Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Seven Stages of Chiropractic Deprogramming

A great thread at Chirotalk!

The Seven Stages of Chiropractic Deprogramming
« Thread Started on Mar 28, 2005, 12:06am »

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From time to time I have discussed the subject of how chiropractors struggle to emerge from indoctrination and misinformation. A general theme that has come up is called cognitive dissonance. This is where someone observes something that contradicts their beliefs which then causes them to question them. The dillema with chiropractic is that the entire profession is based on false beliefs about health with liberal amounts of excuses to explain inconsistencies. So when this occurs there is a chain reaction that concludes with the elimination of the practitioner's very reason for working in the field. When the thing you purport to treat doesn't exist then your role in the healthcare system becomes futile and frustrating.

Chiropractic institutions are well aware of the threat and utilize classic cult techniques of thought stopping, large group awareness training (assembly chanting, motivational exercises), limitations of matter excuses, loaded language (false biomechanical and ethical terms), threats and extensive propaganda to insultate practitioners from realizing inconsistency.

The most powerful catalyst for change is failure, whether monetary or in clinical outcomes. There is nothing like the experience of injuring a patient using a favorite technique, failing to diagnose an underlying complaint, or inducing a stroke to give a chiropractor a good scare and break through the programming.

Progress comes in stages. Here are my observations of the process:

Stage 1: Skepticism towards chiropractic philosophy
Stage 2: Acceptance of physical therapy modalities to treat pain
Stage 3: Rejection of specific chiropractic techniques as debunked
Stage 4: Rejection of visceral health claims for manipulation
Stage 5: Rejection of chiropractic subluxation as a cause of pathology
Stage 6: Frustration at the limited scope of evidence based chiropractic
Stage 7: Abandonment of the field

These stages are useful in understanding where different people are in the process.

Here are some suggestions for speeding up the process:

1) Get out of the mileu. Withdraw from chiropractic school, stop going to practice management meetings, quit your chiropractic job, stop associating with chiropractors on a personal basis and as a patient, eliminate dependency on chiropractic for personal survival.

2) Read books about cults and learn how persuasion works (Combatting Cult Mind Control by Hassan, www.freedomofmind.com)

3) Read books that are skeptical about chiropractic (Chiropractic: the victim's perspective by Magner, The Health Robbers by Barrett) and websites (www.chirobase.org, http://chirotalk.proboards3.com).

4) Challenge chiropractic excuses for dissonance. "What if limitations of matter is wrong and chiropractic really doesn't work by correcting subluxations?"

5) Find experts and ask them questions (MDs, DOs, etc) in person or on the internet.

6) Seek out mental health services for support if necessary for chronic negative mental states. Bring evidence if you think they might be skeptical and don't stay with practitioners who reject your claims as psychosis without looking at the evidence first. Use bibliotherapy psychological books (Feeling Good by Burns, Don't Panic by Wilson, Reinventing Your Life by Young, People Skills by Bolton).

7) Learn to pay attention. Stop watching television because it promotes alpha trance states. Practice Buddhist concentration techniques. Use beta waveform brainwave stimulation exercises to increase alertness (free demo http://www.bwgen.com/).




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