By Gina Flores
I just received a chiropractic adjustment. I regularly visit a chiropractor to manage my back pain and sciatica. But even when I am feeling great, I make it part of my weekly routine to get my spine examined and adjusted so that I can stay healthy. I have been doing this for awhile and it’s made a huge difference in my life.
People will occasionally ask me why I go to the chiropractor when I am not hurting. Truth be told, it’s one of the best preventive measures you can take to guard against diseases.
I think the story below explains it quite well. It’s my favorite chiropractic story and it also brings to light some of the political aspects that are tied to the chiropractic profession.
The Town of Sickville
By Dr. John Reizer
Once upon a time, there was a small town named Sickville. Sickville was an economically thriving community and its entire financial well-being was dependent on a number of health care companies that regularly provided services to the many citizens living within its borders.
According to the local census bureau, Sickville had a population of 2,000. Approximately 450 of the townspeople were health care practitioners. The remainder of the residents worked in other health related occupations.
Many of Sickville’s citizens were staff members at one of six local hospitals. Others drove the 25 delivery trucks that routinely carried medical supplies to 35 community drugstores. The remainder of the population worked for the locally owned ambulance company. The small town proudly operated 50, state-of-the-art, patient transport vehicles.
Almost every resident of Sickville earned a good living. 90 percent of the population had no mortgage or car payments. The people of Sickville seemed to have plenty of money to buy whatever they wanted, and many of them had become wealthy.
Unfortunately, most of Sickville’s population was not very healthy. The citizens couldn’t enjoy the money they were earning. People were often too sick to go on vacations and take part in other fun activities. Most of the townspeople were challenged with chronic colds and recurring bouts of influenza. Others suffered with autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A growing number of citizens had recently developed more serious illnesses, like Cancer and Leukemia.
Very few of the town’s residents had all of their body parts intact. In Sickville it was considered a normal practice to have elective surgery for precautionary measures. Useless organs, that often caused problems later in a person’s life like gallbladders, appendices, and tonsils, were routinely removed by one of the town’s 56 surgeons. Men and women were also regularly encouraged to have vasectomies and hysterectomies after the age of 40. These were common sense health practices, routinely taught and reinforced in the Sickville Public School System.
A very small number of individuals, living in Sickville (about 50), were homeless people. They were the ones that didn’t have an official disease yet; but it was only a matter of time before they would be diagnosed with one. Every resident living in Sickville became unhealthy sooner or later. That’s why there was always such a big demand for medical doctors and other health care services.
The townspeople referred to the homeless people as the poor and unfortunate ones that roamed around looking for handouts. None of them could afford quality health care services, so they missed out on the many disease prevention programs that the more affluent citizens took advantage of.
A new town ordinance had recently been passed requiring every citizen living in Sickville to visit a medical physician at least once per month. The regular medical visits ensured all residents, except for the homeless people, were up-to-date on vaccines and other preventive health care protocols that had been established by the local medical board.
Preventive care was a big deal in Sickville. The town’s medical doctors had determined, many years earlier, the only way to prevent newer and deadlier diseases was to continue to develop and administer an assortment of vaccines. The medical board had declared an all out war on sickness.
Another new law required the residents of Sickville to proudly display their diagnosed diseases on the front of their driver’s licenses. The local medical board felt it was important for the town council members to keep track of all illnesses that were currently active within the community. This was because officially diagnosed diseases translated into profitable revenue streams for the entire town.
One September afternoon, something very unusual happened in Sickville. A new doctor moved into the only vacant building in town. This practitioner was different from the other doctors. He prescribed no medicines; administered no vaccines; performed no surgeries, and he didn’t wear a white coat. He called himself a chiropractor.
Quickly, the chiropractor opened his professional office inside the once vacant building. The people of Sickville were very curious about the new doctor. He had only brought with him a few chairs for his waiting room and a strange looking table that he used to work on his patients.
At first, the chiropractor only took care of the community’s homeless people. He bartered with his patients instead of charging them a fee. In return, the patients painted his office and helped him in other ways. He’d ask his patients to lie on the strange table and would feel their backs. Every once in a while he’d push his hands down, forcefully, onto their spines. That’s, pretty much, all the chiropractor would do.
It didn’t take very long for gossip to get out to the other people of Sickville. The gossip began traveling fast about how the chiropractor practiced a strange brand of medicine. Many townspeople thought he was crazy – a quack!
