33 Principles of Chiropractic 1-5

July 6, 2015

For this week, and probably for the next few as well, rather than discussing another study or research paper, I’d like to write about some of the chiropractic principles of philosophy which helped shape and stabilize the profession for the last almost 80 years.

Written in 1937 by chiropractic philosopher R. W. Stevenson in his “Chiropractic Textbook” the 33 Principles of Chiropractic have helped define the philosophy of the profession. The original list of 33 was without much of a particular order, or at best a fairly confusing order. Dr. David Koch D.C. has attempted to reorder them by first dividing them into three categories: The Universal Principles, The Biological Principles, and The Chiropractic Principles. He then arranged the principles within each category into a fairly logical order. For the next few weeks, I’d like to break down some of them to help give a bit of an idea on what chiropractic is about at the core of its philosophy. The listed number is Koch’s order while the number at the end is the original number of the principle.

1. The Major Premise. There is a universal intelligence in all matter, continuously giving to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence, and giving this intelligence its expression. (1)

2. Cause and Effect. Every effect has a cause and every cause has effects. (17)

3. The Principle of Time. All processes require time. (6)

4. No Organization Without the Effort of Force. Matter can have no organization without the application of force by intelligence. (15)

5. Universal Expression. Force is manifested as organization in matter; all matter has organization, therefore there is universal intelligence expressed in all matter. (14)

As these are the first principles, they form the most basic foundation of chiropractic philosophy. This can be seen as these particular principles could readily be used as the most basic foundation of any healthcare philosophy as many of the ideas are commonly known and accepted such as “cause and effect” and that processes require time. However, number one, which as you can see is the first principle of both this and the original list, is a bit more unique. It’s important to note that “intelligence” isn’t necessarily a “consciousness” like when speaking of intelligent life. Rather, it’s a fundamental guiding force that determines how an object behaves. Essentially the universal intelligence mentioned could be considered to be based on quantum physics and the how’s and why’s of all matter behaving as they do on the atomic, molecular, and later onto the macroscopic scale. This leads into the fourth principle referring to this intelligence and the forces it provides. Again, this can be understood as the quantum forces of gravity, magnetism, and nuclear forces so that atoms can organize into molecules with bonds. Finally, the fifth principle reiterates this statement by pointing out that because organization requires the forces of universal intelligence, that fact that all matter has organization effectively proves that there is universal intelligence.

Chiropractic is strongly rooted in physics, as any healthcare profession is to at least some degree. Biology and the body’s functionality is of course the final end, but biology stems from chemistry which stems from physics. The next few principles before getting to the Biological Principles will continue to expand on these first five, but I’ll get on to some more of those next time.


--Joshua J. J. Jorde D.C.