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CAM From a Man on The Edge
A view of complementary medicine from a chiropracter newly qualified


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CAM - From a Man on The Edge

Last modified 2014-03-16 16:13

My name is Ben Grant, and I graduated in 2007 from the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic at the University of Glamorgan. As a newly graduated chiropractor I sit in a position of some privilege; I have not yet had the chance to develop any overwhelming leanings to any particular branch of the therapy, my base knowledge should be at its peak, I have not yet had the chance to become driven solely by my earnings (although as I hope to start practising within a week this may change) but I think most tellingly I am young and very keen to see where I can go with this!

Of course that brings me to the question; where exactly is that?

Primarily of course the goal is to become a complete and well rounded practitioner who is able to both diagnose and triage any case that comes before him/her. However, is that it, all one can expect of a career in complementary health? Or would it be possible to give back something to that profession? Wasn’t it Kennedy who told us "think not what your country can do for you, but think of what you can do for your country?"

Primarily here one must look at the furthering of one’s profession, and more specifically with complementary health to raise the profile of that profession. It is a sad truth that although the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) sector has seen a huge growth in recent years; it is estimated that up to 5 million people visit complementary healthcare practitioners in a year in the UK and in the USA is listed as the fastest growing and second largest primary healthcare profession, so many people are not just unable to access those services but even unaware of their existence! How is it that I still have people looking confused and even embarrassed when I tell them I’m a chiropractor, not a week ago I happened to be present when a member of public called the clinic where I am starting work to check if we could fit her in to look at her ingrown toenail!

So where to look to remedy this? Of course, as is implied in the name health sciences, that is what we are looking for; science. Credible and repeatable research indicating that such a therapy is two main things: safe and effective. We all know, or at least I hope that we do, that our chosen area of expertise, be it Chiropractic, or Chiropractic, does help in some way or else, again I would hope, why would we have embarked upon it as a career. However the route we often take into complementary health is through a personal experience or that of a friend or loved one, rather than through traditional means. Can this be traced back to a lack of exposure in those disciplines not immediately related to mainstream healthcare? Perhaps, thus by even being part of CAM it is important that each practitioner do his or her level best to raise that professions profile, in whatever way possible. Although of course the most effective way would be to look into researching some of the underlying theories of that profession, something to think about…


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