This is a fundamental question. And I am not the first person to have asked. There are many chiropractors who have blazed this trail before. But from the perspective of a student, following the signs where ever they lead, it seems like an important exercise to get some fundamental concepts straight. It is an incomplete list, but nonetheless it conveys the essence of what it is we are all about.
1) the nervous system controls the body.
2) nerves must be balanced/healthy to correctly carry out important functions
3) the body heals itself, when properly maintained and corrected
4) the skull and spine are the most complex and critical bony structures in the body
5) our brain also lives inside our spine, irregularities and subluxations interfere with nervous system function
6) chiropractic care is preventative care, designed to keep the body "tuned" much like an automobile
7) investing money today in prevention will save large amounts down the road ("an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." - Benjamin Franklin)
8) health isn't free, but it is a lot cheaper than disease
In the end chiropractic is all about LIFE, quality and quantity of LIFE. We study LIFE to learn how to better live it. We study HEALTH to learn how to better create it. We study LOVE to learn how to better give it. We study WEALTH to learn how to better grow it. All of this is self-evident, logical, rational, based on science (asking questions and observing), and firmly grounded in reality. It is what being HOLISTIC is all about.
Chiropractic is all about focusing on what you want more of - LIFE and HEALTH - while avoiding things you want less off - DEATH and DISEASE. Yet despite the self-evident truths above, many in the establishment have yet to embrace the truth that focusing on something will inevitably bring about more of that same thing.
We still invest massive sums of research dollars into studying disease, thinking erroneously that such efforts will yield magical results that can alleviate the chronic diseases that are literally plaguing our society. Would it make sense to study poor, gambling-addicted citizens who have wasted all their resources if we are trying to learn about saving and growing our wealth? What good will it do us to understand mechanistically how all kinds of diseases happen while ignoring how to create health and vitality? We do not want more disease. Yet by focusing on disease and ignoring health, we are getting tons and tons of disease in return.
The Universe works on the principal of electro-magnetism, aka the law of attraction. Basically it should be obvious to everyone that the more we focus on something, the more we will get of that thing. For example, if we go around feeling like we "want" things, the signal we are sending out is that "we don't have enough". Sure enough, the universe oblidges us and will give us situations were we don't have enough. It may not be true in the fullest sense of the word, but our perception of the world will have imprinted the "wanting" feeling which inevitably leads us to live a life of "not enough, not ever enough". You can imagine people who live this way. If they don't have enough, don't expect them to share!
If we expect to get out of our current crisis then my money is on the holistic, vitalistic, quantum energy based healing sciences. Medicine has to shrink....way down. It must be reserved for emergencies, where it is most effective. For most of us we won't need it. Instead we will pay for a service from a chiropractor or other holistic healer who will teach us how to be healthy, grow healthy, and stay healthy.