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Jun 13 2012

Chiroquackery in Morris, Minnesota

Well, that caught my eye, all bright pink with a bold title touting “The Cancer Cure”, and posted on the bulletin board of the local coffee shop. I read it aghast: it’s a chiropractor trading on tragedy.

Do you see a cancer cure anywhere in there? Chiropractic is not only incapable of curing cancer, it doesn’t even treat cancer. This quack Hamling isn’t even offering to use chiropractic for this person afflicted with cancer — he’s cunningly using her disease to drum up new patients for his clinic, nothing more. I don’t even know why it says “The Cancer Cure” on his sign.

It’s coming from a horrible little clinic in Morris called Accelerated Chiropractic. Now some chiropractors are simply physical therapists (although if I needed physical therapy, I think I’d rather see a certified physical therapist), and I can sympathize with some people finding benefits with them, but others are outright quacks, and there’s an easy way to find out: look for the magic word “subluxation” in their PR.

Subluxations are imaginary. They are the excuse chiropractors use to claim that “traffic jams” in the nervous system cause a host of diseases, from mild pain to cancer, and that their manipulations actually relieve pressure on nerves. Seriously, if chiropractic manipulations of the vertebrae were sufficient to shift the relationship of the bones around in any significant way, they’d be able to shear off nerves all over the place — it’s total nonsense invented by 19th century quacks. And yeah, if you search the Accelerated Chiropractic site, it’s got subluxations everywhere.

It’s the modern equivalent of blaming your ills on leprechauns.

And there’s our local chiroquack, shilling for new patients with a sign advertising a cancer cure, and promising to chase all the little leprechauns out of your body to make you feel better.

I’ve registered a complaint with the local better business bureau. This bozo is disgraceful.

(By the way, whatever you do, never let a chiropractor get anywhere near your neck.)

56 comments

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  1. 1
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I used to have a great link to a history of Chiro it is no longer online.

    If rational people would go back and read how this whole ball of nonsense was made up they’d never enter one of these scam artist’s storefronts again.

    Wish I could find that damn article…

  2. 2
    autumn

    I think the cancer angle is because he is raising money to help a cancer victim by giving free “care” to those who make a donation to the cancer patient. It’s a bit like a motorcycle rally to “cure cancer” or somesuch. Although I don’t think that anyone would expect that riding a motorcycle is what is doing the curing, and in the quack’s case, there is an implicit claim that the “care” provided might in some way cure cancer.

  3. 3
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Actually the Wiki contains some parts of the bullshit of the foundations of Chiropractic

  4. 4
    Anthony K

    It’s the modern equivalent of blaming your ills on leprechauns.

    They’re after me lucky intervertebral discs!

  5. 5
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    I think the cancer angle is because he is raising money to help a cancer victim by giving free “care” to those who make a donation to the cancer patient. It’s a bit like a motorcycle rally to “cure cancer” or somesuch. Although I don’t think that anyone would expect that riding a motorcycle is what is doing the curing, and in the quack’s case, there is an implicit claim that the “care” provided might in some way cure cancer.

    Yeah it’s a tough separation and is probably entirely intentional that it is vague.

  6. 6
    PZ Myers

    Yes, it’s a very devious sign — he doesn’t outright claim to have a cancer cure, he just advertises for chiropractic with a sign that says “The Cancer Cure”.

    I’ll be interested to hear what the BBB says when they get back to me about this one — I bet he’s got a weasel ready to go in his pocket.

  7. 7
    Eamon Knight

    Actually, subluxation is a legitimate term — just not the way the chiros use it. I found this out when my GP used the word as a possible diagnosis for some problem I was having, and I did a double-take.

  8. 8
    cry4turtles

    Chiropractors have always scared me. I’m too tender! We did try one for my hubby’s pain. It was horrible watching what he did to my hubby, who was desperate for pain relief. I feel guilty for being an accomplice by driving him there. His back was not the issue; it was bad surgery with recalled mesh. At least the chiropractor eventually admitted it was out of his league, which prompted my desperate, and fruitful search for a doc who could, and did help. I’m still scared of chiropractors.

