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Complementary and alternative medicine Quackery

A chiropractor strikes back at the Institute for Science in Medicine

Every so often I come across a post by quacks or supporters of quackery that make me wish that we as skeptics and supporters of science-based medicine actually had the abilities and powers attributed to us. I mean, what’s the good of being accused of running a conspiracy to crush any sort of “unconventional” or “alternative” medicine if we don’t actually have the power to crush unconventional and alternative medicine? Then, sometimes, there are posts that make me really wish that my bloggy skeptic friends and the skeptic organizations to which I belong actually had the power to do the things we’re accused of. Sadly, we don’t. But a guy can fantasize can’t he?

Certainly, that’s what I was thinking when I came across a hilariously paranoid post by a a chiropractor calling himself J. C. Smith (JCS), who runs a website called Chiropractors for Fair Journalism. The post is about a policy institute to which I belong, the Institute for Science in Medicine, and refers to ISM as The Medical GoodFellas. Before I respond, please take note of this disclaimer. In this post, I am not speaking for ISM in any capacity. I do not speak for ISM, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of ISM. As a snarky blogger, I speak for no one but myself, and that is enough.

The article starts with the typical canards laid down by chiropractors about how horrible the American Medical Association is and how it supposedly tried to shut down chiropractic (as though that were a bad thing), referring to the AMA as a “medical mob” and to Morris Fishbein, MD, former director of the AMA as a “longtime medical godfather” and the “medical Mussolini.” JCS then equates opposition to the pseudoscience and quackery that underlie chiropractic with “bigotry”:

His intolerant quasi-KKK attitude about all non-allopathic CAM professions set the tone for the Jim Crow, MD, bias we see in many members in the medical profession today.

Without question, the medical bigotry fomented by Fishbein’s medical mob mindset remains steadfast in some quarters and is quite possibly the last bastion of acceptable prejudice in America. Clearly the “n-word” is unacceptable today in our general society, and the “b-word” is certainly an epithet offensive to women, but the “q-word” is still openly used by many biased MDs even though it was found to be a baseless charge back in the 1970s.

Because calling quackery quackery is exactly like using the n-word to describe African-Americans or calling a woman a “bitch.” Leave it to quacks to mistake criticism of what they have chosen to do for a living with criticism of what they inherently are because they were born that way and had no choice in the matter. There is a difference. African-Americans can’t help being an African-American, and women can’t help being women, which is a major part of the reason why slurs based on their being African-American or a woman are slurs constituting bigotry. In marked contrast, a chiropractor chooses to be a chiropractor. To become a chiropractor requires making a conscious decision to go to a school of chiropractic, to study the system of quackery that is so much of chiropractic, and then to put out a shingle and practice chiropractic. Let’s put it this way: If I decided to become a homeopath, would it be “bigotry” to say that I’ve become a quack? No! It would be a statement of fact, and, as we all know from the tagline of this blog, a statement of fact can’t be insolent. It also can’t really be bigotry, either, when it is a statement about a conscious personal career choice. None of this stops JCS from referring to valid scientific criticisms of chiropractic as the power of prejudice:

Although it is politically incorrect nowadays to be racist, sexist, anti-Semitic or homophobic, I have never heard any news pundit speak out against chiropractors being called “quacks” by chauvinistic medical professionals. While you may not read it in articles once seen in the era of the Committee on Quackery, their “everybody knows chiropractic is an unscientific cult” belief remains a wink-wink attitude among medical bigots although, ironically, research shows that chiropractic care is superior to medical care for most spine-related disorders, a fact untold by the media and unknown by the public.

Never mind that chiropractic is unscientific. Never mind that there is no such thing as a subluxation. Never mind that it’s nonsense that chiropractic is superior to medical care for spinal disorders. At best, it can be equal to standard physical therapy. Besides, it’s not really spinal manipulation that is the problem with chiropractic. As I’ve said so many times before, chiropractors are physical therapists with delusions of grandeur. The delusion comes from the claims of so many chiropractors that they can treat more than just back pain. I’m referring to conditions such as allergies, asthma, and all manner of other diseases not related to the spine or the musculoskeletal system that chiropractors claim they can treat. Therein lies the quackery, and limiting privileges of chiropractors in medical centers practicing science-based medicine is not a bad thing, particularly given the chance of stroke from neck manipulation.

So let’s move on to the ISM, given that I have more than a bit of a stake in the success of this particular organization. The ISM is a policy institute, newly formed—embryonic, even—dedicated to supporting science-based medicine and opposing bad science and pseudoscience in medicine. It’s as simple as that. In other words, it’s an institute dedicated to standing up for the sorts of issues that Orac has been standing up for right here on this very blog for seven years. What’s not to like? Well, if you’re JCS, apparently the mission statement of ISM is very offensive because it explicitly states that the purpose of ISM is to stand up for science and against quackery. JCS’s response to the statement that ISM “relies on the qualifications, expertise, and understanding of medicine and science of all our Fellows to reliably inform public policy with objective facts and sound judgment” is this:

This mission statement is troubling on many levels. First of all, it is not the role of any medical mob to police other healthcare professions. Keep in mind there are no federal or state agencies working in conjunction with ISM. It alone acts like a bully who brandishes this war of words to defame all CAM professions by fear-mongering and slander.

