Chiropractic’s Founder’s Day

September 18th is recognized world wide as the annual Chiropractic Founder’s Day, celebrating the day Daniel David Palmer performed the first Chiropractic Adjustment on Harvey Lillard in 1895 while living in Davenport, Iowa, USA. He was a Canadian immigrant born near Toronto, March 7, 1845. It wasn’t long before Palmer started teaching his new discovery to a handful of students, mostly medical doctors interested in the effectiveness of spinal adjustments on so many health problems. In those days there wasn’t a pill for every symptom or disease as there is today, so it shouldn’t be such a shock to see doctors interested in learning new effective ways to help their patients. Where DD Palmer went next is the radical story worth telling.

In Western Medicine or Allopathic Medicine the focus is on testing, diagnosing and treating, attempting for a cure of the ailment or the symptoms presented by the patient at that time; much in the same way people see their MDs today, seeking relief of ailments. DD Palmer was a self taught student of all things natural like Homeopathy and magnetic healing, alternative methods of that period. He saw healing more as a holistic process where the physical health is greater than merely the sum of all the parts… that there was something more at play in keeping people healthy. This evolved into a Philosophy of things natural that better represented the way a chiropractor of the day saw their methods having a greater impact than just providing relief. Terms like Innate Intelligence, homeostasis, holism and Vitalism became fundamental to the Philosophy of Chiropractic that continues to this day. He had a scholar describe from Greek words and named the profession “Chiropractic: a practice done by hand.”

DD Palmer's Fami;u

Today there are 45 University level institutions teaching chiropractic in the world, where there are just over 100,000 practicing chiropractors in the world today. 80% of the world’s chiropractors are in North America and the remaining in some 120 countries, many times with less than five chiropractors in a nation. So, this anniversary celebrated 125 years after that first spinal adjustment, gives us time to pause and look ahead at where the profession could be in the next 75 years of development. This author feels that the next major growth of the chiropractic profession, the next 100,000 will come from Asia. Unlike Western countries where traditional healing was all but obliterated in the 19th century, Asia thrives with Traditional practices. What is interesting is that, one can imagine that there will be new contributions added to the chiropractic techniques from the merging of some parallel styles of natural healing. DD Palmer was quoted as saying: “I have never felt it beneath my dignity to do anything to relieve human suffering.”

Ol' Dad ChiroMore of DD Palmer’s quotes are worth reading. (

Today, millions of people around the world rely on chiropractic to recover from injuries and chronic illnesses; rely of their chiropractor to keep them fit and healthy to remain on their job to support their families; rely on the effectiveness of chiropractic to maintain peak performance of athletes to stay competitive in their field. An Olympic contender that does not have a personal chiropractor has already lost the competition to the ones that do. Business icons, famous movie stars and most successful people rely on staying ahead of the competition with chiropractic care with healthy bodies and fit minds.

I have had the pleasure of practicing Chiropractic for over 40 years and I wish to offer a lesson here that is worth proclaiming on this 125th Anniversary of the founding of Chiropractic. It is that everybody deserves to have their spines checked by a qualified Doctor of Chiropractic. Since everybody has a spine, that includes you! Make the promise to become familiar with a local chiropractor and bless yourself and your family with this natural ( meaning no drugs and no surgery) form of healthcare.

Chiropractically yours,

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