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HISTORY OF CHIROPRACTIC

D.D. PalmerThe principles and philosophies which form the foundation of modern chiropractic can be traced back to the late 1800’s to a man by the name of David Daniel (D.D.) Palmer and later his son Bartlett Joshua (B.J.) Palmer. In fact, according to Terry A. Rondberg, D.C (see note), there is “evidence of spinal manipulation discovered in prehistoric cave paintings” and as practised by the ancient Chinese and Greeks and “In Rome, Claudius Galen realigned the neck vertebrae of a Roman scholar whose right hand was paralysed. After the realignment the scholar could use his hand again.”

D.D. Palmer was the pioneer of the chiropractic spinal adjustment, and probably his most famous adjustment was the one he delivered to Harvey Lillard on September 8th, 1895. Harvey had become deaf 17 years earlier when he felt “something give in his neck”. D.D. Palmer discovered an out of place vertebra in his neck and proceeded to ‘adjust’ it back to its normal position by using “the spinous process as a lever”. It was soon after that Harvey’s hearing returned to normal. It does not surprise me that hearing is affected by misalignments of the spine, for hearing complaints are common amongst people B. J. Palmerwith spinal malalignment. Certainly tinnitus and hearing difficulties were amongst my first symptoms following my injury and they are common in whiplash victims.

It was B.J. Palmer who really established and developed chiropractic, but he worked tirelessly, and focussed more to promote and communicate the benefits of upper cervical 'specific' chiropractic as described on this website as opposed to manipulating any spinal segment. The original Palmer Cure & Infirmary Clinic in Davenport, Iowa opened by D.D. Palmer would be left in the hands of B.J. after another falling out with his father, who moved to Oregon and then California and opened chiropractic clinics, B.J. continued to foster chiropractic. Palmer College of Chiropractic in Iowa and a flourishing worldwide chiropractic profession are a tribute to his devotion and perseverance.

Note: For more information on chiropractic and a truly wonderful summary of the history of chiropractic and its philosophy I commend to you the following reference. Rondberg, Terry A., D.C. (1996) Chiropractic First, USA, The Chiropractic Journal.

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