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Religion of ChiropracticPopulist Healing from the American Heartland$
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Holly Folk

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781469632797

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469632797.001.0001

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The World of Chiropractic

The World of Chiropractic

(p.253) Chapter Seven The World of Chiropractic
Religion of Chiropractic

Holly Folk

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter seven focuses on the later 20th century, and considers how the U.S. experience bears on the profession as chiropractic grows internationally in the new millennium. Chiropractic has prospered due to Americans’ enthusiasm for holism and desire to control their own health care. Though relatively well positioned, chiropractic faces new versions of longstanding challenges, such as factionalism in the profession. This chapter returns to the question of spirituality to show how metaphysics may bear on chiropractic as it takes root in other countries. Some chiropractors, including the Palmers, have maintained connections with Western esotericism, especially to Rosicrucian orders. The chapter also considers the role of chiropractors in extreme political and social movements, including white nationalism, and argues their participation is an effect of the populist mindset cultivated within alternative medicine. The chapter presents an overview of the early international dissemination of chiropractic. Globalization offers opportunities for the chiropractic profession, but it must overcome a wide range of reactions from within receiving cultures.

Keywords:   alternative medicine, chiropractic, esotericism, extremism, globalization, health liberty, populism, right wing subcultures, Rosicrucianism

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