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Dynamic Chiropractic Canada – August 1, 2008, Vol. 01, Issue 01
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Legal Manipulations

By Allan Freedman, LLB

The great thing about a new product, a first edition or a premier is everything is clean, new, pure and unpolluted by months, years or decades of the same old thing. DC Canada is new, new, new! That being the case, my first contribution to this most admirable venture should be novel and without the necessity of continuation or precedence.

As such, and having spent decades upon decades on legal literacy and professorial dictates, I am looking at this first diatribe as being totally and completely the child of my own thoughts, without the necessity of justification, case law or literary footnotes. So, if this article permeates with the word "I," so be it.

Since this is my first article, I am of the opinion that, like the illustrious organization known worldwide as Toastmasters International, the first of all presentations should be an "ice breaker" that discusses the subject best known to the author - namely the author themselves. For those of you who don't know, here is the scoop: I graduated law school in 1974, during the Watergate era. I began receiving chiropractic adjustments shortly thereafter. I acted for my first chiropractors in a legal matter in 1976 and also began teaching that year. I have participated in continuing-education courses for chiropractors, medical doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, lawyers, naturopaths, homeopaths, occupational therapists and rehabilitation counselors. I have written in a number of journals and have authored chapters in two texts - one medical and the other chiropractic. In my spare time, I have practiced law; helped (albeit minimally) to raise three sons; maintained a 36-year marriage (a perfect marriage since we are both in love with the same man!); taken martial arts classes; motorcycled for about seven years (six bikes - two crashes); and taken a year of ballroom dancing.

To delve deeper into my 34 years of chiropractic, I have also acted for and spoken to a number of nonprofit chiropractic organizations; battled it out with the government; helped to create legislation; spoken at a number of conferences (both provincial and federal) at a Chiropractic Masters session and a Chiropractic Awareness Council continuing-education program; attended a Parker Seminar (albeit around 1982 or so); attended a Chiropractic Power and Powerful seminar; and attended a multitude of other continuing-education programs involving chiropractic organizations.

So, in terms of confessions, admissions and voluntary disclosures: I am not an advocate of chiropractors who are straight, mixers, fuse busters, vitamin salesmen, shoe salesmen, vitalists, principled, philosophers, etc. I am an advocate of chiropractors with a passion; who love what they do and do it very, very well. My own chiropractors (they know who they are and will be outed in due course) have a passion that exuded through their language, action and compassion.

I have discussed with about 5,000 students and practitioners the concept of a philosophical chiropractor. I still don't buy its importance. However, almost all professions and businesses have a philosophy. Most involve an hourly billing rate!

Actually, we each have a philosophy in life and in business. There is nothing innately wrong with philosophy. I would not want myself or anyone I know who needed chiropractic (or any form of health care) to deal with a practitioner whose professional philosophy was not positive and who did not continue to educate themselves. So, anyone who argues about philosophy in chiropractic as being inappropriate - don't bother arguing the fact with me. After all, the motorcycle club I belong to is called "Zen Riders." You just can't get more philosophical than that.

But (and it is a very big "but") don't raise the subject of a principled chiropractor with me. I just hate the term. It is elitist, divisive, indefensible and plain outright wrong! If you are a strict adherent of any one of the chiropractic pioneers, great. However, absolutely no one can claim the one and only principle of perfection to deal with the wellness of all individuals. Chiropractic is not based upon a belief system: innate, subluxation, vertebral-facet syndrome or anything else. It is based upon a simple principle: With properly applied knowledge and with efficiently applied skill, a patient will gain the benefit of more than a century of the development of the profession.

For those of you who still want to use "principles" to justify your actions (and there is nothing wrong with that), you can always apply my basic principles: "When you sleep with dogs, you will wake up with fleas," "The key to success is sincerity, and when you can fake sincerity, you've got it made," or that oft-quoted principle, "Hope for the best, plan for the worst and expect the unexpected."

Anyway, by now you should have gotten the message - irreverence can be good for the soul. What all chiropractors have in common is they know they can help and they do it well. Most patients want to know only four things from their chiropractor: what's wrong, can it be fixed, how soon, and what it is going to cost. Unfortunately, not all patients (and it is regrettable in any profession) want to deal with the thing of major importance - prevention.

However, do not ever forget that given the opportunity, a patient wants a doctor who cares as well as communicate that sense of caring. It is the passion that elevates the success of a chiropractor, just as it does for any practitioner. Love what you do and do it sincerely, and all will be well. It has been said that the wish for each of us (doctor, lawyer or candlestick maker) might be to "have an occupation that we love so much that we would work for nothing, but do the work so well that people want to pay for the service."

So there it is - the "ice breaker." If this gets published, there will likely be more. After all, there are stories to be told. With 34 years of history, there are those that will read more like fiction than fact. And if this doesn't get published, well, I always have motorcycling and ballroom dancing to keep me busy.

Be well and be good!


Allan M. Freedman graduated in 1974 with a law degree from the University of Western Ontario and has been an instructor at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College since 1976. He can be contacted with questions and comments at www.allanfreedman.blogspot.com.

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