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MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information

Chiropractic health care providers are Committed to helping each individual patient realize their full health potential by reduction of nerve interference through chiropractic and the implementation of other natural and herbal remedies and therapies.


Derived from its Latin root, Chiropractic literature really means "to use the hands to practice". Chiropractic began over 100 years ago with a doctor by the name of D.D. Palmer. It all started with a janitor working in Dr. Palmer's building by the name of Harvey Lillard. Harvey had been almost completely deaf for about 18 years at that time. One day Dr. Palmer asked Harvey how he had become deaf. Harvey responded by telling him the story about how one day when he was sweeping the floor he heard and felt a loud "pop" in his neck. He stated that since that time he hadn't been able to hear well. Dr. Palmer examined his neck and found a large tender nodule in the area where Harvey said the pop originated. Dr. Palmer told him it felt like one of the bones in his neck was out of alignment and asked Harvey if he could use his hands to try to reposition it. Dr. Palmer gave Harvey the first Chiropractic adjustment. With that adjustment Harvey's hearing was restored and chiropractic was born. Harvey was suffering from a condition known in chiropractic as a Vertebral Subluxation.


The actual profession of chiropractic, as a distinct form of health care, dates back to 1895. However, some of the earliest healers in the history of the world understood the relationship between health and the condition of the spine. Hippocrates advised: "Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases."

Herodotus, a contemporary of Hippocrates, gained fame curing diseases by correcting spinal abnormalities through therapeutic exercises. If the patient was too weak to exercise, Herodotus would manipulate the patient's spine. The philosopher Aristotle was critical of Herodotus' tonic-free approach because, "he made old men young and thus prolonged their lives too greatly."

But the treatment of the spine was still crudely and misunderstood until Daniel David (D.D.) Palmer discovered the specific spinal adjustment. He was also the one to develop the philosophy of chiropractic which forms the foundation for the profession.
    "I am not the first person to replace subluxated vertebrae, but I do claim to be the first person to replace displaced vertebrae by using the spinous and transverse processes as levers... and to develop the philosophy and science of chiropractic adjustments." (D.D. Palmer, Discoverer of Chiropractic)

D.D. Palmer was born a few miles east of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, on March 7, 1845. His ancestors were Scotch and Irish on his maternal side and English and German on his paternal side. When his grandparents settled near the now beautiful city of Toronto, there was but one log house, the beginning of that great city. That region was then known as "away out west."

He moved to the United States when he was 20 years old. He spent the years after the Civil War teaching school, raising bees and selling sweet raspberries in the Iowa and Illinois river towns along the bluffs on either side of the Mississippi River. In 1885, D.D. became familiar with the work of Paul Caster, a magnetic healer who had some success in Ottumwa. D.D. moved his family to Burlington, near Ottumwa, and learned the techniques of magnetic healing, a common therapy of the time. Two years later, he moved to Davenport and opened the Palmer Cure & Infirmary. He was a magnetic healer for nine years previous to discovering the principles which comprise the method known as chiropractic. During this period much of that which was necessary to complete the science was worked out. He had discovered that many diseases were associated with derangements of the stomach, kidneys and other organs.
    "In the dim ages of the past when man lived in rude huts and rocky eaves, even up to the present time, he resorted to charms, necromancy and witchcraft for the relief of mental and physical suffering. His whole object was to find an antidote, a specific for each and every ailment which could and would drive out the intruder, as though the disorder was a creature of intelligence. In his desire to free himself from affliction and prolong his existence, he has searched the heavens above, he has gone into the deep blue sea, the bowels of the earth and every portion thereof. He has tried animal and mineral poisons, penetrated the dark forest with superstitious rite and with incantations, has gathered herbs, barks and roots for medicinal use. In his frenzy for relief, trusting that he might find a panacea, or at least a specific, he has slaughtered man, beast and bird, making use of their various parts alive and dead. He has made powders, ointments, pills, elixirs, decoctions, tinctures and lotions of all known vegetables and crawling creatures which could be found, giving therefore his reasons according to his knowledge.

