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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA March 2013
22 Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 43 Number 1 March 2013 …’, he describes it as ‘… so much fruitless search …’, and its reductionism as based on ‘… a fundamental bias that may not meet clinical reality.' But he stays with the mechanistic perspective, suggesting that another mechanical approach, and what might be called an expanded reductionist model. He suggests that 'dysfunction' of structures should be considered a possible explanation for back pain, even though the evidence in support of this is ‘ … limited or conficting …’, and with ‘… large gaps …’ .36 The rise of the doctrine of specifc etiology during the latter part of the 19th century promoted the concept of an individual disease as the result of a precise individual cause or agent, rather than of multiple causes. Thus even the origins of disease were reduced, from multiple complexities to simple singlenesses. If that single cause could be determined, and a specifc antidote developed and delivered, a proftable industry could and has evolved. The era of the chemotherapeutical 'magic bullet' had arrived.38 ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE In 1910 Palmer expressed a different understanding of the nature of the human being as follows: 'There is no similarity between living bodies which possess functions and machines by which goods are manufactured. … To attempt to demonstrate the vital acts of the human body by the working of machinery is futile. … To represent the body as a mill flled with, and composed in all its parts by, machines, shows a lack of comprehension of language and the principles of Chiropractic.'39 This concept is much more congruent with his statement that those principles of chiropractic are from the Greeks. Indeed, they are from elsewhere too, for, in contrast to the Western model, so is the Eastern way. THE DOCTOR AS GARDENER Based on ancient understandings of life, the universe and man's relationship to it, the Eastern model asks, as did Rosen, what is the best way for the present journey of existence, and responds that the answer is literally a certain 'way' of life. This way is explained in the ancient Chinese classic The Tao: 'Hold on to the center. Be aware when things are out of balance. Stay centered within the Tao. As it acts in the world, the Tao is like the bending of a bow… It adjusts excess and defciency so that there is perfect balance.'40 This is congruent with Palmer's fundamental assertion that: 'Life is the expression of tone. In that sentence is the basic principle of Chiropractic.'41 'In health there is normal tension, known as tone, the normal activity, strength and excitability of the various organs and functions as observed in a state of health … Diseases are conditions resulting from either an excess or defciency of functionating.’42 And, further from the Tao, 'It is always present within you. You can use it any way you want.'43 This brings to mind another of Palmer's fundamentals: 'To express the individualized intelligence which runs all the functions of our bodies ... I chose the name Innate. Innate - born with ... a part or portion of that All Wise, Almighty, Universal Intelligence, the Great Spirit, the Greek's Theos, the Christian's God, the Hebrew's Helohim, the Mahometan's Allah, Hahneman's Vital Force, new thot's Divine Spark, the Indian's Great Spirit, Hudson's Subconscious Mind, the Christian Scientist's All Goodness, the Allopath's Vis Medicatrix Naturae - the healing power of nature.'44 The philosophical model at the basis of the Eastern way might be represented as follows: Humans are part of the Tao, one complete and completely inter-related wholeness. They exist between and as part of heaven and earth, with the earth supplying the physical needs for life. So both the earth and the human should be regarded in the same way, as a garden, and taken care of accordingly. Mind-body dualism, reductionism and mechanism have little place in this perspective. Humans are to be perceived not as machines, but as living microcosms of the living universe, having within them and living subject to the same primeval forces that affect that macrocosm. (This also resonates with Palmer's concepts of universal or macrocosmic and innate or microcosmic intelligence.). Humans and their achievements and civilisations are not distinct from nature. Humans ‘… are nature, manifest as people.'45 There are no sharp distinctions, only relative differences. Disease is not perceived as an entity or an agent that has invaded the body, nor are symptoms seen as isolated experiences, but as to-be-expected results of an imbalance – an excess or defciency, a disharmony – in the person’s relationship with the universe, a deviation from the Tao, the 'Way.'46 Health is seen as a natural, to-be-expected part of living in the right way, in harmony with the Tao. One should not wait to become sick before paying attention to one's health. 'Prevent trouble before it arises. Put things in order before they exist.'47 One should be continually engaged in learning how to be more on the Way and more alive. On this path, self-responsibility gives self-power.48 Only the mediocre doctor waits till the person is ill then applies treatment, the magic bullet.49 The work of the doctor is to teach the Way -- the best way to live. As the universe is seen as a garden, and the person part of that, the Way on the individual level involves caring for the individual as one would a garden, and cultivating her life in accord with the conditions and seasons of life. Although strong measures may occasionally be needed to deal with extreme conditions, generally what is needed is the right preparation, cultivation, watering, fertilisation (feeding) and weeding of the human garden. We cannot stop or change the winds or the weathers we encountered in life, so we should learn to live with them.50 DIFFERENCES There are many major differences between these two models and therefore there are different consequences. The Western model is deliberately exclusive -- it excludes the intangible, as that cannot be contained, examined, studied, controlled, mass-produced, or sold. Its 'Rolls Royce' way of knowing, the randomised controlled trial, intentionally attempts to rule out anything unknown or variable. In contrast, the Eastern model regards the intangible as the MECHANIC OR GARDENER RICHARDS
CJA December 2012
CJA June 2013