Contain and Eliminate

Contain and Eliminate: Chiropractic’s Scary Past and Promising Future

A Story Unknown by Many

Less than six decades ago, mainstream medicine plotted to completely eradicate the chiropractic profession. Verbiage in documents from the American Medical Association (AMA) utilized the terms ‘contain and eliminate’ to describe their goals of destroying the existence of chiropractic practice.

Just as riveting as a cloak and dagger film, the contain and eliminate campaign was complete with a media conspiracy including high-level personas like the Ann Landers national news column and publications like Consumer Reports that spread lies to the public.  Political angst, threats against chiropractic physicians and a conspiracy informant/mouthpiece called ‘sore throat’ that used a voice synthesizer to communicate with stakeholders, were all part of an elaborate plot to destroy the profession and cheat the public from accessing chiropractic service.

During that time the AMA actually established a ‘Committee on Quackery’ with the specific goal of demolishing the existence of chiropractic care. Colorful and untruthful language like ‘marginal, quackery, deviant, uneducated, cults, rabid dogs’ among other adjectives were used to try to dissuade the public from visiting chiropractic providers who offered effective drug-free health options.

The ongoing antitrust lawsuit that ensued (Wilk vs. AMA) was a fascinating 14-year journey that changed the face of healthcare and ensured the 21st century health options that we all enjoy today.

Ancient History

The practice of adjusting the spine has been implemented for thousands of years. The earliest known medical text, the Edwin Smith papyrus, describes the ancient Egyptian treatment of bone-related injuries from as early as 4000 BC. There is evidence of tissue work and bone-setting in ancient Asia circa 2700 BC. Most referenced, however, is the Greek physician, philosopher and scholar Hippocrates, who lived from circa 460-370 BC and saw the significance of the spine and its associations with health and disease.

Hippocrates was historically dubbed ‘The Father of Medicine.’ He was the creator of the Hippocratic Oath which retains a standard of timeless morals and values that is expected of new physicians, medical doctors, chiropractors and others, as they recite a pledge that he/she will uphold professional ethical standards that support the best interest of patients. The current modernization of the Oath, the Declaration of Geneva and Lasagna’s Oath are all pledges used by a majority of new health providers and are foundationally based on the philosophies of Hippocrates.

In 1895, the modern profession that we currently call ‘chiropractic,’ historically also called ‘bone-setting,’ was formally founded in the western world by D.D. Palmer. From the root words chiro meaning ‘by hand’ and practik meaning ‘practice of,’ chiropractic understood the significance that Hippocrates and the ancients attributed to the neuromusculoskeletal system.

Though the appearance of the first apothecary in history was in Baghdad in 754 AD, the practice of medicine as we know it today did not see an emergence until after the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century.  Similarly, the founding of the chiropractic profession in 1895 should have concluded the story of a natural and reasonable transition from an ancient practice into a modern profession.

Sadly, the well-being and choices of patients was not the first priority of all healing arts practitioners. The success of chiropractic in the U.S. turned out to be a long fight for the basic rights of doctors of chiropractic (DCs) to practice as well as a fight for retaining the rights for patients to choose the most appropriate care options for themselves.

Diverging Paths and the Right to Practice

Many events happened in the early 1900’s, including the discovery of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming which led to the introduction of antibiotics to combat infections. A single-vision focus on new pharmaceutical interventions also led to a profound divergence in health philosophies that should have been working together.

These included a medical/pharmaceutical path that focused on drugs for treatment and a natural path that utilized innate organic approaches to health. Though these systems, in theory, should collaborate synergistically with a focus on the best outcomes for patients, that didn’t happen. The potential for production and money-making shunted big dollars and influential business interests down the pharmaceutical path.

Spanning decades in the early 1900s, hundreds of DCs chose to go to jail, rather than accepting the accusation of ‘practicing medicine without a license’ and paying unjustified fines. DCs were not prescribing medicines, but simply engaging in the care of patients like they always had, optimizing the joint function of the spinal column. Through threats and persecution, DCs continued to practice. D.D. Palmer himself spent 23 days in jail in 1906.

Despite the conflict, the success and popularity of chiropractic care was steadily growing, as were the numbers of doctors of chiropractic, especially in the state of Iowa. Their success logically led DCs to seek recognized legislation for equity with other health professions. At the time this request was seen as a threat  and the Iowa State Medical Society fought vehemently to stop them. Finally in 1913, after long hardships in many states, Kansas was the first state to  establish a chiropractic board and state licensure procedures for doctors of chiropractic. More states swiftly followed their lead.

