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Chiropractic History

Celebrating Chiropractic Care- “Mainstream Alternative Medicine” and it’s Strange History

October is a special month here at BC + PT. Besides the obvious start of fall and the spooky season of Halloween, it’s important because October is National Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Health Month! That there is a whole month dedicated to two out of the three services that we provide here at Buffalo Chiropractic, Acupuncture & Physical Therapy is super special.

Chiropractic has had a very interesting history that started way back in 1895. The first chiropractic adjustment is attributed to D.D. Palmer, when he adjusted a partially deaf janitor by the name of Harvey Lillard. After the adjustment, Lillard could hear again! Ironically they thought that they had found the cure for deafness at first; they realized pretty quickly that this wasn’t the case, but Dr. Palmer and others started to study adjustments because of the other improvements that it helped patients with. Two years later, D.D. Palmer opened the Palmer School of Chiropractic (where Dr. Larry went to school!).

Of course the idea of chiropractic was written about much earlier, back in 2700 BC. Hippocrates is even quoted: “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.” The word chiropractic comes from the Greek “cheir” and “praktos”, meaning hand - done.

The Most Mainstream Alternative Medicine

Chiropractic is strangely enough still considered alternative medicine, but it is the most common of the alternative medicines. In fact, as early as 1998, it has been reported that 1 in 3 people visit a chiropractor. Though D.D. Palmer’s first chiropractic adjustment was successful, some of his earlier theories about healing the body required further evaluation. Especially because it is believed that chiropractic care started off as the combination of ancient bone setting and magnetic healing.

Bone setting was very common for treating joints that popped out of place in the early 19th century. Magnetic healing was an obscure healing method developed by Austrian physician Anton Mesmer back in the 1770’s. The theory was that your body is full of energy, illness is the blockage of this energy, and that it can be un-blocked using magnets, because the energy has a magnetic field. D.D. Palmer himself believed that this energy flow was in the nerves, especially in the nerves of the spine, and he believed that it could be unblocked using physical manipulation, or bone setting. By combining these two ideas, chiropractic was born, and has since evolved into what we practice today (without the magnets of course!).

Obstacles in The Early Days

As you can imagine, chiropractic was not widely agreed upon in the beginning because of its unique origins, and it wasn't considered a legitimate medical practice those first two decades. In fact, the first recognition for chiropractic as a legitimate treatment came after years of research and study by the state of Kansas in 1913. It was officially voted in California as a licensed profession in 1922, and this was finally when the study of modern chiropractic became fully recognized.

Chiropractic has the distinct title of being the “Most Mainstream Alternative Medicine”. The history of chiropractic has had its ups and downs, but it’s been proven by years of study to be beneficial for many ailments, and still is a very popular treatment method for millions of people today. The chiropractors here at BC + PT are all licensed, well trained professionals with a doctorate in chiropractic studies that help them help YOU in your healing journey. With over 86 years of combined experience, we’re proud to offer “the best treatment in town.” Give us a call today to schedule your first appointment, and experience the relief yourself!


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