Did You Know Chiropractors Ran Hospitals?


Today there are more and more clinical reports and research on how chiropractic care helps people with neurological problems and conditions such as autism, Asperger’s, depression, hyperactivity, ADD/ADHD, concentration problems, emotional stress and many other “psychological” conditions. However, this is nothing new.

Since the discovery of chiropractic in 1895, the psycho-therapeutic effects of chiropractic care have been recognized. As Dr. D. D. Palmer, the discoverer of chiropractic wrote:

Chiropractors correct abnormalities of the intellect as well as those of the body…

For many decades the US was the home of many sanitariums, hospitals, mental health facilities and other institutions owned and run by doctors of chiropractic, chiropractic schools and organizations. Over two hundred are known to have existed. These institutions reported a success rate far higher than the medically-run state hospitals.

Where Are Those Institutions?

The answer to this question is: Gone. Some were attacked by medical organizations that felt threatened by non-medical approaches to healthcare. Many were forced to close as insurance companies refused to pay for chiropractic and natural healthcare services.

One of the more famous such places was the Clear View Sanitarium in Davenport, Iowa. It was operated as a division of the B. J. Palmer Chiropractic Clinic and attracted patients from all over the world. The sanitarium was initiated by two men – Harvey Fennern a salesman who had contracted polio at an early age and Dr. John Baker who practiced in Davenport for some years.

It is believed that Harvey became a patient of Dr. Baker and together the two men decided to build and operate a chiropractic sanitarium for mental patients. Clear View opened in 1926 with Mrs. Fennern as matron.

The Grand View Sanitarium, in Whittier, California produced a brochure saying that it “offered tennis courts, badminton, croquet, supervised calisthenics, theatre parties and horseback riding…. Our treatment is primarily Chiropractic and natural methods.” The site was apparently turned into apartments during the 1930s.

Spears Hospital, Denver Colorado:

One of the most famous of all the chiropractic hospitals was the 600-bed Spears Hospital in Denver, Colorado – the world’s largest private non-medical hospital. Dr. Spears opened his first office in downtown Denver in 1921. His practice was successful, but he was pressured by medical doctors to move his office to another building. Early in 1924 Dr. Spears was advising people by radio about his “painless system”. In 1950 he wrote a textbook under the title “Spears Painless System of Chiropractic”.

In 1940 Dr. Spears began building a 236 bed chiropractic hospital which opened May 1, 1943. A second larger building housing 364 beds opened in 1949 and was dedicated to Dr. D. D. Palmer, the father of Chiropractic.

He was unable to receive a state license to operate the hospital and sued the Denver Medical Society and the Colorado State Board of Health. After seven years the hospital was finally issued a license retroactive to the application date of May 1, 1943. It was the largest chiropractic hospital in the world.

After Leo Spears’ death, his nephews, Drs. Dan and Howard Spears, took over the direction of the hospital. It has been estimated that the Spears Chiropractic Hospital contributed in excess of $5 million in free services over the years. Unfortunately the hospital closed in March 1984 and was demolished in 1993.

Surely this over-drugged world needs such natural healing institutions more than ever.

In Conclusion:

Even though such institutions do not exist today, individual doctors of chiropractic still care for people the old fashioned way, by taking stress off of their nervous systems and permitting their bodies and brains to function at optimal health. The drug-free, natural chiropractic approach is a blessing to countless children, especially babies and toddlers, whose brains are still developing.

Bring all your family members in for a chiropractic check-up to ensure they are living without nervous system stress caused by subluxations.


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