A Chiropractor is a doctor. Like all other doctors, he or she receives extensive studies in human anatomy, chemistry, neurology, etc. Although the hours of study are quite similar between Medical Doctors (MD's) and Doctors of Chiropractic (DC's), the chiropractor has a greater emphasis on the study of structure and how to find and correct abnormalities in a person's nervous system. Chiropractors also differ from other doctors by the belief that the human body gets sick due to a loss of proper function, and that health is restored by correcting the interference to normal function.
The controlling mechanism in the human body is the nervous system. Chiropractors work with a person's body (i.e. spinal column) to allow proper function by removing the interference to it. When this is accomplished, the body can actually heal itself.
Chiropractors believe that to help someone be well, you work to have a person become and stay healthy through purely natural methods. You work to remove the interference to proper body function, not to remove the symptom nor the damaged body part. For this reason, Chiropractors do not use drugs or surgery. chiropractors feel that drugs and surgery are only valuable as a last resort or in emergency situations. Thus the chiropractic quote: "Chiropractic first, Drugs second, and Surgery last."
One last thing, chiropractic works. Every time a patient responds, it is proof that health is the normal condition of the body and that disease is abnormal. Since patients who respond to chiropractic do so only because an interference was removed and not because something was added (as in drugs) nor taken away (as in surgery). Thus, every chiropractic patient who gets well is a living example of what can occur without the use of damaging agents (drugs) or the destruction of body balance (surgery). Millions and millions of people suffer daily when chiropractic could be their cure. Therefore, our purpose is to reach as many people as possible.
The chiropractic profession celebrated it's 100th birthday in 1995. This was a significant milestone considering the many obstacles the profession has faced in the past one hundred years.
The founding father of chiropractic was D.D. Palmer. He, like many others in his time, was a self-educated entrepreneur. He owned several successful businesses before turning to health care. After helping a man by the name of Harvey Lillard, through a slap to the back of the neck, D.D. Palmer began to study health care and the healing of the body by re-alignment of the spine. With the information he had gathered, and through many of his own revolutionizing ideas, the chiropractic profession was born in 1895.
In time, D.D. Palmer began his own chiropractic college (the first its kind) to teach others what he had discovered. Many different individuals flocked to his school including medical doctors, veterinarians, dentists, businessmen etc.
Over the years chiropractors have had to overcome several obstacles such as being put in jail, chased out of towns, blacklisting, etc. Interestingly, this only caused a greater interest in the chiropractic profession from the public. By utilizing a natural approach to health care and by helping individuals with problems/ conditions that were considered hopeless, the chiropractic profession has grown into the third largest health care profession in the world.