In 1895, Daniel David Palmer, a magnetic healer living in the Midwest of the U.S., restored the hearing of a patient who had been deaf since injuring his spine 17 years prior. Palmer located and adjusted a displaced vertebra in the patient’s spine. Palmer hypothesised that the patient’s deafness had been caused by the effect of the displaced vertebra on the patient’s nervous system.
That event, Palmer’s subsequent clinical experience and his work in teaching his newfound discipline are credited with having given birth to chiropractic. Since its inception, chiropractic has grown to the point where it is now a large and well established healthcare profession in many countries around the world. As a result, chiropractors now make a major contribution to human health and well-being through the provision of care that includes the use of neither drugs nor surgery.
Science, Art and Philosophy
Chiropractic is based on the premise that there is an order in the universe that provides form to, and thereby determines the properties of, all matter. The human body along with its incredible healing and adaptive capacities reflect that orderliness. The nervous system coordinates and controls every single part of the body. A prominent chiropractic theory suggests that by helping keep the nervous system free from interference, by improving and maintaining normal spinal function, we may improve the body’s neural communication network so that every organ, tissue and cell in the body is better able to perform its respective functions.
Recent reviews of the known and unknown neurophysiological attributes and consequences of spinal joint dysfunction, called vertebral subluxations, by chiropractic researchers like Dr. Joel Pickar DC, PhD, inform us how far chiropractic theory has come, yet also underscored how far we have to go. Much greater understanding of the biomechanics of spinal motion, related neurophysiological mechanisms, and spinal adjusting need to come from universities, colleges and from practitioners in private practice if we are to better understand what it is we can and can not achieve through the care we provide. Plans are afoot at the BCC to attempt to make significant contributions to the chiropractic profession’s growing research endeavours directed towards testing and exploring chiropractic theory.
Chiropractic in the world
Chiropractic is the largest natural health care profession in the world. Now established in over 70 countries, this discipline has 90,000 professionals trained at accredited colleges/universities predominantly located in North America and Anglo-Saxon countries.
Today, there are almost 300 qualified chiropractic professionals in Spain, most of whom have been trained at accredited universities or colleges in the USA, France or England. Additionally, most are members of the Spanish Chiropractic Association (AEQ), which was founded in 1986 and legalised that same year by the Ministry of the Interior with the approval of the Ministry of Health.
The AEQ is a member of both the European Chiropractors’ Union (ECU) and the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). In turn, the WFC is a non-governmental organisation that has had official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) since 1997.
The health care needs of Europeans are changing rapidly. With their ageing population, survey results suggest that, people across Europe are voting with their feet for more holistic, integrated and natural ways of maintaining and optimising their present health status. Along the way many are discovering chiropractic, which prides itself on providing a conservative model of care without the use of drugs or surgery.
Chiropractic is becoming increasingly involved in the health care systems of European countries. The excellent results experienced by many patients and documented in quality research published in peer-reviewed scientific journals have helped to generate an increased demand for the services provided by qualified chiropractors.
Spain is no exception. While in countries like the USA and Australia, there is one chiropractor for every 3,500 inhabitants, Spain has only one chiropractor for every 370,000 inhabitants. This situation provides a great career opportunity to those who are prepared to work towards becoming a fully qualified chiropractor.