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).

Friday, December 03, 2004

Comments on "In the Quest for Cultural Authority "

Regarding this post:
In the Quest for Cultural Authority

This particular quote is interesting:

> Accordingly, we believe that the ACC's assertions concerning
> subluxation, however well-intended, lack scientific credibility and
> play a significant role in preventing the profession from reaching
> its full potential as a credible health care art and science.

The very existence of "assertions concerning subluxation . . . [prevents] the profession from reaching its full potential as a credible health care art and science."

Ironically - at one and the same time - the existence of these assertions nullifies the profession's right to exist, and a renunciation of these assertions would remove the uniqueness of the profession, thus eliminating an essential element for the profession's right to exist.

Either way it loses. Removing the subluxation from chiropractic amounts to a tow truck losing its tow hook. It might be able to continue to haul loads and push things, but it won't be able to do what it was created to do, which is to tow things. It would be relegated to doing what other trucks already do, and do better.

What is unique about chiropractic is not its *use* of spinal manipulation, but its illegitimate *reason* for doing so, which is the correction of non-existent, and often asymptomatic, chiropractic subluxations. No subluxation, no right to exist.

One technique does not legitimize a whole profession and a fundamentally false theory, when used as its foundation, nullifies the right to existence of the profession.

"Crelin showed that one of the bedrock principles of chiropractic - the hypothesis that the vertebral pinching of spinal nerves impairs nerve functioning - is almost certainly invalid. Chiro-practic without this principle is analogous to meridianless acu-puncture." -- Craig F.Nelson, DC

Craig Nelson could not have chosen a better analogy. Acupuncture "points", "meridians", and "chiropractic subluxations" have this in common: they do not exist as physical, biological entities, but are metaphysical beliefs. Their existence has never been proven. They are fantasies.

Acupuncture without the philosophy is needling. Manipulation without the philosophy isn't adjustment. Chiropractic without subluxations isn't chiropractic. Call it something else. But the word "chiropractic" is too loaded with negative meaning to be useful anymore. Historically, philosophically, scientifically, ethically, and politically, it is a witches' brew of a biotheological cult.