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Okay, I don’t know if this should be a conversation between myself and my parish priest but I sometimes feel some anonimity of the internet helps, especially because what I do is community based. So, I hope that you will give your opinions.

I can’t decide if something is a violation of the commandment of “not having false gods before me”/“idol worship.”

It’s a bit of long story so bear with me and I’ll try to be as impartial as I can. I am a chiropractor. Probably many of you have been - it is fairly mainstreamed at this point. I think I am good at it; well, many of my patients think so anyway 🙂 . However, deeply rooted in our history is some beleifs I have found troubling, because there are a certain number, bigger than you might imagine that adhere to these beleifs even today, in modern 2004.

Some of my colleagues beleive in 2 concepts they call - “universal intelligence” and “innate intelligence.” The former is kind of the politically correct acronym for God, which I can understand so if one is Buddhist, they can relate. Innate intelligence is the entity inside our body that causes us heal. Doctor’s have recognized this for centuries so this is nothing new. For instance, you get a cut on your arm, your body will know how to heal it without any direction from anyone. It just does it. Innate intelligence is kind of that wonderous force that you see when you look in a microscope and see a cell dividing, with all it’s chromosomes knowing exactly what to do and where. To me, when I have seen that, it’s like seeing God in action. It deepens my faith it is so wonderous.

Now, this is where it gets sticky in my opinion - some chiropractors beleive they have the power, by aligning the spine, to increase innate intelligence or maybe more accurately it’s expression in a person’s body. They believe that when a spine is misaligned, that the bone on the nerves are somehow interfering with this magical/metaphysical innate intelligence. And by adjusting it, you are increasing its expression. Almost “vivifying” the body or increase it’s “vitalism.”

To me, I find this unsettling; it is almost akin to saying you are able to “breath life” or maybe more accurately “increase life” in an individual. I mean, I feel like any other doctor - I look on at innate intelligence/the body with reverence and awe but I don’t claim to have any indirect control of ti. It seems in direct violation with Commandment 1.

I never much thought about it before because I thought the group small in size but lately I have been more disturbed by it. I have been practicing for 7years and of course, have never preached it, never beleived it, kind of just passed it off as history, yet, I do see my colleagues preach this doctrine and proclaim this more than I care to admit.

Another thing I suppose that disturbs me is that many of these chiropractic meetings are eeriely similiar to a “Revival” with handholding, hugging, and preaching about “the power that made the body, heals the body.”

Many of this group accept donations in a box at the front of the office making it eeriely similar to a ministry or church.

Of course, I have never suscribed to any of it or go to these meetings. Well, actually not true, I was at one and was just shocked. It’s where I found about it.

My question is open ended - what do you think? Am I making a mountain out of molehill? Can I just do my own thing and yet be a part of a group that at least allows this preaching to continue? Or am I turning my back on God by indirectly empowering it? I have confronted them about it but they just claim, “You are mischaracterizing us, you can be Catholic/Protestant/Hindu and still be a straight (straight describes this philosophy) chiropractor.” Maybe I am but my heart tells me no, because when I confront them, they backtrack/retreat.

It may seem trivial to you but because this is my career, I have actually been more and more preoccupied with this as of lately. Sometimes, it seems to be growing, not diminishing, especially as people embrace alternative health care more and managed care becomes problematic in reimbursement and the more “areligious/impartial” doctors are falling by the wayside.

Thanks in advance for you (name removed by moderator)ut.
 
Hmmm.

You said:
Now, this is where it gets sticky in my opinion - some chiropractors beleive they have the power, by aligning the spine, to increase innate intelligence or maybe more accurately it’s expression in a person’s body. They believe that when a spine is misaligned, that the bone on the nerves are somehow interfering with this magical/metaphysical innate intelligence. And by adjusting it, you are increasing its expression.

All mumbo jumbo aside, how healing in this way different in practice from realigning a broken bone so that it heals properly? Or clearing out an infection so that health is restored? Seem, like in this New Age world of ours, many feel the need to somehow add a mystical dimension to what they do in order to justify themselves and their work (a whole 'nother thread! 😃 ). THAT part is disturbing, but I see the alignment of the spine in order to take pressure off of some nerve to relieve pain or other symptoms as a natural healing art, just like any other. Skip the magical /metaphysical cr*p, and it becomes medicine.

