What's the difference between chiropractic and medicine?

By choice, I am not registered in the UK as a chiropractor. Because the General Chiropractic Council, the British regulatory body for chiropractic, has not recognised any non-EU qualifications, I may not in the UK describe myself as a “chiropractor” (per Chiropractors Act 1994, s.32).

But in 1997 I graduated from Life University in Georgia with a Doctorate of Chiropractic, and since 1998 have been fully Board Certified as a chiropractor, licensed in both Minnesota and New York.

Medicine has much evolved since the first recorded practices in history. The intention and goal of modern medicine was and still is good, but the methodology and practice has grown to be mostly ineffective. Emergency medicine is, in fact, an exception to that. It is highly efficient, successful, and necessary. Practicing medicine to achieve health and wellness is not as successful. This is because the philosophy is allopathic, which means that an illness, a disease, or symptom is treated from the outside-in with a specific drug and pharmacology. Ultimately, allopathic medicine, also termed as Western medicine, is sick-care, whereby a drug or surgery is used to mask or eliminate only the symptom, treating parts of the body, as opposed to a more whole-body care (holistically).

Chiropractic uses a completely different paradigm and philosophy in its practice. The premise and principle of chiropractic is based on the body's innate intelligence to heal itself. The body's master organiser and regulator is the central nervous system comprising of the brain and spinal cord. If this system is under tension and stress, then its ability to connect to the rest of the systems of the body will diminish, therefore hindering the body's ability to heal and function at its fullest potential. This premise is the fundamental basis from where chiropractic stands. Body parts and symptoms are not treated by chiropractic adjustments. The adjustment removes and releases the tension and interference in the central nervous system and whole body, thereby allowing that body to fully reorganise and heal on its own. Symptoms and diseases are healed from within. This is the innate intelligence of the body.

What's the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath?

Chiropractic and Osteopathy have many similarities. In fact, there are probably just as many differences between a chiropractor and an osteopath as there is between two practitioners in the same field. So the differences can depend on the individual practitioners rather than the two professions. 

Osteopathy and Chiropractic have the general similar philosophy that the body is a self-healing and self-regulating organism. The analysis and technical application and modalities are slightly different. Osteopaths look at the whole structure of the body and bases their care that structure dictates function. They look at the whole skeletal system, muscular system, as well as the vascular, lymphatic, and neural components as well. They use OMT, or Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, which is a range of different manipulations on the spine, extremities, muscles, joints, and massage throughout the body. The goal is to get the body to a better structure which will allow the body to function at a more efficient state.

Chiropractic is very similar to all this yet there is a foundation and premise which clearly marks the difference from Osteopathy. Chiropractic is the science, art, and philosophy of finding vertebral subluxations in the central nervous system, causing an interference with the innate intelligence of the body. The central nervous system is the master system of the body. Vertebral subluxations cause a disconnection with the communication between the brain and the body. The innate intelligence is directly related to the presence or absence of vertebral subluxations. Innate intelligence is defined as the power within the body that allows the body to heal, regenerate, and reorganise itself. Any interference with innate intelligence will cause dis-ease, or a state of illness, within and the central nervous system cannot communicate at an optimal level throughout the body. Chiropractors analyse the person's spine to search for and detect subluxations. Chiropractic adjustments focus on the spine, using very specific and gentle contacts on the spine, neck, and lower back, correcting these vertebral subluxations, thereby releasing the tension and creating the connection in the central nervous system.