When we think of Chiropractic care we naturally think of its recent history, and assume it is a more recent form of health treatment. However, chiropractic care has been around for hundreds of years. In fact, The American Chiropractic Association notes that chiropractic care has been traced back to the ancient Chinese and Greeks. Writings from the early scholar Hippocrates even make mention of chiropractic care, and it’s importance in maintaining good health.
Similarly, an ancient Greek healer by the name of Herodotus became famous during his lifetime for healing his disease-ridden patients using adjustments to the spinal cord. He also implemented exercises to assist in this goal. This is clearly a beginning to the concept that spinal adjustments work to clear the body, repair neural communication, and remove blockages in energy communication between the various nerve centers of the body.
Closer to home, in the United States, chiropractic care began gaining popularity around the end of the nineteenth century, and as the twentieth century hit, doctors of chiropractic became legally recognized in each of the fifty states of the U.S. In 1895 Chiropractics became a legitimate form of health care. Prior to this date, chiropractic care was only considered a form of alternative therapy that had no medical validity. These days we know that chiropractics are indeed helpful in everything from stress relief to rehabilitation and behavioral training.
One doctor of chiropractic of note is Canadian-born Daniel David Palmer, who is responsible for discovering precise spinal adjustments. Palmer credited his forefathers of chiropractics with working with the spine, but his claim to fame was in repairing displaced vertebrae through spinal adjustments. Although Daniel David Palmer made great strides for chiropractic care, the medical community was still cynical of chiropractics and its benefits. They were so critical that Palmer was jailed and fined for practicing medicine without a license. Sadly, Palmer wasn’t the only one to be treated this way. Around the time of Palmer’s work, thousands of individuals interested in, and practicing, chiropractics were arrested and thrown in jail for the same reason. This would be the beginning of the long battle to have chiropractics accepted. This charge was initially led by Palmer’s son B.J who teamed up with a legal team and the Universal Chiropractors’ Association. At this point, the terminology used in chiropractics changed and terms like “analyzed,” and “adjusted” were adopted, instead of using medical terminology like “treat.”
Research conducted throughout the world, and throughout time, has made chiropractic care the wide field it is today. Every year new techniques have come into play to make chiropractic care more safe and effective for those undergoing adjustments. Yet through all of this, chiropractors remain true to their no medication, non-invasive way of healing.
Despite it’s long and tumultuous history, chiropractic care has undergone few changes in terms of the basic facets it operates around. While the exact measures used during adjustments has evolved and been perfected, the concept of healing by using one’s own body has stayed the same.
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