B.J.'s Test


It has been charged by medical doctors that no one can move the vertebrae of the spine.  Some therefore claim that what chiropractors do is either outright fraud or something they have convinced themselves of and have taught their patients.  Many years ago, the College of Medical Evangelists located in Loma Linda, California, went so far as to do the following experiment to dispute chiropractic.  They explained it this way:

“The spine used was ‘fresh’! (taken from a recently deceased person).  It was placed upon a structure of wood with the vertebrae so that pressure was brought to bear upon it, entirely free from any brace whatsoever.  Pressure of eight hundred pounds was brought to bear upon the posterior surface.  This crushed the spinous process and some portions of the laminae.  Pressure of one thousand, one hundred ninety five pounds reduced the vertebrae to almost a powdery consistence.  All this weight was exerted without any movement of the vertebrae itself.”  (The medical college failed to understand that chiropractors don’t claim to move the bones of the spine, the living body does.  You cannot adjust a corpse any more than you can give a laxative to a dead person and expect it to move its bowels!)

In answer to this test, B.J. Palmer, the developer of chiropractic, devised a test of his own.  Two boards, two inches thick, twelve inches wide, and three feet long were used.  A hole was drilled in one of these boards and the other board was positioned above it with just the ends supported, leaving the space that was to be tested entirely free from any support whatever.  He then placed a twenty-penny nail upright in the hole of the top board and adjusted it to make sure that it would go straight into the wood.  Weight was applied to the nail.  It required 1,600 pounds for the nail to begin entering the soft wood.  Before the nail had been driven entirely through the wood, the pressure built to 2,400 pounds.  Palmer concluded that it is therefore preposterous for a carpenter, with a one-pound hammer, to drive a nail into a board.

 It is the thrust (force) PLUS the weight of the hammer that moves the nail. The same is true for the chiropractic adjustment. It is the thrust of the chiropractor upon the subluxated vertebra which moves the vertebra and the innate intelligence of the person’s body makes the adjustment.

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This article has 4 comments

  1. todd 05/13/2011, 1:48 am:

    First time hearing this one Joe… thanks for sharing…

    and sharing…

    and sharing…

    thank you.

  2. Claude Lessard 05/13/2011, 2:20 am:


    Do you dream that stuff at night? If you do, how do we get more people to dream….. the dream?
    You are way above the rest of us!

  3. Don Rowe 05/14/2011, 1:28 am:

    Great article Joe! Thanks for all that you do for Chiropractic. : )

  4. Ronen 05/17/2011, 1:35 pm:

    Wow – what a great article. Not to mention the illustrated idea of giving laxative pill to a daed person. – That is funny.

    It also paves a big question mark of the idea that one profession wuestion the presumptions and success of another profession, based on the other profession presumption.
    Though we as chiropractors are the first to do it, when we (some of us) try to measure and compare chiropractic to medicine, in medical standards.

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