Chiropractic Promotional Materials from the National Health Education Society

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
May 30, 2020

The National Health Education Society (N.C.E.S) marketed subluxation-based chiropractic promotional materials for more than 60 years. Government records indicate that it was registered as a business corporation in Louisiana in 1959 and in Georgia as a foreign business corporation from 1971 through 2018, when it was dissolved. It was founded in 1954 by Earl W. Powell, Ph.D. and was operated in its later years by Powell’s wife Elizabeth and then by Hal Crowe, Sr., D.C., who also practiced in Brunswick, Georgia. Its publications, which I acquired in the 1970s and 1980s, included:

  • Voice for Health, which it described as a “chiropractic layman’s magazine” with the largest circulation in the world and used by thousands of chiropractors throughout the world.
  • Voice for Health cassette tapes for waiting room use
  • Nerve charts which claimed that more than 100 “conditions that supposedly “follow a pressure on, or interference with” spinal nerves
  • T-shirts with messages such as “Universal Intelligence – Chiropractic Dept” and “Empowering Extraordinary Health”
  • A booklet called “That You May Know,” a simply-worded overview of subluxation-based chiropractic
  • Pamphlets that advocated periodic spinal checkups and adjustments:
    • Industrial Injuries (1952)
    • Whiplash Neck Injury (1962)
    • Spinal Exercise (1962)
    • You Can Help Yourself to Better Health
    • Best Foot Forward: What Chiropractic Can Do for Your Child
    • Your Life Is Priceless
    • Your Living Health (a series of philosophical pamphlets)
    • Health Is Wealth

All asserted that chiropractors adjust areas of spinal misalignment to restore nerve flow. Health Is Wealth explained subluxation theory this way:

The cause of the disease is in the person afflicted. Adjustments correct conditions that produce it. The function of every organ in the body is controlled by the brain, through impulses, which are transmitted over nerves. Any impingement, or pinching of the delicate nerve fibers, interfering with the free flow of nature’s life-giving force, results in impaired or abnormal function. This is disease.

This interference is produced by vertebrae which are out of their normal position, pressing upon nerves at the point where they pass out from the spinal cord to vitalize various organs of the body. The trained chiropractor—expert in his knowledge of the spine—locates the exact point of interference, and by adjusting the subluxated (misaligned) vertebra, removes the cause. Normal condition—health—is the result.