Because, obviously, to chiropractors like JCS, reliably informing public policy with objective facts, science, and sound judgment is slanderous. What drivel! What nonsense! How typical! Slander generally involves knowingly making statements about someone that are false and defamatory. Opinions offered in good faith are not slander. Opinions that are supportable with science, evidence, and facts are not slander. Nor is it “bullying” to state a scientific viewpoint. If anything, it’s practitioners of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) modalities like chiropractic who tend to be the bullies. Remember the British Chiropractic Association sued Simon Singh for libel because he referred to chiropractors making “bogus” claims (which many of their claims arguably are). Fortunately, the BCA lost, and lost spectacularly. In any case, it’s usually the quacks who are the bullies, suing supporters of science-based medicine left and right who dare to criticize them too harshly. Examples are legion, and I’ve blogged about them many times before, including the case of Doctor’s Data suing Steve Barrett, Shayla McCallum and Dr. Thomas Lodi making legal threats against a blogging cancer patient, a quack named Andreas Moritz threatening to sue a blogger, Barbara Loe Fisher suing Paul Offit, Andrew Wakefield suing Brian Deer, Joseph Chikelue Obi legally threatening a blogger, and, of course, Marc Stephens threatening skeptical bloggers who criticized Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski.

The list goes on and on and on. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if JCS started making legal threats for my referring to chiropractic as quackery.

I must admit, I was a bit disappointed in JCS’s post. He mentions several skeptics, some of whom I know, such as Harriet Hall, Steve Salzberg, and Jann Bellamy. Hilariously, JCS gets something about Harriet Hall so completely wrong that I really do have to wonder where he got his information. First, he’s incensed that Harriet called the study of CAM “quackademia” on NPR on February 15, 2012. That’s not what’s wrong. I’m sure Harriet did do exactly that, and I heartily approve. I use the term “quackademic medicine” myself frequently, although I do try to give credit where credit is due and point out that I did not coin the term. Dr. R. W. Donnell did, as far as I have been able to tell. No, what JCS claimed was that Harriet was the spokesperson on Capital Hill during the “Obamacare” debate and demanded that only MDs be called doctors. I know Harriet. I also know that she has never testified before Congress (although I think it would be awesome if she were called to do so). I’d also disagree that only MDs should be called doctors. PhDs have every right to be called “doctor” as well.

In any case, what disappointed me is that I wasn’t mentioned at all in the post. Darn it, I spend seven and a half years discussing science, science-based medicine, and in general putting CAM, “integrative medicine,” and the antivaccine movement (as well as a lot of non-medical pseudoscience as well) into proper context, and I don’t even rate a mention?

Oh, well, JCS is promising part two. In the meantime, I can only wonder if maybe, just maybe, I should have resurrected the Hitler Zombie for JCS. Clearly his brain’s been chomped, given how he pulled a Godwin, quoting Adolf Hitler about the power of propaganda in the context of blaming the AMA for propaganda against chiropractors.

Maybe I should have done a Hitler Zombie piece, after all. Of course, on the other hand, JCS can’t seem to make up his mind whether ISM is a bunch of medical gangsters, Nazis, or just your run-of-the-mill bullies. He really is a very confused fellow. JCS’s confusion aside, I wish that we skeptics actually did have the power that people like JCS actually attribut to us. Alas, we do not. All we have is science, reason, facts, and our words. They will have to suffice.

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]

217 replies on “A chiropractor strikes back at the Institute for Science in Medicine”

Wow. He has no self-awareness at all. Perhaps adjusting the stick up his ar$e would be beneficial to him.

Now to get serious. I’m pretty sure that quacks have the right to marry who they want, to have kids or adopt them. They’re not denied housing or employment, nor are they murdered, victims of ‘corrective’ r*pe, or accused of being the root of society’s ills.

Pathetic, mewling, crybaby, wannabe medical professional, QUACK.

OT but speaking of Hitler zombies, Paula Kirby has claimed that feminist bloggers are simultaneously Nazis and Stasi for denouncing sexism.

Actually Kirby didn’t. She called certain people Feminazis and at the same time made it very clear that she did not mean they were Nazis- she said this explicitly (She compares the term to ‘Grammar Nazis’). Given that intent is not magical, you may still think that it carries the connotation that such people are Nazis, which would indicate a failure of communication on her part. (Frankly I do not think she should have used the term at all, because I do not see how you can separate the two terms in the minds of the public)

What you can’t do is say that she called Myers, Watson, Benson et al Nazis, because she didn’t.

