What Is Non-Therapeutic Straight Chiropractic?


When the term "straight chiropractic" was first coined in the late 1800's, early 1900's the word straight had as one of its common used definitions "undiluted, uncompromising". This definition of straight is still used when asking for a liquor without anything "mixed" in with it.

The term "Objective Straight Chiropractic" first appeared in the book Refined By Fire, The Evolution of Straight Chiropractic written by Joe Strauss, D.C., F.C.S.C. in 1994. It is used to describe a group within the chiropractic community that represents a very narrow, single, exclusive objective to the practice of chiropractic.  The practice is purpose or objective driven hence, the name objective straight chiropractic. While every approach to the practice of chiropractic has an objective, very few define themselves by that objective!  
Non-therapeutic Straight is used to describe that group now.

There are different ways to practice chiropractic. Basically, there are two branches or schools of thought in chiropractic. Briefly, they are differentiated by whether they deal with the limited therapeutic approach for aches and pains - commonly termed "mixed" chiropractic because it represents a mixture of a chiropractor with non-chiropractic procedures; or a non-therapeutic approach to optimum body performance - termed "non-therapeutic straight" chiropractic (NTSC) because there is no mixing of chiropractic with anything else.

The first group (the therapeutic or "mixed") chiropractic, also called "mixers" is an older approach based on a split from the founding principles of chiropractic about a century ago. It is made up of chiropractors who more or less have adopted the objective of the medical community. They have decided to treat different types of medical conditions and to incorporate certain medical procedures and treatments into their practice. The primary procedure is that of diagnosing medical conditions, an art form that is without doubt the most challenging tasks in the practice of medicine.


In addition to developing limited diagnostic skills, many of the first group have incorporated many therapeutic procedures, that is, they use tools and activities that are designed to treat medical conditions or the symptoms of medical conditions.  Usually, these procedures are an alternative nature rather than the more orthodox medicine, and may include acupuncture, homeopathy or naturopathic treatments. The may incorporate nutritional supplements or even the mainstream medical treatment of physical therapy, massage, or rehabilitation therapy. The list and the possibilities are almost endless, in as much as so few of these are regulated by law and new therapies are being developed all the time. Whether all these procedures have any value is a topic for another discussion. One big problem that is created by this approach is that there is confusion on the part of the public as to what the role of the chiropractor is, with regard to the so-called health care community. Unfortunately, for reasons too numerous for this article, this is the viewpoint advocated by the majority of the chiropractors in this country.

As if things weren't confusing enough, there are 2 types of "straight" chiropractors. To demonstrate that all straight chiropractors are not the same, the terms "traditional straight" and "non-therapeutic straight" were coined.

Until the mid-seventies all straights were traditional straight, following the original precepts of D.D Palmer (the discoverer of chiropractic) and his son B.J. Palmer (the developer of chiropractic). Unfortunately, other things were added along the way which became part of the traditional approach even though B.J. and D.D. never endorsed them. The most controversial addition was diagnosis. Traditional straight chiropractic became more and more medical, more and more confused, and had such wide variations in practice that it was difficult to know who was straight and who was not. Further, certain groups in the profession in an effort to create a false unity were trying to obscure the term "straight." In actuality, the "traditional straights" now fall under the therapeutic or mixed chiropractic category, even though most will try to deny that.

"Non-therapeutic straight" chiropractic is the more modern of the two approaches. Although the term Non-Therapeutic Straight Chiropractic (NTSC) is relatively new, this approach to chiropractic began formally in the mid-seventies with the creation of the Federation of Straight Chiropractic Organizations (FSCO, 1976) and the change in name by Sherman College of Chiropractic to Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic. At the time, no other schools or organizations identified themselves with the term "straight" in their name. In 2011, the FSCO became an international organization and is now called the International Federation of Chiropractors and Organizations (IFCO).  Sadly, Sherman College changed its name back to Sherman College of Chiropractic, and many members of the IFCO are now practicing in the traditional straight or even mixed chiropractic model.  This created the need for another organization to step up to promote the non-therapeutic straight model of chiropractic.  That organization is The Chiropractic Trust.  

Seeing the confusion that developed, due to the way the therapeutic/mixed chiropractors were practicing, the non-therapeutic straight chiropractors determined that they should define chiropractic by one simple objective. The non-therapeutic straight chiropractor has one purpose to his/her practice. He/she corrects vertebral subluxations because they interfere with the full expression of life by reducing the ability of the innate intelligence of the body to coordinate function through the nerve system. Non-therapeutic straight chiropractors correct subluxations not because they cause disease or are associated with any medical condition, but simply because the body works better without them. Non-therapeutic straight chiropractors do not claim that vertebral subluxation is the cause for any or all diseases but simply an impediment to the ongoing life process and that alone justifies their correction.

Other terms that are synonymous with non-therapeutic straight chiropractic include objective straight chiropractic and modern-day straight chiropractic. It should be noted that all straight chiropractors who practice by this objective do not agree with the term non-therapeutic objective straight chiropractic. They believe that anything other than this approach is mixing and consequently, the adjectives "non-therapeutic" are unnecessary. They feel that it gives credibility to the traditional approach as being straight and closely aligns the two approaches when in reality, traditional straight chiropractic is more closely aligned to mixing chiropractic and medicine than to objective straight chiropractic. Despite that, traditional chiropractors continue to refer to themselves as being straight chiropractors, hence, the need to further clarify straight with the terms "non-therapeutic."


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