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120 Years of Chiropractic

120 Years of Chiropractic

September 18th 1895 – The first Chiropractic Adjustment

D.D Palmer

D.D. Palmer was a “magnetic Healer” in Iowa. Harvey Lilard mentioned to D.D. Palmer that years before, while lifting a heavy weight, he felt something “snap” at the base of his neck. It was several weeks later that his hearing started to fade.

After feeling and examining (What we now call palpation) Harvey Lilard’s thoracic spine and noticing a misalignment D.D. Palmer pushed the joint back into position.

D.D. Palmer rejected the widely popular belief that “germs” caused all disease and death. He  asked “how it was that 2 brothers could work in the same shop, eat the same food, sleep in the same bed, and one would succumb to a disease, while the other one would not?”

Harvey Lillard

He formed the argument that it was not the “seed” (or germ) which was the cause, but that the “soil” (our body) was functioning abnormally.

Naming the Practice

D.D. Palmer asked a patient and friend, Rev. Samuel Weed, to help him name his discovery.

Rev. Samuel Weed

He suggested combining the words cheiros and praktikos (meaning “done by hand”) to describe Palmer’s treatment method, creating the term “chiropractic.”

1896 – Teaching others

In 1896 D.D. Palmer began teaching at what would become the Palmer School of Chiropractic (PSC, now Palmer College of Chiropractic.) Of the first graduates of his school, his son B.J. Palmer went on to develop the Chiropractic Technique.

1906 – B.J Palmer re-develops Chiropractic

B.J Palmer

D.D. Palmer’s student and son, B.J. Palmer, assumed control of the Palmer School in 1906, and promoted professionalism and formal training in chiropractic, expanding enrollment to a peak of above 1,000 students in the early 1920s.The next 15 years saw the opening of 30 more chiropractic schools. Each school attempted to develop its own identity, while B.J. Palmer continued to develop the philosophy behind his father’s discovery.

Chiropractic Care Today

Since 1895 Chiropractic has been a topic of controversy. Thankfully we now have clear evidence that Chiropractic is both safe and effective. Across 120 years new techniques have formed and as new understanding of the body is discovered Chiropractors have endeavored to promote good health practices in conjunction with Chiropractic to prevent dis-ease, pain and maintain good spinal alignment.

Chiropractic care is effective, safe, government registered and regulated. Chiropractors use skill, not force or strength to conduct safe, effective adjustments. In relation to the treatment of neck and back pain, studies have shown that a course of chiropractic care was 250 times safer than a course of anti-inflammatory drugs1.