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Quackery

Another variant on chiropractic

A while ago, I discussed the case of a chiropracter who has pioneered a technique of “touchless” chiropractic, manipulating patient’s spines without even touching them. Well, an Ohio chiropracter has gone one step further. He claims he can cure patients by going back in time:

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A chiropractor who claims he can treat anyone by reaching back in time to when an injury occurred has attracted the attention of state regulators.

The Ohio State Chiropractic Board, in a notice of hearing, has accused James Burda of Athens of being “unable to practice chiropractic according to acceptable and prevailing standards of care due to mental illness, specifically, Delusional Disorder, Grandiose Type.”

Burda denied that he is mentally ill. He said he possesses a skill he discovered by accident while driving six years ago.

“My foot hurt and, knowing anatomy, I went ahead and I told it to realign and my pain went away,” Burda said Thursday.

Burda calls his treatment “Bahlaqeem.”

“It is a made-up word and, to my knowledge, has no known meaning except for this intended purpose. It does, however, have a soothing vibrational influence and contains the very special number of nine letters,” Burda’s Web site says.

How could I have missed this one? And what’s with all the wackiness coming out of Ohio lately?

On his website, James Burda describes his service:

Bahlaqeem is a long distance healing service (not a product) to help increase the quality of your life that can be performed in the privacy of your home or other personal space. There is no need to come to my office.

No need to bother with the pesky business of coming to see him; just send him your money. Maybe next he’ll “cure” people over the Internet.

Burda also describes his treatment:

This is what happens when I get a request to be treated. As soon as I get a request for treatment, I think of you, the person to whom the correction is being directed, and then silently asks if you can be treated. This is a request for permission to perform a treatment and is done before all treatments are made. If I do not get a positive answer, I stop and nothing is done at that time. I may ask again and if I get the same response I do not attempt the adjustment. I will communicate this to you. If, however, after asking permission for treatment and a positive response is received, the manipulation is performed right away.

The diagnostic procedure involves asking questions either out loud or silently as to how different bones are misaligned, twisted, rotated or displaced. Once the diagnosis is completed, the correction is made either by telling the bone to shift to its proper position or by hand-directing it. The adjustment is performed while thinking about the area that needs to change. This is the gift which I have been given, my ability to tell the body to make changes.

The next important question you might ask is how can I tell if the answer to a question is positive or not (negative). This comes from a simple movement I can do over and over again, with subtle changes being monitored. This movement is similar to the use of a pendulum, dowsing rod or similar action.

What you sense may be different from other people. You may feel bones actually moving, tingling feelings throughout your body, increased soreness, decreased soreness, pain, aches and discomforts in other parts of your body not originally noticed. Different parts of your body may be compensating for the changes that are being made. You may also not feel anything happening during the manipulation, but may feel the results. Most of the time, changes are instantaneous and can often be felt. After the treatment session you may become sore throughout your body, which may last for a few hours to a day or two. Real soreness is most often the sign of healing and may exist after the treatment is performed.

Burda charges $60 a session for each session. Nice work if you can get it.

You know, this is one of those cases where I almost think that anyone stupid enough to fall for such a scam deserves to be separated from their cash, but then my pesky sense of right and wrong intrudes.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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