Dr. Nephi Cottam and the History of Craniopathy

Dr. Nephi Cottam, D.C. was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and was raised with the knowledge of his Swedish naturalist mother, and he credits this for going into a healing field of study. His first interaction with Chiropractic began when he attended the trial of a chiropractor in the District Court in Ogden, Utah. He hadn’t heard of Chiropractic until that point, but was interested to learn that it was a healing science that had to do with adjusting the vertebrae. After the trial, a crowd of people followed the chiropractor back to his office, where he began to adjust dozens of people. After Dr. Cottam expressed interest in Chiropractic, the chiropractor handed him a book published by Palmer School of Chiropractic, and after reading it, he moved with his wife and child to Davenport, Iowa to become a Chiropractor. 

After graduating from Palmer, he moved back to Salt Lake City to open his practice. He found that his knowledge of Chiropractic helped many people, but some of his cases didn’t seem quite complete to him, and he felt that he hadn’t perfected the art of adjusting yet, and that is where craniopathy comes into play.

Dr. Nephi Cottam discovered that cranial
bone misalignment affected health when he performed cranial manipulations on several women in the twenties that were so impactful and provided such immediate relief that he began to research cranial manipulations on his patients. He later taught his technique to others, which he named Craniopathy in 1932.


You can view several of his works on our Digital Collection! Click the covers below to view, or you can stop by the archives to view them in person Monday-Friday 8:30am-05:00pm!

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