Historical Context Morikubo and Langworthy

The latest lecture series posted for TIC Members includes an historical context for the landmark Morikubo trial. The lecture titled The Impact of the Rehm Paper builds upon the first TIC Wiki entry. The talk expands the methodologies utilized through which to critique the Rehm paper and study its extraordinary impact on the profession. 

A preliminary examination of the impact has begun. It suggests that the Rehm paper falsely claimed that the Morikubo trial was true start of philosophy in chiropractic. This untrue claim has been magnified through discourse chains in the literature over the course of thirty years. The headlines from The Chronicle of Chiropractic are one way to monitor the impact this has had on the discourse.

*TIC Members may access Part 1 here: Impact of the Rehm Paper

One important factual error from the Rehm paper is his discussion of Solon Langworthy. This short clip captures the problem:

Solon Langworthy

S.M. Langworthy, DC

Solon Massey Langworthy graduated from the Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1902. His legacy in chiropractic is being rewritten due to updated facts and more accurate histories. Some of the literature written about him in the past bordered on hagiography such as Lerner’s account and Gibbons’ bio. Nevertheless, Langworthy had a big impact on chiropractic.

He should be best remembered as the pioneer of traction in chiropractic. He also influenced the profession by starting the American School, which was a direct competitor with the Palmer School of Chiropractic.

In 1902, Langworthy inquired with the Palmers about collaborating on a school business. D.D. Palmer was open to the idea at first until he realized that Langworthy was interested in including other health practices into chiropractic such as hydrotherapy, osteopathy, and Nature Cure.

Publishing, Politics, and Conflict

Langworthy positioned himself as a leader in the profession and tried to displace D.D. Palmer from that position. According to Faulkner’s book, The Chiropactor’s Protege, D.D. Palmer accused Langworthy and other early students of plagiarism. Langworthy also started the rumors that D.D. Palmer stole chiropractic from local Bohemian immigrants.

Langworthy included several of D.D. Palmer’s essays in his Backbone newletter with Palmer’s name omitted.

Langworthy was listed as coauthor of Modernized Chiropractic, which was written mostly by Smith. According to Smith, Langworthy was the publisher and he was the author.

Smith, Langworthy, and Paxson started the first American Chiropractic Association (no affiliation to today’s organization). Their main efforts are chronicled in Faulkner’s book. These included defending chiropractors in court and trying to pass legislation in Minnesota. The legislation would have required all new chiropractors to have completed 2 years of schooling. This would have kept out all Palmer graduates and only allowed graduates of Langworthy’s school to gain licensure. The law was defeated in part because the Palmers met with the governor in protest.

Philosophy and History Lectures

It is time to take the show on the road. In the coming weeks The Institute Chiropractic will be sponsoring Simon Senzon’s lectures in Barcelona, Paris, Spartanburg, Wisconsin, and Seattle. The lectures will cover a wide range of topics on the history, theory, and philosophy of chiropractic. Each set of lectures will be unique.

BCC September 27 – 29

The first group of lectures will be at Barcelona Chiropractic College’s Lyceum.

The BCC Lyceum lectures will include two talks and a workshop. The Friday night talk includes an overview of the research to date at The Institute Chiropractic and a report on the PhD dissertation underway at Southern Cross University.

The PhD is being supported by the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation, which has granted a tuition scholarship to Simon Senzon. All ongoing research at TIC is supported by TIC members and other contributors.

Lyceum Talks

The workshop at Lyceum will cover the gaps in the literature based on the 10 papers recently published in the Journal of Chiropractic Humanities. If you have not read the papers yet, please see this brief overview: The Senzon Papers.

The Saturday talk will be about the Morikubo Trial. This talk is based on the latest paper on the topic. The paper is the first project towards Dr. Senzon’s dissertation. It was recently published in Chiropractic History as The Morikubo Trial: A Content Analysis of a Landmark Chiropractic Case. The talk will go into detail about the context of the case, the impact, and the way it has been distorted in the literature for the last 50 years.

The Future of Chiropractic in Paris October 4-5

The 12 hours of talks in Paris will be hosted by L’Association Française pour l’Histoire de la Chiropratique. These talks will be comprehensive and cover:

Birth of the Chiropractic Paradigm: The Work of Gaucher-Peslherbe, D.D. Palmer’s Paradigm.

The Subluxation Denier Movement: Trouble in the Chiropractic Literature, The State of the References.

