March 15, 2024 at 12:38 pm

How A Ghost Inspired Daniel David Palmer, The Father Of Modern Chiropractic Medicine

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

Look, I love a good ghost story as much as the next person – probably more, if I’m being totally honest.

That said, I’m not sure most people would believe that something supernatural could inspire what many now consider to be a totally legit medical practice.

The father of chiropractic is Daniel David Palmer, who called himself Old Dad Chiro (yes, really). He was a Canadian spiritualist who practiced magnetic medicine and – apparently – was also an accomplished beekeeper.

The spiritualist thing came in handy when the ghost of a dead doctor gave him the ideas that would eventually lead to chiropractic care.

Source: Wikimedia/Public Domain

The treatment is not and has never been a medical therapy. It is considered a complementary (or alternative) medicine – and one that continues to be a bit controversial, both inside and outside of the established medical community.

There are good reasons for this, namely that spinal manipulation can and has led to patients suffering serious side effects like stroke and paralysis.

Palmer believed he could use magnetism to relieve an ailing organ with nothing but his hands, but credits a deceased doctor with the ideas that started it all.

“My first knowledge of this old-new doctrine was received from Dr. Jim Atkinson who, about fifty years ago, lived in Davenport, Iowa, and who tried during his lifetime to promulgate the principles now known as Chiropractic. The intellectuality of that time was not ready for this advancement.”

Source: Shutterstock

This paper, published in Chiropractic Journal of Australia, argues that since spiritualism was extremely commonplace at the time, we shouldn’t hold it against him.

“If Palmer’s spiritualistic beliefs are justification for the criticisms about chiropractic, it could justifiably be argued that society should similarly be encouraged to rethink its support for germ theory or the use of telephones, as Pasteur and Edison were keen proponents of Spiritualism. In a similar vein, critics of Osteopathy would be justified in questioning its effectiveness based on AT Still’s beliefs about ‘psychic’ powers and ‘personal communications with deceased spirits.'”

Source: Shutterstock

Modern chiropractic care, of course, relies on manipulating joints in order to put them back into alignment, and practitioners actually put their hands on the body to make that happen – no invisible magnetism required.

So it’s always good to know what you’re getting into before signing up.

Even if your neighbor’s brother’s wife’s baby’s colic was totally cured after a single visit.

If you found that story interesting, learn more about why people often wake up around 3 AM and keep doing it for life.