September 18, 2022 marks the 127th birthday of the chiropractic profession, which all began in the U.S.
The word ‘chiropractic’ comes from the Greek words cheir (meaning ‘hand’) and praktos (meaning ‘done’), i.e., done by hand. Manual healing methods can be traced back to ancient times; however, it was not until the late 19th century that the chiropractic profession began to take shape in the U.S.
On Sept. 18, 1895, D.D. Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment and changed the course of history. Two years later, Palmer established the first chiropractic school in 1897 in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer’s early research gained a following. By 1913, legislators passed the first state law in Kansas, making it the first state to license chiropractors.
In 1911, when modern chiropractic was only 16 years into its history, Dr. Charles Cale and his wife, Linnie Cale applied for and received a charter for Los Angeles College of Chiropractic (LACC). The Cales began the first classes in their home, a nine-month course of study that included anatomy, chiropractic principles and technique.
On Nov. 7, 1922, the Chiropractic Initiative Act of California was passed, becoming effective on Dec. 21, 1922. It passed by ballot measure with significant efforts led by LACC students and faculty. It’s outlined in “Healing Evolved: A 100 Year History of Los Angeles College of Chiropractic & Southern California University of Health Sciences”. The book is available for purchase online, from the SCU Campus Store.
Today, all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories license chiropractors.
Over a century after LACC, California’s first chiropractic school was established in 1911, it grew into Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU), an expanded, multi-program university that is transforming and redefining health and healthcare education. SCU is committed to providing an academic community imbued with kindness, integrity, humor, and determination; and a culture of diversity and inclusion. SCU specializes in integrative whole-person healthcare education that goes beyond the diagnosis – and that treats the whole person. Since 1911, SCU has trained more than 18,000 future healthcare providers.
SCU’s current Dean of LACC is Ana Facchinato, DC, MHS, Bachelor’s in Chiropractic (Brazil). Dr. Facchinato will celebrate her sixth SCU anniversary this year and celebrated her third anniversary as Dean, in May 2022. She was appointed Dean of LACC in May 2019. Prior to SCU, Dr. Facchinato served as a Dean in a Chiropractic college in Brazil for five years.
And SCU’s current President & CEO, John Scaringe, DC, EdD, is also a chiropractor. Dr. Scaringe was appointed President of SCU in May 2010 after serving as Interim President. He began his career at LACC as faculty in 1991. Dr. Scaringe served as Chair of the Chiropractic Procedures Department and the Department of Diagnosis for LACC before directing the University Health Center in Whittier, the largest outpatient care facility at SCU. In 2001, he became Dean of Clinical Education and in 2005 was named Dean of LACC and Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2007.
Today, there are almost 20 chiropractic programs, including SCU, in the U.S., accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education, which was officially recognized in 1974 by the U.S. Department of Education as the accrediting agency for chiropractic schools.
In the 1990’s, LACC became the first chiropractic program to obtain accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and was one of the first chiropractic institutions to obtain federal grant money for research.
In 1996, the U.S. government began funding chiropractic research through the National Institutes for Health and over the years the profession has received millions in federal funding for scientific research thanks to robust research programs at several of the chiropractic programs, including SCU.
The chiropractic profession continues to grow and evolve. Today, there are more than 70,000 chiropractors licensed in the U.S. It is estimated that more than 35 million people visit a chiropractor each year.
Chiropractic care has come a long way over the past 127 years and we can’t wait to see where it goes next! If you’re interested in a career in chiropractic, visit the DC Program pages for more information!
SCU’s evidence-based, whole-person approach to practice and our University-wide commitment to interprofessional education set our graduates apart. SCU’s curriculum is built around interprofessional collaboration so you can gain both essential clinical chiropractic skills and vital new perspectives to advance your career. Located in one of the most vibrant areas of the country, SCU gives students the benefits of learning and practicing in culturally and clinically diverse settings. In addition, SCU offers multiple paths to customize your academic experience with 22 credits of electives that include courses in Sports Medicine, Eastern Medicine, Functional Medicine, Diagnostic Imaging, and more, allowing you to customize your education to best fit your interests and career goals.