D.D. Palmer Renaissance: The Chiropractic Literature of the 1960s, The Paradigm and Research in the 1970s.

Bias in the Chiropractic History Literature: History and Philosophy in the 1980s and 1990s, The impact of Keating, Gibbons, and Rehm.

The Importance of Worldviews in Chiropractic: Five levels of thinking, Perspectives on Chiropractic.

The Life of B.J. Palmer: B.J. Palmer’s major contributions, Consciousness, Research, and Practice.

The Four Quadrant Viewpoint: Four perspectives, Four domains of chiropractic.

Social Power and Chiropractic: Dominance of Worldviews, Schools, Journals, and Laws.

The Paradox of Chiropractic Science: Systems Science in the 20th century, Chiropractic Models.

Citation Networks: Quantitative views of the literature, Mapping the Intellectual Field of Chiropractic.

Discourse Analysis: 3 levels of discourse, Dominance in the Discourse.

The Future of Chiropractic: An Integral Approach to Chiropractic.

IRAPS – October 12-13

Dr. Senzon will present the research findings of his newest paper at IRAPS on October 12th. This talk emphasize the research methodologies and the data collection. The new paper on the Morikubo Trial includes 190 primary sources and more than 50 secondary sources. The paper documented a new timeline for this landmark trial with many new details. It was demonstrated that 52 documents in the literature include incorrect facts about Morikubo’s trial. These included books, papers, and dissertation.

It was also demonstrated that there is no evidence that Langworthy or the book Modernized Chiropractic had any impact on the defense’s case. Nor did it impact early chiropractic theory and philosophy in any significant way.

CSW – October 17-18

The Chiropractic Society of Wisconsin’s Health and Wellness Summit will include four hours of lectures by Dr. Senzon. The conference will be at the Glacier Canyon Lodge – Wilderness Resort, Wisconsin Dells.

Dr. Senzon’s talks will include an overview of essential chiropractic theories from chiropractic’s first 100 years. This will include the three chiropractic paradigms, the impact of the literature, and the recent challenges to the chiropractic paradigm. Important chiropractic theorists will be highlighted. The talks will also explore the role of science and theory in the chiropractic discourse. The importance of the Morikubo trial on the current literature will be highlighted as well.

The Philosophy Forum – November 4

Dr. Senzon will be returning to The Chiropractic Philosophy Forum in Seattle on November 4. This two hour talk will explore The Chiropractic Green Books. The talk will be based on the first several chapters of the recent book Chiropractic Green Books: The Definitive Guide.

The talk will emphasize new facts and insights about The Chiropractic Green Books that emerged during research for the book. Few chiropractors realize several unique elements to the books. For example, empirical research impacted theory development at least from 1911 through the 1950s. Many chapters published in the 1950s were actually written decades earlier. B.J. Palmer’s philosophy of Innate Intelligence evolved in his later books as did his vertebral subluxation theories.

If you want to prepare for these talks sign up to TIC today. And do stop by and say hello.

If you want to prepare for these talks sign up to TIC today. And do stop by and say hello.

CVS Lectures

The CVS Lectures

Sixteen-weeks of videos on the Chiropractic Vertebral Subluxation



  • Do you want to improve your patients’ understanding of the importance of CVS? Do you want patients’ to understand why it’s important for their entire family to have their spines checked throughout their life? THIS COURSE will give you tools to effectively communicate to patients.
  • Do you want to understand the many ways CVS has been researched? Would you like to integrate multiple perspectives on the neurophysiology of vertebral subluxation? THE CVS LECTURES provide you with ways to deepen your knowledge about the science of chiropractic.
  • Would you like better understand patient care and learn some of the most influential models of subluxation detection? THIS COURSE teaches how to enhance your clinical understanding of patient care.
  • What would it be worth to you to feel confident that you could clearly articulate misstated facts or poor arguments in the literature or claims on social media? How would it feel to have the tools to effectively confront subluxation deniers and grow the profession with facts? THE CVS LECTURES provide you with ways to confront and use the literature with confidence.

The Chiropractic Profession

is at a Crossroad.

The public is largely ignorant or confused about what chiropractic is. Few chiropractors seem aware of the robust history of research and theory at the foundation of daily practice. Loud voices from a small elitist group in the profession continue to call for baseless changes such as a dismissal of CVS.

