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).

Tuesday, January 04, 2005



Your Skeptical Guide to Chiropractic History, Theories, and PracticesOperated by Stephen Barrett, MD, and Samuel Homola, DC

Accurate information about chiropractic is not easy to get. Most publishers, editors, and broadcasters are unwilling to examine this topic in depth and to publish critical information. As a result, most reports reaching the public express what chiropractors would like people to believe. This Web site will enable you to deepen your understanding. If you decide to seek chiropractic care, it may also help you find a suitable practitioner.

About Chirobase
Mission Statement and FAQs (updated 11/14/01)
Most Recent Additions to Our Sites (link to Quackwatch)
About Drs. Barrett and Homola (updated 1/24/02)
Scientific and Technical Advisors (21) (updated 1/31/04)
Legal Advisors (14 members, updated 3/12/03)
Cheers and Jeers: Comments from Visitors (updated 4/23/04) FEATURE
Publications for Sale (updated 12/13/01)
Publications Wanted (updated 4/2/01)

General Articles
Why Chiropractic Is Controversial (updated 2/9/00)
Chiropractic: A Skeptical View (updated 4/28/00)
Subluxations: Chiropractic's Elusive Buzzword (updated 12/25/01)
How Subluxation Theory Threatens Public Health (posted 12/22/02)
Don't Let Chiropractors Fool You (updated 9/17/99)
Take It from a D.C.: A Lot of Chiropractic Is a Sham (1990) (posted 11/24/98)
Do "Pinched Nerves" Reduce the Flow of "Nerve Energy"? (posted 1/21/98)
NCAHF Position Paper on Chiropractic (1985) (link to another site)
NCAHF Fact Sheet on Chiropractic (2001) (link to another site)
Placebos, Nocebos, and Chiropractic Adjustments (posted 12/19/02)
Canadian Paediatric Society Position Paper (link to another site)
Medical Letter Report on Spinal Manipulation (link to another site)
Chiropractic Opposition to Immunization (updated 10/17/02)
A Message to Chiropractors from Dr. Barrett (1990) (posted 11/4/98)
Views of a Reformist Chiropractor (link to another site)
Why Becoming a Chiropractor May Be Risky (posted 12/22/98)
Glossary of Chiropractic Terms (updated 10/14/00)
Chiropractic Technique List (posted 11/23/03)
Notable Quotes (updated 12/16/03) FEATURE
Miscellaneous News (updated 7/22/03)

Chiropractic's Dirty Secret: Neck Manipulation and Strokes (link to another site)
Canadian Neurologists Warn against Neck Manipulation (posted 3/13/02)
Coroner's Jury Concludes That Neck Manipulation Killed Canadian Woman (posted 1/22/04)
Malpractice Is an Inevitable Result of Chiropractic Philosophy and Training (1979) (posted 11/7/98)

Questionable Practice-Building Techniques
The Selling of the Spine (updated 2/16/03)
A Brief look at a Subluxation-Based Practice-Building Script (posted 10/6/04)
Advice from the American Chiropractic Association (1984) (posted 12/14/98)
Chiropractic Response to Terrorism: Have Your Spine Adjusted (posted 9/15/01)
Echiropractic Greeting and Reminder Cards (posted 10/1/00)
Ten Ways Chiropractors Sell Themselves to Parents (posted 11/22/98)
Thirty-Seven Narratives for "Patient Education" (posted 9/3/00)
Patient Media's Drug Ad Post-It Notes (posted 8/21/02)
Some Notes on Big Idea Enterprises (posted 9/9/02)
Don't Fall for Chiropractic Telemarketing Scams (to be posted)
Chiropractor Disciplined for Inappropriate Solicitation (posted 6/19/02)

Victim Reports and Other Personal Experiences
Canadian Chiropractor Sued after Child Is Paralyzed (posted 10/18/01)
How a Chiropractor Scared Me into Coming Back (posted 1/4/00)
How a Chiropractor Ruined My Life (posted 6/11/01)
"Only" $2,597 for Intensive Chiropractic Care (posted 6/26/01)
The Job Interview I Didn't Have (updated 7/12/01)
My Experience with an Unethical Chiropractor (posted 9/15/02)
Why I Quit Chiropractic (updated 6/3/03)
Chiropractic Victim Support Group (updated 2/11/00)

Journal Articles
A Scientific Test of Chiropractic's Subluxation Theory (1973) (posted 11/1/98)
Appropriateness of Spinal Manipulation for Back Pain (link to another site)
Significant Journal Abstracts (updated 10/22/03)
Interview of Dr. Stephen Barrett (ACA Journal of Chiropractic (1983) (posted 12/1/98)

Investigative Reports
Undercover Investigations (updated 9/14/04)
Dr. Barrett's Visit to a "Straight" Chiropractor (updated 9/11/98)
Dr. Kinsinger's Experiences with Eight Chiropractors (updated 12/21/03)
Kurt Youngmann's Chiropractic Experience (posted 9/23/02)
How Five Chiropractors Misdiagnosed a Healthy Child (posted 9/14/04)
"Dr. Bob" Martin's online nutrition tests (posted 2/19/00)
Chiropractors Wangle Medicare Windfall (1972) (posted 11/6/98)
Inside View of the American Chiropractic Association (1981) (posted 11/5/98)
Inside View of a Chiropractic Office (posted 7/14/97)
A Close Look at a Chiropractic "Nutrition" Seminar (1988) (posted 11/22/99)
Some Notes on Kurt W. Donsbach, D.C. (link to another site)
Some Notes on the Activities and Credential of Jay Holder, D.C. (updated 2/24/00)
Some Notes on Fred L. Stoner, D.C., and Applied Kinesiology (posted 4/28/01)
Chiropractic's Subluxation-Based "Guidelines" (to be posted)
Manipulating Children: Pediatric Chiropractic: Bogus Diagnoses, Illegal Machines, and Useless Treatments (link to another site)
Analysis of a Misleading Chiropractic Article in a Major Medical Journal (posted 3/19/03)
Silly Chiropractic Advice about Obesity Prevention (posted 4/12/03)

