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Who’s Right? Chiropractic? Medicine?

The real answer? Either one of them. Depends upon what you want. Use your own judgment! Clarence Gonstead, D.C., put it succinctly:

Medicine is concerned with disease, and what makes a man die. Chiropractic is concerned with health, and what makes a man live.”

NOTE: A fair amount of stuff on this page… all VITAL to your understanding of how chiropractic and medicine play in your beliefs and future actions… might be considered controversial. It will certainly challenge your thinking. So, please, make it all the way to the bottom.

What Is Medicine?

Many people believe, with religious intensity, that medicine is the be-all and end-all of health and disease, that it is absolutely scientific. They believe it is on an unbroken curve upwards, getting better and better, one “breakthrough” after another, and, perhaps, eventually, finding the cure for everything.

Dr. D.D. Palmer, Founder of Chiropractic, wrote this a hundred years ago:

DD PalmerIf sickness and restored health are governed by law, and that law is simple, why does medicine, today, find itself in the predicament of searching, hunting, experimenting, creating new theories, discarding old ones, testing new drugs, seeking new causes, and new cures? Some diseases are on the increase per thousand of population. Those not on the increase still prevail. If medicine had accomplished its objective yesterday, the reverse would be true, sometime, somewhere, within the last 5,000 years of accumulated history of medicine. Can failure be due to a wrong method of approach?

So what is Medicine? It is, by definition, the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Some might even stretch that definition to include, in “Modern Medicine,” the prevention of disease.

The Problem with Medicine

People live on lifetime prescriptions, for diseases or conditions, or “almost-diseases,” that can only be maintained, never cured… high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, depression, insomnia, acid reflux, irritable bowel, heart conditions, fibromyalgia

Everywhere you look, it seems that someone else has been stricken with cancer of some kind. Cancer is the new epidemic. Walkers are now commonplace amongst older folks, as are Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Kids are now assaulted with 71 vaccinations before kindergarten, and commonly, take multiple long-term medications, while they are suffering from an entirely new plague of autism, ADHD and other learning disabilities, depression, diabetes and many others.

Has anyone stopped to ask, “What’s going on?” Not only is Medicine failing in its job to help the sick; it is, on a vast scale, creating new customers. As a society, from the very youngest to the very oldest, we are getting sick from medicine. Hippocrates, “Father of Medicine,” wrote as the first rule for doctors, “primum non nocere” or, “first, do no harm.” Currently, this is clearly not the case. As Dr. D.D. Palmer asked so long ago, “Can failure be due to a wrong method of approach?”

In any other facet of life, people would question something that clearly doesn’t work, and would certainly question something that is doing great harm. Instead, the knee-jerk reaction to anyone bringing up the possibility that medicine may not be what it appears, is to label that person a “nut,” or if they have a good alternative, a “quack.” (Ok, that’s why I have a couple of ducks in the office!)

If you are uncomfortable in handling this questioning of medicine, think on this:

“New ideas are always criticized, not because an idea lacks merit, but because it might turn out to be workable, which would threaten the reputations of many whose opinions conflict with it. Some may even lose their jobs.” – an anonymous physicist

A Challenge on Medical Knowledge

I know, at this point, your mind is going back to the wonders of Medicine, of “what They know now.” As they say in my native New York, “Fugettaboutit!”

Thomas Edison was no dummy. He said:

“We don’t know a millionth of one percent about anything. Until man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so-called ‘scientific knowledge.'”

Then, there was Max Delbruck, who was both a physicist AND a biologist (he taught at my son’s alma mater, Cal Tech):

“Any living cell carries with it the experience of a billion years of experimentation by its ancestors.”

Think about that… Sure, your doctor has a lot of education – four years of college, four years of med school, a year of internship, maybe a couple of years in a fellowship. That’s eleven years. That’s a lot, but not against “a billion years of experimentation.”

A Note on Safety

Then, there’s that nasty issue of safety. This is where medicine really gets sort of cult-like. Anyone who questions the safety of this or that drug or procedure, let alone anyone who brings the whole of medicine into doubt, is viewed as paranoid, at best, and a crackpot or a charlatan, at worst.