This course will provide you with the evidence you need to help take the profession forward on multiple levels: as a practitioner, as a professional, and as an individual who values honesty, truth, and facts.

Each lecture in the sixteen-week series is posted in a discussion forum where you can ask questions and engage with other chiropractors. The lectures are broken down into short video clips, each includes recommended readings. Four live question and answer sessions are available for you to participate in, and recorded so you can review the content. You can join the course at any time.

Foreword to Palmer Chiropractic Green Books

The first shipments of Palmer Chiropractic Green Books: The Definitive Guide by Timothy Faulkner, Joseph Foley, and Simon Senzon are beginning to arrive worldwide. The first one was received by Donald McDowall, DC, DNBCE, DIBAK, MAppSc, author of the book’s Foreword. Here is a picture of the chiropractic historian himself with the newest textbook for his incredible collection.

The Foreword is posted below. We have also posted the Contents, the Introduction, and the review from Chiropractic History. The Definitive Guide is already reshaping the discourse in the chiropractic profession. 


Rehm Legally Defensible

Legally Defensible:

Chiropractic in the Courtroom and After, 1907

Author: William S. Rehm, D.C.

Citation: Chiropractic History, 1986. 6: 51-55.

This article was published in 1986 in the journal Chiropractic History.1 At the time, not much was known about Morikubo and his trial. The Palmer Archives were not yet catalogued and available for researchers. Rehm, a chiropractic historian, mostly relies on the unpublished Lerner Report as his source.

Rehm’s article establishes some context for the landmark Morikubo case. The article itself has led to decades of theory about the historical origins of chiropractic’s history and perhaps more particularly, chiropractic’s philosophy. Unfortunately, much of it is incorrect.

The article does establish that the case set a precedent and established chiropractic as separate and distinct based on its science, art, and philosophy.

In order to objectively and critically analyze the article, seven criteria are used. These criteria were developed by Dr. McAulay, a prominent chiropractic academic, as a critical way to approach the chiropractic literature. The criteria are; Clarity, Accuracy, Precision, Relevance, Depth, Breadth, and Logical Consistency.2

Straight and Mixer

In this recent interview for ChiroSushi with Tristan Schaub, we talk about the old Straight vs. Mixer controversy in chiropractic. You can read a bit more about this topic in the blog post on D.D. Palmer’s quote to John Howard and also in the article on chiropractic professionalization.

In this interview, Simon and Tristan discuss the history of the debate, the three paradigms of chiropractic, and some important philosophical distinctions.

Learn More

In the interview, we mention a few important books, lectures, and dialogues. Here are a few of those resources:

In 2017, Dr. Senzon traveled to Gaffney, South Carolina, and interviewed Dr. Thom Gelardi, founder of Sherman College. A preview of their two-hour dialogue is posted here:

TIC Dialogue with Thom Gelardi and Simon Senzon (preview)

In the talk, we also discuss some pivotal events from the days of Sherman College’s founding such as Reggie Gold and the book Chiropractic and Politics, which was written by faculty at Sherman College in 1978. The book lays out grounds for conspiracy charges against the CCE and the NBCE.

Another important source of new facts on the early history of chiropractic is Tim Faulkner’s book The Chiropractor’s Protégé. The book is filled with incredible documentation from O.G. Smith, D.D. Palmer’s 10th student, and information about several of the early students like Langworthy, B.J. Palmer, and A.P. Davis. The book also includes new photos of D.D. Palmer, details about the controversies between the early leaders, as well the many “firsts” of Smith.

We also mentioned Simon’s two hour lecture on R.J. Watkins. The talk is available for TIC Members here. It is based on Steve Walton’s book The Complete Chiropractor.

The three chiropractic paradigms of chiropractic are described in the article Chiropractic and Systems Science and also described in some of the Online CE courses at TIC


References to Chiropractic’s History of Ideas: An Outline


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Barge, F. 1990. One Cause, One Cure: The Health & Life Philosophy of Chiropractic: La Crosse Graphics.

Beckman, J, C Fernandez, and I Coulter. 1996. “A systems model of health care: A proposal.J Man and Phys Ther no. 19 (3):208-215.

Beideman, R. 1996. “The role of the encyclopedic Howard System in the professionalization of Chiropractic National College, 1906-1981.Chiropr Hist no. 16 (2):29-41.

