Chiropractic Care Celebrates Its 118th Birthday

Daniel David Palmer, father of chiropractic (submitted photo)

Daniel David Palmer, father of chiropractic (submitted photo)

by Lorraine Payette, written September 18, 2013

(GANANOQUE, ON) – It’s time to get out the bells and whistles, party hats and streamers. For those who have benefitted to those who will benefit to those who follow the lifestyle and continue to benefit, today is the 118th birthday of chiropractic care.

Harvey Lillard was a janitor working for D. D. Palmer back in 1885. Palmer had noticed that Lillard would not respond to questions unless he had seen the face of the person speaking to him, and quickly learned that Lillard had lost most of his hearing. When questioned, Lillard explained that he had heard a loud popping sound in his neck about ten years previously which then deteriorated into the deafness he now suffered from.

This made Palmer curious. Getting Lillard’s permission, he touched Lillard’s neck and discovered a large lump that was extremely tender to the touch and wouldn’t move. And so, on September 18, 1885, Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment on Lillard, working on the C1 vertebra (which had rotated and become stuck) and getting it back into proper alignment. Four to six adjustments later, Lillard’s hearing was restored and, with it, his former quality of life.

Since then, chiropractic has grown to become one of the largest “primary-contact” forms of professional health care in Ontario, and is gaining popularity every day. A hands-on, completely non-invasive discipline, it has grown from being oriented only on the spine to covering the entire neuromusculoskeletal system.

Does it cure everything?

“No, it doesn’t,” says Tim Ford, doctor of chiropractic. “Nothing cures everything. But it helps the body to heal itself, and to keep it from becoming ill in the first place. We consider it to be an important part of a good wellness routine, and believe it can reduce all around costs related to illness and injury by providing proper care and treatment from the very beginning.”

Lillard’s case was not unique. His form of deafness had been caused by a pinched nerve which, when corrected, caused his cure. Other cases of misalignment have caused other symptoms to appear in other patients, and chiropractic has been of great help to them.

Ford himself has patients who swear by the treatments, and who have been going to him regularly for years.

One family had a child who had been suffering for a very long time from a mysterious illness. He had gone from being a bright, active, extremely vital boy of 13 to an invalid, barely able to get out of bed. He needed assistance to walk, had to be fed by his family, lost his ability to think or concentrate or remember much of anything for any period of time. Eventually, he was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and even with the use of antibiotics, there was no guarantee of him being able to go back to a normal life.

However, within three weeks of combined chiropractic treatment and antibiotic therapy, this same child was able to start biking down to a local park to work in a day camp as a Leader in Training.

Another case concerns a local woman who suffers from a rare balance disorder. When it is in its worst stages, she can barely stand without a cane, has trouble with cognition, hearing, vision, and cannot eat properly due to a complete lack of coordination which causes her to not be able to control her tongue, jaws, and the process of swallowing. There are other symptoms as well, which in combination have often convinced others that she was drunk. This is not the case. There is no known cause for her illness, no known effective treatment or cure.

But when she approached Dr. Ford, he discovered she had problems in her neck and started doing atlas adjustments. Although not a cure, they improved her condition dramatically and made an unbearable situation much easier to live with.

Much of chiropractic isn’t nearly as dramatic.

“Chiropractors practice a manual approach, providing diagnosis, treatment and preventive care for disorders related to the spine, pelvis, nervous system and joints,” says the Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA).

“Chiropractors use a combination of treatments, all of which are predicated on the specific needs of the individual patient. After taking a complete history and diagnosing a patient, a chiropractor can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment/management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.”

Many of their treatments are for sports injuries, back and neck pain, and other more commonly recognized problems. It can loosen up joints tat have become restricted in motion, and give some relief to arthritis. And it is used by many as part of an overall general wellness regimen.

“Chiropractic is a regulated health profession, recognized by statute in all Canadian provinces and American states,” says OCA. “Almost 2 million patients in Ontario rely on chiropractic care every year to help them live healthy, active lives.

“A Doctor of Chiropractic has spent four years at an accredited chiropractic institution, receiving more than 4,200 hours of specialized clinical training. As primary care practitioners, chiropractors can develop and carry out a comprehensive treatment / management plan, recommend therapeutic exercise and other non-invasive therapies, and provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle counselling.

“Chiropractors are one of only five classes of health care professionals in Ontario that are able to use the title Doctor, with its accompanying rights and obligations. Chiropractic is regulated by provincial statute. Each province has a regulatory college, established by legislation in the same manner and with the same structure and similar regulations as the regulatory bodies for other health care professions.”

Everything takes time, but in the 118 years since its discovery, chiropractic has gone from being considered to be a scam to being a highly respected and widely accepted for of medical treatment and prevention. No wonder people are celebrating.

To learn more about chiropractic, please go to . To find a chiropractor in your area, please consult your telephone directory or source of local health care providers.


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