Happy September everyone! September 18th, 2018 marks the 123rd birthday of chiropractic.
It was September 18th of 1895 in Davenport, Iowa when David Daniel (DD) Palmer (the Founder) delivered the first chiropractic adjustment. Harvey Lillard was a janitor that was working in the building with his shirt off and Palmer noticed that a lump on Lillard’s back. Lillard informed Palmer that seventeen years earlier, he felt a “pop” in his back and had been partly deaf since. Palmer examined the lump and corrected the misalignment, which then lead to Lillard’s hearing to be restored.
Lillard was quoted in 1897 stating, “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 not to take any more ear treatments, for it did me no good. Last January Dr. Palmer told me that my deafness came from an injury to 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.”
And that is how Chiropractic was born. Can you imagine that? Being deaf for so long and then having your hearing restored with an adjustment.
DD with the help of a friend, Rev. Samuel Weed, came up with the name chiropractic, which comes from the words cheiros and praktikos, which means, “done by hand”. Then in 1987, the first school of chiropractic, Palmer School of Chiropractic, was opened.
DD’s son, Bartlett Joshua (BJ) Palmer, was among the first graduates of PSC and then assumed control over the school in 1906. BJ focused heavily on the science of chiropractic and worked to overcome the initial resistance to the use of medical technology and incorporated x-rays as a diagnostic tool. He also was involved in the earliest research in the profession. In 1924, he introduced the neurocalometer (NCM), which is a two-pronged spinal-heat sensing instrument. This was a step in the right direction for the science of chiropractic and gave chiropractors an objective way in detecting spinal subluxations. After BJ came out with the NCM, he was named the Developer of chiropractic.
BJ was a great leader in the chiropractic profession. He pioneered the Upper Cervical Chiropractic movement and strongly believed that the Atlas (1st bone in the neck) was the key to getting results. He was author to many of the greatest chiropractic literature collectively known as the “green books”. He also spent time in helping the thousands of chiropractors who were arrested for practicing medicine without a license. He owned a radio station in Davenport, Iowa and the broadcasts helped many people understand what chiropractic really is.
It is because of these two Palmers, that there are about 75, 000 chiropractors in the United States alone and over 20,000 chiropractors worldwide. They are also responsible for inspiring others to open up other schools with various chiropractic colleges in 19 different countries, like Australia, Brazil, South Korea, Spain, and Japan, with one more set to open in Scotland in the next year or so.
DD and BJ, we salute you two for your discovery and dedication to growing this wonderful profession. We often wish we could have learned from these two or even practiced in the time that they did, but thanks to the books and recordings, we get to at least get a glimpse of what they were thinking back then.
So one last time, Happy Founder’s Day to Chiropractic! Here’s to 123 years strong & to