Bittner, H, WD Harper, AE Homewood, J Janse, and C Weiant. 1973. “Chiropractic of Today.” The ACA Journal of Chiropractic no. VII (S-82).

Boone, WR, and GJ Dobson. 1996a. “A proposed vertebral subluxation model reflecting traditional concepts and recent advances in health and science.J Vert Subl Res no. 1:19-36.

Boone, WR, and GJ Dobson. 1996b. “A proposed vertebral subluxation model reflecting traditional concepts and recent advances in health and science: Part II.” J Vert Subl Res no. 1:23-32.

Boone, WR, and GJ Dobson. 1997. “A proposed vertebral subluxation model reflecting traditional concepts and recent advances in health and science: Part III.J Vert Subl Res no. 1:25-34.

Burich, SL. 1920. Chiropractic Chemistry. Vol. 11: Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Carver, W. 1936/2002. History of chiropractic. Edited by J Keating: National Institute of Chiropractic Research.

Cleveland, A, R Phillips, and G Clum. 2003. “The chiropractic paradigm.” In Fundamentals of chiropractic, edited by D Redwood and C Cleveland.

Cleveland, CS. 1951. Chiropractic Analysis: Symptomatology Outline. Kansas CIty, MO: Cleveland Chiropractic College.

Clum, G. 2007. “Philosophy of chiropractic: Its origin and its future.” J Chiropr Human.

College, Sherman. 2010. “Dr. Bill Decken Receives ICA Award.” Sherman Shares – July 2010.

Collins, R. 1998. The sociology of philosophies: A global theory of intellectual change: Harvard University Press.

Coulter, I. 1991. “Chiropractic philosophy has no future.” Chiropr J Austr no. 21 (4):129-131.

Coulter, I. 1993. “Metaphysics, rationality and science.” J Man and Phys Ther no. 5:319-26.

Coulter, I. 1999. Chiropractic: a philosophy for alternative health care. Woburn (MA): Butterworth-Heinemann.

Davis, AP. 1915. Neuropathy Illustrated: The Philosophy and Practical Application of Drugless Healing, Amply Illustrated and Explained: Graves & Hersey.

Donahue, J. 1989. “A proposal for the development of a contemporary philosophy of chiropractic.”  no. 2 (2):51-53.

Donahue, J. 1990. “Philosophy of chiropractic: Lessons from the past – guidance for the future.” J Can Chiropr Assoc no. 34 (4):194-205.

Drain, J.R. 1946. Chiropractic thoughts: Second edition. (New sections published in Mind and My Pencil.)

Drain, J.R. 1956. We walk again. In Spears Papers, edited by Cleveland College Archives.

Drain, JR. 1927. Chiropractic thoughts. San Antonio, TX: Standard Print. Company.

Drain, JR. 1949. Man tomorrow: Standard Print. Company.

Ebrall, P. 2016. “Commentary: Is EBM damaging the social conscience of chiropractic?” Chiropractic Journal of Australia no. 44 (3):203-213.

Epstein, D. 1989. Palpation as a critical tool to detect, classify, and understand central nervous system pathological dominance and the correlation of these findings to various models of vertebral subluxation. In Academy for Research in the Chiropractic Sciences. Philadelphia.

Epstein, D. 1990. The human organism as a dissipating structure. Paper read at Network Chiropractic Seminar: Module F, April, at Monterey, CA.

Epstein, D. 1994. The Twelve Stages of Healing: A Network Approach to Wholeness. San Raphael, CA: Amber Allen.

Epstein, D. 1995/2005. Theoretical Basis and Clinical Application of Network Spinal Anaylsis (NSA) and Evidence based Document, rev. xi. Longmont, CO: Innate Intelligence.

Epstein, D. 1996. “Network spinal analysis: A system of health care delivery within the subluxation-based chiropractic model.J Vertebral Subluxation Res no. 1:1-9.

Epstein, D. 2004. “The transition of network spinal analysis care: Hallmarks of a client-centered wellness education multicomponent system of health care delivery.J Vertebral Subluxation Res no. 5:1-7.

Epstein, D, SA Senzon, and D Lemberger. 2009. “Reorganizational Healing: A Paradigm for the Advancement of Wellness, Behavior Change, Holistic Practice, and Healing.JACM no. 15 (5):475-487.

Faulkner, T, J Foley, and S Senzon. Forthcoming. The chiropractic green books: A definitive collector’s guide. Asheville, NC: The Institute Chiropractic.

