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Chiropractic History – The Middle Ages

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Continuing our exploration into the history of chiropractic, this week we’re looking at the ‘middle ages’ of the method of care.

In 1897, Daniel David Palmer founded the Palmer School of Chiropractic (which still exists today) to teach students about chiropractic principles and train them in chiropractic manipulation.

According to the University of Minnesota, chiropractic’s earliest years witnessed a great deal of tension between conventional allopathic medicine and the chiropractic approach.

Palmer’s son Bartlett Joshua (B.J.) further developed and promoted chiropractic in the first half of the 20th century. He not only provided training in chiropractic, but aided in the education of both the medical community and the general public on the profession.

chiropracticDuring this time, chiropractic gradually grew in popularity for patients seeking alternatives to traditional treatments using drugs. Its core principles slowly gained more acceptance with continued research.

Between 1873 and 1899, each state established statutes to practice medicine. However, there were no statutes to practice chiropractic, which put chiropractors at risk of arrest for practicing medicine without a license.

Despite opposition from allopathic medicine, states began enacting chiropractic licensure statutes in 1905. This was largely due to the demands for care made by chiropractic patients.

Many chiropractors practicing in states where chiropractic licensure laws were yet to be enacted defiantly opposed the medical statutes they regarded as an infringement of their rights and obligations to serve their patients.

Until the 1950s and 1960s, it was not uncommon for chiropractors to be jailed and fined. Chiropractic licensure in all states was finally completed in 1974 when Louisiana came on board.

Stay tuned next week when we turn from the history of chiropractic care to its present and future!

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