    One question was always uppermost in my mind in my search for the cause of disease. I desired to know why one person was ailing and his associate, eating at the same table, working in the same shop, at the same bench, was not. Why? What difference was there in the two persons that caused one to have pneumonia, catarrh, typhoid or rheumatism, while his partner, similarly situated, escaped? Why? This question had worried thousands for centuries and was answered in September, 1895." (Chiropractic's founder, Daniel David Palmer)

On September 18, 1895, D.D. Palmer was working late in his office when a janitor, Harvey Lillard, began working nearby. A noisy fire engine passed by outside the window and Palmer was surprised to see that Lillard didn't react at all. He approached the man and tried to strike up a conversation. He soon realized Lillard was deaf. He had been so deaf for 17 years that he could not hear the racket of a wagon on the street or the ticking of a watch. Patiently, Palmer managed to communicate with the man, and learned that he had normal hearing for most of his life. However, he had been bent over in a cramped, stooping position, and felt something "pop" in his back. When he stood up, he realized he couldn't hear.

Palmer deduced that the two events - the popping in his back and the deafness - had to be connected.

He ran his hand carefully down Lillard's spine and felt one of the vertebra was not in its normal position. "I reasoned that if that vertebra was replaced, the man's hearing should be restored," he wrote in his notes afterwards. "With this object in view, a half hour's talk persuaded Mr. Lillard to allow me to replace it. I racked it into position by using the spinous process as a lever, and soon the man could hear as before." There was nothing "accidental" about this procedure as it was accomplished with an object in view, and the result expected was obtained. There was nothing "crude" about this adjustment, it was specific, so much so that no chiropractor has equaled it.
    If no other discovery had been made, this, of itself, should have been hailed with delight. It was the key which has ultimately unlocked the secrets of functional metabolism; it is the entering wedge destined to split the therapeutical log of superstition wide open, revealing its irrational and ignorant construction. (Chiropractic's founder, Daniel David Palmer)

Over the succeeding months, other patients came to Palmer with every conceivable problem, including flu, sciatica, migraine headaches, stomach complaints, epilepsy and heart trouble.
    Shortly after this relief from deafness, I had a case of heart trouble which was not improving. I examined the spine and found a displaced vertebra pressing against the nerves which innervate the heart. I adjusted the vertebra and gave immediate relief - nothing "accidental" or "crude" about this. Then I began to reason if two diseases, so dissimilar as deafness and heart trouble, came from impingement, a pressure on nerves, were not other disease due to a similar cause? Thus the science (knowledge) and art (adjusting) of Chiropractic were formed at that time. I then began a systematic investigation for the cause of all diseases and have been amply rewarded." (Chiropractic's founder, Daniel David Palmer)

D.D. Palmer found each of these conditions responded well to the adjustments which he was calling "hand treatments." Later he coined the term chiropractic - from the Greek words, Chiro, meaning (hand) and practic, meaning (practice or operation). He states he found Chiropractic on Osteology, Neurology and Functions of bones, nerves and the manifestation of impulses. He originated the art of adjusting the vertebrae and the knowledge of every principle which is included in the construction of the Science of Chiropractic.
  • The amount of nerve tension determines health or disease. In health there is a normal tension, known as tone, the normal activity, strength and excitability of the various organs and functions as observed in a state of health. The kind of disease depends upon what nerves are too tense or too slack.

  • Functions performed in a normal manner and amount result in health. Diseases are conditions resulting from either an excess or deficiency of functioning.

  • The dualistic system - spirit and body - united by intellectual life - the soul - is the basis of this science of biology, and nerve tension is the basis of functional activity in health and disease.

  • Spirit should and body compose the being, the source of mentality. Innate and Educated, two mentalities, look after the welfare of the body physically and its surrounding environments.

  • Chiropractors correct abnormalities of the intellect as well as those of the body.

  • (Chiropractic's founder, Daniel David Palmer, provided this information on pages 17 to 19 of his book The Chiropractor's Adjuster (also called The Text-Book of the Science, Art and Philosophy of Chiropractic). The book was published in 1910 by the Portland Printing House Company of Portland, Oregon, and reprinted in 1966 by his grandson, David D. Palmer, 1966.)

