History of Chiropractic

If you think that chiropractic is a new science, it is. However, you might be surprised to know that spinal manipulation has been utilized for a very long time. The first pictures depicting spinal manipulation were discovered in prehistoric cave paintings in Point le Merd in southwestern France. The historical cave paintings can be dated as far back as 17,500 BC. The ancient Chinese were using manipulation in 2700 BC, and in 1500 BC, Greek papyruses used leg manipulation for solving low-back problems.

One of the greatest men to recognize the benefits of spinal manipulation was Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine (460-377 BC). Hippocrates wrote over seventy books on healing, and was a proponent of spinal manipulation. He stated "get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many disease."

Herodotus, a contemporary of Hippocrates, gained fame curing diseases by correcting spinal abnormalities through therapeutic exercises.

In Rome, by the second century AD, Claudis Galen taught the proper positions and relations of the vertebrae and the spinal column. Galen was known as the Prince of Physicians. He was given this title after he preformed a neck vertebrae alignment that released the paralyzed hand of a famous Roman scholar.

Through many years, the skills of spinal manipulation were passed down through generations of family healers. Almost every ancient village had a local "bone setter" whom could cure ailments by straightening the spine. In both Eastern and Western cultures, manipulation of soft tissues and/or massage was recognized as a useful component in health care.

In 1895 Daniel David Palmer(the "Discoverer of Chiropractic") was credited with discovering chiropractic medicine. The term "chiropractic" has Greek roots, and means "done by the hands". Palmer aligned the spine with specific adjustments. It was son, BJ Palmer, whom later developed these "specific adjustments" his father practiced into the modern philosophy, art, and science we are familiar with today. Palmer's main concern was to find the cause of disease and eliminate it through a natural mean of healing.

In the years to follow, the chiropractic profession has grown to include over 60,000 chiropractors in the United States and Canada. Approximately twenty-five million people take responsibility for their health care through chiropractic care and by choosing noninvasive, drug-free health care.