Non-Western alternative medicine includes the approaches and techniques of healers working outside traditional Western medicine, and include ancient healing traditions, mind-body interventions, herbs, diet and nutrition, acupuncture and manual healing. Chiropractic medicine, the subject of this paper, is a method of manual treatment. As many nontraditional healers, chiropractors believe in the holistic approach. In the area of non-Western medicine, holism refers to a totality in perspective, with sensitivity to al. Levels or parts that constitute the whole and to their interdependence and relatedness. The terms health and wholeness are often used when describing holism (Zhang, 1996). Thus, an individual may not be separated from his or her external environment.
The emphasis on wholeness, on viewing the body as a single entity and single unit is one of the beliefs behind the practice of the chiropractor who was interviewed for this paper. This research paper will focus on both the interview and observation of a healing session, as well as the background, major assumptions and importance of chiropractic.
S.B., who has been in practice for eight years, began his career as an aerobics instructor in a private gym, but soon became attracted to the healing arts. He has four years of post-high school training at an accredited chiropractic school, in addition to his A.A. degree from a community college where he majored in sociology and psychology. His training included an intensive study of anatomy and physiology as well as technique, and he can refer to himself as a Doctor of Chiropractic.
"Once I became interested in the healing profession as a career," S.B. said, "I never even considered Western medicine which views a person as a group of parts, not a totality. That's why there are so many M.D. specialists."
S.B.'s interest in the art of chiropractic developed when he took a friend to one. The friend suffered from ch...