Mabel Palmer, DC

Mabel Heath Palmer played a significant role in the early growth of chiropractic. Her contribution to the philosophy however is often overlooked. Palmer wrote Stepping Stones (1942) and Chiropractic Anatomy (1920). Just like the other chiropractically inspired textbooks, Chiropractic Anatomy can be viewed as a forerunner to modern theoretical biology. In the book is an attempt to describe the functional structures of anatomy from an interior dimension. Palmer described the living system as intelligent. Her descriptions can be viewed as precursors to autopoietic theory and systems theory. She is describing the inside view of the exterior structures of the body. Mabel was just one of many legendary women from chiropractic’s early history.

Palmer viewed the Innate Intelligence as the controller of metabolism and the director of the body’s functions. The brain is the seat of both Educated and Innate Intelligence. It is the source of the mental currents, which flow to the body, and the receptor of impulses from the periphery; creating the cycle of life. The reception of impulses by the innate mind, form mental impressions, which are then acted upon by will. Interpretation is thus a function or action of Innate because the act of interpretation includes the response, the efferent impulse. This is an embodied and enactive approach to the life process. A subluxation disrupts this cycle by limiting the current and/or changing the function.

Mabel Palmer, DC