Understanding Changes in Chiropractic

Every profession starts with a basic idea that expands into philosophy and eventually becomes an art. We use this philosophy to provide ideas about where research can and should be done in modern times. This research further refines and solidifies the philosophy. In my opinion, chiropractic has a great deal of research supporting the benefits for various conditions, and the frequency treatment should be provided. In general, I wish medical research would stop comparing treatments to placebo. Think of blood pressure medications and supplements. There are well over 20+ treatments for that condition alone. They all have been found beneficial when compared to placebo. I think medicine should now compare the treatments to determine the most beneficial. I hope they compare techniques and the various add-on treatments to determine which technique and combination are the most effective in chiropractic. Currently, it seems to be based on the doctor’s experience.   

Here are a few of the changes that have taken place, are in progress, and may come in the future:

Patient Management:

In the past, you had an ache, walked in for an adjustment, and then just came back. If you have a headache, the medical doctor gave you a pill, and you went on your way. Medicine is moving beyond treating the symptoms. You now get a thorough exam to determine the problem. This is followed by outcome forms to track your progress. Periodic re-exams are given to evaluate your progress and make changes to optimize improvement. Once care is completed, you make periodic wellness checks to help prevent illness and problems from occurring when possible.


Muscles have an electrical activity that varies when relaxed or in a spasm mode. This is detected using a device, and the information is used to indicate what areas need treatment and determine the amount of hypertonicity or hypotonicity in the area. This is repeated to verify treatment effectiveness. The effectiveness of this therapy is currently being debated


Techniques have continued to change and progress. Initially, you saw Craniosacral, Thompson, and Gonstead techniques, and they laid the foundation for progress. Diversified and the CBP variation are the newer techniques that have come with the advances in technique. Activator instrument adjustments are still used mainly for those that are very sensitive, elderly, or with infants.

Subluxation Validation

With further research, the subluxation has changed from the joint being out of place to a cellular level where local pain killers are released, vertebral disc pressures are decreased, and recently they found that an adjustment can affect your brain (see www.heidihaavik.com).

X-Ray Technology

X-rays have gone from being taken on every patient to just if indicated, and most recently, it appears to have returned to the every patient model. With newer technologies, radiation exposure has dropped tremendously, and a report shows the progress and measurements.


Chiropractors and medical doctors hated each other and constantly said the other was wrong. This still occurs on occasion, but the younger doctors are learning more about the benefits of integrating. You are starting to see the medical fieldwork together, the prize-winning recipe.


Genetics has been increasing and will become more common. People seem to be familiar with www.23andme.com, but this same technology has trickled into the functional medicine, naturopathic, and chiropractic fields as well. We can now obtain a blueprint of what illnesses you are predisposed to and customize treatments, diets, and supplements. This is still in its infancy, though, so if your doctor says you need 20 supplements or $500 a month’s worth, they may just be trying to sell you and do not fully understand the information. Also, genetics gives us the blueprint of how your body SHOULD be built. Now they are looking into proteomics and metabolomics to see if the building process for your body is following the blueprint or if your environment has led it down another path. Once this is done, your preventative screenings can be modified and your treatments more accurately changed.

Stem Cells & PRP

It is a remarkable therapy to take a cell and place it in your problem area and then tell it to change into whatever cell is needed to fix the problem. This has had excellent results so far and is becoming more widespread. Unfortunately, I am not seeing the quality version of this being utilized. Instead, cheap, ineffective products are being used. Homeopathic alternatives are popping up, and even energetic options. These are all being passed off as the real deal. At this time, I cannot recommend that you obtain these treatments. I would give this another five years before looking at it being more affordable and, in more locations, ridding the field of more snake oil salesmen, which seems to be the majority at present.

A wealth of knowledge and passion is brought with dual degrees in Naturopathic and Chiropractic. A proud family man, he is devoted to his wife and two children.