Inside Chiropractic: Yesteryear and Today

My father was a chiropractor who graduated from the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, in 1920. Following in my father’s footsteps, I enrolled as a student at Lincoln Chiropractic College in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1952. Like my father, I believed that chiropractic manipulation or “adjustment” of the spine could be used to treat organic disease by correcting misaligned or “subluxated” vertebrae to remove pressure on spinal nerves. After a few years of mixing basic science study with chiropractic philosophy, however, it became apparent to me that the chiropractic vertebral subluxation theory was a tenuous belief ─ a belief formulated in 1895 by D.D. Palmer, a grocer who was also a magnetic healer. Palmer developed his theory that 95 percent of diseases are caused by displaced vertebrae after claiming that he had cured deafness by “racking” a thoracic vertebra back into place (Wardwell 1992). There is good reason


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