For the past 7 years I’ve been a board member for Virginia Society of Chiropractors (VSC). Recently we merged with the Virginia Chiropractic Association (VCA). This was a very good thing for chiropractic in Virginia. The VSC served its purpose starting in the early 90’s, to protect chiropractic in Virginia as a separate and distinct health-care option for Virginians. But the landscape changed and previous concerns calmed and it was time to unify. Now we have the Unified VCA. Now we really have a unified voice in Virginia.
This past weekend was a chance for the Unified VCA to strategically plan for the future. Unfortunately, much of what we do is protect ourselves and our patients from other professions. Sadly it turns into a turf war in order to insure the survival of the profession and individual practices in Virginia. But none the less, important work to be done, because in the end we want patients and potential patients to have chiropractic as an option for health care.
This brings me to my point. Chiropractors have an identity crisis. For years we have struggled for survival and respect. We have the research to support what we do. Most people know we exist. And most of them have heard good things from someone about the profession. But here is the rub, I think most of the population would say we are just another therapy for cricks, strains, and pains. We may be the best in their minds, which is an honor, but that isn’t the whole picture. Most folks do not understand chiropractic is an entirely different approach to health and helping the body to heal.
This explains why you may hear your physical therapist or massage therapist say they can do or actually claim they are doing “chiropractic manipulations.” In Virginia there are even veterinarians who will say they do “chiropractic” to animals. This labeling confuses the issue. It is as if “chiropractic” is a type of therapy or maneuver. Not an objective. That objective is to help improve the function of the body by removing the interference that keeps it from healing. In other words the effort is made to allow the body to work as it should instead of suppressing symptoms or removing body parts. If this can be accomplished the body is actually healthier.
I, like many chiropractors, have seen many symptoms and health conditions improve under chiropractic care in my office. The research shows many “conditions” that get better with chiropractic. But I DO the same thing with each patient. I adjust subluxations which interfere with the bodies ability to heal.
So this weekend we tried to work on ways to let the public know, not just what we do, but how we are different. What other choice does someone have who has gotten rehab, injections, and pain meds? Surgery? What other choice does someone have who is so dizzy they can’t stand or drive or work? Stronger meds? Surgery? How about trigeminal neuralgia? How about allergies? Is there anything beyond drugs? My point is, there might be. If a subluxation is the cause, we can help. I don’t think the public knows chiropractic like this. Maybe this will help.