In this era of living longer, living better, and understanding the role that both body and mind play in health care, chiropractic has truly come of age. Teaching that the health of the spine is essential to the health of a person, and through a healthier spine comes a healthier mind/body relationship, chiropractic colleges offer an exciting and unique healthcare and career opportunity.
Chiropractic has been international from the beginning. Daniel David Palmer, who was born in Canada, discovered the basic principle of chiropractic in Iowa, USA in 1895. From the outset, students came from all over the world to study this innovative contribution to healthcare, and to take this knowledge to the four corners of the globe.
Chiropractic care, by removing interference caused by a misaligned spine bone (vertebra) that interrupts communication between the brain and the body, offers a person greater awareness of their own potential, and the help necessary to reach that potential.
The brain and the nerve system assemble and transmit information necessary to ensure the proper coordination of the body. The spinal system, consisting of the vertebrae, the spinal cord, and the spinal nerves which exit through holes in the sides of the vertebrae, carry this information from the brain to all parts of the body.
The anatomy of the body is magnificent in design, with all parts engineered to work efficiently. The nerve system is the communication network of the body. When this communication system is functioning properly, the body works in a coordinated manner. The proper position, or alignment, of the vertebrae is integral to this communication. The misalignment of even one of the vertebrae could cause pressure on the spinal cord or small spinal nerves. This interference – called a vertebral subluxation – causes an alteration of body function that lessens the body’s ability to maintain its own health. Adjusting subluxated vertebrae to their proper position helps to restore the body’s internal harmony.
Most of the chiropractors in the world today have earned their doctor of chiropractic degrees in North America. To attend North American chiropractic colleges, a student must have completed the equivalent of 60 United States undergraduate semester hours at a liberal arts or science college. The chiropractic curriculum is a minimum of four and a half years, or approximately 4600 classroom hours, and is designed to offer, in sequence, all the courses pertinent to a complete chiropractic education.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service has approved all eighteen chiropractic colleges in North America to issue Form I20AB, which is necessary to obtain a student visa. International scholarships are also available for students who qualify. The study of chiropractic not only teaches how to safely and gently restore the misaligned vertebrae to their proper position, it also teaches how to take and read x-rays. It develops the art of spinal palpation and incorporates the biological and clinical sciences necessary to assume the role of a primary health care provider. Upon completion of the program, the student is awarded the doctor of chiropractic degree.
A career in chiropractic allows graduates to be in charge of their own future. A relatively young profession, chiropractic abounds in career opportunities. The majority of graduates joining the profession enter private or associate practice. Practicing chiropractic offers the personal satisfaction of helping individuals achieve a healthier, more fulfilling life. To help people express more of their inborn potential is something words alone cannot describe.
Additionally, each chiropractic college needs competent educators and chiropractic researchers. The interest in chiropractic is such that research projects have been established at large universities in the United States and other countries. There are also opportunities to lecture and write about chiropractic. Thus we see that chiropractic, founded on a unique healthcare perspective, leads to a variety of career options, and allows freedom of location and lifestyle in creating a life filled with purpose and service. Today, chiropractic is one of the fastest growing professions in the world, and offers a career and a future as dynamic and vital as life itself.