History

"Medicine can add years to your life. Chiropractic adds life to your years." - anonymous

1895 was the year that manipulation started to be tracked. Up until this point, there was no organized documentation of manipulations or the effects thereof. There was plenty of literature on various bone setting, osteopathic, and spinal traction techniques, as these types of manual therapies were around for thousands of years. Daniel David Palmer, a well-read scholar, thinker, and magnetic healer had been reading about manipulation and performed the first chiropractic manipulation in September 1895. Seeing the undeniable effect on his first patient, he went on to name it chiropractic, meaning ”done by hand” and developed the profession as we know it today. The term "adjustment" has replaced "manipulation" by nearly all chiropractors, and is viewed as their core procedure.

DD Palmer documented adjustments and their effects on patients. He formulated hypothesis on the physiological effects of the manipulation. He then founded the first chiropractic colleges. Early chiropractors spoke of the importance of exercise, healthy diet and mindfullness, with vitamins or herbs as needed, and drugs or surgery if absolutely necessary. Medical treatments at the time were crude and largely experimental and included primarily bloodletting, surgery and drugs. As time went on, the medical establishment became disgruntled by the chiropractic profession and they began an effort to rid chiropractors. Soon, chiropractors were being jailed for 'practicing medicine without a license.' In effort to stop this nonsense, DD Palmer put out a public campaign announcing that chiropractors didn’t practice medicine - which is where 'chiropractors aren’t real doctors’ came from. From the early 1900’s to the early 1970’s thousands of chiropractors were jailed for treating patients.

By the 1970’s chiropractic was recognized as a distinct health care profession, licensed in all 50 states. But the 1970’s were a turbulent time. The American Chiropractic Association discovered that the American Medical Association was engaged in a powerful effort to contain and eliminate chiropractic. They learned the AMA had formed a special committee - 'Committee on Quackery' - the propaganda that sowed 'chiropractors are quacks' to the public, medical schools, and doctors. All of this resulted in the Wilk’s case, a grand supreme court antitrust case that found the AMA guilty of attempting to "contain and eliminate" the chiropractic profession, and demanded that the AMA produce a press release recanting their slander and prejudicial efforts of the past. The result? Inclusion of Chiropractors on insurance panels and accepted into Medicare (not as equal peers, but included nonetheless). Here is the NY Time article after the trial ended.

While there is still a large question of quackery in the public eye when it comes to Chiropractic, there is an overwhelming amount of research out there on the effects of manipulation. Medical doctors now refer to chiropractors on a larger scale, and I have already treated numerous doctors of various backgrounds in my career thus far. New medical doctors, unexposed to the bias of past, largely endorsed the profession and see it as viable conservative care option. There are chiropractors working in hospitals and large spine clinics. There are chiropractors contracted with professional sports teams and Olympic affairs.

Chiropractic is amazing and I’m so proud to be a part of it. Since beginning my schooling, I have had the honor of meeting several Chiropractors who were jailed for practicing, who were rejected throughout various parts of their communities, and who were slandered because of their profession and their passion for treating patients. Older chiropractors I've met while attending leadership conferences in school would tell me “I am so proud of how far we’ve come and where we are going."

Modern chiropractors have extensive training as a Primary Spine Care Physician. This is a new type of potential certification and has prospective expansion for chiropractors and putting manual medicine within reach of all Americans (Worldwide, chiropractic is much more accessible). But this would not be possible without the evolution of what has been and the evolving of what is currently chiropractic.

VIDEO: The Modern Chiropractor:

Chiropractic Adjustments

The adjustment, or manipulation, is the core procedure performed by chiropractors for their patients. Usually delivered by the doctors hands, the adjustment is the application of a very skilled, controlled force to a target joint. Some chiropractors utilize different tools or instruments to deliver adjustments. The scientific term for an adjustments is: High Velocity, Low Amplitude (HVLA) Thrust.

There are hundreds of techniques taught in chiropractic colleges and in continuing education courses after graduation. Each adjustment is as unique as the person receiving it and are appropriate, when applied proportionately, for human beings of all ages in any condition.

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