D.D. Palmer renamed his clinic the Palmer School & Infirmary of Chiropractic. In 1898, he accepted his first students.

Although he never used drugs, under Palmer's care fevers broke, pain ended, infections healed, vision improved, stomach disorders disappeared, and of course, hearing returned. Often surprised at the effectiveness of his adjustments, D.D. Palmer returned to his studies of anatomy and physiology to learn more about the vital connection between the spine and one's health. He realized spinal adjustments to correct vertebral misalignments, or subluxations, were eliminating the nerve interference causing the patients' complaints. At first, even though it proved to be a successful way of healing the body, chiropractic adjustments were not readily accepted.


Years after Harvey Lillard's hearing was restored, the news media delighted in vilifying the pioneer chiropractor, whom they labeled a "charlatan" and a "crank on magnetism." The medical community, afraid of his success and discouraged by its own failure to heal diseases, joined the crusade and wrote letters to the editors of local papers, openly criticizing his methods and accusing him of practicing medicine without a license.

D.D. Palmer defended himself against the doctors' attacks by presenting arguments against the medical procedures of vaccination and surgery. He also cautioned against introducing medicine into the body saying it was often unnecessary and even harmful.

In 1905, the medical establishment won a minor victory when they conspired to have D.D. Palmer indicted for practicing medicine without a license. He was sentenced to 105 days in jail and was required to pay a $350 fine. Only after serving 23 days of his sentence, did he pay the fine.

From 1906 to 1913, D.D. Palmer published two books, "The Science of Chiropractic" and "The Chiropractors Adjuster." He died in Los Angeles at the age of 68.

Luckily D.D. has a son, Bartlett Joshua, who was as enthusiastic about chiropractic as his father and who continued his father's work. Bartlett (or B.J. as he is now known) is credited with developing chiropractic into a clearly defined and unique health care system. In 1902, B.J. graduated from the Palmer school started by D.D., and before long, with his wife and fellow graduate Mabel, was helping patients and taking on more and more responsibility for the school and the clinic. He also was instrumental in getting chiropractic recognized as a licensed profession.

Although the profession has advanced tremendously since the days of D.D. and B.J., the basic tenets and understanding of chiropractic as a drug-free method of correcting vertebral subluxations in order to remove nerve interference still stand.


Vertebral subluxation is defined as abnormal motion or alignment of bones in the spine causing pressure on, or irritating spinal nerve roots. The body depends on vital information and nerve energy transmitted through nerves exiting the spine to stay healthy. Lack of this information can cause disease or illness. Chiropractors are specialized in finding and correcting vertebral subluxations.

Since its conception by D.D. Palmer, the definition has undergone many refinements in an effort to describe the conditions that chiropractors treat. In 1996, the Association of Chiropractic Colleges, representing all chiropractic colleges, unified the definition as, "a complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health." [1]

The concept of chiropractic vertebral subluxation remains a uniquely chiropractic construct that does not enjoy mainstream medical support. It should not be confused with the orthopedic subluxation. While the orthopedic and medical definition of a subluxation includes objectively verifiable misalignment and sometimes nerve damage, it is considered an uncommon occurrence.

Chiropractors who believe in the vertebral subluxation complex propose that it can negatively affect general health by altering the proper circulation of information via the nervous system. Although not always painful, some chiropractors claim that a subluxation interferes with the proper function and healing of your body due to the role of the nervous system as a controller of many bodily functions.

A vertebral subluxation is theorized to affect one spinal disc (i.e. degenerative disc disease), a section of the spine, or the entire spine. For example, a functional scoliosis or abnormal curvature of the spine, viewed in chiropractic terms, may be due to a subluxation of one vertebra that causes a distortion of the entire spine. Chiropractic treatment of vertebral subluxation focuses on delivering a chiropractic adjustment to the affected part of the spine in an effort to reduce the subluxation. Spinal manipulation is the primary procedure used by chiropractors in the adjustment. It has been shown to help some symptoms of subluxations such as low back pain, neck pain and tension type headaches, but there are only limited clinically controlled studies to evaluate the effects on organ function.


