The History of Chiropractic
On September 18, 1895, D.D. Palmer was working late in his office when a janitor, Harvey Lillard began working nearby. A noisy fire engine passed by outside the window and Palmer was surprised to see that Lillard didn’t react at all. Patiently Palmer managed to communicate with the man, and learned that he had normal hearing most of his life. However, he had been over in a stooped position and felt something ‘pop’ in his back. When he stood up he realised he couldn’t hear.
He approached the man and tried to strike up a conversation. He soon realised Lillard was deaf.
He ran his hand carefully down Lillard’s spine and felt one of the vertebrae was not in its normal position.
“I reasoned that if that vertebrae was replaced, the man’s hearing should be restored”, he wrote in his notes afterwards.
“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”.
Over the succeeding months, other patients came to Palmer with every conceivable problem, including flu, sciatica, migraine headaches, stomach complaints, epilepsy and heart trouble.
D.D. Palmer found each of these conditions responded well to the adjustments which he called ‘hand treatments’.
Later he coined the term chiropractic – from the Greek words, ‘cheiros’ meaning hand, and ‘praktikus’ meaning action.