The Sioux Syndrome

June 26, 1876 ...

By Reed Phillips, DC, PhD
As exhausted Lone Beaver raised his heavy head, rubbed his sore eyes, and rolled off his buffalo robe bed. Light penetrated the walls of his tepee, indicating that a new dawn had long passed. Swinging back the deer hide closure, he emerged to view the largest encampment of the Sioux and Cheyenne nations ever assembled on the prairie. With fires still smoldering, treasures of the battle were recklessly strewn about. The still scene was interrupted by a few dogs barking and sniffing at the debris. As the haze cleared from Lone Beaver's mind, a slight smile crossed his face as he mentally reenacted yesterday's events.

The calvary, under the leadership of General Yellow Hair (George Armstrong Custer), had maneuvered into a strategic position in the valley of the Little Big Horn river. He was obviously misinformed as to the number of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors amassed to confront him and his soldiers. The calvary had been sized up, and then annihilated, down to the very last man.

Now Lone Beaver was jubilant. It was not just a dream that his people had confronted and overpowered the US Calvary. He thought that this resounding success would rid the prairie of the white man forever, and that his people would once again be superior. He imagined that news of this battle would spread quickly to the East, and the white man would no longer dare tread upon their ground. Peace and preservation of their beliefs, customs, and culture would prevail.

Moving forward in time to September 1995 ...

While attending the Centennial celebration in Davenport, Iowa, I was amazed. So much effort and so many resources were focused to make a "Grand Celebration," and a grand celebration it was. Hats off to all who worked so hard to make it impressive.

Everyone was there, or so it seemed. Vendors brandishing new technology and gizmos galore. The college extolled the virtues of advanced education, new approaches to learning, better facilities and even more qualified teachers. Historians immersed in a Mecca of tradition and lore, enlightened our understanding of who said what about whom, and when they said it. There were superb presentations from the fresh minds of students, and those from the wise, weathered minds of scholars and practitioners. What a harvest of excitement and enlightenment!

It was the Adler Auditorium where the crowd congregated and the big names were featured. The subject matter -- philosophy -- the main event. Those expecting a feast got what they came for. Every speaker was in their prime as the audience came to be fed and vivified. The crescendos of support increased with each standing ovation as medicine was vilified as the enemy of Innate. Subluxation echoed from the rafters as the cause of all dis-ease, and the audience was reminded that education is the culprit that induces " ... constipation of the mind." The mocking chorus persisted, taunting technology as the bane of the chiropracTOR, a mere tool for the brainwashed medipractor. Mind/body research was proving to the reductionist world that Innate healed -- not drugs, not surgery -- and a specific chiropractic adjustment was all that was needed to allow Innate to heal the body.

It's all so simple. Chiropractic philosophy removes all doubt and uncertainty regarding the identification and the removal of a subluxation. Chiropractors need only listen to Innate to learn what and how to adjust. What's that you say? Diagnose ... treat ... apply therapy? Eeee gads! That's not chiropractic: Never has been, never will be. After all, B.J. taught us all we need to know, and any research must only confirm what he has taught us, or there is something wrong with the research. Enuf said.

So come on, y'all! Release your Innate and get a new lease on life. Become vivified so that your Innate can speak to your patient's Innate, and you will become successful in practice and get rich too! Managed care can't close us down; we will run a cash practice. Medicine may steal manipulation but it cannot learn to adjust, because that breed of Homo sapien cannot communicate with Innate. Research has shown most of medical practice to lack good scientific evidence anyway. ChiropracTIC has 100 years of getting people well. That's why it will become the preferred mode of health care in the 21st century. The age of Aquarius has finally arrived. The New England Journal of Medicine (please excuse my occasional use of scientific articles) announced that over 30 percent of the US population seeks alternative forms of health care, paying for it out-of-pocket. Of these forms of care, chiropractic is the most commonly sought.

Back in Time

Lone Beaver lived to see the turn of the century. But from the day following Little Big Horn, his perspective was constantly changing. The white man did not disappear: more soldiers came, then more settlers. The buffalo did not return, but the herds of Texas longhorn steer stretched over the prairie. The iron horse replaced the four-legged horse and the wagon. For a time, war prevailed, not peace. The beliefs, customs, and culture were ultimately preserved but the native people were relegated to the reservations.

Back to the Future

So what is the message of this parable? You decide. It may still be unclear depending on your view of the world. Lone Beaver's perspective of personal conviction without regard to science ultimately prove shockingly inaccurate to its disciples? While society seeks better ways to maintain health, and chiropractic has much to offer, we are not the "end all" of health. A bow still needs an arrow, a foot needs a moccasin, and a winning football team (as Joseph Janse would say) needs a quarterback and a receiver. Let us be respectful of what medicine has to offer and bring rational thinking into balance with an awareness of a metaphysical force. Only through balance will we unite the chiropractic profession and increase the opportunity for appropriate health care for our patients. Failure to do so will eventually lead to the "Sioux syndrome," spreading to such epidemic proportions that it might be renamed the "suicide syndrome."

Reed Phillips, DC, PhD
President, Los Angeles College of Chiropractic

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