The Fourth Wave of Chiropractic Ideas 1928-1948

The fourth wave of chiropractic ideas 1928-1948, includes many important contributions to the chiropractic literature. The pressure from the American Medical Association was fierce with the advent of medical-science boards in many states. Chiropractors dealt with this issue in several ways. Some schools like William Budden’s Western increased their curriculum to include medical-styled courses. Other schools like Ratledge Chiropractic College and the Palmer School resisted medicalization of the chiropractic curriculum.

The divide in the profession was amplified during this period. Many of the leaders that adhered to the the chiropractic paradigm or the middle chiropractic paradigm increased the rigor of science both in theory and research. This led to many new innovations such as the B.J. Palmer Research Clinic and Rehabilitation Lab, Henri Gillet’s Belgian Notes, and even Fred Illi’s Institute. C.O. Watkins advocated for chiropractic self-governance and planted the seeds for the modern-day CCE.

The Palmer School continued to innovate with the expansion of the thermography program, the development of the Research clinic in 1935 along with its various instruments to detect and study vertebral subluxation, and the development of upper-cervical chiropractic. The Palmer Collections digitized homecoming programs from 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, and 1948. Palmer also digitized yearbooks from 1931, 1938, 19391940,  1943, 1944, and 1948.

Diagnosis and subluxation theory took on new significance during this wave.  Books included J Robinson Verner’s text, Logan’s first pamphlets, several B.J. Palmer books, as well as the fifth edition of Jim Firth’s textbook on diagnosis. The Palmer Collections digitized Herbert Ross Reaver’s pamphlet on Diagnosis published in 1948 and L.W. Rutherford’s pamphlet on Dis-ease published in 1946.

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