The confusion is in our license. We are by law primary health care providers, just like M.D.’s and D.O.’s. Therefore, we are mandated to be able to recognize if not diagnose any and all disease processes and at the least know who to refer the patient to, if the condition does not fall under our umbrella of treatment. As a matter of fact, of all the types of doctors there are (DDS, DO, MD, OD, DPM, PhD, PsyD, DC, EdD, etc.) there are only 3 that are licensed primary care providers, and we chiropractors are the second largest group of those behind only M.D.’s. Didn’t know that did you? The reason why this is confusing is that over the decades of having this sort of license and mandate, some if not most chiropractors have forgotten what we are supposed to be doing. Our first mandate is to make sure you are in the right office. Our second job is to measure spinal subluxation. Our third job is to correct spinal subluxation as much as can be. And our last job is to keep the subluxation from coming back. THAT is chiropractic. Any and everything else that happens in a chiropractors office, while legal and within his/her license, is NOT technically chiropractic, but is rather a chiropractor doing other stuff. To my way of thinking you are here to see a professional who does one thing really well, not someone who does a bunch of stuff really mediocrely. Yes? No? Therefore, in my office I do chiropractic pretty much by the book.
And that leads to the title of this article, the three tools. After roughly 1.5 million adjustments I have given, I have concluded that the correction of spinal subluxation requires only 3 tools. Everything else is a waste of your time and your money. Or in other words, if the subluxation cannot be corrected using these 3 tools it cannot be corrected by anyone, ever. (As an aside I could spend another article discussing the meaning of “correction” or “corrected”, but in short I generally mean 75-95% correction, never 100%). Those 3 tools are: 1) spinal stretches that you do at home for the rest of your life to maintain spinal range of motion, and to help pump the joints and disc cartilage with water and nutrients. 2) deep tissue massage to reduce scar tissue adhesions that build up in the muscles from years of subluxation. 3) Specific chiropractic adjustments to restore motion and break adhesions in the most damaged spinal joints, the joints that you could not move by yourself no matter how much and how long you stretched them.
As a chiropractor, there are professionals better qualified than I am to do nutritional counseling, or exercise rehab, or homeopathy, or therapy, etc. If I want those things for myself or my family I will go to those professionals. But no one should be more qualified than a chiropractor to find, measure, and correct subluxation. That is exactly what I want from my chiropractor and that is exactly what you get from me. If chiropractors all practiced only chiropractic and chiropractic only, then there would be no confusion about what we do. Then you could just pick the one that you think does that job best…me.