  9. 9
    shockna

    I never could quite understand why it’s called “Chiropractic”, when “Chiropracty” or some other variant would sound much less awful. Maybe it’s a pet peeve of my own, but their quack marketing pitch would sound so much better without that awful name.

    Either way, blatant deceptive marketing. Hopefully the BBB shows a little objectivity up north; they’re certainly friendly to alt-med nonsense down here in Southern Arizona.

  10. 10
    mudpuddles

    I went to a chiropractor in Ireland in 2000. At the time, I suffered from what I now know was Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder – occasional bouts of lockjaw – and after receiving little help from 2 dentists, my girlfriend at the time recommended her chiropractor. This was before I looked into what was actually on offer. Boy was I dumb.

    The chirporactor in question started to work on me immediately, manipulating my spine as I lay on a funny shaped table, after asking only three questions – my name, age, and address. Not once was I asked if I had ever suffered a back injury (which, lets face it, is pretty fucking important if someone is going to start getting heavy on your vertebrae), or if I or anyone in my family had any history of back problems, or if I was on any medication etc etc. You know, like the basic health questions that any primary care practitioner would need to know.

    Anyway, at the time I was confused as to how her efforts on my back were supposed to help my stiff jaw, but I went with it since my girlfrfiend had said she felt good after her session. After a few minutes of crunching and bouncing, I was asked to sit up so she could work on my head. This involved placing two fingers in my mouth to feel my tongue and gums, after which she without any prior warning grabbed my lower mandible, twisted it violently and just like that the quack fucking dislocated my jaw.

    12 years, €150,000 in medical costs and much legal wrangling later, I am still not right. I FUCKING HATE CHIROPRACTICS AND THEIR BULLCRAP. I also hate the fact that my inner skeptic let this happen.

  11. 11
    feralboy12

    But…but…it’s a miracle year for wellness. How could that be bad?
    Oh, yeah. Sheared nerves and shit.

  12. 12
    Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc

    Wanker. That advert would be illegal here in the UK…

  13. 13
    JohnnieCanuck

    The BBB may not actually do anything effective about your complaint. They are not a government regulator and they have no power to penalise any company. At most they will lower their rating of the chiro’s company, that is, if they actually look into the claim.

    They do not get involved in medical and legal situations, since dispute resolution is already available through their own self regulating associations.

    If the case is to be made that this is deceptive advertising of a cure, then that would be something for the State Medical Board, perhaps. I doubt the AMA would be useful.

    In theory, it might be the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners that have jurisdiction. Not that I’d expect them to do much for an ad as carefully deceptive as this.

    I will be pleasantly surprised if you can get even a slap on the wrist administered by any authority. Better would probably be to name and shame him in the local media, but he is pretty much teflon coated with this appeal for funds for a cancer victim.

    Good luck.

  14. 14
    Sastra

    Eamon Knight at #7 beat me to it. I went to a back specialist the other day and while waiting in the examining room was surprised to see “Subluxation” on a chart of common back problems. The illustration sure looked like something that could cause a back problem — and be discovered by tests.

    Sure enough, when I got home I did a quick check on Wikipedia and discovered there are two different meanings for the term “subluxation”: the medical (anatomical) subluxation and the chiropractic (vertebral) subluxation. “(A) medical subluxation is a “significant structural displacement, and therefore visible on static imaging studies.”

    The subluxations chiropractors study can only be seen by chiropractors. And, apparently, they don’t all see the same one.

  15. 15
    nonny

    He’s not even offering treatment for $39, if I read it correctly. He’s offering a ‘health history’ (whatever that is) and an ‘exam’- after that, he’d probably reccomend you sign up for six sessions at double the price because his ‘findings’ suggest it would help. It’s a popular way to draw people in, just tell them they can find out if they need the treatment at no or low cost, then scare them by finding some minor health issues they’re having and say they need urgent treatment.

