With the fall of the Roman Empire and the coming of the Dark Ages, much early scientific knowledge was lost. Natural healing methods used by the Greeks were not understood by most medieval physicians. Many superstitious beliefs crept into medical practice, including the concept that illness was caused by evil spirits, and to fight disease, evil cures were concocted to fight evil with evil.
Modern medicine, for all of its advances, still follows in practice the principle that disease is an entity and must be fought with weapons, mainly drugs.
Chiropractic expresses an alternate, vitalistic viewpoint: that all living things have an innate intelligence, an inborn striving toward organization, self-healing and life expression. Life is caused and sustained by a vital principle that is distant from all physical and chemical forces and is, in part, self-determining and self-evolving. This philosophical belief dates back as far as the ancient Greeks, who although possessing little knowledge of the internal structure of the human body, acknowledged the bodys effort to heal itself. Renaissance men of learning also espoused theories that vital forces within the obey itself organized its resistance to disease.
Chiropractics founder, Daniel David Palmer, reasoned that the bodys innate intelligence utilizes the brain and nervous system to assemble and transmit information necessary to ensure proper coordination of the body. Integral to this communication, Palmer discovered, is the proper position, or alignment, of the vertebrae and that the misalignment of even one of the spines vertebrae could cause pressure on the spinal cord or small spinal nerves. This interference - or subluxation - causes an alteration of the impulses traversing the nerves, resulting in an alteration of body function which lessens the bodys ability to maintain its own health. The bodys internal harmony is frequently restored by adjusting subluxated vertebrae to their proper position. Contributing to health through correcting subluxations is the center of chiropractic as taught at Sherman College.
Straight chiropractic adheres to the original mission of the profession as stated by Daniel David Palmer: to contribute to health through the correction of vertebral subluxations which interfere with the bodys innate striving to maintain its own health. Straight chiropractic is not intended to be a treatment for symptoms or disease. It is intended to remove a major interference to the bodys many innate potentials. The Potential for regaining and/or maintaining health is an important one. The potential for physical, mental and social well-being, including spirituality, creativity and self awareness are several examples of innate potential.
Chiropractic science at Sherman College teaches that the health of the spine is essential to the health of the body. The design of the spine is quite splendid, incorporating flexibility, strength and resilience in its critical role of protecting the spinal cord and nerves. It is also susceptible to the stress and strain of everyday life and from time to time may require professional attention.
Extending from the skull to the pelvis and formed of 24 vertebrae and 122 joints, the human spine is an engineering marvel. Along with approximately 300 muscles and 375 ligaments, the spine supports the head, trunk, upper limbs and itself, while transferring the weight of the body to the lower limbs. The spine also houses and protects the spinal cord and the 31 pairs of spinal nerves which branch from the spinal cord and travel through openings between the vertebrae, called foramen, to the rest of the body.
Chiropractic science teaches that vertebrae of the spine can become misaligned sufficiently to interfere with the transfer of impulses from the brain to the tissue cells of the body. These impaired impulses produce an alteration of function and the resulting condition is referred to by chiropractors as a state of dis-ease, of life in altered form. In this condition, resistance to social stress, micro organisms, pollens and hundreds of other external elements is impaired and susceptibility to many problems increased.
Chiropractic science focuses on the relationship between the structural and neurologic aspects of the spine and recognizes that this relationship has a profound influence on the functioning of the entire body. To impart a clear understanding or how this interaction affects the restoration and preservation of health is paramount at Sherman College. Our students obtain this understanding through the basic biological and related health subjects in combination with the clinical sciences.
Sherman Colleges Clinical Art Division excels in two ways. First, the chiropractic art is taught with a focus on individual attention by an exceptionally qualified and caring faculty and clinical staff. Second, the chiropractic art is grounded in a vitalistic philosophy, unique to Sherman College, which is constantly being examined.
The most important part of chiropractic care is the examination of the patients spine. It is the basis for determining the necessity of intervention and effectiveness of care. A vertebra, when found to be subluxated, is analyzed and safely adjusted.
The chiropractor must select the appropriate technique for each patients unique situation and be able to execute that technique with great skill. The subluxated vertebra is adjusted through the introduction of small forces onto the spine. These forces are intended for the bodys use in repositioning the vertebra. The chiropractor must know as precisely as possible, where, when, and in what direction the force should be introduced.
The ability to perform a technique expertly requires much practice under close supervision. Knute Rockne, the famous Notre Dame football coach, said Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. Sherman Colleges technique department has a highly qualified faculty and clinical staff who will work with you as part of a small group and on a one to one basis. This individual attention is indispensable in mastering chiropractic technique.
Technique, as important as it is, is not art. Art, any art, including the art of chiropractic is much more than the mastery of techniques. Art embodies and expresses a philosophy. Sherman Colleges strong philosophy department gives you the foundation for practicing chiropractic as a highly developed art. The philosophy curriculum will provide an understanding of the relationship of philosophy to science and art and demonstrate how philosophy is expressed through art. It is the expressing of an examined vitalistic philosophy that makes straight chiropractic so effective and meaningful and contributes so much to the pleasure of its practice.