Congratulations on your decision to consider a career in chiropractic!
When considering any career, it is important that you learn all that you can about it. Accordingly, it is important to know and understand that while all chiropractors go by the same name, they differ greatly in their philosophy and subsequent approach to patient care.
The two varying schools of thought have come to be known as “straight” and “mixing” and have existed since soon after modern chiropractic was discovered by D.D. Palmer in 1895.
Straight chiropractic, the more traditional and conservative approach, has as its sole objective the correction a vertebral subluxations. A vertebral subluxation is a condition in which one or more spinal segments become misaligned in such a way as to alter nerve function. Since Gray’s Anatomy tells us that it is the purpose of the brain and nerve system to control and coordinate the function of all the tissues, organs and cells of the body, this alteration interferes with the body’s striving to remain healthy under all circumstances. Simply stated, every human being under every circumstance will function at a higher level when free from vertebral subluxation. The straight chiropractic objective is not duplicated by any other health care provider.
A straight chiropractor uses only those methods of examination, analysis and adjusting whose objective is correcting vertebral subluxation. It is a non-therapeutic approach to the practice of chiropractic and, as such, should not be considered an alternative to medicine.
Mixing chiropractic, the more liberal approach, has as its objective the reduction or elimination or disease or symptoms. Spinal manipulations may be used to decompress joints, free fixations or reduce pain. Additionally, therapies such as ultrasound, diathermy, muscle stimulation and laser acupuncture may be utilized along with nutritional counseling, casting/splinting and orthotics. Many mixing chiropractors are also active in trying to expand their scope of practice to include the right to prescribe drugs.
A mixing chiropractor uses any/all methods allowable by law to treat and/or alleviate disease or symptoms, thereby duplicating the objective of the medical doctor. It is a therapeutic approach to the practice of chiropractic and because of its duplicative objective, should be considered an alternative to medicine.
Both are primary health care providers.
It would be in the best interest of any future chiropractor to visit with as many chiropractors (of both schools of thought) as possible observing their practice and how they interact with their patients, so that you can answer for yourself, to the best of your ability, the following question:
How do I want to practice? Straight/non-therapeutic? Mixer/therapeutic?
Once you have visited enough chiropractors and asked enough questions to resolve this in your own mind, it is a logical conclusion to consider attending the chiropractic college that will best prepare you for your chosen professional objective.
Since the IFCO has as its objective the advancement of straight chiropractic and straight chiropractors, we believe that the school that is most consistent with preparing its students to become competent straight chiropractors is
Sherman College of Chiropractic.
Whatever your decision, we congratulate you on your decision to consider a career in chiropractic!