by Daniel O. Clark, D.C. Palmer 1947
HIO, the first Upper Cervical Corrective procedure was conceived, developed and perfected by Dr. B. J. Palmer during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s.
In 1946, Dr. John F. Grostic of Ann Arbor, Michigan introduced the second Upper Cervical Corrective procedure to the profession.
Other Upper Cervical Corrective procedures were developed during the following years. With each new Upper Cervical Corrective procedure, the developer thought it was better and more effective than any previous procedure. As a result, each Upper Cervical procedure became an “Island of its own” which prevented unity in the Upper Cervical profession.
During World War ll, I saw extensive combat duty during the Battle of Hurtgen Forest in Germany and the Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne. During my combat duty, both my feet were frozen and severely impaired. As a result, I was medically discharged from the Army.
Upon discharge, using the free college education opportunities of the G.I. Bill, I enrolled at Palmer School of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. During my coursework at Palmer, I attended Dr. John F. Grostic’s second seminar at his office in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Present were about ten doctors/students in attendance. I sat next to and made friends with Dr. Ralph Gregory, founder of NUCCA.
After graduation, I had no working capital for an office, so I began my practice in my parent’s home in Anniston, Alabama. I made house calls to build my client base. My first house call was a neighbor who had been treated by three different medical doctors. Her condition was grave and she was not expected to live through the night. I made a single atlas correction, which triggered a miraculous recovery. News of this spread through my hometown (population 35,000) and my practice grew exponentially. Within three years I was able to purchase, equip and staff a 13 bed clinic with two associates on the main street of Anniston, Alabama. Our practice averaged 100 patients a day, five days a week.
Despite my success, my war injuries still plagued me. The strain of standing day after day was debilitating, until finally I was forced to retire from active practice.
In the early ‘90s, all doctors using the various Upper Cervical procedures were referred to as “Chiropractors”. In most cases, doctors mixed their Upper Cervical work with regular Chiropractic adjustments.
Then in 1993, I attended an Upper Cervical doctor’s monthly patient education talk. I realized the doctor was struggling to explain Upper Cervical Chiropractic using regular Chiropractic terminology. His patients, while listening attentively, were missing his important message.
As a result of that monthly patient talk, I was inspired to create my first Patient Education Illustration, which depicts head tilt and a cross section view of the spinal cord at the top of the neck. My wife and I gave this illustration to the doctor for use during his monthly talks in order to simplify his Upper Cervical explanation.
Wide acceptance and strong demand from Upper Cervical doctors for the next sixteen years has resulted in the creation of 11 Upper Cervical Illustrations including new Simplified Upper Cervical Terminology. I’ve created all the educational materials to promote a simple message that helps patients understand all Upper Cervical Corrective procedures were designed and perfected to accomplish the same objective; correct head/neck misalignment to restore efficient brain to body communication.
Just a few short years ago, each Upper Cervical doctor was referred to by the name of his corrective procedure, for example, NUCCA doctor, Grostic doctor, Blair doctor, HIO doctor, etc. In the course of my work, I have come to simplify how we address each other, moving away from uniquely labeling each doctor and instead referring to them as Upper Cervical doctors. This practice has now become common in the profession as Upper Cervical Care and the term has gained wide acceptance. Thanks to all of our hard work, the public now realizes there is a difference between Upper Cervical Care and regular Chiropractic Care.
This public recognition and acceptance has provided more awareness for Upper Cervical during the last five years than all the years prior to the development of the first corrective procedure in the 1930’s.
Today, the Upper Cervical Illustrations and the Upper Cervical Terminology we share is gaining world wide acceptance and our profession is evolving into a prominent and well respected way for people to reach their potential in health but also in life.
(Editor's note: Remember the objective of upper cervical care is to correct head neck misalignment that is interfering with proper brain to body communication. When this is corrected the body functions at a higher level and can often correct other problems more efficiently on its own. Please do not confuse upper cervical care as a treatment for any condition, disease or symptom.)