The further I go along in my understanding of Chiropractic, the more I see that "3 is the key." A large majority of the principles and practices of Chiropractic are configured into three parts. All three parts must be known and comprehended before the full picture can come into view. The first example: the Chiropractic Triune of Life. The Triune understands that life is expressed through the meeting of three main factors: intelligence, force, and matter. Simply put- life is the expression of intelligence through matter. The ‘through’ part represents force. Another word for force is energy. The intelligence of the Universe utilizes energy to give organization to matter. Another example: Chiropractic itself is founded on three main disciplines: science, art, and philosophy. Chiropractic is a science, art, and philosophy of things natural, or pertaining to nature. D.D. Palmer defined this unity right at the beginning: “Science is knowledge reduced to law and embodied in a system. Art relates to something to be done. Science teaches us to know and art to do. The philosophy of a science is the understanding of its principles.” Stephenson later extrapolated on this: “The definition of Chiropractic states that it is a philosophy, science and art of things natural. “What it is, how it is done, and why.” Science tells us what it is; art tells us how it is done, and philosophy, the “why” of the other two. According to that, then philosophy must tell us about both science and art.”
A Chiropractor's main objective could be broken down into three parts: to locate, analyze, and adjust a vertebral subluxation. A vertebral subluxation occurs at the occipito-atlanto-axial region of the spine; three specific bones being involved. When these top bones of the neck slip and get locked out of normal alignment- the channel that surrounds the brainstem gets smaller and compresses this delicate nerve tissue. This compression effects the brainstem and its ability to send functional information out clearly. A vertebral subluxation results from a failure of the body to adapt to some stress or combination of stresses that continuously impact our bodies on a daily basis. The stresses are an unlimited combination of three general types: physical, chemical and emotional.
When we apply the philosophy, science, and art of Chiropractic to our practice of adjusting subluxations, we again consider 3 main questions: the When, the Where, and the How. When is a subluxation a subluxation? Where is the subluxation? And how do we adjust a subluxation once we know the when and where? B.J. Palmer labeled the Chiropractor who follows this rule of 3 in his book The Subluxation Specific The Adjustment Specific as the “SPGH-NCM-HIO Chiropractor” (another three) The ‘Where’ comes from the SPGH, or Spinograph (X-ray), the ‘When’ comes from the NCM, or NeuroCaloMeter, and the ‘How’ comes from the HIO, or Hole-In-One Adjustment.
Furthermore in our practice application, we look for 3 patterned scans or tests to determine if a subluxation is present. We then take 3 Spinographs or X-ray films of the spine to analyze a 3 directional bone misalignment component of the subluxation. We then concern ourselves with correcting that 3 directional subluxation with our adjustment. Three really is the magic number to health! All these ‘3’s’ are like a three-legged stool; all must be in play if it has a chance to stand on its own. The specificity of Chiropractic is not only key in the figurative sense: but it literally is the key that can unlock health.