2 One More Year -- Our Commissioned Year
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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 15, 1993, Vol. 11, Issue 02

One More Year -- Our Commissioned Year

By Fred Barge, DC, PhC
Well, I've signed the contract, I've been commissioned, Don Petersen has asked me and I have agreed, the dates have been set, and "Viewpoints from Involvement" will be featured monthly in Dynamic Chiropractic in 1993; this time in the International Edition. My pen will now stroke out 12 more articles. Most likely they will not necessarily be in agreement with Editor Petersen's viewpoints in respect to this profession, so respect him you must for allowing this innate chiropractor to speak his mind.

Last year was a tumultuous one for this beleaguered profession. It had its highs and its lows, each viewed differently respective to each doctor's viewpoint in our dichotomy. One "high" we all can cheer is that finally chiropractors will be commissioned in the armed forces. Certainly a long overdue accolade has now been bestowed upon the chiropractic profession. Perhaps we will now provide that which we uniquely should provide for our men and women in the armed forces. By this, I do not mean physical therapy; they already have commissioned PTs to do that job. No, I do not mean rehabilitation therapy; the PTs and physiatrists already provide such services. Certainly not dietary counseling; argue with them if you must, but medical dietitians are amply available in the armed services. The prescription of proprietary drugs, legend drugs, and minor surgery are also supplied by MDs, nurse practitioners, osteopaths, physiatrists, psychiatrists, and the list can go on and on. What then shall we provide?

Most certainly, it will be that which we are traditionally intended to provide, our unique nonduplicatory service -- the detection, location, control, reduction and correction of the vertebral subluxation. Want to really "blow it" doctors? Then go in there and try to duplicate their services. Now I know some chiropractors will try, then watch the arrogant monster of medicine come down upon their puny efforts much to the entire profession's chagrin. No, there will be no place for medipractors with stethoscopes hanging around their necks, carrying little black bags and trying to act like RDs. But if we do our work, adjustment (not manipulation) as we know how to do it best, then watch the respect of their discipline cast a favorable eye upon our efforts. We are not there to compete with them, we are there to provide what they cannot provide. Once we see that "It Works," they themselves will be on our adjusting tables. My observation could not be articulated any better than through the words of the developer, B.J. Palmer. In his book, Vol. XXII, The Bigness of the Fellow Within, (point 17, 18, "The Success Formula," page 367) 1949, he stated:

17. By confining our professional activities verbally, educationally, legislatively, and legally to that which was of right ours, we respected ourselves and made other professions respect us for staying within the confines of that which was ours by prior rights of discovery and development.

18. Confining ourselves to our line of reasoning to our professional premises and postulates brought us respect from contemporary professions such as educators, medicine, and the law.

Yes, by confining ourselves to our science, we will gain the respect of all; the chance is now ours and our military future will depend on it. A dentist is a dentist, a podiatrist is a podiatrist, and a chiropractor should be a chiropractor. Possibly, we should have a postgraduate education course on how to handle our military responsibilities. But I'm sure that cleaning out ears, lancing hemorrhoids, giving colonic irrigations, providing ultrasound, traction, galvanic therapy, nutrition, and acupuncture, will not be looked upon kindly.

Perhaps in the military we shall come to our senses and clearly see what we were meant to provide. But remember many of our graduates today have not been taught the principles of subluxation, they have not been taught to analyze an x-ray for subluxation; some have been taught the bone out of alignment subluxation does not exist. Many students are taught mobilization therapy and manipulatory procedures instead of our unique and specific spinal adjustment. Woe is me; will this be another tumultuous year? Me thinks so, but what's new? Until we solve the dichotomy, it will always be so. Maybe this year we will see the enemy for what it is, "The Enemy Within." Possibly the military and the government will solve it for us by simply confining us to our expertise, the realm of articular adjustment primarily of the spine.

In truth, we should not even be in the medical corps as we are not part of medicine such as podiatry and dentistry truly are. The observation of Raymond T. Kern, D.C. comes to mind (Letter in "DC," Nov. 6). Dr. Kern states that we should not subject ourselves to the control of a medical establishment ... "that is biased and in fact does not want us." He goes on to state that we should "... convince the Congress or the conference committee that it is imperative that a chiropractic corps be established in the medical departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, and that a sufficient number of chiropractic physicians be recruited as commissioned officers in numbers necessary to ensure the availability of chiropractic care at each military installation that supports a hospital or outpatient care facility."

Indeed, how intriguing Dr. Kern, a Chiropractic Corps, a corp that would practice the science of chiropractic as an alternative to common medical care, or as a unique service concomitant to ongoing "medical" care, but not part of the allopathic medical treatment. We would be providing the correction of vertebral subluxation and procedures preparatory to and rehabilatory to subluxation correction.

I for one am proud to be a subluxation fixing chiropractor and you know, I know a lot of chiropractors who feel the same way. Yes, they may use ancillary procedures and they may use rehabilitative procedures and provide dietary consultation, and certainly provide chiropractic diagnosis and analysis, but all in respect to subluxation detection, correction, and prevention. They are subluxation-based chiropractors and to me a subluxation-based chiropractor is a straight chiropractor. The others are simply not practicing chiropractic, and belong to another profession. The military may just see it this way too.

"Enuf said."

Fred H. Barge, D.C., Ph.C.
La Crosse, Wisconsin

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