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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA March 2013
Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 43 Number 1 March 2013 1 As the 20th Century dawned a number of men with an interest in human health and wellness developed their concepts of chiropractic. Given the mythology that continues to surround D.D. Palmer it is easy to overlook chiropractic graduates such as Smith, Langworthy and Paxson who captured their concepts in a signifcant two-volume text.2 Then along came Palmer's son who, in addition to developing chiropractic took an intelligent and abiding interest in the human condition, as attested by his travel and resultant collections. But he was far from the only one. In the chiropractic world we see Forster who, at the time of World War I published a delightfully straightforward documentation of the principles of chiropractic,3 only to see these obfuscated a decade or two later by Stephenson4 whom some still view as crafting chiropractic's Holy Grail. However fascinating men and stronger women were making their mark in other felds in many amazing places around the world, some even more remote and insular than the Davenport of Palmer's day. This writer's most recent, and perhaps most intimate experiences of such men and women was just before the CAA National Development Forum of 2012, held in Tasmania. The particular house was built about the time of the Petersen mansion which became the Palmers' home.5 Both were large, multi-level homes in an imposing position over their respective towns. Its frst occupants were Robert Sticht and his wife Marion Oak, who moved to this Tasmanian town from the mining felds of North East America. Marrying the photos from the past of Sticht in the home’s offce with the experience of sitting there over a century later was salutary, as was sitting at the original dining table and, later, in the billiard room to hear a history writer verbalise the frst chapter of his book about Oak. The writer coloured the story to weave a fascinating picture of the way we would like to think it used to be. However teasing the threads from other sources let one synthesise a story of the way it probably was, and the two differed. How profound a couple of weeks later to hear the words of an animated movie character say "the way it used to be isn't the way it was."1 Over the past couple of years we have heard detractors of chiropractic spout the way they think things used to be, in particular with regard to the construct of the subluxation, and draw the fatal conclusions that (a) the way it used to be is still the way it is, and worse (b) the way it used to be is actually the way it was. Palmer the father literally wrote thousands of words about his concepts and provided a commentary over time of how these developed and changed. Palmer the son probably wrote as many words if not more, including a series of volumes called "The Green Books."6 Today nobody with serious intent could reasonably seize on these historical concepts and attempt to cast an old meaning on today's dynamic, growing, Editorial The Way it Used to Be isn't the Way it Was1 global health care profession. Rather, we have a responsibility to better understand them. In the same vein there are now chiropractors in some countries that righteously depict chiropractic as needing to follow their newly imposed destiny into mainstream medicine. If this were all they occupied themselves with then well and good, however it does not seem possible for them to share a rational view; they want theirs and only theirs to prevail globally. The result is a dichotomy that creates a far right-wing, supported by those who gather in the guise of world associations and so on, that bullies by relentless repetition in an attempt to shut-down those chiropractors in other countries who are suffciently mature to hold less extreme views. If ever there was a time when chiropractic was successfully well beyond pain and unaffordable interventions reliant on drugs and political largesse it is now, through the efforts of functional neurology, developmental neurology, and exciting new paradigms owned by neither medicine nor chiropractic, but contributed and developed by those very clever researchers who continue to push the boundaries at microscopic and cellular levels. Now is the time to walk away from bullies and instead absorb what is written and spoken in the broader context. Get into the world of those working to change it, sit in their homes, and learn and value the context of their life and learning. Walk away from those who crave a sense of importance through group acceptance. Instead, walk with those who think, act and practise as chiropractors, like you do, knowing that nothing is as powerful as chiropractic done properly. It is up to us to ensure chiropractic maintains the way it really should be. Phillip Ebrall BAppSc(Chiropractic), Grad Cert Tert Learning & Teaching, PhD, FICC, FACC Professor of Chiropractic, Central Queensland University Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Medicine, International Medical University Assistant Editor REFERENCES 1. Spoken by Martin Short, as Stefano, the sea lion, in Madagascar 3. Dreamworks, Paramount Pictures. 2012. URL: http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Madagascar_3:_Europe’s_Most_Wanted 2. Smith OG, Langworthy SM, Paxson MC. Modernized chiropractic. Cedar Rapids, IA: Lawrence Press Company; 1906 3. Forster AL. Principles and practice of chiropractic. 2nd ed. Chicago: The National Publishing Company, 1920 4. Stephenson RW. Chiropractic textbook. Davenport, IA: Palmer School of Chiropractic, 1927 5. Peters RE. A ‘Titanic’ Year: The Year that was 1912 Chiropr J Aust. 2012;42: 143-58 6. The Chiropractic Green books. URL: http://www.therscproject.com/ the-green-books-download
CJA December 2012
CJA June 2013