Chiropractic in Europe traces centuries of bonesetting in Europe, and one hundred years of the modern adjusting. The first DC set up practice in the first decade of the twentieth century, over one hundred years ago. Unfortunately his or her identity seems to have been lost.
The European Chiropractic Union was formed over 75 years. Dr Øystein Ogre is the current ECU President.
Europe of course has a long tradition of manipulation. Known as rebouteax in France, knochen einrichter in Germany, and in Spain they were called algebrista. In Denmark, manipulators were called kloge folk and in Britain bonesetters.
Francis Wilson found this gem about bonesetter Sarah Mapp from Epsom near London. Written in 1736 this poem from Chiropractic in Europe is without equal!
You surgeons of London, who puzzle your pates,
to ride in your coaches and purchase estates,
give over, for shame, for your pride has a fall,
and the doctress of Epsom has outdone you all.
What signifies learning, or going to school,
when a woman can do, without reason or rule,
what puts you to nonplus, and baffles your art;
for petticoat-practice has now got the start.
Dame nature has giv'n her a doctor's degree,
she gets all the patients, and pockets the fee.
So, if you don't instantly prove her a cheat,
she'll loll in her chariot whilst you walk the street.
Priceless. Now that is petticoat power.
Europe has produced some of the profound thinkers of our profession. People like the Gillet family. Jules Gillet was the first chiropractor in Belgium, establishing his practice in Brussels in 1923. Soon he was joined by sons Marcel and Henri. Henri was the first editor of the European Chiropractor.
It was brother Marcel who began researching the concept of the subluxation. It was his conclusion, revolutionary and conflicting with his colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic, that a subluxation had more to do with stiffness, limitation in motion, or fixation than a misalignment as was being currently taught in America. Dr John Gillet is the author of the chapter on Chiropractic In Belgium, A Short History.
Likewise, it was Swiss chiropractor Fred Illi who epitomised the beginning of a new European emphasis on scientific research for the understanding and legitimisation of chiropractic, this more than 60 years ago. Despite small numbers compared with the Americas, Chiropractic in Europe ranks high in importance.
Chiropractic in Switzerland by Daniel Muhlemann and John Naef
Switzerland is unique in two ways. The first two chiropractors were both women, Hermine Fagan-Linder (1919) and Ida Gerber (1927). There is a photograph of Dr Ina, a very beautiful woman obviously. yet more petticoat-power!
Secondly, through a basis of political manoeuvring, chiropractors successfully circumvented attempts to have their practice included on the basis of medical referral only. In 1964 the Swiss parliament unanimously supported the inclusion of a chiropractic article in the insurance law, surely a first.
Chiropractic in Greece by Vasileios Gkolfinopoulos
Greece is particular ranks very highly as a nation in the chiropractic history books for several reasons.
In the first instance, chiro and practic are Greek words, meaning done by hand.
Secondly, Hippocrates was Greek, and his Book of Joints is of supreme importance. No less important is an ancient marble depiction of Asclepius, mythological God of healing, and his supreme insignia of a snake crawling up a stick remains to this day the emblem of medicine.
Yet more important, in the marble depiction of Asclepius, not letting blood, he has no scalpel in his hand, but appears to be giving a cervical manipulation!
Sadly, in Greece chiropractic remains unrecognised. There is no legislation covering the practice of chiropractic. However, according to a supreme court verdict that ruled against the ministry of health's refusal to provide chiropractors with a license to practice, chiropractic is not considered illegal.
To find out about Chiropractic in Europe, France, Holland, Norway ... you will have to, and should, purchase a copy of this gem. A wonderful book. Thank you Francis Wilson and your fellow contributors. TROUBADOR BOOK INFO
The whole subject of headache is complex, sometimes mystifying, and profoundly important. Serious headaches in my opinion can ruin a life quicker and better than most.
Chiropractic has part of the solution, a large part I think, but working with medicine is vital. Brain tumours, meningitis, allergies, jaw problems, eye sight ...
The consumption of water is now believed to be a myth in the management of headaches. Even though water and its polar nature, and the latent heat fusion are so vitally important.
An aside: The latent heat fusion is a subject very close to my heart. It's what brought me to the conviction that a Creation without a Creator makes no sense at all to me as a scientist.
Every chiropractor knows that patients with lumbarisations and sacralisations often don't respond to the conventional Chiropractic lumbar roll techniques. More research is needed. Could Chiropractic in Europe show the way...?
Many insurance companies now only pay for physical therapists to provide a chiropractic adjustment; that's in the face of powerful research proving that inclusion of DCs to perform their own technique would save them a good deal of money. One has to conclude that political medicine has gone off on another tack to contain our profession.
It's being successful with some doctors of chiropractic quitting. Others become involved in some dodgy practices, like demanding that patients sign up for a whole year of treatment in advance, in order to stay in business.
In recessionary times, the going is tough when the insurance won't pay.
Is the day approaching for a new Wilk versus the AMA and the insurance companies?
The chiropractic profession has tried hard to stay on the moral high ground; those who stoop to unscrupulous practices need to be exposed and disciplined if we are not to stoop to the low blows that medicine has often resorted to contain and eliminate us.
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