently used by some professional terrorists who state that if their position is at all compromised, the very foundation of the profession will crumble. But most of all, I am embarrassed by the failed leadership that has allowed such a vast divide to form between the two national organizations, the organizations in my state, and all the states in this great country that do not breathe the freedom of unity.
Your article touches on many poignant points that are essential for securing a healthy future for chiropractic, regionally and nationally. We do need to accept the ACC's position on chiropractic. We do need to ensure that those college presidents who signed the ACC declaration of unity do all that is necessary to accomplish this goal. We do need to make unity a priority. We do need to modernize our message and improve our language skills. We also need to hold all of the state association leaders who pledged their support for COCSA's (whose motto is, "promoting a more unified profession") state unity resolution accountable for their actions in reaching, or failing to reach, this goal.
Dr. Hoffman, in your article, you wrote, "As a profession, we can rapidly march in the direction of unity." You then ask, "How can we accomplish this?"
I'll tell you how we can accomplish this. We can start with you. You can help lead the way by your actions and not merely idle words. You can help cut the path of unity by starting in New York, your own backyard, by rolling up your sleeves and helping get the two groups to the table to start a meaningful dialogue with one another with the sole goal of unity in mind. Unity isn't about giving up power, philosophical beliefs, rights or egos. It's about blending strengths, passions and visions to create a more perfect union that is more powerful than any isolated entity could ever be. It really seems so simple, doesn't it?
Dr. Hoffman, I invite you to be part of the process by doing all that you can to help us have chiropractic unity in New York.
After all, if the true essence of your article is a call to action for chiropractors across this country, then why not start in your own backyard?
And remember, unity starts with you.
Michael A. Bernstein, DC
President, New York State Chiropractic Association, District 6
Member of the Board of Directors, NYSCA
Bordering on Anti-Chiropractic Rhetoric?
I was amazed at the inclusion of David Seaman, DC, as a contributing author in the article "In the Quest for Cultural Authority"(Dec. 17, 2004 issue). He has written extensive, well-referenced articles in both JMPT and past issues of DC regarding the "compromised neural integrity and ... influence (on) organ system function" caused by joint complex dysfunction (his "novel" term for subluxation/subluxation complex). In those articles, he provides evidence for these effects occurring due to altered nociceptor and mechanoreceptor afferent neurological receptor activity (dysafferentation) causing reflexive and CNS changes.
Furthermore, the substance of the article both discounts the scientific validity of spinal manipulation for use in providing symptomatic relief ("neither the cause(s) of LBP nor the mechanism(s) of its relief by adjusting are well-established") and the adjustment for reducing/correcting subluxations, thereby restoring neurological integrity, organ system function and general health (as stated in the ACC Paradigm). If the chiropractor should be the "pre-eminent provider of manipulative/adjustive services," as the authors state, for what purpose would an individual seek out or reasonably expect to gain from utilization of such a service?
The article, in my opinion, was misguided, contradictory, and ridiculous at best, and borders on anti-chiropractic rhetoric.
Scott Beres, DC
Buffalo, New York