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Megan Seaholm

CHIROPRACTIC. Chiropractors have worked in Texas since the early twentieth century, although chiropractic was not legally recognized in the state until 1949. Before then, chiropractors were frequently fined or jailed for practicing medicine without a license. One Waco chiropractor was arrested sixty-six times between 1915 and 1943. The Texas State Chiropractic Association opened a legal-defense department in 1938 and hired an attorney to defend the large number of indicted chiropractors. Chiropractic legislation was first proposed in 1917. This and subsequent attempts to gain recognition failed because of the strong opposition of the Texas Medical Association and because Texas chiropractors were not united. The first state chiropractic association was formed in 1914, but the strength of organized chiropractic in Texas was compromised for decades by factionalism. Chiropractors divided into "straights," who insisted that treatment be limited to manual manipulation of the spine, and "mixers," who used other therapeutic elements such as water and heat. Representatives of both groups united in 1932 to form the Texas State Chiropractic Association, but this merger spawned the Texas Chiropractic Research Society, a new rival group of "straight" chiropractors. During the late 1930s and the 1940s both organizations competed for the right to specify licensure requirements.

Legislation establishing the Texas State Board of Chiropractic Examiners and establishing licensure procedures was finally adopted in 1949. In 1953 chiropractic became an approved treatment for Texas workmen's compensation claimants, and in 1973 some chiropractic services were approved for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. By 1987 more than 1,600 chiropractors were licensed to practice in Texas. The Texas State Chiropractic Association changed its name to Texas Chiropractic Association in 1973. It remains the largest chiropractic group in the state. All licensed chiropractors in Texas are eligible for membership. The TCA represents the interests of chiropractors to the state legislature and to state agencies such as the Texas Workers' Compensation Commission. The TCA also offers its members educational seminars for license renewal and professional development. The Texas Journal of Chiropractic, the official publication of the TCA, was preceded by the Chiropractic Flash, which was first published in 1934 and later named The Texas Chiropractor. In 1942 the TSCA printed and distributed Chiropractic for Texans as a public-relations effort.

Chiropractic education in Texas dates from 1908, when physician and chiropractor J. N. Stone established Texas Chiropractic College in San Antonio. The school was chartered by the state in 1913 and operated privately until the alumni association purchased it in 1948. It was moved from San Antonio to Pasadena in 1965. The Texas Chiropractic Association purchased the school in 1986 and operates it as a nonprofit institution. It is one of the twelve chiropractic colleges in the nation accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. About 300 students graduate from the four-year program each year. In 1982 Parker Chiropractic College in Irving opened; its first class graduated in 1986.

Walter R. Rhodes, The Official History of Chiropractic in Texas (Austin: Texas Chiropractic Association, 1978). Jane G. P. Sherrill, Chiropractic in Texas, 1968 (M.Ed. thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1970).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Megan Seaholm, "CHIROPRACTIC," accessed August 23, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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