Some years ago, before the National Press Club in Washington, Dr. David Lawrence, former CEO of Kaiser Permanente, declared that medical mistakes kill 400,000 people a years in this country. He went on to say, “If passengers were asked to fly with a commercial airline organized like most medical care, they wouldn’t get on the plane.” You can find others, in which the statistics for death from medicine varies from 120,000 to over a million.

If you don’t trust statistics, examine what you know, directly. Virtually everyone has lost loved ones to medical mistakes and indifference. I, myself, count my father, my favorite uncle and two cousins amongst this unnecessary medical death toll. Though people concoct all kinds of charges against Chiropractic, nobody knows of any deaths from Chiropractic, because there just aren’t any. You might want to read the article that I wrote on this subject in the San Francisco Chronicle, Where is the danger in chiropractic?.

A Common Sense Approach

How about bringing some common sense to the Table of Health Care? Medicine insists that it can heal using drugs or surgery, from the outside-in. Well, maybe not.

Nothing happens without the innate intelligence that is within every living thing, from a shrub to a bacterium to a human being.

Health and healing only come from above-down, inside-out. This is natural law. Even a simple drug, like a laxative, requires life to work.

The universe exists and behaves according to natural law, what is called, within Chiropractic Philosophy, Universal Intelligence. This is what my son is spending his life exploring, as a theoretical physicist. That portion of universal law which exists within living things is known as innate intelligence.

As a chiropractor, this is my concern. My goal is to make sure that there are no impediments to your expression of Innate Intelligence.

Whose Intelligence?

Do I claim to be more intelligent then The Doctor? Yes! Not because I know more facts, but because I know what I don’t know.

I trust in the body’s ability to heal itself, and to sustain itself, through the wisdom of its Innate Intelligence. I don’t offer to be your healer, because I know that I cannot do that.

You are your own healer. I am merely a fancy garbage man, highly educated and skilled in taking your “garbage” out. How? The detection, analysis and correction of Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC). This is real, what we refer to as “straight chiropractic.”

What Is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is NOT a part of medicine, nor an alternative medicine, as acupuncture, herbology, naturopathy or homeopathy are.

Chiropractic is completely different. It is the detection, analysis and correction of Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC), interference with your nervous system, interference with your very expression of Life.

When chiropractors do what they are supposed to do… Chiropractic… you are always better off, because you always will be expressing more Life. (That doesn’t mean that each and every symptom or disease will vanish instantly.)

When you hear someone say “I tried chiropractic, but it didn’t work,” that’s an almost sure sign that they did not get chiropractic, even though they went to someone with a “D.C.” after their name. Sadly, many chiropractors, either through poor education, or a pathetic desire “to be accepted,” are putting out third-rate physical medicine instead of chiropractic.

The Bottom Line

So, in the end, you will have to figure out for yourself and your family, what kind of health care works, and what doesn’t. What kind is based upon biological common sense, and what kind is just a succession of fads known as “breakthroughs”? What kind is safe, and what kind is very dangerous?

The bottom line is that this is not a decision for your doctor, or for the government. You shouldn’t choose based what everyone else is doing. It’s up to you.

Am I suggesting that you abandon all your current medical care? No. I am suggesting that you take the time to think, to really think, and then make your own informed judgments.

Call me at (415) 460-6527. I will be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns. I will help you.


Louis pasteurWhat Is Truth?

I urge you to consider the words of Louis Pasteur:

However blazingly clear the demonstrated truth, it has not always had the privilege of being easily accepted.”

Still uncomfortable about this? Consider this:

“The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance. It was the illusion of knowledge.” – Daniel Borstein

A Conversation Between Two “Greats”:

Chirorpactic (Dr. Palmer) VS. Medicine (Dr. Mayo)

by L.Ted Frigard, D.C., Ph.C.
In the early 20th century, Dr. Charles Mayo, physician, surgeon, and co-founder of the famed Mayo Brothers Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, brought his wife to the Dr. B.J. Palmer Chiropractic Research Clinic in Davenport, Iowa.

Dr. Mayo had taken his wife to other physicians, including doctors in Europe, all distinguished diagnosticians and specialists. Dr. P.L. Poulsen of the BJPCC staff informed me that those medical specialists had agreed upon a diagnosis – osteochondromatosis of the knee joint. They had tried everything medical to heal Mrs. Mayo, but all treatment had failed.

