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General Chiropractic Council Registration
No. 01092


The term Chiropractic was first coined in the late 19th century. It was formed by the combination of the Greek words Kheir (Chiro), meaning hand and Praktikos (Practic), meaning practice – hence Chiropractic meaning ‘done by hand’. As a manipulative therapy, it is used by chiropractors to diagnose and correct alignment of the skeletal frame and to relieve associated muscle spasm.

A Canadian called Daniel David Palmer developed chiropractic therapy in the late 19th century. In September 1895, Palmer, a former magnetic healer, learned that his janitor had become deaf some 17 years earlier following a back problem. Palmer was able to restore the man’s hearing after manipulating the vertebrae in his back.

Palmer soon began to teach chiropractic therapy and one of his early students was his son Bartlett Joshua (BJ) Palmer who soon took over running of the Palmer school and the Infirmary of Chiropractic founded by his father.

BJ was a flamboyant spokesman for chiropractic and he soon ran into trouble with the medical profession.

Despite being charged with practicing medicine without a license (the indictment was eventually thrown out of court), BJ wrote the first chiropractic textbook and continued to run the first chiropractic college.

BJ continued to develop chiropractic and was the first person to use X-rays to detect spinal abnormalities and subluxations. He collected spines from all over the world and had his own radio station.

It was BJ who would therefore become the most significant figure in Chiropractic’s first 50 years.

The discovery of Chiropractic was in part a rediscovery of the ancient art of spinal care. Palmer developed the concept of displaced vertebrae impinging on nerves that has since evolved into the comprehensive health care discipline employed by today’s chiropractors.

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