and Proud of It
by James Winterstein,
President, National University of Health Services
In 1910, John
Fitz Alan Howard, founder and first president of National College
of Chiropractic (now National University of Health Sciences), wrote
the following: "Before we take up the application of chiropractic,
or 'chiropractic in practice,' we desire that the student shall
have a thorough understanding of the comprehensive and liberal platform
for which our school stands.
believe, nor claim, that chiropractic is a panacea, nor, that it
is potent in all cases to the entire exclusion or depreciation of
other agencies. Our system is as broad as nature itself, and therefore
embraces all methods, which posses virtue in assisting normal function
of the body; the term 'physiological adjustment' speaks for itself
-- correction of body function by physiological methods.
(referring here to spinal maniuplation) is but one phase of nature's
corrective agencies; hydrotherapy is another; Swedish movements
is another; massage another; and suggestion yet another; and so,
we might enumerate all the various agencies, which tend to assist
nature in re-establishing normal function in the body organs.
stated in previous lessons, we stand for broadness of thought and
liberty to apply whatever means appeal to our judgment as being
the right one, under the various and numerous conditions met within
abnormal function of the body, no matter if we should be dubbed
'mixers' by narrow bigots and fanatical enthusiasts, we take it,
that our duty as operators in the healing art is to re-establish
harmony in functional activity of the body.
separate system is all in itself, no more than one branch of an
army is sufficient to the exclusion of the others. As it is true
that the 'body has many members, yet it is but one body,' so it
is true that the art of healing has many phases, and the liberal,
broadminded operator will avail himself of all every means which
nature, the great and only healer provides for humanity.
say to our students: Be moderate in your views; be ever on the alert
to learn. We are told to hear all things and to hold fast to that
which is true; then prove all things and hold fast to what you are
satisfied is right, even though it should upset some of your previous
ideas." (Here, Dr. Howard promotes the concept of research
for the purpose of discovery of new knowledge even if it overturns
one's prior beliefs.)
be a bigot or a fanatic or a 'grafter.'" (Here, in one simple
sentence, Dr. Howard speaks out against bigotry, fanaticism or emotion-based
thinking, and shady practices.) "Be willing to be termed a
'mixer' by those whose range of vision is, unfortunately for them,
so limited. Be true to your own convictions; live your own life,
and your true success is assured. You may not die a millionaire,
but you will possess what is infinitely better -- the consciousness
of having been true to yourself, and of having been a means of bringing
health and happiness to your fellow men.
always ready to avail ourselves of any suitable means which the
special case may call for; we have no personal prejudices against
any of the natural methods for alleviating suffering, and removing
disease; and are as equally willing to use manipulatory methods;
massage (scientific); orthopedical appliances; suggestion; and non-poisonous
botanical remedies . . . mechanotherapy, hydrotherapy dietetics,
correct diagnosis lies the nucleus of success in the healing art.
To begin with, our diagnosis must be thorough and painstaking. No
point is of too litle importance to be considered; put little importance
to be considred; put gray matter into this part of your work; dig
out the little things and give them due consideration; remember,
it is the 'dimes that make the dollars;' so it is the litle points
in diagnosis that lead to a successful correction by adjustment,
and in re-establishing and maintaining normal function of the body.
Too much emphasis cannot be laid on this point.
can 'put it down in his book' right now, that patients, especially
those of the oversensitive type, are quick to discern the real character
of the individual who is attending them. If the predominant thought
in the mind of the practitioner is, "How much is there in this
case?' (that is, what financial returns), instead of, 'How much
good can I do to this patient?,' it will be impossible to diguise
his real feelings from patients of a sensitive nature, and his influence
for good will, as a result, be greatly minimized, if not indeed
destroyed altogether. While it is true that the laborer is worthy
of his hire,' and that the individual who has taken the pains to
equip himself for the practice of the healing art should receive
renumeration in proportion to the expense and self-sacrifice, which
the acquisition of the necessary knowledge and skill may have entailed
upon him, we have no hesitation in saying that the individual who
makes dollars and cents the great desideratum is utterly unworthy
to be found in the ranks of this grand and glorious profession.