The chiropractic vertebral subluxation is not defined the same way as the medical subluxation. In the following statements, the World Health Organization explains the difference by starting with a standard chiropractic definition:

"A lesion or dysfunction in a joint or motion segment in which alignment, movement integrity and/or physiological function are altered, although contact between joint surfaces remains intact. It is essentially a functional entity, which may influence biomechanical and neural integrity."

In the footnote to that definition it then explains a significant difference:

"This definition is different from the current medical definition, in which subluxation is a significant structural displacement, and therefore visible on static imaging studies."

It thus implies that the degree of structural displacement of the chiropractic vertebral subluxation may not necessarily be "visible on static imaging studies."


Long before the advent of chiropractic, the possible neurological consequences of the medical subluxation were described by Harrison in 1821: "When any of the vertebrae become displaced or too prominent, the patient experiences inconvenience from a local derangement in the nerves of the part. He, in consequence, is tormented with a train of nervous symptoms, which are as obscure in their origin as they are stubborn in their nature..." "Although medical authorities acknowledge that neurological complications may result from subluxation, classical chiropractic definitions mandate the presence of a neurological component." In the chiropractic system developed by Daniel D. Palmer in the late 1800s, Palmer originally believed that he had discovered the cause of all diseases suffered by mankind - the vertebral subluxation. "Physiologists divide nerve-fibers, which form the nerves, into two classes, afferent and efferent. Impressions are made on the peripheral afferent fiber-endings; these create sensations which are transmitted to the center of the nervous system. Efferent nerve-fibers carry impulses out from the center to their endings. Most of these go to muscles and are therefore called motor impulses; some are secretory and enter glands; a portion are inhibitory their function being to restrain secretion. Thus, nerves carry impulses outward and sensations inward. The activity of these nerves, or rather their fibers, may become excited or allayed by impingement, the result being a modification of functionating - too much or not enough action - which is disease." Chiropractors use and have used various terms to express this concept: subluxation, vertebral subluxation (VS), vertebral subluxation complex (VSC), "killer subluxations," the "silent killer," or a "bone out of place" (BOOP).


As a continuation of the brain, the spinal cord contains nerve tracts which are the neurological pathways through which the brain communicates with most of the body. While the brain is protected by the skull, the spinal cord is protected by the vertebral column. As nerves branch off the spinal cord, they form the spinal nerve roots which exit the vertebral column through an opening made by two adjacent vertebrae, called the intervertebral foramen. V. Strang, D.C., describes several hypotheses on how a misaligned vertebra may cause interference to the nervous system in his book, Essential Principles of Chiropractic.
  • Nerve compression hypothesis: suggests that when the vertebrae are out of alignment, the nerve roots and/or spinal cord can become pinched or irritated. While the most commonly referenced hypothesis, and easiest for a patient to understand, it may be the least likely to occur.
  • Proprioceptive insult hypothesis: focuses on articular alterations causing hyperactivity of the sensory nerve fibers.
  • Somatosympathetic reflex hypothesis: all the visceral organ functions can be reflexly affected by cutaneous or muscular stimulation.
  • Somatosomatic reflex hypothesis: afferent impulses from one part of the body can result in reflex activity in other parts of the body.
  • Viscerosomatic reflex hypothesis: visceral afferent fibers cause reflex somatic problems.
  • Somatopsychic hypothesis: the effects of a subluxation on the ascending paths of the reticular activating system.
  • Neurodystrophic hypothesis: focuses on lowered tissue resistance that results from abnormal innervation.
  • Dentate ligament-cord distortion hypothesis: upper cervical misalignments can cause the dentate ligaments to put a stress on the spinal cord.
  • Psychogenic hypothesis: emotions, such as stress, causing contraction in skeletal muscles.

The vertebral subluxation has been described as a syndrome with signs and symptoms which include: altered alignment; aberrant motion; palpable soft tissue changes; localized/referred pain; muscle contraction or imbalance; altered physiological function; reversible with adjustment/manipulation; focal tenderness. Others believe that a subluxation itself is a sign, not a syndrome.


