B.J. Palmer’s leadership role in the chiropractic profession waned during these years, but his passion to develop chiropractic only grew. After Palmer traveled throughout Southeast Asia in 1930, he greatly expanded his vision of chiropractic art, science, and philosophy. In 1934 he announced his new upper cervical specific approach to chiropractic, which was really a systems approach to the organism. In 1936, B.J. Palmer opened his research clinic, where he studied chiropractic and the energetic nature of the human nervous system. It was this research that would have the most profound effect on the philosophy.

In 1951, B.J. Palmer summed up his 14 years of research, redefined vertebral subluxation and initiated his most prolific philosophical writings of his career.
B.J. Palmer writes,


A principle-constant was conceived by D. D. Palmer, in 1895, on a quantity flowing energy proposition.
Would that conception prove true or untrue?
—life is motion
—there is no motion without energy to move matter
—health is a rate of activity
—if rate of speed of motion is normal—health
—if slowed down—sickness and dis-ease
—to reduce quantity flow of energy is to produce dis-ease
—vertebral subluxation shorts energy flow
—vertebral adjustment restores it and restores health.

At first we began to research into what later proved to be the by-products of energy at work, viz., sounds; both normally—such as heart beat, breathing, etc.—and abnormally, such as rales, gas rumblings, palpitations, asthmatic, etc.

Later, we took up question of vibration of structure when energy made it work—the products of function. This was a trifle closer to our coveted objective.

All methods we used, and various instruments in use, worked upon either of the above two approaches.

Weaving all thru the pattern was a missing link. We were not satisfied; we were so near, yet so far. Then came the desire to get into the study of THE PRODUCER DIRECT—generation of mental impulse supply in brain; transmission of that mental impulse supply between brain and body; transmission of result of that flow between brain and body, known as impression of sense between body and brain; and then responsive reaction in mind in brain to its interpretation when it arrived, etc.

NOW we were getting somewhere.”

– B.J. Palmer, Chiropractic Clinical Controlled Research, 1951, p. 208-209