What Is Innate Intelligence?

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  • Written By: Dan Harkins
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2019
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Innate intelligence is a core philosophy of chiropractic care, a form of alternative health treatment that began at the end of the 19th century with a father and his son. Through spinal and other skeletal alignments, chiropractors aim to relieve or prevent physical discomfort, which only serves to strengthen a body's innate intelligence -- an inherent balming force of energy. Though not a religious practice, chiropractic treatments have links to Buddhist and Hindi traditions, as well as the secular humanist and dualist camps of philosophy, which often focus on nurturing a personal, health-giving god within.

To chiropractors, not just the brain but also the spine are the core mechanisms that nurture healthy humans, whether it is employing immunoglobulins to fight an illness, clotting compounds to stanch a wound or nerve impulses that impel the body's every move. Nurturing a balanced and undisturbed spine, to the chiropractor, is imperative for developing an innate intelligence that can ward off disease and injuries. This ancient principle of innate intelligence was one of several concepts that informed chiropractic's creators. Widely known as vitalism, it concerns the body's ability to thrive, pain-free, on its own.


The seeds for what would become the chiropractic discipline were planted in Iowa in 1895, by an osteopathic healer named Daniel D. Palmer, who eventually founded the Palmer School of Chiropractic. As of 2011, this school is still alive in Davenport, Iowa. Daniel's son, Bartlett J. Palmer, expanded on his father's practice and its spiritual ties, helping to standardize dozens of principles on dislodging spinal disturbances, or subluxations, and developing a maximum level of innate intelligence.

Most industrialized nations require chiropractors to be certified by an accredited body. Many of these professionals differ widely on the spiritual and disease-fighting aspect of innate intelligence as well as the use of other types of osteopathic treatments. Those chiropractors who subscribe heavily to early vitalist principles are known as "straights," many of whom do not concern themselves with a patient's medical problems as much as nurturing innate intelligence through spinal corrections.

The "mixer" chiropractic camp may have been educated on these early principles, but these spinal subluxation corrections may be just a part of an arsenal of treatments based on knowledge from osteopathic and medical traditions. This holistic knowledge is then used to improve innate intelligence with the ultimate goal of improving each person's unique medical difficulties. These mixers are often osteopathic practitioners, who may use tactics like massage, acupuncture, heat application and herbal treatments to improve a client's health — all in concert with chiropractic efforts to improve the body's core healing strength.


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