As the season of thanks graces us with its presence, we follow traditions that are passed down from generation to generation.Through Dr. William Ruch’s textbooks, “Atlas of Common Subluxations of the Human Spine and Pelvis” and “Advanced Adjusting Technique, Chiropractic Care For Physically Compromised Patients” educates readers into a tradition of applying gentler methods to benefit patients for the long run.
What about your journey in the chiropractic profession has made you feel thankful?
My mission has always been being able to help people. I get a lot of positive feedback from the people I help. To give someone the ability to walk without pain is something I enjoy for which I am grateful.
What does subluxation represent in chiropractic science?
Well the term subluxation is controversial in our own profession. I have done a study of the human spine, which documents the destructive nature of chronic subluxation to the spine. This is the textbook “Atlas of Common Subluxations of the Human Spine and Pelvis”. It is an observation and record of the human spine. Although in teaching about subluxation it is necessary to point out that ligament failure is the source of the subluxation. My students have pointed out that chiropractors are ligament doctors. Ligament injury is serious stuff and is the source of our osteoarthritis, the most common debilitating condition. I don’t feel most people in medical or chiropractic professions know enough about ligament injuries and how to manage them. My second book “Advanced Adjusting Technique, Chiropractic Care for Physically Compromised Patients” deals with gentle adjusting protocols and managing care for chronic cases.
You have a background in home remodeling, and use the analogy of a home in comparison to treating the human body. What are the correlations?
My background in residential remodeling was an apprenticeship to what I do now. I joke with patients that I am looking for their building code violations. That is the term that I use for subluxations, structural misalignment in your house is a building code violation. The plumbing, wiring, venting systems are analogous to the vascular, neurological and alimentary canal systems in the body. It doesn’t matter if it’s the neck vertebrae, pelvic bones or your tibia they need to be aligned if they are subluxated. And like I mentioned before, misalignment is ligament failure, which requires care, management, usually some restriction of activities and a time for recovery. I might add that Motor Vehicle Accidents are like an earthquake for the body. As you would want your contractor to check everything from the foundation to the rafters, that should be done to our patients following such events. Drugs are like painting the house after an earthquake and leaving everything misaligned.
What about your experience at Life West influenced you toward softer and gentler techniques for subluxation?
I was injured when I started Chiropractic college and then got hurt as a student. That experience was instrumental in making me look for other ways of doing things. Most people when they are injured do not want to be handled roughly. Also a good part of our population, the seniors, have a version for rough approaches. Our program, as well as all the others, focus on sports care. Most people are not athletes. One of the main ideas in the Advanced Adjusting book is that the care of chronic injuries needs to be addressed.
How prevalent are multiple subluxations in patients in this day and age than it was 40 years ago?
Prevalence of multiple injuries has increased in the time but I have been in practice. I feel most of this is due to motor vehicle accident injuries. Most victims of motor vehicle accidents have multiple injuries, spinal, shoulder, knees and hips. A lot of these injuries will never fully recover. I started teaching an anatomy class at the chiropractic college in 1998. I would find 4 to 6 students that had significant injuries involving the chest, pelvis and extremities. Now, in 2021 I find the entire class is suffering from these injuries.
What are you hoping people will find the most beneficial from your books?
Rational care is not being routinely delivered. The neck and the rib cage relationship is ignored. Shoulder and the connection to the rib cage is also ignored. The pelvic girdles’ relationship to gynecological pathology, infertility, delayed labors and low back pain is ignored.
The standard of care needs to be addressed, and hopefully my books will change that.