Faulkner, T. 2017. The Chiropractor’s Protégé: The Untold Story of Oakley G. Smith’s Journey with D.D. Palmer in Chiropractic’s Founding Years. Rock Island, Ill: Association for the History of Chiropractic.

Firth, J. 1914/1925. Chiropractic symptomatology. Vol. 7. Davenport: Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Forster, A. 1915. Principles and practice of spinal adjustment. Chicago, IL: National School of Chiropractic.

Forster, A. 1921. The white mark: An editorial history of chiropractic. Chicago: National Publishing Association.

Forster, A. 1923. Principles and practice of chiropractic. Chicago: The National Publishing Association.

Gatterman, MI. 1982. “WA Budden: the transition through proprietary education, 1924-1954.” Chiropr Hist no. 2 (1):21.

Gaucher-Peslherbe, P. 1993. Chiropractic: Early concepts in their historical setting. In. Chicago: National College of Chiropractic.

Geilow, V. 1982. Old dad chiro: A biography of D.D. Palmer founder of chiropractic. La Crosse (WI): Fred Barge.

Gelardi, T. 1996. “The science of identifying professions as applied to chiropractic.” J Chiropr Hum no. 6:11-17.

Gibbons, R. 1980. “The rise of the chiropractic educational establishment: 1897-1980.” In Who’s who in chiropractic international, edited by F Lints-Dzaman, S Scheider and L Schwartz. Littleton, CO: Who’s Who in Chiropractic International Pub. Co.

Gibbons, R. 1985. “Chiropractic’s Abraham Flexner: the lonely journey of John J. Nugent, 1935-1963.” Chiropr Hist no. 5:44-51.

Gibbons, R. 1991. “Joy Loban and Andrew P. Davis: itinerant healers and “schoolmen,” 1910-1923.” Chiropr Hist no. 11 (1):23.

Goldstein, M. 1975. The research status of spinal manipulative therapy: A workshop held at the National Institutes of Health, February 2-4, 1975. Vol. 15. Bethesda: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Green, B, M Mostashari, and T Trafecanty. 1994. “Tom Morris: Chiropractic Advocate and Friend of Drugless Healers.” Chiropr Hist no. 14 (1):36.

Harper, WD. 1997. Anything Can Cause Anything: A Correlation of Dr. Daniel David Palmer’s Priniciples of Chiropractic: Texas Chiropractic College.

Hart, JF. 1996. “Remembering Dr. Lyle Wheeler Sherman.” Chiropr Hist no. 16 (2):67-75.

Howard, J. 1908. Encyclopedia of chiropractic (The Howard System): National School of Chiropractic.

Janse, J. 1975. “History of the development of chiropractic concepts: Chiropractic terminology.” In The research status of spinal manipulative therapy: A workshop held at the National Institutes of Health, February 2-4, 1975, edited by M Goldstein, 25-42. Bethesda: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Keating, J. 1988. “C.O. Watkins, D.C.: Grandfather of the Council on Chiropractic Education.Journal of Chiropractic Education no. 2 (3):1-9.

Keating, J. 1992a. “The evolution of Palmer’s metaphors and hypotheses.” Philosophical Constructs for the Chiropractic Profession no. 2 (1):9-19.

Keating, J. 1992b. Toward a philosophy of the science of chiropractic: A primer for clinicians. Stockton (CA): Stockton Foundation for Chiropractic Research.

Keating, J. 1998. “Chronology of Alva Gregory, M.D., D.C.“.

Keating, J. 2000a. “Clarence W. Weiant, D.C., PH.C., PH.D.: An early chiropractic Scholar.” Chiropr Hist no. 20 (2):49-79.

Keating, J. 2000b. “The search for a science of straight chiropractic: Herbert Marshall Himes.Dynamic Chiropractic no. 18 (26):30-2.

Keating, J, ed. 2003. D.D. Palmer’s Early Chiropractic Writings 1896-1902.

Keating, J. 2005. “Philosophy in chiropractic.” In Principles and practice of chiropractic, edited by S  Haldeman, 77-97. New York: McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.

Keating, J. 2008. “William D. Harper, Jr, MS, DC: Anything Can Cause Anything.” J Can Chiropr Assoc no. 52 (1):38.

Keating, J, R Brown, and P Smallie. 1991. “T.F. Ratledge, the missionary of straight chiropractic in California.Chiropr Hist no. 11 (2):27-38.