I won’t touch the ‘sexism’ part of the comment, there have been enough strawmen in the debate already…

Please, people. I really don’t want that argument metastasizing to my comment threads. I’ve already been burned badly enough by it, and I admit my massive error for every having said anything in the first place. These days, I’d rather deal with a torrent of Thingy comments than for a comment thread on my blog to become dominated by this kerfuffle.

Blue Wode: Wow. That book is some serious crazy. I had no idea, although I probably could have guessed from just his one article and from perusing JCS’s website.

My grandfather’s entire family were murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau and Ravensbruck*. Among them was a baby, some toddlers, and my grandfather’s grandparents.

Their ‘crime’ was that they were dark-complected. Poles, which made them Lebensunwertes Leben.

A dear, amazing friend of mine was Ostdeutsch, she lived in Berlin.and was a feminist activist, helping mothers maintain contact with children who’d been in West Berlin hospitals when the wall went up, among other ‘subversive’ acts.

Small things happened at first. Stuff in her flat was missing, or moved. She received anonymous calls through the night.

Her mail never reached her, she lost her job and couldn’t get another. She was summoned to Party HQ multiple times.

Then it ramped up. Her brother and her girlfriend were ‘disappeared’. They never turned up. Her flat was ransacked, her family and friends were warned to avoid her, and then she was brutally r*ped and beaten.

To this day she won’t use a landline, she has flashbacks, and feels terrible guilt about her dead loved ones.

Totalitarian regimes there. Death, destruction, brutality and total control. Comparing that to bloggers wishing to implement sexual harassment policies at atheist/freethought conventions is quite frankly pi$$ing into the graves of the victims of both regimes. The 50 million killed in WWII and the victims of the Stasi deserve better than being used to denigrate people you disagree with.

It disgusts me. I’d love to see her read her little screed. to survivors.

*Ravensbruck was for women. Feminists, single mothers, lesbians, and ‘gender traitors’ (masculine women and effeminate men) were murdered there after being worked half to death in the Siemens factory.

I’ve been there to pay my respects. The exhibit about the children in the camp is one of the things that will haunt me forever.

Sorry Orac, you commented while I was writing mine.

I’ll change the subject now.

It’s OK, elburto.Your post was actually appreciated.

I was referring to the whole kerfuffle about TAM with misogynists calling feminists Nazis, etc. I don’t want to be drawn into that, and I don’t want my blog comments to be taken over by it. The vitriol outstrips even that of many of the quack trolls who show up here.

JCS is heavy with hyperbole. However, his grasp of the reality is, well, tenuous.

His intolerant quasi-KKK attitude

It’s true, you have all of these physicians running around in white garb and masks and burning caduceus-like sticks in front of the houses of chiropractors.

And it’s also true that it’s not correct to use the n-word anymore in North America. Instead, we say of a black man that he is from Kenya.

Similar comments could be done (and have already be done) on sexism, homophobia and other prejudices Mr JCS believe to be over.
Damn, the Texas Republican manifesto from last week is bristling with them. Talk about “politically incorrect”.
And of course, as pointed by ORAC, it’s all false equivalency.

ironically, research shows that chiropractic care is superior to medical care for most spine-related disorders

And research also shows that, if you let a chiropractor touch you above the neck, he is also superior at giving you spine-related disorders.

Sounds like J.C. Smith is the Bill Donohue for chiropractic, although I doubt if he is making as large a fortune as the Catholic League ($22 million in assets).

Scepticism/atheism needs a counterpart.

Orac, I agree that PhD’s should be able to call themselves “Dr” (I had a high school English teacher who had her Doctorate – and you only made the mistake of calling her ‘Mrs. M’ ONCE)

However it should also be recognized that some folks with PhD’s (*cough Viera*) abuse their credentials to give them and their opinion more weight than they should have.

A PhD paleogeology (or whatever it is V has) does’t equate to having the education and understanding to give medical advice.

That’s one thing that really ticks me off – and folks fall for it, because she uses the “Dr. V” tagline.

Clearly the “n-word” is unacceptable today in our general society, and the “b-word” is certainly an epithet offensive to women, but the “q-word” is still openly used by many biased MDs even though it was found to be a baseless charge back in the 1970s.

I can see where this could go. We can point out, as Orac has done, that blacks do not choose to be black but that chiropractors do choose to be chiropractors. And then it occurs to me — maybe they’re arguing that they didn’t choose it either. They were born incompetent!

😀

On a more serious note, political correctness is a red herring. They’re trying to divert us into arguments about politeness, since they have a better chance of success there, or at least of obfuscating until the entire argument becomes meaningless. But it doesn’t matter. Our argument doesn’t hinge on “othering” alternative practitioners. It hinges on their poor skills, dubious qualifications, nonstandard procedures, and conspicuous lack of any scientific foundation for their work. They could make it up as they go along and no one, even one of their own, would likely be able to tell the difference. Calling them quacks isn’t an insult. Calling them quacks is an honest opinion.