During this process, the  AMA became intrigued with the state battles. The AMA was striving to recover from debt and was concurrently concerned about a ‘radical socialistic’ political idea called ‘Medicare.’  The natural approach of chiropractic was seen as a competitive danger to the AMA because there was a ratio of 1 to 10 (DCs to MDs) across the country and in states like Iowa, a ratio of 1 to 4 was a disturbing fact for the AMA that caused alarm at the national level and led them to engage in a campaign of slander.

What if you couldn’t visit the healthcare office of your choice?

After decades of defamation toward chiropractic, the injustices of the AMA ultimately led to a lawsuit against them that made history. In 1987, Judge Susan Getzendanner, issued the final ruling that stated, “…the American Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons and the American College of Radiology are found guilty of having conspired to destroy the profession of chiropractic in the United States.”      

Nearly 130 years after the founding of the modern profession and over 30 years after the court victory of Wilk vs. AMA, DCs are widely recognized as primary health providers. In the U.S. today it is estimated that over 70,000 licensed doctors of chiropractic are in service to the public providing a natural approach to care for more  than 35 million Americans (adults and children) annually. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “…employment for chiropractors continues to swiftly expand and is projected to grow 11% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.”

Along with the understanding of the basic human rights of patients to choose a treatment path and/or a team of providers to work together in their best interests, it is crucial that patients and new doctors promote care that puts the patient first, remember the powerful history that afforded us our rights and, sadly, be aware of the old prejudices that may still exist in some circles.

The story of the Wilk vs. the AMA lawsuit is profound and made the choices that patients enjoy today possible. Students of chiropractic continue to include the Hippocratic Oath during their traditional ceremonies to exemplify their commitment to individual patients. In modern practice, doctors of chiropractic work synergistically with all other medical disciplines and healing arts to address the individual needs of patients and to help patients reach their healthcare goals, naturally.

The detailed story of ‘Contain and Eliminate’ has been told with a book and webinar series written by individuals who lived, worked and litigated during this ground-breaking case that changed our healthcare system. The story has also been told on the Adjusted Reality Podcast where host, Dr. Sherry McAllister, interviews Dr. Lou Sportelli.

For more information and details about this case and the powerful history of the chiropractic profession please visit: https://www.ncmic.com/resources/webinars/contain-and-eliminate-a-history-of-.

Chiropractic Care Can Help You Work from Home More Comfortably

Chiropractic Care Can Help You Work from Home More Comfortably

by Dr. Sherry McAllister, President, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

American employees now work from home. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic made the transition to work from home inevitable, but it hasn’t been easy.

Though working from home is great for social distancing and “flattening the curve,” it presents various challenges. Instead of meeting with co-workers face-to-face, you now have to hop on a phone call or Zoom meeting. Team-building activities such as picnics and game days have gone the way of the dinosaur. Not to mention, most promotions and raises have been put on hold.

Working from home affects your physical health, as well. Most office setups feature comfortable, ergonomic furniture meant to support productivity. But if you rarely worked from home prior to the pandemic, you probably had little reason to invest in a home office.

As a result, many workers are conducting business from their kitchen tables, bedrooms or couches. There’s nothing wrong with working from where it’s most convenient, but without a proper setup, you’re much more likely to experience headaches, neuro-musculoskeletal pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Can you relate? If so, you may want to schedule an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic.

Doctors of chiropractic earn at least seven years of higher education before receiving their license. This training includes guidance on how to achieve and maintain good posture. Following a comprehensive exam and a discussion of your lifestyle and symptoms, a doctor of chiropractic can develop a custom treatment plan that improves your posture and helps you feel better.

Your doctor of chiropractic can recommend office furniture that’s comfortable and supportive. They can improve your neuro-musculoskeletal health with hands-on spinal adjustments, nutritional advice and drug-free treatments. Throughout treatment, they can tweak your plan as necessary, ensuring you achieve the desired outcome.

If working from home is causing you pain, don’t wait to seek professional help. Your doctor of chiropractic is only a phone call away.

Self-Care Options for Relieving Chronic Pain

Self-Care Options for Relieving Chronic Pain

by Dr. Sherry McAllister, President, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. If you’re one of them, you might think your only treatment options are prescription medications or orthopedic surgery, but that’s far from the case.