When chiropractors believe a vertebral subluxation is present they may apply a specific adjustment to the spinal bone considered to be subluxated. While there are a number of different chiropractic techniques, each can be characterized by the description of having a short-lever, high velocity, low amplitude (HVLA) thrust and specific line of correction. While chiropractors do attempt to direct treatment at specific movement segments of the spinal column, no other profession claims to intend to treat vertebral subluxations.

Once these bones or vertebrae are theoretically restored to their proper position and/or motion, the spinal cord and/or its nerve roots are no longer considered to be hindered or compressed. Thus, without interference from a subluxation, the brain is considered to be enabled to transmit and receive all the messages through the spinal cord and nerve roots to all the parts of the body supplied by those nerves. The spine is considered "in line" and thus it is assumed the body functions in a coordinated manner resulting in increased health.


The investigation of vertebral subluxation has been ongoing since it was first postulated in 1895. The early practitioners used palpation and the anatomy of the nervous system as a guide (meric system). In their efforts to be more specific, they seized the newly discovered X-ray technology and introduced the neurocalometer (a heat sensing device). It was during those early years that the medical establishment first criticized the chiropractic profession, saying that the conditions that those early chiropractors were treating were only psychophysiologic disorders. To prove that chiropractic patients had real conditions, BJ Palmer opened a research clinic as a part of the Palmer College of Chiropractic. When a patient entered the clinic, they were first examined by medical doctors and a diagnosis was formulated. They were then sent to the chiropractic part of the clinic, treated, and sent back to the medical doctors for evaluation. Since then, chiropractors have sought a greater understanding of the mechanisms and effects of the vertebral subluxation. Today we see motion x-rays, surface EMG, and digital thermography.

As research projects are able to employ new techniques and technologies to evaluate nervous system function and effects, further support for chiropractic principles has surfaced. Chiropractors have long suggested that spinal joint fixation that results from subluxation will result in degenerative effects that break down the spinal joints. A 2004 research team at the National University of Health Sciences evaluated changes of the lumbar vertebral column following fixation (immobility) by surgically fusing spinal joints in experimental rats. The fixated joints showed significant degeneration compared to the mobile joints, confirming that surgical fixation results in time-dependent degenerative changes of the zygapophysial joints.

Chiropractic also asserts that spinal health and function are directly related to general health and well being. Research concerning the intricate functioning of the nervous system suggests that this speculation may have some support. Seaman reviewed the work of several researchers concerning autonomic nervous system relationship to the somatic tissues of the spine. He noted that Feinstein et al. were the first to clearly describe some symptoms associated with noxious irritation of spinal tissues. They injected hypertonic saline into interspinous tissues and paraspinal muscles of normal volunteers for the purpose of characterizing local and referred pain patterns that might develop. His observations included:

"The pain elicited from muscles was accompanied by a characteristic group of phenomena which indicated involvement of other than segmental somatic mechanisms.... The manifestations were pallor, sweating bradycardia, fall in blood pressure, subjective faintness, and nausea, but vomiting was not observed. Syncope occurred in two early procedures in the series of paravertebral injections and was subsequently avoided by quickly depressing the subject's head or by having him lie down at the first sign of faintness. These features were not proportional to the severity of or to the extent of radiation; on the contrary, they seemed to dominate the experience of subjects who complained of little pain, but who were overwhelmed by this distressing complex of symptoms." Feinstein referred to these symptoms as autonomic concomitants. It is likely that these autonomic concomitants were caused by nociceptive stimulation of autonomic centers in the brainstem, particularly the medulla. Feinstein indicated that "this is an example of the ability of deep noxious stimulation to activate generalized autonomic responses independently of the relay of pain to conscious levels." In other words, pain may not be the symptomatic outcome of nociceptive stimulation of spinal structures. Such a conclusion has profound implications for the chiropractic profession. Clearly, patients do not need to be in pain to be candidates for spinal adjustments.

