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Chiropractic and Mental Health

The Chiropractic adjustment can have profound effects on quality of life by improving the function of all body systems. Knowing this, shouldn’t every person be allowed access to chiropractic care regardless of symptoms, age, and culture?

Besides the growing body of Chiropractic research, there are two significant reports from the 1930s, which exhibit the need for Chiropractic care for everyone, including those with varying levels of mental health. This summary of the reports is meant to enlighten readers about the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments for nerve system health, not just pain symptoms.

In the 1930’s, one group of Chiropractors spent fifteen months at the Kentucky Houses of Reform (a Correctional facility)[1], while the other report is from the Forest Park Davenport Clinic (a Chiropractic Psychiatric Hospital)[2].

In Kentucky, 244 boys from the juvenile department of the Reform House were seen by the Chiropractors. In order to adequately rehabilitate the boys, they kept track of each individual’s criminal history, physical condition, family history, and mental reactions. A full report was compiled consisting of letters from the Reform House staff and Dr. Lillard Marshall (the Chiropractor in charge). Some of the successes that were seen with the implementation of Chiropractic care are the following:

·Of the 244 boys, 144 were paroled due to good conduct
·54 were promoted in academic grading
·At that time, the cost of housing an inmate was $25 per month. With fewer inmates, the state would save forty to fifty thousand dollars per year
·155 cases were dismissed as completely recovered or greatly benefited.

Everyone involved with the rehabilitation of the boys at that time witnessed the profound benefits that Chiropractic care was having. A letter from the teachers in the Reform House stated, “Not only did they improve in health, but also in their school work as pupils, showing better results in the shops and other industrial training and above all there has been a marked improvement in their moral life….We hope that our petition will be answered and that we will have an all-time chiropractor at the Kentucky Houses of Reform.”

The Superintendent also wrote to Dr. Lillard Marshall that the Chiropractic work had “assisted in the rehabilitation to make them better boys and better citizens in the future.”

In this report, there are 27 pages of cases summarizing the 244 patients with original symptoms and results gained. The following is just one example, but readers are urged to read through them on the original document.

Case No. 135

Age 17, Started Treatment January 16, 1931

Symptoms: Constant headache, was hit in head making a deep dent in occipital bone. Conduct fair, schoolwork poor.

Results: Report No. 3, June 1, 1931
Headache decidedly improved, conduct improved, schoolwork improved.
His teacher reports that he is taking more interest in schoolwork.

Results: Report No. 4, September 1, 1931

Dismissed August 31, 1931 with all symptoms entirely relieved and a decided improvement in school work. Ready for promotion from the 3rd to the 4th grade.

Paroled September 18, 1931.

The second report that was referred to in the beginning of this article compared the success rate for the patients at a medically-based Insane Asylum versus at the Forest Park Chiropractic Psychiatric Clinic. From 1922-1934, Forest Park recorded 65% cures, while the Asylum recorded 27.8% cures.

Similar to the first report, this one from Forest Park includes lists of cases, diagnoses, and results. The following is one such case, and there are many more exhibiting similar wonderful results.

Patient: K.S.; Fargo, North Dakota – Age 20:

Admitted to North Dakota Asylum, February, 1934. Symtoms – Very violent, religious delusions, necessary to restrain him. Diagnosis – Dementia  Praecox. Discharged from Forest Park in June, 1934. Letter received from the mother of the patient on January 20, 1935, states her son is enjoying the best of health, that he is working in his former position and has received a raise in his wages since returning to his work.

Mrs. R.S., Iowa – Married – Age 41:

History – Patient was married at the age of 19, and has had four children. In May 1926 patient had a slight sinking spell and didn’t speak for about two hours – following this was irritable and at times would cry when crossed, or over-exerted after a heavy day’s work. Gradually grew more irritable and nervous until during the early part of October when it became necessary to confine her to an institution for treatment. Entered Forest Park Sanitarium December 31, 1828, and after five months’ treatment, patient was discharged and has been at home since, doing her own work and enjoying good health. Letter received from patient under date of December 30, 1934, states in part as follows: “- I am in the best of health and am so happy to be able to do my work and care for my family, who by the way are growing up so fast, and some getting married. I should feel older but don’t believe I do. – ”

When reading through these cases, I cannot help but call out to fellow chiropractors to assure them how much our specialized care is needed. Other health professionals must also be made aware of what Chiropractic adjustments can offer patients, aside from pain relief. And mostly to all parents, grandparents, siblings, etc. – Please do not dismiss Chiropractic care for your loved ones and friends, even if they present with mental health conditions. It is every human being’s birthright to have a subluxation-free spine and allow the body to have a higher healing power.

[1] http://danmurphydc.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Report-of-State-Supervisor-of-Chiropractors-of-Kentucky.pdf

[2] http://danmurphydc.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Ponath-Insanity-1935.pdf