In most cultures there exists much written evidence lending credence to the existence of some form of spinal manipulation. The earliest literature of the practice of chiropractic can be traced as far back as ancient China. In 500 BC, Hippocrates wrote extensive literature regarding body massage and its effect on improving health. In the late 1800s Daniel David Palmer, who studied physiology, anatomy and practiced magnetic healing, has been credited with founding the modern practice of chiropractic.
Palmer opened a medical practice in Davenport, Iowa. Serendipitously, Palmers interest in learning about the bodys own healing powers led him to meet a janitor, Harvey Lillard, who had lost his hearing after hurting himself on the job. He had suffered with his affliction for close to two decades when he met Dr. Palmer. Upon evaluation of this mans spine, Palmer came to discover a lump that he believed to be a misarranged vertebra. With a deft and precise movement of the vertebra, Palmer succeeded in realigning the mans spine and restoring the mans hearing. Although it became clear that chiropractic was not a cure for deafness, Dr. Palmer began to understand that adjusting helped to restore the normal functioning of the nervous system which allowed the innate healing intelligence of the body to take over. A patient of Dr. Palmer is credited with naming this spinal therapy. The word chiro is a Greek root word meaning hand and prakto which means done by. So the word chiropractic means done by hand.
The resulting proliferation and popularity of chiropractic is attributed to the tireless efforts of Dr. Palmers son, Bartlett Joshua Palmer. He established the most successful chiropractic college in the nation, the Palmer School, and also built the foundation of chiropractics present reputation. His work in creating a solid presence in the medical and social community helped dispel notions that chiropractic was simply quackery. Many chiorpractors, including the founder of chiropractic, were arrested for practicing medicine without a license. Chiropractic is now licensed in every state and more than thirty countries around the world.
In 1992 the American Medical Association was ordered by a court to accept chiropractic and recognize it as a reputable treatment for patients with a wide variety of conditions. Today, chiropractors and medical doctors cross-refer and enjoy greater collaboration than at any time in history.