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Chiropractic is  Distinctly American Profession

As I began preparation on a new article scheduled a few weeks from now about products still made in America, it occurred to me to also write about a healthcare profession that is an American original: Chiropractic.   

The profession of chiropractic originated in 1895 in Davenport, Iowa.

Since the Tennessee Chiropractic Association is meeting today at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Murfreesboro, this is an appropriate day for mentioning this American profession.

I encountered chiropractic care as a patient in the early 1980’s.  I went to see a chiropractor in Nashville for a back injury.  As he examined me, he said, “Tell me about your headaches.”  Since I had not mentioned headaches in my history, I asked how he knew I had a problem with headaches.

“When I examined the x-rays of your neck, I discovered several signs of previous injury that have affected your cervical spine.  If you did not have headaches and neck pain I would be very surprised,” he replied.

He showed me the areas where I had sustained damage to the joints in my neck apparently years previously.  (I had also not told him about the three car accidents I had had earlier in life.)

I told him that I had begun having severe headaches during my early teens (after the car accidents).  My parents had taken me to several medical doctors, but no reason was found for my headaches.  The only remedy recommended had been to take drugs that sedated me too much to participate in school, athletics, or my part-time job.

After trying several times with different doctors, I had quit trying to find a solution.  I had been told that I had headaches and would just have to learn to live with it.  So I did.

As the chiropractor worked with me to resolve the back injury, the headaches disappeared, too.  I realized a few months later that I had not had a single headache since I began having chiropractic care for my neck.  Considering that only months previously, I would literally be miserable for two or three days per week with head and neck pain, I was extremely pleased with my care.  (Even today, I enjoy treating people with chronic headaches.  Having experienced this myself, I can appreciate their relief when they respond to care.)

As I learned more about chiropractic care, it was an easy decision for me to become a chiropractor.

After I had completed my eight years of college training I considered Murfreesboro for my practice.  Community leaders were very proactive at helping promote the growth of the city to include diversified businesses.  Rutherford County residents are typically honest, hard-working, thoughtful people.  There are a lot of great things to be said about this community.  I decided to make Rutherford County my home.

More than twenty-three years ago as a new chiropractic physician, I became involved with the Tennessee Chiropractic Association (  This organization is a professional group that is composed of chiropractic physicians from across the state working together to continually raise the bar for the standards of practice for chiropractic care. 

I served on the Board of Directors for a number of years and can attest that the staff and volunteer doctors serving the Tennessee Chiropractic Association work tirelessly to promote greater access for Tennessee residents to exceptionally qualified, committed chiropractic professionals.

As a result of their efforts, the majority of Tennessee residents have access to chiropractic care as well as insurance coverage for chiropractic treatment.

The Tennessee Chiropractic Association is a national leader in providing post-graduate educational opportunities for practicing chiropractic physicians.  By this afternoon I will have participated in three full days of exceptional continuing education classes sponsored by TNChiro.

So please join me in welcoming the members of the Tennessee Chiropractic Association to our community and encourage them to return here often. 

Next week this column focuses on ways to enjoy life with less stress, and the following week I will have tips for you to stay comfortable this winter. 

Dr. Mark Kestner