The word "Chiropractic" is taken from Greek, meaning, "Done by Hand". Many cultures have used some form of physical manipulation in healing, including the Ancient Egyptians, Classical Greeks, Amerindians, Chinese, and Africans. Bonesetting was a form of spinal manipulation widely used by medical professionals in 19th century England.
The history of chiropractic in Canada demonstrates the struggle faced by the new profession in
gaining legitimacy, and the manner in which chiropractic has become Canada's third largest primary
health care provider. The chiropractic profession received mention in the Royal Commission on
Medical Education begun in 1915. In its final report two years later, the Commission concluded
that there was value in the physical methods of care such as chiropractic; however, it recommended
that chiropractic should become part of general medical training, not a separate profession.
In 1921, the Ontario Medical Association claimed that chiropractic negatively influenced science,
and should not be given consideration under law.
Before World War II (1939-1945), Canadians were required to study chiropractic in the United States.
High tuition and living costs prevented access to chiropractic for many Canadians. In January 1943,
chiropractors from all provinces gathered in Ottawa to create one sociopolitical association for the
promotion of the profession and public health. The Dominion Council of Canadian Chiropractors was
formed, later to become the Canadian Chiropractic Association in 1953.
One mandate of the newly formed Dominion Council of Canadian Chiropractors was to create a Canadian
chiropractic college to serve as a focal point in education, research, co-operation and professional
growth. The opening of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) on September 18, 1945 was
an important moment in the history of Canadian chiropractic. At the time of the CMCC's founding,
many chiropractic colleges only taught the techniques and manipulations associated with specific
chiropractic schools of thought. The CMCC adopted a policy to teach all acceptable adjustive
techniques and procedures and avoided adopting one specific school of thought. This inclusive
approach was unique in 1945, and served as a model for the inclusive approach adopted by the
majority of chiropractic colleges of today. The CMCC quickly gained an international reputation
for excellence, and has graduated students from all Canadian provinces, the US, Europe,
South Africa, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.