This is true with respect to chiropractic, anyway. Just get a load of this ad from 1922:


(Click on picture for a larger image.)

You know, tart this ad up with some color and better graphics, and it wouldn’t be out of place today making claims like this:

Fastest growing healing profession, outstripping all others. CHIROPRACTIC is today far in the lead of all other drug-less methods. In greater numbers than ever before intelligent people are seeing the light; they know that CHIROPRACTIC is practical, sane and gets results in treatment of disease. Endorsed by leading educators. Demand for Doctors of Chiropractic now greater than supply. Splendid openings in every locality.


Not a “one man” or “one idea” school. Trained faculty of experts (graduates from leading drugless healing colleges all over the country) gives you thorough,
practical instruction in chiropractic and all its allied branches. ‘”Eclectic” means “best that is embodied in all systems.” No other school gives such broad, comprehensive instruction–prepares you so thoroughly.

How little has changed in 85 years.


  1. #1 Warren
    November 5, 2007

    Oh! This reminded me! Last night on a rerun of the Discovery program Dirty Jobs there was a segment featuring a couple who were revamping a reptile zoo.

    They had just bought it and were upgrading exhibits and so on, including ones that featured boas and various handlable constrictors.

    They had branched into the reptile business after having been chiropractors.

    The apparently sudden career change seemed odd at first until I’d realized they’d gone from snake oil to snake handling.

  2. #2 notmercury
    November 5, 2007

    Other than hairstyles, little has changed.

    And speaking of Snake oil
    Strange but True: Snake Oil Salesmen Were on to Something
    Snake oil really is a cure for what ails you, if that happens to be arthritis, heart disease or maybe even depression

  3. #3 DLC
    November 5, 2007

    Is your spine crooked ? your chiropractor may be!

    notmercury — I’d take that snake oil story with a grain of salt. Omega-3 fish oil has been a bit over-hyped for me to trust it unreservedly. But then, I’m always suspicious of dietary supplements.

  4. #4 Coin
    November 5, 2007

    “Dissection classes”?

  5. #5 jen_m
    November 5, 2007

    With our modern hospital privileges and dissection classes, you will no longer need to skulk about potter’s fields on moonless nights, stealing corpses for your anatomic-learning needs!

  6. #6 David B.
    November 5, 2007

    It’s too bad (this ad). And I’m hoping you’re not casting judgment on the quality and efficacy of chiropractic care with this post (I’m not totally sure).

    I had never been to a chiropractic Dr. until I damaged my spine in a cycle accident. I may have lucked out, but my Dr. almost makes me believe in psychic powers! He’s was formally a Buddhist monk in a temple in Japan. He studied chiropractee (sp?) under a Japanese master. His hands may as well have the medical scanners from the Enterprise-E embedded in them.

    A blessing in my life…

  7. #7 Marcus Ranum
    November 5, 2007

    Last year I cooked up the crazy idea of trying to get my horse “certified” as a massage therapist. I thought he’d be eminently suited for it (he’s a draft cross and has really nice big hooves!) but the online certification program was $1000 and it seemed like a lot to spend on a joke. I bet he’d be great at Rolfing, though…

    I actually did get the class list from one of the online schools and it netted me a very friendly call from a really sincere young lady. She was so nice I wound up feeling kind of bad about making fun of them.

    Someone needs to invent an alternative therapy for me that uses horse poo. I’ve got lots. I’m rolling in the stuff… Hmmm.. maybe….

  8. #8 Marcus Ranum
    November 5, 2007

    the quality and efficacy of chiropractic

    You’re kidding, right? It’s just “laying on hands” updated with a few neat sounding words. Curing disease by messing with your spine? Suuuuuuuuuuuuure!!!

    Chiropractic is woo-woo. Enjoy the placebo effect if you like.

  9. #9 Karl
    November 9, 2007

    Your blog and Quackcast prompted me to “translate” this rather nutty Korean music video.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.