Founder’s Day: Chiropractic Turns 122 Today
Harvey Lillard (L) D.D. Palmer (R)
The Story of Chiropractic
D.D. Palmer, the Father of Chiropractic, was a magnetic healer,
with a huge practice in Davenport, Iowa. He had doubts about the
“germ theory” as the complete explanation for the cause of all disease.
After all, if germs kill… shouldn’t we all be dead? He asked himself:
“how it was that 2 brothers could work in the same shop, eat the same food, sleep in the same bed, and that one would succumb to a disease while the other one would not”?
His theory evolved that it was not just the “seed” (or germ) which was the sole cause of dis-ease. He felt that the “soil”, or the recuperative power of the body (which he later referred to as “innate intelligence”, and we now call homeostasis) was the missing component of the equation, which defines the continuum between health and “dis-ease”.
One day D.D. was talking with Harvey Lillard, the man who owned the janitor service in his building. Harvey was deaf. He mentioned to D.D. that years before, while lifting a heavy weight, he felt something “snap” at the base of his neck. Shortly thereafter his hearing started to fade.
D.D. was intrigued, and asked Harvey if he could have permission examine his back. What D.D. “felt” (we refer to this art as “palpation”) was that one of the upper thoracic bones was sticking out much more than the one above or below it. He explained to Harvey that he felt that this “bone out of place”
could be causing pressure on his spinal cord, and that this could be the
reason that Harvey was now deaf.