I say keep healing, and leave the others to their god-complexes! (Plus, think of what a blessing YOU are to those who don’t want to be worked on by those who believe that way! I actually feel blessed when I can find any kind of doctor/healer who humbly offers himself as a mere instument of God’s healing Grace!)

Peace of Christ!
Cricket
 
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Another thing I suppose that disturbs me is that many of these chiropractic meetings are eeriely similiar to a “Revival” with handholding, hugging, and preaching about “the power that made the body, heals the body.”

Many of this group accept donations in a box at the front of the office making it eeriely similar to a ministry or church.

Of course, I have never suscribed to any of it or go to these meetings. Well, actually not true, I was at one and was just shocked. It’s where I found about it.

My question is open ended - what do you think? Am I making a mountain out of molehill? Can I just do my own thing and yet be a part of a group that at least allows this preaching to continue? Or am I turning my back on God by indirectly empowering it? I have confronted them about it but they just claim, “You are mischaracterizing us, you can be Catholic/Protestant/Hindu and still be a straight (straight describes this philosophy) chiropractor.” Maybe I am but my heart tells me no, because when I confront them, they backtrack/retreat.

It may seem trivial to you but because this is my career, I have actually been more and more preoccupied with this as of lately. Sometimes, it seems to be growing, not diminishing, especially as people embrace alternative health care more and managed care becomes problematic in reimbursement and the more “areligious/impartial” doctors are falling by the wayside.

Thanks in advance for you (name removed by moderator)ut.
First, it’s not trivial because it’s disturbing you.

Second, I think that we, not being in your profession, might not be best able to advise you, but if you have documentation of their beliefs and you do have a priest that could review them with you that would be an excellent place to start.

From what you have shared, I can say that anything that unsettles our relationship with God oughtn’t just to be pushed aside, because doing that will cause us ultimately to stray. It clouds our judgment. So whatever course you take, don’t just push this under the rug. Clarify what they believe, discuss it with someone who has authority and either come to peace with it or decide what to do about it. If you don’t do that I fear for your faith in a few years, whatever your good intentions now.

I will pray for you. God Bless you in this time of trial.
 
l mumbo jumbo aside, how healing in this way different in practice from realigning a broken bone so that it heals properly? Or clearing out an infection so that health is restored?
Well, that’s just it. They say it’s different. But is there any difference between my adjustment vs. an adjustment by which somebody professes to increase your innate intelligence? No - none. An adjustment is an adjustment. My healing is nothing more than a procedure applied to the body. The procedure can be powerful at times, I’ll admit, but I am not wielding power over a person’s ability to heal. That comes within.

Some say they aren’t even working with “restoring health” because that is medicine, that they are helping the patient “acheive maximum potential as a human being.”

To them, the procedure is a way of increasing a person’s innate intelligence within them. Do you see the difference? I don’t blame you for not because it is mumbo-jumbo at times. Don’t ever try to sort through it because it’s full of paradoxes and double talk.

In fact, I have said to them that people don’t get this new age stuff anyway in effort to discourage the behavior and people are just attaching their own values to your intervention.

But they won’t be discouraged - they see this as a “cause” or “crusade” - to convert people to this way of thinking about health and their body and how a health intervention is supposed to be.

I can see already the first two posters are conflicted as I am - one is saying maybe it is a molehill and the other sort of sees something unsettling because I’m unsettled.

Anyway, I thank you for your opinions.
 
Scanner,

I’m not trivializing what you feel, but I think what you are seeing are people putting the magnificents of God’s creation and applying it away from God. I agree with cricker, what you are doing is aligning the body and allowing God’s creation to do what it is meant to do. It would seem that their observation is correct, you/they are allowing the body to reenergize/heal, if you will. The thing that they should always realize, as it seems you do, that this ability to help others comes from God and that the body healing itself (this innate intellegence) is also by the grace of God.

I’d stay away from any `preaching about “the power that made the body, heals the body.”’ If the power doesn’t come from God, or esp. if they believe the power is theirs to dispense.

Is your question about interracting with this group? I hope it’s not about the chiropractic profession, because I believe there is a great need for what you do.

