Guilty By Association

The history of chiropractic has, to a great degree, been formed by its response to its enemies. Of all of the forms of alternative health care which arose in response to the callous use of "heroic medicine" by the medical profession of the 19th century, chiropractic was the only one to survive intact. And not only did chiropractic survive, it thrived. While the homeopaths were chased out of the U.S. to find tenuous purchase in Europe, the osteopaths were co-opted to become the red-headed stepchildren of medicine, and the Thompsonians and Eclectics were simply annihilated, chiropractic doctors spread to every state in the Union and got licensing laws passed in all 50 states.

To a large degree, the success of chiropractic legally was due to its success with patients. The legalization of chiropractic was enabled by grass-roots patient movements lobbying their state legislators to turn aside medicine's attempt to quash the young profession. When chiropractors were jailed for "practicing medicine," their patients would line up at the door of the jail, requesting admittance so that their chiropractic doctor could adjust them.

Chiropractic progress was also secured by enormously courageous doctors willing to risk jail terms in order to gain the right to serve their patients. I never knew it at the time -- indeed, I did not discover this fact until I was well into my 30s -- but the chiropractic doctor I saw as a child, Dr. Herbert Reaver, was jailed no fewer than 13 times before the state of Ohio finally passed a chiropractic practice act. Dr. Reaver, one of the unsung heros of health care, continued to see patients into his early 80s.

While chiropractic success was largely built on patient demand and individual acts of courage, such as Dr. Reaver's, the medical model pursued a different tack. It employed an enormously well-funded central association -- the AMA -- to attempt to eliminate medicine's economic competition.

And that, really is what today's question is about. Can you tell me what the AMA, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAH) and the American College of Physicians all have in common with regard to the history of chiropractic?

As always, the first person to send me the correct answer will receive a 10% one-time discount on any order of supplements from our dispensary.

Good luck!

Dr. Avery Jenkins is a chiropractic physician specializing in the treatment of people with chronic disorders. He can be reached at or by calling 860-567-5727.