Chiropractic’s famous first adjustment is recognized each year with an annual observance commemorating September 18th, 1895 as Chiropractic Founder’s Day. On this day, 116 years ago, Dr. Daniel David Palmer administered the first specific chiropractic adjustment on his patient, Harvey Lillard in Davenport, Iowa. Dr. D.D. Palmer delivered this historic first chiropractic adjustment with the specific intent of realigning a malpositioned vertebra on the patient, restoring its normal position, and Harvey Lillard, who had lost most of his hearing 17 years earlier, noted his hearing swiftly returned under Dr. Palmer’s care. Dr. Palmer proceeded to explore and evolve his clinical practice to his new method of replacing spinal bones that were out of position, and experienced positive clinical results in patients with a wide variety of health concerns. His practice grew and the profession of chiropractic was launched.
The theory and clinical basis of chiropractic was succinctly described as "Founded on Tone" in 1910 in a book authored by Dr. Palmer. Over subsequent years the science, art and philosophy of this unique and special approach to health care was further described and detailed. Key aspects of the chiropractic approach to health and healing were published in a listing of 33 Principles, outlined in a landmark text by Dr. R.W. Stephenson in 1927. Over the following years of research, education and clinical practice, chiropractic has grown into a widely recognized, distinctive health care profession with an expanding collection of research references and growing numbers of enthusiastic and grateful patients around the globe.
As an emergent new health science and practice now 114 years old, chiropractic is predicated on the recognition that the human body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism. And, most constructively, chiropractic understands how the body, rather than requiring intervening interruptions or intrusions into the healing process, instead needs no interference with its innate capacities for self-coordination, organized communication, and repair. The pioneering efforts begun by Dr. Palmer, that in his time were deemed an affront to the orthodox medical industry of the era, is now a concept so accepted and credible that widely-recognized authorities like Drs. Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra base the core premise of their best-selling books and tapes on this healing model.
The Founding Principles of Chiropractic, referred to as The 33 Principles, provide a helpful articulation of the intellectual, philosophical and scientific foundation for the chiropractic profession and they represent the key components of chiropractic’s unique approach to health and healing. These core principles, with Dr. D.D. Palmer’s founding pronouncement that chiropractic was "Founded on Tone", set the course for a health revolution in the United States and around the world. Established in 1895 from a modest and, unfortunately, often misunderstood and misconstrued beginning, chiropractic continues to grow in popularity and acceptance, and is now coming into its own as the largest drugless healthcare profession. It was because of the authenticity and soundness of these principles that chiropractic has not only survived initial harsh criticism and onslaught by its detractors, but has flourished, and now is increasingly understood and embraced by a wide audience of people in search of health. The 33 Principles are well known by chiropractic practitioners and students throughout the profession as the basic defining and organizational concepts of chiropractic’s core philosophy and science. They are recognized and applied by many as the root of the value system of chiropractic practice. Many of the complications in chiropractic’s professional evolution and acceptance, as noted by Dr. Jack VanDervort in his research presentation at the ICA Symposium in Rome in April 2002, involve a lack of familiarity with the 33 Principles of Chiropractic:
Chiropractic has 33 beautiful lines that were written to define and delineate this new healing profession. In the definition of the chiropractic niche in health care we have chosen the word "holistic" rather than "alternative" or "complementary" because of its appropriateness to our distinct, indeed unique, position. Holistic refers to "care of the whole person rather than just treating the symptoms of a disease." "Complementary" to allopathic medicine or "alternative" to anything, simply are not adequate and do not convey our meaning.
"It is vitally important that both professionals and the public become better aware of the founding principles of this profession," explains Dr. Daniel J. Murphy, internationally respected chiropractic educator and former ICA Vice President. "The very nature of the language used to describe chiropractic science includes core concepts that are in turn explored in research, articulated in education and expressed in practice by thousands of doctors of chiropractic worldwide." These principles are a unifying and distinguishing element in chiropractic, vital to articulating and maintaining the independent perspective chiropractic represents in health care.
Once considered experimental, unorthodox or "alternative" health care, Chiropractic has now become a vital part of the main stream of health care. "Doctors of chiropractic worldwide have every reason to be proud of our profession and the unique contributions chiropractic science continues to make to the lives of millions," said ICA President Dr. Gary Walsemann. Chiropractic receives tremendous support from the public, and every day in countries around the world, millions of individuals of all ages, from newborn infants to the most senior of our citizens, seek the care of a doctor of chiropractic. Throughout its history, the chiropractic profession has provided clinically efficacious, cost-effective and safe care to millions of patients worldwide, and has earned the highest patient satisfaction levels of any doctor-level health care science.
Press release courtesy of International Chiropractic Association.
Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
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