The first recorded chiropractor practicing in Bahrain was Dr Theodore Sutter who worked both in Kuwait and Bahrain before retiring in 1995. There was no chiropractic presence in Bahrain for 15 years until Dr Amy Bowzaylo, a 1996 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic (West) opened a clinic in Janabiyah in 2010.
In 2012, the Bahrain Chiropractic Association was formed, with Dr Bowzaylo as the President and only member. In the same year, provisional acceptance of chiropractic was obtained from the Bahrain authorities.
Dr Dinos Ramon, a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, was the first chiropractor to establish a practice on the island of Cyprus, when in 1967 he founded a clinic in Famagusta. He subsequently moved to Pogazi, where his clinic boasted a complex of 64 rooms for visiting patients. In 1974, following the invasion of Cyprus, Dr Ramon was forced to flee his clinic and he subsequently set up in practice in a refugee camp in Limassol, where he cared for those who had been displaced by the troubles.
In 1977, two additional chiropractors established practice in Cyprus: Dr George Djiovannis, another Palmer College graduate, and Dr Phylactis Ierides, who had graduated from National College of Chiropractic in Illinois. At the time, chiropractic was unregulated and, in 1979, it was explicitly outlawed.
Dr Ierides was the first chiropractor on the island to be charged with practicing medicine without a licence after referring a patient to a general practitioner. Although he was found guilty in court, Dr Ierides did not receive a penalty for his crime, with the judge in the case recommending that a separate law be creates to cover practices such as chiropractic.
The Cyprus Chiropractic Association was formed in 1984, with Dr Ramon as the first president. By this time, Dr Efstathios (Stathis) Papadopoulos, a Palmer College of Chiropractic graduate, had started in practice in Nicosia, and helped to spearhead the drive towards statutory regulation of chiropractic in Cyprus. The association recruited Andreas Georkadjis, the same lawyer who had represented Phylactis Ierides in his court case.
An approach to the Medical Services Department of the Ministry of Health had previously been made, and in 1984 a second request for chiropractic to be regulated was submitted. The then Minister of Health referred the matter to the Attorney General for consideration, but despite the House of Representatives passing the Chiropractic Act into law, it was still to be a further 25 years before the full legislative process was completed.
In 1996, the World Federation of Chiropractic held a meeting in Nicosia and in 1998 a National Chiropractic Sports Council was formed. The Cyprus Chiropractic Association has slowly grown and now has approximately 18 chiropractors practicing on the island.
In 2012 the Cyprus Chiropractic Association was reformed under the new Chiropractic Regulatory Council, which comprised three chiropractors, two government appointees, a disciplinary board and a treasury. Finally, in 2012, 28 years after the passing of the Chiropractic Act, the statutory registration of chiropractors in Cyprus was achieved.
Dr Papadopoulos remains the President of the Cyprus Chiropractic Association and is believed to be the longest serving president of a national chiropractic association in the world. He also serves as the President of the EMMECF and represents the Eastern Mediterranean region of the WFC, having served as its president 2008-2010.
The first unconfirmed report of a chiropractor practicing in Egypt was Dr Aime Harosh. In 1982, a delegation of the International Chiropractors Association assembled to introduce chiropractic more formally to Egypt. A symposium was held and a TV documentary was produced. Subsequently, four medical doctors applied to study chiropractic in the United States.
Dr Medhat Alatter MD conducted a study into chiropractic and qualified as a chiropractor himself. Between 1990 and 1997 many Egyptians were reported to have enrolled in chiropractic programmes in the U.S., with many choosing to remain in the country following graduation.
The Egyptian Chiropractic Association was formed and accepted into membership of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) in 1991.
The current president, Dr Hani El Bibany is a graduate of the Ain Shams Medical School and qualified as a chiropractor from Life University in 1998.
The Chiropractic Society of Egypt was formed in 2004 and replaced the Egyptian Chiropractic Association as the WFC member for Egypt.
The WFC Eastern Mediterranean regional meeting was held in Egypt in 2008.
The first record of a chiropractor working in Iran was Dr Bertha Berger in 1922. Famously, a Persian chiropractor, Sheik Pera Mar Elia, of Urmia was reported as working in Hollywood, California in the 1940s. Tragically, in 1962 Dr Elia was killed in a blast in Davenport, Iowa, while visiting Dr David Palmer.
