In spring of 1995, the chiropractic profession in Canada held its first
national convention in Toronto. Appropriately dubbed Canada’s
Chiropractic Centennial Convention, it marked 100 years since the first
adjustment was administered to Harvey Lillard – a deaf custodian whose
hearing, it is postulated, was restored by the treatment – by the
founder of modern chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer.
In spring of 1995, the chiropractic profession in Canada held its first national convention in Toronto. Appropriately dubbed Canada’s Chiropractic Centennial Convention, it marked 100 years since the first adjustment was administered to Harvey Lillard – a deaf custodian whose hearing, it is postulated, was restored by the treatment – by the founder of modern chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer.
Although that initial chiropractic adjustment was considered a success, its administrator did not, for a moment, believe that a mechanical gesture was solely responsible for the return of Lillard’s auditory function. DD Palmer’s broad and imaginative perspective led to the development of an intricate, and in many ways, unique system of care.
The ebb and flow of theories regarding the mechanisms through which chiropractic has its effects would define the architecture of the resulting profession, shaping its clinical development throughout an, at times, unsteady building process. But this progression, if not smooth, led to unmistakable, and exciting, advances, not only clinically, but also in the areas of chiropractic education and research, and with respect to the legislative and regulatory frameworks that brought it into the radar of health care, governments and the public at large.
That centennial convention, then, not only celebrated the first adjustment, but all that came after it and the fact that the profession was still anticipating further growth. It also paid homage to 50 years of chiropractic education in Canada, as the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College celebrated its silver anniversary in the same year.
In 2006, a second national chiropractic convention was held in Vancouver. Given the chiropractic climate at that time, the congress necessarily included discussions regarding the profession’s identity. This signaled that, although out of its infancy, there was much work to be done to enhance the maturity of the profession and solidify chiropractic’s position on the Canadian health care landscape. It was noted that, for this to take shape, a unity of direction would have to be established. As this smacked of a call for uniformity, it was received with trepidation by many in the field. But, interestingly, in the ensuing quest for unity, there grew recognition that a balance would need to be honoured between various first principles and newer, progressive concepts in order to ensure that chiropractic remain a distinct and patient-centred system of care.
This year, from November 11-13, Canadian DCs will gather again in Toronto for a third national conference. It is being described as “Canada’s chiropractors together… in the spirit of unity, strength and inspiration.” If you peruse the program guide included in this issue of Canadian Chiropractor magazine, you will understand why. The evolution of the profession continues – taking on continuously greater dimensions – and the celebration intensifies.
The Canadian Chiropractic Convention 2010 is not the only professional development event for DCs in the coming months (I encourage you to partake in at least one, and in as many as you can). But, like its forerunners, it will be as an Inukshuk on the profession’s journey. I will consider it an honour to witness the collating of advances in research with the significance of philosophy, and of new clinical and practice directions with chiro-centered traditions. And I would consider it a pleasure to meet you there.
Bien à vous,
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