Florida Campus President Dr. Peter Martin met with fellow Class
of 1968 graduate Dr. Ragna Valli in her native Finland this year.
Florida Campus President Peter Martin, D.C., and Ragna Valli,
D.C., the woman responsible for the birth of chiropractic in
Finland, were reunited recently during a vacation to Finland by
Dr. Martin and his wife, Chris. It was the first time the two fellow
students had seen each other since graduating from Palmer
College in 1968.
In her youth, Dr. Valli, then known as Marjaleena Mäkinen, had
severe asthma. After finding relief from chiropractors in Norway,
she was so happy that she decided to study chiropractic herself.
Upon graduating from Palmer, she returned to Finland. She
then opened her first practice in 1969 but was told by Finnish
authorities that all X-rays had to be taken and read by medical
radiologists. However, being a serious woman with strong convictions,
she read the X-rays herself. Dr. Mäkinen’s pioneering
work opened the door for chiropractic to become socially
acceptable in Finland.
In 1977, Dr. Mäkinen and four of her colleagues founded the
Finnish Chiropractic Association (now, the Finnish Chiropractic
Union). On her own, Dr. Mäkinen lectured and demonstrated
chiropractic to medical doctors throughout Finland. Then,
in 1994, legislation was passed that recognized and registered
chiropractors with the title of koulutettu kiropraktikko, or “trained
Today, her son, Jaakko, the first second-generation chiropractor
in Finland, and his wife, Christa, are in practice in Tampere,
while Dr. Valli continues to practice at home.
“It was a once in a lifetime vacation,” said Dr. Martin of his visit
with Dr. Valli. “But truly the highlight was to be able to reconnect
with Ragna after 40 years and to see firsthand the wonderful
things she has accomplished for our profession in Finland.”