Many chiropractic patients ask, "How did chiropractic get started?" One of the earliest records of a chiropractic adjustment took place over 2000 years ago by a Roman surgeon named Galen, who some consider the father of modern surgery. Galen noticed that many soldiers were complaining of numbness in their hand while caring a sword. He then traced the nerves in the hand to the cervicals (neck). With a quick adjustment, he was able to get the numbness to go away.
Modern day Chiropractic got started in Davenport, Iowa a little over 100 years ago. In 1895, a "magnetic healer" as he was called, by the name of D.D. Palmer operated an office on the corner of Second and Brady Streets in downtown Davenport. Dr. Palmer, noticed that the janitor who worked in his building was partially deaf.
D.D. Palmer. This janitor was an African American gentleman by the name of Harvey Lillard. Upon questioning (probably very loud questioning), Harvey explained to Dr. Palmer that he had lost most of his hearing 17 years earlier when he was bending over and felt a "pop" in his upper back and neck. Dr. Palmer examined the area and noticed a bump, which he determined to be a spinal vertebra out of position. It seemed that Harvey also noticed this bump right after he lost his hearing. Having extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology due to his education and research, Dr. Palmer convinced Harvey to allow him to try to fix it by pushing the bone back into place.
History is uncertain as to whether it was one visit or several, but the result was Harvey got his hearing back! From that point, Dr. Palmer changed his practice over to this new method of placing bones that were out of position and allowing people to heal. His practice grew and the profession of chiropractic was born. Within two years, Dr. Palmer opened the first school of Chiropractic on Brady Street in Davenport. It was his son Dr. B.J. Palmer, who continued the school after the death of Dr. Palmer. It is the son B.J., who is given credit today for growing and developing the profession into what it has become today.
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