D.D. Palmer: Forefather of the Modern Vancouver WA Chiropractor

A chiropractor in Vancouver WA like those at Forgey Chiropractic may not have gone through the full academic rigors of chiropractic without having taken up the life and times-and the contributions-of its founder Daniel David Palmer. Had it not been for Palmer, chiropractic wouldn’t be what it is today.

While early evidence of chiropractic started with Hippocrates and Herodotus, it was Palmer who built the foundation of the field. Hippocrates once exhorted physicians to fully “get knowledge of the spine” because it was “the requisite for many diseases.” Palmer knew this as much as anyone of his caliber and went on to plant the seeds of modern chiropractic care.

First patient

backbonePalmer opened an infirmary in Davenport, Iowa in 1887, but it wasn’t until 1895 that he would be able to practice spinal manipulation. His first patient was a janitor, Harvey Lillard. Palmer was working late in his office one night when he was jolted at the sound of a passing fire engine. The janitor with him in the room didn’t react to the noise at all, and Palmer found that odd, for some reason.

Lillard told Palmer that he had lost his hearing after bending over one day and then hearing a distinct pop in his back. Palmer was intrigued with the janitor’s story, deducing that the popping sound and hearing loss had to be somewhat related-like bacon and eggs. Lillard allowed Palmer to treat the lump on his back. Almost immediately, seventeen years of deafness ebbed away.

Some believe that the Lillard story is just a chiropractic myth. But several chiropractors cited a number of case studies where it was plausible for a chiropractor in Vancouver WA to restore a person’s hearing.

Jail and bail

back spasmSince that day, news of Palmer’s novel healing techniques spread like a Californian wildfire. His techniques drew both praise (mostly from his patients) and criticism (mostly from doctors). He was soon accused of practicing medicine without a license.

In two occasions, he was acquitted of the charges, but a third time sentenced Palmer to more than three months in jail. After paying a fine of $350 (around $7,000 in today’s dollars), he only served 23 days. Instead of getting back at those who put him behind bars, he wrote two books that are in present day widely considered the holy books of chiropractic care.

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