Rolf E. Peters, DC, MCSc, FACC, FPAC, FICC

Rolf E. Peters, DC, MCSc, FACC, FPAC, FICC is a 1957 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic and chiropractic historian extraordinaire. He completed his Internship at the B.J. Palmer Chiropractic Research Clinic in 1957. On June 13, 2016, Rolf was awarded the Award of Order of Australia Medal for his Service to the Chiropractic Profession. (Please check out Rolf’s C.V. here.)

Dr. Peter’s latest article on H.E. Chance, JD, may be read here: Hugh Emery Chance, JD: A Man Ahead of his time.

Dr. Peters is a former editor of Chiropractic Journal of Australia and the Journal of Australian Chiropractor’s Association. He is also a founder of The Association for Chiropractic History – Australia with his late wife Mary Ann Chance. Rolf practiced chiropractic in Wagga Wagga for fifty years. He is now retired from practice.

An Early History of Chiropractic

Rolf completed a Master of Chiropractic Science program at RMIT in 2004. The Masters Thesis was five hundred pages and recently published as a book titled An Early History of Chiropractic: The Palmers and Australia. It is amazing and should be required reading for all chiropractors and chiropractic students!

From the foreword by Dr. Phillip Ebrall,
“The aim of Dr. Peters’ dissertation was to identify those graduate chiropractors who laid the foundation for the practice of chiropractic in the Commonwealth of Australia during the period of 1905- 1945. It was found that the majority of graduates arriving in Australia gained their chiropractic education at the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.

The Palmer influence encouraged its graduates to use spinography and instrumentation in practice, and the use of these modalities in Australia was documented during the 1920s in Australian Post Office and Telephone Directories. The use of spinography and instrumentation ensured optimal safety and effectiveness of chiropractic intervention and underpinned the claim that chiropractic was a science as well as a philosophy and art.

Dr. Peters’ research demonstrates that Palmer philosophy emphasized the importance of preserving and promulgating the identity of chiropractic as being separate and distinct from other forms of non-allopathic health care.”

Rolf Peters’ Writings


  • Chiropractic in Australia 1905 – 1945 and the Palmer School Influence, Thesis for the degree of Master of Chiropractic Science, RMIT University, 2004.

Non-Australian journals

  • Peters RE.  The facet syndrome.  Eur J Chiropr 1984; 32:85-102.
  • Peters RE.  Heparin therapy—contraindication to manipulation?  Eur J Chiropr 1984; 32:80-4.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Chiropractic in Australia: the first forty years (1905-1945).  Chiropr Hist 1996; 16(1):28-38.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  An Australian perspective on chiropractic spinography.  Chiropr Hist 1996; 16(2):43-50.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Chiropractic in Australia 1985:  a thumbnail sketch.  Eur J Chiropr 1985; 33:169-87.

Invited Chapters in Books

  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Chiropractic in Australia.  In:  Peterson D, Wiese G, eds. Chiropractic: an illustrated history.  St. Louis: Mosby, 1995: 476-83.

Australian Papers: Single author

Australian Papers: First author

  • Peters RE. The Palmer college in a Time of Global Turmoil:  The Year that was 1908.  Chiropr J Aust 2008; 28:142-50.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA. Disasters, Discoveries, Developments and Distinctions: The Year That Was 1907.  Chiropr J Aust 2007; 37:145-55.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Tremors, Trials, Tribulations:  The Year That Was 1906.  Chiropr J Aust 2006; 36: 137-47.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  What early chiropractors “treated”.   Chiropr J Aust 2005; 35:57-70.  This paper was voted the best paper published in Chiropractic Journal of Australia in 2005 by its Editorial Board.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Chiropractic education 1905-1945: The Palmer School Experience;  Learning climate.  Chiropr J Aust 2004; 34:136-46.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  The Palmer School of Chiropractic: Development of the faculty 1906-1945. Chiropr J Aust 2003; 33:98-116.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  “The Lost Years” revisited.  Chiropr J Aust 2003; 33:55-6.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  The Palmer School of Chiropractic:  Development of the physical plant 1905-1945—An Australian perspective.  Chiropr J Aust 2003; 33:42-54.  This paper was voted the best paper published in Chiropractic Journal of Australia in 2003 by its Editorial Board
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  “The Lost Years”—1902-1904.  Chiropr J Aust 2003; 33:2-10.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Australian Spinal Research Foundation: Glimpses of the first 25 years.  Chiropr J Aust 2001; 31:107-11.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Chiropractic in Australia, 1905 – 1945:  The Searby saga:  a story of hardships and determination.  Chiropr J Aust 2001; 31:17-32. The Editorial Board of the Chiropractic Journal of Australia voted this paper to be the best paper published during the year 2001.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Chiropractic and the law:  prosecution, persecution, protection, politics.  Chiropr J Aust 1999; 19:55-64
  • Peters RE, Chance MA. Chiropractic education:  the beginning.  Chiropr J Aust 1997; 27:51-63.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Citations and references.  Chiropr J Aust 1997, 27:20-3.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  George Theroux and the type o/type m dilemma (or the Ross Coulthard story).  Chiropr J Aust 1995; 25:50-5.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  1910: A significant year (or the New Zealand influence).Chiropr J Aust 1995; 25:42-9.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Chiropractic in Australia: first contact.  Chiropr J Aust 1995; 25:2-5.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Historical notes:  A man called “Doss.”  Chiropr J Aust 1994; 24:113-6.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Historical notes:  The International College of Chiropractors Incorporated.  Chiropr J Aust 1993; 23:149-50.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Murder they wrote:  The death of D.D. Palmer and its aftermath.  Chiropr J Aust 1993; 23:143-8.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  The operation was a success.  Chiropr J Aust 1991; 21:108-12.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  1961—a year of mourning.  Chiropr J Aust 1991; 21:68-71.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Milestones in spinography: an Australian perspective. Chiropr J Aust 1993; 23:15-28.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  Indexing a paper: art or science?  J Aust Chiropractors Assoc 1990; 20:49-52.
  • Peters RE, Chance MA.  The case of the missing paper—toward proper terminology. J Aust Chiropractors Assoc 1990; 20:90-3.

Australian Papers: Co-author

  • Chance MA, Peters RE. Writing case reports: a beginner’s guide.  Chiropr J Aust 1996; 25:102-5.
  • Chance MA, Peters RE.  The future of chiropractic philosophy: a quest for better questions.  Chiropr J Aust 1991; 21:179-84.
  • Chance MA, Peters RE.  Priceless heritage: lost or misfiled?  J Aust Chiropractors’ Assoc 1989; 19:125.
  • Chance MA, Peters RE.  A priceless heritage: lost. strayed or forfeited?  J Aust Chiropractors’ Assoc 1988; 18:81-4.

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