    The charity angle is a new and tacky addition to the strategy. People will do all sorts of things they wouldn’t normally do if you convince them it’s ‘for charity’.

    Note he doesn’t make any concrete claims for what he can cure. It’s all implied.

  16. 16
    mxh

    The warning at the end about neck manipulation should be taken seriously. Just a few months ago, I saw a patient die after a chiropractor tore his neck artery.

  17. 17
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Is there such thing as being “out of alignment” and chiros can help with that?

    My SIL was in a car accident back in the day and now goes to the chiro every once in a while for “alignment”. She keeps teling me to go, because of my knee issues since I’ve started running.

    Then, I read terrifying stories like from mudpuddles and I’m reaffirmed that chiros are quacks.

  18. 18
    Eamon Knight

    Eesh, the current banner ad is “Find a Chiropractor”.

    I have a cow orker who’s a helluva smart guy technically, but is into every kind of quack-med there is — chiropractic, naturopathy, homeopathy (I know this because he leaves the receipts scattered around his desk until he gets around to submitting them to the health plan). The other week he was feeling sick or something (nothing to do with joints or back, anyways) so he went to his chiro for an adjustment.

    Le sigh.

  19. 19
    Trickster Goddess

    As a non-American I am even more aghast at the idea that someone needs a private fundraiser in order to afford living saving medical care.

    Do all un- or inadequately insured Americans with cancer have a business friend (even a quack one) to help raise money for their treatment?

    Yes, this guy is a jerk for using deceptive advertising to boost his questionable business, but don’t gloss over the real moral travesty on display in this poster.

  20. 20
    NitricAcid

    A year or two ago, there was a sign in the local pub- a family was trying to collect donations so that one of their members (who was dying from leukemia) could go to the USA for an extremely expensive treatment by a naturopath. I pointed out to the owner that naturopathy was a scam, and the resulting argument led me to change pubs for a while.

  21. 21
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    Is there such thing as being “out of alignment” and chiros can help with that?

    My SIL was in a car accident back in the day and now goes to the chiro every once in a while for “alignment”. She keeps teling me to go, because of my knee issues since I’ve started running.

    Then, I read terrifying stories like from mudpuddles and I’m reaffirmed that chiros are quacks.

    There’s some evidence (I can’t be arsed to drudge up the articles, some are referred in Ernst/Singh “trick or treatment”) that chiro is as effective as standard treatment for lower back pains. In that way, chiro is unique as the sole form of SCAM* that has *some* evidence for it.

    There are some caveats:
    1: It’s lower back pain only, not a shred of evidence for all other treatments they might offer (and it should be mentioned – never let them touch you above the shoulder blades) – especially not things like asthma and allergies
    2: Standard treatment for back pain sucks. It’s basically pain killers and advice on exercise
    3: People being people, compliance for exercise is low, and people are likely to over-report compliance on reviews.

    *(So Called Alternative Medicine)

  22. 22
    gworroll

    The way I see it, if any chiropractic techniques can help with cancer, in any way, any decent oncologist will know about it, or quickly find it in their research if it’s a form of cancer they haven’t dealt with much. If I had cancer, I’d let them decide if/when a chiropractic intervention was warranted.

    If it works, it’s going to be part of standard medicine. Maybe not immediately, but chiropracty has been around long enough to be evaluated and working techniques adopted.

  23. 23
    joed

    http://www.etymonline.com/

    chiropractic
    coined in Amer.Eng. 1898, from chiro- “hand” + praktikos “practical” (see practical), the whole of it loosely meant as “done by hand.”

    chiropodist
    1785, from chiro- “hand” + pod-, stem of Gk. pous “foot” (see foot). They treated both hands and feet. A much-maligned word among classicists, who point out it could mean “having chapped feet” but probably doesn’t, and in that case it is an etymological garble and no one can say for sure what it is meant to signify. Related: Chiropody.

