Chiropractic Care, as a field of modern medicine, started in earnest around 1895 with Dr. Daniel Palmer. The Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport Iowa is named after Dr. Palmer and is still considered to be one of the worlds most esteemed Colleges of Chiropractic. Dr. Palmer met a patient that had lost his hearing for 17 years, and in talking to the man he learned that this patient had felt and heard a crack in his spine prior to his hearing decline. Dr. Palmer manipulated and adjusted the man’s spine on the notion that mis-alignment might be pressing on nerves and hurting his health. The rest is historical fact, the man not only began to feel in better health, but his hearing improved.
While Chiropractic care is non-invasive, and with the proper practioners it is gentle and revealing, physicians have long criticized the adjustment of the spine and neck as a technique for healing. Yet millions of patients around the world have experieneced the improved health, mobility and freedom from pain that we gain with proper alignment and curvature in the core of our skeleton.
Dr. Palmer’s theories are still taught, debated and discussed today. In the classroom, most all of Chiropractic Care is based on Dr. Palmers humble beginnings. But following in Dr. Palmer’s footsteps we feel compelled to mention the great Dr. Gonstead, who some estimate treated more than a million patients during his lifetime. Born in South Dakota, Clarence Gonstead began a career in Wisconisn as a mechanic fixing motors and tractors around 1915. He had fallen ill to Rheumatoid Arthritis the history goes and got relief from Chiropractic care. He became so interested in the science that he attended Palmer College obtaining a degree by 1923. Dr. Gonstead became recognized for the motto: “Find the subluxation, accept it where you find it, correct it, then leave it alone.”
While Dr. Clarence Gonstead pioneered, some think due to his mechanical background, innovative techniques for gently manipulating the spine back to optimum health, he also was a pioneer in the use of X-Ray diagnosis in treating the spinal column and neck. Gonstead has become know for the The Level Foundation and the Gonstead Disc Concept.
The Level Foundation addresses the alignment of the spine, and the Gonstead Disc Concept enhanced the definition of the chiropractic term subluxation. Dr. Gonstead was on the forefront of identiying the spongy discs between the vertebral bones as a cause of distress and nerve affliction.
But most agree that chiropractic dates back to the time of the Greeks, and the advent of medical sciences. Hippocrates thought that if the spine was misaligned, it impaired our overall health. Cicero, an ancient historian, wrote that early civilizations believed in the divine origin of healing and therapeutics. The ancient Greeks created medicine and are known for gymnastics, physical exercises and the Olympic spirit. The Greek gymnast Herodicus introduced gymnastics and exercise into healing, and modern Chiropractors are well versed in the flexibility and manipulation required for peak health. Plato even mentioned in his writing the value of Herodicus’ contributions. Herodicus also taught Hippocrates, well known as the father of medicine and the inspiration for the Hippocratic Oath. The ancient Greeks championed science over magic and fad. Hippocrates advised the physician pay attention to the spinal column, understanding the importance of good alignment and mobility to our overall health and well being.