Early Chiropractic


The first published text of the Palmers’ included the concept of innate intelligence. Prior to that DD was very mechanistic in his explanation of the body and its function. He, in fact, saw man as a machine and used the watch analogy made famous by theologian William Paley maintaing it was because parts, like the parts of a watch got “out of place”. Later he concluded that the out of place spinal bones impinged upon nerves. The turning point was the Morikubo case in 1906. It was at that time that BJ Palmer along with his attorney, Tom Morris, decided that they would use the philosophy of innate intelligence to set chiropractic apart. The case against Morikubo was for practicing medicine and osteopathy without a license. They had the charges reduced to practicing osteopathy without a license (Morikubo had never prescribed pharmaceuticals) and then proceeded to demonstrate that osteopathy and chiropractic were quite different and it was the philosophy in general and the concept of innate intelligence in particular that set them apart. Without innate intelligence chiropractic is osteopathy at best and medicine at worst. It was here that the idea of an innate intelligence became the important aspect of the chiropractic philosophy and the chiropractic philosophy became the important part of chiropractic practice and the then struggling profession. Most people think that chiropractic like many of the other drugless approaches grew and flourished because it provided a conservative alternative to bad or harmful medicine. I tend to think that it was because the philosophy resonated with the public. This was Midwestern United States, the Bible Belt, just before the turn of the century. The Scopes Trial was still two decades away. In the beginning of the 20th century scientism became the prominent thinking of the scientific and health world. It would be some years before it would take over chiropractic but by the middle and late part of the century it was firmly entrenched in the profession.

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Posted in: Thinking Straight

This article has 16 comments

  1. Claude Lessard 03/01/2017, 7:37 pm:

    This literally means that the concept of innate intelligence was developed as an answer to the medical and osteopathic opposition of chiropractic.

  2. David Suskin 03/01/2017, 8:36 pm:

    I believe they call it serendipity.

    • Joe Strauss 03/02/2017, 1:36 am:

      So who is right David or Claude? was the concept of innate intelligence a brilliant scheme for getting around the charge of practicing medicine/osteopathy (ie. “getting sick people well”) without a license or was it serendipitous? OSC would support the latter, “finding something valuable not sought for”. Other approaches to chiropractic (including TSC) and medicine would support the former.

      • Claude Lessard 03/02/2017, 10:06 pm:

        Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”. –

        – In1906 chiropractors had their “backs” against the wall and were threatened to be thrown in jail due to the “problem” of being accused of practicing medicine or osteopathy without a license. Then BJ and Tom Morris forward the thinking that innate intelligence was what made chiropractic SEPARATE and DISTINCT”. This was a serendipitous revolution that worked. –

        – In 1973 chiropractors had their “backs” against the wall and were threatened by apathy due to BJ’s death in 1961. Then Thom Gelardi with a group of chiropractors forward the thinking of that chiropractic “dealt with a study of man and the principles and laws of nature, particularly as applied to the MAINTENANCE of health” (Sherman catalog 1976, p.12). This was a serendipitous revolution that worked. –

        – In 1979 chiropractors had their “backs” against the wall and were in “a tremendous turmoil attempting to assume their identity in society and were still fighting organized medicine’s attacks” (The Rise and Fall of Pennsylvania College of Straight Chiropractic, p.7, Strauss 2016). Therefore in 1980, Reggie Gold started spinology as a non-therapeutic profession. “The spinologist’s view is that everyone is better off without spinal obtrusions and nerve interference, regardless of whether they have a particular symptom of not” (Spinology, FAQ, nssspinology.com.au). This was a serendipitous revolution that worked. –

