In 1849, French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr wrote, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” or “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” According to Wiktionary, this proverb makes the observation that “even the most turbulent of changes do not affect reality on a deeper level other than to cement the status quo.” Usually this phrase is used sarcastically or to refer to an ironic situation. And it is often accompanied by an eye roll.
Take a moment to do a search. Search the phrase “the more things change the more they stay the same” and add the word “healthcare.” You will find over 5 ½ million results. Really. Then scan just the first pages of resulting articles. You’ll see the topics range from healthcare communication practices of your provider to mental health to women’s health. It would seem that in every aspect of conventional healthcare there are one or more areas affecting patients that have experienced turbulent changes that do not affect reality on a deeper level other than to cement the status quo—in other words keep things the same.
After 35 years as a chiropractor, I can tell you that when it comes to chiropractic care, the more things change, the more they do stay the same. No eye roll! The medical establishment continues to create more new diseases and new drugs to treat those diseases. And chiropractors keep doing what they do, working with the body to heal itself.
Body as a Whole
Chiropractic care isn’t a fad. The basis of our profession is understanding and working with the innate intelligence of the body. While we are constantly learning about the amazing capabilities and capacities of the body, that new knowledge isn’t based on the latest equipment, technology, or pharmaceuticals. We work with the body as a whole. And our object is always to remove obstructions keeping the body from maintaining its state of health.
Conventional treatment or conventional therapy is often defined as the therapy that is widely used and accepted by most health professionals. Conventional medicine is a system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. With this understanding of healthcare, you see no mention of health or wellness. The focus is on symptoms or disease and perceived solutions—often to perceived problems.
According to the article, “Disease Mongering and Drug Marketing”:
The effort to sell pharmaceuticals based on the creation of perceived need is known as “disease mongering,” a term introduced by health-science writer Lynn Payer in her 1992 book “Disease-Mongers: How Doctors, Drug Companies, and Insurers Are Making You Feel Sick.”
Payer defined disease mongering as “trying to convince essentially well people that they are sick, or slightly sick people that they are very ill.” Pharmaceutical companies spend a great deal of money – twice the amount they spend on research and development – on manipulative and insidious advertising that preys upon the fears and insecurities of consumers.
Some modern “illnesses” that critics contend have been mongered by the major drug companies include: erectile dysfunction, female sexual dysfunction, bipolar disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), irritable bowel syndrome, “male pattern” baldness, acid reflux disease, and restless leg syndrome.
Lynn Payer, a science writer, medical journalist, and previous editor of The New York Times Good Health Magazine, wrote this book in 1992, well before COVID. Yet it is as accurate today, perhaps even more accurate, than when it was written.
Not a Fad
I’m going to say it again, chiropractic care isn’t a fad. Our profession is always sharing information and continuing to learn about the human body. However, our focus remains on working with the body’s innate intelligence. It doesn’t matter what new insights we may have about the capacity of the human body to heal. Chiropractors will always remain committed to our practice of providing primary care with a natural flair. Chiropractors don’t try to make you feel sick, they restore you to your state of health and wellbeing. Chiropractic patients leave the office feeling better than when they walked in. They do not leave frightened or insecure. They do not leave to fulfill an unnecessary and often harmful prescription for a new and expensive drug.
As I embark on my 35th year as a chiropractor, because of what I know about health care and the human body, I am convinced that the best is yet to come for us all. Next week we’ll take a look at what I believe the next 35 years will look like. Until then, click on the links to learn more about the information presented in this article. If you’re looking ahead to a future of health and longevity, find a chiropractor near you!