April 20, 2014 International Chiropractors Association
About ICA
SICA Highlights
SICA Mission Statement
SICA Benefits
SICA Scholarships
Photo Gallery
About Chiropractic
DC2BE Connection
Info Resources


A distinct health science and practice now over 100 years old, chiropractic is predicated on the understanding that the human body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism.  The theory and clinical basis of chiropractic was clarified into 33 Principles, published in 1927 by Dr. R.W. Stephenson, and provide a summary of the intellectual, philosophical and scientific foundation for the chiropractic profession as well as represent the key components of chiropractic's unique approach to health and healing.

The 33 Principles are well known by chiropractic practitioners and students throughout the profession as the basic defining and organizational concepts of chiropractic philosophy and science.  They are recognized and applied by many as the core of the value system of chiropractic practice. 

Essential to understanding these original 33 principles is knowing that they are arranged in an order that goes from general to specific. They are a series of concepts and deductions.  This information gives the reader a sense of direction in understanding their timeless value and utility. These principles are a unifying and distinguishing element in chiropractic vital to articulating the independent perspective chiropractic represents in health care.

--from the Chiropractic Textbook by R.W. Stephenson, DC, PhC (1927):

Art. 24. A LIST OF THIRTY THREE PRINCIPLES, numbered and named.

No. 1. The Major Premise.
A Universal Intelligence is in all matter and continually gives to it all its properties and actions, thus maintaining it in existence.

No. 2. The Chiropractic Meaning of Life.
The expression of this intelligence through matter is the Chiropractic meaning of life.

No. 3. The Union of Intelligence and Matter.
Life is necessarily the union of intelligence and matter.

No. 4. The Triune of Life.
Life is a triunity having three necessary united factors, namely, Intelligence, Force and Matter.

No. 5. The Perfection of the Triune.
In order to have 100% Life, there must be 100% Intelligence, 100% Force, 100% Matter.

No. 6. The Principle of Time.
There is no process that does not require time.

No. 7. The Amount of Intelligence in Matter.
The amount of intelligence for any given amount of matter is 100%, and is always proportional to its requirements.

No. 8. The Function of Intelligence.
The function of intelligence is to create force.

No. 9. The Amount of Force Created by Intelligence.
The amount of force created by intelligence is always 100%.

No. 10. The Function of Force.
The function of force is to unite intelligence and matter.

No. 11. The Character of Universal Forces.
The forces of Universal Intelligence are manifested by physical laws; are unswerving and unadapted, and have no solicitude for the structures in which they work.

No. 12. Interference with Transmission of Universal Forces.
There can be interference with transmission of universal forces.

No. 13. The Function of Matter.
The function of matter is to express force.

No. 14. Universal Life.
Force is manifested by motion in matter; all matter has motion, therefore there is universal life in all matter.

No. 15. No Motion without the Effort of Force.
Matter can have no motion without the application of force by intelligence.

No. 16. Intelligence in both Organic and Inorganic Matter.
Universal Intelligence gives force to both organic and inorganic matter.

No. 17. Cause and Effect.
Every effect has a cause and every cause has effects.

No. 18. Evidence of Life.
The signs of life are evidence of the intelligence of life.

No. 19. Organic Matter.
The material of the body of a "living thing" is organized matter.

No. 20. Innate Intelligence.
A "living thing" has an inborn intelligence within its body, called Innate Intelligence.

No. 21. The Mission of Innate Intelligence.
The mission of Innate Intelligence is to maintain the material of the body of a "living thing" in active organization.

No. 22. The Amount of Innate Intelligence.
There is 100% of Innate Intelligence in every "living thing," the requisite amount, proportional to its organization.

No. 23. The Function of Innate Intelligence.
The function of Innate Intelligence is to adapt universal forces and matter for use in the body, so that all parts of the body will have co-ordinated action for mutual benefit.

No. 24. The Limits of Adaptation.
Innate Intelligence adapts forces and matter for the body as long as it can do so without breaking a universal law, or Innate Intelligence is limited by the limitations of matter.

No. 25. The Character of Innate Forces.
The forces of Innate Intelligence never injure or destroy the structures in which they work.

No. 26. Comparison of Universal and Innate Forces.
In order to carry on the universal cycle of life, Universal forces are destructive, and Innate forces constructive, as regards structural matter.

No. 27. The Normality of Innate Intelligence.
Innate Intelligence is always normal and its function is always normal.

No. 28. The Conductors of Innate Forces.
The forces of Innate Intelligence operate through or over the nervous system in animal bodies.

No. 29. Interference with Transmission of Innate Forces.
There can be interference with the transmission of Innate forces.

No. 30. The Causes of Dis-ease.*
Interference with the transmission of Innate forces causes incoordination or dis-ease.

No. 31. Subluxations.
Interference with transmission in the body is always directly or indirectly due to subluxations in the spinal column.

No. 32. The Principle of Coordination.
Coordination is the principle of harmonious action of all the parts of an organism, in fulfilling their offices and purposes.

No. 33. The Law of Demand and Supply.
The Law of Demand and Supply is existent in the body in its ideal state; wherein the "clearing house," is the brain, Innate the virtuous "banker," brain cells "clerks," and nerve cells "messengers."


Additional Discussion on Principle No. 33:

*Art. 364. THE CAUSE OF DIS-EASE. Principle No. 30.
Interference with the transmission of Innate forces causes incoordination or disease.

Interference with transmission prevents Innate from adaptating things universal for use in the body and from coordinating the actions of the tissue cells for the mutual benefit of all cells.

Accordingly, the universal forces wear or injure the tissue cells, or cause them to act inharmoniously and thus injure other cells as well.

When a cell is injured, worn down, or "out of condition," it is not "at ease." Mental force must reach organized matter to make it vibrate properly, that is, live. Matter may be vibrating, but if it is not vibrating adaptatively, it is not "living." Mental forces kept from matter cause it to revert to its elemental state. There is something in a living man that a moment after death is not in the dead. The absence of mental force in the body is called death. The partial absence of mental force in the body is paralysis