        – At the turn of the millennium, chiropractors had their “backs” against the wall as the CCE had pushed Pennsylvania College of Straight Chiropractic out of business in 1996. Joe Strauss, started Chiropractic Outside The Box (CTOB). It was through this blog that the 33 principles of chiropractic were “seen” as chiropractic’s basic science giving rise to the conclusion of the chiropractic objective. Up to that point, chiropractors were correcting VS because they were detrimental to the body. Now, through rational logic and deductive reasoning, the 33 principles of chiropractic’s basic science reveal the chiropractic objective which is: LACVS (pri.31) for a full expression of the innate FORCES (pri. 27) of the innate intelligence of the body (pri. 20, 21,23) PERIOD. That is the reason WHY objective chiropractors do WHAT they do. This can be demonstrated to anyone interested in knowing WHY we LACVS. COTB has also identified the 33 principles of chiropractic’s basic science as the AUTHORITY of chiropractic which is trustworthy of guiding objective chiropractors to practice the chiropractic objective. –

        – Einstein is right!!! “Carry on. ADIO”

  3. David Suskin 03/03/2017, 5:32 pm:

    If having ones “back against the wall” is the impetus for driving forward a “serendipitous revolution”, the wall for me is that which encompasses the (a) “cause of slipping”, the loss of congruency in view point. The clash between ADIO and OIBU application to ones life, to our patients lives. The need to serve the suffering (OIBU), without an application to do so (ADIO). The supplying of an answer (NTOSC), without a question (signs and symptoms). There is only one reality, but it seems that ADIO serves an opposing view to OIBU (therapeutics) of that reality. The wall divides a perfect intelligence (normal) with an imperfect, limited matter (p24)(p26). That division is Survival in body and mind and soul. The need to abandon educated intelligence to solve a problem that by very nature of it being a problem, IS Educated Intelligence. To be able to be the WHO in clear congruent viewpoint, in step, moving forward, in harmony, in reality, in control of that which one can control, in willful action.
    What actually does Chiropractic offer, pragmatically, economically? A metaphysical ideal, unable to render a verdict of satisfaction without analysis or appraisal thereby disqualifying ones true understanding of it? Mind Games

    • Claude Lessard 03/03/2017, 10:15 pm:

      I’m pushing the barriers planting seeds in the stones of your mind. Chiropractic is based on common sense. Look at a baby… observe without analysis and please tell me you “see” WHAT I “see”. 😉

  4. David Suskin 03/05/2017, 9:35 pm:

    A seed will not grow in stone.
    A baby is a living story with chapters yet to be written, educatedly helpless yet having virgin and vital matter, educated free (no memes), time & matter-LOM primed.
    My story has many chapters, filled with many stones, scars and of mostly blessings. Innate intelligence expression still flourishing, with a lot less time,
    less available matter, educated intelligence that is churned, sifted, wrecked, hierarchied, perhaps more aware.
    What mankind needs is a fuller harmonious congruent soulful peaceful wiser (___fill in the blank) expression of educated intelligence thru the matter that makes up ones body and mind expressing the fullest expression with the least interference to innate forces created by innate intelligence. A human life fullfilling it’s god given purpose.
    I see limitations overcome that suggest a vital need for the effective usage of mans educated intelligence.
    Yes, innate intelligence, the triune defines life but weighing of importance of relevance of adio viewpoint compared to oibu perplexes my natural default waking hour perspective.
    I am an have been my worse enemy

    • Claude Lessard 03/06/2017, 8:39 pm:

      When it comes down to practicing chiropractic in your office, don’t analyze what you’re doing, don’t play mind games, just do the deal (just like the baby, without its educated). Is it you WHO is in charge of choosing WHO you wish to be, or is it your tool… called your educated brain? Don’t let your tool run you, put it down. Trust yourself. You will realize that practicing chiropractic is much more “satisfying” that way. Again, chiropractic is based on common sense. Of course, for that to happen you have to embrace the major premise, its subsequent 32 principles and its conclusion… without condemnation. 😉

  5. David Suskin 03/07/2017, 1:28 am:

    “Junk the mind or at least the mind that reacts and judges. Junk it.
    It does not serve in ones best interest.
    WHO is ones self in ADIO at a point that lies before the viewpoint educated intelligence filters thru.
    Junk it Dave.”

