I don’t get this question often, but I get it enough to warrant a blog post on the topic. Someone will have a sore shoulder, achy knee, feet that hurt, an elbow that’s stiff… they come in for a visit and ask, “do you work on shoulders?”
The quick answer is, “no” but of course, I will elaborate on why. I will start out by saying that there is nothing inherently wrong with manipulating extremities (I say manipulate because I reserve the term adjustment for specific correction of vertebral subluxation). There is a time and place for extremity manipulation.
Chiropractors have one objective: locate, analyze, and facilitate in the correction of vertebral subluxation. Vertebral subluxation only takes place in the spine, therefore I focus all of my energy and intent on that singular craft.
I want to be a master of my craft. When you try to be everything to everyone, you end up being mediocre at a bunch of things. I want to be an expert in adjusting which means I need to be specific, selective, and incredibly intent on what I do in my practice. I need to focus all of my energy and intent on that singular objective.
My objective is not to make people’s body parts hurt less. My objective is not to treat, heal, or cure any issue they may be having. This isn’t because I don’t care about that; I don’t want anybody to hurt or suffer, but I can’t be everything to everyone, and the most powerful thing I can do for a person is remove subluxation.
Again, there is a time and place for extremity manipulation, but it is not within the realm of my practice, and that’s okay. Just as exercise/personal training is not within the realm of my practice, diet is not within the realm, mental health is not within the realm… It becomes a slippery slope when the chiropractor begins to stray from the singular thing that sets chiropractors apart from every single profession (vertebral subluxation). The profession loses its identity and confuses the public as to what we do.
It might not seem like a big deal for a chiropractor to pull on your ankle, or push on your elbow, but in doing so they are saying that they are here to help your aches and pains, because that is why people want their extra-spinal joints manipulated.
Chiropractors have become known as back and neck pain doctors in the eye of the public, and it is because of simple things like manipulating extremities. It teaches people that you are here to pop and crack the places where they are achey or hurt. That is not the objective of chiropractic. That is more akin to the objective of medicine or physical therapy.
Chiropractors seem to have become the catch all profession for everything wellness, and for whatever reason, they seem to want to incorporate all things wellness into their practice. They are usually good things, but they aren’t chiropractic. I think it’s because chiropractors don’t fully understand the power of what they do (I blame the chiropractic schools for this), and therefore feel inferior, and the need to add other things into their practice to make them feel better about how they are helping people.
Chiropractors should become an expert in locating, analyzing, and correcting vertebral subluxation (LACVS). If they want to become an expert in something else, that’s fine, but don’t make it a part of your practice, and let the public become confused about what chiropractic is. We have one thing that sets us apart from every other profession, one thing that makes us unique and distinct: LACVS.
Chiropractic is powerful, and it is enough. Allowing someone’s body to vibrate and function at a higher potential is just about the greatest thing you can do for them. It is enough. It is something to be proud of, something worthy, something powerful. Don’t be offended if I won’t pop your hip or shoulder, be thankful that I am honing my craft and put all of my energy and intent on delivering the best chiropractic adjustment possible for you. Be wary of the “everything to/for everybody” chiropractor.
If you are looking for a chiropractor that focuses on chiropractic, and doesn’t mix in an unnecessary tests or procedures, who doesn’t try to upsell you on care, or try to convince you to buy their expensive pillow and supplements, then I’m your chiropractor.
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Much love! Until next time,