The Emergence of Chiropractic
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The Emergence of Chiropractic

The Emergence of Chiropractic


Chiropractic, a health discipline with a 125 years history is based on solid anatomical knowledge and documented scientific data. How did the chiropractic adjustment become part of an important health and wellness routine? Let’s go back to the 19th century to find out!

The end of the 19th century marked a troubled period for the care of the sick. Blood-letting, suction cups and purges sometimes administered in a cavalier fashion begin to worry the thinking. The care of the sick was not regulated. The training, usually exclusively transmitted orally, alarmed the academic world.  Finally, around 1870 a written test of knowledge became required for those wishing to practice medicine.

The traditional system of training and practice in health care was strongly challenged, creating an environment conducive to the emergence of new approaches to health.

Daniel David Palmer, Canadian by birth, settled in Iowa in 1866. Curious by nature, he studied anatomy, neurology and physiology by himself. He was very interested in the origins and causes of human diseases. In parallel with his studies, he frequented practitioners in different disciplines, which allowed him to deepen his knowledge of human pathologies. In 1887, DD Palmer began pursuing his career as a “vital healer’ with a flourishing clientele.

In 1895, Harvey Lillard consulted DD Palmer for problems that arose seventeen years previously. Following a work accident, Lillard felt something “loose” behind his back and he lost his hearing in his left ear. Upon examining him and attempting some unsuccessful maneuvers, DD Palmer noticed an area of ​​the skin, along the spine, suffering from discolouration which, if rubbed, becomes excessively red. Perplexed, DD Palmer pondered over his patient’s condition for more than a week and came to the conclusion that the fourth dorsal vertebra was displaced.  After DD Palmer performed the first successful adjustment, Mr Lillard immediately noticed an improvement in the appearance of the area concerned and the patient recovered the hearing in his left ear!

Chiropractic, is named such because it is practiced with the hands and has its origin in the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (to do). To ensure the transmission of this new discipline which he continued to research, DD Palmer opened a school. As a testament to Palmer’s excellent relationships with the medical community at the time, one-third of the first students at the Chiropractic School and Cure, founded in 1898, were medical doctors.

Chiropractic is now taught, practiced and recognized around the world as a health discipline in its own right. It is also an integral part of the health routine of families to maintain a healthy neuromusculoskeletal system.

Adapted from : Canadian Chiropractic Association
Dr André M. Gonthier, B.Sc. (pht.), D.C., F.I.C.C., chiropractor (2005)

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