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Associazione Italiana Chiropractici
(N.B.- This article was translated by Google translate from the Italian, and has now been edited by drsjpdc to return it to comprehensible standard American English)
|Associazione Italiana Chiropractici|
|President||Dr. John Williams|
In 1974, a part of health professionals founded the Association of Italian Chiropractors (AIC) in order to regulate and safeguard the profession and, therefore, what was initially a community of professionals, began to become a sort of "professional order" finding the support of the European Chiropractors' Union and argued that regulated association of graduates in Europe. Initially the group consisted of less than twenty professionals: among its members were French, American, Belgian, Canadian, Swiss, three Italians and British. With the encouragement of the ECU, within a year, the AIC enrolled a good number of Doctors of Chiropractic and was finally elected to the Governing Council.
The Italian interest in Chiropractic began in 1924. It turns out that in that year five Italians were enrolled in U.S. colleges, to study this new scientific discipline, four at Palmer College of Chiropractic, Iowa  and one at the National College of Chiropractic, Chicago. We do not know when chiropractors actually started to work in Italy. If we discuss what may have gone on before the Second World War, the name of a certain Dr. Pistolesi emerges. In fact, to the memory of those few who believe that this person was, in fact, a chiropractor who practiced the profession in Rome in 1920. It is a pity that we do not know much more about his experience and whether he was successful or met resistance from the authorities.
We know with certainty,  however, that in 1949 Marcello Trentin  began to work in Padua. Born in the North-East of Italy, Marcello as a child, proved to be inquisitive, bright and determined. In fact, despite being limited by injuries during the First World War, he obtained his "Doctor of Chiropractic" degree, at National College of Chiropractic in 1928. As often happened in those years, Dr. Trentin was absorbed in the great crucible of immigration to the U.S. It was only in 1949 that he left his business and started up again in Palm Beach, Florida, eventually to return to Italy. His career and his reputation grew in the city of Padua, where his expertise and his impeccable professional conduct earned him the admiration of many and he overcame the distrust of this new profession.
The results obtained by Dr. Trentin encouraged another entrepreneur to open a medical office in Milan, allowing some chiropractors to practice; a doctor (DC)and two of his children enrolled in the faculty of Chiropractic in the United States. The names of Hans, James and Catherine Greissing Palatini are reminiscent of those of the first chiropractors in Italy. In 1969 two French chiropractors, Dr. Gilbert and Dr. Marc Meyronet Perier, opened a joint practice in Genoa, and in the same period in Rome one could find chiropractors who were practicing the profession.
During the following decade, there were virtually hundreds of chiropractors who took turns throughout the whole Italian territory. Finding good integration with traditional medicine, and a good reception from their audience, their chiropractic services were included among the services offered in the practices, throughout Italy, and they were operating with a completely innovative concept.
Creator and leader of this type of activity was the company called "Static SpA's; they offered efficient and specialized services, collaboration with medical facilities that were fully equipped and comfortable, and combined with a competent administration, this made a business model such that Static had a real edge in the health-care sector. The Static centers, supporting the concept of comprehensive care of the spine, had a structure for administration and marketing; they kept track of medical visits by new patients, and managed their health. They had assistants qualified in departments of radiology and Mechanotherapy. Their treatment consisted of "active" manipulation, performed by chiropractors, and mechano or "passive" (physiotherapy) of the spine and pelvis. Although we are applying the basic biomechanical principles of chiropractic, the word chiropractic was deliberately abandoned in favor of "chirotherapy". The principals of Static believed in the integration of the ideas and techniques of Chiropractic and Medicine and that this would give the patient a better and more complete service.
This "new concept" was acceptable from a legal standpoint, and allowed them to open the way for concessions with the National Health System, which made the service available free to all Italians. Combining all of this with advertising campaigns, they especially targeted to explaining Chiropractic, Static enjoyed a busy and expanding practice. In a short time they established clinics in all major Italian cities. With large capital investments, more than five hundred employees, more than a thousand new patients per week, and running more than one million treatments a year, Static became one of the largest organizations to perform chiropractic services that the profession has ever known.