Dr. Mayo brought his wife to Dr. Palmer for his chiropractic professional services. He addressed Dr. Palmer as Mr. Palmer. To this Dr. Palmer replied: “This is a case of Greek meeting Greek; a test of steel against steel; a test of our simple chiropractic principle and practice against your complex medical theories and experiments.”

Dr. Palmer ordered spinographs taken of Mrs. Mayo’s spine.BJ-3 piece

“Mr. Palmer, why are you only taking spinal x-rays?” queried Dr. Mayo.
“Because, we are going to locate the vertebral subluxation cause of her sickness, so we can correctly adjust it.” replied Dr. Palmer.

Dr. Mayo rejoined, “There is no such thing, and if there were, you couldn’t adjust it by hand only.”

“Dr. Mayo,” Dr. Palmer said to the world-renowned clinician, “while you are here, we are going to ask you to keep your mouth shut.”

Dr. Palmer performed readings with the neurocalometer and neurocalograph, then analyzed the patient’s spinographs. Afterward, he gave her an upper cervical chiropractic adjustment to release spinal cord compression from the vertebral occlusion in her spinal canal.

After the chiropractic adjustment, Dr. Mayo asked, “Is that all you are going to do? What is wrong with my wife? Where is she sick? What is your diagnosis?” Dr. Palmer replied, “We don’t know. What is more, we don’t care.” “You are a very ignorant man,” retorted Dr. Mayo. “We are ignorant of everything you think we should know,” countered B.J.

After a pause, Dr. Palmer spoke again. “You, too, are a very ignorant man. You are ignorant of everything we think you should know about the cause of disease in the backbone of sick people. We know cause; you know there is a difference or you wouldn’t be here. That’s the difference in your approach, which has done your wife no good, and our approach, which will get your wife well.” “That remains to be seen,” Dr. Mayo replied.

Dr. Palmer continued: “I am ignorant of everything you think I should know about disease of the sick. You know all this, and what good has it done your wife? The fact that you brought her here proves your methods have failed. Because of reports of the success of our methods of vertebral subluxation and adjustment, you brought your wife here to us.”

Mrs. Mayo received chiropractic care for several months and went home well. Dr. Mayo stated it was impossible for her to get well with what Palmer did, yet he also admitted she was well.

Dr. Palmer expounded: “Medical doctors are concerned in knowing everything about effects, while chiropractors are vitally concerned in the cause in the backbone and how to correct it. What a difference between medical care and chiropractic care! A patient can come to the B.J. Palmer Chiropractic Clinic and be deaf, dumb, and blind – not telling or indicating anything – and we could and would locate the cause of whatever, wherever he had it; we adjust him and send him home well. It is as simple as that.”

I was on the staff of the B.J. Palmer Chiropractic Clinic in 1953-54. Although “Dr. Charlie” had passed away in 1939, during that time, 60 to 80 percent of our patients were referred by “someone” on the staff of the Mayo Clinic.

BJ Palmer,DC,PhC. Volume XXXII.
PL Poulsen,DC,BJPCC. Personal account.

L. Ted Frigard,DC,PhC
Beverly Hills, CA

Safety, Or Lack Thereof?

After a particularly vicious public attack against Chiropractic (amongst a long line of such unfounded attacks for that last 118 years) in 2003, rather than letting it stand, I wrote an op ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, Where is the danger in chiropractic?.

Bottom line… there is none, ESPECIALLY in comparison to Medicine. Read this, and share it with others, please!

Consider your own experiences. How many loved ones, over the years, have you lost to medical mistakes and indifference? How many to chiropractic mistakes? I know the answer to the second question… ZERO. I will leave you to think on the first question, and then, to think. Might it be time to open up to a different, safer, more effective way of thinking?

Anybody who gets well from medicine is a ‘miracle.’ Every person who gets well from an adjustment is the normal action of a natural law. B. J. Palmer, D.C., Ph.C., “Developer of Chiropractic”


Chiropractic vs Medicine at The Harte of Chiropractic | (415) 460-6527