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Chiropractic Comes of Age: A Reflection on the Thirty-three Principles of Chiropractic as a Foundation for a Contemporary Philosophy

Janice Hughes B.Sc., M.Sc., D.C., LCP(hon)


Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ November 2002 ~ Volume 4 ~ Number 4 ~ Pages 111-113


Chiropractic is based on a philosophical construct focusing on health, while our current health care system is built on a Newtonian model that focuses on the treatment of disease. Despite this fact, some professionals in the traditional health care system are beginning to explore the concept of wholeness, recognizing the presence of a universal energy as it expresses itself within the physical body. Still others acknowledge the existence of an organizing and central intelligence, one that is capable of leading us to a new experience of health and fulfillment. These changing attitudes in the field of traditional health care lead us to believe that chiropractic is coming of age, for they seem to reflect the insights of our chiropractic forefathers, especially those of B. J. Palmer who was writing in the first part of the last century. In 1948, R. W. Stephenson set out B. J’s Thirty-three Principles and, despite the fact that some practitioners today question the need for a chiropractic philosophy, these principles continue to resonate for practitioners in the 21st century. Reflecting on the thirty-three principles one by one, I proceed to incorporate them with contemporary scientific thought, challenging members of the chiropractic profession to use these principles as a foundation for a strong personal and professional philosophy, which can be clearly and uniquely expressed in today’s terms.

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