IFCO Responds to Rubicon Definition of Subluxation

News Staff
IFCO Responds to Rubicon Definition of Subluxation

Says it Devalues Uniqueness and Separateness from all other Professions 

Recently, the Rubicon Group, led by Gerry Clum DC and Guy Reikeman DC, released a definition of the chiropractic subluxation that goes against the foundational principles of the chiropractic profession. The definition expands subluxation beyond the spine and embraces the common domain procedure of spinal manipulative therapy for the purpose of increasing joint motion in stuck joints anywhere in the body. 


While the definition throws in concepts such as adaptability, health and healing, it ends up as a mongrel combination of words that leave out the traditional foundations of the professions’ reason to be. This, despite the Rubicon’s stated mission on their website to protect the “Traditional Principles of Chiropractic.” 

According to sources the real purpose of the “new” definition is part of an ongoing effort by Clum, Reikeman and LIFE University to appease the European Chiropractic Union (ECU) as LIFE attempts to establish a chiropractic educational program in Italy. The ECU has historically been antagonistic to the traditional values of the chiropractic profession and a number of chiropractic programs in Europe have struggled to secure accreditation from the Council on Chiropractic Education due to their embrace of traditional chiropractic.   

The International Federation of Chiropractors and Organizations (IFCO) joins a growing number of organizations and individuals in rejecting the Rubicon definition and the direction of the Rubicon Group. In discussions with several individuals involved in the development of the definition it has become clear that the outcome was preconceived and that a series of meetings and e-mail exchanges were meant only to give the appearance of a consensus among political and research leaders within the profession. Several individuals and organizations implored Clum and the Rubicon not to move forward with the definition to no avail. 

The Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation, which participated in several meetings and discussions regarding the proposed definition, issued a statement yesterday rejecting it. 


The following is the complete text of the IFCO Press Release: 


The International Federation of Chiropractors and Organizations (IFCO) represents that group of global chiropractors who desire to locate, analyze, and correct vertebral subluxations because vertebral subluxations are a detriment to the expression of life.

We know, with evidence, that the body is an intelligent organism, capable of healing, regulating and organizing itself when all processes are working without interruption.  We know, with evidence, that the nervous system is the master controlling system of the body that allows for healing, regulating and organizing the body to function optimally. We know, with evidence, that anything which adversely affects the function of the nerve system can affect the proper functioning of the body. Included on that list of things that can negatively affect proper expression of the nerve system is vertebral subluxation. 

In order to understand the effects of vertebral subluxation, we must define vertebral subluxation.  Using some of the greatest minds in chiropractic (VP of a research publication; Chair of a Philosophy department at a USA chiropractic college; Chairperson of the Board of the IFCO and Chairperson of a USA chiropractic college and President of the leading pediatric chiropractic organization; President of a chiropractic research publication and co-founder of a leading chiropractic technology company and Director of Evidence-Informed Curriculum and Practice at a USA chiropractic college), the IFCO has defined subluxation as: 

“A vertebral subluxation is an alteration of the intervertebral relationships of one or more articulations of the spinal column or the immediate weight bearing components of the axial skeleton; accompanied by a change in the morphology of the tissue occupying the neural canal and/or intervertebral foramina; as well as an alteration of neural function sufficient to interfere with the transmission of organizing information, considered to be homologous to the mental impulse.” 

The IFCO understands that there are other entities who have defined “chiropractic subluxation.”  As chiropractic was founded upon the subluxation, the only thing that makes the chiropractic profession separate and distinct, it is important to define subluxation in terms of this uniqueness. To not emphasize that subluxation is vertebral first and foremost, and not merely an afterthought, defines chiropractic much like many other professions.  As such, we lose our distinctness and run the risk of being absorbed into other “like” professions. 

The IFCO asserts strongly that any attempt to define chiropractic subluxation without emphasizing the importance of vertebral subluxation is a diminution of the profession.  Our profession was founded upon the principles of life…the 33 Principles.  As chiropractors, we acknowledge and address the vertebral subluxation (Principle 31) as a detriment to the expression of life. That principle (number 31) states “interference with transmission in the body is always directly or indirectly due to subluxations in the spinal column.  Principle 31 does not state that subluxations elsewhere interfere with the transmission of innate forces…just the spinal column. 

Any attempt to deviate from the initial intent at our profession’s definition is an attempt to devalue our uniqueness and separateness from all other professions.  We understand that science has progressed and we are grateful for that progression.  However, the current science does not negate the original raison d’etre and to deviate from our definition is to define a new profession which is not chiropractic.