Chiropractic Bigness

DD Palmer Generations

In a recent interview I did with Drs. Kent and Gentempo, we explored the work of RJ Watkins, a true pioneer of chiropractic. The interview is reproduced here with images and a few more details about Watkins’ life.

 

The thing that excites me the most about exploring chiropractic history and philosophy by looking at individuals is the Bigness of chiropractic. Gentempo really made this clear towards the end of our discussion. He suggests chiropractors should look back and not just forward to the next new thing. The Bigness is unmistakable when you do.

The book that changed my life more than most was B.J. Palmer’s Bigness of the Fellow Within. The book sat on the shelf in my chiropractor’s lending library. I used to arrive early to study the gems inside.

For me, it was especially exciting because I had been going to chiropractors since age four and had never heard of B.J. I had already completed a bachelors degree in history, with a focus on European intellectual history. My emphasis was the vitalistic philosophers. At the time of discovering the Bigness, I was completing my masters degree in philosophy.

So when I came to B.J.’s writings for the first time, I was primed and ready. Reading B.J. was actually a break for me from studying Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, as well as Buddhist and Hindu philosophy. The subtitle of my thesis was Plato and the Body, Mind, Soul!

In B.J.’s writings I found something rare. He was able to write from a different voice than most of us access. He not only wrote about classic issues from the history of philosophy but he wrote from the perspective of the Bigness (much of the time anyway). Knowing about something is one thing; embodying it is another, and being able to speak or write from that embodied knowing is extremely rare indeed.

Research into the linguistics used by individuals at very complex levels of knowing and being has been documented. It fact, there is a whole field of study called Constructive Development. I explored this in detail in a recent paper on B.J.’s life. But no amount of words may convey the Bigness.

As Thom Gelardi said recently, “like Zen…if you fill their cup with chiropractic, there won’t be room for anything else!”

Rather than take you through B.J.s writings, I suggest you go and get the book! There are also several resources on this site and our other sites, where you may explore this Bigness in greater detail.

The Bigness of chiropractic is so simple and yet it has many dimensions. The chiropractic adjustment at the right time, in the right place, with the right amount of force, in the right direction, is the basic dimension. Knowing the power of the innate within is yet another dimension. Knowing the relation of your innate to the infinite of which it is a drop, is yet another. The dimensions go on and on. Bigness.

Resources

Cook-Greuter, S. www.Cook-Greuter.com

Firth, J. (1923). Chiropractic Symptomatology

Kent, C., Gentempo, P. (2013). On Purpose

Palmer, BJ. (1949). The Bigness of the Fellow Within.

Palmer, BJ. (1959). Giant vs. Pygmy

Senzon, SA. (2004). The Spiritual Writings of B.J. Palmer.

Senzon, SA. (2010). An Integral Biography of B.J. Palmer.

Senzon, SA. (2011). The Development of B.J. Palmer’s Principles (online course).

Senzon, SA. (2013). Chiropractic Lineage.

Watkins, RJ. (1948). From CMCC Technique Manual: Muscle Palpation.

Weiant, C., Verner, R., Watkins, RJ. (1953). Rational Bacteriology.

Watkins, RJ. (1959). Neurology of Immunization: (with later updates).

Watkins, RJ. (1975). Finger Walk.

Watkins, RJ. (1975). All or None.

Watkins, RJ. (1985). Joint Function.

Waktins, RJ. (~1990). Reflections.

4
Comments
  1. Very well written, Dr. Senzon. Working with Dr. Keating for as long as I have, I, too, disagree with what Dr. Perle mentioned about DD’s evolving theories. Those evolved over the entire time from 1895 until his death, not just the last decade of life. It is true that DD did not come up with the phrase vertebral subluxation, Solon Langworthy did, with his compatriots, Oakley Smith and Minora Paxson. As far as the development of the many techniques in our profession, each can point to one of DD’s theories as the philosophical basis of why it focuses on what it does. It was not in Modernized Chiropractic where the term innate intelligience came from, as you rightly stated. With the combined work of Keating, yourself and the rest of us in the field of Chiropractic History, conclusions made by one of us will undoubtedly be reviewed by the rest of us. Chiropractic Philosophy is not a pseudo religion, it helps to explain WHY we do what we do. We do not worship it. Again, your reply was well written and researched.

  2. Great post Dr. Senzon. It seems the harder our profession tries to come together the harder some camps try to prove why there perspective is correct. I to think it is time for some honesty in these discussions.

  3. Thanks for this thoughtful post, great Monday-morning reading.
    The problems in thinking are more serious than the problems in perspective. Many people don’t want to see or consider the other perspective[s] because they know cognitive dissonance waits around the corner. This is evident in today’s national politics where “being right” and defending personal/party dogma is more important than being accurate, cooperative, or solution-oriented.
    There seems to be a growing trend of taking pride in being dumb these days. You only stand a chance of developing 3rd, 4th, 5th person perspective if you are open and willing to do so. As I see it, many on the medipractor end aren’t willing to do this… and I’m sure they’d say the same about me (us).
    Thanks again, keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2020 The Institute Chiropractic - Senzon Learning, Inc.