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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

The Five Eras of Chiropractic & the future of chiropractic as seen through the eyes of a participant observer

J Keith Simpson

Author Affiliations

School of Chiropractic & Sports Science Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2012, 20:1  doi:10.1186/2045-709X-20-1

Published: 19 January 2012

Abstract

Chiropractic has endured a turbulent history, marked by tremendous advances in areas such as education and licensing while marred by interprofessional conflict and a poor public image. The prolonged interprofessional conflict was instrumental in shaping the culture of chiropractic. These obstacles have long-since been removed although there are lingering effects from them.

This article examines the chiropractic profession's history by dividing it into five Eras and suggests that there are three options available for the future of the profession. One: maintaining the status quo. Two: uniting under an evidence based scientific approach as partners in the health care delivery system that has buried the "one-cause, one-cure" sacred cow. The steps required to achieve this outcome are outlined. Three: openly dividing the profession into evidence based practitioners and subluxation based practitioners. Adopting this option would allow each branch of the profession to move forward in the health care delivery system unhindered by the other.

It is unclear which option the profession will choose and whether the profession is mature enough to follow option two remains to be seen. What is evident is that the time to act is now.