Chiropractic: Concept Therapy (1963)

Samuel Homola, D.C.

Chapter 11:
Chiropractic “Technique Wars” (Continued)
Concept Therapy — “An Advanced Course for Intelligent Doctors”

Concept therapy is defined as:

The study and application of a Universal Principle of biology, theology, health, disease, death, immortality, and of all other philosophies and sciences pertaining to the human personality. It is a science of the cause of disease whether the cause be from the physical, mental, or spiritual planes of being; and, the science and art of removing the cause of disease by means of physical, mental, and spiritual methods; and the teaching of the Natural Laws which govern the Body, Mind, and Soul [1].

A Concept Therapy Institute circular states:

To use Concept-Therapy in your healing work, you will not have to buy a new Technicque, nor any new modality or gadget. Your system is as good as the next. just learn the rules of the inner power, and you will find that your present system will work 100% better [1].

Most of the chiropractic techniques compete with each other on the basis of offering some special method of removing “nerve interference.” There is another type of therapy, however, that conveniently uses a different approach in order to beat the competition of the “technique market.” It is, in essence, a crude form of mental treatment called “Concept-Therapy.” When the practitioner has unsuccessfully tried a number of treatment methods, he might then be inclined to adopt a method embracing metaphysical guides.

Since much of the primary value of chiropractic treatment seems to be psychological, as shown by the effectiveness claimed for all methods of such treatment, concept therapy will no doubt work as well or better than many other chiropractic systems. In taking advantage of the confused chiropractor, the promoters of concept therapy simply sell their treatment method to the practitioner who only knows that nothing he has tried yet seems to work very well. A change, of a positive nature, in the concept or state of mind of the doctor and, consequently, the patient, will, no doubt, seem to increase the value of the treatment.

Concept therapy peddlers claim:

For fifty years the chiropractic profession has been exploited by technique peddlers who claim that their petty technique is the thing which heals. But these elusive peddlers are now on the run! Concept therapy is exposing them, and members of our profession are beginning to see that they have been “hoodwinked” all these years by the fellow who . . . sells a technique adjusting the spine. There are 168 different methods of adjusting the spine, each one boasting to be the best.

As a profession let’s recognize the techniques for what they are-merely a key to that Innate Intelligence within which is the real healer of the body. Once you know the great secret taught in concept-therapy, you can make any technique work. Eliminate the technic peddler. Get in the “know,” and build your practice on principle [1].

By employing this system, any technique is supposed to work, making it unnecessary for the chiropractor to bother with any special or new chiropractic method. Thus go the technique peddlers in chiropractic; each new technique starting out with the advantage that the last one did not work. As each new method wears out its welcome, another new one appears. It is apparent, however, that a good many chiropractic promoters are aware of the fact that, for the most part, the great accumulation of chiropractic theories and techniques are unproven and relatively worthless in the treatment of disease, thus providing them with grounds and opportunity for promoting their own wares. The promoters of concept therapy have undoubtedly recognized that the mental attitude of the practitioner has much to do with the success of his treatment method.

I have probably been exceedingly repetitious in providing examples of chiropractic theory and technique in the treatment of disease. In any event, there should be no doubt in the reader’s mind as to what constitutes scientific joint manipulation as opposed to “removal of nerve interference.” Although we have quoted from various medical sources referring to the use of manipulation in mechanical spinal disorders, it would require too much space to quote extensively from an existing large collection of old and new medical literature referring to the use of manipulation which, obviously, is included in the field of medicine. Perusal of various physical therapy journals, or the bibliography of an orthopedic text such as Lewin’s The Back and Its Disk Syndromes [2], would probably provide one with an extensive source of material for research work on manipulation.

Dr. James Mennell, a medical specialist in the use of joint manipulation, whom we have quoted extensively, has stated that, “There is no magic about joint manipulation. When cure of symptoms occurs, it must be in accordance with the laws of anatomy, physiology, pathology and psychology.” [3]

In his book, The Science and Art of Joint Manipulation, Mennell offers a manipulative technique for the correction of disturbances occurring in every joint capable of sustaining such. In binding or subluxation of the sacroiliac joint, for example, he states:

From a clinical point of view it is well known that, when a diagnosis of binding at the sacroiliac junction is made, if the symptoms are relieved by rotating the ilium on the sacrum, the audible noise which takes place is of an entirely different nature from the “snap” so often associated with the manipulation of any other joint. The noise is rather that of a low-toned thud than of a high-pitched snap.

Mennell’s books on joint manipulation are the finest I have seen. Although he decries the fact that many medical practitioners do not recognize the value of manipulation, chiropractors, on the other hand, have not furnished similar publications for use among members of their own profession. Rather, chiropractic literature, for the most part, simply deals with the theory of vertebral misalignment as a primary cause of disease. Following this guide, the successful chiropractic “general practitioner” would have to ignore the recommendations and guides of medical science as recognized by the medical practitioner who manipulates.

Considerably more skill is required to manipulate joints stiffened by adhesions, deformity, and dislocation than is required to ceremoniously manipulate the normal spine. In addition, the proper manipulative treatment of such conditions often requires the skillful use of certain palliative or supporting measures.

The many methods of chiropractic practice place chiropractic practitioners in a circle of highly competitive business. Each chiropractor, and each “technique promoter,” must “sell” himself and his method of treatment.

1. Chiropractic’s most important message (circular). Concept Therapy Institute, San Antonio, Texas, 1959.
2. Lewin, Philip, M.D.: The Back and Its Disc Syndromes. 2nd Edition, Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia, 1955.
3. Mennell J. The Science and Art of Joint Manipulation. Volume 2, New York: The Spinal Column. Blakiston Company, 1952.

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