The situation of "model-Static" was often less rosy for Chiropractic: in fact, many studies proposed, among other benefits of physical therapy, chiropractic treatment. In this way not only was Chiropractic not identified as a health profession, but it was confused with two entirely different disciplines of treatment. On this subject, expressed by the Ministry of Health in 1982, a statement was issued that said: that Chiropractic, "through a mechanical correction-functional, tends to remove the mechanical cause responsible for one's symptoms". . At the same time other chiropractors were practicing the profession on their own. Most of them followed the ministry guidelines, under which the methods of chiropractic could be applied to patients only with a guarantee, and under the supervision of an Italian medical doctor. These chiropractors were a minority compared to the total number active in Italy, and did not constitute numbers of real economic importance in the field, and had little, if any influence on the political evolution of Chiropractic, which was instead being controlled by entrepreneurs outside the profession.
- 1975 (Oct.) - the AIC hosted, in cooperation with the National College of Chiropractic, a first seminar in Rome. The seminar was taught by qualified teachers from National College. It was presented by the President of the ECU and a diplomatic representative of the United States for science and technology, the group's presence was greeted by Pope Paul VI and the Mayor of Rome. Everything seemed to be on the road to success!
It is important to note that a Pro-Chiropractic Association was founded in 1973, a year before the establishment of the AIC under the guidance of two capable and determined patients; Mr. Baldassarri and Mr. Cambrian. The Association immediately began a successful operation. They had many hundreds of members, and a regular publication of a magazine called "Living Well", and this quickly spread the message of chiropractic, allowing the creation of a network of national and international contacts.
- 1980's - This period proved a very active one. A chain of centers was created, and Static laid the foundations for a good number of similar activities. Chiropractors were truly autonomous and independent, however, these were very few. Over the years, the group showed signs of progress, although it was difficult to obtain a real commitment by members. This was probably due at least in part, to the many nationalities were represented in the Association. Keep in mind that since the Association was formed mostly by young graduates, who were by no means certain to remain in Italy for life, these gentlemen, were working in our country "temporarily" given the shortage of chiropractors in Italy. Most of them accepted a job offer in Italy to gain experience, and earn enough money to start their own offices in their respective countries of origin and, therefore, had no particular interest in the real future of the profession in Italy.
It is worth adding that, over the past two decades, the profession underwent a maturation process that is carrying its destiny increasingly into the hands of those who actually practice it. Chiropractors are now more involved in the political and economic aspects of the profession, and Chiropractic in Italy is no longer a "foreign affair". Not only has this increased the numbers of Italian doctors of Chiropractic, but you can now count many chiropractors (foreigners) who, by choice and / or marriage, decided to continue to live and work permanently in Italy. This constitutes a good part of those who practice the profession, and provides a foundation of stability, individual investments and serious interest in the future of the profession in Italy.
The following events are also of note:
- 1979 - a law was passed that exempted the VAT (tax) on chiropractic treatments in cases where such treatment was performed by a specialist doctor, 
- 1980- the Ministry of Health set up a commission for Chiropractic Research. Research performed by the Committee was based on surveys from the United States, and produced a report containing: a definition of chiropractic treatment and its use; the requirements for authorization to practice, and a description of medical facilities in which chiropractors could operate. The Commission concluded further that: Chiropractic was "useful and effective"; it was a service with an ever-increasing demand; that all the statistics on the topic were positive; and that Chiropractic deserved to be included among the health professions, which was appropriate to establish educational institutions and provide an appropriate legislative base;
- 1982 - the World Chiropractic Conference was held in Venice. The event was organized by Static SpA, Palmer College of Chiropractic and the International Chiropractor's Association. It was sponsored by the Foundation for the Advancement of Chiropractic, Cleveland College of Chiropractic, Life College of Chiropractic and at the last minute, even by Italian Chiropractors themselves. The symposium hosted a number of seminars on Chiropractic Medicine and the Proceedings of the conference were published in one volume. The main theme was the endorsement of Chiropractic and encouragement of collaboration between different professionals;
- 1982 - at the end of the Commission's work, the Minister of Health, in a directive (which referred specifically to doctors of Chiropractic who practiced in the NHS and, despite opposition from some regions, the Italian Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, gave its official consent to the exercise of Chiropractic in public facilities. 
- 1984 - another ministerial circular  provided indications and contraindications for chiropractic treatment;
- 1979 - (Rome) and 1988 (Rapallo) (GE), hosted a Congress of the European Chiropractor's Union.
