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History of Chiropractic 

The art of joint manipulation has been practiced for thousands of years. Hippocrates, The Father of Medicine (460-370 BC), describes manipulative procedures in his monumental work known as the Corpus Hippocrateum. 

Other historical records indicate that the beneficial effects of spinal corrections have been recognized and utilized by health care providers in many societies even before the time of Socrates who advised, 'If you would seek health, look first to the spine.'

Galen (130-202 AD) earned the title 'Prince of Physicians' when he relieved the paralysis of the right hand of Eudemas (a prominent Roman scholar) by careful manipulation of his neck. 

During the Middle Ages, the art of manipulation was practiced by bonesetters. This art was passed from generation to generation and was practiced in most communities in Europe, North Africa, and Asia by practitioners who learned their skills by apprenticeship. 

This photo, depicting neck manipulation, was copied from China as early as, 940 AD. 

 

Daniel David Palmer, D.C.

The Father of Chiropractic

The birth of Chiropractic, as a distinct healing profession, occurred in 1895. The founder of Chiropractic was Daniel David Palmer (1844-1913), a Canadian born in Port Perry, Ontario. While practicing as a magnetic healer in Davenport, Iowa, he delivered the first known chiropractic adjustment to a misaligned vertebrae in the neck of Harvey Lillard, and restored his lost hearing. D.D. Palmer did not claim to be the first to restore a malpositioned vertebrae, but the first to use the specific, short lever technique that he called Chiropractic (derived from the Greek words meaning 'done by hand') to 'rack' the vertebrae back into normal position.  


D.D. Palmer founded the first college of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa during that same year of 1895. He believed that "if every bone, every nerve, and all the blood vessels were just right, there would be nothing wrong" with the body. He also said that "disease is the effect or result of some part of the body being disarranged (the vertebrae)". Thus we find the inception of the philosophical principles of Chiropractic that spinal health is vital for overall wellness.

Click here for more information on the history of Chiropractic and the Palmer family.