For some reason, this blog wasn’t finished before it posted. Sorry.
And today we have—18 September…let’s see…Chris Columbus on his fourth voyage to the New World (still not convinced it was a new world) landing on Costa Rica; the death of the Chancellor of Japan Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1598, ending the Momoyama period of Japan and setting of a bitter struggle for supremacy that ended with the founding of the Tokugawa shogunate; the construction of the first spinet piano in Boston in 1769; the beginning of the battle of Chickamauga in Georgia in 1863; the publication of Huck Finn in 1885; the Great Fresno Drop, mailing out the first BankAmericards in 1958; the capture of Patty Hearst in San Francisco in 1975; and the first of the “anthrax letters” were mailed from Trenton, New Jersey in 2001. Too, for some unaccountable reason, 18 September is National Cheeseburger Day, and National Aging/AIDS Awareness Day. But today, we’re going to talk about bending bones, and national defense, and the airedales.
Chiropractic medicine (hey, it’s the only thing to call it) has been around, some say, since the Egyptians built the pyramids. And ever since the development of the practice of science-based medicine in the 19th century, folks have been calling chiropractic pseudo-scientific quackery. The modern more-or-less science began roughly on 18 September 1895, when the Palmer School of Chiropractic opened in Davenport, Iowa. At the time, those using chiropractic were inclined to treat it as a religion, which may have saved themselves a lot of trouble later on, but as future history would show, would have diminished its benefits to millions.
The reader must be aware that there are several “schools’ of chiropractic that are practiced worldwide, and in the US there are several that don’t call it “medicine” at all. It starts with the idea of subluxation, which is the practice of manipulating the spine and other joints into a “natural” position that, some say, makes for better overall health. A few practitioners also hold that chiropractic can treat and cure any and all human ailments, and that vaccinations would be unnecessary if infants were treated at or near birth, and are consistently manipulated in their formative years.
Understand something: not all chiropractors are alike. I’ve been using chiropractic for my aching joints for…well, a long time, anyway. I’ve had several practitioners bend and twist my bones, in large part because I’ve used some for a time and as soon as they recommending chiropractic for allergy treatment, cancer, and even cavities in the teeth, I spend no more time with them. My current practitioner and his wife have orthopedists on speed-dial, spend no time at all treating any patients without informed consent, and proudly show their vaccination scars.
There are several institutions teaching chiropractic, but every one has a different theory…generally. The Palmer method is the most common, the most widespread, and in my case the most effective. As I understand it, Palmer-related treatments are those that have been most heavily studied, mostly approved by insurance companies (including Medicare and Medicaid), and is what the uniformed services allow their chiropractors to use since 2001. While many skeptics still cry “pseudoscience” at the top of their lungs, I have never had a clinician declare it to be without at least some merit for some aches and pains. I’ve had several MDs who also went to a Palmer School to learn what they had to teach about spinal positioning.
Today is also the birthday of the US Department of Defense, and the official and complete and total divorce of the US Army Air Forces from its parent, creating the US Air Force on this day in 1947. The Air Force had been functionally separate since the late 1930s, and had representation at the executive level since the formation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Department of Defense, furthermore, created separate service secretariats for each branch, thus adding hundreds if not thousands of patronage jobs. Thus, if you ever feel the need to start draining the swamp in DC, start there by merging the services. The Air Force has its own infantry (Base Emergency Engineering Forces, BEEFs); the Navy its own air force and infantry (and the Marines even have their own air force); the Army its own navy and air forces. Why?