South Windsor Neck & Back - July 2018

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COLUMN JULY 2018

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D.D. Palmer and the History of Chiropractic

T hough chiropractic is often seen as a relatively new science, it’s actually a lot older than most people think. While it’s gone through several evolutionary periods and a whole lot of changes as the practice evolved, it all dates way back to 1895, when one D.D. Palmer decided to help the janitor at his building, William Lillard, with a nasty back problem. D.D. Palmer was an interesting man. He moved to Iowa with his family from Canada at age 20 and went on to become a beekeeper, teacher, and later, the owner of a local grocery store. But his passion always lay in searching for the most powerful healing mechanisms of the human body. He became deeply involved

amazing transformation: “I was deaf 17 years, and I expected to always remain so, for I had doctored a great deal without any benefit, … Dr. Palmer treated me on the spine; in two treatments I could hear quite well.” Spurred by this initial experimental treatment, Palmer obtained a charter for the Palmer School of Magnetic Cure, which later became known informally as Palmer’s School for Chiropractic, where he trained students to practice his increasingly wide range of adjustment strategies. Steadily, the school began to grow, and as chiropractic gained clout and reach, more and more practitioners began to help more and more patients all across the country. I’m grateful to Palmer for laying the foundations for the career that allowed me to help so many people.” It’s funny that such a powerful medical science arose from such a strange, casual beginning, but whatever the case, I’m grateful to Palmer for laying the foundations for the career that allowed me to help so many people. Today, more than 27 million Americans seek out the services of chiropractors every year, reaping the immense benefits of a properly aligned spine and body. And we all have the tenacious D.D. Palmer to thank for taking a chance and doing his best to cure an ailing man who had no hope of ever recovering. –Dr. Chris Colby

with spiritualism and magnetic healing and eventually turned this unorthodox technique into a full-time gig, office and all. One day while working in his office, the janitor, William Lillard, came by to empty the trash bin. When Lillard bent over to do his work, Palmer noticed that there was a

strikingly large lump sticking out of his back. He approached the man and asked his story. He was shocked to discover that Lillard was nearly completely deaf and had been ever since he once twisted his body the wrong way and heard a loud pop. Theorizing that the lump must be connected to Lillard’s hearing loss, Palmer instructed Lillard to lie facedown on the floor while he gently adjusted what he believed to be a misaligned vertebra. With a crack, the vertebra fell back into place, and Lillard went on his way. But the next day, he returned to Palmer’s office excited. “I can hear the racket on the streets,” he told Palmer. He could suddenly hear! Later, he expounded on his

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