On a side note, a good friend of mine is a chiropractor. She has moved beyond just the alignment and also attempts to treat people at a more spiritual level. She will talk to them about God in their life, and try to understand and help them to understand how they got to the point in life that they are. I believe she also employs nutritional info. She’s even moved away from a forced fee for her services, believing that God will provide. He has, and she is the sole support for their family of 7!

John
 
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Well, that’s just it. They say it’s different. But is there any difference between my adjustment vs. an adjustment by which somebody professes to increase your innate intelligence? No - none. An adjustment is an adjustment. My healing is nothing more than a procedure applied to the body. The procedure can be powerful at times, I’ll admit, but I am not wielding power over a person’s ability to heal. That comes within.
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As long as you know this, and apply it with the correct understanding, it is different. The intention is different.
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Some say they aren’t even working with “restoring health” because that is medicine, that they are helping the patient “acheive maximum potential as a human being.”

To them, the procedure is a way of increasing a person’s innate intelligence within them. Do you see the difference? I don’t blame you for not because it is mumbo-jumbo at times. Don’t ever try to sort through it because it’s full of paradoxes and double talk.
I think I get it, they are believing in their own power. They have a thread of truth though, they are helping the body to help itself, which is better than “medicine” which is, much of the time, treating the symptoms and not the problem. As far as the achieving maximum potential, only through God can you do that!
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In fact, I have said to them that people don’t get this new age stuff anyway in effort to discourage the behavior and people are just attaching their own values to your intervention.

But they won’t be discouraged - they see this as a “cause” or “crusade” - to convert people to this way of thinking about health and their body and how a health intervention is supposed to be.

I can see already the first two posters are conflicted as I am - one is saying maybe it is a molehill and the other sort of sees something unsettling because I’m unsettled.
It is not a molehill, if this could move people away from God. And there is, again, truth to allowing the body that God gave us to do what it is suppose to do and not just treat the symptoms. What they do not address, possibly, is why the body needs the adjustment in the first place…

John
 
I am certainly NOT a physican but Just be reading the posts, let me throw in my 2 cents worth. …

First, I’d start to pray to St. Luke and/or any other medical Saints. (I know in the Byzantine Catholic Church, we have a St. Sampson who was from the Middle East in the early days of the Church).

Second, I look at what you are doing as not just with the power of God to encourage physical healings, BUT also spiritual healings. Since your other, ‘fellow’ chiropractors are in their mumbo, jumbo, voo doo type of congering up, I’d say you are the ‘oasis’ for those who can learn the TRUTH in and through the actions of GOD by your assistance.

Remember in the OT, when Saul wanted to speak to Samuel, so Saul went to a sorceress, little to her suprise, she actually brought Samuel up to speak to Saul! She knew in her heart that she was a scam, but through the power and testimony of GOD, she believed.

I hope this helps.

Edwin

Glory be to Jesus Christ! Glory to Him Forever!
 
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I can see already the first two posters are conflicted as I am - one is saying maybe it is a molehill and the other sort of sees something unsettling because I’m unsettled.

Anyway, I thank you for your opinions.
Absolutely. Let’s talk about the distinction, though.

Is it unsettling from a faith perspective? In my opinion yes.

Should it turn you away from your profession, in Cricker’s opinion, no. And I would agree with him on that. That they think it is hocus pocus doesn’t make it so.

Whether you should fight it, that is a decision only you can make, but it sounds to me like you think it might be something you need to at least consider. I’m not ignoring the documentation at this point, I’m merely getting ready to go out of town, but I will read it on Monday and consider it carefully. In the meantime you are in my prayers.
 
Again, I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. But here is my follow-up: 😃

I truely DO understand what you are trying to convey. But my point is that THEY can call it what they will, but it IS what it IS. Does calling it a ‘gay marraige’ TRUELY make it so in the eyes of God? They can call it what they will, until they are blue in the face, but it is NOT some mumbo jumbo. Just because they say so doesn’t make it true. And to walk away from doing good for others because of what THEY mistakenly think is, humbly speaking, a disservice to those that you can help.

Me, I’d hang up a picture of the Divine Mercy in the treatment room, and explain to anyone who asks about the healing rays of Jesus’ Mercy. I’d have pictures of Patron Saints of healers, definately a picture/statue of our Lady … (etc.) and use this to stand tall and firm in the presence of evil. We cannot run, we must stand tall and be counted. We are FOR Him.