D.O.s are doctors. 99% forego the use of manipulative medicine and stick to hard science, but I believe it is mostly based on time and results… in today’s system, the use of manipulative medicine as an adjuvant therapy is just not feasible with respect to effort vs reward. But there is no denying that pain cam be alleviated with manipulative therapy, and a body that is not in a pro-inflammatory state does heal better, as does a body with a positive mindframe.

Careful how you judge medicine when you’ve not been on the other side

I think we can stop calling anyone Doctor, unless flattery gets you better medical care, in which case continue.

@ Blue Wode: You can see J. C. Smith’s book on the link that Orac provided:

http://chiropractorsforfairjournalism.info/Books_by_JCS.html

“Just as Woodward and Bernstein revealed Nixon’s Watergate fiasco, Smith has accomplish a similar feat in his investigation of the epidemic of unnecessary back surgeries. This book proves that back surgery may be the biggest ruse nowadays in the medical profession as an unnecessary and ineffective surgery thrust upon a gullible public. Someday it will be ranked with other unnecessary surgeries such as mastectomies, tonsillectomies, and hysterectomies. While these are often unnecessary, none of them leave patients as disabled as a failed back surgery.”

I *know* a breast cancer surgeon who might be a bit perturbed about that.

I’d also disagree that only MDs should be called doctors. PhDs have every right to be called “doctor” as well.

DVMs?

One of the far-seeing paradigm-shifters I survey often speaks passionately of the long war chiropractors have valiantly fought against governmental censor of their dissemination of wisdom and opposition to their devoted healing services selflessly delivered for the benefit of mankind.

OK, is that the type of “fair journalism” they would like to hear? It appears to me that alt med websites and lobbyists like the ANH are already providing enough of that crap.

-btw- Orac, I enjoyed that first paragraph… well played, sir!

Before I respond, please take note of this disclaimer. In this post, I am not speaking for ISM in any capacity. I do not speak for ISM, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of ISM. As a snarky blogger, I speak for no one but myself, and that is enough.

Am I the only one to notice that nowhere does Orac disclaim that he speaks for the mob? I think complaining about failing to receive your shill/minion payments may be a very bad idea.

Smith’s rant about “medical bigots” reminds me of the classic speech by Terry Rondberg (of the World Chiropractic Alliance), comparing chiros’ titanic struggle to that of the civil rights movement in the ’60s and Rosa Parks refusing to sit in the back of the bus.

ht_p://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/news/busads2.htm

Careful Orac, or you’ll be arrested for committing “hate crimes”.

Any chance this JC Smith is the same chiro who’s ticked off Rondberg and other leading lights of the profession?

ht_p://chirotalk.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=courageousDCs&thread=2730&page=1

@Darwy and the Dr:

Germany used to have a practical system where the “Dr” was qualified into subjects, e.g. “Dr. med. Hans Wurst” for a PhD (not just MD) in medicine or “Dr. rer. nat. Paul Aner” for a PhD in the natural sciences.

In practice people would still usually just say “Dr. Whatsyourname”, and IIRC Germany is now also slowly converting to PhDs, but at least in principle the structure to distinguish at least broadly was there.

“I’d also disagree that only MDs should be called doctors. PhDs have every right to be called “doctor” as well.”
A lot of other people are also called “doctor”, but we should all heed Nelson Algren’s warning – ‘Never play cards with a man called “Doc”.”

Chiroquacktor is my phrase of choice, especially the ones who claim to be “chiropractic neurologists”.

Edzard Ernst coined “marketing based medicine” for chiroquacktic because the industry spends so much time talking about how to get more patients.

In the higher-ed world, my impression is that places in which PhDs are addressed as “Dr” tend to be a little lower on the academic food chain. In places higher in the pecking order, you can simply assume that anyone on the faculty must have a doctorate.

One nice thing about having a PhD is that when you have a form that asks for “highest degree achieved”, you can simply answer “yes.”

Finally, on the Doc thing — an acquaintance of mine had a mom who was an aging bohemian back in the 70s; she hung out with a fellow for a while who called himself “Lovable Old Doc [X]”. She saw through him and memorably stated her objections as “He’s not lovable, he’s not old, he’s not a doctor, and his hame isn’t [X}!”

some folks with PhD’s […] abuse their credentials to give them and their opinion more weight than they should have.

UNPOSSIBLE.

rs — I don’t think anyone would dispute that. But that’s not the sort of thing we’re talking about. My husband’s regular doc is a DO; a DO was the obstetric surgeon who delivered my second child. Fine doctors, both of them. My problem is with, for instance, a DC who claims twisting your neck will cure your sinus infection.

what’s the good of being accused of running a conspiracy to crush any sort of “unconventional” or “alternative” medicine if we don’t actually have the power to crush unconventional and alternative medicine?

You mean you don’t have the power to instantly crush all chiropractic efficacy by uttering the magic phrase, “Anecdote is not evidence”? You seriously need to renegotiate your contract with Lord Draconios.

