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Happy 108th Birthday to Chiropractic

On September 18, 1895 the very first chiropractic adjustment was given by Dr. DD Palmer, a magnetic healer at the time, to Harvey Lillard. Mr. Lillard, a janitor in the Ryan building on the corner of Brady and 2nd Street in Davenport Iowa, was almost completely deaf for 17 years. After the historic first adjustment, Harvey's hearing returned. This revelation, led Dr. Palmer to theorize that nerve interference from a spinal bone out of place was the reason for Harvey's loss of hearing. He further postulated that returning the bone to a more normal position should help correct the problem. It was from this simple beginning that the chiropractic profession came to be. On this anniversary, it could be interesting to read the words of Dr. DD Palmer, the founder of chiropractic. We have presented them below.

"Harvey Lillard a janitor in the Ryan Block, where I had my office, was so deaf for 17 years that he couldn't hear the racket of a wagon on the street or the ticking of a watch. I made an inquiry regarding the reason behind his deafness and was informed that when he was exerting himself in a cramped, stooping position, he felt something pop in his back and immediately became deaf. An examination showed a vertebrae racked from the normal position. I reasoned that when that vertebra was replaced, the man's hearing would 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 using the spinous process as a lever and soon the man could hear as before. Clearly 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 so that no Chiropractor has equaled it." Within two years Dr. DD Palmer opened the first school of Chiropractic on Brady Street in Davenport. It was his son Dr. BJ Palmer, who continued the school after his death. It is the son, BJ Palmer, who is given credit for growing and developing the profession into what it has become today.

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