D.D. Palmer in 1895 was a "Magnetic Healer", practising in Davenport Iowa, USA. I guess
that meant that he either put magnets on people for curative purposes or that he used the
magnetic qualities of the hands to induce a similar effect. Either way, we could say of him
by today's standards that he was involved in a form of "natural" therapy.

D.D. Palmer had his consulting rooms in downtown Davenport. On September 18th 1895,
D.D. and some of the other tenants of the building were talking in the corridor, when  
janitor, Harvey Lillard walked past. According to Lillard's grand daughter, one of the group
called out to Lillard to join the group for a social chat, but being deaf, he just kept on

One of the group ran after Lillard and brought him back to the group, where he was asked
how he had became deaf.

He related that 17 years prior, he was in a confined space where he was bent over and
twisted while trying to lift a heavy object. He said that his spine went snap, and a very
short time later he lost most of his hearing.

D.D.Palmer thought about this for a few days and the found Harvey Lillard and put it to
him that if his spine went snap and he lost his hearing, then maybe if the spine was
snapped back into place that he may get his hearing back.

Lillard figured he had little to lose and everything to gain, and with that in mind, he allowed
Palmer to, as Palmers notes put it wracked the spinal segment back into place.

Lillard got off the bench walked over to the window and opened it. He found he could hear
normally again. This was to be the very first Chiropractic adjustment.

A short time later, a religious pastor, came to Palmer saying that he had been diagnosed
with heart disease. He had been to the medical people and was still unwell in spite of their
best efforts.

Palmer had time to ponder the changes he brought about in Lillard, and he thought that
the only way that Lillard had got his hearing back was that the manipulation had taken
pressure off the nerve to allow the nerve to function normally. Using the same logic, he
reasoned that he would check the parts of the spine from where the nerves come out of
the spine and go to the heart, to see if there was any impingement on those joints. Palmer
palpated (felt) the spine in those areas and found a stuck place and manipulated it back
into position.

Within a month the Reverend Weed was so happy with the results, that he made up a
name for this new treatment. He called it "Chiropractic", from the greek words,
meaning hand and
prakticos to do or perform. Chiropractic for many, many years was in
fact only "performed by hand".

D.D Palmer started teaching his new healing method of Chiropractic in 1896 eventually
calling his school
"The Palmer School of Chiropractic", later called the "Palmer College of
, from where I graduated, It is still now graduating more chiropractors now on
3 campuses than any other single organisation world wide.

So at the heart of the chiropractic is manipulati

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on of the spine. This even in 1895 was not
a new or novel thing. Manipulation for stuck and painful joints has gone on for at least
2500 years. There are statues depicting manipulation dating from Egyptian, Greek and
Roman times as well as in ancient Asia.

D.D. Palmer
of Chiropractic Principles
Harvey Lillard
Chiropractic's first patient
Rev. Samuel Weed
named Chiropractic
B.J. Palmer
The Developer of the
Chiropractic profession
It is interesting to note that a study to determine the effect on hearing of a single
adjustment to the spine of persons with hearing loss was done with exciting results.
    "In the patient group with hearing impairment, the total number of tones heard on initial exam
    was fewer in the right ear (55 tones) than the left (83 tones). The normal patient group heard
    approximately 120 tones in each ear on the initial visit. After a single chiropractic
    intervention, the total tones heard increased to 104 on the right and 111 on the left (an
    increase of 49 and 28 respectively)" (1)
So It was not just  D.D. Palmer's magic hands this was and is now a repeatable process in those who
have this type of hearing impairment.

So what is the difference? What makes the Chiropractic discovery so special?

The difference is the discovery that organ function can be:
    A    Detrimentally influenced by spinal malfunction
    B    That malfunctions of the spine can be manipulated back to a better state and
          that the an affected tissue or organ can be brought back to normal function
          by that correction.
    C    That some feasible modes of neurological change brought about by spinal
          adjustments produces an improvement in brain function. see Jennetics

Prior to the discovery of chiropractic, the purpose of joint manipulation seems to have
been limited to alleviation of pain or joint stiffness.

The discovery of joint problems leading to health problems or dis-ease, lead to a much
closer look at what it is that happens to joints as they get into these unwanted states.

This lead to the discovery or the "chiropractic" subluxation.
                                                                        Click to go back to the
Philosophy page.
Subluxations in the chiropractic sense are defined as a misalignment of a joint to a degree
less than a dislocation that also brings about a change in nerve function.

When a subluxation is present, there are also other tissue changes that happen.
Heat. There is usually a change in the heat pattern when comparing left to right. The heat
may be excessive in the case of a fresh injury, or cooler if the sympathetic nerves are
altered such that the blood flow is impeded. As a result there may also be some
as a result of these changes.
Swelling. There is swelling in the tissues in the vicinity,
again in response to changes in both blood and lymphatic drainage or supply. The
muscles in the vicinity will exhibit
Taught and Tender fibers. That is muscle spasm that
results in pain or tenderness.

The correction of subluxations is the work of chiropractors. No other profession has made
such an in depth study of this joint malfunction. As such Chiropractors are the specialists
in their detection, stabilisation and correction.  All other things a chiropractor can help you
with are secondary in importance.

There are many methods used by chiropractors for the correction of subluxations. These
are listed by a Washington State Government evaluation body and can be looked up at

small fraction of the papers written on chiropractic related matters can be seen at


1        Improvement in hearing after chiropractic care: a case series,  Di Duro J
 Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2006, 14:2doi:10.1186/1746-1340-14-2

For more see the  Subluxation page of this site
Health - Naturally
Mornington & Beechworth, Victoria, Australia


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