Chiropractic: Maybe the Best Defense Against Influenza

The 1918 flu epidemic swept silently across the world bringing death and fear into homes in every land. More than one hundred million people died. In 1918, almost nothing was known about prevention, protection, treatment or cure of influenza. The whole world stood at its mercy, or lack of it.

As a result, an amazing thing occurred. Those who were adjusted by a chiropractor did not die.

The news about Chiropractic swept across Wisconsin and eventually the whole country. Within a short period of time, chiropractic became so well known as the best defense against the flu, that chiropractors were being called “Flu Doctors”.

The answer is reasonably simple. Chiropractors got fantastic results from influenza patients while those under medical care died. Statistics reflect a most amazing, almost miraculous state of affairs. The medical profession was practically helpless with the flu victims, but chiropractors seemed able to do no wrong.

[1] In Davenport, Iowa, 50 medical doctors treated 4,593 cases, with 274 deaths. In the same city, 150 chiropractors including students and faculty of the Palmer School of Chiropractic treated 1,635 cases with only 1 death.

This and other comparisons are made more striking when viewed in the following table:



Under Medical Care               10,000                                      950

Under Chiropractic Care        10,000                                       25




Under Medical Care               10,000                                      6,400

Under Chiropractic Care        10,000                                       100


Statistics alone, however, do not tell the whole story.

Dr. Helen B. Mason [DC],  whose son, when only a year old, became very ill with bronchitis explains: “My husband and I took him to several medical specialists without any worthwhile results. We call a chiropractor, as a last resort, and were amazed at the rapidity of his recovery.

Chiropractic’s journey into health care took a huge leap forward thanks to its incredible effect on thousands of Americans during the flu crisis. [2,3,4] When you get adjusted, you increase your immune function, among many other benefits.  An increase in immune function is important for everything from the cold and runny nose to influenza, cancer and heart disease, not to mention the great enhancing effects of a healthy individual. This is why everyone should have their spine checked and adjusted if needed. An adjustment may stimulate your immune system to better fight off any challenge, including influenza.

Remember, regular visits to your chiropractor will assure that your body is always operating at 100% of your optimal health potential. And that is good news.



1. Rhodes WR: “The Official History of Chiropractic in Texas.” Texas Chiropractic Association. Austin, TX. 1978.

2. Kent C: “Neuroimmunology — an update.” The Chiropractic Journal. August, 2001.

3. Kent C: “Neuroimmunology and chiropractic.” The Chiropractic Journal. October, 1995.

4. Kent C: “The mental impulse-biochemical and immunologic aspects.” The Chiropractic Journal. February, 1989.

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