History of Chiropractic
Daniel David (D.D.) Palmer was the discoverer, or founder of chiropractic. He was born March 7, 1845. During the course of his life, he became very interested in the anatomy and physiology, and especially in the health and healing of the human body. As a healer, he was exploring the human body, and its functions and complexities, searching for the cause of disease. In his studies, he came across studies from the early 19th century showing evidence of medical practitioners experimenting with manipulation. The art of chiropractic began with the very first spinal adjustment, and developed from there. D.D. performed the initial adjustment in September, 1895. In “The Chiropractor’s Adjustor, he wrote:
“Harvey Lillard, a janitor in the Ryan Block, where I had my office, had been so deaf for 17 years that he could not hear the racket of a wagon on the street, or the ticking of a watch. I made inquiry as to the cause of his deafness and was informed that when exerting himself in a cramped, stooping position, he felt something give way in his back and immediately became deaf. An examination showed a vertebra racked from its normal position. I reasoned that if a vertebra was replaced, the man’s hearing should be restored. With this object view, a half-hour’s talk persuaded Mr. Lillard to allow me to replace it. I adjusted it into position by using the spinous process (the ridge along your spine) as a lever and soon the man could hear as before. There was nothing “accidental” about this, as it was accomplished with an object in view, and the result expected was obtained. There was nothing “crude” about this adjustment; it was specific, so much that no Chiropractor has equaled it”.
Shortly after relieving Mr. Lillard of his deafness, he saw a case of heart trouble for which there was no response. He found a displaced vertebral pressing against nerves which innervate the heart. He adjusted the vertebra and “gave immediate relief”. He reasoned that if two completely dissimilar diseases came from impingement/pressure of a nerve, wouldn’t other diseases be due to a similar cause? The science, art and philosophy were formed at that time. Eventually, he passed his knowledge to his son B.J. Palmer, who went on to further develop chiropractic to what it is today.