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Dynamic Chiropractic – August 15, 2013, Vol. 31, Issue 16

Looking Back: Abstracts From Chiropractic History

Summer 2013 Issue, Volume 33, Issue 1

David S. Walther, DC, DIBAK: Scholar, Researcher, Politician and Teacher

By Scott Cuthbert, DC, et al.

Dr. David S. Walther was the product of a straight chiropractic family and education, and made his mark as a teacher and encyclopedist of the broad-scope chiropractic method called applied kinesiology (AK). David was politically influential in uniting the Colorado Chiropractic Society and the Colorado Chiropractic Association into a single organization (one straight and the other mixer), as he was the only person that both organizations would agree on as their new president in the early 1970s.

David subsequently created six textbooks and four chapters for other textbooks spanning numerous disciplines including AK and dentistry, AK and complementary and alternative medicine, as well as educational materials about AK for the general public. These textbooks have been translated into Italian, Japanese, Korean, French and German; and a Chinese translation of his Applied Kinesiology: Synopsis is underway.

David also produced over 60 patient-education pamphlets covering separate clinical subjects that have been sold to clinicians for several decades. David is cited as the primary reference in hundreds of peer-reviewed articles on AK. His career provides a model for the chiropractic scholar and clinician-scientist today.

The Sauchelli Affair: A Bit of Ballyhoo

By Roger J.R. Hynes, BSc, DC, et al.

The 1920s was a time of great social change in the United States. It was a volatile decade filled with examples of great prosperity and great downfalls for ideas and individuals. The fledgling profession of chiropractic mirrored the times, as while it was gaining ground in the area of public perception, it was still struggling legislatively for its very existence. With its copious conflicts for professional authority and direction, a battle of personalities and egos was the game of the day. As the profession's giants, such as B.J. Palmer and Willard Carver, battled openly and surreptitiously, well-meaning but perhaps more naive players such as Francesco Sauchelli were caught between the giants. This is the tale of the key players of this time set mostly to the backdrop of New York City, in a state that was one of the great battleground arenas.

John Atkinson (1854-1904), The English Bonesetter of Park Lane

By Gary Bovine, DC

Bonesetting has been practiced in England for hundreds of years. Bonesetters were non-qualified practitioners of a form of manual treatment that included massage, mobilization and manipulation. One of these bonesetters was John Atkinson, who was also a veterinary surgeon. One of the most famous British bonesetters, Sir Herbert Barker, who practiced from 1889 to 1925, was a cousin of Atkinson and was originally taught bonesetting by him.

This article discusses the life of Atkinson, his early years and his training of Barker, as well as his trip in 1897-98 to the United States, where he received much acclaim through the popular press. As bonesetters often kept their methods of treatment a secret, this article also describes and documents what was printed on Atkinson's techniques, mainly from the popular press in the United States. The Atkinson connection with chiropractic is also discussed. Was there any connection with Dr. Jim Atkinson, Palmer's mysterious source of the principles of chiropractic, and Dr. John Atkinson, the bonesetter?

History or Science? The Controversy Over Chiropractic Spinography

By Roger R. Coleman, DC, et al.

The historic year 1895 marked the beginnings of both radiography and chiropractic, inventions that would alter the course of world health care. These impressive developments are related in far more than merely dates of origin. Their histories have been intricately interwoven in a tapestry spanning over a century of impressive accomplishment.

But these accomplishments have been accompanied by numerous internal conflicts within the chiropractic world. Techniques and ideologies have vied for supremacy over the course of chiropractic history. One controversy which continues today involves what at first may seem a relatively simple question: when or if to use imaging in a patient's case. This seemingly innocuous problem has generated great debate and strife within the chiropractic community.

The biomechanical-based radiographers have embraced the historical chiropractic concept that the primary reason for ordering X-rays is to evaluate spinal alignment. The pathology-based radiographers have rejected the traditional chiropractic approach and feel radiography should be performed in accordance with the "red flag" philosophy. Each group seems guided by its acceptance or rejection of historical chiropractic's view on X-ray usage and then proceeds to craft arguments in line with a preconceived belief.

It would appear that some tolerance might be expressed by both sides to allow individuals to practice somewhat to their own understanding without suffering the interference of either faction. Perhaps this controversy could be summed up in the words of the often controversial B.J. Palmer, which were once emblazoned outside of the driveway arch of the Palmer School of Chiropractic: "Anything that you do that the majority do not do is 'queer.' Queer, isn't it."

The above 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.

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