  24. 24
    RFW

    #17 Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says:

    …my knee issues since I’ve started running.

    You stop that right now. If you have “knee issues” as a result of running, trust me, running is only going to make your knees worse, not better. Take up swimming or bicycling instead.

    Says I, who has knee problems such that I’ll probably have to get artificial joints in them in the next few years.

    As for chiropractors and their “therapy”, a well-trained physiotherapist knows how to do chiropractic-style manipulations, but doesn’t set himself up in opposition to the doctors and doesn’t manipulate unnecessarily. None of that nudge-nudge wink-wink BS “we don’t want to cut you.” Neither does a surgeon “want to cut you.”

    Chiropractors like to imply that surgeons get their jollies cutting people up, a wholly false imputation. Hamilton Hall, a Toronto orthopedic surgeon who wrote “The Back Doctor”, comments that something like 95% of the patients who came through his office door were NOT candidates for surgery.

    Another problem with chiropractors is that they see the whole world through a lens labeled “manipulation” and generally don’t have access to, or the know-how for, the wide range of other therapies a physiotherapist offers. It’s like a man with just a hammer, who sees all the world’s problems as nails needing to be driven in harder.

  25. 25
    Amphiox

    There’s some evidence (I can’t be arsed to drudge up the articles, some are referred in Ernst/Singh “trick or treatment”) that chiro is as effective as standard treatment for lower back pains. In that way, chiro is unique as the sole form of SCAM* that has *some* evidence for it.

    This is true. The evidence is as solid as the evidence for everything else evidence-based medicine has to say about back pain.

    But all the evidence for everything that has to do with mechanical back pain is iffy to moderately good at best.

    1: It’s lower back pain only, not a shred of evidence for all other treatments they might offer

    Clarification: it is acute mechanical back pain only, not any other type, and not chronic mechanical back pain (AFAIK). Mechanical low back pain is the most common form of low back pain, but it is not the only one.

    (and it should be mentioned – never let them touch you above the shoulder blades)

    Very true. The potential risk of vertebral artery dissection and brainstem strokes may be low, but it is very real.

    2: Standard treatment for back pain sucks.

    Quite true.

    It’s basically pain killers and advice on exercise

    Not precisely. For acute low back pain, the only pain killer that is recommended is tylenol (ie no narcotics). Physiotherapy is the standard treatment, although physiotherapy eventually transitions to advice on exercise. The other standard treatment is tincture of time. 90% of acute low back pain spontaneously resolves no matter what anyone does within 3 weeks to 3 months. The remaining 10% is the 10% that we more or less cannot treat worth beans.

  26. 26
    augustpamplona

    The actor, Kevin Sorbo, had a stroke during the time period when Hercules The Legendary Journeys TV series was being produced. It’s unclear from various accounts what actually happened but he does blame it on cervical manipulation by a chiropractor.

  27. 27
    amoeba

    Chiropractic works, but not necessarily in a good way!

    It seems that scaring-away imaginary leprechauns has its hazards too.

    8 June 2012 Last updated at 01:44

    ….A common chiropractic treatment for neck pain, which involves applying thrusts to the neck area of the spine, should be abandoned, say experts.

    Writing in the British Medical Journal, Neil O’Connell and colleagues say that cervical spine manipulation carries a low risk of stroke, resulting from damage to the major neck arteries….

    http://is.gd/OK3WDG

  28. 28
    Stella

    I don’t see any cancer cure here, but I do see a cure for swollen wallets, so I guess that’s something.

    Gnumann: I love that acronym. If you don’t mind, I’m going to start using it.

  29. 29
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    Not precisely.

    I must admit I wasn’t aiming for precision

    For acute low back pain, the only pain killer that is recommended is tylenol (ie no narcotics). Physiotherapy is the standard treatment, although physiotherapy eventually transitions to advice on exercise. The other standard treatment is tincture of time. 90% of acute low back pain spontaneously resolves no matter what anyone does within 3 weeks to 3 months. The remaining 10% is the 10% that we more or less cannot treat worth beans.

