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This post is reprinted from https://circleofdocs.com/1918-influenza-epidemic-and-chiropractic-care/
Published by the Texas Chiropractic Association — 1978
THE THREE GREAT SURVIVAL FACTORS
[Excerpts by Dan Murphy, DC]
“The 1917 – 1918 influenza epidemic swept silently across the world bringing death and fear to homes in every land. Disease and pestilence, especially the epidemics, are little understood even now and many of the factors that spread them are still mysterious shadows, but in 1917-1918 almost nothing was known about prevention, protection, treatment or cure of influenza. The whole world stood at its mercy, or lack of it.”
“But out of that particular epidemic, the young science of chiropractic grew into a new measure of safety. While many struggles would lie ahead this successful passage of the profession into early maturity assured its immediate survival and made the eventual outcome of chiropractic a matter for optimism. If there had been any lack of enthusiasm among the doctors of chiropractic, or a depleting of the sources of students then the epidemic took care of them too. These chiropractic survivors of the flu epidemic were sure, assured, determined, and ready to fight any battle that came up. The effect of the epidemic becomes evident in interviews made with old-timers practicing in those years. The refrain comes repeatedly,”
‘I was about to go out of business when the flu epidemic came – but when it was over, I was firmly established in practice.’
“Why? The answer is reasonably simple. Chiropractors got fantastic results from influenza patients while those under medical care died like flies all around.” “Statistics reflect a most amazing, almost miraculous state of affairs. The medical profession was practically helpless with the flu victims but chiropractors seemed able to do no wrong.”
“In Davenport, Iowa, 50 medical doctors treated 4,953 cases, with 274 deaths. In the same city, 150 chiropractors including students and faculty of the Palmer School of Chiropractic, treated 1,635 cases with only one death.”
“In the state of Iowa, medical doctors treated 93,590 patients, with 6,116 deaths – a loss of one patient out of every 15. In the same state, excluding Davenport, 4,735 patients were treated by chiropractors with a loss of only 6 cases – a loss of one patient out of every 789.”
“National figures show that 1,142 chiropractors treated 46,394 patients for influenza during 1918, with a loss of 54 patients – one out of every 886.”
“Reports show that in New York City, during the influenza epidemic of 1918, out of every 10,000 cases medically treated, 950 died; and in every 10,000 pneumonia cases medically treated 6,400 died. These figures are exact, for in that city these are reportable diseases.”
“In the same epidemic, under drugless methods, only 25 patients died of influenza out of every 10,000 cases; and only 100 patients died of pneumonia out of every 10,000 cases. This comparison is made more striking by the following table:”
Influenza Cases Deaths – Under medical methods – Under drugless methods “In the same epidemic reports show that chiropractors in Oklahoma treated 3,490 cases of influenza with only 7 deaths. But the best part of this is, in Oklahoma there is a clear record showing that chiropractors were called in 233 cases where medical doctors had cared for the patients, and finally gave them up as lost. The chiropractors saved all these lost cases but 25.”
“Statistics alone, however, don’t put in that little human element needed to spark the material properly. Dr. S. T. McMurrain [DC] had a makeshift table installed in the influenza ward in Base Hospital No. 84 unit stationed in Perigau, in Southwestern France, about 85 kilometers from Bordeaux [during WWI]. The medical officer in charge sent all influenza patients in for chiropractic adjustments from Dr. McMurrain [DC] for the several months the epidemic raged in that area. Lt. Col. McNaughton, the detachment commander, was so impressed he requested to have Dr. McMurrain [DC] commissioned in the Sanitary Corps.”
“Dr. Paul Myers [DC] of Wichita Falls was pressed into service by the County Health Officer and authorized to write prescriptions for the duration of the epidemic there – but Dr. Myers [DC] said he never wrote any, getting better results without medication.”
Dr. Helen B. Mason [DC], whose “son, when only a year old, became very ill with bronchitis. My husband and I took him to several medical specialists without any worthwhile results. We called a chiropractor, as a last resort, and were amazed at the rapidity of his recovery. We discussed this amazing cure at length and came to the decision that if chiropractic could do as much for the health of other individuals as it had done for our son we wanted to become chiropractors.”
Dr. M. L. Stanphill [DC] recounts his experiences: “I had quite a bit of practice in 1918 when the flu broke out. I stayed (in Van Alstyne) until the flu was over and had the greatest success, taking many cases that had been given up and restoring them back to health. During the flu we didn’t have the automobile. I went horseback and drove a buggy day and night. I stayed overnight when the patients were real bad. When the rain and snow came I just stayed it out. There wasn’t a member of my family that had the flu.”
When he came to Denison he said: “I had a lot of trouble with pneumonia when I first came. Once again took all the cases that had been given up. C. R. Crabetree, who lived about 18 miles west of Denison, had double pneumonia and I went and stayed all night with him and until he came to the next morning. He is still living today. That gave me a boost on the west side of town.”
