Thank you, Dr. Daniel Knowles, for posting a video of the philosophy panel from Mile High 4. The panel took place in Westminster, Colorado in August of 2016.
The Institute Chiropractic (TIC) organized the panel. This included Dr. Simon Senzon and three members of TIC: Dr. Barry Hobbs, Dr. Jack Bourla, and Dr. Phil McMaster, as well as Dr. Joel Kinch as the MC (another member of TIC).
Please click on the image to go directly to the Mile High page and watch the discussion.
Some Questions for the Ages
We decided to use three short videos from The Institute Chiropractic to inspire discussion. The topics ranged from B.J. Palmer’s thots about Innate Intelligence, Educated Intelligence, and Function, to various types of Vertebral Subluxation, and ultimately Universal Intelligence. The videos were just a starting point.
The discussions ranged from the complexities of Innate Intelligence to the interesting life of D.D. Palmer. By watching the discussion, you may learn some new facts. You will certainly discover what types of interactions await at the next Mile High and on the discussion forums of TIC.
Every chiropractor should know about the latest research conducted at the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Southern California. The research was published by R. Martin del Campo and Edmond Jonckheere. This is a continuation of the research starting in the 1990’s into the spinal wave associated with Network Spinal Analysis. There are several remarkable aspects to this research.
The researchers were able to reproduce previous findings. They measured the propagation of electrical activity in the muscles associated with the wave movement. To do this they used surface electromyography (sEMG) and characterized their findings mathematically.
A standing wave emerges as a manifestation of coherence in the spine.
Spinal Wave as CPG
The wave then settles into a Central Pattern Generator (CPG). Other known human CPGs include gait and swimming. The wave movement is another human CPG.
The wave emerges in response to low force contacts to the spine at areas associated with spinal cord attachments.
The researchers suggest that Breig’s Adverse Mechanical Cord Tension paradigm helps to explain the neurological loops that may lead to the rhythmic wave. Epstein included Breig’s work in the 1980’s.
Experiments a Decade Apart were Reproduced
Another fascinating element of their research is that the phenomenon is reproducible. Different studies conducted ten years apart demonstrate the robustness of the wave. During that time period, the technology used to measure the electrical activity in the muscles changed, the software changed, and the NSA protocols changed. And yet the spinal wave was consistent.
Coherence and the Neuroskeleton
“A standing wave is certainly a manifestation of coherence in the neuro-skeletal system. Since the spinal standing wave has its coherence extending from the neck to the sacrum, it is fair to say that this is a phenomenon of coherence at a distance. Coherence at a distance between EEG and/or (s)EMG signals is considered to be a sign of the nervous system able to coordinate activities of many muscles towards a specific motion.”
They even suggest that their methods may develop into a new way to assess the health of the central nervous system.
Shegetaro Morikubo was one of the early leaders of chiropractic. He is most famous for following in D.D. Palmer’s footsteps and getting arrested for practicing medicine, osteopathy, and surgery without a license.
Unlike D.D., who spent 23 days in jail, Morikubo’s case was won and set a precedent. Chiropractic was separate and distinct from osteopathy. (Check out my blog post about some of the mistakes in the literature on the topic.)
I have researched and written about his life.
I thought we knew all that we could about him. He grew up in Japan. Descended from an aristocratic Buddhist family in the province of Kanagawa. After his trial, he married and then taught and practiced in Minneapolis. I have read every article that I could find by him written between 1904 and 1922.
Morikubo was a Novelist and Read Shakespeare
Last week I got a surprise email from John Wolfe. Dr. Wolfe is a chiropractic historian, the editor of Chiropractic History, and an associate professor at Northwestern College of Chiropractic. He is also one of the leading Morikubo historians in the world.
Wolfe just found this news article from 1895. It is the earliest known writing we have about Morikubo.
There are several interesting things here. The article refers to him as Shigal (I don’t know much about Kanji but it sounds pretty close to Shegetaro). It also supports some other documents such as his age, his ancestry, when he came to the U.S., and that he was a student in California. (I tried to find historical documents about his early schooling from the Berkeley archives to the Tokio Academy with no luck.)
