On this day in 1895 chiropractic was born when Dr. Daniel David Palmer gave the first chiropractic adjustment to William Harvey Lillard in Davenport, Iowa. Lillard was an elevator operator and janitor in the Ryan building where Dr. Palmer was studying the underlying cause of sickness and disease. It was Palmer’s belief that sickness and disease were caused by the misalignment of bones and in particular the spinal column. Lillard told Dr. Palmer that he had become deaf 17 years earlier after hearing a pop in his back while stooping over. Dr. Palmer examined Lillard and discovered a lump between his shoulders. Lillard gave Dr. Palmer permission to adjust his spinal column. After two of these treatments Lillard claimed that his hearing was completely restored. Two years later Dr. Palmer founded the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport. According to the school's website “Chiropractic is a natural form of health care that uses spinal adjustments to correct these misalignments and restore proper function to the nervous system, helping your body to heal naturally. Chiropractic doesn't use drugs or surgery. Rather, a chiropractic spinal adjustment—the application of a precise force to a specific part of the spinal segment—corrects the misalignment, permitting normal nerve transmission and assisting your body to recuperate on its own.”
Michael E. Palmer is a writer and photographer based in Alabama.
He can be reached at email@example.com