Chiropractic Philosophy

I came across an article called “Sound Foundations” by a Dr. Greg Stetzel who I have never had the pleasure of meeting but he is a 1983 graduate of Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic. He and his wife Dr. Kim Stetzel run a family wellness practice in Branchville, New Jersey.

This article reminded me of my chiropractic philosophy so I wanted to share it with you. He says, “Listening to the national news and weather reports, I hear that people up and down the coast are hurrying to buy cement and plywood to reinforce their homes against the possible winds and waters of the hurricane, protecting roofs and windows as best they can. History tells us that these sudden makeshift repairs seldom prevent the most severe damage when the foundation that the house was built on was not sound to begin with. Inevitably, there will be buildings damaged, homes destroyed and lives lost as the force of the storm impacts the land. The forces of nature can be unrelenting and the ability of woods, cement and seal to resist these forces is finite.” 

How different are our bodies? Our bodies fortunately are imbued with adaptability. Our frame and supporting structures possess all the physical characteristics of the inanimate materials that we are composed of yet there is more to us than just the physical materials from which we are made. There is an extra something within and about us that makes us different. It animates and coordinates us and gives our body its incredible adaptability.

A structure alone does not provide the answer to the puzzle of how we are able to resist the forces that bombard our bodies everyday. In fact, taken alone, most of the structures upon which we rely for strength and support could not individually accomplish what they do as part of the human body. Take the human foot for example. Examining the bones of the foot, you would be impressed by the delicate nature of the tiny bones that make up the foot and ankle, yet when they are held together with the muscles, tendon, cartilage and skin of the foot, the structure at the end of your leg is capable of absorbing and utilizing incredible forces. Each step results in hundreds of pounds of pressure on the foot and its structures. Run or jump and the forces are multiplied, yet the bone does not break unless the forces overcome the ability of your foot to adapt. There is a difference between the individual physical structures of the foot and the foot itself. 

In fact, there is a difference between the human body or the body of any living thing for that matter and the integrity of the materials from which it is built. Unlike a building or a stone or a board, a living body has an extra ingredient. It is an ingredient that cannot be weighed. It has no mass, no structure of its own, no substance that could be held on to or observed, yet it is the key ingredient which gives life its ability to produce more than the physical sum of its parts.  The extra ingredient is intelligence. The major premise of chiropractic philosophy, the key philosophical idea upon which all the rest of our system of beliefs is built, the foundation of chiropractic is that there is a universal intelligence which gives to matter all of its properties and actions thus maintaining it in existence.

We call this higher expression of intelligence that creates and maintains life innate intelligence. The body through innate intelligence is able to adapt destructive forces and convert them to creative internal resistive forces maintaining the balance to the side of life. Think of the effects of gravity. Gravity is one of the forces that helps to reduce a mountain to a hill and a hill to a plane. The effect of gravity on the body could be very similar if it were not for the innate intelligence. As gravity pulls the body down, effectively holding you to the ground, it gives the body weight. It is the innate intelligence that adapts the body to the force of gravity and utilizes it internally to create the strength in muscles and bones to give resistance to the body.

So long as the internal resistive forces are greater than the external invasive forces, the body is able to maintain itself in existence. When the external forces become too great and the innate intelligence cannot adapt the body to it, the process of degeneration begins. The fist step in this process is the creation of the vertebral subluxation, misalignment of the spine resulting in interference to the function of the nervous system and of further loss to the adaptability of the body.

Chiropractic seeks to locate, analyze, and correct vertebral subluxation in the spine before the body’s adaptability is overcome and the degeneration of life has progressed beyond repair. When vertebral subluxations are corrected and nerve system function is restored, innate intelligence is better able to create and express the adaptability that is so essential to life.

The chiropractic approach to maintaining life’s expression in the body is to keep the spine free of vertebral subluxation. In doing so, the body’s ability to adapt is optimized. Life and health are maximized and the body is better able to defend itself against the stresses inherent in the environment and to adapt its environment to the benefits of a survival. Chiropractic care helps to keep the foundation of your life intact and solid.