History of Chiropractic
On September 15th 1895 a man by the name of Daniel David (D.D.) Palmer delivered the first chiropractic adjustment at his office at the bottom of Brady St. Hill in Davenport, IA. The first chiropractic patient, a janitor by the name of Harvey Lillard, had explained to D.D. Palmer that 17 years prior he had heard a loud “pop” and felt a shift in his spine while lifting a heavy weight in a stooped position. Following this injury, Mr. Lillard reported that his hearing was nearly completely lost. D.D. Palmer examined the area of the spine that had shifted and noted that a large deviation of one particular bone of the spine was present. Using his extensive knowledge of human anatomy and the power of deductive reasoning, Palmer concluded that the misalignment of the vertebra could be causing interference with the nerves responsible for hearing. Palmer explained his theory to Mr. Lillard who then gave him permission to deliver a specific adjustment to the misplaced vertebra in an attempt to restore the bone’s natural position. Within days of this adjustment, Mr. Lillard reported that his hearing was almost completely restored. He gave the following account, “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.”
Over time, D.D. Palmer refined his techniques and began applying his knowledge to additional patients. He soon realized that this powerful new healing art could change the way the world viewed the body and the cause of disease. In order to better control the spread of this knowledge to interested individuals, Palmer decided to open a school and begin teaching his findings.
The Palmer School of Chiropractic was founded in 1897 by D.D. Palmer to teach others of this newly discovered healing art. Among the first of the graduates from this school was Dr. Bartlett Joshua (B.J.) Palmer, the son of D.D. Palmer. After graduating, B.J. Palmer worked as an instructor before taking over control of the school as president. Under his direction, the school expanded its enrollment, created the B.J. Palmer Chiropractic Research Clinic and brought chiropractic into the modern healthcare arena.
In addition to his contributions in the field of chiropractic, B.J. Palmer was also credited with creating the first radio station West of the Mississippi River. At station WOC at the top of Brady Hill in Davenport, IA and through WHO in Des Moines, IA, B.J. helped to provide entertainment and news to the American people while regularly lecturing on the benefits of chiropractic. One of the most noteworthy employees of Palmer radio empire was a young broadcaster that would later become the president of the United States, Ronald Reagan.
Since this time, there have been several chiropractic colleges and chiropractic hospitals that have come and gone, each adding to the rich history of the chiropractic profession. The profession has been fortunate to have has some very dynamic leaders that have advanced chiropractic to its current position as the world's largest natural health profession. Many of these individuals conducted clinical research during their careers and developed new approaches and techniques that are used throughout the profession today. For this reason, a visit to one chiropractor may differ quite a bit from a visit to another as each doctor tends to gravitate towards a technique or system that suits them and their patients best.
The Blair Technique
William George Blair was born in the year 1922 in Oklahoma. He was a very good student and was generally at the top of his class despite missing a large amount of school due to illness. He had been diagnosed with severe asthma when he was only 9 months old and suffered a great deal as a result.
After he married his wife, his health continued to trouble him so much that the couple moved to El Paso, Texas in an attempt to find a more suitable climate for William's breathing difficulty. It was in Texas that he became acquainted with an Upper Cervical chiropractor by the name of Dr. Leon Halsted. Dr. Halsted x-rayed and adjusted William's upper neck and sent him home. His improvement was so rapid and complete that William decided he would abandon his career as a salesman and pursue a life in chiropractic. William and his wife moved to Davenport, Iowa where he attended Palmer College of Chiropractic.
In 1949 Dr. Blair returned to Texas and opened his practice in Lubbock. Committed to providing the Upper Cervical care that had changed his life so much, Dr. Blair began building a reputation as a doctor that valued precision and specificity. The vast majority of his patients noticed significant improvement in a relatively short period of time but Dr. Blair was not satisfied with this. He began a journey of discovery to figure out why some patients responded so well and others saw only mild improvement. In 1951 Dr. Blair began comparing the xrays of his very successful patients to the xrays of his patients that saw little improvement. It was then that he came to the realization that there was a fundamental flaw in the analysis of these films. All of the methods of analysis at the time assumed that the human body was highly symmetrical, a fact he believed to be entirely false.
Dr. Blair traveled back to Palmer College where he has access to the largest osteologic (bone) collection in the United States at that time. Through the study of thousands of specimens, Dr. Blair concluded that ASYMMETRY was actually much more prevalent than anyone had previously concluded. Based upon this discovery, Dr. Blair dedicated the rest of his life to creating a new system of taking and analyzing xrays to obtain a more accurate picture of each unique individual's misalignments. As he perfected the analysis, he began to better understand the anatomy and biomechanics of the upper neck. This led him to develop a new method of adjusting patients which today bears his namesake: The Blair Upper Cervical Technique. Since Dr. Blair's passing, several individuals have taken up his work and further refined both the analysis and adjusting methods that he developed. Today Blair Upper Cervical is practice throughout the United States, around the globe, and it is now available to individuals in the Lapeer, Oxford, Metamora, Dryden, Lake Orion and surrounding communities.