    That’s paracetamol for us other-side-of-the-pond’ers, right? My local GPs seem to go for a paracetamol/NSAIDS-mix (usually diclofenac).

  30. 30
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    Gnumann: I love that acronym. If you don’t mind, I’m going to start using it

    I can’t claim copyright to stolen goods, so you’re welcome – I can’t attribute the acronym properly, but iirc I acquired it at Ben Goldacres Bad Science site. (It works beautifully in my native Scandinavian language too, only then it spells out our word for shame).

  31. 31
    Alex

    The acronym has been in regular use by Quankcast’s Mark Crislip for quite some time, although for “Supplements, Complemetary and Alternative Medicine” iirc.

  32. 32
    kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith

    My local GPs seem to go for a paracetamol/NSAIDS-mix (usually diclofenac).

    Here, depending on the severity of the pain, the favored starting mix is usually NSAID/muscle relaxant – naproxen/cyclobenzaprine.

    I have had to look through many medical files of people with back pain, mechanical, discogenic, herniated-disk-related for work. Very few of them get chiro treatments. Most get physical therapy.

    For chronic, severe cases – those who eventually develop secondary psychiatric problems, up to suicidal ideation – placebos such as chiro treatments tend to have very, very little effect.

    In those cases, neurostimulation is sometimes attempted, and if it fails, I’ve seen some patients receive a subcutaneous morphine pump.

  33. 33
    Amphiox

    That’s paracetamol for us other-side-of-the-pond’ers, right?

    Yep. (Acetaminaphen)

    My local GPs seem to go for a paracetamol/NSAIDS-mix (usually diclofenac).

    In medical school and residency I had been taught that acetaminophen+ibuprofen has roughly the same effectiveness as acetaminophen+codeine (tylenol #3).

    This is Class C evidence. (Consensus expert opinion).

    A LOT of back pain evidence is Class C.

    Here, depending on the severity of the pain, the favored starting mix is usually NSAID/muscle relaxant – naproxen/cyclobenzaprine.

    There is no evidence that muscle relaxants are of any use in acute mechanical low back pain. Physicians will often use them anyways. When what evidence there is is only of things that barely work at all, the practical demands of having to treat real-life people who are real-life suffering usually means that physicians will ignore the evidence in favor of doing something, anything, that might have a chance of working (or, perhaps more charitable, loosely interpret the available evidence).

  34. 34
    paul5150

    my SIL is a chiro, and man the crap she comes out with, unbelievable. I am hoping somebody here may be able to answer a question for me, do tranpslanted organs get the nerves reattached?

    I.e. does a transplanted kidney get the nerves reattached, if not then how could a Chiro treat a kidney recepient for a kidney issue by correcting their spine and getting the nerves to work properly?

    My SIL claims to treated a now deceased friend of mine many years ago re this when i know he has had a kidney transplant and i know that she does not know this. Never wanted to challenge her over this because i do not know the answer to the above question?

    Does any body here know? Do transplanted organs get the nerves re-attached? I think not, but then i am not a surgeon or medical student, but my layman understanding is that nerves generally do not heal after being severed, i.e paraplegics etc.

    Even if the organ does get its nerve supply back, i still dont believe that Chiro could possibly help.

    regards,
    Paul5150.

  35. 35
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Mudpuddles: I’ve got TMJD, and just reading your description made me wince. That’s horrifying.

    Wow, very…something of the chiroquacks to use “Hey holy shit y’all cancer cure!!!!!” headlines for self-promotion. At least they weren’t claiming to be curing cancer themselves? Cancer quackery is definitely one of my berserk buttons.

    A cousin of mine is a chiropractor. Not sure if he’s the woo-ey kind or the regular kind, but he is a smarmy, kind of profoundly sketchy fellow. I never trusted chiros just based on him, it was good to learn it was a well-founded mistrust.