@ Dangerous Bacon:

“Any chance this JC Smith is the same chiro who’s ticked off Rondberg and other leading lights of the profession?”

You’ll find that “JCS” on the discussion board is James Charles Smith MA DC. See his newest entry where he is pimping his own book:

http://24499.activeboard.com/

In the higher-ed world, my impression is that places in which PhDs are addressed as “Dr” tend to be a little lower on the academic food chain.

Indeed. In the society journals I’ve worked on, “Dr.” was forbidden in references to colleagues (generally in the acknowledgments). “Prof.” was OK for full professors. In correspondence, basically everyone was “Dr.,” often including graduate students and even the production staff when we received correspondence from foreign authors, unless we knew each other, which case it was first names as usual.

And I always call my vets “Doctor,” even though I’ve known them for a very long time. This puts me in an uncomfortable position, as they then insist on calling me “Mister” in return, which I dislike, but I can’t break the habit.

rs – pain cam be alleviated with manipulative therapy, and a body that is not in a pro-inflammatory state does heal better, as does a body with a positive mindframe.

I’m so torn between:

[citation needed]

and

Oh bless your heart, are you new around here?

I also would have picked on rs’s “Careful how you judge medicine when you’ve not been on the other side”.
Every acupuncture fraud says that. You just judge for yourself you see, after having tried it. It’s the only evidence that matters, right? So I vote for “new around here”.

I had the impression he/she was talking about spinal manipulation for the relief of mild uncomplicated lower back pain and taking offense where it wasn’t warranted; thus my clarification. I find a lot of people who use and defend manipulation are unaware of the staggering depths of crazy that exists in that arena.

I kind of like the term “manipulative therapy” as an alternative designation for woo: you get manipulated into buying nonsense and learn to believe that it’s therapy.

a body that is not in a pro-inflammatory state does heal better

Do you mean I should stay out of California? Or is there a more pro-inflammatory state out there (I suppose Colorado is pretty much inflamed right now)?

I keep seeing adverts for MMS on this blog? Whats up with that?!

“Death, destruction, brutality and total control.” Alas, let us not forget that this sort of treatment is still with us. It is the four-decade-old quackery called “Attachment Therapy” (aka Holding Therapy, Compression Therapy, Rage Reduction, Nancy Thomas parenting, etc.). It meets the definition of “torture” as defined by the UN and has been linked to the abuse and deaths of numerous adopted children through starvation, hypothermia, slow suffocation, etc. And in some places, it is state-funded. (see childrenintherapy.org)

And of course ACT was also subject to a legion of bogus lawsuits.

“I was referring to the whole kerfuffle about TAM with misogynists calling feminists Nazis.”

Don’t want to drag you into the fray, but if you wish to stay aloof, then stay aloof. Don’t make inflammatory statements like that. Maybe you aren’t aware of it, but the ‘kerfuffle’ is about people making accusations of misogyny to avert examination of their position and about dishonesty, not about misogynists V feminists as some would like you to believe.

Thank you Liz Ditz @ 3 Jul 1:06 pm for the perfect lead in with your Edzard Ernst paraphrase. On that subject, from Smith’s quoted passage above, with my emphasis

research shows that chiropractic care is superior to medical care for most spine-related disorders, a fact untold by the media and unknown by the public.

Hmm. Could that be because these chiropractors spend so much effort creating a market for themselves by suggesting that all health is spine-related?

And now it’s our fault that folks do listen to their marketing beyond what research shows? Hmmm.

Swizzlesticks is apparently either unaware of or doesn’t remember what, exactly, I got raked over the coals and labeled a “bully” for saying (pointing what I considered to be a Hitler Zombie-worthy analogy) and who raked me over the coals for saying it (Ophelia Benson, the person who made the analogy, and many of her supporters). In any case, this particular blog war long ago got too nasty even for Orac, and that’s saying a lot. It reminds me of some of the epic blog throwdowns that ScienceBlogs used to be known for. Thankfully, this sort of drama has apparently moved over to FreeThoughtBlogs now. Hopefully, it will stay there.

In any case, I’d rather have Thingy, Sid Offit, our old friend the cannabis troll, Medicien Man, and John Best all infest the comments here simultaneously than let this issue get a foothold here.

@Orac:

I’m not aware of your involvement . The comment you made in THIS thread reads to me as making a judgement on the issue, and there’s no context given . That is what I was responding to and felt the urge to point this out to you in case you were not aware of that. I wasn’t making any judgements.

I don’t want to derail this thread but Orac’s response to me has been significantly expanded and edited in a way that makes my subsequent post look a bit silly. Not making any accusation of malicious intent, just explaining why my post seems to ignore points in Orac’s.

TFJ = Swizzlesticks, by the way. I’ll shut up and let you all get back to business.

