“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time is come.” -Victor Hugo
This blog would not be complete without telling the story of the discovery of chiropractic, a term coined by Methodist Minister Samuel H. Weed in 1896, meaning “done by hand” in Greek.
Daniel David Palmer, otherwise known as D.D. Palmer, was a magnetic healer in the late 1800′s. He operated his magnetic healing business on the top floor of the Ryan Building in Davenport, IA.
According to Joseph Maynard, in his book Healing Hands, one day, the janitor, an African-American man by the name of Harvey Lillard, walked into the office to clean up. D.D. asked him to come closer, knowing that Lillard was deaf, and asked him about the cause of his deafness.
“Well, Doc,” Harvey Lillard began, “I guess it was about 17 years ago that I stooped over trying to do something or other when I heard a snap in my neck. Then I noticed I got a bump, see it? Haven’t been able to hear a darn thing since. I’ve been to all sorts of doctors, but what do they know? They even tried to tell me I had the bump since I was born.”
D.D. asked Lillard if he could examine the bump. His thought process was that if the bump caused his deafness, then removal of the bump should restore his hearing. He asked Lillard if he could work on him. Lillard agreed and D.D. proceeded to thrust on the bump for three consecutive days.
On the third day, Lillard jumped up and shouted “Doc! Doc! I hear!” In fact, he heard the rumble of the horse-drawn trolley cars riding over the cobblestones four stories below.
D.D. Palmer always claimed that he adjusted Lillard’s 4th dorsal (thoracic) vertebra.
B.J. Palmer, D.D.’s son, claimed that he was there at the time of the first chiropractic adjustment and that D.D. adjusted Lillard’s axis (C2).
Which account is true? I guess it depends on if you believe D.D. or B.J.
Anything is possible with Innate Intelligence controlling the body. Maybe three T4 adjustments really did unlock the Innate Intelligence’s ability to restore Lillard’s hearing.
D.D. Palmer made it very apparent to his son B.J. that he wanted to keep this new science to himself and make a fortune off of it.
B.J. had to convince D.D. that between the two of them, they would never help as many people as they would if they taught it to others.
Knowing that, and knowing that B.J. claimed his father adjusted Lillard’s axis, I can easilty understand how D.D. would tell people he adjusted T4. He wanted it to be kept secret. He wanted to keep the knowledge to himself, and maybe B.J. Sharing it with others diminished any hope he had of making a fortune. Considering axis is a part of the Upper Cervical anatomy, I can understand this logic.
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter what account is true. All I know is that I am grateful for D.D. Palmer’s discovery and what that has meant in my life and my family’s life.
“It has been one of the rules of my life, that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. In Chiropractic this is especially so; particularly when laying the foundation for a coming science which is destined to be the grandest and greatest of this or any age.” -D.D. Palmer