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Chiropr Hist. 1996 Jun;16(1):72-87.

Chiropractic's tension with the germ theory of disease.

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Palmer College of Chiropractic.


After briefly reviewing the development of the germ theory of disease, the author delineates the opposition that the germ theory met from many practitioners, especially chiropractors. This paper explores the evolution of chiropractic's position regarding the germ theory of disease and its dominance in medicine's approach to prophylactic therapy by surveying the chiropractic literature. If the number of monograph and journal publications is indicative of the degree of chiropractic sentiment against the germ theory, the opposition to the theory was heaviest in the 1940's, trailing off to only the occasional monograph or journal article in the 1970's and beyond. Although the development of penicillin and the Salk vaccine may be tied to the demise of most published chiropractic opposition to the germ theory of disease, the basic differences between medicine's approach and chiropractic's approach to disease still remain. Although the differences may be ones of degree, the approaches taken as to whether disease is caused and cured from within the body or from outside the body remains a very real philosophical distinction between the two methods of health care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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