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Dynamic Chiropractic – August 1, 2014, Vol. 32, Issue 15
Dynamic Chiropractic
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Dynamic Chiropractic

Looking Back: Abstracts From Chiropractic History

Summer 2014 Issue

D.D. Palmer's Technique for the Posterior Apical Prominence

By Gary Bovine, DC

In the early years of the chiropractic profession, D.D. Palmer's examination for the subluxation involved finding the prominent spinous process, and the treatment was to adjust it or to rack it with a forceful thrust of his hands. This article discusses Palmer's examination methods, his adjustive thrust technique, and early witnesses of these procedures. Also discussed are Palmer's evolving views on the subluxation's compression and enlarging effects on the intervertebral foramina, what has been referred to as "Palmer's forgotten theories." An analysis and discourse regarding the origins of Palmer's spinal adjustment is undertaken.


An Early Attempt to Achieve Consensus on Subluxation

By Robert Cooperstein, MA, DC

The Distinguished Advisory Council of the Academy for Research in the Chiropractic Sciences convened in St. Louis in 1984 (Sept. 13-16) for the Leading Edge Research Symposium. I attended this symposium and wrote this account, first published in Lifelines, the student newspaper of Life West in December 1984.

Attended by approximately 100 people, the ostensible conference goal was to share research among many of the leading proprietary technique systems and a few independent researchers of the day. Moderator John Stiga, my instructor at Life West, established the more specific goal: "Focus on the biomechanical components of subluxation, on technique, and on research directions ... [seek] a common, universal language, one that we can share with engineers, orthopedic surgeons, and so on, so as to open lines of communication." He expected a common definition of subluxation to be sent out for endorsement by other organizations, including the International Chiropractic Association and the American Chiropractic Association.

Among the conference chiropractic presenters were Lasca Hospers, Glenn Stillwagon, Fred Barge, J. Clay Thompson, John Reid, Lowell Ward, Burl Pettibon, I.N. Toftness, Roy Sweat, Milton Morter, Henri Gillet, and Steve Johnson. Invited non-chiropractic speakers included Murray Goldstein (assistant surgeon general, National Institutes of Health), Ronald W. Pero (researcher, University of Lund and Sloan-Kettering), and John deCani, (statistician, Wharton School). The common definition of subluxation that was announced (without encountering much enthusiasm) was essentially Pettibon's "Distance times Resistance equals Subluxation."


Chiropractic Subject Headings: Past, Present and Future

By Sarah B. Hardy, MLS

In this paper, the author attempts to analyze a distinct library controlled vocabulary, Chiropractic Subject Headings (ChiroSH), in the greater context of the history of medical literature and medical subject headings, the history of chiropractic clinical practice and chiropractic literature, and its use in the Index to Chiropractic Literature (ICL) in particular.

Using a variety of sources including journal articles and interviews with ICL indexers, chiropractic librarians, and the current editors of ChiroSH, the author intends to demonstrate the value in developing specialized controlled vocabularies for areas of medical knowledge that go beyond the scope of MeSH, to ultimately enhance the research of students, faculty, practitioners, and the curious.


Mabel Palmer: A History of Chiropractic That Almost Wasn't

By Todd Wates, BA

It would seem that for the woman who is often referred to as "The First Lady of Chiropractic," chiropractors of today would know more about her. Other than the common trivia that Mabel Heath Palmer was wife to B.J. Palmer, the developer of chiropractic and instructed anatomy at the P.S.C., knowledge of this very important woman is lacking.

While we can be sure she was a great support to B.J., did she merely stand in his shadow? What role did she play in the propagation of the profession? This article discusses a little-known near-death accident involving Mabel Heath and examines a chiropractic history that almost wasn't. If she had died in the year 1900, would chiropractic be the same as it is today? And further, without her influence and tireless work supporting the vision of B.J. Palmer, would he have achieved as much?


The above abstracts are reprinted with permission from Chiropractic History, the official journal of the Association for the History of Chiropractic (www.historyofchiropractic.org). Chiropractic History is the leading scholarly journal of the chiropractic profession dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the profession's credible history. It is indexed by the National Library of Medicine in Histline (History of Medicine online), the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and the Manual Alternative and Natural Therapies Indexing System (MANTIS). Full-text articles are also available from EBSCO Publishing.

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