Over one hundred years ago in 1895, in a small town in Iowa called Davenport, a tremendous discovery was made. It was at this time that a man by the name of Daniel David Palmer discovered the science, art, and philosophy of chiropractic. D. D. Palmer had a patient come into his office who had been deaf for the past eighteen years. The many’s name was Harvey Lillard. Mr. Lillard reported that, eighteen years ago, he injured his neck at his custodial job while lifting a heavy object. Mr. Lillard heard a “pop” in his neck and felt what he thought to be a lump. He gradually lost his hearing, and had been deaf ever since.
D. D. Palmer examined the man and felt what he thought to be a misaligned bone in his spine. He decided that the popping sound must have been the spinal bone moving into the wrong position. D. D. later used the term “subluxation” for misaligned vertebra. D. D. decided that if the man could hear prior to becoming subluxated, then Mr. Lillard should be able to hear again if the subluxation was corrected. D. D. Palmer then proceeded to give Harvey Lillard the first chiropractic adjustment. After three such adjustments, Mr. Lillard’s hearing was completely restored.
As you can see, the first chiropractic patient did not have neck pain or back pain. The discovery of chiropractic was based on the princile that the nervous system controls all the functions of the human body. When the nervous system malfunctions, the body malfunctions. In the case of Harvey Lillard, nerve interference to the ears was the cause of his deafness. When that interference was corrected, his hearing was restored.
What D. D. Palmer discovered was a non-duplicating, unique form of health care. Chiropractic is not the same as medicine, nor does it try to duplicate it. The medical approach to Harvey Lillard’s condition might have been drugs or physical therapy to treat the symptoms of the injured neck. Maybe even surgery. My point is that Mr. Lillard could have been given all the drugs and therapy in the world, but if his nerve interference was not corrected, he would still have been deaf. Thus chiropractic’s uniqueness. Chiropractors are the only health care professionals whose purpose is to correct vertebral subluxations, thus allowing the nervous system to function properly, and the body to be healthy.
During the next thirty or forty years following D. D. Palmer’s first adjustment, chiropractors helped thousands of sick and dying patients by improving the function of the nervous system. In the beginning, chiropractors were not known for taking care of neck pain or back pain. Chiropractors were known for taking care of sick people who had tried every form of treatment available at the time, but had little hope left. Many of these patients achieved incredible results and went on to live long, productive lives.
I hope you now have a better understanding of chiropractic’s beginnings. Another famous chiropractor, B. J. Palmer, D. D. Palmer’s son, said, “If they knew what we knew they would do what we do.” Please use chiropractic for the right reasons; it will help you to be your best.