History of the Palmer Method of Chiropractic
The founder of chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer (aka D.D. Palmer), opened the very first school of chiropractic, called Palmer College of Chiropractic, in Davenport, IA in 1897. There he taught his healing techniques and eventually expanded the college to multiple cities all while raising awareness of the benefits of chiropractic. Since then, chiropractic has spread far and wide as a viable non-invasive treatment for many ailments.
D.D. Palmer is also noteworthy for pioneering the methodology of chiropractic known as the Palmer Method. The Palmer method involves combining several different techniques for more efficient healing. Let’s go over each of the techniques and the basic principles behind them so you know what to expect at your next chiropractic visit.
The Gonstead Method
The Gonstead Method is centered around the idea that the body’s foundation is the pelvic girdle. When this structure is normal, balance and stability are also normal. However, if any of the vertebrae become misaligned, changes will be prevalent throughout the whole body. The original philosophy behind this method is to find the misalignment, correct it, and leave it be unless it causes further problems.
The Diversified Technique
One of the most common techniques used by modern chiropractors, the Diversified Technique employs the methods you might imagine when you think of the term “chiropractic.” Its objective is to restore proper mobility and range of motion via “high velocity and low amplitude” thrusts within each individual joint that’s affected.
The Thompson Technique
This technique involves something called the Thompson Drop Table, a specialized treatment table that has segments that “drop” with the portion of the body being treated during high velocity, low amplitude thrusts. The table facilitates joint movement and is considered a gentle healing technique.
The Activator Method
The Activator Method is the 2nd most common technique used in chiropractic care. It’s unlike traditional spinal manipulation because it uses a small tool called the “Activator Adjusting Instrument” in order to administer force on a specific, single, targeted vertebra. In other words, if chiropractic were surgery, the adjusting instrument is a scalpel.
The Sacro-Occipital Technique
This technique gets its name by combining two areas of the spine: the very bottom (sacrum) and the very top (occiput). It came about when an engineer, Major Bertrand DeJarnette, suffered a major injury and received chiropractic treatment. He applied his engineering expertise to chiropractic, stressing the importance of indicators and patterns within the body, acknowledging that pain in one area could be caused by misalignments in another. Using this method allows chiropractors to know when spinal corrections are not enough so they can employ other methods.
The Toggle Recoil Technique
Toggle Recoil is a technique that was invented by BJ Palmer, the son of D.D. Palmer, in 1910. It corrects the upper cervical vertebra (in the neck) without twisting or bending the neck and is considered a gentle healing technique. The use of a drop table is required so the chiropractor can use minimal force with extreme precision and maximum results.
Schedule a Chiropractic Appointment
Dr. Petrak was trained at the Palmer College of Chiropractic and uses the Palmer Method every day to help patients live healthier and happier lives. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!