The First Modern-Day Chiropractic Adjustment

Working late in his office on the September 18, 1895, D.D. Palmer noticed that the janitor , a man named Harvey Lillard, failed to react to a some startling noise nearby.  After attempting to strike up a conversation with the man, Palmer realized that Lillard was deaf.   Communication revealed that Lillard had normal hearing for most of his life, but after bending over in a cramped, stooped position, he had felt something ‘pop’ in his back. After standing up, Lillard realized he was deaf.

Palmer deduced that the two events – the popping in his back and the deafness – were connected. Running his hand carefully down Lillard’s spine, he felt that one of the vertebra was not in its normal position.

“I reasoned that if that vertebra was replaced, the man’s hearing should be restored,” Palmer recorded later.  After some persuasion, Palmer laid the deaf man on the table and repositioned the misplaced spinal bone in alignment with the others.  Immediately after the adjustment, Lillard arose from the table stating he could hear the horses trotting on the cobblestone street below. This opened the door to the scientific discovery of how the spine affects the health and function of the body. 

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.”  D.D Palmer 1910 

The Science, Art and Philosophy of Chiropractic: The Chiropractor’s Adjuster

Chiropractic Develops

Over the following 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 that each of these conditions responded well to specific spinal adjustments.   Later he developed the term chiropractic from the greek ‘Chiro’ (hands) and ‘practice’ (practice).

Although Palmer never prescribed drugs for patients under his care, fevers broke, vision improved, infections healed, stomach disorders disappeared, pain ended, and hearing returned. Often the success of his adjustments surprised D.D., so he returned to his studies of anatomy and physiology to learn more about the vital connection between the spine and health. Word began to spread about D.D. Palmer and chiropractic.  In 1898 he changed the name of his clinic to Palmer School & Infirmary of Chiropractic and accepted his first students.


Chiropractic History

Dr. D.D. Palmer

The Founder of Chiropractic

Dr. B.J. Palmer

The Developer of Chiropractic

    n today's society we think of “health care” as a way to mask our symptoms with intervening surgeries or drugs.  Yet, since we have  adopted  this philosophy on “sick care” we as a nation have become sicker and more riddled by disease and infection. 


The approach of using spinal care for the prevention of disease and for the relief of pain has dated back thousands of years. Chiropractic is by no means a new phenomenon. In fact Hippocrates the founder of medicine, had practiced the physiology and philosophy based on the chiropractic principles we currently use today. 


Look well to the spine

for the cause of disease.


Father of Medicine.

Both Drs. Brian and Denise are graduates of Palmer College of Chiropractic, the Fountainhead of Chiropractic.   

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