Yochumjy posted:
It would seem that their observation is correct, you/they are allowing the body to reenergize/heal, if you will. The thing that they should always realize, as it seems you do, that this ability to help others comes from God and that the body healing itself (this innate intellegence) is also by the grace of God.

Actually, I believe that God created the human body as a most wonderous thing. An innante intelligence has nothing to do with healing – it is how the Almighty has designed our bodies to work. In perfect harmony in ways that we still don’t understand. The healing power comes from the very mind of God, who made us “GOOD”. He didn’t create something that would break down and be wiped out with the smallest problem. God is a MUCH better creator than that!

I appreciate the effort that you have taken to examine your situation, but truely I see this situation as a GIFT. Use it. Stand up for Him, and give all credit and power to Him who made us all. The Lord will not turn away from you for this, and I KNOW you will be richly blessed by your Witness.

You are in my prayers, keep us posted!
Cricket (yes, I misspelled my user name so now I think I’m stuck with ‘Cricker’ :eek: )
 
**Is your question about interracting with this group? I hope it’s not about the chiropractic profession, because I believe there is a great need for what you do.
**

Thanks, of course there is. I don’t doubt that.

Yes, the question is probably geared towards interacting with this group. For instance, the close cousin of this philosophy, the Traditional Straights (see the reference), have often switched churches to join a Church of Universal Intelligence so they can get out of immunizing their kids legally in their state and have hinted to parents that they can do this if they want to get out it. It’s kind of like a bogus church to skirt the law.

You see the slippery slope in my eyes? Do all of them do that? No, of course not. But a lot do. Sometimes, it runs close to Christian Science, the only difference being of course you can adjustments, and anything else second or third.

On a side note, a good friend of mine is a chiropractor. She has moved beyond just the alignment and also attempts to treat people at a more spiritual level. She will talk to them about God in their life, and try to understand and help them to understand how they got to the point in life that they are. I believe she also employs nutritional info. She’s even moved away from a forced fee for her services, believing that God will provide. He has, and she is the sole support for their family of 7!

That’s kind of sticky in my opinion. Many of patients complained that the practice I took over the doctor would pray over them when all they wanted was an adjustment. I am not afraid to relate things to God but rather refer the patient to their priest, minister, rabbi for matters of spiritual health.

I am not a clergyman; I’m a chiropractor.

It sounds like she may be the kind of DC I am talking about - a donation to the practice, mixing religion with health care. I can see she is a friend but I am telling you it seems to be a lifestyle (okay I’ll say it - cult) that they can get caught up in as per the Church above.

Let me give you another example - the previous chiropractor’s wife didn’t “beleive” in PAP smears. Said it was medicine’s way of making money/dependent on them. Well, you can see where the story is going - she got cervical cancer. Well, then the tune changed - she got chemo., eventually died a painful death of metastasis to all parts of the body.

I don’t know. The more I talk about it, the more confused I get. I should probably just pray quietly about it and let a solution come to me. I doubt I would leave my profession as I love working with my hands and people but I feel I should be outspoken about the behavior and call for reform.
 
PS: BTW, I appreciate the forum defending them because many of them have been saying what you are saying. It’s not religion, just a recognition of God and allowing God to express himself through their intervention.
 
My friend, maybe I can help.
I am not a doctor, but I have been practicing medicine in the Navy for 8 years. (Most of which is musculoskeletal) I have been working at the Naval Academy for 3.5 years in the Physical Therapy Department. While I have no degree I am working towards PA school. I see an average of 100 patients a month for any type of musculoskeletal evaluation. That doesn’t count the 150 plus treatments I do as well. You obviously are much more experienced with spinal patients than I, but I have a small idea as to what you are encountering.
There are a lot of hokey pokey Physical Therapists out there too. I call them Shamans. They appear to me to be akin to witch doctors, except without the bones through their noses. 🙂