My mother has terrible back pain for which she can get no relief from so-called mainstream medicine. The only relief she gets is from a local ‘chiropractor’. This guy seems responsible and effective, the antithesis of what I understand a chiropractor to be. What he is not is a woo artist and the pseudoscientific bunkum seems absent from his practise. Is anyone aware of more evidence-based schools of chiropractry that concentrate on medically safe manipulation of the spine? It’s hard to get people here to believe the original principles behind chiropractry as they understand it to be a something akin to a kind of advanced physiotherapy. My mother won’t hear a word against chiropractry as she can’t understand that her practitioner isn’t really a chiropractor. Much the way she won’t countenance condemnation of homeopathy as she thinks it encompasses herbalism.

@TFJ
“Is anyone aware of more evidence-based schools of chiropractry that concentrate on medically safe manipulation of the spine?”

yes i do, it’s called “orthopedic manual physical therapy”
it’s not chiropractic but they do use manual therapy (including spinal and peripheral joint manipulation) but in a medically safe way and evidence base context…

no “putting the vertebrae back in place” or other mystical pseudoscience concepts.

BTW – most of the research on spinal manipulation was done by orthopedic manual physical therapist…

My two cents on who is entitled to call themselves “Dr.”:

If you have achieved a doctorate or degree in a recognized (though not necessarily evidence-based) school that grants the title of “doctor” in a health field, you are indeed a doctor. However, if you are giving medical advice as a “doctor” and are not a medical doctor, you should reveal just what your qualifications are (this includes PhDs in education or whatever). Similarly, if you’re an M.D. and pontificating about religion or politics, your being a “doctor” is irrelevant to the discussion unless you have a similar advanced degree in those areas as well.

Often I see people writing in to the editor of newspapers and identifying themselves as doctors, when they are actually chiropractors, naturopaths etc. This is especially noteworthy (and disgusting) when they support crankery like antivaccination views. Why exactly does a chiro writing one of these letters sign off as “Doctor” so-and-so, instead of Joe Blow D.C.? Obviously, the former title has a cachet to this person that D.C. does not, and he thinks it makes him more believable.

Dangerous Bacon M.D. (I also have a Masters degree in Science 🙂

“Inflamation” is CAM’s “quantum.”
Everything is caused by “inflamation” in some circles. Quacks like to take a tiny bit of the truth, add enormous amounts of unicorn, spriggin and MLP*, stir and regurgitate to the credulous . . . usually for a small profit.

Dangerous Bacon @11:20 —

Love the allusion!

For others who may not be familiar, the comedian Merle Kessler, kingpin of an outfit called Duck’s Breath Mystery Theatre; had a long-running series of radio skits, in which a character called “Dr. Science” would give ridiculous, and often very funny, answers to scientific questions. The intro said:

“He’s smarter than you are! He has a Master’s degree —– in Science!!”

@ Lucretius
I keep seeing adverts for MMS on this blog? Whats up with that?!

I think the ad-robost search on key-words in postings. Yesterday I had an excellent set of ads:

MMS
Sodium Cloride
Ask a Canadian Lawyer

The last advert was probably one I would needed if I had anwered the first!

There is so much out there on autism and chiropractic,here’s just a little sample.Surprised it has gotten so little attention here.

Chiropractor forms American Chiropractic Autism Board

New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic and Autism

Autism recovery teams include chiropractors

Alternative cures for autism

EVERY month, Susan Crisp takes her eight-year-old son, Daniel, for a 15-minute chiropractic treatment.

Daniel has autism and Susan and her husband, Gary, firmly believe that this complementary therapy has been key to the recent improvements they’ve seen in his development. “His communication has improved tremendously,” says Susan.

“He has started putting three or four words together and it is not in response to questions from us.

“It’s spontaneous. At one time, if he wanted something out of the fridge he would drag me to it and point. Now he’ll say, `Mummy, I want’.

“He doesn’t seem so closed in as he once was and is interacting more with his three older sisters.”

Television presenter, Quentin Willson, has reported similar success from the treatment for his son, Max.

Indeed, it was after seeing Quentin talking about his son on TV two years ago that Susan first got the idea to try chiropractic for Daniel.

“It was a coincidence that I saw it. I had the TV on and it really caught my eye because there were so many similarities between what he was talking about with his son and Daniel,” she remembers.

Chiropractic Care:A child with autism and a doctor’s incredible journey.

you should reveal just what your qualifications are (this includes PhDs in education or whatever).

Does quantum gauge theory count? Asking for a friend.

Does quantum gauge theory count? Asking for a friend.

Just wear the sleeve patch.

(Shouild be devil’s forks on those handles, though.)

*My Little Pony.

Not aerodynamically stable when rigged with model-rocket engines, BTW.

@TFJ – curious if the chiropractor your mother sees is an older one? Hubby goes and sees one when his back hurts and the man is definitely an “I only manipulate the spine, I do not prescribe supplements, energy healing, etc. Chiropractors manipulate the spine to relieve pain related to spinal issues and nothing else” kind of guy. When we first began my own journey with illness a neighbor recommended her chiropractor/ND who waved this electronic gizmo up and down me and that, plus a 200-item or so questionnaire demonstrated various “weaknesses” that he would have to address.