Questions concerning the effects of vertebral subluxation on organ systems remain. To complicate matters, Nansel finds that: "the proper differential diagnosis of somatic (musculoskeletal) vs. visceral (organ) dysfunction represents a challenge for both the medical and chiropractic physician. The afferent convergence mechanisms, which can create signs and symptoms that are virtually indistinguishable with respect to their somatic vs. visceral etiologies, suggest it is not unreasonable that this somatic visceral-disease mimicry could very well account for the "cures" of presumed organ disease that have been observed over the years in response to various somatic therapies (e.g., spinal manipulation, acupuncture, Rolfing, Qi Gong, etc.) and may represent a common phenomenon that has led to "holistic" health care claims on the part of such clinical disciplines." Considering this phenomenon, Seaman suggests that the chiropractic concept of joint complex (somatic) dysfunction should be incorporated into the differential diagnosis of pain and visceral symptoms because these dysfunctions often generate symptoms similar to those produced by true visceral disease and notes that this mimicry leads to unnecessary surgical procedures and medications.

Researchers at the RMIT University-Japan, Tokyo studied reflex effects of subluxation with regards to the autonomic nervous system. They found that "recent neuroscience research supports a neurophysiologic rationale for the concept that aberrant stimulation of spinal or paraspinal structures may lead to segmentally organized reflex responses of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn may alter visceral function."

Professor Philip S. Bolton of the School of Biomedical Sciences at University of Newcastle, Australia writes in JMPT, "The traditional chiropractic vertebral subluxation hypothesis proposes that vertebral misalignment cause illness, disease, or both. This hypothesis remains controversial." His objective was, "To briefly review and update experimental evidence concerning reflex effects of vertebral subluxations, particularly concerning peripheral nervous system responses to vertebral subluxations. Data source: Information was obtained from chiropractic or, scientific peer-reviewed literature concerning human or animal studies of neural responses to vertebral subluxation, vertebral displacement or movement, or both." He concluded, "Animal models suggest that vertebral displacements and putative vertebral subluxations may modulate activity in group I to IV afferent nerves. However, it is not clear whether these afferent nerves are modulated during normal day-to-day activities of living and, if so, what segmental or whole-body reflex effects they may have."

Conclusions: Monitoring mixed-nerve root discharges in response to spinal manipulative thrusts in vivo in human subjects undergoing lumbar surgery is feasible. Neurophysiologic responses appeared sensitive to the contact point and applied force vector of the spinal manipulative thrust. Further study of the neurophysiologic mechanisms of spinal manipulation in humans and animals is needed to more precisely identify the mechanisms and neural pathways involved.

Researchers at the Department of Physiology, University College London studied the effects of compression upon conduction in myelinated axons. Using pneumatic pressure of varying degrees on the sciatic nerves of frog specimens, the studied supported the idea of nerve conduction failure as a result of compression.

A model for chronic nerve root compression studies.


An area of debate among chiropractors is whether "vertebral subluxation" is a metaphysical concept (as posited in B. J. Palmer's philosophy of chiropractic) or a real phenomenon. In an article on vertebral subluxation, the chiropractic authors wrote: "There is nothing inherently dogmatic or anti-scientific in the notion that an articular lesion may have health consequences, or that correction of joint dysfunction may relieve symptoms and/or improve health. Neither does our current inability to predict the effects (if any) of subluxation and/or the benefits of subluxation-correction relegate this hypothetical construct to the dustbin of clinical theories. Indeed, it would be just as inappropriate to dispose of this largely untested theory without data as it is to proclaim its meaningfulness without adequate evidence. On the other hand, as Carl Sagan suggested, extraordinary claims will require extraordinary evidence. With respect to the supposed mechanisms of adjusting, Haldeman reminds us that "What must be avoided... is the unreasonable extrapolation of current knowledge into speculation and presentation of theory as fact." Given the current deficiency of empirical data, the only sound scientific-epistemological position that we can conceive of is to acknowledge our ignorance: we don't know if subluxation is clinically meaningful or not. We suggest that this is a requisite first step toward greater wisdom concerning subluxation."

