Chiropractic has been evolving over the past century, but its roots go back to ancient China and Greece. Ancient writings in these cultures mention manipulation of the spine and maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. Even Hippocrates, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C. published texts detailing the importance of the spine.
“Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.” -Hippocrates
Chiropractic’s Founder was Daniel David Palmer (known as D.D.) a Canadian who was born in Port Perry, Ontario. He studied spiritualism in the late 1860’s and in 1888 opened a practice as a magnetic healer in Davenport, Iowa. He took out ads and his business grew by word of mouth. His earliest known ad dates to 1887. In the ad he writes, “Dis-ease is a condition of not-ease, lack of ease.” This became one of the fundamental defining aspects of the chiropractic paradigm.
“Life is the expression of tone. In that sentence is the basic principle of Chiropractic.”
- Dr. D.D. Palmer
According to him the interference in the nerves especially at the spinal joints cause restrictions in function. This leads the nervous system to function abnormally due to too much activity or decreased activity causing dis-ease. “This change in biomechanical structure leading to neural dysfunction was termed subluxation by Palmer and his early students. The chiropractic adjustment normalizes and eases the structure and the nervous system bringing the body back into ease which is health.
D.D. Palmer used the term “intelligence” to refer to one’s spirit. Thirty years later, Innate Intelligence became central to his philosophy.
D.D. Palmer’s first adjustment was on his janitor “Harvey Lillard” in the building where he operated. Harvey reported in the January 1897 issue of The Chiropractic that:
“I was deaf 17 years and I expected to always remain so, for I had doctored a great deal without any benefit. I had long ago made up my mind to not take any more ear treatments, for it did me no good. Last January Dr. Palmer told me that my deafness came from an injury in my spine. This was new to me; but it is a fact that my back was injured at the time I went deaf. Dr. Palmer treated me on the spine; in two treatments I could hear quite well. That was eight months ago. My hearing remains good.”
1. D.D. Palmer's life and legacy. (2018). TIC. Retrieved 3 April 2018, from https://www.institutechiro.com/gens/first-generation-chiropractors/dd-palmer/
2. The History of Chiropractic: D.D. Palmer. (2018). Chiropractor Apex NC - Chiropractic Adjustment & Care - Case Chiropractic, Inc.. Retrieved 4 April 2018, from https://casechiropractic.com/history-chiropractic-dd-palmer/
3. Image: D.D. Palmer, schoolmaster. (Courtesy of Palmer College of Chiropractic Archives, Davenport, Iowa.)
4. Brown, M. D. (2009). Old dad chiro: His thoughts, words, and deeds. Journal of Chiropractic Humanities, 16(1), 57-75. doi:10.1016/j.echu.2010.02.002
5. chiropractor, www.bknychiro.com Brooklyn, NY New Intro. (2018). Bknychiro.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018, from http://www.bknychiro.com/newintro.html
Hi, I’m Dr Norm Detillieux, In addition to running a successful chiropractic studio The Lifehouse, I have offered a number of different workshops centered on wellness care, creating community, awareness of the benefits of chiropractic care and a wholistic approach to health