History of Chiropractic

History of Chiropractic

Chiropractic was founded and developed by a magnetic healer called Daniel David Palmer in the United States. In 1895, DD Palmer performed his first chiropractic adjustment to help his patient, Harvey Lillard, to relieve his deafness that lasted for 17 years. DD Palmer believed that the deafness of Lillard was due to blockage of spinal nerves, which controlled the inner ear, and such blockage was caused by misaligned vertebrae. By performing manipulation on the upper back of Lillard, misaligned vertebrae were corrected back to the place and the nerve pathways were reopened, and consequently Lillard's hearing was restored. The word ‘chiropractic' was created by Reverend Samuel H. Weed, a close friend of DD Palmer, who combined the Greek words ‘cheir' meaning (hand) and ‘praxis' meaning (practice) to come up with the word ‘chiropractic' meaning ‘done by hand'.

DD Palmer continued to develop chiropractic after his first manipulation and he established the first chiropractic school in 1897. This school was renamed subsequently as the Palmer School of Chiropractic, which is still operative today. This new healing science attracted much attention and became wide spread in the United States. Apart from him, his family also contributed life time effort to develop and promote chiropractic. DD Palmer's son, Dr. Bartlett Joshua Palmer, who was also his student, made extensive research and created high standards of chiropractic education at DD Palmer's school. While this new health care science attracted many interests, it also caused controversy of whether chiropractors should be licensed. Dr. BJ Palmer encountered massive barriers to get the chiropractic profession licensed. Eventually, his effort was paid off. Chiropractic was accepted and licensed under the law in the United States in 1913.

Development of chiropractic around the globe has grown rapidly since then. In 2015, there were over 60,0001 active licensed chiropractors in the United States. Besides the strong presence in the United States, the profession has increasing presence and influence in Europe, North & South America, Asia, and South Africa.

Compared to the number of chiropractors in the United States, the size of the profession is small in Hong Kong, with only just over 200 practitioners. There is a significant room to grow and develop. We are confident that the Hong Kong Chiropractic College Foundation can contribute significantly to the development of the profession in Hong Kong.

History of Chiropractic