Since its inception, the concept of vertebral subluxation has been a source of definitional debate. Tedd Koren, DC offers this explanation as a possible cause of the confusion: "The vertebral subluxation cannot be precisely defined because it is an abstraction, an intellectual construct used by chiropractors, chiropractic researchers, educators and others to explain the success of the chiropractic adjustment. This is not a unique state of affairs, abstract entities populate many branches of science... Subluxations, genes, gravity, the ego and life are all heuristic devices, "useful fictions" that are used to explain phenomenon that are far larger than our understanding. We use them as long as they work for us and discard or limit their application when they become unwieldy or unable to account for new observations... Critics of chiropractic have incorrectly assumed that chiropractic is based on the theory or principle that vertebral subluxations cause "pinched" nerves that cause disease. They have it backwards. Chiropractic is based on the success of the spinal adjustment. The theory attempting to explain the success of the adjustment (nerve impingement, disease, subluxations) followed its clinical discovery. Examples of such erroneous criticisms based on this straw man argument abound in the medical literature. Some examples: "The teachers, research workers and practitioners of medicine reject the so-called principle on which chiropractic is based and correctly and bluntly label it a fraud and hoax on the human race." "The basis of chiropractic is completely unscientific." The theory on which chiropractic is based [is false], namely that a "subluxation" of a spinal vertebra presses on a nerve interfering with the passage of energy down that nerve causing disease to organs supplied by that nerve, and that chiropractic "adjustments" can alleviate the pressure thereby treating or preventing such disease. There is no scientific evidence for the validity of this theory." To be fair, statements by some chiropractors have tended to perpetuate this misunderstanding: "Pressure on nerves causes irritation and tension with deranged functions as a result." When chiropractors declare that "pinched nerves" "nerve impingement" "spinal fixations" or others mechanisms of action explain how subluxations affect the person and how chiropractic works they are making the same mistake medical critics make - assuming chiropractic is based on theory. Mechanisms and theories are useful tools, but their limitations should always be kept in mind."


1. Association of Chiropractic Colleges, Chiropractic Paradigm.
2. WHO guidelines on basic training and safety in chiropractic.
3. Models of Vertebral Subluxation: A Review. Christopher Kent, D.C..
4. Palmer DD (1910) The Science, Art and Philosophy of Chiropractic Portland, Oregon: Portland Printing House Company, p.20.
5. VSC.
6. Killer Subluxations.
7. The Silent Killer.
8. Spinal Injury Foundation: BOOP.
9. Strang, V (1984) Essential Principles of Chiropractic Davenport : Palmer College of Chiropractic, OCLC: 12102972.
10. Cramer G, Fournier J, Henderson C, Wolcott C. "Degenerative changes following spinal fixation in a small animal model.". J Manipulative Physiol Ther 27 (3): 141-54. PMID 15129196.
11. Seaman D, Winterstein J (1998). "Dysafferentation: a novel term to describe the neuropathophysiological effects of joint complex dysfunction. A look at likely mechanisms of symptom generation.". J Manipulative Physiol Ther 21 (4): 267-80. PMID 9608382. Full text online.
12. Nansel D, Szlazak M. Somatic dysfunction and the phenomenon of visceral disease simulation: A probable explanation for the apparent effectiveness of somatic therapy in patients presumed to be suffering from true visceral disease. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1995;18:379-397.
13. RMIT University-Japan, Tokyo. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000 (Feb); 23(2): 104-106 Text available online.
14. Bolton P (2000). "Reflex effects of vertebral subluxations: the peripheral nervous system. An update.". J Manipulative Physiol Ther 23 (2): 101-3. PMID 10714535.
15. Colloca C, Keller T, Gunzburg R, Vandeputte K, Fuhr A (2000). "Neurophysiologic response to intraoperative lumbosacral spinal manipulation.". J Manipulative Physiol Ther 23 (7): 447-57. PMID 11004648.
16. The effects of compression upon conduction in myelinated axons of the isolated frog sciatic nerve. R Fern and P J Harrison, Department of Physiology, University College London. J Physiol. 1991 January; 432: 111-122. Text available online.
17. Keating J, Charlton K, Grod J, Perle S, Sikorski D, Winterstein J (2005) Subluxation: dogma or science? Chiropr Osteopat. 2005; 13: 17. Text available online.
18. Does the Vertebral Subluxation Exist?, Tedd Koren, D.C. Text available online.


