ACC Paradigm to be adopted by WFC?

ICA and ACA Request Its Adoption

By Editorial Staff
The 6th Biennial Chiropractic Congress in Paris, May 21-26, 2001, could be the venue for an important moment in recent chiropractic history. At this event, representatives of more than 60 national chiropractic associations will consider the adoption of two position papers developed by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC):1 the ACC Chiropractic Paradigm, and the ACC Chiropractic Scope and Practice.

Adoption of the ACC position papers has been requested by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the International Chiropractors Association (ICA). The ACC Chiropractic Paradigm was developed in July 1996; the ACC Chiropractic Scope and Practice position paper was published in February 1997. Both papers were presented to the chiropractic profession as inserts in Dynamic Chiropractic.

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Here are excerpts from the ACC Chiropractic Paradigm and the ACC Chiropractic Scope of Practice position papers:

ACC Position on Chiropractic

Chiropractic is a health care discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.

The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, Doctors of Chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.

The Association of Chiropractic Colleges continues to foster a unique, distinct chiropractic profession that serves as a health care discipline for all. The ACC advocates a profession that generates, develops, and utilizes the highest level of evidence possible in the provision of effective, prudent, and cost-conscious patient evaluation and care.

The Chiropractic Paradigm
(refer to diagram above)


The purpose of chiropractic is to optimize health.

The body's innate recuperative power is affected by and integrated through the nervous system.


The practice of chiropractic includes:

  • establishing a diagnosis;
  • facilitating neurological and biomechanical integrity
  • through appropriate chiropractic case
  • management; and
  • promoting health.

The foundation of chiropractic includes philosophy, science, art, knowledge, and clinical experience.


The chiropractic paradigm directly influences:

  • education;

  • research;

  • health care policy and leadership;
  • relationships with other health care providers;
  • professional stature;
  • public awareness and perceptions; and
  • patient health through quality care.

The Subluxation

Chiropractic is concerned with the preservation and restoration of health, and focuses particular attention on the subluxation.

A subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.

A subluxation is evaluated, diagnosed, and managed through the use of chiropractic procedures based on the best available rational and empirical evidence.

Defining Chiropractic Scope

Since human function is neurologically integrated, Doctors of Chiropractic evaluate and facilitate biomechanical and neurobiological function and integrity through the use of appropriate conservative, diagnostic and chiropractic care procedures.

Therefore, direct access chiropractic care is integral to everyone's health care regimen.

The ACC developed the position papers to define chiropractic's role in health care for the North American chiropractic colleges, which in turn would promote a more unified approach to education and practice.

The ICA and ACA are seeking to work on cooperative goals for the chiropractic profession.2 This union is being facilitated by the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations (COCSA). At the COCSA Leadership Conference in St Louis, May 2000, attended by representatives of all the major chiropractic organizations in North America, including the ACA and ICA, the ACC Paradigm was accepted by representatives of all organizations as an appropriate, unifying vision of chiropractic in the United States. That position was subsequently ratified by the board of directors of the ACA and ICA.

ACA, ICA and COCSA leaders commented on why it's important for the WFC to adopt the ACC position papers:

"The ACC Paradigm is by far the best description of the basic principles and practice of the chiropractic profession, and has been formally adopted by the ACA as official policy," observed ACA President Jim Mertz,DC. "It is important for the profession to note that both the ACA and ICA are recommending that the WFC endorse this important document, and that we believe this will be a positive step toward unity within the profession."

ICA President Dr. Robert Hoffman told the WFC leadership: "The ICA Board of Directors believes that the adoption of this statement by the WFC would assist in addressing the various concerns that large segments of the profession continue to have about the direction in which the WFC wishes to take chiropractic, as our profession develops around the globe."

Thomas Klapp,DC, president of the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, noted: "We are extremely pleased that the WFC is considering adoption of the ACC's Chiropractic Paradigm. It's very gratifying to the leaders and membership of COCSA to see that our efforts to unify the profession could possibly extend beyond the borders of the United States."

This adoption of the ACC Chiropractic Paradigm will be addressed by the WFC Council at its meeting in Paris immediately prior to the WFC assembly, and will then be placed before the WFC members in assembly for discussion during general business on Wednesday May 23, 2001. For more information about the World Chiropractic Congress please visit



  1. ACC position papers born of consensus. Dynamic Chiropractic, February 24, 1997.
  2. ACA, ICA and ACC agree to "jointly support legislation" for veterans. Dynamic Chiropractic, February 12, 2001.

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