The Field of Chiropractic Medicine
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The History and Benefits of Chiropractic Medicine

The History and Benefits of Chiropractic Medicine

Chiropractic History

Chiropractic medicine is as fascinating today as it was during its early inception. It all started with the firm belief of its two original pioneers, Daniel David Palmer (D.D.) and son B.J. Palmer that the human body has an inner ability to heal itself when in proper balance. Chiropractic was discovered in 1895 by D.D. Palmer (1845-1913) who was a former magnetic healer. He had a grocery store and noticed a bump in the back of his janitor’s neck by the name of Harvey Lillard. Harvey told Palmer that the bump and his subsequent loss in hearing occurred earlier in life after a work related injury. Palmer concluded that since he could not hear but speak, perhaps a blockage around the neck area had occurred and the bump a sign that something was out of alignment. With his prior experience as a magnetic healer (hand healer), he asked Lillard to lay on a table while he gave some hand trusts on the back across the protrusion and soon after the hearing ability was restored. The news got out and nearby neighbors to include people traveling from across other states; started to visit Palmers shop in Davenport Iowa for health concerns. A close friend and reverend came up with the term chiropractic that relates to a Greek word as he tried to describe the process used by Palmer of “done by hand” to the visitors. David Palmer founded chiropractic; however his son B.J. (Bartlett Joshua) Palmer became the main developer of the field when he came up with the idea of opening The Palmer Chiropractic School. The main idea was to help others in sharing the research, training and later provide the ability for graduates to practice in their communities or states. This was a time of great discovery across America. Also, just as during the great westward expansion, many pioneers or travelers were actively seeking better ways to live and improve their health. Both D.D. and B.J. Palmer came a long way from prior humble beginnings to their new prominent success and place in history. As with many innovators at the time, some resistance was met to B.J. and chiropractic for several status quo parts of society had problems accepting new developments, discoveries or then unfamiliar health restoration methods. Thanks to the persistence, belief and passion of B.J. Palmer for chiropractic, we still have this vibrant field today. Like many other discoverers of his time, he never gave up in his beliefs, patient results and researched chiropractic science.


Chiropractic Medicine In B.J. Palmer Own Words

Chiropractic Medicine In B.J. Palmer Own Words

The best way to describe the field of chiropractic is in B.J.s’ own words with many that are still written across the walls in his still existing Palmer School of Chiropractic in Iowa:
• Chiropractic is popular because it works
• Chiropractic is an original, a new principle in practice and as with others filled with effort.
• For critics in medicine, he said “The automobile did not replace the horse, even though both are transportation methods…both came out of necessity…The electric light did not replace Kerosene even though both supply light…Chiropractic does not substitute neither replaces medicine for replaces nothing- both tend to the sick…each in their place with logical procedures from disease back to health
• He also stated, “….the body has an inner intelligence where mental impulses created in the brain are sent over nerves to every organ and tissue in the body…impairment of the brain or nerve tissue will interfere with the normal creation, transmission, and expression of mental impulses, with the result that the cells which these nerves supply will not receive or express the proper command; will not coordinate or work in harmony with the rest of the organism, and then we have a condition of dis-ease or lack of ease.
• All of nature seeks a balance. When balance is lost disease occurs… The human body has an innate intelligence-a positive force-the chiropractor corrects the cause of interference and the innate intelligence corrects the disease…subluxation works…a discipline. The cause of all disease lies in the back bone. Chiropractic has contributed a great gift to humanity. (B.J. Palmer (1955) Lyceum).

Today we are lucky to have Dr. B.J. Palmer’s personal testaments and recordings on the discovery of chiropractic thanks to his purchasing of a radio station during later years by the name of WOC. He had employed a then young unknown Ronald Regan. Regan got his early start in broadcasting while working at WOC and soon moved on to other jobs in California with many years later becoming one of our US Presidents. This was a fascinating time in American history. These where incredible times of innovation and country growth. The Palmer family were also one of the very first families in Iowa to go and get a Ford automobile. In one of his speeches he mentions that during this new form of transportation people in general had many doubts and some even fear but soon after accepted it. His new techniques and discoveries about the spine and human health had similar receptions.
B. J. Palmer, D.C., at his Chiropractic research Clinic

B. J. Palmer, D.C., at his Chiropractic research Clinic


Chiropractic Today Chiropractic today brings relief to many from acute and chronic back pain. Doctors of chiropractic continue to work with other primary care physicans and part of complementary medicine programs covered by some medical insurance. New studies and continued research support Chiropractic care and  the number one treatment for relieving lower back pain.
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