After reading the title of this piece, I'm sure the answer is obvious, but allow me to indulge my thoughts a bit with this one, if you will. August has been a crazy month.. my son's 3rd birthday, his first day of ever going to school (which many parents know is a big deal for the first 2 weeks to month), my dad's birthday, and attending the Wave seminar all while trying to maintain a work/life balance with practice and 2 kids has all been a lot. Whenever a lot is happening, I like to relax in what little down time I have with something funny from Netflix. Enter Dave Chappelle.
I missed The Closer, so I decided to catch up on that, enjoyed it, and got suggested some of the other specials, one of which was called "What's in a Name" and it's a recording of a speech he gave to Duke Ellington high school for the honor of putting his name on one of their buildings. If you follow some of his recent stand up, you will notice that he has been highlighting more and more about the art of comedy. There was one part that he said at the end of the speech at this high school that really resonated with me and made me think of my own profession.
Photo Credit: Dave Chappelle GOAT 2020 Painting by John Farr
He says at one point, "The more you say I can't say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it. And it has nothing to do what what you're saying I can't say. It has everything to do with my right, my freedom of artistic expression. That is valuable to me. That is not separate from me. It's worth protecting for me, and it's worth protecting for everyone else who endeavors in our noble, noble, professions."
Coming fresh off of the Wave seminar where Dr. Bruce Lipton closed out the weekend, I couldn't help put the two together. In his talk at the seminar, Dr. Lipton went over a history of chiropractic, since he was a medical doctor asked to speak at a chiropractic convention (You can watch his whole talk in really poor clarity on our insta page, it's worth a listen!!). He also goes over basic science principles that were recently discovered that validates chiropractic as arguably more scientifically valid than traditional allopathic medicine. He also reveals the ugly past between our two professions where early in chiropractic's infancy, uneducated medical doctors in the past would call chiropractors "quacks" and have them even jailed for "practicing medicine without a license." Luckily, our founders were steadfast, obtained licensure state by state, and allowed us to continue the good work that we do for building healthier communities.
I couldn't help to add a photo of my perspective at the Wave..
Another speaker that weekend, Dr. Brad Glowaki, talked about the immense benefits of chiropractic care for performance enhancement in athletes (specifically reaction time, vertical height jumps, etc), and he finished his talk with again going back to our roots. He shared that he went back to interview a landmark win for chiropractic in the trial of Wilk vs. the AMA (70's/80's). Long story short, it was a single chiropractor and his attorney against the AMA on their concerted, coordinated effort "to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession." After 12 years, they were granted a ruling against the AMA that "issued a permanent injunction to prevent such future behavior."
The reverberations from the damage the AMA has struck our profession with is still felt today. I thought about these speakers and these pieces of MY noble profession's history as I was hearing the words that Dave Chappelle was saying in his speech and thought: We are the same. Well, not in net worth, or race, or fame, or gender... although I'm sure he's thought "everyone's a comedian" as much as I've thought "everyone's a chiropractor" ironically. But in that statement we are the same. We both love our profession. We love the up-and-comers, we love the smiles we put on people's faces, we love healing that occurs when we engage whole heartedly in our work, we love our mentors and continue to strive for honing our craft. We also recognize that outside of a select few, our profession itself is not as respected as it should be and is misunderstood by the general public.
I am just one person in my chiropractic profession, but I hold myself to a high standard as a sign of respect for the people who came before me and to set an example for the people coming up after me. The reason why I love chiropractic so much is that it is a healing art that really WORKS, and works better than its alternative options like drugs and surgery (as shown in research on patient outcome satisfaction). I hope in sharing our similarities and a piece of the chiropractic history, that the view of the general public shifts so that we are given the chance to change lives for the better. And I hope to one day get a Netflix special. JK.