Many chiropractors are perplexed as to why chiropractic has become associated with bad backs, stiff necks and other musculo-skeletal problems. The first chiropractic patient was deaf and he, in fact, did not even go to the chiropractor for his deafness. (Since chiropractic had not yet been discovered there were obviously no chiropractors at the time). The patients name was Harvey Lillard and he was a janitor in the office building where Dr. D.D. Palmer had his office. Dr. Palmer was a drugless healer, what we call "alternative health-care practitioner" today. Palmer theorized that the bump in Lillard's neck that had appeared when he became deaf was a bone out of place and if it could be put back in place, the janitor's hearing might be restored. The rest is history.
What happened on the September day in 1895? D.D. Palmer did not cure deafness. Although the janitor's hearing was restored, Palmer had simply corrected a vertebral subluxation, he allowed the innate intelligence of the body to normalize the function of the nerve system and the result was that Lillard's body healed itself of a hearing problem. For the last 124 years, thousands of chiropractors have been doing the same thing to millions of people, that is, removing interference to allow the innate intelligence to better express itself. Some of those patients have had medical problems, from a very minor ailment like the common cold to something very serious like terminal cancer. Some of them got well and some did not. It was not because chiropractic succeeds in some people and fails in others. The objective of chiropractic is only to correct the nerve interference. Only the living body heals itself. Sometimes it can, sometimes it cannot. However, the body is always more capable of healing without the nerve interference caused by a vertebral subluxation.
As a result of those millions of adjustments, some children did better in school, some were better athletes, and some grew into more productive adults. Some probably were able to get into better colleges and some probably got better jobs because the mind thinks and the body works better with a good nerve supply. As adults, some of those people probably lived longer, healthier lives. Some of them were able to work better, miss less work, and reduce injuries. Some of the women undoubtedly had healthier pregnancies and gave birth to healthier children. All of them were able to fulfill more of their potential in every aspect of life because of their adjustments. You see, when the body is free of nerve interference, every organ, gland and cell works better. The body's chemistry is more perfectly balanced and the body has more life giving energy to do everything it was designed to do. Chiropractic impacts every aspect of life of every person who receives care.
How is it then that so many people think chiropractic is just for bad backs and stiff necks? How is it that the average person does not know that it is not about your back, it is about your life? The real objective of chiropractic, to allow the body's innate intelligence to express itself more fully in every man, woman, and child, may be the most closely guarded secret in the health care community. That simply cannot continue. It is up to the chiropractic profession and those who regularly receive chiropractic care and know what it is all about to share that knowledge with the rest of the world.
Dr. Kori Mortenson, DC is a chiropractor in Santa Barbara, CA. In his spare time he enjoys tango dancing, running, biking, hiking, kayaking... just being active.