Following the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the first modern chiropractic office was established by a graduate of Texas Chiropractic College, Dr Mohamed Jarad Beiraghdar. By 1989 there were reported to be 5 chiropractors working in Iran.
Chiropractic was practiced with unofficial approval due to favorable relations and meetings with senior government officials. However, the late 1980s and early 1990s became very difficult for chiropractors in Iran, with a major clampdown resulting in clinics being closed and equipment confiscated.
In 1991, a young graduate of Life West Chiropractic College, Dr Hossein Sabbagh, established a practice in Kermanshah. In 1994 he relocated his practice to Tehran. The Iranian Doctors of Chiropractic Association was formed and, largely as a consequence of government officials being chiropractic patients, the practice of chiropractic in Iran was briefly tolerated. However, at the time the Iran Ministry of Health insisted that only medical doctors could qualify as primary contact health practitioners.
In 1994, a conservative government again placed pressure on the chiropractic profession and in 1996 a decision was taken to eliminate chiropractic altogether. The authorities took a tough stance and clinic closures and equipment confiscations resumed.
Intervention by the then Deputy Minster of Education proved a turning point in the history of chiropractic in Iran. In 1998 a law was passed regulating the practice of chiropractic in Iran. By 2000 there were 9 chiropractors known to be practicing in Iran and in 2004 the Iranian Chiropractors Association (IrCA) was formed, with Dr Hossein Sabbagh as President and Dr Reza Jafari as Vice-President.
As a consequence of the legislation, chiropractors were licensed and officially became members of the Health Society and the Health Care System. Approximately 60 licenses were issues between 1998 and 2008. As well as president of IrCA, Dr Hossein Sabbagh has also served as a member of the 14-member Iranian Medical Council.
In 2010, Dr Reza Jafari was elected secretary of the EMMECF.
The official elections of IrCA were monitored by the Ministry of Health when they were held in 2013, with Dr Sabbagh being re-elected president.
In 2015, WFC Secretary-General Dr Richard Brown visited Iran and presented a lecture at Masshad Medical University as well as meeting with department of education officials.
Chiropractic legislation in Iran permits a wide scope of practice, including the right to diagnose, issue sick leave certificates, limited prescribing rights and the rights to refer for advanced diagnostic imaging. The negotiation of 5-year licenses for chiropractors (formerly 2-year licenses) closed the gap between chiropractors and medical practitioners.
There are currently around 70 licensed chiropractors in Iran.
In 1979, Dr Yousef Meshki, a 1978 graduate of Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College established a practice in Jordan at the King Hussein Medical Centre. This led to government recognition of chiropractic.
In 1989 formal recognition of chiropractic was attained, with the requirement of Jordanian citizenship, a degree from an accredited chiropractic institution and a one-year internship in a Jordanian clinic. Full rights as a primary healthcare profession were conferred with this recognition.
In 2010, the Jordanian Chiropractic Association hosted the 5th WFC Eastern Mediterranean regional meeting.
Chiropractic is listed as a health profession under Public Health Law and Ministry of Health formulation regulations.
The first recorded chiropractor to practice in Lebanon was Dr Nadim Nasrallah, who established a clinic in Beirut.
By 2000, there were five chiropractors in Beirut, including Dr Khobr Hijoz and Dr Issam Ayache, who commenced work to secure chiropractic legislation. In 2006, the lapsed Lebanese Chiropractic Association was reactivated, with Dr Ayman Kanj as President.
In 2012, a Chiropractic Act was brought before the Lebanese House of Representatives. However, an irreconcilable stumbling block was the drafted requirement for patients to be referred by a medical practitioner rather than having access to chiropractors as primary health professionals. Further in that year, the EMMECF and WFC co-hosted a regional meeting in Beirut.
In 2020, the Chiropractic Act of 2000 was finally enacted. It provided that licenses may be issued to qualifying Lebanese citizens and that chiropractors would be subject to a code of conduct and disciplinary procedure. The law also protects the title of chiropractor and prohibits anyone from practicing without a licence.
Dr Gamal Giroush, the current president of the Libyan Chiropractic Association, qualified from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1987, establishing a practice in Tripoli, Libya in 1989.