We are convinced that the number of individuals of this caliber
is relatively small, in the ranks of drugless healers, who are shirking
advanced ideas, and we sincerely trust that none of our students
will be found swelling the numbers of these despicable parasites,
sharks and human leeches.
to visit your patient, whether a millionaire or pauper, let the
one predominant thought in your mind be, 'How can I best help this
sufferer?' Carrying such a spirit with you, you will inspire confidence,
and so increase incalculably your chance of success.
Except to win
the respect and confidence of the class of patients we have referred
to, you need not look for the best results. Bring kindly, helpful,
altruistic thoughts to the patient, and rest assured that whatever
you bring will surely return to you."
our founder and first president, Dr. John Fitz Alan Howard, promoted
ethical, diagnosis-based, broad-scope, holistic healing as the appropriate
practice of chiropractic medicine.
It seems to
me that today there is a timidity about taking a stand on this kind
of broad-scope chiropractic practice. We seem to fear the retaliation
that will inevitably come from those who practice a more restricted
scope, but why should that be a problem to us? In truth, it should
not, for as Dr. Howard clearly said, our efforts must always be
directed toward, "How can I help this sufferer?"
It is self-evident
that the practice of the broad-scope practitioner is patient-based.
It is not disease-based, or system-based and it is not based upon
any single entity or disorder that might befall the hapless patient.
The broad-scope chiropractic physician truly is the "quantum
physician" of today, and it is time for us to stand up and
So often we
are accused of being too "linear," too "Newtonian,"
or too "reductionistic" in our thinking. I find it difficult
to understand how those who aim all education and all practice toward
a single entity (subluxation) and pay that entity homage for all
human disease, can think of themselves as nonreductionistic in their
thinking. If ever there was a mechanistic concept of health and
disease, it is the concept of the "spinal subluxation causing
inhibition of the flow of mental impluses through the nervous system
from brain cell to tissue cell." Who does not know that this
concept has been repeatedly described to thousands of chiropractic
students as the "safety-pin cycle"? Who has never heard
of the "garden hose theory"?
broad-scope chiropractic practices accept patients as they present,
make every reasonable effort to discover where the physiology has
gone wrong, and through that process, decide whether to treat or
to refer. If the decision is to treat, they decide which form of
treatment is most appropriate. There is nothing we do that does
not recognize the importance of biomechanical dysfunction, but we
do not evaluate it to the level of an all-encompassing cause-and-effect
mechanism in human health and disease.
Most of subluxation
theory is simply anti-allopathic rhetoric, but there is little evidence
to support the "traditional subluxation concept" as a
major cause of human disease or "dis-ease." At the same
time, I know very few broad-scoope chiropractic physicians who do
not recognize that biomechanical dysfunction of the locomotor system
is a significant emphasis in human suffering -- it is just not all
there is, and so much of what we se in our patients extends across
multiple systems. Since we have the education and the therapeutic
tools to address the patient as a whole, why should we feel that
it is somehow not appropriate?
University of Health Sciences, we continue, as we always have in
our doctor of chiropractic degree program, to emphasize thorough
knowledge in orthodox diagnosis, and the unique aspects of patient
evaluation that chiropractors think of as so important to natural
healing. We teach broad-scope therapeutics, with a strong emphasis
on spinal adjusting. (Yes, spinal adjusting is therapeutic, as it
is administered to correct a patient's condition, just as other
therapies.) We teach numerous other forms of therapy which, based
upon our determination of physiology gone wrong, will help the organism
return to a state of harmony.
leaders say we cannot do all of this, and that there is no way we
can know better than "innate" what to do for the sick
patient. They say we should simply make the adjustment and allow
"innate" to decide how best to use the force introduced
into the patient. That is all fine as a "one-cause, one-cure"
theory, but I respectfully disagree with that thinking. It is dogma
-- pure and simple, and when I am sick, I want intellect and science
on the side of my doctor. The faith I need will come from inside
of me -- not from the tenets of my doctor.
Good solid education
"does not constipate the mind," as B. J. Palmer was fond
of saying. On the contrary, it opens the mind to new possibilities
and closes the mind to dogma that has no place in the care of human
beings who are sick and suffering.
My name is James
Winterstein; I am a broad-scope grad and I am proud of it. How about
all the rest of you?
President, National University of Health Sciences
If you have comments regarding this column, please send them
to Dr. Richman at firstname.lastname@example.org.