History of Chiropractic

The use of chiropractic medicine can be traced back to Hippocrates, who first described spinal manipulation in ancient Greece. This mode of treatment takes a different approach from conventional medicine, taking advantage of the body's alleged natural self-healing abilities. The modern history of chiropractic care began in 1895, when Daniel David Palmer founded the profession in Davenport, Iowa.

An Introduction to the History of Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic treatment is a form of spinal manipulation, one of the oldest healing practices in history. Hippocrates described spinal manipulation in ancient Greece.
In 1895, Daniel David Palmer founded the modern profession of chiropractic treatment in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer was a self-taught healer and a student of healing philosophies of the day. He believed that:
  • The body has a natural healing ability that is controlled by the nervous system
  • Subluxations, or misalignments of the spine (a concept that had already existed in the bonesetter and osteopathic traditions), interrupt or interfere with this "nerve flow"
  • If an organ does not receive its normal supply of impulses from the nerves, it can become diseased.
This line of thinking led Palmer to develop a procedure to "adjust" the vertebrae, the bones of the spinal column, with the goal of correcting subluxations.
While some chiropractors continue to view subluxation as central to chiropractic healthcare, others no longer view the subluxation theory as a unifying theme in health and illness or as a basis for their practice.

What Is Chiropractic?

The word "chiropractic" combines the Greek words "cheir" (hand) and "praxis" (action) and means "done by hand." Chiropractic is an alternative medical therapy that takes a different approach from conventional medicine.
The basic concepts of chiropractic care can be described as follows:
  • The body has a powerful self-healing ability
  • The body's structure (primarily that of the spine) and its function are closely related, and this relationship affects health
  • Chiropractic therapy is given with the goals of normalizing this relationship between structure and function and assisting the body as it heals.
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