Chiropractic is principled. Principled in what? Well, let’s start by looking at the definition of the word ‘principle.’ The word principle is defined as “a professed rule of action or conduct; a fundamental law or truth from which others are derived; a fundamental tenet.” In my opinion, if you are going to conduct yourself professionally, you must affirm your alliance to that profession and the fundamental tenets that your life’s work is based on. Specifically: Do you practice what you preach and preach what you practice?
Chiropractic is based on professed truths that serve as the foundation for the systems and actions that the profession uses for its code of conduct. Chiropractic has 33 principles. Even though our principles are separated into 33 individual statements, there is a fundamental truth that flows throughout them all. From Dr. Stephenson’s Chiropractic Textbook it is stated that “a fundamental principle of Chiropractic is a statement of the quality or actions of intelligence in matter which will include any and all circumstances that may arise in study.” From this idea comes our ‘a priori,’ or “first cause” statement; our Major Premise Principle: A Universal Intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence. The next 32 principles are then deduced from this principle.
I think it is this Major Premise that humbles Chiropractic. The idea understands that there is an encompassing wisdom found in nature that keeps the universe, and everything in it, organized and coordinated. This wisdom is grandeur than Chiropractic and more importantly, the Chiropractor. We don’t start with “Chiropractic is the universal intelligence in all matters” as our Major Premise. In fact, the word ‘Chiropractic’ is only used twice in the 33 principles (Number 2) and is only used as a backdrop to help define the expression of this Universal Intelligence from a Chiropractic standpoint; The Chiropractic Meaning of Life: The expression of this intelligence through matter is the Chiropractic meaning of life.
There’s something bigger, stronger, faster, and smarter than us in the world. Some might read into this and say our principle is trying to define God; but that is not the job of our Chiropractic Major Premise. Chiropractic makes the statement that the universe exists in such a way that displays intelligence, and because of this intelligence, the universe continues to exist because of it. You don’t need to be religious to believe in this statement. This comes merely from a respectful position and not one of worship.
This non-religious point of Chiropractic was further dissected by Dr. B.J. Palmer when defining Chiropractic; Chiropractic is a Philosophy, Science, and Art of things Natural: “The words ‘things natural’ are designedly used to exclude and eliminate any intervention of a supernatural or divine character. In other words, to exclude miracles in the strict sense of the word; to distinguish Chiropractic from religion or any healing of a miraculous kind.” Natural, or nature, is synonymous to the word ‘universe’ when speaking in Chiropractic terms.
An example of Universal Intelligence is gravity. Gravity is the same today as it was yesterday. Gravity is a universal truth. Truth from my opinion, is the showcase of intelligence. Furthermore, gravity was gravity before we labeled it ‘gravity’ and would have been or continued to be gravity if we didn’t even define it as ‘gravity’ in the first place. Nothing we have done with our educated minds has improved or changed gravity as a law. We did not intelligently create the law of gravity. All we have done is observed and compartmentalized certain aspects of the universe to fit a definition we have labeled as “the law gravity.”
Because we start with something larger than us in Chiropractic, we must be humble and respect our world and the things that comprise it. That is why Chiropractic is a Philosophy, Science and Art of things natural and not of things unnatural. I, as the Chiropractor, need to follow the example of Chiropractic and be just as humble, just as simple, and just as dedicated in its application.