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Iowa History Daily: September 18 - A Fortunate Adjustment

Iowa History Daily: On September 18, 1895, Daniel David Palmer of Davenport conducted the first chiropractic adjustment. An avid proponent of various pseudoscientific alternative medicines including magnetic healing, Palmer came to believe altered nerve flow caused all human disease and spent his career building an enduring form of alternative medicine.

Born in Ontario, Palmer emigrated with his family to the United States at the age of twenty and settled in Iowa. Working at a variety of pursuits including beekeeping, working as a grocer, and teaching school, he developed an interest in a variety of alternative health philosophies. Palmer opened a magnetic healing clinic in Burlington before eventually moving to Davenport.

According to family legend, Palmer slapped a hard-of-hearing janitor working at his clinic on the back following the punchline of a particularly good joke. When the janitor claimed improved hearing in the following days, Palmer started to focus on the potential health benefits of vertebral treatment in healing health issues.

Drawing comparisons to Andrew Still’s early-established principles of osteopathy, Palmer developed a variety of theories and methodologies related to spinal realignment and human health. In 1897 he opened the Palmer School of Cure in Davenport, which later became Palmer College of Chiropractic. #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryCalendar


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