Development of the profession has been challenging due to the hostility of the medical community towards chiropractic. However, the practice of chiropractic has been tolerated as a consequence of heads of government being enthusiastic chiropractic patients.
There have been ongoing efforts to secure legislation for chiropractors. However, progress stalled in 2011 due to the civil war in Libya.
The first record of chiropractic being practiced in Qatar was in 1983, when Dr Chris Walker established a practice. Dr Chris Hamp (1989) and Dr Michael J. Elliott (1991) also worked in Doha, the latter being employed as the personal chiropractor of a prominent Qatari businessman.
Chiropractic is not officially recognized in Qatar and practicing licenses refer to massage, there being no translation to the word chiropractor into Arabic.
In 1987, the current president of the Chiropractic Association of Qatar, Iranian-born Dr Sharon Hormozi, established a practice in the capital, Doha.
The Chiropractic Association of Qatar was formed in 2005. In 2010, the licensing of chiropractors in Qatar was suspended, before being reinstated in 2012. The Ministry of Health has increased pressure on chiropractors and does not recognize chiropractors as primary health care providers.
Chiropractor Dr Garrett Mosco moved to Saudi Arabia in 1991 as the chiropractor to the Saudi Royal Family, becoming part of the official health care staff. In 1992, chiropractic was legislated by the Saudi Ministry of Health.
In 1995, the Chiropractic Association of Saudi Arabia was admitted as a member of the World Federation of Chiropractic.
There is no requirement for formal registration and licensing in Saudi Arabia. The only requirement is for a formal affiliation with a medical doctor.
In 2000, Dr Danya Al-Toukhi became the first woman to practice in Saudi Arabia and in 2002, as the only practicing chiropractor in the country, work with the Saudi Ministry of Health became her responsibility. In 2005, she was joined by Dr Mohamed Solh and Dr Amy Bowzaylo, both of who were able to obtain practicing certificates from the Saudi Ministry of Health.
There are an estimated 5 chiropractors currently practicing in Saudi Arabia. Legislative and licensing challenges continue, with the Ministry of Health being unwilling to equate a chiropractic doctor of chiropractic (DC)degree with a doctorate degree.
The first recorded chiropractic practice in Turkey was established in 1993, when Dr Jane Bourgeois, a U.S. graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, became involved with medical personnel from the NATO community stationed in Turkey and began seeing patients alongside a doctor of physical therapy.
Turkish chiropractors sought assistance in regard to chiropractic legislation in 2004.The Turkish Chiropractic Association joined WFC membership in May 2005 and membership of the European Chiropractors’ Union in 2011. The association battled persecution in Turkey amid accusations of practicing medicine without a license.
In 2007, the Turkish Chiropractors’ Association hosted for the World Federation of Chiropractic’s annual Eastern Mediterranean seminar.
In 2012, the Turkish parliament passed an act to regulate traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM), limiting practice to medical doctors. This happened against all the efforts of the Turkish Chiropractic Association to have the profession recognized independently. The association continues to lobby the Ministry of Health to regulate the practice of chiropractic in Turkey.
The first record of a chiropractor practicing in the UAE was Dr Anas Khalaf in 1984, who established a clinic in Abu Dhabi. He worked with the Ministry of Health to establish an infrastructure for chiropractic.
In 2008, Dr. Travis Mitchell had the idea to start a Chiropractic Association in the UAE. He sent out invitations to the chiropractors in the nation to aid him in his endeavour. Seven chiropractors met in Central Perk to discuss the establishment and bylaws of the organization. These chiropractors were Dr. Travis Mitchell, Dr. Mohamad Raslan, Dr. Tareq Tawil, Dr. Gary Fitzgerald, Dr. Ahmed Dassouki, Dr. Ahmed Fares, and Dr. Salim Khamissa
The ECA was established and in 2009 was admitted into membership of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) and the EMMECF. In the same year, the ECA hosted the EMMECF regional meeting in Dubai.
The Emirates Chiropractic Association is a legal entity in the UAE and in 2015, following intervention from the WFC, the Dubai authorities formally gave approval for chiropractors to use the title doctor.
The ECA has grown from its founding 7 chiropractors, to now almost 60 registered members. Its current president, Dr Nageena Akhtar, was elected in 2021.