Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Editor’s note: June 2010

By Maria DiDanieli   

Features Education Profession

When you’re ripe, you’re rotten, when you’re green, you’re golden.”

When you’re ripe, you’re rotten, when you’re green, you’re golden.”

I recently heard this adage while at the 2010 Canadian instalment of Parker Seminars in Montreal. It was the undercurrent in Dr. Stephen LaFay’s presentation, titled “Inspiration, the heart of the Chiropractic message.”  Dr. LaFay utilized it to espouse a state of evolving paradigms, knowledge and practice over the delusion of claiming a pinnacle on which one can safely expect to remain eternally unchallenged.


Though seemingly esoteric, it is easy to fathom how this philosophy is actually widely relevant and can encompass scientific knowledge, especially as it is translated into clinical health-care practice. Without necessarily deep-sixing established wisdom that experts in various fields worked so hard to arrive at, it is possible to retain the humility to recognize that paradigms – no matter how sophisticated or entrenched in a group’s habits – are but a stop along the journey that defines all humanity. This mindset is not meant to be defeatist or to point fingers; on the contrary, agreeing to proceed as though we are still “green,” in the scope of all that is possible, can open up the opportunity to create increasingly effective strategies based on fresh discoveries. Action along these lines could refocus approaches, thus bridging the gaps in therapeutic efficacy that plague all health professions, or even leading to prevention strategies that redefine our health-care needs.

Our June issue of Canadian Chiropractor is themed rehabilitation and pain management, and, accordingly, our writers, chiropractic and otherwise, offer a variety of approaches to aid with this very complicated area of the profession. But what I found interesting is how, in many of their articles, the notion surfaces of an evolving attitude toward one of the fundamental considerations within this topic, namely, inflammation. Historically labelled an insufferable antagonist, and attacked accordingly, new information is causing inflammation to now be projected as having a “healthy” component, the workings of which are to be observed and respected in one’s approach to the patient’s condition. (Here is a perfect example of how breaking free of old paradigms can offer genuine patient-centred opportunity while benefiting the practitioner’s progress.) 

The state of being open to evolving knowledge and paradigms, is, in itself, a dynamic proposition.  It requires a constant shifting within the individual’s personal mindset along many vectors, including the purpose, strategies and even ethical considerations that will define that individual’s actions. Again, this does not mean that experience must be rendered obsolete – on the contrary, it must be drawn from in order to fully understand what the next step must be.  But, as long as the process is in motion, the possibility of becoming “rotten” – i.e., stagnant, ineffectual and/or disillusioned – can be held at bay. 

Also incorporated in the talks at Parker Montreal was the notion that the “bottom line” – as defined by the philosophy of evolving our learning, discovery and practice paradigms – shifts from interest-centred wheel-spinning to patient-centred forward movement. I humbly add to that idea now: another consequence is that the last word shifts from “bottom line” to “hope.” 

Bien à vous,

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