Furthermore, we learn that he studied English with a tutor and read Shakespeare, Irving, Hawthorne, and Longfellow.
We also learn that he is a budding young novelist who aspired to write a history of Japan. This helps us to make sense of his future plays on Japanese Marriage as well as his several lectures and articles on religion and politics in Japan.
The guy was very interesting.
We know that Morikubo covered some of B.J. Palmer’s lectures in the fall of 1906.
B.J. Palmer did not record his lectures from that year. The first chiropractic green book solely authored by B.J. came out the following year and it was based on his winter 1907 lectures.
Morikubo’s first article on the philosophy, science, and art came out in January 1907. (This was a full 8 months before the infamous trial.) The article included many of the early concepts that would appear in B.J.’s Vol 2.
The Philosophy of Chiropractic
In my lecture series at The Institute Chiropractic, I delve into some of Morikubo’s writings on the philosophy of chiropractic. In this video, I capture some of his more interesting contributions. I recreated two of his drawings as animation from a 1915 article called Chiropractic Philosophy.
A History of Ideas
Many questions emerge when we reflect on the history of ideas in chiropractic. Who originated each of the core theories from the chiropractic paradigm? Which authors should be included in the chiropractic canon of theory, science, and practice? What is the difference between subluxation theory and philosophy in chiropractic? There are many questions still to be answered.
Historical information about the foundational paradigm of chiropractic is still being discovered. It is an exciting time for the profession.
*The lectures on the early leaders in chiropractic will be posted soon as part of the Chiropractic Principles online continuing education program.
**Members of The Institute Chiropractic get access to all of the lectures plus tons of content (over 50 hours) as well as discounts for the CE courses.
This On Purpose Interview with Kent, Gentempo, and Senzon explores some new ideas about B.J. Palmer’s early theory. Between 1907 and 1909, B.J. Palmer developed the basics of his philosophy and subluxation theories. Several of his ideas were translated into articles and books by his students John Craven and Ralph Stephenson. Some of their interpretations were incorrect.
Diving into B.J. Palmer’s original theory opens up the philosophy of chiropractic in new and interesting ways. The depth of how B.J. Palmer viewed the organism in the context of the environment shines through. The energy and information are transformed in the organism. The transformation is the process through which mind and matter are enacted.
BIG IDEAS FROM THIS EPISODE
- B.J. Palmer’s theory of the “forun” was developed based on his readings on Electricity from the Encyclopedia Britannica.
- B.J. Palmer’s most distinct theories were written down as Vol. 2, Vol. 3, and Vol. 5.
- John Craven collaborated with B.J. on the second edition of Vol. 5 and the third edition of Vol. 2.
- Some of the mistakes Craven made were so subtle that they obviously got missed by B.J. and other.
- Craven’s student R.W. Stephenson used Vol. 5 as one of his main sources for his Chiropractic Textbook.
- Stephenson made some of the same errors as Craven and thus the original theories have been passed down to us as incorrect.
Resources for this Episode:
The chiropractic literature periodically has problems with bias and incorrect facts about history. The profession needs to correct the mistakes. I will be dedicating several TIC VLOGS and blog posts in the coming months to the literature. Please let me know if this is useful to you.
This week’s question comes from Steve Tullius about a paper published in 2014 on professional attitudes in chiropractic. It is based on a survey conducted in Canada on more than 700 chiropractors. That survey is based on an older survey used in McGregor-Triano’s dissertation. The paper itself has several problems apart from the survey.
I applaud their efforts to try to understand chiropractor’s attitudes. I offer this critique with the best intentions. We need to improve the quality of our literature and stop citing old references that have been debunked.
BIG IDEAS FROM THIS EPISODE
- It is time for the literature to start reflecting a more accurate history of subluxation in chiropractic. The literature on subluxation was developed at every school. There are a few papers that reflect this such as Kent, Faye, Good, and Vernon.
- It would be great if papers in the literature would stop repeating the idea that subluxation and philosophy first showed up at the Morikubo trial in 1907. Also, that subluxation and philosophy were based on the work of Solon Langworthy. These myths started in Lerner’s report in 1952, and are based on Lerner’s conjectures from incomplete facts. He wrote his report as though it was true but when you look at his meager sources, his assertions on the topic DO NOT PAN OUT.
