Chiropractic history

Chiropractic was founded in America in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer and has had a somewhat turbulent history. Here is a brief chiropractic history...

Palmer was an interesting man, working in various trades during his life. It was while working as a magnetic healer that DD Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment (manipulation).

Harvey Lillard was the janitor of the building in which Palmer worked, and one day he mentioned to Palmer that he had been deaf since an injury to his upper back some years before. Palmer supposed that the deafness could have been caused by the spinal trauma, so he examined the man's back. On finding a bone "out of place" he decided to push the bone back into place in the hope that the deafness could be cured. Sure enough, as history records it, the man's hearing was restored following the adjustment. Of course, whether this actually happened or not is now lost in time.

This led Palmer to investigate the effect of the spine on general health. He came to the conclusion that if the spine was not in proper alignment then the nerves around the spine may become impinged, which could lead to health problems. He set about testing his theories apparently with great success. A few years later, he set up Palmer College of Chiropractic, which still exists today.  After many years of legal wrangling with the established medical profession,

by the 1960's chiropractic had received legal recognition in all states. Thankfully, chiropractic has now moved on somewhat from the early days of "chiropractic cures all."  Most chiropractors now reject the idea of chiropactic curing disease, and focus on the musculoskeletal conditions that we know we can help!

Chiropractic came to the UK in the early part of the 20th Century. The British Chiropractic Association was set up in 1925 and is still the largest association in the UK. However, the road to legal recognition here was a slow one, with a Government-recognized regulatory body, the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) only being established in 1994. It was not until June 2001 that the professional title "chiropractor" became protected by law. Before that time, anyone could claim to be one. The protection of the title means that all chiropractors in the UK must have followed courses approved by the GCC and are therefore properly qualified. There is a rumour of a "chiropractor" who used to sit his patients in a deck chair and swing a sandbag on a rope at the person's back, with the aim of "manipulating" the bones! It would be interesting to know what became of him!

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