Today, the chiropractic field is so widespread and accepted as a valid treatment that it may be hard to believe that chiropractic care was not even brought into the American mainstream until the late nineteenth century. This occurred when Doctor Daniel David Palmer set up the first-ever chiropractic practice, thus establishing the field. It was Dr. D. D. Palmer’s son, B. J. Palmer, who formulated the Palmer Method that was first taught in the Palmer School of Chiropractic (also established by D. D. Palmer), and that is still widely used today. Here are the basics of the chiropractic Palmer method:
The atlas. Before you can understand how the Palmer method works, you must first understand what the atlas is. When it comes to anatomy, the term “atlas” is used to signify the very first vertebra, located at the top of the spine and set deep inside the body, underneath the skull and overlying tissues. The Palmer method is centered on the belief that misalignment in the atlas is the primary cause of misalignments further down the spine; therefore, the Palmer method focuses on manipulating the atlas and letting the rest of the vertebrae fall in line according to their natural pattern, as guided by the correctly aligned atlas.
The hole-in-one. H.O.I. is the system of spinal manipulation used in the Palmer method. It involves using X-ray imaging to locate the exact position of the atlas, and then moving the atlas systematically – in different directions – until it “finds” its proper place. The term implies that the correct treatment of the atlas is a metaphorical “hole-in-one,” as it will naturally lead to the alignment of the rest of the spine.
Manual manipulation in the Palmer method. In order to adjust the atlas, the chiropractor must somehow rotate the skull. This is usually done with a sudden jerk of the head from one side to the other, and the patient may be lying on his side, using a headrest, or sitting up. It is also a common practice for chiropractors to attempt atlas manipulation by applying pressure to the atlas with the heel of the hand.
The practice of spinal manipulation to ease health ailments dates back to at least as early as the beginning of recorded history. Both ancient Chinese and ancient Egyptian cultures touted the benefits of working the spine into its proper form, and even the famous Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about its importance in his texts. Since then, chiropractic has evolved in a number of ways, but one technique that has stood the test of time is the Palmer method.
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