These narrative reports of historical events do not equate to scientific studies. Their lack of methodological structure or data analysis is likely to have resulted in incomplete information and a high likelihood of bias. We note that even those who have written about these events in a positive light concede that there is no way to tell if these observations can be attributed to manual medicine and care philosophy or statistical issues of reporting? These various reports do not provide the necessary evidence to justify the use of spinal adjustment / manipulation for infectious diseases.  


Over 100 years ago the Spanish flu infected approximately one-third the world’s population and killed close to 50 million people worldwide (3-5% of the population) with estimates of between 500,000-675,000 deaths occurring in the US. There were no vaccines or antibiotics available at that time. Statistical data is not complete, but pockets of very reliable records were kept in many states.

The Results of Chiropractic Care During the Flu Pandemic of 1918:

In Davenport, Iowa, 50 medical doctors treated 4,953 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 one death.

In the state of Iowa, medical doctors treated 93,590 patients, with 6,116 deaths – a loss of one patient out of 15.  In the same state, excluding Davenport, 4,735 patients were treated by chiropractors with a loss of only 6 cases – a loss of one patient out of every 789.

National figures show that 1,142 chiropractors treated 46,394 patients for influenza during 1918, with a loss of 54 patients – one out of every 886.

In the same epidemic, New York health authorities (who kept records of flu as a reportable disease) showed that under chiropractic care, only 25 patients died of influenza out of every 10,000 cases; and only 100 patients died of pneumonia out of every 10,000 cases.  This comparison is made more striking when viewed in the following table:

Influenza                                    Deaths/Cases

Under Medical Care                  950/10,000

Under Chiropractic Care           25/10,000

Pneumonia                               Deaths/Cases

Under Medical Care                  6,400/10,000

Under Chiropractic Care          100/10,000

The same epidemic reports show that chiropractors in Oklahoma treated 3,490 cases of influenza with only 7 deaths.  But the best part of this is, in Oklahoma there is a clear record showing that chiropractors were called in 233 cases where medical doctors had cared for the patients, and finally gave them up as lost.  The chiropractors saved 208 of these so called “lost cases”.

As advanced as our health system is now, we don’t have a vaccine for the Corona virus/Covid-19. That puts us in “almost” the same situation as in 1918. History can repeat itself for our benefit or demise. We can learn from the past and implement those procedures that we know to help every person have a strong immune system and significantly reduce their risk of serious illness and possible death or ignore the past and let history repeat itself and claim hundreds of thousands of lives. Let’s benefit from history.

Follow these steps to help reduce your risk.

  1. Do everything you can to boost your own immune system. We cannot emphatically say that you will be protected by getting chiropractic care or that you will have a stronger immune system to protect you from any bacterial or viral attack. However, do your own research as to the value of chiropractic care for your own health. See the below related research that can assist in determining the value of chiropractic care as it relates to enhancing your overall health.
  2. Fill your plate with fresh leafy green produce, healthy organic or free-range protein including fish, chicken and beef, flavor with spices like ginger, turmeric, garlic, clove and rosemary that are full of antioxidants to give your body the enzymes, trace minerals, micronutrients and vitamins it needs to be healthy.
  3. Remove inflammatory foods from your diet- sugar, wheat, trans-fat and high omega-6 cooking oils. Sugar is proven to dampen the immune system by 40% or more and drop the effectiveness of white-blood cells for 5 hours.
  4. Dairy can be pro-inflammatory for many people.
  5. Remove or limit feedlot raised meat and processed luncheon meat which is full of omega-6 and most likely undesirable hormones and antibiotics.
  6. Avoid foods with artificial flavors, additives and preservatives.
  7. Drink water and then drink some more water-stay hydrated.
  8. Keep exercising-this promotes healthy flow of the lymphatic system and blood flow as well as get plenty of rest.
  9. Think positive thoughts-don’t let the hype and hysteria of the media effect your mindset.
  10. Practice good hygiene, wash your hands often, cover your cough, use essential oils like oregano, frankincense, lemon, and melaleuca along with blends like doTERRA On Guard or Breathe, which are proven to help fight pathogens.

Keep in mind the odds are in your favor that you won’t get sick and if you do get sick, you will get over it. Just boost those odds by following the above list.

These links might help with your research into how chiropractic might help with improving your health.