CHIROPRACTIC HISTORY

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Chiropractic began in 1895 when its founder, Daniel David Palmer, claimed the cause of any and all disease could be removed by–and needing nothing more than–his hands. The name given to this new profession became its identity. As stated earlier, chiropractic means “done by hand” and throughout its evolution the profession has struggled with justifying any departures from this fundamental principle of delivering care.  The following story tells about the “crack heard around the world” that began the profession of chiropractic. ”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 he was 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 that vertebra was replaced, the man’s hearing should be restored. With this object in view, a half-hour’s talk persuaded Mr. Lillard to allow me to replace it. I racked it into position by using the spinous process 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.”

The medical community, afraid of his success and discouraged by its own failure to heal diseases, joined the crusade and wrote letters to the editors of local papers, openly criticizing his methods and accusing him of practicing medicine without a license.  D.D. Palmer defended himself against the doctors’ attacks by presenting arguments against the medical procedures of vaccination and surgery. He also cautioned against introducing medicine into the body saying it was often unnecessary and even harmful.  D.D. passed away a few years down the road.  Luckily he had a son, B.J., to carry on his vision.  B.J. very inspired by his fathers view of chiropractic and how it help many people, and is the one responsible for turning chiropractic into its own health care profession. Although the profession has advanced tremendously since the days of D.D. and B.J., the basic tenets and understanding of chiropractic as a drug-free method of correcting vertebral subluxations in order to remove nerve interference still stand.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”  – Thomas Edison

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