My opinion is to distance yourself from them. Your job is very important, but nothing is as important as your own salvation. You can still practice Chiropractics and not be a part of the group. You have to find a doctor who believes in your ability and not the scientific powers of your colleagues. That is the type of doctor you need to send you referrals, and then you can practice without being dependant on your peers.
Think about this, most back pain resolves on it’s own with or without treatment. You could dance around your patient naked waving a “magic” wand and howling like a crazed bear as a medicinal treatment. The patient would still have a great chance of getting better. There are obvious exceptions to the rule, HNP’s spondylolysthesis, retro’s etc. However, your average back patient has a good chance of getting better anyway. My feelings on most Chiropractors is the same as my feelings towards most physical therapy treatments. They aren’t designed to fix the patients problem,as much as they are about a temporary relief of pain. You can’t make as much money on a patient if they are fixed when they leave your office. However, if you can make them feel better with a massage, ultrasound, hot pack, mobs, etc. then they will be back. Placebo effect, not to mention the fact that all patients want to be heard and if you put your hands on a patient they are more likely to believe you are fixing the problem. Use long scientific terms, sound convincing and you have got them.
Sorry to drone on about this, but it is a sore spot with me. I enjoy getting people better, not getting them addicted to current medicinal practices. Some things just aren’t going to get better, but it is difficult to tell a patient that. Is there a modality or a manual realignment that is going to fix progressive DDD or DJD of the cervical spine in a 87 y.o. pnt? Of course not, you can utlize the gate theory through modalities TIW or more but it won’t fix the problem. All you can do is hope the patient buys into your brand of pain management and they will come back and call you a great provider. It is akin to having a hole in your car tire, you can go to the gas station and fill it up with air. However, the hole is still there and until it is fixed you will continue to have a problem. Medicine doesn’t have all the answers, it is simply a guessing game. The average pnt doesn’t know this, much less want to believe it.
I could go on, but I’ll stop here. Let me know what you think? I’ll close by reiterating what others have already said. What you do is important and there is a need for good medical providers. Keep the faith and let it influence how you practice medicine, you’ll be fine. It ain’t easy, but then again, nothing good ever is.
Very Respectfully, Mike.
 
Mike,

Thank you for your opinion, but I think the subject is probably a different one (although a sore spot for you and I was happy to listen). 'And thanks for the encouragement to keep practicing. I am not trying to argue with you.

For years, the main criticism/observation of chiropractic has been “You’re a placebo” and “You’re treating self-limiting conditions” and “you’re only temporary”. All of those criticisms have been addressed through research and mostly debunked, although a lot of questions remain, but I have noticed the more “prestigious” medical journals (NEJM & JAMA) tend to publish only the “Chiropractic no better than placebo” studies thereby biasing the readership (who are MD’s, PA’s, CNP’s, DO’s) rather than reflecting a true blend of positive and negative results.

On a side point, if it were only a placebo, why is now Animal Chiropractic growing? Are the veternarians charming the doggies and horsies? No, chiropractic (not “chiropractics” BTW - just a minor point for when you talk with patients) has tapped into something physically potent, the spine, it is just the metaphysical elements I am having problems with.

In fact, PT’s (shaman’s as you refer to them) don’t really have any metaphysical elements - they just explain everything in physiological terms - increased circulation, improved coordination, muscle strengthening, etc.

If you want more unbiased information/research, I would refer you to Archives of Phys. Med and Rehab and probably the pinnacle journal, Spine, which has a nice blend of positive and negative studies. PT’s, DC’s, MD’s all publish in the latter one.

I am concerned by your comments, not that what you are saying is uncommon (in fact, it’s very party line); it is just unfortunately biased.

Again, this probably a different subject that needs to be engaged elsewhere in a different forum. I am more interested in a Christian perspective of my conflict vs. a Medical view of chiropractic, which beleive me, I have heard more than anyone cares to know 🙂

Thanks anyway.
 
My education is in Psychology and I run into strange practices all the time. In college I used to be a TA and taught Psychology 101. One of the first things that I always told my students is that if it sounds ridiculous it probably is…

Humans by nature want to apply other worldly causes to things that they don’t quite understand.

There is a Buddhist sect in Tibet that goes up into the Mountains in the dead of winter when it is usually around –15F, and spend the night in the mountains with nothing more that a thin robe on their backs. This would kill a normal person. They think it is because they are unleashing this fire conduit in their body. Others think that they have achieved some supernatural state.