- Philosophy and subluxation were certainly used in court to demonstrate that chiropractic was separate and distinct from medicine and osteopathy. However, they were already developed by D.D. Palmer and his students prior to 1907.
- Unfortunately, Lerner’s report is the main source of Rehm’s influential article on the topic. This led to more articles and textbooks that can all be traced to the unsubstantiated claims by Lerner. For those in the profession who care about facts and scientific rigor, this fact should be included in the future literature.
- In 2003, McDonald’s study was published. It demonstrated that 88.1% of chiropractors in the United States felt vertebral subluxation should be retained by the profession. It was also published as a book and later expanded upon with three essays in Chiropractic Peace.
- In 2006, a paper was published based on a planning conference on chiropractic. It was held by academics. They found that only 30% of academic chiropractors wanted to retain subluxation. They compared this to the 90% of chiropractors who want to keep the term.
The 64 Chiropractors at the Heart of the McGregor Study
- One element of the McGregor/Puhl paper that I did not address in the video blog is the original survey. They based the validity of the survey instrument on a previous study conducted in November of 2000. That study examined 64 individuals.
- The survey was handed out at the WFC conference on philosophy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Download WFC’s report here: ChiroReport.)
- The conference itself was a bit surreal. I was there. Perhaps I will dedicate another blog post to it in the future. I got to meet my friend Joe Keating for the first time in person as well as Nell Williams and many other legends.
- A big consensus was forced upon the attendees. It was embraced by the WFC and ACC, which included every school in the United States. The consensus was based on the Coulter paradigm of chiropractic philosophy. It was developed at LACC/SCUHS in the 1990’s and the basis of Coulter’s 1999 text. Every school embraced the tenets that chiropractic is based on “holism, vitalism, naturalism, humanism, and therapeutic conservatism.”
- McGregor even gave a talk on the philosophical basis for condition-centered chiropractic.
- The highlight of the conference for me was John Astin’s paper integrating Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory into a chiropractic framework.
- The McGregor survey was handed out at the conference and was described in her dissertation. The 64 chiropractors included 10 college presidents, 16 practicing chiropractors, 1 student, 23 lecturers or deans at colleges, 7 from various chiropractic organizations, and 7 who were not chiropractors. It is difficult to fathom how this could be considered an accurate picture of what chiropractors think about subluxation!
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* Music written, arranged, and performed by Dan Mills, Mark Goodell, Adam Podd
D.D. Palmer’s inspiration came from his friend, student, and rival A.P. Davis. Davis was one of the first graduates from A.T. Still’s school. He was also the second graduate of Palmer’s new school in 1898.
I just produced five lectures about Davis. The emphasis is on his impact on early chiropractic. I really like this one clip because it captures D.D. Palmer’s depth of knowledge. Palmer mastered the literature of his day.
Davis impacted modern chiropractic. He was the first chiropractor to integrate the biomedical model into the chiropractic paradigm. He was also the first chiropractor to include other therapies alongside chiropractic. His books were read and integrated by the leading chiropractors of the day such as Howard, Langworthy, Loban, and Gregory. They laid the foundation for today’s chiropractic.
The biggest impact of Davis on chiropractic was the role he played as D.D. Palmer’s inspiration. D.D. was forced to develop his theories of impingement, vertebral subluxation, tone, and the neuroskeleton. He had to distinguish what his ideas were in response to his students. Davis was one of the biggest antagonists.
MORE RESOURCES ON DAVIS AND PALMER
- Davis wrote several books and developed his own discipline of Neuropathy.
- His books included Osteopathy Illustrated and Neuropathy.
- D.D. Palmer was the founder of chiropractic and published three books.
- Palmer’s first book included chapters by other authors and was published by his son as The Science of Chiropractic.
- Palmer’s final book was published after his death by his widow. It is called The Chiropractor.
- Part 1 of the first TIC DIALOGUE was dedicated to D.D.’s books.
To watch the rest of the Davis lectures (five short videos) please join The Institute Chiropractic today!
DD Palmer’s books were primarily a response to his critics, students, and colleagues. His three books were published in 1906, 1910, and 1914. Each of DD Palmer’s books represent distinct sets of ideas and conflicts. In fact, all were inspired by conflict.
