In 2013, the Council on Chiropractic Practice published the fourth edition of Clinical Practice Guidelines. (Fun fact: This was the year of my matriculation to chiropractic school.) I may be five years behind schedule, but I finally gave it a read, and I must say that I find their definition of subluxation particularly thought-provoking.
“Subluxation is a neurological imbalance or distortion in the body associated with adverse and/or structural changes, which may become persistent and progressive. The most frequent site for the chiropractic correction of the subluxation is via the vertebral column.”
Note that this definition does not make any reference to joints, but rather to “distortion in the body.” Also notice that structural changes may or may not be observed, and therefore are not required to diagnose subluxation. Contrast this definition with the World Health Organization and Medicare definition. The CCP definition is undoubtedly the broadest.
I’ve added the CCP definition to the What is subluxation? page on this website because I find it quite monumental and because the diversity of definitions reminds me of a brief remark by our business and professional foundations professor: that there is no one, agreed-upon definition of subluxation. Indeed, even though there is an original philosophy of chiropractic, there is a multitude of sub-philosophies and interpretations thereof. The diversity also reminds me of a public speaking project assigned by the same business professor, wherein we could either talk about why we are interested in chiropractic or what is our chiropractic philosophy. Though almost all of my classmates chose to talk about their journey to chiropractic school, I spoke about my chiropractic philosophy. I remember the beaming smile on my professor’s face after I finished my speech, even though I know he disagreed on at least some of my points.
Thus, to promote diversity of thought, I’d like to invite you to contribute your definition of subluxation and/or chiropractic, which, with your permission, I’d like to showcase on a separate page on this website. Don’t feel as if you have to be a health professional in order to formulate a definition. As you know, I’m curious about innate intelligence, and I think that streams of thought reflect the innate. If you’re brave, do share your thoughts in the comments, or let me know at your next appointment.