A growing number of Americans are turning to all-natural, drug-free approaches to pain management. One of the options increasing in popularity is chiropractic care.

A recent study found that more than 22 million Americans visit a doctor of chiropractic each year to address neuro-musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, sports- and work-related injuries, and arthritis. What’s more, three out of four people who visit a doctor of chiropractic report treatment as “very effective.”

Chiropractic care has shown to be one of the topmost effective drug-free approaches, but there are other complementary options that can support your recovery as well. Let’s take a closer look at three self-care treatments worth considering:

    1. Acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves the insertion of small needles throughout your body’s meridians. It’s thought that acupuncture improves the flow of qi, or life force. Studies show that treatment is quite successful. In fact, 66% of people who undergo acupuncture experienced a significant improvement in their symptoms. Additionally, acupuncture treatments can lower blood pressure and improve sleep.
    2. Yoga. Yoga is another self-care option that’s been practiced for thousands of years. It was invented in India and uses stretching and range-of-motion exercises to increase muscle strength, flexibility, cardiac health and energy. One study found that 79% of people who practice yoga at least six times a week say their pain-causing condition greatly improved.
    3. Massage. Many people consider massage a form of self-pampering, but it provides medical benefits, too. Light manual manipulation of your skin and soft tissues can improve circulation, ease inflammation and spur your body’s natural healing process. Swedish massage and deep tissue massage are particularly effective.

If you or a loved one regularly experiences chronic pain, consider combining chiropractic care with one (or several) of these self-care treatment modalities. Doing so can significantly improve your quality of life!

Celebrating 125 Years of Chiropractic

Celebrating 125 Years of Chiropractic

By Dr. Sherry McAllister, president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

September 18, 2020, marks the 125th birthday of the chiropractic profession! To celebrate the occasion, we thought it would be fun to take a brief look at the history of chiropractic care and how it all came to be.

Our story begins in 1895 in the small town of Davenport, Iowa. Daniel David Palmer, known to his friends and colleagues as “DD,” was an enthusiastic scholar who spent much of his free time reading scientific and medical literature.

Over the course of his studies, DD made a significant realization –– for thousands of years, humans had used various forms of manual manipulation to ease pain and improve health, but no one had drafted scientific documentation or developed a philosophical rationale to explain how it worked.

Inspired, he decided to translate his studies into action. Palmer believed all systems in the body were interconnected. DD theorized that manual manipulation, or chiropractic care, could restore balance to the neuruo-musculoskeletal system safely.

Following several years of study, he decided to put his research to the test. On September 18, 1895, DD Palmer performed the first-ever chiropractic adjustment. During this treatment session, he manually aligned a vertebra. Afterward, his patient, a deaf man, noticed an improvement in his hearing.

DD took these results and continued to hone his manual treatment technique. Two years later, in 1897, he opened the Palmer School of Cure in Davenport, Iowa. It’s still there today, but under a different name, the Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Palmer’s early research gained a following and by 1913, legislators passed the first state law licensing chiropractors. 18 years later, in 1931, 39 states officially recognized chiropractic care. Now, millions of Americans visit a doctor of chiropractic every year, including children, senior citizens and professional athletes.

Chiropractic care has come a long way over the last 125 years and we can’t wait to see where it goes next! If you’re interested in finding a doctor of chiropractic in your area, use our free online tool today.

 

How to Eat Like (Healthy) Royalty

How to Eat Like (Healthy) Royalty

by Dr. Sherry McAllister, Executive Vice President, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

Americans love eating food that’s easy to make and packed with flavor. Unfortunately, these two features don’t always equate to a healthy diet.

If you want to keep your family healthy and nourished, it’s important to incorporate fruits, vegetables, legumes and lean proteins into your daily meal plans.

Doing this can improve energy levels, help you sleep better and lower your risk of chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and neuro-musculoskeletal pain.

1.) Stick to staples. Food staples such as beans, rice, potatoes and wheat aren’t very glamorous, but humans have incorporated them into their diets for hundreds of thousands of years. There’s good reason, too. These foods contain important vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but they’re also incredibly affordable. Additionally, you can make a pot of beans or rice and have it last for several days. This saves you the hassle of coming up with a new meal plan every night.

2.) Grow your own vegetables. Economic lockdowns in response to COVID-19 have encouraged many Americans to start their own gardens. Have you considered doing the same? Gardening can be good for your mental health, and it teaches you where your food comes from.

