I wrote a little book a few years ago called, The Secret History of Chiropractic. The intent of the book was to bring forth some of chiropractic’s historical facts from an Integral perspective. The story created a context for a categorized collection of some of D.D. Palmer’s most philosophical and spiritual quotes. Much of the history was unknown to the majority of chiropractors I have spoken to. Hence, I used the term “secret” in the title.
Some in the profession were well versed in the history. In fact, one of the more famous chiropractic historians criticized my use of the word “secret,” mostly because he and his colleagues were aware of the stories. And yet, as we continue to research and also peel away the veil of bias from our historical writings, we find new gems even today.
Instead of criticizing bad history or pointing out misleading facts, I would like to use this month’s blog post to share a few delightful gems and some really good historical accounting.
In the last three months, I have had the great honor to lecture on the history of the philosophy of chiropractic in California, Virginia, Mexico City, and South Carolina. In my preparation for these talks, I have encountered many new insights and facts (secrets if you will). I am excited to share these with the profession.
The first gems come from my research into the life of Shegataro Morikubo (1871-1933). He was of noble Japanese birth. His father was a governor of a prefecture and his brother served in Parliament. Morikubo came to the United States in 1889 from Japan. While in the states, he converted to Christianity from Buddhism, engaged in graduate studies in philosophy, earned his chiropractic degree in 1906 at PSC, got married, had a child, and eventually settled in Minneapolis, where he practiced, offered summer night classes in his seemingly brief “Academy of Chiropractic,” and eventually formed the Yamato Corporation. I have not been able to uncover much else about his life.
I have found several of his writings from before he became a chiropractor. Most of his non-chiropractic writings are on Japanese culture and politics.[3-5] The articles are fascinating especially because it shows us how erudite and educated Morikubo was.
Shegataro Morikubo played an important role in the development of the philosophy of chiropractic because he helped to shape the landmark defense in the Wisconsin vs. Morikubo trial of 1907. After reading three of Morikubo’s articles on the philosophy of chiropractic, as well as his writings about the trial, I am more convinced than ever that he played a significant role in the shaping of the defense and the philosophy. I have posted two of his articles below.[7, 8] I will post more in the coming months as I develop an article on Morikubo.
Another gem or series of gems I stumbled upon include three articles by the late Bud Crowder (1920-2002), graduate of PSC class of 1947.[9-11] Crowder taught and inspired generations of chiropractic students and interns. These articles were written in 1986 and 1987, a time in chiropractic’s history similar to today in many ways. It is my hope that Crowder’s words will inspire a new generation to go forth and serve humanity through the gift of chiropractic.
Finally, I am very happy to share the Chiropractic Parallax series by the chiropractic historian Merwyn Zarbuck (1931-2009), graduate of PSC class of 1951. Zarbuck practiced for 50 years. I received permission to post this very important series on D.D. Palmer and his students.[12-17] (This series is an excellent example of the kind of secrets I mean. Unless you were a member of the Illinois Prairie State Chiropractors Association in the 1980s, you probably have never heard of Chiropractic Parallax!) I know you will enjoy these articles as I have.
As more secrets from chiropractic’s past get revealed, we can move forward without bias and embrace the amazing history that is chiropractic’s story.
*Crowder articles are republished with permission from Sherman College of Chiropractic.
**Merwyn Zarbuck (1931-2009) was one of the great chiropractic historians. Zarbuck graduated from Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1951. He practiced chiropractic for 50 years in Urbana, Illinois. Below are a selection of his writings as well as one of his classic historical finds. Merwyn Zarbuck’s Chiropractic Parallax series are reproduced with permission from his family.
Zarbuck, M. A profession for ‘Bohemian Chiropractic’: Oakley Smith and the Evolution of Naprapathy.
Chiropractic History, 1986. 6: p. 77-82.*
Zarbuck, M. and M. Hayes. Following D.D. Palmer to the West Coast: The Pasadena Connection, 1902. Chiropractic History, 1990. 10(2): p. 17-19.*
*Reprinted by permission of the Association for the History of Chiropractic.