Chiropractic History

It is generally recognized that Chiropractic was founded by Daniel David Palmer in Davenport, Iowa in the year 1895. Daniel David Palmer, or Dr. Palmer, as he was known was, what was referred to at the time, as a magnetic healer or a spiritist.

chiropractic_adjustmentIn the course of his practice, Dr. Palmer had occasion to speak with a man by the name of Harvey Lillard. Mr. Lillard reported to Dr. Palmer that he had lost a great deal of his hearing years before when, moving a certain way, he heard a “crack” in his neck and his hearing diminished significantly. He said it was hard for him to actually hear the street cars outside the office building. Dr. Palmer thought of this problem and asked Mr. Lilliard if he could examine his neck. Upon examination, he noticed one vertebra that seemed to be out of alignment with the others and theorized if he could “rack” it back into place Mr. Lillard’s hearing should return. Mr. Lillard agreed and the rest is history. Daniel David Palmer, also known as “DD Palmer” is known today as the “Founder of Chiropractic”.

PalmerCollegeDr. Palmer than established the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa in which he taught others interested in a non-surgical, non-drug oriented healthcare to do the same. Among his first students was his own son, Bartlett Joshua Palmer, known as BJ. BJ, though wildly eccentric in his own right, was fiercely committed to the principles of chiropractic and fostered a sincere commitment to promoting it as a viable option to restore and foster health in contrast to the medical model of healthcare. He is known today as the “Developer of Chiropractic”.

As time progressed, BJ’s son, David Daniel Palmer also followed in his grandfather’s dr_david_daniel_palmerand father’s footsteps and also became a chiropractor after studying at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business. Unlike his father, David Daniel Palmer was more broadly educated and took chiropractic much more into its own as a professional educational program. David Daniel Palmer is known today as the  “Educator of Chiropractic”.

Today’s Chiropractor essentially does the same thing in principal as DD Palmer did back in 1895…oh, there have been many, many refinements to both the style and technique of “racking” the bone back in place but that is what chiropractors do…examine a patient’s spine through various methods and adjust the vertebra back into position, the religious and spiritual aspects fostered so intensely by DD Palmer and BJ Palmer are no longer critical to the practice of the science, art and philosophy of Chiropractic.

campusPalmerThe school founded by DD Palmer in Davenport, Iowa is today known as Palmer College of Chiropractic with campuses in Davenport, IA, Port Orange, FL and San Jose, CA. Dr. Fair is an alumni of the Davenport, Iowa campus, having graduated in December, 1987.

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