  36. 36
    Amphiox

    Chiropractors like to imply that surgeons get their jollies cutting people up, a wholly false imputation. Hamilton Hall, a Toronto orthopedic surgeon who wrote “The Back Doctor”, comments that something like 95% of the patients who came through his office door were NOT candidates for surgery.

    Dr. Hall and the rest of us Canadian physicians who treat various aspects of low back and leg pain have the luxury that our medical system allows us to follow these sensible recommendations without suffering systemic penalties. Our wait lists usually also mean that, by default, we will only be seeing those patients who have already passed that 3 week to 3 month window where 90% spontaneously recover, and we rarely have to deal with the spectre of the patient in excruciating pain for a week demanded surgery and having to somehow tell him that no, he doesn’t need surgery, and that if he just toughs it out for another few weeks, he’ll get better (with the full and near absolute realization that if you do this, of that 10% who do NOT get better (even if you disclose this from the outset), half of them WILL turn around and sue you if you don’t offer surgery immediately)

    In the US fubar of a “system”, at least half if not more of the people presenting to you with low back pain who are not candidates for surgery, will, if you tell them you won’t operate on them, will immediately go doctor shopping, and will invariably find someone out there willing to do their surgery, (usually with an office within blocks of yours). Which means you’ll have seen someone for a good hour of examination and counselling, and get to charge maybe $50 for the visit, while that other guy who operates will see the patient for 15 minutes and earn several thousand or more from doing about 2-3 hours of surgery. (And your hospital/employer/partners will be on your case for letting a lucrative spine surgery opportunity slip through your fingers and land in your competitor’s lap).

    It is estimated in some quarters that perhaps as many as 90+% of back surgeries done in the US may not actually have been necessary or indicated. No one knows the exact number because no one has ever dared to try and study this.

  37. 37
    Alex

    paul,

    IANAD, but it sounds absolutely crucial to me that organs get the relevant nerves reattached – otherwise they would probably not work correctly. However, I have never thought about this, so I would be delighted to learn more about it. That being said, hell no Chiro does not help regenerating the innervation of organs. The people who invented Chiro certainly had no idea about this, and there is no plausible mechanism whatsoever. This type of claim is extremely bogus.

  38. 38
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    A cousin of mine is a chiropractor. Not sure if he’s the woo-ey kind or the regular kind, but he is a smarmy, kind of profoundly sketchy fellow. I never trusted chiros just based on him, it was good to learn it was a well-founded mistrust.

    If you want to find out the emic terms are “straight” and “mixer”. “Straights” are überwoomeisters worshipping Palmer as a demi-god. Mixers are just that – trying to mix knowledge in with the woo (not doing it very well IMHO though).

  39. 39
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Gnumann: Having not seen him in something like a decade, I decided to look up the practice. Oh god, the woo. Allergy “cures”, schizophrenia “cures”…jesus. Somehow, I don’t feel bad for not having seen him in years and years.

  40. 40
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Rev. BigDumbChimp, had you checked the Internet Archive for remains of the site which is now gone? You may find some bits and links and maybe even a moving notice even if the site wasn’t archived to any great depth.

  41. 41
    lizditz

    On twitter, I usually spell it $CAM.

    The chiropractic universe is…odd. At least in the US, the chiropractic schools are all (to the best of my knowledge) for-profit enterprises. Many seem to be struggling financially. The chiropractic industry lobbied to have chiropractic included in the 1970s health-professional student-loan programs. Huge numbers of chiropractors have defaulted on those loans. Why? They can’t make enough money to cover their living expenses, let alone repay loans. A very high percentage of chiropractors quit the business within 5 years of graduation.

    At the same time, chiropractic leaders are pushing to broaden the scope of practice. There are “chiropractic neurologists” (see Steven Novella on that foolishness), and more quacky sub-specialties.

    The other thing you should know: the majority of chiropractors are actively anti-vaccine.