Keating, J, R Brown, and P Smallie. 1992. “One of the roots of straight chiropractic: Tullius de Florence Ratledge.” In Chiropractic family practice: A clinical manual, edited by J Sweere. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers, Inc.

Keating, J, A Callender, and C Cleveland. 1998. A history of chiropractic education in North America. Davenport, IA: Association for the History of Chiropractic.

Keating, J, K Charlton, J Grod, S Perle, D Sikorski, and J Winterstein. 2005. “Subluxation: dogma or science.” Chiropractic & Osteopathy no. 13 (17).

Keating, J, and W Rehm. 1995. “William C. Schulze, MD, DC (1870-1936): From mail-order mechano-therapists to scholarship and professionalism among drugless physicians.” Chiropractic Journal of Australia no. 25:122-128.

Keating, J, and S Troyanovich. 2005. “Wisconsin versus chiropractic: the trials at LaCrosse and the bilth of a chiropractic champion.” Chiropr Hist no. 25 (1):37-45.

Kent, C. 2013. Chiropractic Insights: eBookIt. com.

Koch, D. 1997. “Has vitalism been a help or a hindrance to the science and art of chiropractic?” J Chiropr Humanit no. 6:18-22.

Koch, D. 2008. “Contemporary chiropractic philosophy: An introduction.”

Langworthy, SM. 1903. “The science of chiropractic.” Backbone no. 1 (1).

Leach, R, and R Phillips. 2004. Philosophy: Foundation for theory development. Edited by R Leach. 4 ed, The chiropractic theories: A textbook of scientific research. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Loban, J. 1908. “The completeness of chiropractic philosophy.” The Chiropractor no. 4 (7 &8):30-35.

Loban, J. 1911. “Chiropractic Reasoning.” International Chiropractic Journal no. 1 (1).

McAulay, B. 2005. “Rigor in the philosophy of chiropractic: Beyond the dismissivism/authoritarian polemic.” J Chiropr Humanit no. 12:16-32.

Moore, L, and L Wise. 1978. “A report on chiropractic politics & education.” In, edited by KS Armstrong. Altanta: Chiropractic Foundation of America.

Moore, S. 1993. Chiropractic in America: The history of a medical alternative: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Morikubo, S. 1907. “Chiropractic.” LaCross Leader.

Morikubo, S. 1915. “Chiropractic Philosophy.The Chiropractor no. 11 (5):13-17.

Nugent, J. 1941. Chiropractic education: Outline of a standard course. Department of Education National Chiropractic Association.

Palmer, B..J. . 1934. The subluxation specific the adjustment specific; Vol. 18. In. Davenport. IA: Palmer College.

Palmer, B.J. 1907. The science of chiropractic: Eleven physiological lectures; Volume 2. Davenport, IA: The Palmer School of Chiropractic.

Palmer, B.J. 1909. Philosophy of chiropractic: Vol. 5. 1st ed. Davenport: Palmer School of Chiropractic.

Palmer, B.J. 1911a. The philosophy and principles of chiropractic adjustments: A series of thirty eight lectures: Vol. 3. Davenport, IA: Palmer College.

Palmer, B.J., ed. 1921. The Chiropractic Adjuster; A compilation of the writings of D.D. Palmer: Vol. 4. Davenport, IA: Palmer School of Chiropractic.

Palmer, B.J. . 1911b. The philosophy, science, and art of chiropractic nerve tracing: A book of four sections; Vol. 6, Volume 6. Davenport, IA: Palmer School of Chiropracitc.

Palmer, B.J. . 1920. The Science of Chiropractic: Containing a series of lectures and other scientific material discovered or developed and delivered. Davenport, IA: The Palmer School of Chiropractic.

Palmer, B.J. . 1929/2011. The Great Undertow. Edited by H.T. Hughes. Raleigh, NC: Lulu.

Palmer, B.J. . 1938. Precise, posture-constant, spinograph, comparative graphs; Vol. 20. Davenport, IA: Palmer School of Chiropractic.

Palmer, B.J. . 1951. Clinical controlled chiropractic research; Vol. 25. Davenport, IA: Palmer College.

Palmer, B.J., and J Craven. 1916. The philosophy of chiropractic: Vol 5. In. Davenport, IA: Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Palmer, BJ. 1936. The known man or an explanation of the “phenomenon of life”; vol. 19. Davenport, IA: Palmer College.

