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Chiropractic was discovered in the United States in the 1900s by D.D. Palmer, D.C. and B.J. Palmer, D.C. in Iowa. Of course, chiropractic was not actually "discovered" since it has been around since the earliest of times having been recorded in inscriptions in Egyptian pyramids and elsewhere.
Chiropractors made some basic observations about health and illnesses. They saw that when people became ill or developed pain that if doctors did absolutely nothing then oftentimes people healed on their own. This is because just as soon as something goes wrong in the mind or body the central nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord immediately recognizes the problem and designs and implements solutions. The solutions created by the human body for health problems are far more complex and effective than any developed by doctors.
Chiropractors came to recognize and respect the innate ability of the body to heal itself from illness. They developed the term "Innate Intelligence" to describe the basic genius of the brain which recognizes abnormal function and designs solutions without intervention by any doctor.
Chiropractic was not developed as a "cure" for disease. The "cure" is developed by the body itself, not the doctor! Chiropractors did discover that problems in the nervous system and spinal cord, called "subluxations," can interfere with the body' effort to heal itself. Therefore, chiropractors adjust the spine to remove subluxations to allow the body to heal itself.
The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) is the agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for accreditation of programs and institutions offering the doctor of chiropractic degree. Chiropractic and medical education are similar. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2002: “A recent study described U.S. chiropractic curricula as an average of 4820 classroom and clinical hours, with about 30% spent in the basic sciences and 70% in clinical sciences and internship (22). Medical school curricula average about 4670 hours with a similar breakdown. Compared with medical students, chiropractic students spend more hours in anatomy and physiology but fewer in public health. Both programs have similar hours in biochemistry, microbiology, and pathology. Chiropractic curricula provide relatively little instruction in pharmacology, critical care, and surgery but emphasize biomechanics, musculoskeletal function, and manual methods. Medical education has more than twice as many hours in actual clinical experience but 1000 fewer hours in didactic and workshop-like clinical courses. All chiropractic colleges maintain busy training clinics that deliver chiropractic care in settings similar to typical chiropractic practice. Specialty training is available in 2- to 3-year postgraduate residency programs in radiology, orthopedics, neurology, sports, rehabilitation, and pediatrics. Coursework leads to eligibility for accredited specialty board competency examinations, which confer "diplomate" or “certified" status.” (Ann Int Med 2002;136:216-227)
The Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) includes and represents all CCE accredited colleges and programs which serve its institutions and their students, the profession and its patients, and the public by advancing chiropractic education, research and service. ACC states the following regarding chiropractic:
"Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.
The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. In addition, Doctors of Chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other health care practitioners when in the best interest of the patient."
Subluxation, the Entity Adjusted by Chiropractors
ACC states the following regarding subluxations:
"Chiropractic is Concerned with the preservation and restoration of health, and focuses particular attention on the subluxation.
A subluxation is a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.
A subluxation is evaluated, diagnosed, and managed through the use of chiropractic procedures based on the best available rational and empirical evidence."
A 2003 study entitled "How Chiropractors Think and Practice: The Survey of North American Chiropractors,” states that while 46.6% of doctors consider themselves “middle scope,” as opposed to "broad scope" – 34.4% or “focused scope/subluxation based" - 19.3%, 88.1% of all chiropractors stated that the term vertebral subluxation complex should be retained and 89.9% said the adjustment should not be limited to musculoskeletal conditions. (McDonald, William P., Institute for Social Research, Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH 45810, found at www.chiropracticsurvey.com)
Today, chiropractors are oftentimes thought of as back and neck pain doctors since spinal adjustments are more effective for these problems than any other type of treatment. However, chiropractic is far more than that. Many patients see chiropractors as their primary doctor for diagnosis, care, supervision and referral as needed. Chiropractic education in the 21st century is equivalent to general medical education.
The AMA's Illegal Effort to "Contain and Eliminate Chiropractic"
Dr. Benjamin Rush warned about loss of medical freedom over 200 years ago: “Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship to restrict the art of healing to one class of Men and deny equal privileges to others; the Constitution of the Republic should make a Special privilege for medical freedoms as well as religious freedom.” Click here to read his full statement which predicted the future as you will see.
From the 1960s to the 1980s, the American Medical Association (AMA) engaged in an illegal boycott and conspiracy designed to "contain and eliminate" the chiropractic profession. This resulted in a Permanent Federal Injunction Order against the AMA directing the AMA to never again attempt to destroy its competitor. There are still lingering effects from the illegal boycott including discrimination by insurance companies and the media against chiropractic.
In 2012, the American Chiropractic Association published a detailed report entitled "Wilk versus the AMA: 25 years later -- Why it isn't over." This must-read report reveals anti-chiropractic actions by the AMA as recently as 2010. Click here to read the full report.
In spite of the AMA's efforts, chiropractic continues to grow by leaps and bounds because of its great effectiveness and because the public has grown weary of taking drugs with all of their side effects, and surgery when oftentimes simple spinal adjustments will take care of the problem. The Arizona Chiropractic Society encourages you to consult with a chiropractor to see if this might be the solution for your problem.
Conservative Care First -- A Strategy to Reduce the High Cost of Health Care
This is a comprehensive, brief, fully referenced position paper explaining that when chiropractors are consulted first, there is considerable cost-savings with this clinically effective form of health care.
Chiropractic -- A Low Cost Solution to High Cost Healthcare
This is a second comprehensive, brief, fully referenced position paper that proves chiropractic is a low cost alternative to high cost healthcare for common spinal problems such as back and neck pain. Substituting chiropractic for standard medical care will result in tremendous cost savings.