Arguably, the largest alternative to allopathic medicine, chiropractic has been around for well over a century. Founded in 1895 by D. D. Palmer, a magnetic healer from Davenport, Lowa, USA, the alternative medical method concentrates on the premise that diseases and illnesses are caused by problems in the lower spinal cord. Essentially, chiropractic has variously been described as a complementary alternative form of healthcare profession which is rooted in diagnosis, management and prevention of problems relating to the neuromusculoskeletal system (Davies et al 1). Apparently, the practice is widely observed, now operating in more than 100 countries in all regions. The chiropractors are majorly based in North America, Australia and some parts of Europe. The therapy emphasizes that lower back pain is the sole cause of problems in all body parts. Arguably, the pain that originates from the lower back can easily affect other parts because the central nervous system is connected to the spine. Even so, it is not easy to explain how lower back pain can be associated with such complicated conditions as diabetes.
The scope of chiropractic practice varies from one state to another, following differences in laws and professional bodies that are legally recognized. The state of California, the scope of chiropractic practice is outlined by the chiropractic initiative act of California – a draft written and approved by the legislators. The act outlines the scope of the licensed chiropractor, within the borders of California. The outline of such a scope as well explains what the chiropractor can do and that which he cannot do. These dos and don’ts approach explains the roles allowed by the law, and the due conduct expected of the chiropractor. The essence of the Act is that f the chiropractor does anything in contravention of the same; they shall be subjected to the disciplinary action prescribed by the law. Apparently, the chiropractors are popular therapists that serve the Californian populace in equal measure. For this reason, the government finds it necessary to regulate the conduct of such professionals with the assistance of the Californian Medical Association (CMA).
According to the Act, a duly licensed professional chiropractor has the power to make alterations to and adjust the spinal cord as well as other relevant joint of the entire human body. This entails the fact that a licensed chiropractor can as well adjust the muscle and tendons attached to such joint, or spinal cord (Edmund 4). Adjusting such muscle may require the professional to employ all relevant skills and tactics in adjusting the muscles, provided that such adjustments are in line with the overall wellbeing of the client. The assumption is that the chiropractor shall at all times act in the best interest of the client. The act as well gives the chiropractor permission to administer relevant vitamins and other food supplements that will help precipitate the healing process. All the powers of the chiropractor are listed under the scope section of the act. In administering such vitamins, the chiropractor is expected to stick to ethical standards as human life is paramount.
In the state of California, a duly licensed chiropractor is allowed by the board to, in the course of practice, use all mechanical, sanitary and hygiene measures that he may deem necessary. Such measure should be activities that are somewhat incidental to the overall care of the body of a human being. Such measures include, but are not at all limited to light, exercise, heat, air, diet, cold and such physical therapy as massage. Apparently, such activities are permitted as they make better the delivery of quality services. Worth mentioning is the reality that chiropractic practice embraces many other things, which people consider overlapping. For instance, the act of massaging an individual is incidental but overlapping with the main act that defines chiropractic. While working as a licensed professional in the state of California, a chiropractor can at all times advertise for the services offered as he or she is in an income generating endeavor.
According to the Board, duly licensed chiropractor shall not at any one point perform a human surgery, sever or penetration of the human flesh. This means that the work of the chiropractor as per the requirements of the board, relates to the external aspects of the human body. In this light, the chiropractor cannot assist a woman in labor deliver a child. Similarly, a chiropractor has no legal authority to practice obstetrics. The Board bans the chiropractor from practicing dentistry and such highly specialized medical functions as optometry. All drugs listed in materia medica shall not be used or prescribed by the chiropractor (Edmund 4). The use of lithotripter is prohibited in Californian chiropractic. Similarly, the Board bans the chiropractor from using ultrasound on an unborn baby for either diagnosis or treatment. And the last restriction to the scope of chiropractic is the reality that professional chiropractors should not perform mammography.
The primary differences between chiropractic and other alternative therapies in California is the reality that chiropractic is more accepted as an alternative therapy (Cassidy et al 34). Considering that such alternatives as naturopathic therapies have no regulatory boards, it is valid to conclude that they are insignificantly practiced in the state. Even so, the naturopathic therapy is coming up quick in the state lately. The requirements for licensure in the state include registration with NPLEX and one to be a four year graduate having validly completed a course from a recognized institution. The Board of acupuncture in California requires that should be duly qualified to be licensed, having graduated from one of the approved schools. Talking of scope, chiropractic has a wider scope than all other alternative therapies, not just in California, but in all states.
In the year 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO), came up with standard guidelines on the proper training of chiropractic. The UN agency, gave a comprehensive guide on how to make chiropractic more effective. Perhaps this was the biggest formal effort at promoting the alternative therapy. One of the main reasons why, chiropractic is still lagging behind is the reality that not all chiropractors hold the same view of the profession. The professionals differ on the scope of the practice. In the year 2011, Yvonne Villanueva-Russell established through a comprehensive research that, while other specialists considered themselves as back and neck specialists, others thought that this description was quite limiting (Villanueva-Russell 548). With unclear reasons, a few chiropractors consider themselves whole body therapists. They argue that all or most of the body problems are rooted in back problems. Such problems can be cured through various actions on the back.
Cassidy, J. David, et al. "Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: results of a population-based case-control and case-crossover study." Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics 32.2 (2009): 201-208.
Davies, Laura, et al. "The UK back pain subpopulation study: predictors of outcome in patients receiving chiropractic treatment." chiropractic (2011): 1.
Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor. Board of Chiropractic Examiners. 2011. Print
Villanueva-Russell, Yvonne. "Evidence-based medicine and its implications for the profession of chiropractic." Social science & medicine 60.3 (2011): 545-561.