The history of chiropractic is interesting. In the ancient world it was recognized by Greek philosophers that the health of someone’s spine had a direct correlation with their well being and quality of life. The term chiropractic actually comes from the two Greek words, cheir (meaning ‘hand’) and praktos (meaning ‘done’). As you may have guessed, the form of spinal healing performed in ancient Greece was ‘done by hand’. These techniques would be passed down from generation to generation, but were still a very long way from becoming the widespread phenomenon that chiropractic care is today.
Daniel David Palmer
Daniel David Palmer was a Canadian living in the US in the late 1800s. He is attributed with performing the first chiropractic adjustment on a patient. He was largely self educated and performed his adjustment by hand, just like the ancient Greeks.
The patient was a janitor who had lost his hearing some years prior. The story went that he was leaning over and felt a deep twinge in his back and heard a loud pop. After the incident his hearing began to deteriorate until he was almost completely deaf. After hearing this, Daniel David Palmer decided to use his vast knowledge of anatomy and magnet therapy to try and help the deaf man. What resulted was a procedure not unlike the ones seen every day in chiropractic offices across the world. David moved his hands up and down the janitor’s back until he found an issue with one of the vertebrae. He then used his hands to manipulate the vertebrae and pop it back into place. Very soon after that the man’s hearing was restored.
Using the same hand treatment techniques and increasing his skills and knowledge with every patient he cured; Daniel decided to open up his very own school in Davenport Iowa. Through the school he began teaching the healing arts to a wider group of people who were eager to learn how they could do the same in their own communities.
Modern Chiropractic Care
Because Daniel David Palmer was not a professionally trained doctor or a practitioner of the traditional medicine of the time, he was viewed by a large portion of the medical community as a fraud. He was even put in jail for awhile as a result of him practicing medicine without a license. Despite these hardships, Daniel David Palmer paved the way for a new chapter in medical history.
In the 21st century we are seeing a much more cooperative community in the medical industry. Medical doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors are working together to provide an optimal path to healing for many patients. Chiropractors can also be seen working with athletes, sports teams, and celebrities to provide a more holistic approach to care that does not involve medications.
As of today, there are over 55,000 chiropractors practicing in the US and countless others practicing in foreign countries. Though chiropractic care has its roots in the US it can be seen all over the world in healthcare facilities and private practices.