The History of Chiropractic

Celebrating the birth of Chiropractic

This month we’re celebrating the birthday of chiropractic, which takes place on September 18th! In honor of this special day, we wanted to share with you a little bit about the history of chiropractic and how it all began.

How Chiropractic Began

Dr. Daniel David Palmer delivered his first chiropractic adjustment on September 18, 1895, in Davenport, Iowa. The client was a janitor in Dr. Palmer’s building named Harvey Lillard. According to the history books, Mr. Lillard had lost his hearing due to a workplace accident and had been deaf for nearly 17 years. That is until Dr. Palmer came along.

After learning about Mr. Lillard’s accident, Dr. Palmer miraculously ‘cured’ him. He realized that his loss of hearing was due to a nerve not functioning correctly due to his spine being out of alignment. After getting an adjustment, Mr. Lillard’s hearing had finally returned after all those years.

 This marketed the beginning of chiropractic care as we know it today.

Older picture of chiropractor adjusting patient

Chiropractic School

Two years after giving his first chiropractic adjustment, Dr. DD Palmer opened the first chiropractic school in 1987. The school was also located in Davenport, Iowa. Dr. Palmer referred to his therapy as ‘Chiropractic’, which literally means ‘done by hand’.1 His holistic approach wasn’t necessarily a miracle cure for dis-ease. Instead, it was a fantastic approach for removing obstacles and blockages that may interfere with the spine and nervous system. This allowed the spine to function properly. 

Chiropractic Today

At the age of 20, Dr. BJ Palmer, son of Dr. Daniel David Palmer, took over the school his father had created. He continued to build upon the foundation that was already set and helped to make it what it is today. DD Palmer is known as the Founder of chiropractic, where BJ Palmer is known as the “Developer” of chiropractic.2

Throughout the years, both DD Palmer, PJ Palmer, and others refined chiropractic manual adjusting techniques. They also refined the study of how manual manipulation can relieve pain and improve function. While spinal manipulation continues to be a centerpiece of chiropractic care, modern chiropractors have developed a variety of practice styles. These include featuring different therapies and modalities, to address clients’ needs. They practice a holistic approach to health care that generally excludes drugs or surgery.3

Chiropractic and Beyond

Thanks to Dr. DD Palmer, chiropractors like us can offer chiropractic adjustments,. In addition, to wellness advice and holistic practices to clients in our area. We build upon the foundations of nutrition, detoxification, exercise, and mindset. This, along with adjustments aid in whole-body healing. Celebrating the birth of chiropractic is also about celebrating the people chiropractic has helped throughout the years. To that, we say, Happy Birthday Chiropractic! It is an honor to serve our clients through your approach.