The Joint Ventures' Blog

You Think Beauty Is Skin Deep? You're Not A Chiropractor - Commentary by Dr. Chung Lee

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Recently, an article was posted on the NPR website regarding a 1956 beauty contest put on by chiropractors at a weeklong convention in Chicago. This article is very interesting to say the least, so we had our very own Dr. Chung Lee weigh in on the report. Check out the orginial link to the article after the jump.

Unnecessary exposure to radiation was clearly not a concern in those days; by today's standards, radiological imaging solely for the purpose of postural evaluation is considered outdated and is not a part of an evidence based chiropractic practice.   Just like a photograph, an X-ray image is a snapshot in time and may not accurately portray one's normal posture due to body positioning at that very instant.  That said, X-ray imaging is still the gold standard for evaluating many serious conditions such as fractures, and can be absolutely necessary depending on a patient's presenting symptoms.

While I personally think beauty pageants contribute little to modern day values, the idea of one evaluating good posture does provoke some thoughts.  Good posture can help prevent many spinal conditions of non-traumatic nature, the culprit of which is often drastically asymmetrical muscular tension to the spine caused by poor ergonomics and a lack of body awareness. These conditions, however, can be easily diagnosed through a combination of manual palpation, visual inspection and muscle testing; this approach to postural evaluation is more reliable and far less costly, and more often than not makes X-rays unnecessary.  Like all professions, mine has evolved and grown with the times, and we have abandoned some of the more outdated practices.  Today, many chiropractors share this view and choose to do without X-ray machines in our offices.

To sum up my thoughts on this colorful chapter of the history of chiropractic:  Although my predecessors' methods were outdated, their thoughts were well-intended; good posture contributes a great deal to one's well being and is a highly desirable attribute in both men and women. Everything you've been told about "shoulders back" and "sit upright" can help you prevent or even fix some slouching-related aches and pain, but you don't need to be exposed to radiation or own two separate scales to achieve the perfect posture; simply see a chiropractor for a more hands-on evaluation and practical solutions.

For more questions, comments, or to inquire about treatment please feel free to contact Dr. Lee via email at

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