124 years ago, today, Daniel David (DD) Palmer put the town of Davenport Iowa on the map when he performed a manual adjustment to the spine of a janitor, Harvey Lillard. Lillard, deafened seventeen years earlier after hearing a “pop in his back”, allowed Palmer to derive that if you “pop it back”, hearing could be restored.
Worked like a charm.
This story gets derided often, not just from those stodgy medical doctors hrmmpphing into their stethoscopes, but within the Chiropractic profession who thinks things should be repeatedly repeatable in their efficacy like Vioxx and Bextra were before their recall. I mean you can’t REALLY restore deafness by hand, can you?
“No shit, her hearing’s back” I said to my colleague recently after he told me our boss “cured” a woman’s deafness (In 4 visits, not 1 or 2, as this was a for profit endeavor). Somewhere in the ancient capital of Kaifeng we have a female Harvey Lillard telling a story which can reach legendary status that future Chinese Chiropractors and current medical doctors won’t believe. Another case study is clearly in order.
Nothing surprises me anymore, literally nothing, as I have seen my share of “miracles” with this profession, myself being the conduit of those “miracles” from time to time. Chiropractic, oversimplified, is restoration of function, and while we have permitted back aches to be a large swath of that restoration it is the “miracles” which have driven and chastised the profession.
All these talks of miracles and here we are, and almost six score later yelling at the world that we are Miracle workers, damn it, we are more than neck and back pain. No doubt met with some egg head with his lab coat and bunson beakers saying “Ummm…er… here… according to my calculations Chiropractic is no better than a placebo when it comes to neck and back pain.”
If there is ever a time for reflection the big One-Two-Four years of age is as good as any: Chiropractic was probably pure in its infancy, then she grew up and probably rebelled too much and conformed even worse as society tends to do with the wayward souls finding its way. This led to the fights with the neighbors in the medical community and split the family itself and those fissures have waxed and waned through all our years. The profession walks around too often with chips on our shoulders, probably a touch too old to still be arguing like this. Yet, at the end of the day, she has done a lot of good, and will continue to do a lot of good, foibles and follies aside.
I get told often that I would be a great (Surgeon, Author, Lawyer, Rodeo Clown) why the Hell did I become a Chiropractor, what’s the attraction?
Good kid, misunderstood, me against the world attitude, gentling up in middle age but still has the ability to spit into her hands and get shit done. She, in many ways, reminds me of someone else I know. I’m happy to call her a friend.
Happy Birthday, Chiropractic!