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Dynamic Chiropractic
May 8, 1992, Volume 10, Issue 10

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Principles and Practice of Chiropractic, 2nd Edition

Edited by -- Scott Haldeman, D.C., M.D., Ph.D.

Hardcover -- 641 pages

Please see pages xx, Parts #T-O99, for information on how to order

When I was about 14 years old I felt that the most important thing in the world was to be as muscular as a Mr. America. My 14-year-old brain was convinced that all the pretty girls would come running after me if I just had big arms. In fact, I believed that the whole world would stand in awe if I had big muscles.

One day I went to the local drugstore and purchased a muscle magazine. For days I walked around with it, with the cover showing, so that the public could witness my commitment to physical perfection.

Well, that was quite a number of years ago and fortunately my commitment to physical perfection has matured into the more sensible and constructive enterprise of ministering to the physical welfare of the public as a chiropractic physician.

This type of childish naivete was in the past, or so I thought, until I received the second edition of Scott Haldeman's Principles and Practice of Chiropractic. It is such a splendid volume that it's the kind of thing that makes you want to share it with others. You want to carry it around and have others look at it and read it.

In 1980, the first edition was presented. With my usual vigor I devoured the text, underlining every word and writing commentary in the margins. Without thinking of all that has transpired in the last 11 years, my first thought was that little more could be added to what had already been written in the first edition. Wrong.

The second edition is bigger in every way; it has to be to accommodate the plethora of new information that is constantly being produced.

The text is divided into four sections and 32 chapters. Section I is concerned with the history, philosophy, and sociology of chiropractic; Section II addresses the physiological and biomechanical principles of the practice of chiropractic; Section III is on spinal analysis and diagnostic methods; and Section IV covers chiropractic care.

As editor, Dr. Haldeman has gathered some of the more erudite authors in the fields of neurology, physiology, biomechanics, and chiropractic and put them in a volume that challenges the possibility of amelioration.

It's impossible to choose any portion of this volume as setting the criteria for the rest. However, the most important aspect to me, personally, is that I find text that addresses the relevance of the somato/visceral reflex to the practice of chiropractic. It's incomprehensible to me that there are some within the profession who are content to be musculoskeletal technicians instead of physicians. They would abrogate the foundation of chiropractic, while the osteopaths promulgate the somato/visceral, viscero/somatic reflex as a basic tenet of their philosophy and practice.

With this in mind, I usually invade a volume with a bias and consequent search for material germane to my interests. This resulted in my reading Chapter 7 on the physiology of nerve compression; Chapter 8 on spinal reflex physiology; Chapter 9 on the clinical investigations of reflex function; Chapter 10 on the systemic effects of spinal lesions; and Chapter 24 on the effectiveness of spinal manipulation and adjustments -- before reading any other parts. Satisfied that the subject of somato/visceral reflexes had been properly covered, I moved with ease through the rest of the text.

To study this book is to delight in the intellect of every chiropractor -- straight, curved, round or square. There is something for us all. It begins by covering the history of spinal manipulation before the emergence of chiropractic and then into the history of chiropractic itself. The chapters on the neurophysiology of spinal pain, the pathophysiology of the intervertebral disc, and Dr. John Triano's fascinating treatise on the interaction of spinal biomechanics and physiology are particularly noteworthy.

Everything seems to be in the book -- Dr. L. John Faye on motion palpation; Dr. William Meeker on soft tissue and non-force techniques; chapters on radiology; high velocity thrust adjustments; examination procedures; complications of manipulation therapy; instrumentation; anatomy; and philosophy. There's something for all of us -- all integrated with incomparable illustrations, graphs, and production values that make this a creation of extraordinary value.

"All" should mean not only chiropractors but the other healing disciplines. By all means get a copy for yourself, but get others for the cooperative neurologist, medical orthopedist, or for any professional whom you might feel should learn more about what we do and why. The publication of Principles and Practice of Chiropractic is an event the chiropractic profession can be proud of and be shared with others for the benefit of the reader and the patients we all endeavor to serve.


Dynamic Chiropractic
May 8, 1992, Volume 10, Issue 10

Printer Friendly Version
E-mail to a Friend

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