    • Claude Lessard 03/07/2017, 2:32 am:

      It is you WHO can choose to junk it in your office as you practice the chiropractic objective… the rest will follow… just like the baby. But you don’t think that, do you?

  6. David Suskin 03/07/2017, 3:26 pm:

    To “Think” routinely lays the trap for staying “inside the box” of thinking. It’s more of a realization, thru experience, developing insight into ones behaviors and self. I know that educated intelligence serves ones survival in navigating thru the external universal forces that prevail. It also serves our expressive natures, our enrichment attainment, our personal, social needs, our spiritual needs, etc.
    But by it’s very nature, limits, filters, control and distorts reality by injecting reactive, patterned and emotional laden memes.
    To answer your question, yes, I do think it. But I can’t always be ahead of it. That’s why I say “Dump It”, giving it a strong perhaps momentarily impactful term to suggest releasing it. It works sometimes. I continue counting my blessings

  7. David Suskin 03/07/2017, 3:40 pm:

    The great deluge of suffering, which includes disease, that has plagued and conscious mankind continues to be a thorn of LOM that outweighs at times the perfection that innate intelligence bestows upon us living souls.
    For all the ADIO is worth in it’s viewpoint gets countered by a tendency to identify with ones pain and doubt. It snags, jars me or has jarred me for a long long time.
    DUMP IT! It doesn’t serve me well. The glass IS half full and half empty.
    ADIO(half full)-OIBU(half empty)
    DUMP IT!

  8. Art Rehe, D.C. 03/08/2017, 4:37 am:

    I hope that I do not offend you by what I write below, and I’ll understand if Joe removes it from this board. I have the greatest respect for you and any other real (straight) chiropractor. But…

    Joe’s little historical review from the ADIO viewpoint is very interesting. But…

    But no industry, specially one so esoteric as chiropractic can survive without customers.
    Let’s look at what happened from the customer’s viewpoint.

    For the first several years chiropractic was seen as a healing art bordering on magic. People who had health conditions that were not responding to the methods of Homeopathy, Osteopathy, Mechano-therapy, Nature Cure, Alopathy, Etc. read a little newspaper (written by D.D.) advertising a new therapy done by hand, some tried it and enough found that it worked for them that chiropractic got a start. Advertising and word of mouth got the ball rolling, and schools teaching the different types of hand treatments sprang up.

    But over the next 20 years nothing much happened. There was a bit of infighting and fighting competing businesses, but chiropractic wasn’t really what you would call a growth industry.

    Then something wonderful happened. A sickness starting in the battlefields of Europe started killing off people like a harvester going through a field. It was the “Spanish Flue”, (or the “French Flue” if you asked a Spaniard). Anyway over the next year or so about 40,000,000,000 people died and the “Great Flue Epidemic” was given the credit.

    Statistics gathered and published by newspapers and magazines of the time found that the highly touted Medical profession which had achieved great growth and power during the past few years due to advertising by the American Medical Association, (paid for by the drug barons) showed that they were the worst effective group during the “Flue” episode, losing 1 patient for every 18 they took care of.

    The next profession to be examined the Osteopaths showed almost equally poor results; 1 out of every 36 patients going to them died.

    The Homeopaths and Naturopaths had almost identical records showing only one death for every 204 or 206 Patients seen.

    And then the most successful profession, the Chiropractors carried the day with only 1 death for every 866 patients cared for. And a number of news reported cases of saving a patient who had been given up by other types of doctor. Whatever the disease was really, Chiropractic came out way on top, being 50 times more effective than Medicine or 25 times more effective than Osteopathy.