    I would like the profession to go the way of carriage-whip manufacturers. Nothing chiropractors do is irreplaceable. I’ve had better outcomes with physical therapy.

  42. 42
    Gnumann+,with no bloody irony at all (just an anti-essentialist feminist with a shotgun)

    Gnumann: Having not seen him in something like a decade, I decided to look up the practice. Oh god, the woo. Allergy “cures”, schizophrenia “cures”…jesus. Somehow, I don’t feel bad for not having seen him in years and years.

    Oh yes, the straights are terribad. The only good thing is that AFAIK, they are not doing “chiro against HIV/Malaria-drives in Africa(Unlike homoeopaths).

  43. 43
    cyberCMDR

    I’ve had problems with my back off and on over the years, and even had to have a herniated disk repair once. The best thing I found for back maintenance has been yoga. Now, when I feel my back starting to seize up I have a favorite set of yoga exercises that generate a small *pop* or two, and usually my back loosens up again. Nothing strenuous or violent.

    When I practice yoga back strengthening exercises regularly, my back tends to cause a lot less trouble. This is not to say you can’t go wrong with yoga. I’ve heard of some doing real damage by being too strenuous (competitive?) in their stretches. With my back history, I avoid pushing it too hard.

  44. 44
    paul5150

    Tyrant,

    Thanks for the reply. Obvioulsy IANAD either, but i think organs, or at least some, can function somewhat without a proper nervous supply. Whilst some patients (thinking here of people who have severed spinal cords high in their back or neck) may lose control over their bladder, their kidneys still “kidney”, their pancreas still does what it does. Obviously any function that is under chemical control (hormonal for instance) should still work without any nervous signals.

    I write the above in the full knowledge that i may be incorrect in my assumptions. Glad to admit if i am wrong, no doubt given the wide range of knowledge shared in this blog over the years, somebody will know the answer.

    So Tyrant, like you, i am keen to learn more about it. Anyone???

  45. 45
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    @Stella, Gnumann: if you want to be a bit subtly snide about it, then the version I originally saw (sorry, can’t recall where) works quite well: Supplementary, Complementary & Alternative Medicine.

  46. 46
    Scott Simmons

    I found the ad perfectly clear–the chiro is giving free evaluations to people who donate to the medical fund for a local cancer-ridden child. The money will presumably go for actual medical care for her–of all the wild claims I’ve seen for chiropractic, curing cancer has never shown up on the list.

    So, not scammy as far as I can tell. Just terribly ironic.

  47. 47
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Chiropractic is not only incapable of curing cancer, it doesn’t even treat cancer.

    True. And to go even further it’s incapable of diagnosing cancer.

    I had a boss who was into all this alt-woo crap. She believed that cancer was caused by a person believing in it. As a small business we received requests for donations constantly. Once I made the mistake of giving her one from The Cross Cancer Institute, a world class treatment facility. She snatched it and threw it in the garbage saying “I hate those people. They cause cancer.”

    When she started having back pains she went to a chiro. I have no idea what he diagnosed, but she went to him regularly for around a year. The pain kept growing. Then she went to a Chinese herbalist. The pain kept growing. It got so bad she woke up screaming so finally she went to a real doctor and found out she had lung cancer. She died less than a month later.

    I don’t know if she would of lived or died had she sought real treatment from the start. Lung cancer has a bad survival rate. But I do know that the choices she made gave her no chance whatsoever.

  48. 48
    robro

    I saw a chiro many years ago for quite a while, mostly because I could get massages covered on my insurance. She was gentle but once she did some kind of abdominal manipulation to clear my ileocecal valve which may not have been a good thing. I’ll never go see another one, particularly knowing what I know now.

    The last time I had joint complaints (a knee) I saw a PT. I wouldn’t say “miracle,” of course, but it was close enough for my purposes. I barely walked in, but with hardly a touch and just a few exercises with my legs and rotating my ankles, I walked out in pretty good shape. After a a very few sessions, they had taught me these exercises so that it has been unnecessary to go back after more than 5 years. Also, I’m confident that if they felt I needed an ortho, they would have sent me to one.

