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Dynamic Chiropractic – July 1, 2012, Vol. 30, Issue 14

Looking Back, Looking Forward: Abstracts From Chiropractic History

Summer 2012 Issue, Volume 32, Issue 1

The following abstracts are reprinted with permission from Chiropractic History, the official journal of the Association for the History of Chiropractic. 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.


The Gonstead Clinical Studies Society

By Roger R. Coleman, DC, et al.

With the passing of Clarence Gonstead, DC, the chiropractic world lost a towering figure; however, the vision of chiropractic that had been espoused by the iconic founder of the Gonstead Technique would not die. In an effort to maintain, promote and with time perhaps improve the vision of chiropractic that had been promoted by Dr. Gonstead, nine individuals stepped forward. On a spring day in 1979, this group met in San Mateo, California to form the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society.

For over 30 years, the organization has been a force in the education of both chiropractic students and practicing doctors of chiropractic, as well as an avid supporter of research. At times the road has not been without its difficulties, but in a world marked by associations which rise and fall, the Gonstead Clinical Studies Society still stands proudly. A bond of fellowship based on mutual respect and dedication has been woven into a lasting tapestry that has withstood the test of time.

A History of Rehabilitation and Exercise in the Chiropractic Profession

By Linda J. Young, BS

When the chiropractic profession was born, exercise was considered that of a recreational activity, such as taking a walk in the great outdoors. Neither medicine nor chiropractic utilized exercise in the modern sense in the care or treatment of injured or ailing patients until the onset of World War I. Wartime created the need for rehabilitative services, which cemented physical therapy into a profession within the medical culture, especially after World War II.

Though chiropractic chose to remain a distinct discipline, chiropractic treatment was a popular issue during the post-war era. The use of exercise as a treatment modality for chiropractic patients increased significantly throughout history. Today, exercise, either as prevention or rehabilitation, is instrumental in the health and well-being of the human population and is supported in allopathic medicine, chiropractic medicine, and by the United States government through its public health initiative, Healthy People 2020.

Once More, With Feeling: The History of Neuro Emotional Technique

By Denise M. Richards, BSc, DC, Grad Cert. Phil Studies, FACC, FICC

Neuro Emotional Technique (N.E.T.) was developed by Drs. Scott and Deborah Walker. This paper records the histories of these two individuals, focusing on what events and influences in their lives led them to create this chiropractic technique. It also documents the history of the genesis of the technique and the seminars that have been presented to teach it to practitioners.

John Evans Riadore, MD, MRCSE, and Irritation of the Spinal Nerves

By Gary Bovine, DC

In 1843, John Evans Riadore, a British surgeon, wrote A Treatise on Irritation of the Spinal Nerves, a book on spinal irritation, in which he describes a few cases of spinal disorders treated by manipulation. Presently, he is recognized by the chiropractic profession for his pre-chiropractic involvement with the use of spinal manipulation. Modern writings on manipulation have him listed as having greatly influenced the early developing years of the chiropractic and osteopathic professions, and for his views of the importance of the spine, nervous system and their effects on visceral organ function and pathology.

This paper will challenge this view and propose that Riadore's writings were not influential in the early years of the manipulative professions. The author will also demonstrate that Riadore himself was influenced by other British practitioners of manipulation, Dr. Edward Harrison and Harrison's associate, Dr. John Serny.

Chiropractic and Type O (Organic) Disorders: Historical Development and Current Thought

By Steve Troyanovich, DC, et al.

The chiropractic profession originated at a time when the healing arts were comprised of a medley of capricious theories, practitioners, and practices. Early chiropractors claimed to treat and cure a wide spectrum of ailments; however, in this era, the diagnosis and treatment of disease was, by definition, the practice of medicine or osteopathy.

To avoid conflict with the law and differentiate chiropractic from medical practice, the profession abandoned medical terminology and chiropractic as a disease-specific intervention in favor of a distinct lexicon and a doctrine of chiropractic as a non-"therapeutic" philosophy, science and art. This allowed for the possibility that analysis, detection and correction of the chiropractic lesion could indirectly cure or improve a wide range of clinical conditions – both musculoskeletal and organic (Type O) – without infringing upon the practice of licensed health care providers.

On the surface, improvement or cure of organic disorders by manual treatment methods seems to be "a fantastic and totally unacceptable claim." Is improvement or cure by manual treatment methods of non-musculoskeletal conditions possible? Or are such notions implausible and unlikely? The evolution of the profession's claims, management, clinical success or failure with Type O disorders is generally discussed in the historical context of the healing arts and scientific evidence.

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