Objective: The purpose of this paper is to review and discuss the history of chiropractic vertebral subluxation (CVS) between 1908 and 1915.
Discussion: Evidence from the works of Daniel D. Palmer, Bartlett J. Palmer, Joy Loban, Willard Carver, James Firth, Alva Gregory, John Howard, Arthur Forster, and Harold Swanberg demonstrates that chiropractic during this period was characterized by increasingly complex theories of CVS, which contributed to defining the profession. Critiques of CVS as a central identifier of the profession begin with this early period when students of D. D. Palmer’s early graduates became school leaders and theorists. Textbooks were self-published during this period, including D. D. Palmer’s final works, 4 books from his son B. J. Palmer, and texts from their students. Chiropractic graduates of subsequent schools also
contributed to emerging writings and concepts. Chiropractic vertebral subluxation was central to nearly all texts and schools. There was disagreement about what defined chiropractic, and various schools taught different practices. However, the theories from this period had an important role in the evolution of thought in the profession.
Conclusion: Theories presented from 1908 through 1915 built upon previous concepts from earlier years of chiropractic. The plethora of books and ideas about CVS from these early pioneers shaped the profession, and some of these viewpoints still have relevance today.
Author keywords: Chiropractic; History
Author affiliation: School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales, Australia
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