The History of Chiropractic
According to the American Chiropractic Association, "The word ‘chiropractic’ comes from the Greek words cheir (meaning ‘hand’) and praktos (meaning ‘done’), i.e. Done by Hand."
But how did it get to be one of the leading non-invasive forms of neck and back pain relief that it is today? Here we will explore the origins of chiropractic as a practice, how it developed, and give a brief historical background of the practice's founder, Danial David Palmer.
Who is Daniel David Palmer?
Daniel Palmer was born in 1845 in Ontario, Canada. After emigrating to the US as a young adult, he held many jobs including teacher, beekeeper, and grocery store owner. Throughout his life, he believed in various health philosophies, and tried to blend the scientific method with concepts of metaphysics.
He saw that physical manipulation had been used for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, but no one actually scientifically or philosophically looked at what was being done and made sense of it all. He then began to study these ways through anatomy and physiology ultimately developing the philosophy, art, and science we call Chiropractic today.
How Did Chiropractic Start?
Before this, he was a practitioner of what was know as “magnetic healing,” where magnetic fields around a patient’s body were manipulated to heal ailments. As a spiritual man, the formation of Chiropractic was a spiritual journey for Palmer.
In 1895 on a summer day, Daniel Palmer was returning to his magnetic healing office, where he ran into the building's janitor, Harvey Lillard. Palmer noticed that he had a visible bump on his back and inquired about it. Lillard replied that while he was working one day, he felt a painful pop in his back, which he presumed was a slipped disc, and from that point on had hearing difficulties. Daniel then performed the very first chiropractic adjustment on Lillard, realigning his spine. Lillard then claimed that his hearing had improved. Chiropractic was born.
Palmer then went on to form the Palmer School of Cure in 1897. People became fascinated with this innovative healing art Palmer was practicing and wanted to learn about it. The institution still exists today and is called the Palmer College of Chiropractic. Located in Davenport, Iowa, it stands proud as the trusted leader in chiropractic, the first chiropractic college and continues to have the highest enrollment amongst other chiropractic colleges. Many skillful and talented chiropractors have studied at this institution including Dr. Steve Petrak.
In 1913, the first state law licensing chiropractors was passed in Kansas. By 1931, chiropractic was legally recognized in 39 states. Today, the practice is recognized in all 50 states and even internationally in places like Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and Switzerland.
Palmer left a monumental mark on the medical world. His legacy carries on through chiropractors, who aid the roughly 30 million people worldwide who seek chiropractic care annually.
Palmer Method of Chiropractic
The Palmer method is named after Daniel Palmer and involves combining several different techniques for more efficient healing:
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