Even if you don’t have a “green thumb,” you can start out small. Planting herbs, tomatoes, peppers or cucumbers is a great way to add freshness and flavor to salads or sides. As you learn more, you can try more challenging plants such as melons or leafy greens. There’s a small investment up front, but the long-term benefits are sure to add up.

3.) Be brave. Do you regularly make the same three or four meals over and over? While there’s nothing wrong with this, it prevents you from trying new things. Social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are packed with recipe ideas that are healthy and easy to make.

You can also find recipes that adhere to special needs, including gluten sensitivities, peanut allergies and more. Don’t be afraid to try something new every once in a while. Plus, if you expose your kids to new dishes regularly, they’re less likely to be picky about what they eat.

Eating well is the foundation for good neuro-musculoskeletal health. By following these tips, you can improve your nutrition and overall quality of life.

 

What To Expect At Your First Chiropractic Care Appointment

What To Expect At Your First Chiropractic Care Appointment

by Dr. Sherry McAllister, Executive Vice President, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

Every year, about 27 million Americans visit a doctor of chiropractic, and that number increases all the time. If you’ve just made your first appointment, you may be feeling nervous or apprehensive. This is perfectly normal, but there’s nothing to worry about! Chiropractic care is an integrative, holistic branch of medicine with a proven track record of more than 100 years. No two doctors of chiropractic conduct treatment the exact same way, but most initial consultations follow a similar process.

On the day of your appointment, try to arrive at your doctor of chiropractic’s office 10 to 15 minutes early so you have time to fill out any necessary paperwork. Usually, this includes a new patient intake form and a sheet of paper that shows a diagram (front and back) of the human anatomy. On this sheet of paper, you will mark areas of your body that cause you pain or discomfort. Your doctor of chiropractic might even ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10.

Next, you’re taken to an exam room. Before conducting a physical exam, your doctor of chiropractic will review your health history, asks you questions about the symptoms you’re experiencing and quiz you about your lifestyle. During this part of the exam, let your doctor of chiropractic know about any prescription medications, vitamins or nutritional supplements you’re taking. You’ll also discuss your sleep habits, exercise routine, and diet.

After gathering this information, your doctor of chiropractic will conduct several neurological and physical tests. This includes gathering your vital signs (heart and respiratory rate), testing your reflexes and asking you to participate in some range-of-motion exercises. If necessary, they might also take X-rays or order another type of diagnostic imaging.

Lastly, your doctor of chiropractic will develop a custom care plan based on your needs. If you suffer from chronic pain or a sports injury, your doctor of chiropractic might recommend a combination of treatments such as yoga therapy, spinal adjustments, and lifestyle changes such as changing your diet. If you’re relatively healthy and want to stay that way, they might recommend regular preventive checkups once a month.

Your initial consultation will take up to an hour. By the time you leave the office, you’ll have a foundation to work off. One designed to improve all aspects of your life. Feel free to ask questions or take notes. Your doctor of chiropractic is your partner on the road to a healthier lifestyle.

Congrats on taking the first step. You’re going to love the results!

tension headache

How can you stop tension headaches on your own?

 

How can you stop tension headaches on your own?

by Dr. Sherry McAllister, executive vice president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced many of us into self-quarantine to avoid getting sick.

During this period, you may feel a little more stressed than usual. You’re likely working and teaching your children in your living space. You may be worried about your job or economic pressures. Or dealing with increased childcare and homeschooling. You may even feel more significant strain on your mental health without the in-person social interactions with friends and family that you’re used to.

This is a challenging time. This added stress and lifestyle changes can lead to tension headaches, which feel like a tight pain around crown around your head. Tension headaches can be triggered by a few things including:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Staring at a computer or phone all-day
  • Poor posture
  • Sleeping on your stomach
  • Poor diet
  • Dehydration
  • Clenching your jaw

A chiropractic adjustment can help to reduce the tension in your shoulders and neck that may be causing the problem. However, if you are homeward bound for the foreseeable future, here are a few ways to manage your headaches on your own:

  • Stretching exercises to help ease your pain
  • Daily exercise
  • Relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing
  • Using a heating pad on sore shoulder and neck muscles
  • Taking screen breaks
  • Practicing good posture
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating healthy and drinking plenty of water
  • Fresh air

Once you’ve started a routine of chiropractic care, a disruption to your treatment plan can be hard on your body. Remember to take care of your physical and mental health in the best way you can. If you have any questions for your doctor of chiropractic, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Why Is Chiropractic Care Becoming So Popular?