After awhile, some of the other citizens in town began going to the chiropractor. They enjoyed visiting him because he taught them interesting concepts they’d never heard before from other health care practitioners.
The chiropractor explained, to his new patients, how the human brain sent important messages to the entire body through the spinal cord and how the spine protected the spinal cord. He also explained how spinal adjustments helped to realign the spinal bones when they became misaligned from one another. The chiropractor told his patients that once the spinal bones were properly aligned, the brain’s messages could get through to the entire body and health could be restored naturally, without taking drugs.
The chiropractor also explained that when the nervous system worked properly, and wasn’t being interfered with by misaligned spinal bones, the townspeople would be healthier, and they wouldn’t have to surgically remove their body parts. He explained that the removal of tonsils, appendices, and gallbladders was not, really, a smart thing to do. The chiropractor also went on to explain that receiving vaccines was a waste of time and that the shots harmed their immune systems. The chiropractor told the members of the community that many of the harmful diseases the people of Sickville were experiencing were coming from the preventive vaccines and that vaccinations, in general, were preventing good health from being expressed in their bodies.
A year after the chiropractor opened his office, many of the townspeople were visiting him for spinal adjustments on a weekly basis. 900 of the residents were now under regular chiropractic care. The new chiropractic patients stopped visiting the other doctors and they stopped buying prescription drugs and getting vaccinations. They also stopped scheduling surgeries to remove their organs.
Because people weren’t visiting medical doctors, the physicians began moving out of Sickville to look for work in other nearby communities. The surgeons left too because no one wanted to have their body parts removed.
It didn’t take very long for the six hospitals to feel the effects of a decrease in business. All but one of the facilities had to close its doors. The one hospital that remained open had a lot of vacant space and decided to rent the empty parts of the building to the new chiropractor. He opened a satellite office and hired 5 additional chiropractors to help take care of all the new chiropractic patients.
Everyone in Sickville was beginning to get well. Almost all the diseases the townspeople had experienced, for so many years, had miraculously disappeared.
Unfortunately, as luck would have it, the community of Sickville began to experience financial hard times. A recession had, mysteriously, hit the entire area. It soon turned into an economic depression. The town was only able to keep one ambulance operating, and 33 of the 35 drugstores had to close due to low sales. Financially speaking, it was a terrible time.
At one point, the economy got so bad that quite a few townspeople lost their jobs. Many were forced to take out mortgages on their homes in order to pay for living expenses. After awhile, residents couldn’t make their mortgage payments and lost homes to foreclosure. The previously wealthy citizens of Sickville were broke and forced to live in shelters with the other homeless people.
One night, the local members of the medical board got together and held a secret meeting. They discussed, at length, the town’s unhealthy economy. They blamed the community’s financial problems on the new chiropractor that had moved into town. They concluded it was his radical and unscientific ideas that had destroyed most of the health care businesses in Sickville.
The medical board conducted a vote and unanimously decided to outlaw the practice of chiropractic in Sickville. They rationalized that the practice of chiropractic was based on pseudoscience and was a direct threat to the health and well-being of all citizens. In one secret meeting, the medical board had solved the town’s biggest problem.
The very next day, the chiropractor cleared out his office and left Sickville. The townspeople were upset at first, but they soon forgot about the strange doctor with the funny table that pressed on backs.
A new practitioner immediately moved into the chiropractor’s vacant office. He was a real doctor that prescribed drugs; performed surgeries; administered vaccines, and most important, he wore a white coat.
Within a few months, people started getting sick all over again. Soon after that, the medical doctors returned to town. Even the surgeons came back to Sickville. People were losing their health rapidly and desperately needed to have useless organs removed. The hospital system seemed to expand overnight. Inside of a year, the six hospitals were back in business and filled to capacity. There was even talk about building a seventh one.
The ambulance company was busy again also, just like old times. They managed to increase their fleet of patient transport vehicles to 53. People were sicker than ever. In fact, there were so many different epidemics taking place at the same time, the medical board decided to purchase three times the normal amount of vaccines for the hospitals and drugstores.
Sickville had definitely returned to the way it was before the strange doctor, who pressed on backs, had come to town. People were so ill; they were dying faster than any other time in the town’s recorded history.
The only consolation for the Sickville townspeople was that the economy had finally begun to recover. Because the citizens were so ill, they had generated revenue streams like never before. Almost every citizen managed to climb out of debt. Money was changing hands like crazy and the residents of Sickville were able to buy back their homes and purchase new cars. The depression was officially over and the economy was healthier than ever.