Since 1975, the AIC organized refresher training courses at regular intervals, often in collaboration with universities in North America. Research conducted in Italy has been largely conducted with the collaboration of doctors and specialists and, in 1982, we published the findings of several studies conducted jointly.  ,On the occasion of the Second National Symposium of Chiropractic, held in Syracusa in 1988, we published the book "Chiropractic: indications and limitations"  Some research was published there, which is important for the classification of Chiropractic, and has also been published by the Chamber of Deputies in the book "The Unconventional Medicine: scientific research, regulatory issues, projects of law".  The comparison and integration of chiropractic and medical doctrine continued through conferences and symposia which were attended by dentists,  chiropractors, orthopedists and sports medicine people.
Perhaps the most important developments mentioned above, are the conflicts between the administrative, bureaucratic and judicial proceedings in which chiropractors found themselves involved. The contents and substance of those cases are too complex to be described here, but the core of the dispute was almost always involving non-recognition of the Chiropractic degree in the exercise and the practice of medicine without certification. We can be grateful to colleagues who have fought these battles, succeeding in so difficult situations, and never tiring of defending and protecting our profession.
The Constitutional Court  has ruled on charges brought against the unlawful practice of chiropractic, by declaring the inadmissibility of the medical profession in the proceedings. The order confirmed that chiropractors may be practicing their profession, and that no law in Italy referring to chiropractic bans its use: therefore, chiropractors had the constitutional right to work and support themselves by using Chiropractic as a "free private enterprise".  This order, apparently positive, basically supported the "pure chiropractic philosophy", as a discipline that is not diagnostic and not therapeutic, but it has allowed anyone to use the title "doctor of chiropractic" or to define himself as "chiropractor". Thus the courses began to multiply, "diploma mills" were set in motion and, thereby have appeared hundreds of pseudo-practitioners who lack professional training. As a result, they have made their appearance in the media, and there are stories of people harmed, perhaps even permanently, from self-proclaimed "chiropractors"  To further confuse the public: physical therapists, osteopaths, physicians (MD) and dentists with notions of manipulation, have begun to lay claim to the territory of Chiropractic. Following a national scale investigation according to which nine million Italians availed themselves of various forms of Alternative Medicine; in May 2002, the National Federation of the Order of Doctors and Dental surgeons (FNOMCeO) defined Chiropractic and eight other therapies as conventional "medical acts" exercisable only by surgeons and dentists This initiative, with the declared intention of protecting our citizens, and putting these practices in "skilled hands", has provoked reactions not always positive: Some famous members of the scientific community, including Nobel laureates, have openly criticized the contamination of medicine with practices scientifically demonstrated. This by questioning the reasoning of the FNOMCeO, as not professional but financially motivated, given the large number of potential patients and the high rate of unemployment among physicians. Following this stance, the Medical Association developed a series of private activities, some of which were endorsed by state institutions, which have further polluted professional chiropractic. Graduate dentists have prepared a course of 80 hours in a major state university, where they prepared to practice chiropractic.  in place of ASL, and it has been set up to open the course to chiropractic doctors, physiotherapists and podiatrists. We do not know if these so-called "guidelines" dictated by FNOMCeO will set a precedent in the legal sphere, but in April 2003, the Supreme Court of Cassation overturned the rulings issued in these cases of lower rank, where they had acquitted the chirorpatici (Chiropractors) of the accusation of exercise of a prohibited practice in Medicine. According to the Court. all that the chiropractor has been trained to do, and does in fact, according to the laws in force in Italy, should be considered a medical act. This ruling has caused a new wave of investigations and prosecutions by the Carabinieri's "Anti-aduteration Squad" (NAS), even in allowable medical settings. Since the Supreme Court ruling, their instructions in the document FNOMCeO seem to have been applied to the letter. During a "sweep" in the Liguria region, suits have been brought for malpractice in all the health professions; chiropractors, osteopaths, and (MD) physicians. Chiropractors not recognized abroad, and graduating physicians have been challenged in the criminal process. Thus, according to the President of the Medical Association of Liguria, and therefore also of the investigators, only doctors (MD) can perform chiropractic treatments in medicine and osteopathy.
Several steps were completed in this period which promoted recognition of the profession.
