Magical Chiropractors

Magic Hat[originally published in KCN, November 2013]

“What separates a good chiropractor from a great —or magical — chiropractor?”

That was the question I was confronted with when a novelist from Italy reached out to me for technical assistance with her latest book.  I’ve been asked a lot of questions about chiropractic since I first stepped foot in the profession twenty-one years ago, but never this one.

She explained that her books were of the “magical reality” genre.  Currently she was writing about a young man who, after attending the Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1922, became a chiropractor.  However, unlike most chiropractors, her character had a super-elevated sense of the healing art — to the point of almost being “magical.”

Because my podcast, Spinal Column Radio, circles the globe and often showcases the early days of chiropractic, I popped up on this author’s radar as one to consult for maintaining historical accuracy and character believability regarding my profession.

Even so, I didn’t have a solid answer to her question.  I would never classify chiropractic as “magic,” but I knew what she meant.  I suppose that in every profession one can reach a level of intuitiveness and intention that allows them to connect with their subject on a level that transcends the shallow waters of basic knowledge, like a “horse whisperer” of sorts.  Is this an inborn gift?  Perhaps.  But, I also believe that everyone has this capacity — tapping into it is the tricky part.

As her line of questioning progressed, we got into the various nuances that make up the actual chiropractic adjustment.  She listened intently and jotted down notes as I talked about the parts of the hand and wrist the chiropractor uses.  I told her about the points on the patient’s spine that are contacted, and talked about how the slack in the skin is pulled taut.  I described how the spine is taken to tension, and how certain muscles of the chiropractor must flex while others relax as he delivers — with proper amounts of acceleration, direction, and mass — the adjustment.

Then she excitedly blurted out, with Eureka-like enthusiasm,

“The adjustment!  Does the magic happen in the adjustment?” 

Startled by her sudden outburst, I paused and thoughtfully said, “No.”

“If not in the adjustment, then where?” she persisted.

“The ‘magic’ doesn’t happen in the adjustment,” I replied.  “It happens in the patient.”

I could tell that my answer was not what she was expecting.

The adjustment is merely the key — the vehicle — which unlocks and frees the body of the health-robbing interference set in place by the spinal subluxation standing in the way of the body’s optimum expression of life.

Life is the “magic.”  The “magic” happens in you.

“We chiropractors work with the subtle substance of the soul,” BJ Palmer, the developer of chiropractic once wrote.  “We release the imprisoned impulse, the tiny rivulet of force, that emanates from the mind and flows over the nerves to the cells, and stirs them into life. We deal with the magic power that transforms common food into living, loving, thinking clay; that robes the earth with beauty, and hues and scents the flowers with the glory of the air.”

Chiropractic may seem like an Abracadabra-magic-wand-treatment, but it’s not. Chiropractors are mere mortal beings humbled to work with something so beyond understanding and comprehension that, at times, “magic” seems like the only fitting word to describe the universe — “the power that animates the living world.”


Dr. Thomas R. Lamar is a chiropractor at Anchor Chiropractic (a licensed 100-Year-Lifestyle affiliate) in the Health Services Center and hosts the Internet radio program Lamar can be reached at (360) 297-8111.


Forget Me Not - FalcomerAddendum 04/03/2015 – the book (Forget Me Not) has finally published and is available for sale. I tip my hat to author Jacqueline Falcomer for her painstaking research and fact checking to ensure that the chiropractic history playing out in the pages of her book is not only accurate, but believable.

Explore posts in the same categories: chiropractic 101, chiropractic history, chiropractic philosophy, Innate Intelligence

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