Palmer, D.D. 1902a. “Is chiropractic an experiment? .” The Davenport Times no. June 14.

Palmer, D.D. 1902b. “Letter to B.J. Palmer.”  no. April 27.

Palmer, D.D. 1910. The science, art, and philosophy of chiropractic. Portland, OR: Portland Printing House.

Palmer, D.D. 1914. The Chiropractor. Los Angeles: Press of Beacon Light Printing Company.

Palmer, D.D., and B.J. Palmer. 1906. The science of chiropractic. Davenport, Iowa: The Palmer School of Chiropractic.

Palmer, M. 1923. Chiropractic Anatomy. Davenport: Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Peters, R. 2014. An early history of chiropractic: The Palmers and Australia. Asheville, NC: Integral Altitude.

Peters, R, and M Chance. 2007. “Disasters, discoveries, developments, and distinction: The year that was 1907.” Chiropr J Aust no. 37:145-156.

Petersen, A.R., R.J. Watkins, and M Himes. 1966. Segmental neuropathy: the first evidence of developing pathology: Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.

Phillips, R. 1997. “Division of the vision.” Dynamic Chiropractic no. 15 (15).

Phillips, R. 2004. “The battle for innate: A perspective on fundamentalism in chiropractic.” J Chiropr Humanit no. 11:2-8.

Phillips, R. 2005. “The evolution of vitalism and materialism and its impact on philosophy in chiropractic.” In Principles and practice of chiropractic, edited by S Haldeman, 65-75. New York: McGraw Hill Companies, Inc.

Phillips, R. 2006. Joseph Janse: The apostle of chiropractic education. Los Angeles: R. Phillips.

Phillips, R, I Coulter, A Adams, A Traina, and J Beckman. 1994. “A contemporary philosophy of chiropractic for the LACC.” J Chiropr Humanit no. 4:20-25.

Quigley, W. 1989. “The last days of B.J. Palmer: Revolutionary confronts reality.”  no. 9 (2):11-19.

Ratledge, TF. 1949. The philosophy of chiropractic. Los Angeles, CA: Ratledge.

Rehm, W. 1998. “Remembering Tom Morris.” J Chiropr Hum no. 8 (1):67-70.

Richards, D. 2008. “Paradigm Shift-the Two Models.”

Riley, S. 1919. Science and practice of chiropractic with allied sciences. Washington: J.S. Riley.

Russell, E. 2009. “Process versus outcome: challenges of the chiropractic wellness paradigm.” J Chiropr Hum no. 16 (1):50-53.

Senzon, S. 2010a. “B.J. Palmer: An integral biography.Journal of Integral Theory and Practice no. 5 (3):118-136.

Senzon, S. 2010b. “Constructing a philosophy of chiropractic I: an Integral map of the territory.J Chiropr Human no. 17 (17):6-21.

Senzon, S. 2011a. “Constructing a philosophy of chiropractic: When worldviews evolve and modern foundation.J Chiropr Humanit no. 18 (1):24-38.

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Senzon, S. 2011c. “Constructing a philosophy of chiropractic: When worldviews evolve and Premodern roots.J Chiropr Humanit no. 18 (1):10-23.

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Chiropractic Background

One the greatest challenges confronting the chiropractic profession is a problem with the literature, the chiropractic background. Articles in the literature dating back at least forty years need to be reassessed, critiqued, and updated. This becomes more obvious to me every time I read a new opinion paper or an overview of the profession’s crossroad or schism. 

I just started reading the new paper by a first-year chiropractic student and his mentor. It is an excellent example of this problem, which has affected a portion of the chiropractic literature today. My intent is not to be overly critical, just honest. It is time we start dissecting the literature with clarity, conviction, and the facts.

I won’t dissect the whole paper for you today. It would take too long, your time is precious. Let’s just look at the first page and the use of references to begin to understand how the literature from the past affects the profession today.

First, I sincerely commend the author, Bob Strahinjevich. To take on the task of writing an overview of the chiropractic profession’s schism as a student is remarkable. It took me three years to write my first paper as a student. I understand. It has taken me another twenty years to grok the literature and so mistakes are perfectly understandable as well.

The Schism in Chiropractic Through the Eyes of a 1st Year Chiropractic Student was coauthored by Dr. Keith Simpson. I have written about one of Simpson’s papers before. It had its own challenges.