- 1999 (Dec.) The AIC, in collaboration with the Parliamentary Committee for Technological Innovation and Sustainable Development, organized a seminar at the Library of the House of Representatives ", to present a monograph: "Chiropractic: a professional profile". The book illustrates the identity of chiropractic as a health profession, and becomes an autonomous source of reference for policy-makers, lawyers, judges and the media. This publication, when interpreted incorrectly, could be crucial to understanding, in legislation, the chiropractic profession as a distinct field, and the professional requirements of the Chiropractors.
- In the same year, a survey conducted by the "Consumers Altroconsumo Committee", reported in the magazine "Salutest", where the question appears: "would you suggest a chiropractic treatment to friends or relatives with the same problem?". Over 90% of patients responded in the affirmative. This result was achieved thanks to the good level of satisfaction for competence, quality of service, and professionalism demonstrated by chiropractors in Italy.
- 2002 - The AIC hosted a symposium in Rome organized by the International Chiropractor's Association and the Foundation for the Advancement of Chiropractic  .
The validity of the issues addressed and the presence of important and qualified speakers contributed to a decree on the success of the event, and made it one of the most important events in the field of chiropractic ever held in Europe. The symposium was presented in Parliament in the presence of Senator Prof. Antonio Tommassini (President of the Senate Health Committee), which stressed the need for legislation for the profession. The event has gotten the attention of the media, who have dedicated space in the national press and television news programs in prime time.
- 2004 (May) - The AIC and the COPIT, hosted in Parliament, 
have arranged a conference: "The profile of a European profession: Chiropractic". The profession is defined based on a consistent model for training standards and professional behavior, in the context of free movement of professionals in the European Union. The event was attended by representatives of the AIC and the European Chiropractor's Union joined by representatives of the European Parliament and of the Italian Federation of Doctors. The Hon. Stefano Zappalà highlighted the responsibility of Italy to create a framework for Chiropractic in accordance with European guidelines,  and prof. Giuseppe del Barone, president of the National Federation of Associations of Physicians and Dentists, confirmed the new position of the federation of non-opposition to a law relating to chiropractic health care profession as independent; (The National Federation highlights that the Order of Physicians and Dentists, who had previously expressed its opposition to the exercise by non-physicians of 'Osteopathy and Chiropractic, hours would seem to agree, in light of the guidelines from the European Community, on the forecast for these professions a degree.)  a step of great importance with respect to the past.
Let us now examine the legislative aspects:
Since 1991 there have been discussions in both Houses of Parliament, where legislation was proposed for the recognition of Chiropractic, but none of these bills has ever been fully discussed. Shortly after the publication by the FNOMCeO, the document that defined the eight chiropractic and other alternative medicines as "medical acts"; all bills (including those presented for chiropractic in the current legislature) related to non-conventional therapies, have been combined in a Consolidated Bill. This Bill aims to regulate all disciplines such as acupuncture, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and other manual medicine, which would be considered the exclusive preserve of medical doctors, dentists and veterinarians; and reaches the point of creating categories for other types of providers, and creates health training and providers of dubious origin.
Thanks to the remarkable efforts of the AIC and the need to conform to the rest of the European Union, in the proposed law, Chiropractic is treated in a separate article that recognizes its autonomy as a primary health profession. Although there is strong concern that the numerous Commissions and Committees of control (in common with other non-conventional practices) provided in the law could become a hindrance to the development of a professional identity in Italy for Chiropractic; the current drafting of the text on Chiropractic does seem to be in conformity with international standards of law.
However, one thing is certain. Considering the commitment, perseverance and endurance that the profession as a whole, has proved to possess throughout its history, one can be sure that even in Italy, chiropractors will always find a way to apply their Art, Science and Philosophy.
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- La libera circolazione dei professionisti negli stati membri dell’Unione europea è il tema della Direttiva europea, presentata dall’On. Stefano Zappalà, ormai in fase di approvazione. L’uniformità degli standard formativi e professionali è il requisito fondamentale richiesto a ogni categoria professionale. La Chiropratica, professione sanitaria primaria in quasi tutti i paesi dell’Unione europea e in moltissimi paesi mondiali, è in possesso di questi requisiti e può essere considerata un modello da seguire per le altre professioni.
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