The chiropractic profession is celebrating its 111th year of service to the public today. A new and innovative approach to health and healing, the practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between the structures of the human body, primarily the spine, and function as coordinated by the nervous system, and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. Chiropractic, a drugless and non-surgical science and practice, is also based on the understanding that the human body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism. Chiropractic recognizes that the capacity exists to enhance the healing process by removing barriers to the body’s innate abilities of self-comprehension and repair.
Through manual adjustments of the segments of the spine to remove nerve interference, doctors of chiropractic seek to restore normal bodily functions to allow the body to heal itself. What in 1895 was considered an attack on the orthodox medical industry of the era is now a concept so credible that widely recognized names like Drs. Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra base the core premise of their best-selling books and tapes on this healing model.
Chiropractic’s famous first adjustment is recognized each year on Founder’s Day, commemorating September 18th, 1895, when Dr. Daniel David Palmer administered his initial specific chiropractic adjustment on Harvey Lillard in Davenport, Iowa. Dr. D.D. Palmer delivered the first chiropractic adjustment with the specific intent of realigning a malpositioned vertebra, restoring its normal position, in an attempt to restore a hearing defect. That attempt, as the world now knows, was successful.
From an innovative scientific concept, the science and practice of chiropractic rapidly gained official status through the legislatures of the various states under the authorities reserved to the states in the U.S. Constitution to “regulate the professions and the trades.” The legal development of chiropractic began shortly after the initial articulation of chiropractic principles and, by the 1920s, chiropractic was well on the way to formal legal recognition and regulation through licensure in numerous states.
The first law passed by a state legislature authorizing and regulating the practice of chiropractic as a separate and distinct health care profession was in Kansas on March 20, 1913. This action was followed in quick succession by the legislature of North Dakota in that same year, and by Arkansas, Oregon, Nebraska and Colorado, by 1915. This represented the beginning of a recognition process that was completed in 1974 when Louisiana finally adopted a chiropractic licensure law. This steady official embrace of chiropractic is one of the most profound and historic health care success stories of modern times.
Chiropractic would not have been successful in attaining official licensed professional status if it were not for the tremendous support it received from the public. Throughout its history, the chiropractic profession has provided clinically effective, cost-effective and safe care to millions of patients worldwide, and earned the highest patient satisfaction levels of any doctor-level health care science. Every day in the United States alone, more than one million consumers of all ages, from newborn infants to the most senior of our citizens seek the care of a doctor of chiropractic.
Chiropractic, which was once considered experimental, unorthodox or “alternative” health care, has now become a vital part of the main stream of health care. “Doctors of chiropractic worldwide have every reason to be proud of our profession and the unique contributions chiropractic science continues to make to the lives of millions,” said ICA President Dr. John Maltby.
The International Chiropractors Association (ICA) is also celebrating its 80th Anniversary in 2006. Founded in 1926 in Davenport, Iowa by Dr. B J Palmer who served as ICA president utill his death in 1961, ICA is the world’s oldest continuously functioning international chiropractic professional organization. Dedicated to the growth and development of the chiropractic profession based on its fundamental principles and philosophy, ICA has worked worldwide to build the chiropractic profession, always remaining true to the principles and philosophy on which it was founded, and fighting to preserve its unique identity as a separate, distinct and drugless health care profession.
ICA’s service and leadership in the profession is a matter of record as noted by well-known chiropractic historian, Russell Gibbons who wrote in 1996: “The story of ICA’s maintenance of principle and scope of practice, its growing and systemic efforts through the legislative process and its influence upon opinion makers is a remarkable account. For with minimum resources, ICA created an effective lobby for chiropractic and pioneered the concept of public relations, which eventually was to change the perception of millions of Americans toward chiropractic as a legitimate and respectable health care alternative.”
ICA, now with members in all fifty of the United States, all Provinces of Canada and 41 other nations, remains committed to the global expansion of the science and practice of chiropractic, and to making the unique healing powers of chiropractic accessible to every citizen of the world. For more information visit the ICA website at www.chiropractic.org or call 800-423-4690 or 703-528-5000.
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