Reflecting On Independence Day:
The Fourth of July Holiday marks this country's date of independence. It is a day Americans celebrate independence from the British. Doctors of chiropractic and practice members worldwide should also take the time to reflect on their own freedom to enjoy and benefit from chiropractic.
It was not long ago when the late Herb Ross Reaver DC spoke about himself and other chiropractors who went to jail so we chiropractors could live as free doctors today and you and I could be adjusted legally. Dr. Reaver holds the distinction of being the most jailed chiropractor of all time. He was accused and jailed for "practicing medicine without a license" 12 times in Ohio. Of course anyone who knows anything about what we do knows that we are not anything like medicine. Chiropractic pioneers like, Dr. Reaver, refused to compromise their principles and remained firm in their resolve to keep chiropractic separate and distinct from the practice of medicine. He repeatedly refused medical licenses that he was offered because he saw that chiropractic was a distinct and separate profession.
Because of their integrity, dedication and commitment, chiropractors are free to serve humanity today by correcting vertebral subluxations.
Take a moment and remember what a huge price so many who came before us have paid for our freedom. I enjoy reading about world history (when I get the chance), and I absolutely love freedom and the only way I know to honor any brave souls who fought to give us any of the freedoms we enjoy today is to be grateful, honor their memory and contributions, and be willing to fight for and protect what they gave us. Millions have given their lives to fight for freedom worldwide. We could never do enough to honor them.
Let's look at American history. Have you ever wondered what happened to the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence? Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.
What kind of men were they? Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.
Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts, and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. He served in the Congress without pay, and his family was kept in hiding. His possessions were taken from him, and poverty was his reward.
Vandals or soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British General Cornwallis had taken over the Nelson home for his headquarters. He quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. The home was destroyed, and Nelson died bankrupt.
Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died within a few months.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their children fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning only to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion and a broken heart.
Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates. Such were the stories and sacrifices of the American Revolution.
These were not wild-eyed, rabble-rousing ruffians. They were soft-spoken men of means and education. They had security, but they valued liberty more.
Standing tall, straight, and unwavering, they pledged: "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."
They gave all Americans a free and independent America. Many take these liberties for granted. Please don't do that, take a few minutes and silently thank these patriots. Then take a few more and silently thank the chiropractic pioneers who fought for your right to receive chiropractic care.
Harriet Clemens DC wrote BJ Palmer from jail, "We have been guests of the AMA [America Medical Association] for 72 days and have not worn out our welcome yet. Great isn't it? They still feed us and give us a place to sleep so why should we worry? No doubt you have heard of us getting our release providing we would quit practicing. They must think we are easy; we could have done that before we came down here."
In January 1923, chiropractors B.F. Lear and W.E. Quartier were sentenced to pay either a $500 fine or spend 833 days in jail, the maximum sentence for a first offense. They both chose the Trumbull County Jail in Warren, Ohio.
Matt and Kitty Scallon were separated from their families and each other. In a letter Kitty wrote: "To be shut in behind bars effects ones bravery at times. But then I thank God, for when I feel downhearted I think of chiropractic and all the people I've helped; and how it helped me regain my health after medicine failed. Still, when you are in jail for doing something good it makes things hard to bear."
According to a newspaper report at the time of his death, "Dr. Albert Ivnick, a chiropractor from Cleveland, Ohio never recovered from the effects of exposure at Warrensville Workhouse, and has been in bed from time to time since resuming his practice in February, and finally passed away last night. He leaves a wife and four children."
One of the great things about chiropractic is that it offers you so much freedom. Once you are adjusted regularly and have taken all the measures that you can to be healthy, you can be confident knowing that life in your body is expressing itself as perfectly as possible. When your confidence is in the wisdom of your body, you are not shackled by fear of disease. Too many people will never experience such freedom and will live in constant fear. Fear of heart disease, fear of cancer, of the flu, of germs, of whatever is the latest disease that the medical profession has decided to focus on. On top of that is the fear of drugs and procedures to treat disease that people fear. Shackled in their prison of medication after medication.
The most important concept to understand is that it is your health and your life and you must take the responsibility to improve it. You will never have true health until you are in control. A health care practitioner may give you information with which you can make better, more intelligent decisions, but you have the freedom to ultimately make them. The philosophy of chiropractic can change your life. It can give you the freedom from the fear of disease, enable you to take control of your life and give you a viewpoint based on principles and well, freedom.