Have you ever heard the phrase ‘alternative medicine’? Alternative medicine is defined as “any range of medical therapies that are not regarded as orthodox by the medical profession, such as herbalism, homeopathy, and acupuncture.” Many will say Chiropractic fits into this definition and should be labeled as such. But the fact of the matter is: Chiropractic is no more an ‘alternative medicine’ than medicine is an ‘alternative chiropractic’.
It must first be realized that Chiropractic is not within any range of medical therapies. Why is Chiropractic not considered a medical therapy? A medical therapy is a prescribed act designed to treat a disease through some type of remedial process, whether it be orthodox or unorthodox in nature. Chiropractic is not designed to treat a disease. Chiropractic is not designed to treat any disease. And since Chiropractic does not treat disease, it is not considered an alternative medicine.
It must also be understood that even though Chiropractic is not an alternative medicine, Chiropractic should not be considered an alternative TO medicine. Chiropractic is not meant to take the place of medicine. And to be fair, medicine is not meant to take the place of Chiropractic. They are not complementary, auxiliary, integrative, or substitutive. Chiropractic was developed to be a separate and distinct health service.
Why does the majority of society label Chiropractic as an alternative medicine? I think the major problem stems from the false identity that medicine is synonymous with health. And with that false pretense, anything that falls outside the approved orthodox medical model, is considered alternative medicine. Health though is not owned or controlled by the medical model. Health does not come from a pill, powder, or potion. And to continue the thread of fairness, Chiropractic does not control health either. Health does not come from an adjustment. Health is controlled by the individual’s ability to adapt to itself and its environment. Any service that aims to improve health, first must try and improve this adaptation quality.
There are many different actions that are beneficial to our health that don’t fit within the orthodox medical model. Do you call your morning prayer/meditation an alternative medicine? Or how about your afternoon racquetball game an alternative medicine? Do you consider eating apples an alternative medicine? An apple a day is suppose to keep the [medical] doctor away right? Are you practicing alternative medicine if you adhere to this proverb? If you attempt to stay away from medicine, you must be at odds with it correct? It would be safe to say, that in general, the majority of people don’t think that such practices such as meditation, physical activity, or nutritional eating are alternative medicine. All these actions though are beneficial lifestyle choices that can improve your health and well-being. And this is where Chiropractic fits into the picture. Chiropractic is a healthy lifestyle choice, not a disease treating option. The more you choose health, the less disease will be an option.