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Happy Birthday, Chiropractic!

September is a big month for change, school is starting, summer is coming to an end and it is also the month that chiropractic becomes 120 years old.

On September 18th, 1895 Daniel David Palmer delivered the first chiropractic adjustment. The patient was Harvey Lillard, a janitor in Palmer’s building who had been deaf for several years following a traumatic accident. Palmer had been studying vitalism and analyzing the spine and the nervous system for some time. He analyzed Harvey’s spine and found a large bump on his spine that was out of place (Subluxation). After D. D. Palmer adjusted the bump Harvey Lillard’s hearing was restored and the gift of chiropractic was unveiled.


“I was deaf 17 years and I expected to always remain so, for I had doctored a great deal without any benefit. I had long ago made up my mind to not take any more ear treatments, for it did me no good. Last January Dr. Palmer told me that my deafness came from an injury in my spine. This was new to me; but it is a fact that my back was injured at the time I went deaf. Dr. Palmer treated me on the spine; in two treatments I could hear quite well. That was eight months ago. My hearing remains good.”


Initially D.D Palmer thought he had a cure for deafness and tried to restore the hearing of all deaf people he adjusted. Sometimes it worked sometimes it didn’t. The philosophy art and science of chiropractic started to take form when D.D. Plamer realized that chiropractic was not a cure for any disease but rather a way to optimize the brain and spinal cord or better known as the nervous system, which is the master control system of the body.


It has been 120 years since the first adjustment was delivered and chiropractic is still as effective today as it was 120 years ago. Chiropractic is and always will be a science, art and philosophy. This triune of life helps people to maximize the potential to heal by removing pressure, pinching, tension and interference from the brain stem, spinal cord and nerves.

Next time you are in to get your spine checked and adjusted you can thank a Canadian from Port Perry, Ontario for discovering a way to safely empower proper function and improved overall health with a simple adjustment.


Dr. Joel Richards is the owner of the Cafe of Life Chiropractic Studio and West London CrossFit in London, Ontario. A father of two, he is an advocate of movement and mobility and the importance of a clear nervous system to create optimal health.