Chiropractic Works with Dr. Birk

The History of Chiropractic

Posted: November 25, 2015
By: Dr Ruminder Birk

“Life is the expression of tone. In that sentence is the basic principle of chiropractic”- D.D. Palmer

Chiropractic as a profession started in 1895 by a man named Daniel David Palmer, out of Iowa, USA. Dr. Palmer was initially a magnetic healer and discovered Chiropractic after meeting a janitor that worked in the building.  The janitor named Harvey Lilard, explained that he lost his hearing after hearing a pop in his upper back one day. He was bent over working for an extended amount of time and when he straightened up, he lost his hearing.

After examining Harvey’s back, Dr. Palmer noticed that there was a bump on his spine which appeared to be an out of place vertebrae. It was also discovered that the bump in Harvey’s back appeared shortly after he had lost his hearing. Dr. Palmer had a strong suspicion that the two incidences were related and convinced Harvey to allow him to try to push the bone back in place.

Once Dr. Palmer gave the first chiropractic adjustment to Harvey that day, and lone behold he was able to hear again. From then on, Dr. Palmer no longer practiced magnetic healing, however began to help manipulate bones in the spine that were out of alignment. By 1897, Dr. Palmer opened up the first chiropractic school, which to this day is still the most well recognized chiropractic school in the world.  

Dr. Palmer once said, "I am not the first person to replace subluxated vertebrae, but I do claim to be the first person to replace displaced vertebrae by using the spinous and transverse processes as levers...and to develop the philosophy and science of chiropractic adjustments." He was certainly not the first one to understand the relationship between good health and the spine.

Around 400 B.C., Hippocrates, the man known for the oath that medical doctors take, advised, "Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases." Hippocrates is considered to be an outstanding figure in the history of medicine. Herodotus, who lived during the same period of time as Hippocrates, became famous for curing diseases by correcting spinal abnormalities through therapeutic exercises.

Although not the first to connect health and the spine, the treatment of the spine was not well understood until Dr. Palmer. He began to understand that fixing the spinal misalignments and subluxations, got rid of nerve interference. Once the interference was gone, the patients’ complaints about various issues was gone as well.

Dr. Palmer was not alone in his passion for chiropractic care. His son, Bartlett Joshua (BJ), took after his father’s work and helped to define it as a health care system. He also was influential in getting chiropractic recognized as a licensed profession.

Today there are hundreds of thousands of licensed Chiropractic Doctor around the world. Millions of people each year seek chiropractic care and benefit from the treatments. In fact, chiropractic is one of the largest non-medical forms of health care today. 

Even though chiropractic has advanced tremendously in the last century, the philosophy is still the same. The body can heal itself without drugs and surgery if the subluxations are removed.