    Medical doctors started looking at Chiropractic and a medical doctor by name of Winsor did necropsies which demonstrated “minor kinks and curvatures of the spine, in the areas which were known to supply nerves to all of the pathologies he identified in the corpses he evaluated. There were 2 papers published in Medical World News in 1921. Part 1 told how he came to do the necropsies (he had heard that Chiropractors stated that diseases were caused by minor misalignments of the spine interfering with the nerves supplying the diseased tissues, such as the heart in heart disease, the liver in liver diseases, etc.). And he wanted to see if that might be true. Part 2 described his necropsies at a Pennsylvania Medical College, and his findings, (mentioned before).

    In any event the publicity that the work of chiropractors did during the flue, caused a rush of patients to chiropractors and (unfortunately) a surge of new “Chiropractic Colleges”. Many of these were of very poor grade. Luckily most of these soon died. But suddenly there was a demand for and increased supply of chiropractors. Not because of their philosophy, but because they delivered.

    Of course this also brought a realization by the AMA and their backers that there was a dangerous competitor out there. From being a little mosquito biting individual small town medics, who lost patients to them, who had the sheriff throw the chiropractors in jail for practicing medicine with out a license and interfering with medical profits. And so by success, chiropractic brought down on their heads a 30 year plus period of dirty tricks, lies, and as Federal Judge Susan Getzendanner stated after an 11 year trial (Wilk Vs AMA) “ A long period of wrong doing in an effort to destroy a competing healing art.” She found the AMA and 11 other defendant groups guilty of Criminal actions.

    Of course because of control of the news media the elite criminal robber barons were able to hide this from the public, and of course no one went to jail and no big fines were ever paid.

    Since this time the powers that be have infiltrated our profession with a bunch of destroyers, who have convinced the state boards to twist chiropractic education into a knotted up mess of nonsense. Others such as the publishers of useless crap selling sales magazines that they have the temerity to call Chiropractic Journals have also helped to bring down Chiropractic. And I won’t comment about the colleges, it just makes me to angry just to think about them.

    This history is what lead to you folks and your tiny little group of chiropractic “usefulness denying” adherents. You might be making a living for yourselves, maybe, but when you are gone where will Chiropractic be. Patients don’t give a fig for your spouted philosophy; that doesn’t get them excited. They want improvement in their illnesses, aches and pains. Do you delude yourself that they understand or even want what you espouse?

    Are you not making at least $180,000 a year. If not consider the fact that using just Good, Chiropractic technique, which does not involve thrust type adjusting on things you think might be subluxations, and giving a quality adjustment (no therapies, or any of that nonsense, you must be straight to succeed) just 10 times an hour, and charging only $20 or so cash dollars per visit, 3 days a week, 6 hours a day. And “getting people well” which is almost an automatic outcome of proper Chiropractic. Because if you do your job, and put into place a method of spreading the word about what you can do, you will find yourself doing this w/in 6 months even if you have to start from scratch..

    What we need are not a few “objective” chiropractors who tell each other the same things over and over in a useless circle.

    We need some gutsy, go get ‘em doctors. I don’t say what I say here because I want to destroy you straight Chiropractors, I just want to keep the real Chiropractic profession alive. I don’t want you to change your philosophy, just your approach to patients. I want you to see more patients and give them a reason THEY can understand for
    coming to you.

    • Claude Lessard 03/10/2017, 6:30 pm:


      Thank you for your comnents. Know that your concerns are very much appreciated. This is a philosophy blog geared toward a greater understanding of chiropractic philosophy and the chiropractic objective, and it is sorely needed in our profession today, in my humble opinion.
      This blog is not about practice management.

    • Joe Strauss 03/10/2017, 9:07 pm:

      Could you tell me what constitutes the real chiropractic profession? (Obviously you are part of it and I am not) Barring another Spanish influenza epidemic how do we restore it, a massive PR program touting chiropractic as the cure for all diseases!

      • Claude Lessard 03/11/2017, 12:34 am:

        I think Dr.Strauss’ question is addressed to you in response to your last post. 😉

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