By Stew Bittman, D.C.
The anniversary of chiropractic's founding just recently passed quietly by for the 108th time. No ticker tape parades. Again. Perhaps the hope for celebrations in honor of the event are beyond the realm of the reasonable, but you would hope there might at least be a few firecrackers set off or something. Alas, not many folks out there apparently gave a royal crapola, and who could blame them. Why get excited about another therapy? Another moneymaking mishmash of modalities? Who could imagine firing up the barbecue in honor of a TENS unit? Or packing up the kids and the picnic basket and the SUV to commemorate the birth of a profession that may or may not have an answer to non-neurological low back pain? I, for one, would rather stay home and avoid the red ants.
Things might be different if things were different. We've seen a public celebration of chiropractic in Panama, when the mayor of Panama City gave Luis and Lina Ocon the key to the city. Why there and not here? How could that have happened without public relations firms or practice managers or franchise companies or national organizations or research grants? Or even Arnold Schwarzenegger? Why do you and I (some of the few that by grace or by accident have been offered at least a glimpse of the big picture of chiropractic) so often look for the salvation of principled chiropractic from the outside in?
It seems like a paradox, but the only salvation for chiropractic as we love it lies within you and I. In our passion for the principle, and in our surrender to it. In the clarity of our vision, and in the determination to live and share that vision. As Gandhi said, we "must become the change we wish to see in the world." Chiropractic needs to be born again, and that birth begins in you and I. The world needs that rebirth. You and I have been prepared by Innate to be the midwives. The transition could be painful, as they often are, and yet as we all become the change, it could also be natural, drug-free, and beautiful.
There is no doubt in my mind that in Panama the major difference was within the heads and hearts of the chiropractors and helpers there. We became the change; we became love and truth and service. And folks flocked to us. It is such a beautiful and exceedingly simple lesson. The same one Gandhi was talking about. The same one he mastered and utilized to get 400 million people behind him to accomplish an impossible cause. A lesson that apparently is too damned simple for a bunch of intellectual giants like us, who have let this magnificent gift of chiropractic crawl to the very brink of becoming indistinguishable from, and subsequently swallowed up by, medicine.
Sorry about that. Chiropractic's birthday is getting as depressing as my own. Not really depression, just a tinge of sadness. Depression leads to inaction; sadness motivates me toward change. And I know where that change must take place.
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Dr. Stew Bittman maintains a box practice in South Lake Tahoe, CA along his wife Hillary and daughter Ari. He has a video, "The Mission of Chiropractic" that is available for purchase through Planet Chiropractic. In his video, recorded at one of his weekly evening talks, Stew communicates the big picture of chiropractic - the ability to express our life's full potential free from interference.