Daniel David Palmer, Founder of Chiropractic Medicine
Born in Pickering Towniship in Ontario in 1845 and raised in Port Perry (where a statue in his honor stands today), Daniel David Palmer would go on to found the practice of chiropractic medicine in 1895 when he was living and working in Davenport, Iowa.
DD Palmer tried his hand at many professions as a young man when economic times were hard, including teaching school, farming, beekeeping, and selling groceries, before turning to the practice of magnetic healing in 1885. He soon discovered that he was quite good at it.
Having been fascinated by the anatomy and physiology of the human body all his life, DD Palmer made a point of keeping abreast of the latest scientific discoveries in these areas by voraciously reading medical journals of the time.
DD Palmer had long been troubled by the question of why one person would become ill with pneumonia or rheumatism when the person sitting right next to them would escape infection. The countless hours he had spent studying anatomy would pay off when he realized that most illnesses could be traced back to alignment issues in the spinal column and elsewhere in the body, which would inevitably have to affect the efficient flow of nerve signals.
In a now famous story, DD Palmer cured a janitor of his deafness after noticing a lump in his back and subsequently adjusting the alignment of his vertebrae until the lump disappeared along with the man’s hearing problems.
He knew he was on to something revolutionary.
Soon afterwards, DD Palmer opened the world's first school of chiropractic medicine in Davenport where he taught his new theory of illness and trained future practitioners in the techniques he used to correct the underlying misalignments (or subluxations) that were the cause of many health problems.
DD Palmer would eventually sell the Davenport school to his son before going on to found chiropractic schools in Oklahoma, California, and Oregon.
By the time DD Palmer died from typhoid fever in 1913, chiropractic medicine had become firmly established and flourishes to this day.