The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) is very pleased to announce that the landmark 640-page ICA Best Practices and Practice Guidelines have now been accepted for inclusion in the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC). The National Guideline Clearinghouse is a comprehensive database of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and related documents. NGC is an initiative of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This important recognition represents the culmination of a three-year effort, involving thousands of hours of study, research and analysis on the part of a team of several dozen doctors of chiropractic from around the world, chaired by Dr. Don Harrison. “We are very excited about the ICA Best Practices being accepted for inclusion by the National Guideline Clearinghouse,” said Dr. Harrison. “To see this ICA Guidelines reach this point is, indeed, historic. It was no simple feat to produce these guidelines. I feel this document and its future revisions will benefit thousands of chiropractors for generations to come, as well as enhance the quality of patient care for countless millions.”
According to the agency’s website, “The NGC mission is to provide physicians, nurses, and other health professionals, health care providers, health plans, integrated delivery systems, purchasers and others an accessible mechanism for obtaining objective, detailed information on clinical practice guidelines and to further their dissemination, implementation and use.” Over 1,400 clinical papers were reviewed by multiple analysts as a basis for the guidelines decisions made by the team, more than utilized by any other guidelines effort in chiropractic’s history.
All levels of evidence were included in an effort to gain a comprehensive and balanced foundation for the guidelines, from the randomized controlled trial to the individual case report. In addition, the draft document was available for review and comment on the Internet for nearly a full year, yielding hundreds of comments and recommendations from doctors of chiropractic worldwide.
The guidelines document and grade the clinical evidence of the efficacy of the chiropractic adjustment for 339 specific health challenges.
“The chiropractic profession owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Dr. Don Harrison, Dr. Leonard Siskin, Dr. Deed Harrison, Dr. Joseph Betz, Dr. Dwight George, Dr. Stephanie Cheney, Dr. Eric Huntington and many others who devoted their selfless energy and meticulous attention over a period of many years to this project,” said ICA President Dr. Gary L. Walsemann.
The Guidelines text has been published in a limited hardback edition available by contacting ICA at 1-800-423-4690. The full text of the document will also be available on the NGC website in the coming months.
“The level of professionalism and objectivity that went into this process is astounding and reflects a commitment to excellence rare in any professional endeavor,” said Dr. Walsemann. “I believe we can clearly attribute this exceptionally high standard to the Guidelines Committee Chair, Dr. Don Harrison.”
Donald D. Harrison, DC, PhD, MSE, received his DC degree from Western States Chiropractic College in 1979. He received his MSE (Mechanical Engineering) in 1997 and his PhD (Mathematics) in 1998, both from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He originated CBP Technique in 1980 and is the author of numerous textbooks and clinical manuals and more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed indexed journals. He has served on ICA’s Board of Directors and was ICA’s Chiropractor of the Year in 2006.
According to a survey by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services, just 12 percent of the nation’s 228 million adults have the skills to manage their own health care proficiently. Nearly 22 percent of those surveyed had just a basic understanding of medical treatments and 14 percent could only accomplish the most rudimentary tasks, such as understanding a short set of treatment instructions.
This should come as no surprise if what we call “health care” is a complex web of powerful chemicals, elaborate tests and billions of dollars in marketing and public relations with the overarching purpose of convincing every American that they suffer from a multitude of “conditions” that require these very expensive chemicals and tests.
However, the chiropractic model of health care is far easier to grasp. Any literate adult should be able to understand that the central nervous system regulates all cellular function in the the body. The brain is protected by the skull. The brain stem, spinal cord and nerve roots are protected my the bones of the spine. Care and maintenance of this vital system, through chiropractic care, is a firm foundation on which one can lay all five of the basic tenets of achieving and maintaining health:
- Consume a diet of nutrient rich, unprocessed foods and clean, pure water.
- Minimize emotional, physical and chemical stress on the body.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get adequate, restful sleep.
- Pro-actively maintain the structural integrity of the central nerve system.
Unfortunately, one of the greatest hindrances to achieving health is the current medical model. The pharmaceutical/medical industry is second only to the food industry in terms of destruction of the health of individuals.
Many seem to have forgotten that the human body is capable of healing itself of any “disease” known to man. The body is a community of 70 trillion cells, working in harmony to sustain life. When we remove the impediments (poor nutrition, poor nerve supply, lack of exercise, inadequate sleep, physical, chemical and emotional stresses), the body moves away from disease and toward health. This is the ” wellness” model that everyone is talking about, yet no one has yet adequately defined in the mind of the health care consumer.
Chiropractic care offers the firm foundation on which to build a true wellness model of health care. Chiropractors have been outspoken opponents of the overuse of drugs and critical of the medical model for 113 years. The foundational concept of the current medical model, that a medical doctor can ask someone to describe their symptoms and then select a chemical from the thousands available to “treat” those symptoms, is misguided.
This fundamental flaw in the medical paradigm is at the very core of much of the teachings on which chiropractic was founded. The fact that this flawed model is beyond the comprehension of most individuals is not surprising and should be considered a blessing.
The intelligence in the human body that transforms 2 cells into a perfectly formed human in 280 days is far superior to anything yet created by man. The human body needs nothing more than what is described above to produce perfect new cells to replace those cells that the body naturally purges every second of every day. The same power that made the body can heal the body of any challenge that presents itself, as long as the interference from outside (that which is not under the body’s control) is not greater than the body’s natural inclination toward health and survival, bolstered and supported by following the five tenets referenced above.
This is something that anyone can understand. They just need to hear it. Over and over and over again.