History of Chiropractic
The founder of Chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, was born in 1945 in Ontario, Canada. In 1865 he
moved to the United States and worked as a teacher after the Civil War. In 1885
D.D. Palmer heard of a man by the name of Paul Castor, a magnetic healer from Ottumwa, Iowa. D.D. Palmer
moved to Ottumwa and learned about magnetic healing techniques which was commonly used at that time for
healing the body. In 1887 D.D. Palmer and his family moved to Davenport, Iowa where he opened the Palmer
Cure & Infirmary.
The history of Chiropractic began in 1895 when it's founder Daniel David
(D.D.) Palmer first discovered that specific spinal adjustments using the spinous processes and transverse
processes as levers was able to return hearing to a black man named Harvey Lillard. Through further
investigation he found that spinal adjustments helped other conditions also. Dr. Palmer began further study
into the relationship of the spine and organ systems of the body. From his studies he hypothesized that
spinal misalignments caused nerve interference and that nerve interference caused health problems such as
headaches, sciatica, stomach problems, asthma, back pain, etc. Samuel H. Weed
a Methodist Minister and friend of D.D..
Palmer coined the term Chiropractic, from the Greek words "chiro" (by hand) and
"practic" (the practice of), in 1896.
The success of D.D. Palmer in healing sick people did not go unnoticed by
the medical establishment of the time. D.D.
Palmer was treating patients that were not helped by medical practitioners of the time and with success.
In 1905, the medical establishment conspired to have D.D. Palmer thrown in jail for practicing medicine without a
license. After 21 days of incarceration, he was released and continued treating patients with
In 1898, Dr. Palmer changed the name of his clinic to the Palmer
School and Infirmary of Chiropractic. D.D. Palmer's son, Bartlett Joshua, known as B.J.
was also interested in Chiropractic and attended the school and graduated in 1902. B.J. continued with
his father's work and the development of the school as chiropractic spread across the United States.
B.J. was responsible for Chiropractic being recognized and licensed as a healing art.
D.D. Palmer died in California at the age of 68. During his life he
had written two books "The Science of Chiropractic" and "The Spinal Adjuster".
Chiropractic has continued to develop and expand all over the world with
the same philosophy of treatment by hand "adjustments" and to treat patients without the use
of medicine or surgery. Chiropractic is now over 100 years old and is one the main health care systems
in the world.