Chiropractic Puffery from the 1950s

During the mid-1950s, the National Chiropractic Association (now called the American Chiropractic Association) published many ads in Editor & Publisher magazine. The purpose of these ads, as stated in one dated 3/12/55, was “to bring the message of chiropractic to the leaders of communication.” Here are excerpts from a few of the ads:

The Chiropractic Code of Professional Ethics

“No profession can long hold a public trust, prosper and grow without fulfilling its moral obligation as specified within a strict code of professional ethics . . . .

“The code obligates the practitioner, when confronted by a patient whose ailments are beyond the province of chiropractic, to refer him at once to whatever branch of healing he deems most likely to restore the patient’s health.” [4/17/54]

Chiropractic Research and Treatment of Polio

“Polio, the great crippler, is one of the most dreaded diseases of our times. Chiropractic research into the primary causes and preventive measures of polio is extensive. Years of investigation in thousands of polio cases lead chiropractic researchers to concur in the opinion that fatigue, injury as a result of falls, undue exposure to heat of cold, and nutritional deficiencies all are contributing factors.

“Correction and treatment of both acute and chronic polio by chiropractic methods have been unusually successful. . . .

“The National Chiropractic Association, through its research program, is constantly striving for more effective ways to correct the after-effects of polio and thus rehabilitate those who have suffered from this crippling disease. Not content with its proven ability to mitigate the crippling effects of poliomyelitis, the chiropractic profession is constantly studying new methods of prevention.

“Corrective treatment in the early stages of polio is designed to restore spinal and neural normality and usually prevents, in acute cases, any crippling after-effects, whatsoever.

“Encouraging reports are on record which indicate that through the physical and mechanical approach, rather than the chemical, the future holds much promise for the elimination of crippling after-effects of polio under competent chiropractic supervision.” [5/1/54]

Chiropractic’s Contribution to a National Health Problem

“It is logical to ask how doctors of chiropractic correct mental and nervous disorders. The answer is that chiropractic approaches these problems on the independent assumption — now an established fact — that much emotional illness often stems from nerve irritations created by the distortions of the spinal column, which can be more effectively corrected through the physical, mechanical, and neurological approach.

“The contributions of chiropractic in the field of mental hygiene speak for themselves. Case history surveys conducted by independent organizations, have shown that chiropractic treatment has achieved eminently successful results in the correction of these mental and nervous disorders. Once normal nerve function is re-established by effective chiropractic treatment, the responses of these patients are such that they usually return to normal living and activity. Worthy of note is the fact that early treatment under chiropractic care reduces the need for institutional confinement and the result and lightening of the load of these over-taxed institutions.” [5/22/54]

What Is the Basis of the Science of Chiropractic?

“Chiropractic is a system of therapeutics based on the theory that disease is caused by interference with nerve function. It is based on the premise that all systems of the body are coordinated by the nervous system. Interference with the nerve control of these systems impairs their function and induces dysfunction or disease, rendering the body less resistant to infection or to other exciting causes.

“While structural maladjustments, causing nerve irritation and lowered resistance, are not the only cause of disease, they are, by far, the most common cause. . . .

“The practice of chiropractic is as broad as the nervous system, which coordinates all organs, glands, and tissues of the body. Therefore, chiropractic is applicable to a wide variety of diseases which affect the body and mind.” [6/5/54]

32,000,000 Million Americans Avail Themselves of Chiropractic

“. . . 1 out of 5 Americans, 20% of your readers, know the value of chiropractic. That’s a big slice of your circulation. Millions of these fine people in every strata of life have shared one experience. They have found the way to restored health through chiropractic. . . the re-establishment of spinal normality and the regeneration of nerve function of their bodies. These Americans in a democracy have freely chosen the physical, mechanical and neurological approach to healing. Their freedom to do so is as vital as the bulwark of a free press.

“If there is particular information you want, write us or send for the book, ‘The Truth About Chiropractic.'” [4/30/55]

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