The History of Chiropractic

Did you know chiropractic dates back thousands of years ago? The use of spinal manipulations can be traced back as far as 400 B.C., when the father of Greek medicine Hippocrates treated spinal conditions with manual treatments. Buddhist temples also show depictions of spinal manipulations. In 16th century Europe, people referred to spine manipulations as “bone-setters.” While the concept of treating health issues with spinal adjustments is not new, chiropractic care did not begin until 1895. Let’s take a look at the rich history of chiropractic.

The Start of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care has its roots in 1895, when the self-taught healer named Daniel David Palmer adjusted a deaf janitor’s spine and restored his hearing. The deaf janitor Harvey Lillard worked in Palmer’s building and apparently lost his hearing years ago when he bent over and felt a “pop” in his upper back. After restoring his hearing, Palmer realized that there was a connection between the spine and the rest of the body’s systems. 

Palmer soon discovered that spinal adjustments could help treat patients’ pain and other health conditions. These spinal misalignments were called subluxations. This historic individual used manual hand treatments to address various health conditions like headaches, migraines, stomach issues, sciatica, epilepsy, heart conditions, and much more. 

By 1898, Palmer opened Palmer School and Infirmary of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. He taught his chiropractic techniques to other people, who also became chiropractors and helped people achieve better health with less pain. Back then, it only took a few months of training before students started practicing on patients. 

In these early days, chiropractors faced great adversities as this type of holistic health care was not embraced by everyone, particularly traditional medical doctors. Until the 1960s, chiropractors could be put in jail and fined for practicing without a license. Palmer was called a quack and was not taken seriously by the medical community. Despite those that questioned his alternative theories and techniques, Palmer was very knowledgeable in a 20th century context. 

Modern Chiropractic Today

Fast forward to today, modern chiropractic care has evolved to include a wide variety of techniques used to treat specific health conditions. Unlike the early approach to learning chiropractic, today’s strict standards for becoming a licensed chiropractor require several years of training, a doctoral degree, clinical internships, and passing state board exams. Chiropractors are licensed in all U.S. states, as well as in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and most European countries. Since those early years, the medical community has accepted chiropractic care as an effective approach to help patients based on its proven results and scientific research. Indeed, this allows chiropractors to work with medical doctors and therapists to ensure that patients receive the best care possible based on their health and wellness needs.

We hope you enjoyed this week’s article and learned something new about the history of chiropractic. It’s pretty cool knowing that the idea of spinal manipulations has been used for thousands of years from Greece to China. If you have a chiropractic office and are looking for a chiropractic digital business partner, contact Brand Chiro based in Wilmington, NC today. We offer everything from chiropractic web design to marketing for chiropractors and much more.