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What Is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic science is an approach to human health that was developed through extensive anatomical study in which the elements of the human system, particularly the spine and nervous system continue to be examined in an effort to understand the relationship between the state of those anatomical elements and optimal human health. The basic premise of chiropractic science is that abnormalities and misalignments of the spine, defined as subluxation(s) in chiropractic science, can and do distort and interrupt the normal function of the nervous system and may create serious negative health consequences.
The correction and/or reduction of subluxation(s) through the adjustment of spinal structures can remove nervous system interference and restore the optimal function of the body. Essential to basic chiropractic theory is the concept of the inherent ability of the human body to effectively heal itself, comprehend the environment and function in a normal manner. This concept is important since chiropractic perceives spinal subluxation(s) as barriers to normal function and obstacles to the body’s innate intelligence.
Chiropractic has enjoyed over a century of lively and serious scientific and conceptual debate. The chiropractic profession has benefited enormously from this on-going self-examination and reality testing based on the scientific and research record. The outcome of those years of critical evaluation and debate, which remain on-going, has been a strong consensus regarding the nature of chiropractic science and practice and the key definitions that set chiropractic apart as a distinct, unique health care science and practice. This consensus is best depicted by the unanimous adoption of a paradigm statement by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, International Chiropractors Association, American Chiropractic Association, Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards, Council on Chiropractic Education, the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations. This paradigm statement reads as follows:
Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.
The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, Doctors of Chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.
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