The Chiropractic Subluxation Story

I attended chiropractic college way back in the 1970s when the profession was all about the detection and correction of spinal subluxations. This may sound funny to those of you who still go to a chiropractor who corrects subluxations with spinal adjustments. You see, even within the profession, this term has become unpopular with some colleges. In recent years, the college I attended, which now calls itself a University, does not use the term at all but requests the students to check for the "tissue in lesion." I guess the university lecturers of chiropractic philosophy became embarrassed using the term with their medical doctor friends and decided on a new description of what is happening in the spine. I can not say I fully blame them for their shift in terminology but am sadened that they are leading the next generation of practitioners astray.

When I was sitting in the first year principals and philosophy class as it was called back then, our lecturer had a definition of subluxation which never really sat well with me. It went something like, a subluxation is a condition of the spine which is less than a dislocation. The term "luxation" was supposedly a nineteenth century term for a dislocation and the term "sub" meant under or less than.

So, a spinal subluxation was a condition where the bones moved, pinched nerves and was less than a luxation. This entity was criticized by some detractors who suggested that the concept was all in the mind of the chiropractor.

The controversies investigated and continues within the chiropractic profession. The main thing about the above definition is that it is false. The first-year lecturer had given me a wrong definition.

What then is the true meaning of the term. From Latin, we learn that sub means "less than" or "under," yet the word "lux" actually means "light" and the term "ation" means "the condition or state of." This gives a totally different meaning to what I do on a daily basis as a chiropractor.

I'm actually turning on the light! So, the concept is about there being darkness in the body as a result of the spinal subluxation. This sets well with me and my old High School motto, which was "luceat lux vestra," which translates as "let your light shine."

So, if you want your light to shine, and want to get out of the darkness, you can go and visit your chiropractor.