The minimum cost for treatment from him was somewhere around $2000 every quarter, I believe. We went for the “free evaluation” – I was unimpressed by it all, hubby was terribly distressed by it all (the guy made it sound like I might keel over dead within a few weeks), but, lucky for me, that sum of money made hubby sit back and think long enough to get him away from there, and it was easier to refuse to go back when he had no money already invested.

Mrs. Woo — $2000 a quarter? As in every three months?

Cripes, you could get a series of weekly deep-tissue massages for three months in a package deal from pretty much any massage therapist out there and it would do a lot more good than whatever Bozo Boy was offering.

Just today, I was looking on the Anthem Blue Cross website (our work-provided heath care) for a PCP for m’boy. The drop-down for all the various subcategories of provider had ‘chiropractic’ listed – as well as ‘acupuncture’ and ‘holistic care’. There were probably other woo practitioners there, too, but I got depressed and stopped looking. It is just ridiculous that our premium dollars are supporting rank quackery. If the ISM helps change that, I will be one happy puppy.

OT- but I know how much everyone is in need of a laugh- the harsh times we live in and all-

Mike Adams supplies a trifecta of perfectly stupid grandiosity ( today- Natural News) however, the most recent of the three is certainly worth a read because he discusses the Higgs Boson and CONSCIOUSNESS! And it gets even WORSE from there. Who would have thought it possible? Mikey never disappoints!

-btw- altho’ I am recovering from my trip ( I like to experience a week’s worth of travel and activities in 4-5 days), I am definitely ‘out of sorts’- fortunately, I acquired quite a few moodily atmospheric photos ..and pearl earrings ( not the stuck-up conservative type but *edgy* pearls) – purchasing unnecessary objects is the best placebo.

@Roadstergal: I buy individual insurance in WA state – craptastic catastrophic, no prescriptions, high deductible. Deductible is waived for 6 annual office visits, but those 6 visits require 25% coinsurance. But for chiropractic and acupuncture can have 12 visits with only a $25 copay.

Haven’t looked recently to see if I can get any kind of individual policy without that stuff in it, but I doubt it.

It’s true that chiropractic contains much nonsense. But then, so does SBM. Just examine the expansion of off -label prescribing, the medical reliance on profligate antibiotic use, the tacit recommendation of alcohol as “heart-healthy,” the vaccination of babies with Hep B a few hours old, ripping tonsils out prematurely & unecessarily… the list is never-ending.

Most of SBM is not science based. I am not an advocate of CAM, either. I choose neither for everything except emergencies, & then I consult experts, medically- trained experts. Luckily my family has never had an emergency, so have never had the need to visit any quack- either medical or cam.
Many of our friends have their whole family iatrogenetically sick, by believing in such quackery.
Who was it who said “he who lives medically, lives miserably”?

So ArtfulLodger, you’re saying no preventive care. No teeth cleaning. No check-ups. No colonoscopys. No mammograms. No pap smears. None of the early detection that has been a major force in improving cancer survival rates. Just the ER or nothing. Just out of curiosity, how old are you?

Oh, wait. You used the term “iatrogenically sick.” Dang, if you’d also used “allopathic” I’d have had Crank Bingo!

Pariedolius

I differentiate dentistry from SBM. So I do have dental treatment done as & when needed, but without annual checkups.

Regarding mammograms, colonoscopies, cholesterol checks, blood presure checks, pap smears, PSA (even their inventor, Professor Richard Ablin, called them “no better than a coin toss”), no. They are a part of SBM that is not science-based. Why do you ask my age? What has that got to do with anything?

I differentiate dentistry from SBM. So I do have dental treatment done as & when needed, but without annual checkups.

I’d love to hear how you determine “as & when needed.”

Artful Lodger: first, [citation needed]! multiple times. you make a big ass-load of assertions and assumptions, with little to back it up. Not everybody with an MD is automatically a Science-Based-Medicine devotee, and some of them are heavily into Woo-Based wishful thinking. Sorry, but you don’t get to spam a bunch of standard-issue sCAM tropes and then claim you’re not a sCAM advocate.

@Phoenix Woman – that included, of course, his prescribed supplements, monitoring my diet, more of the waving of the electronic thing over me set to “heal” instead of “diagnose” (apparently electronic wand thingies are quite expensive), etc. LOL

As soon as he began doing the “diagnostic” I felt like an idiot. No idea why hubby believed that it was actually “doing” anything. I am always fascinated by people (even Mr Woo) who go far enough down the “alternative” path – because everything that most people take for granted is “a lie” to them and snake-oil salesmen, debunked cranks and their websites, etc., are all “the real truth.” When you bring up discarded prophecies that never came true, the implausibility of treatment theories by kinds of woo, etc., you are just someone who “refuses to know the truth,” not someone who prefers to believe things that are plausible.