“And when interviews of the old timers are made it is evident that each still vividly remembers the 1917-1918 influenza epidemic. We now know about 20 million persons [recent estimates are as high as 100 million deaths] around the world died of the flu with about 500,000 Americans among that number. But most chiropractors and their patients were miraculously spared and we repeatedly hear about those decisions to become a chiropractor after a remarkable recovery or when a close family member given up for dead suddenly came back to vibrant health.”
“Some of these men and women were to become the major characters thrust upon the profession’s stage in the 20’s and 30’s and they had the courage, the background and the conviction to withstand all that would shortly be thrown against them” [including being thrown in jail for practicing medicine without a license].
“The publicity and reputation of such effectiveness in handling flu cases also brought new patients and much acclaim from people who knew nothing of chiropractic before 1918.”
“The first survival factor for chiropractic: they were the legal and legislative salvation. But the fabulous success of chiropractic in combating the 1917-1918 influenza outbreak was the public relations breakthrough that can certainly be called the second great survival factor. Better acceptance by the public followed and more patients meant financial safety for practicing chiropractors. Dedicated chiropractors came into the profession in increasing numbers and they had a sure sense of certainty, heady conviction, and a great willingness to fight for the cause.”
Other Texas Chiropractic History (view more at chirotexas.com)
1916 – Texas State Chiropractic Association Formed
1916 – First TSCA annual convention held at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio
1917 – First chiropractic bill introduced into Texas Legislature
1923 – Second chiropractic bill introduced into Texas Legislature
More on fighting colds and the flu:
Parents are right to be concerned about the hours their children spend looking down at their phone. And of course it’s not just children on mobile phones – it’s you too most likely.
The forward head posture caused by continual mobile phone and now tablet use is going to be responsible for more than just neck pain and headaches.
Text Neck can cause or contribute to upper back pain, shoulder pain and far worse.
Rene Caillet, Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Southern California points out these facts about forward head posture:
Forward head posture leads to loss of optimal spinal motion and function.
Optimal spinal motion is necessary for endorphin production (the chemical mediators that help reduce pain). Without this endorphin production the rest of the body tissues can become more sensitised to pain.
Forward Head Syndrome can deplete lung capacity by as much as 30%
Forward Head Syndrome can deplete lung capacity by as much as 30%. Shortness of breath can lead to heart and blood vascular disease.
Forward head posture can cause the entire gastrointestinal tract to be affected, particularly the large intestine. Loss of good bowel function and evacuation are a common sequel associated with this postural weakness and may lead to toxic effects.
Apart from banning the use of mobile phones and tablets here’s what you can do:
Encourage Good Posture and get regular posture checks.
The International Posture Association recommends everyone should get their posture checked at least annually from the age of six. In line with these recommendations we offer free spinal and posture health checks at Body In Balance. Give us a call today on 01707 662 704 to book a check up. It will only take about 20 minutes in total.
Poor Posture – Die Young (scary but true)
We cannot thank our family, friends, patients, and allied health care providers enough for referring patients to our practice.
There is no other form of advertising that attracts the quality of patients as those our patients refer to us.
So, here’s some information that may help you tell others about us, in either Hertfordshire or North London:
Chiropractic has been around since 1895 and is the third largest healthcare profession in the world:
* The primary focus of treatment includes the neuromusculoskeletal system (nerves, muscles, joints) such as disk herniations (e.g., sciatica, pinched nerves), sprains and strains, sports injuries, neck pain (e.g., whiplash), headaches, and many others.
* The treatment includes a “hands-on” approach where massage, manual traction, joint manipulation and mobilization are commonly utilized. In general, the treatment typically feels good and patients look forward to the process.
* In many cases (such as low back pain, neck pain, headaches), chiropractic care may function as the primary or only treatment that is needed. However, when other medical conditions co-exist, the combination of chiropractic and medical treatment is often better than either one by itself (depending on the condition).
* Over the last 20-30 years, a significant volume of research has been published finding chiropractic approaches to be either equal or superior to other forms of healthcare provision for low back and neck pain, headaches, and other conditions.
* In the USA many hospitals, medical clinics and VA facilities have integrated chiropractic into their healthcare systems. Medicare and Medicaid have included chiropractic coverage since the 1970’s and most private insurers (in the UK and the USA) include chiropractic coverage due to the significant volume of research reporting the benefits, cost savings, and patient satisfaction.
Your individual story may actually be the most important thing you can share.
You can read what others have experienced in our North Finchley and Hertfordshire chiropractic clinics
If you are suffering with debilitating back pain it can be all too tempting to take the ‘easy’ option of surgery. The problem is, that even if it works now, it can leave you facing other complications further down the line.
This is why you may want to try every other avenue, right up to the last minute. Over the past 18 years I have seen people regret having surgery, and people who felt so certain they needed it, only to have the problems resolve before the big day – because they also never stopped trying alternatives.
The first therapy to try is chiropractic – and you may have to try several as there are many chiropractic techniques.
Functional Spinal Health – Defending Wellness Care and Defining What Constitutes Worthwhile Research For the Future
For the first 40 years or so of chiropractic it was not uncommon to treat people with infectious diseases, as chiropractic was seen as a cure for disease.