I write this out of respect for the chiropractors that came before us and even greater respect for those that will graduate in the future. It is to them that we owe a body of literature that rests on a comprehensive accounting of the profession, not on singular viewpoints based on flawed literature.

Let’s Focus on the Background

On the first page, the authors rely on twenty references to establish the background. The mark of a good paper is its use of references and more importantly what references it neglects. I will focus on the most obvious problems and steer away from the nitty-gritty details. After all, so few of their references have been critically analyzed in the literature.

The first two paragraphs just cite the internal divergence within the profession. However, we should take note of their use of quotation marks around the word discovered. They write, “since chiropractic was ‘discovered’ in 1895.” Perhaps this just harks back to Simpson’s 2012 paper, which does the same thing. This approach mainly says to the reader that D.D. Palmer didn’t really discover chiropractic. This is an old trope dating back to Palmer’s earliest detractors such as Smith, Langworthy, Gregory, Davis, and Forster. There is no basis in fact for positioning the invention of chiropractic like this but that is the stuff of another post.

In paragraph three, they reference some literature offering solutions to the profession’s schism. However, their references for solutions only include three sociologists (if you include Simpson) and Walker’s incredibly biased opinion paper. It would be a much stronger paper if they included a wider spectrum of the literature offering solutions. 

The Straw Man Fallacy

The remaining sections of the Background include a surface analysis of the “ideological gulf” in the profession. They rely on Phillips’ flawed paper from two decades ago positioning chiropractors as either believers or questioners. This argument does not reflect how actual chiropractors engage with chiropractic theories about Innate Intelligence and vertebral subluxation, especially since Phillips’ only references were Will Durant, B.J. Palmer, R.W. Stephenson, and a Los Angeles Chiropractic College position paper.

Then they utilize Phillips’ incorrect assessment about chiropractor’s perspectives as fact and cite Keating’s biography of B.J. Palmer to suggest “entrenched ideologies, based on misunderstanding of science and marinated in the fear of losing a ‘separate and distinct’ (from all things medical) identity have prevented chiropractic from fully unifying and moving forward.” This is by definition a straw man argument

A note about Keating’s unfortunate book: It is filled with facts that support a deep bias against B.J. Palmer. (I challenge anyone to read the book and determine whether you feel that biographer actually read B.J. Palmer’s 39 volumes. Isn’t it expected that a biographer read the books authored by their subject?)

So, the Background is a straw man argument based in part on dated and biased literature.

A Deeper View

I would love to direct your attention to a few articles in the literature that do not get cited in this paper. I point this out because many of the issues have been explored in other papers. To write a paper on the schism in chiropractic and ignore a good portion of the recent literature on the topic is considered poor scholarship. You don’t have to agree with the other literature but you do at least have to review it and explain why you disagree. That would be considered good scholarship if your arguments are sound.

I published an article in 2001 in The Journal of Integral Studies. In that article, I talked about the general consensus in the profession around the concept that the body is self-healing and self-organizing. We could easily build upon that to create bridges. The article also applies cultural and psychological perspectives to viewing the historical concepts of Innate Intelligence and Universal Intelligence. But the journal was obscure so I am not surprised many have missed it.

More recent articles bridge the gaps these authors intuit but go far deeper down the rabbit hole that is the schism in the profession. The complexity of worldviews and perspectives that has always been at conflict within chiropractic cannot be simplified around a fictitious “entrenched ideology,” nor can it be simplified to those who seek “evidence” and those who don’t. Any papers you may read that imply those types of dichotomies are just creating new myths.

In one article, I explored eight different ways the profession could engage around constructing theory and philosophy. In another article, I explored the historical schism in chiropractic by demonstrating that at least five verifiable perspectives exist in the profession as developmental trajectories. Most of these perspectives will always clash no matter what profession embodies them. One key to unity is to understand what they are, develop an accurate history of how they clashed in the past, and then develop ways to dialogue across them. 

The chiropractic profession is fractured. It has been since 1902 according to Faulkner’s book on O.G. Smith. The solutions to the profession’s problems are not in publishing more articles that reference the same flawed arguments from the last forty years. The solution is in viewing the profession through new lenses from other disciplines, correcting the literature of the past, and honestly confronting it through science and good scholarship.

Please watch for future dissections of the literature and quite possibly a chirowiki that highlights the literature.

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