@Artful Lodger – maybe you’d have fewer dental emergencies (and if you’re younger, you’ll avoid painful scaling procedures later and reduce/prevent the possibility of gum disease) if you would consider regular every six-month cleanings? A long time in a bad marriage reduced my ability to afford those kinds of “luxuries” and I regretted it a lot when I finally got on my own 12 years later. Just a caring suggestion – if you’re convinced the entire world is a scam artist hopefully you’ll at least not be enamored with things like laetrile when you suspect you have cancer vs. going to a doctor, being diagnosed and then evaluating all treatments offered. I can at least hope that you’re not being disingenuous.

@Artful Lodger

It’s true that chiropractic contains much nonsense. But then, so does SBM.

No. Medicine (without qualifiers) does indeed contain much nonsense. This is why many people here prefer SBM – which pretty much by definition is based on scientifically verified data.

Chiropractics, again by definition, is based on nonsense (subluxations or whatever it’s called). It does co-opt many procedures used by actual medicine (and even SBM), but their starting point is bullshit. In my book that means that, by GIGO rule, all of chiropractics is bull.

@Narad

*My Little Pony.

Not aerodynamically stable when rigged with model-rocket engines, BTW.

And this is why we have flight computers with dynamic stability control.

The labelling of PSA as a useless test always irritates me. It is an extremely useful test, much easier to carry out than acid phosphatase which it replaced. There is no doubt that PSA is useful in both diagnosis and monitoring of treatment. There is some argument about whether it leads to overdiagnosis when used as a screening test in asymptomatic men of all ages, but to claim it is useless is to completely misunderstand its use. By the way, Ablin did not invent PSA, which has existed for millions of years, nor did he invent the test for PSA. Claiming that “mammograms, colonoscopies, cholesterol checks, blood presure checks, pap smears, PSA” are all not science-based is mind-bogglingly ignorant. I’m wondering if Artful Lodger is another incarnation of Emily/Pegasus, I detect similar style and content.

Artful lodger: Just examine the expansion of off -label prescribing, the medical reliance on profligate antibiotic use, the tacit recommendation of alcohol as “heart-healthy,” the vaccination of babies with Hep B a few hours old, ripping tonsils out prematurely & unecessarily… the list is never-ending.

Two points: First of all, while red wine is believed to be good for the cardiac system, that doesn’t mean ALL alchohol is automatically approved. Secondly, doctors don’t automatically yank tonsils anymore. I still have mine. I’ll shut up now and let the rest of the posters school you.
Mrs. Woo/everyone: In my city, we have free dental clinics, and lots of clinics that accept low income patients.
Narad: and how exactly did you find that out? Inquiring minds wish to know.

Phoenix Woman:

Mrs. Woo — $2000 a quarter? As in every three months? Cripes, you could get a series of weekly deep-tissue massages for three months in a package deal from pretty much any massage therapist out there and it would do a lot more good than whatever Bozo Boy was offering.

I visited my in-laws a couple of weeks ago. My father-in-law (recently retired from the USAF) told of the fabulous massage therapists they had at the base in Kyrgyzstan. They gave you exactly what you paid for, and took great pride in it. But, he said, it was a mistake to get the deep tissue massage. These men and women had trained in Russia, which leans towards more *aggressive* massage, and the deep tissue massage was so deep it was hard to move afterwards. 😉

Artful Lodger:

I differentiate dentistry from SBM. So I do have dental treatment done as & when needed, but without annual checkups.

The real benefit to biannual checkups at a dentist is the cleaning. Unless you have cavities or other dental problems that need monitoring or repair, you’re mostly there for the hygeinist, as far as I’m concerned. The dentist takes a peek too as long as you’re there. But even the best brushing regimen can’t keep the plaque away completely, so a good regular scraping is helpful for reducing cavities, gingivitis, and other problems. The less of that on your teeth, the less you’ll need the attentions of the actual dentist.

Artful Dodger, I asked how old you are, because if you’re younger than 50, you have no effing idea what starts to happen to even the heathiest body as one ages. If you think those tests are bullshit, then good luck to you. One more question: isn’t it hard to breathe with your head in all that sand?

About that “doctor” thing…

When dear hubby, an attorney, first went to work for a German corporation 40 plus years ago , he was referred to as Herr Doktor ******. It took about a year of employment for him to “loosen up” his co-workers to call him by his first name.

When DH did guest lectures to masters level students at universities in Germany and Austria, he was again addressed as “herr doktor”.

(At the guest lecturers’ reception afterward, he quickly *convinced* the students that he preferred to be addressed by his first name.

And this is why we have flight computers with dynamic stability control.

I whirled it around my head on a string, dammit. It should have flown. Don’t even get me started on the Estes R2-D2 model rocket.

Unless you have cavities or other dental problems that need monitoring or repair, you’re mostly there for the hygeinist, as far as I’m concerned.

No hygienists in my world–the dentist does everything.

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