Spiritualism as a basis for the current portrayal of chiropractic

Desmond Wiggins*, Roger Engel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The founder of chiropractic, DD Palmer, claimed that he had received the message of chiropractic from a deceased spirit-being from the other world known to him as ‘Dr Jim Atkinson’. As a result of Palmer’s description, and his association with Spiritualism, current scientific writers have labelled the chiropractic profession as pseudoscience and quackery. This paper argues that, in examining Palmer’s writings, a lack of consideration has been given to the context in which these claims were originally made and that this failure has led to many of the criticisms being overstated and misguided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-7
Number of pages6
JournalChiropractic Journal of Australia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2020


  • Spiritualism
  • Pseudoscience
  • Beliefs
  • Chiropractic


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