Most people don’t know that the chiropractic profession is over 100 years old and that it began in the United States. The Hawaii legislature first recognized chiropractic as a distinct health care delivery system in 1925, placing it under the medical board at the time.
In the mid 1940’s, however, the Chiropractic Board of Examiners was established because the legislature further acknowledged that chiropractic offered a unique and valuable service that the medical profession did not. As such, it reasoned, there should be a separate Chiropractic Board to govern the profession.
Since then, the number of practitioners has increased and so has the number of people who have sought chiropractic care. The number of insurance companies and health plans that cover chiropractic services has also grown. Most major insurers now work closely with chiropractors to insure that their constituents have access to this service. Today, there is no one who hasn’t heard of chiropractic and over 100,000 people in Hawaii have benefited from chiropractic care.
The Hawaii State Chiropractic Association (HSCA) is the profession’s official representative organization in Hawaii. The HSCA is a not-for-profit organization that serves the needs and interests of all chiropractic doctors and every one of their patients. It informs doctors of the latest trends in health care and provides doctors with the opportunity to meet their continuing education requirements. Although the HSCA was formed in 1985, the profession had other professional organizations to represent it since its earliest days.
Today, there are approximately 285 chiropractors practicing in Hawaii on 5 different islands. Oahu and Maui have the largest number of chiropractors, but residents and visitors on each island can find a chiropractor within a convenient distance. Most chiropractors participate in major insurance and health plan programs.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING
It takes a chiropractor approximately 7 years of higher level education (post-high school) to earn a professional doctoral degree from one of several fully accredited colleges, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. A doctor applicant must pass the rigorous National Board Exams to be considered for licensure in all 50 states. A license to practice in Hawaii entitles the chiropractor to see, evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients, usually without a referral from a medical doctor. Only a few plans, such as HMO plans, require a referral. Many people have learned that chiropractic is a direct-access healthcare service. Often, chiropractors are the primary treating physicians.
The chiropractor is also qualified to take and evaluate x-rays and perform a wide variety of physiotherapies as part of treatment. Nutritional and dietary counseling as well as rehabilitation and exercise counseling are part of the doctor’s regular encounter with patients.
Although specific treatment techniques may vary among chiropractors, the goal of treatment is the same: restore optimum health and improve functional capacity. Along the way to achieving these goals, patients often experience significant reduction or complete elimination of symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness, headaches, dizziness, loss of normal motion and flexibility, and a host of other problems associated with loss of optimum health and well being.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Information about chiropractic has been around for more than a century. As the profession of chiropractic matured, more and more was discovered about the value and benefits of chiropractic. Many books have been written and research articles have appeared in the most prestigious medical journals and healthcare publications worldwide. Ongoing research studies are always finding more benefits of this unique form of healthcare treatment.
Even two decades ago, chiropractic was considered an "alternative" form of treatment. Today, it is widely recognized as a leading healthcare delivery system along with allopathic medicine and dentistry. The efficacy and effectiveness of chiropractic care have brought this practice into the mainstream of medicine and millions of people in the U.S. alone have benefited from this service.
The internet has done a lot to make information about chiropractic available to all consumers. Anyone with a computer and internet service will discover an endless amount of information on this astonishing profession.