Are There Different Kinds of Chiropractors?
Actually every chiropractor is different. Chiropractic is an art form, which can be done using many techniques. Just like hitting a golf ball, hitting a baseball, or shooting a basketball, there are different ways to accomplish the same objective.
A chiropractor’s technique may be the result of many factors: where he or she went to school, their physical stature, and the physical structure of the person being adjusted. A 3 week old baby is adjusted differently than a 30 year old, and both are adjusted differently than a 90 year old. There are probably no two chiropractors that adjust exactly alike, but all should be trying to achieve the same final result.
With that understanding, there is another aspect to this question. Chiropractic, like most professions, has evolved or changed over the years. Depending on ones viewpoint those changes can be seen as good or bad.
Basically, there are two branches or schools of thought in chiropractic. Briefly, they are differentiated by whether they deal with the limited therapeutic approach for aches and pains - commonly termed "mixed" chiropractic because it represents a mixture of a chiropractor with non-chiropractic procedures or a non-therapeutic approach to optimum body performance - termed "objective straight" chiropractic (OSC) because there is no mixing of chiropractic with anything else.
The first group (the therapeutic or “mixed”) chiropractic is the older approach based on a split from the founding principles of chiropractic about a century ago. It is made up of chiropractors who more or less have adopted the objective of the medical community. They have decided to treat different types of medical conditions and to incorporate certain medical procedures and treatments into their practice. The primary procedure is that of diagnosing medical conditions, an art form that is without a doubt the most challenging tasks in the practice of medicine. Unfortunately, most of these types of chiropractors do not have access to the tests and tools they would need to make the best diagnosis in some cases.
In addition to developing limited diagnostic skills, many of the first group have incorporated many therapeutic procedures, that is, they use tools and activities that are designed to treat medical conditions or the symptoms of medical conditions. Usually, these procedures are an alternative nature rather than the more orthodox medicine, and may include acupuncture, homeopathy or naturopathic treatments. The may incorporate nutritional supplements or even the mainstream medical treatment of physical therapy, massage, or rehabilitation therapy. The list and the possibilities are almost endless, in as much as so few of these are regulated by law and new therapies are being developed all the time. Whether all these procedures have any value is a topic for another discussion.
One big problem that is created by this approach is that there is confusion on the part of the public as to what the role of the chiropractor is, with regard to the so-called health care community. Unfortunately, for reasons too numerous for this article, this is the viewpoint advocated by the majority of the chiropractors in this country.
That brings us to the second group of chiropractors, the non-therapeutic "objective straight" chiropractors. Non-therapeutic "objective straight" chiropractic is the more modern of the two approaches. Seeing the confusion that developed, due to the way the therapeutic/mixed chiropractors were practicing, this group of chiropractors determined that they should define chiropractic by one simple objective. This objective could not duplicate the disease treatment objective of medicine, and of course, it had to be an objective that had to provide a valuable service to humanity. It deals with a particular, common situation called a vertebral subluxation.
The spine is made of many bone segments (vertebrae) which house and protect the spinal cord and the smaller spinal nerve branches that come off the spinal cord and exit between the bones. These nerve pathways carry information or messages between the brain and the cells of the body. These messages are essential for the life of the cells. Without brain messages, the cells immediately begin the process of dying; i.e., they can no longer function the way they should to maintain life.
Because the bones are moveable, they can misalign in such a way as to interfere with the messages and, ultimately, the ability of the person to function at their best or express their optimum potential. So people with vertebral subluxations are not able to get all they can out of life.
Vertebral subluxations can be caused by a wide variety of factors, what we'll generally call stresses. These stresses can be physical (such as accidental trauma, sleeping posture, pillow and mattress condition, the birth process, sneezing, falling down, etc.), mental / emotional (in its many forms, probably the most familiar use of the word stress), or chemical (such as pollution, drugs, etc.), which are, unfortunately, regular parts of daily living for all age groups. In short, a vertebral subluxation can occur for a multitude of reasons.
Tragically, vertebral subluxations are rarely obvious to the individual they affect. They usually have no symptoms. The reason is that most of what goes on inside you happens without your awareness. As an example, try to "feel" your liver. What's it doing right now? You can't know, so you can't know if it's functioning at its best or something less. To complicate things, nerve pathways that carry messages of control have no way of transmitting ache or pain messages, so your body function may be far from perfect and you'd not have any alerting signal whatsoever.
The branching of the nerve pathways is complex and extensive, making it exceedingly difficult to predict or determine exactly how the person will be affected, including whether it will result in a specific symptom or disease. Someone who attempts to make such a connection through a diagnosis is guessing, at best.
In order to know if someone has a vertebral subluxation, it is necessary to have that person’s spine checked by a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor using a method of "analysis." When a vertebral subluxation is detected this way, it is obviously important to correct it as soon as possible.
A simple question to ask if someone is suffering from a symptom or disease, or even if they are symptom and disease free, is a person better off with vertebral subluxation / nerve interference or free of subluxation / with the nerve channels open?
Vertebral subluxation is, in and of itself, detrimental to your life. It is easy to see that having all the available nerve messages getting through is better than only some of them getting through, regardless of the person's situation otherwise. In other words, it’s not that you should visit a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor FOR a specific health problem; you should visit one for the purpose of being free of vertebral subluxation.
Since vertebral subluxations are caused by so many different things, people choose to go to a non-therapeutic straight chiropractor on a regular basis to enjoy the most time free of the life-robbing effects of vertebral subluxation. There's a saying that straight chiropractic is not about your back, it's not about your symptoms, pain, or disease, it's about your LIFE. Each person has a unique potential in life. With vertebral subluxation, it's impossible to realize that potential.
These two groups of chiropractors, like many in other branches of the healthcare system, have very different points of view and different objectives, although both have the title chiropractor. It is important that you be able to distinguish between the two so you can seek the type of services you want. You need to understand very clearly that the practice objectives of therapeutic mixed chiropractic and non-therapeutic objective straight chiropractic are quite different.
I practice non-therapeutic, objective straight chiropractic. I am respectful of other approach, but would be remised if I did not extol the benefits of my approach. Non-therapeutic straight chiropractic is not about the diagnosis and treatment of symptoms or diseases, it is about helping everyone optimize all aspects of body functions and performance and allow you to express you God given potential in all areas of life. The practice of this approach usually results in one or more of the following common benefits for you: improved health; more energy; clearer thinking, concentration, and memory; a better ability to handle stress; improved physical performance; better sleep; a ability to obtain greater value from your exercise and nutritional choices; more balanced body chemistry; increased income earning capacity; improved relationships; better digestion; basically a greater enjoyment of Life.
I obviously see this approach as a more worthy objective to have.