In 1895, Dr. D.D. Palmer, a very inquisitive type of man, stumbled upon chiropractic. When he was working in a building in downtown Davenport, Iowa, a deaf janitor named Harvey Lillard with whom he had become well acquainted came and spoke to Dr. Palmer. Harvey did this just about every evening because he was there late working on different projects. One day, Dr. Palmer questioned Harvey concerning his hearing loss. Harvey described how 20 years prior, while working on his house, he fell off the roof, and ever since that day he had pain in his neck, shoulder and had lost his hearing. Harvey had compete hearing loss in one ear and about three-quarters hearing loss in the other ear, so he wasn’t able to communicate with people.
Dr. Palmer asked Harvey if he could take a look. He then started to feel around Harvey’s neck and shoulder, and he felt something very strange. As Dr. Palmer was palpating his neck and shoulder, he pushed on an area, and Harvey jumped. Dr. Palmer asked Harvey if that hurt, and he replied yes. At that moment, Dr. Palmer came to the conclusion that a vertebra possibly was out of position. He laid Harvey on a flat couch in his office and proceeded to thrust with his hand against the bone that was out of position. He heard a loud pop, and both Dr. Palmer and Harvey had no idea what had just occurred. Harvey sat up and felt something different in his neck. He said it felt good, and Dr. Palmer asked him to come back the next day. This proceeded for approximately 20 or so times. After one particular adjustment, Harvey stood up and said, “I can hear! I can hear the horses going over the cobblestone!” At that point, Dr. Palmer had assisted in the restoration of Harvey’s hearing.
As history shows, Dr. Palmer thought that he had found a cure for hearing loss. The word got out, and people came from hundreds of miles to have their hearing restored. Dr. Palmer continued to, what he described, “rack the spine into position” for literally hundreds of thousands of people. During this time, some very peculiar things occurred. Patients were describing to Dr. Palmer that their headaches, their high blood pressure, heart disease, sciatica and breathing problems were going away. At that point, Dr. Palmer decided to study a little to learn more about what he was doing. As Dr. Palmer studied this new health system he had found, he was put in jail.
The authorities in the American Medical Association (AMA) accused him of practicing medicine without a license. Dr. Palmer defended himself and stated that he was not practicing medicine without a license, he was simply “racking the spine in position” on all of the patients. The authorities in the AMA replied that many people were claiming that he had cured their health problems. “I don’t correct or cure health problems, the body does. All I do is remove the interference,” Dr. Palmer maintained. But he was in and out of jail for many years until the early 1900s, when he won his battles and started the first school in Davenport, Iowa.
Over the years, chiropractic has gone from a healing art that aids in restoring life and healing disease to what the public now believes are back pain doctors. This letter should inspire you to understand chiro-practic a little more and, at the same time, understand the very political and devastating power of the AMA to cover up a very powerful health care system. This situation is a crime, and after you have read this letter and understand it, please pass this story on to someone else.
And please remember that the politics in the world are not always in your best interest. They often are only in the best interest of pocketbooks. As always, please continue to help in the mission of teaching the world about chiropractic and saving lives.