The power to manipulate and heal using chiropractic practices has been applied for centuries. Greek documents show handling techniques for back pain. Similarly, Asia and Egypt also had spinal manipulation techniques documented. The Indians of North, Central and South America used manipulation techniques as an integrated part of their healing methods.
Hippocrates, the great Greek philosopher and physicist (460 BC), wrote over 70 books that spinal manipulation was a treatment for various diseases and spoke about the innate strength and auto body recovery. Some 5,000 years ago Hippocrates said “One or more vertebrae may become mis-aligned, they can barely move and still get to produce health complications and even lead to death if not properly adjusted.”
In 1895, Daniel David Palmer, an Iowa teacher and practitioner of alternative medicines developed manipulative therapy, now commonly known as chiropractic. In the 1800’s, the treatment of the spine was still crude and misunderstood until Daniel David Palmer discovered specific spinal adjustments. In 1895, Daniel David Palmer, a teacher and practitioner of alternative medicines formerly developed manipulative therapy now commonly known as chiropractic.
Palmer performed the first official spinal adjustment for a local deaf janitor who had lost his hearing 17 years prior from a freak accident. The janitors hearing returned. Palmer realized spinal adjustments to correct mis-alignments or subluxations eliminated nerve interference that caused the patients’ complaints. From there, Dr. Palmer began to investigate the relationship of the anatomy, the spine, the nervous system and the impact on all body functions.
The Early Days – What led to Alternative Medicine
In the nineteenth century, medical education in the U.S. consisted of little more than an apprenticeship with a practicing physician, and perhaps one or two semesters at one of the many private medical schools. Exceptions to this lack of training, such as medical schools and universities were few and far between. The proliferation of irresponsible drug allocations bothered many. David D Palmer took the title “Doctor,” and began inquiries into inflammation, spinal analysis, joint misalignment and the impact on the body’s function.
Dr. Palmer decided that inflammation was the essential feature of all disease and this occurred when misalignment within the body would cause friction and heat. By applying manual repositioning, the body parts would prevent further friction and this became the vocation for an alternative to healing the sick.
Palmer’s College of Chiropractic (PSC)
In the summer of 1896 Dr. David Palmer developed his bylaws and statutes for the Palmer School of Magnetic Cure. With the help of his friend and patient, Reverend Samuel Weed, Palmer adopted Greek terms to form the word “chiropractic” which means practice with hands.
The school and profession grew and took on an ‘each-one-teach-one’ prospective. Students passed along the teachings to family and friends and in 30 days disciples could heal and teach.
A Pause for Competition
The American (AMA) Medical Association officially began in 1847, leading a movement to unify the medical community and establish strict guidelines for physicians. The AMA also created a subgroup to discredit and discourage chiropractors. Professionals argue the AMA’s issue to alternative healing is more closely related to protecting their monopoly of the health care market.
Undeterred, alternative healing practices have grown leaps and bounds, not only in the United States but abroad. Dr. Palmer continued to promote his chiropractic school by publishing two books from 1906 to 1913; The Science of Chiropractic and The Chiropractors Adjuster and continued his practice until death in Los Angeles California at age 68.
Today, chiropractic practices are undoubtedly a popular method of healing without drugs and the chiropractic community continues to grow.