Why Is Chiropractic Care Becoming So Popular?

by Dr. Sherry McAllister, executive vice president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

Are you new to the world of chiropractic care? That’s okay. New patients discover the wonders of chiropractic care every day. In the U.S., doctors of chiropractic treat almost 27 million Americans annually. That’s 1 million chiropractic adjustments performed every business day.

Chiropractic care is increasing in popularity. More people are turning to chiropractic care for everyday aches and pains to maintain their spinal health and for drug-free pain management. In fact, in the fight against opioids, chiropractic care is becoming increasingly important. People with lower back pain or chronic pain are looking for drug-free approaches, and care from a doctor of chiropractic can help manage their pain without the use of prescription drugs and opioids.

Another reason that more people are turning to chiropractic care is the financial benefits. Most health insurance plans offer some form of coverage for care. Research is also showing that chiropractic care can be cheaper than prescription drugs or other medical interventions. A review from The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that a chiropractic adjustment for back pain instead of a visit to a family doctor could save Medicare nearly $83.5 million/year. On average, a session of chiropractic care costs $65, though costs can vary from state to state.

If you are nervous about trying chiropractic care, seek out the advice of a doctor of chiropractic. They receive a minimum of seven years of higher-level education and are the third-largest group of doctorate level professionals in the healthcare industry. Doctors of chiropractic know their industry; they know the benefits of regular care and are passionate about helping their patients feel their best. Once you begin a regime of proper care, you will see the benefits quickly. You’ve got to give it a try!

Veterans Need Chiropractic Care

Veterans Need Chiropractic Care

By Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

This month we mark Veterans Day. It is a special day set apart to remember the sacrifices of our military members who have served for the sake of our freedom. We honor their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families.

Our Veterans and active military personnel deserve our highest respect, yet many struggle to receive the healthcare and treatment that they need. Nearly 50% of the members of the military will experience one or more injuries a year. Most common injuries are to the musculoskeletal system as sprains, strains, fractures, especially in the neck, back and lower legs. The physical exertion of active service for our military members means that they are always putting their health at risk to serve our country.

Chiropractic care has been recognized as a suitable treatment for all eligible VA patients since 2002. However, only a portion of the 152 VA centers offer chiropractic care services, and many Veterans struggle to receive these medical benefits as they are entitled too. Chiropractic care has been studied and found to be a drug-free pain management treatment for back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries. It has been shown to reduce the use of opioid painkillers.

Each November, we honor the men and women who have served our country. They put their lives on hold and sacrifice their health to protect our freedoms. We should do our best to ensure that the access they need for healthcare services like chiropractic care is easy.

 

When is the right time for an adjustment?

When is the right time for an adjustment?

by Sherry McAllister, DC, Executive Vice President, 

Making time for your chiropractic care can be tough. It’s hard to balance another appointment with your busy life. Luckily most adjustments are pretty quick! If you want to make the most of your chiropractic care, it can’t hurt to be a little strategic about when you book an appointment. Here are five opportune times to get adjusted.

Before you go to the gym. A chiropractic adjustment loosens up your muscles and aligns your neuro-musculoskeletal system. If everything is properly in place, you can avoid injury. An adjustment will also help relieve pain, which will make your workout a little easier.

When you feel a headache starting. We all know the familiar pangs at the start of a headache or migraine. If you can manage to get in for a quick adjustment, you may be able to relieve some of the neck and back tension causing your headache.

After sitting all day. Book an appointment on your commute home and all the stress of sitting at your desk will melt away. An adjustment can address back and neck tension caused by poor posture and inactivity.

When you are in pain. If you wake up sore, have constant pain, or an injury that won’t heal, it’s time to make an appointment. Chiropractic care is a drug-free pain management option that can help you find long-term relief.

When you feel stressed. Stress causes your body to tense up, which can cause muscle fatigue and throw your spine out of alignment. A chiropractic adjustment can loosen up your neuro-musculoskeletal system and release that tension.

There is no wrong time for a chiropractic adjustment. But if you want to get the most out of your care, it can’t hurt to book an appointment at the right time. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about how to maximize the benefits of your visit. They will help figure out a care plan designed for your body and its specific needs. If you stick with your chiropractic care routine, the long-term benefits will be amazing for your body.

 

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