  • Reflex effects of vertebral subluxations: the peripheral nervous system. An update, Journal of Manipulative Therapeutics, Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 101-103 (February 2000). Abstract.

  • Foundations of Chiropractic: Subluxation, Meridel I. Gatterman, Mosby-Year Book, Inc., 1995, hardcover textbook, 487 pages, ISBN 0-8151-3543-2 Foundations of Chiropractic: Subluxation


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    MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

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    Health & Wellness Index


    Allspice Leaf Oil
    Angelica Oil
    Anise Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Basil Oil
    Bay Laurel Oil
    Bay Oil
    Benzoin Oil
    Bergamot Oil
    Black Pepper Oil
    Chamomile (German) Oil
    Cajuput Oil
    Calamus Oil
    Camphor (White) Oil
    Caraway Oil
    Cardamom Oil
    Carrot Seed Oil
    Catnip Oil
    Cedarwood Oil
    Chamomile Oil
    Cinnamon Oil
    Citronella Oil
    Clary-Sage Oil
    Clove Oil
    Coriander Oil
    Cypress Oil
    Dill Oil
    Eucalyptus Oil
    Fennel Oil
    Fir Needle Oil
    Frankincense Oil
    Geranium Oil
    German Chamomile Oil
    Ginger Oil
    Grapefruit Oil
    Helichrysum Oil
    Hyssop Oil
    Iris-Root Oil
    Jasmine Oil
    Juniper Oil
    Labdanum Oil
    Lavender Oil
    Lemon-Balm Oil
    Lemongrass Oil
    Lemon Oil
    Lime Oil
    Longleaf-Pine Oil
    Mandarin Oil
    Marjoram Oil
    Mimosa Oil
    Myrrh Oil
    Myrtle Oil
    Neroli Oil
    Niaouli Oil
    Nutmeg Oil
    Orange Oil
    Oregano Oil
    Palmarosa Oil
    Patchouli Oil
    Peppermint Oil
    Peru-Balsam Oil
    Petitgrain Oil
    Pine-Long Leaf Oil
    Pine-Needle Oil
    Pine-Swiss Oil
    Rosemary Oil
    Rose Oil
    Rosewood Oil
    Sage Oil
    Sandalwood Oil
    Savory Oil
    Spearmint Oil
    Spikenard Oil
    Swiss-Pine Oil
    Tangerine Oil
    Tea-Tree Oil
    Thyme Oil
    Vanilla Oil
    Verbena Oil
    Vetiver Oil
    Violet Oil
    White-Camphor Oil
    Yarrow Oil
    Ylang-Ylang Oil
    Healing Baths For Colds
    Herbal Cleansers
    Using Essential Oils


    Almond, Sweet Oil
    Apricot Kernel Oil
    Argan Oil
    Arnica Oil
    Avocado Oil
    Baobab Oil
    Black Cumin Oil
    Black Currant Oil
    Black Seed Oil
    Borage Seed Oil
    Calendula Oil
    Camelina Oil
    Castor Oil
    Coconut Oil
    Comfrey Oil
    Evening Primrose Oil
    Flaxseed Oil
    Grapeseed Oil
    Hazelnut Oil
    Hemp Seed Oil
    Jojoba Oil
    Kukui Nut Oil
    Macadamia Nut Oil
    Meadowfoam Seed Oil
    Mullein Oil
    Neem Oil
    Olive Oil
    Palm Oil
    Plantain Oil
    Plum Kernel Oil
    Poke Root Oil
    Pomegranate Seed Oil
    Pumpkin Seed Oil
    Rosehip Seed Oil
    Safflower Oil
    Sea Buckthorn Oil
    Sesame Seed Oil
    Shea Nut Oil
    Soybean Oil
    St. Johns Wort Oil
    Sunflower Oil
    Tamanu Oil
    Vitamin E Oil
    Wheat Germ Oil


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index

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