Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Editor’s Note: December 2012

By Maria DiDanieli   

Features Education Profession

"How would you describe chiropractic?”

"How would you describe chiropractic?”

This question was put to me by a chiropractor at a conference I recently attended – and it created an opportunity to reflect on a few items that may be relevant, not just for me, but for the profession in general. Please let me explain.


While it was gratifying that a reader was interested in my perspective, the significance of his query was that he considered my commentary – arguably, based on a certain level of knowledge – potentially meaningful. Furthermore, as this was not a situation where I had the luxury of ruminating over any particulars, it put me in the position of having to distil information I’ve gathered over seven years of working within the chiropractic profession into a cohesive, concise and coherent package that would engage my listener. Finally, because of all the external factors surrounding us that afternoon – the susurration of the myriad technologies at the conference trade show; the variety of practitioners present, some of whom were listening to this exchange; the fact that I’m not to, officially, favour one position over another – I was acutely aware that my response stood against the bigger context of what my listener and I were ensconced in. 

It didn’t take a thunderclap to make me realize that this is exactly the position you DCs find yourselves in daily: when first-time patients walk into your clinics, when you are giving talks within your communities and when you are engaged in activities aimed at furthering chiropractic within society in general. First, your educated opinion is being sought by an invested listener and you’re acutely aware that you could just as easily lose that person’s engagement as gain a new ally. Next, you have a limited window in which to confidently deliver a clear, accurate and relevant message. And, whereas you know that the outside world informs your listeners’ impressions, you also cannot offer a wishy-washy blend of perspectives and expect your audience to treat that as any sort of useful strategy.

And so, the experience with this DC reinforced a few principles for me that I’d like to share with you. In your chosen undertaking (of chiropractic), know your purpose, your vision, the power of what you hold in your hands and your potential to help. Within these, develop your message, but be able to adapt your course according to new knowledge and the needs of your audience rather than shrink from doing so. Understand that this can be different from compromising your core values. Gather knowledge and use it judiciously and in the spirit in which it was generated; avoid exploiting it, against its grain, to serve your purpose. Remember the level of intelligence within each individual in your target group – honour this with pure intentions at all times. Work with other approaches in a collaborative fashion, always remembering that your approach is of value in itself. 

None of these ideas is new. But, I have chosen to revisit these principles because I feel that every chiropractor could aspire to them and, as such, they serve as important elements in my description of the profession. I value the importance of clear, accurate and confident messaging, as well as open dialogue and collaboration, that are, collectively, consistent with the intention of serving those you aspire to serve. I thank, and value, the DCs who do this throughout each year. 

I extend to you all my best wishes and blessings for the year ahead of us.

Bien à vous,

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