What scientist found out when they studied this was that when they go up to the mountain their capillaries expand, their hart rate raises three fold, and they burn an amazing amount of calories. So the body is generating more heat at its core, which transfers to the blood, and is circulated very quickly throughout the body. This keeps their body at a safe temp. It is biofeedback not metaphysics.
 
My opinion would be to get to a priest, and have him check it out. Also I would see if you can’t go out on your own, if these guys are really creeping you out. They would really creep me out so whatever you are comfortable with.
 
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That’s kind of sticky in my opinion. Many of patients complained that the practice I took over the doctor would pray over them when all they wanted was an adjustment. I am not afraid to relate things to God but rather refer the patient to their priest, minister, rabbi for matters of spiritual health.

I am not a clergyman; I’m a chiropractor.

It sounds like she may be the kind of DC I am talking about - a donation to the practice, mixing religion with health care. I can see she is a friend but I am telling you it seems to be a lifestyle (okay I’ll say it - cult) that they can get caught up in as per the Church above.
You misunderstood, she doesn’t pray over them. She relates what they could be going through as how they could be moving away from Christ. It is more like she will align the body, ask what is going on in their life to make the body misaligned, try turning toward Christ for a better life. It is definately no cult, she is more aligned with the teaching of the Church than most. I am not saying that there isn’t a possibility of slipping, after all thealogions often slide. But her husband, who is also very religious is there to help. It may seem strange to some, but interjecting Jesus into medicine is not wrong…

John
 
Because you believe the power to heal comes from God, I don’t see a problem. All you are doing is assisting Him in His work. I think there are many physicians who think they do it all and that should not keep you from doing what you are doing because you don’t seem to believe that way. Maybe God has placed you where you are to make a difference. Maybe you can help the others to see they do not heal, but are an instrument of God who does heal. Keep up the good work.
 
I have encountered this challenge from a patient’s point of view. Not with a chiropractor, but with naturopaths and massage therapists. I have been dealing with chronic illness for four years and have sought other types of help since the MDs don’t always recognize problems related to chemical toxins and/or chronic fatigue.

There are a lot of new-age beliefs in alternative medicine. I ran into a massage therapist, who practices Reiki, which much later I found out is an occult practice that uses crystals to heal. My naturopath is licensed in Reiki, but doesn’t practice it and hasn’t suggested it, or any other strange occult ideas. This still really bothered me, so I spoke to my priest about it and he had me contact another man in our area who had experience with the occult.

While he advised me to stay clear of Reiki and other occult practices (which, by the way, also include yoga), the type of treatment I receive from my naturopath (ND) is not occultish. He suggested I pray for my ND, especially right before appointments, asking Our Lord’s protection from anything demonic.

Might I suggest you do the same for your chiropractic colleagues – pray for them and for the patients they see, and pray when you have interactions with them that Our Lord will give you the words you need to help them find their way to Him, Who is Truth.

Spending time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament is also a wonderful way to discern any situation. He is there, Truly Present, and He will help you find the answers you need.

You’re in my prayers! And I would echo as well that we need more practitioners in alternative medicine who are Catholic so those of us that need you have someone to go to!
 
Okay, after reading the documentation you provided, I still need a little more feedback from you regarding what you practice, what type of practice you (took over?) and what the patients expect from you and whether your concerns are related to your patients or your colleagues.

In the documentation it was pretty straightforward that there was absolutely nothing astray with regards to the practice (which you seemed pretty clear on anyway) of objective straight chiropractic. If that is the type of practice that you are now taking over is this a new experience for you and are the religious overtones something that is different in this type of practice compared to a more medical practice? It sounds to me (just from what I read) that this type of practice tries hard to distinguish itself from the medical doctors, so the spiritual aspect of what they do might become more important, so you may not have the choice in this type of practice to leave God even in a supporting actor role, you may have to cast him as the lead? If that wasn’t clear when you were taking over the practice you may wish to realign (no pun intended ;)) the practice toward a more traditional straight chiropractic or mixed therapeutic practice. (If I use the terms incorrectly it’s only because the paper itself was a crash course in chiropractic). I think that it is hard to take on too many demons at once. The first and primary thing to do is to get yourself spiritually comfortable. Practicing in a profession the way you intended, being comfortable with your relationship with God.
 
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