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The Father of Chiropractic

Daniel David Palmer or DD Palmer (March 7, 1845 – October 20, 1913) was the founder of chiropractic.

In 1870 Palmer was ‘”probably” a student of metaphysics, became a student of science in 1890 while practicing magnetic healing and after “discovering” chiropractic in 1895 attempted to merge science and metaphysics. In 1896, DD Palmer’s first descriptions and underlying philosophy of chiropractic was strikingly similar to Andrew Still’s principles of osteopathy established a decade earlier. Both described the body as a “machine” whose parts could be manipulated to produce a drugless cure. Both professed the use of spinal manipulation on joint dysfunction to improve health; chiropractors dubbed this manipulable lesion “subluxation” which interfered with nervous system whereas osteopaths dubbed the spinal lesion “somatic dysfunction” which affected the circulatory system. Palmer drew further distinctions by noting that he was the first to use short-lever manipulative techniques using the spinous process and transverse processes as mechanical levers to spinal dysfunction/subluxation. Soon after, osteopaths began an American wide campaign proclaimed that chiropractic was a bastardized form of osteopathy and sought licensure to differentiate the two groups. Although Palmer initially denied being trained by osteopathic medicine founder A.T. Still, in 1899 in papers held at the Palmer College of Chiropractic he wrote:

“Some years ago I took and expensive course in Electropathy, Cranial Diagnosis, Hydrotherapy, Facial Diagnosis. Later I took Osteopathy [which] gave me such a measure of confidence as to almost feel it unnecessary to seek other sciences for the mastery of curable disease. Having been assured that the underlying philosophy of chiropractic is the same as that of osteopathy… Chiropractic is osteopathy gone to seed.”

To read more Daniel David Palmer click here.

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