The word Chiropractic comes from the Greek words ‘CHEIR’ meaning ‘hand’ and ‘PRAKTOS’ meaning ‘done’. Meaning ‘done by hand’. The founder of Chiropractic Daniel David Palmer was more commonly know as DD Palmer.
DD was born 1845 in Ontario, Canada. At the age of 20, DD moved to Iowa, USA. He spent 20 years as a successful horticulturist and farmer before turning his interests to magnetic healing and opening an office in 1887.
It was in 1895 that DD Palmer delivered his first chiropractic adjustment to a janitor who worked in his office building.
Harvey Lillard was the man to receive this adjustment and regain his hearing after 17 years.
DD later wrote in The Chiropractors Adjustment his account of his first adjustment:
“Harvey Lillard, a janitor in the Ryan Block, where I had my office, had been so deaf for 17 years that he could not hear the racket of a wagon on the street or the ticking of a watch. I made enquiry as to the cause of his deafness and was informed that when he was exerting himself in a cramped, stooping position, he felt something give in his back and immediately became deaf.
An examination showed a vertebra racked from its normal position. I reasoned that if the vertebra was replaced, the man’s hearing should be restored. With this object in view, a half hour talk persuaded Mr Lillard to allow me to replace it. I racked it into position by using the spinous process as a lever and soon the man could hear as before.
There was nothing “accidental” about this, as it was accomplished with an object in view, and the result expected was obtained. There was nothing “crude” about this adjustment; it was specific, so much so that no chiropractor has equalled it.”
DD went on to open a chiropractic school in 1897 in Davenport, Iowa (where it still remains to this day). Fifteen students had graduated by 1902 from the Palmer Infirmary and Chiropractic Institute, with DD’s son BJ Palmer (Bartlett Joshua) being amongst these graduates. The school was renamed the Palmer School of Chiropractic (PSC) in 1907.
His son BJ, was president of the school from 1904 until his death in 1961. He was a self taught genius understanding and promoting innate intelligence. His contributions were vast and included extensive research, improved methods of spinal adjusting and analysis, higher standards for chiropractic education and an increased awareness and appreciation for Chiropractic worldwide.
He was often the centre of controversy, but well before his death in 1961, chiropractic had secured a place among the health sciences battle which was to face this young profession for years to come.
Since Palmer College opened, chiropractic has developed rapidly and there are now over 35 schools and colleges around the world and on every continent.