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A chiropractor practices natural healing without using drugs or surgery but pays special attention to the structural and neurological aspects of the body in both the treatment and prevention of disease. Chiropractic employs a form of therapy that utilizes manipulation of the spine, clinical nutrition, physiological therapeutics, counseling, and hygiene.

Chiropractic is the newest of the three major schools of healing: medicine (allopathy), osteopathy, and chiropractic. Chiropractic is generally viewed as an "alternative" form of health care, especially since it emphasizes prevention of disease and health maintenance. By contrast, chiropractic views the traditional schools of healing as oriented more toward diagnosis and treatment of disease through invasive methods of surgery and drug therapy. These views need not be mutually exclusive, although the three schools are overcoming a history of mistrust and suspicion. As health care has moved more in the direction of preventive care and as "natural" methods of health care are no longer viewed as opposed to "scientific", chiropractic has become more widely accepted within the broader health care community.

Within the chiropractic profession, there are at least two "schools" in theory and practice, the "straight" chiropractic -- which emphasizes primarily spinal manipulation -- and the "non-straight" school, which uses a variety of practices in addition to manipulation to promote general health. Even the straight school has historically based its practice upon a hypothesis of "subluxation," which holds that misaligned vertebrae cause, in addition to immediate regional pain, a restriction of nerve activity to the extended regions of the body, thereby diminishing health in the region of restricted nerve "flow." This hypothesis, which has not been proven in a forum acceptable at least to the broader health community, is the principal cause of contention with the companion health professions, since it puts chiropractic in direct competition with allopathic and osteopathic medicine. Even within the chiropractic profession some practitioners reject the hypothesis of subluxation, preferring to promote chiropractic manipulation for improvement of joint mobility only.  This movement is organized as the National Association for Chiropractic Medicine.

The major designation of pre-chiropractic at The University of Iowa indicates that the student intends to complete course work suitable for admission to a chiropractic college.  There is no University of Iowa baccalaureate degree in chiropractic.  Students who wish to satisfy pre-chiropractic requirements while earning a baccalaureate degree at The University of Iowa must complete a set of departmental major requirements, General Education Requirements, and a total enrollment of 124 s.h. to be graduated from the College of Liberal Arts.  Once they declare their departmental major and are assigned to a faculty adviser, students may retain pre-chiropractic as a second major and continue to work with their pre-chiropractic adviser.         

Students interested in becoming chiropractors need a minimum of three years of college (90 s.h.) and a specific set of courses.  This set varies slightly from one chiropractic college to another.  To find out specific information about the Chiropractic profession and various Chiropractic Colleges explore the following web sites:


National Association for Chiropractic Medicine


Natural Healers


Association of Chiropractic Colleges



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