Since the early Egyptians, spinal adjustment has been practiced in every civilization. The modern-day system and theory of chiropractic health was founded in 1895 when Daniel David Palmer, a longtime student of physiology and anatomy, encountered a janitor who had been deaf for seventeen years following an injury to his upper spine. While examining the janitor’s spine, Palmer found a misaligned vertebra corresponding to the spot the man had injured just prior to losing his hearing. By administering a specific thrust and adjustment to the vertebra, Palmer restored the janitor’s hearing.

Fundamental to Palmer’s philosophy of health is the idea that all living beings are endowed with what he termed, “innate intelligence.” Palmer believed this intelligence regulates all vital functions of the body as it flows through the central nervous system. Because of this belief, Palmer felt that the primary task of the chiropractor was not to treat conditions, but to remove nerve interference caused by subluxations. Without obstruction, the innate intelligence could carry out its role of maintaining the body’s health and equilibrium.

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Chiropractic champions the idea of a holistic approach to health and illness, recognizing the body’s inherent ability to heal itself during times of physical injury or mental and environmental stress. In contrast to the growing popularity of medication and surgical intervention, Palmer’s approach appeals to patients who have faith in natural methods of healing. “Chiropractic,” he said, “embraces ‘the science of life,’ the knowledge of how organisms act in health and disease, and also the art of adjusting the neuroskeleton.” Each year, more than 15 million people turn to chiropractic physicians for a natural, drug-free approach for treatment of pain, backache, trauma, injuries, and certain internal disorders of the body.