Chiropractic was founded in 1895, but history depicts that the investigation into the relationship between the spine and the processes of self-sustaining biological life began much earlier.
History shows ancient Egyptian and Indian hieroglyphics focused on influencing spinal alignment to produce health outcomes through crude adjustments and even back walking.
Even the father of medicine, Hippocrates, focused on spinal alignment and techniques that influenced healing through the spine. Hippocrates has been quoted for saying, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.”
Hippocrates had a foundation of information about human anatomy and was vocal about the principle of healing being an inside-out process within the body.
The understanding of forces of healing being a part of physiology was based on superstition and magic thousands of years ago, but during Hippocrates’ time, it moved the study of anatomy into two distinct studies: vitalism and mechanism.
Webster Dictionary defines vitalism as:
- A doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from physiochemical forces.
- A doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining.
Webster Dictionary defines mechanism as:
- The doctrine that natural processes are mechanically determined and capable of explanation by the laws or physics and chemistry.
In the mid 1500’s, science and health care chose to go away from vitalism and move into mechanism and the study of physics and chemistry being the principles of processes for health and healing. The more science studied human physiology, the less vitalistic principles were utilized.
Until the early 1800’s, the healing arts were separated between the vitalistic viewpoints and mechanistic perspectives. Franz Anton Mesmer, a German doctor who studied “animal magnetism, also known as mesmerism. His studies began with magnetic forces being transmitted through hands in the process of looking for interference in the vitalistic components of health and well-being.
The development of the philosophy and science of chiropractic adjustments were brought on by D.D. Palmer in Davenport Iowa. D.D. Palmer studied the techniques of magnetic healing, which is founded on the philosophy of the body’s natural magnetic properties for healing.
Harvey Lillard was a man who worked in the same building as D.D. Palmer. Harvey could not hear out of one ear, and the story of how he became deaf lead D.D. Palmer to perform the first chiropractic adjustment.
D.D. Palmer explains, “I made an inquiry as to the cause of his deafness and was informed that when he was exerting himself in a cramped, stooping position, he felt something give way in his back and immediately became deaf. An examination showed a vertebra racked from its normal position. I reasoned that if that vertebra was replaced, the man’s hearing should be restored. With this object in view, a half hour’s talk persuaded Mr. Lillard to allow me to replace it. I racked it into position by using the spinous process as a lever, and soon the man could hear as before. There was nothing accidental about this as it was accomplished with an object in view, and the result expected was obtained. There was nothing crude about this adjustment; it was specific, so much that no other Chiropractor has equaled it.”
As D.D. Palmer founded the first chiropractic adjustment, it was his son B.J. Palmer who is credited for developing the philosophy, science and art of chiropractic.
The development of the chiropractic adjustment by B.J. Palmer was tailored around the philosophy and art of locating, analyzing and facilitating the adjustment of vertebral subluxation in the spinal column due to the interference in the mental impulses through the neurological system.
Fast forward to today’s practice of Chiropractic. The philosophy, science and art has a modern approach that views Chiropractic as a health care discipline. It recognizes the innate recuperative power of the body to heal itself through identifying and caring for vertebral subluxations due to the relationship between structure and function as coordinated by the neurological system and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of well-being. The preservation and restoration of well-being can be beneficial for all ages and all stages.
Chiropractic is a proactive approach to enhance your inner potential.