THE 1918 FLU AND CHIROPRACTIC CARE
During the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, it was found that the death rate of chiropractic patients was significantly lower than that of the general population. It is believed that the success of chiropractic in saving lives in the midst of this epidemic which killed an estimated 700,000 people as the primary factor that led to the licensure of chiropractic in many states.
Research at the time concluded that out of 93,590 patients treated by medical doctors, there were 6.116 deaths. This statistic correlates to one death for every 15 patients. In comparison, out of 1,635 cases treated at Palmer School of Chiropractic, only one patient died. Among 4,735 cases treated in other parts of Iowa by chiropractors, there were only 6 deaths. This extrapolates to only one death for every 866 cases.
At the same time in Oklahoma, chiropractors were also saving lives. Out of 3,490 flu cases under chiropractic care, there were only 7 deaths. It is important to note that Iowa and Oklahoma were the birthplace of the modern chiropractic and osteopathic professions, respectively. The first schools dedicated to training doctors in the manipulative arts were established in these states. Therefore, there was greater public awareness than elsewhere in the U.S.
Now, 100 years later, we are facing a similar threat. Add COVID-19 to the multitude of diseases and cancers that are associated with modern society and it is undeniable that are bodies are under constant assault. Our immune system’s need to be supported in every way possible. Science has now verified that chiropractic adjustments not only relieve pain but strengthen our immune system. However, the basic chiropractic adjustment hasn’t really changed much over the years.
At Back in Motion Chiropractic and Acupuncture in Daphne, our physician occasionally utilizes modern instruments to deliver adjustments but for most patients, the adjustments are performed by hand and are much like the early chiropractic patients received 100 years ago.
As we prepare for the future, we are going to have to live with this. To build a stronger immune system and cope with the stressors of modern life, we need to make better lifestyle choices. Knowing how chiropractic care can improve resistance has led more people to explore the benefits that extend beyond pain relief. Be proactive and have a plan to make your body stronger and more resilient. Handle the factors that are within your control. Also, remember that worrying about the things that are beyond your control increases stress hormones like cortisol that depress the immune system.