    Scott — I’ve seen claims for chiro curing cancer, although that was decades ago. Certainly there are implications of it, such as the subject of this post. A bit of googling reveals quite a bit of chatter about claims that chiro can cure cancer. For example, I found a thread concerning a Houston chiro that was shut down by the FDA for claiming a cancer cure rate of 70%…according to the post…verifiable…sure thing. I got a bridge for sell. The American Cancer Society thinks enough of this issue to state, “Available scientific evidence does not support claims that chiropractic treatment cures cancer or any other life-threatening illness.”

  49. 49
    WhiteHatLurker

    I never knew that leprechauns were the cause of illness. The things you learn on the interweb.

    @Eamon Knight
    I had only heard of subluxation of the jaw previously. Painfully ironic, given @mudpuddles’ experiences above. (Thank you for sharing that, @mudpuddles! I will use that the next time I get pulled into a chiropractic discussion.)

    @FossilFishy (Lobed-finned Killer of Threads)

    Once I made the mistake of giving her one from The Cross Cancer Institute, a world class treatment facility. She snatched it and threw it in the garbage saying “I hate those people. They cause cancer.”

    Totally gobsmacked by her reaction. Cross is excellent.

  50. 50
    FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!)

    Totally gobsmacked by her reaction. Cross is excellent.

    Indeed it is. In fact they not only do the treatments well, their standard of patient care is exceptional. Each outpatient is assigned a volunteer to stay with them throughout the treatment as a general helper. You know, providing personal human contact, treating the patient as person first and a disease second. All the things that alt-med practitioners claim evidence based medicine never does, therefor woo is better. [spits]

    I was also gobsmacked. Up to that point I knew she was on the crazy train, but not that it had left the station, obtained full speed and derailled over the Cliffs of Holy Shit to land in Are-you-fucking-kidding-me Town.

  51. 51
    fernando

    That advertisement could be considered a scam.

    Isn´t possible to a person that lives there to sue the authors of the advertisement, and the courts give orders to the police to confiscate all the advertisements?

    Or we can put in the streets, of the USA, any kind of advertisement, no matter the lies?

  52. 52
    jonnyscaramanga

    I think Trickster Goddess (19) had a point that deserves more attention.

  53. 53
    julietdefarge

    Let’s see what he is offering in return for your $39. donation to this poor girl who is probably terminal:
    Complete ‘health’ history – You already own your medical history. Every practitioner has to give you copies of everything, although they may ask for photocopy charges.
    Ortho/Neuro exam. If he’s not an licensed orthopedic physician, he can’t give you an orthopedic exam. Ditto neurology.
    Initial X-rays – Nobody’s going to do x-rays for $39.- unless…you agree to sign up for a course of treatments at $,$$$. That’s where the “new patient” caveat comes in.
    I suspect this is all perfectly legal, just like those “free” cash cards you can get if you sign up online for many, many “valuable offers.”

  54. 54
    harcox8

    Sublux isn’t a quack-word, it might be in relation to vertebrae, I don’t know, but in medicine in general I know it isn’t. A couple of years ago I had to see a shoulder specialist to due intense long-term pain, and he, and the following physiotherapists (all licensed, proper physios, not chiropracters etc.)all called my condition subluxation of the shoulder blade.

    I mean, obviously, the poster is crap, no question, but the word sublux needn’t necessarily be.

  55. 55
    A. R

    lizditz is absolutely right, Chiros are usually actively anti-vax. Which alone makes me disdain them. They’re actually taught anti-vaxism in Chiro colleges, which, apparently also offer “metaphysics” classes. (This according to a student I spoke to recently.)

  56. 56
    Useless

    Thanks for explaining about subluxations, but we already knew that anything of that sort has be quackery. Your problems are caused by engrams.

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