One of the reasons I haven’t blogged in a while is because my time has been filled with studying DD’s collected works and the ideas that grew from them.
I decided that instead of waiting until the new program is launched I would just start blogging about my latest findings. A few ideas at a time.
Volume 1 of DD Palmer’s Books
I knew that BJ Palmer published Volume 1 of the chiropractic greenbooks after he and DD split their partnership. BJ kept both of their names on it as coauthors. They announced the book in January 1906, so they obviously started it together. According to Faulkner and Foley the two foremost scholars on Volume 1, DD was fully behind the book until the trial and all that ensued thereafter. He announced that he was leaving chiropractic and so BJ went ahead with the book, which was what his father originally wanted.
How much of the book was actually written by DD Palmer? That was my question. (Or one of them!)
In order to figure out this puzzle I read everything DD Palmer wrote prior to May 1906 when he split with BJ and headed to Oklahoma. Then I read a first edition of Volume 1. Thankfully google books has one available. The later editions were published in 1910 and 1917. Those do not have DD’s name listed as author! BJ edited those editions and added new content.
What I discovered was pretty amazing. They hired a college professor to arrange the book. He took most of DD’s writings from their journal The Chiropractor. DD wrote articles in every issue from December 1904 until April 1906 when he was jailed for 23 days. I determined that most of the content in the book was indeed written by DD. Some of it was written as far back as 1899. Articles from other authors were used as well.
Authors of Volume 1
Some of DD’s Main Chapters
- Chiropractic Rays of Light
- Chiropractic Versus Therapeutics
- Innate Intelligence
- Luxations of the Bones Cause Disease
- The Body is Heat By Nerves
- Chiropractic Versus Osteopathy
Inspired by Conflict
DD really started writing in 1905. We can attribute his burst of scholarship to conflict. That was the year AP Davis published his first book on a new method called Neuropathy. Davis, an 1898 graduate from Palmer’s school, combined osteopathy, chiropractic, and several other methods. Historian Gaucher-Peslherbe wrote, “It got Palmer back to work again.”
DD did not want Davis’ theories to be the published word on his child, chiropractic. All of DD Palmer’s books were inspired by similar events and conflicts.
As you can see from two of the chapters above, he also wrote about chiropractic versus therapeutics and osteopathy. Conflict.
In 1909, DD was settled in Portland, Oregon. He started a new journal called The Chiropractor Adjuster. His goal was to adjust the misconceptions about chiropractic in the field. Several of the issues are preserved in the Palmer archives. Like all of DD Palmer’s books, the 1910 book was a collection of writings.
What I found amazing was that even though the 1910 book goes on to criticize many of the chiropractors of the day, the main person DD attacked during 1909 was his son. There were many reasons for this conflict. The criticisms were aimed at BJ’s first two books: Volumes 2 and 3. The books were published in 1907 and 1908. Perhaps DD got them from BJ’s students who lived in Portland.
From my reading of these criticisms it seems that DD was angry. So angry in fact, that he obviously misunderstood several of BJ’s new theories including Intellectual Adaptation and recoil.
Both Palmers developed new ideas because of this conflict. DD developed his theory of impingement in 1909. BJ introduced his theory of cord pressures in 1910.
More to Come
I will follow up very soon with more blog posts on the conflicts that inspired DD Palmer’s books. Again, my plan is to share a bit of what I am learning as I go. I hope you find this useful and helpful. Please feel free to comment and share it.
I have heard people say that these historical events are not relevant anymore or don’t matter for various reasons. They are relevant because the foundation of the chiropractic paradigm was established in these writings. DD was forced to refine and develop his ideas in significant ways. And of course, the history of chiropractic has been shaped by conflict ever since. If we are ever to move forward as a profession we need to learn from history.
This short video on Chiropractic’s First Generation of philosophers, is taken from my talk at the Seattle Chiropractic Philosophy Forum on June 2, 2014. The Forum has had regular monthly meetings since 1991! What an amazing group. Thank you all so much for having me there.
The video explores a few of the main philosophers from the first generation of chiropractic. I hope you enjoy it.