Questionable Diagnostic and Treatment Practices
Activator Methods (updated 12/10/00)
Advanced BioStructural Correction (posted 3/7/03)
Alphabiotics (posted 2/12/02)
Applied Kinesiology (updated 11/23/00)
Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (B.E.ST.) (posted 12/17/99)
Biological Terrain Assessment (updated 9/15/98)
BioSET (bioenergetic sensitivity and enzyme therapy) (posted 10/26/02)
Blind Spot Mapping (posted 3/2/03)
Chirodontics (to be posted)
Chiropractic Biophysics (revised 11/25/03)
Colon Therapy and Related Quackery (posted 8/29/98)
Concept Therapy
Contact Reflex Analysis (updated 4/16/98)
Contour Analysis, also called moire contourography (posted 10/11/97)
Craniosacral Therapy (updated 7/7/03)
Electrodermal Testing (updated 11/16/98)
Enzyme Replacement System (to be posted)
Hair analysis (updated 1/3/99)
Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake (updated 12/15/98)
Inclinometry Overuse (to be posted)
Insight 7000 to detect "subluxations" (link to another site)
Iridology (updated 5/31/00)
Laser Facelifts (link to another site)
Live Blood Cell Analysis (updated 1/3/99)
Logan Method
Meric System
Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET) (updated 10/26/02)
Network Chiropractic (to be posted)
Nervo-Scope (updated 10/13/00)
Neural Organization Technique (NOT)
Neuro Emotional Technique (NET)
NeuroCranial Restructuring (posted 4/24/03)
Nutrabalance (link to Quackwatch)
Nutrition: Dubious Chiropractic Practices
Steer Clear of "Chiropractic Nutrition" (updated 9/2/02)
Views of ACA Council on Nutrition President (1992) (posted 10/7/01)
Objective Straight Chiropractic (to be posted)
Sacro-Occiptal Technique
Spinal Analysis Machine (S.A.M.) (updated 12/29/99)
Spinal Manipulation under Anesthesia (link to another site)
Surface Electromyography (SEMG) (updated 2/9/01)
Toftness Radiation Detector (updated 7/31/03)
Ultrasound Testing: Inappropriate Use (updated 6/3/99)
Vax-D Therapy: Hope or Hype? (updated 6/14/00)
"Veterinary Chiropractic" (updated 12/16/00)
Videofluoroscopy: Inappropriate Use (updated 2/6/02)
Webster Technique: An Offshoot of "Chiropractic Pediatrics" (posted 3/6/03)
X-ray Overuse (link to another site)

Insurance Issues
A Special Message for Insurance Claims Examiners (to be posted)
Be Wary of "No Out-of-Pocket Expense" Offers (posted 3/15/04)
Some Notes on Subluxations and Medicare (posted 11/22/98)
Comparison of Medicare Managed Care and Fee-for-Service Costs (OIG Report) (posted 12/23/03)
Medicare Chiropractic Billling Policies Revised (posted 10/2/04)
Aetna's Chiropractic Coverage Policy (link to Aetna site)
How to Spot a Personal Injury Mill (link to Quackwatch)
Insurance Fraud Cases Involving Chiropractors (updated 6/7/00)
Allstate Sues to Recover Many Millions (posted 12/30/99)
Chiropractor Convicted of Chelation Fraud (updated 1/13/04)
Ron Halstead and Two Other Chiropractors Convicted in Health Fraud Scheme (posted 2/16/03)
Chiropractors Excluded from Federally Funded Health Care Programs (link to OIG site)
Chiropractic Care: Controls Used by Medicare, Medicaid, and Other Payers (link to OIG report)
New California Law Limits Workers' Compensation Visits to Chiropractors (posted 10/8/03)

Ads and Brochures: Past and Present
Educators Blast Mainstream Chiropractic Brochures (updated 3/6/04) FEATURE
Advertising Gimmicks (posted 5/20/97)
"Free Preliminary Spinal Examination" (posted 10/11/97)
"Mommy My Ears Hurt" (posted 6/3/97)
What Health Problems Do Chiropractors Treat? (1971) (posted 11/18/98)
"Discount" for Advance Payment (1971) (posted 7/5/01)
Puffery from the 1950s (posted 11/6/98)
The Journal of Micro-Dynameter Research (1954) (posted 12/29/99)
"Why Choose a Chiropractor to Be Your Family Doctor?" (posted 11/13/98)
"Chiropractic Healing Successfully Treats Cancer" (posted 1/22/99)
Brochures from the 1960s Onward (to be posted)
Newspaper Ads from the 1970s and 1980s (to be posted)
Yellow Page Ads from the 1980s Onward (to be posted)
Novelty Items, Posters, and Other Promotional Items (to be posted)
FTC Drops Koren Investigation (updated 12/25/01)

Chiropractic Education
A Warning for Pre-Chiropractic Students (posted 3/22/99) FEATURE
Analysis of the Chiropractic Section of the Occupational Outlook Handbook (posted 2/22/04)
Requirements for Admission to Schools of Chiropractic (JAMA 1964) (posted 8/3/99)
Educational Background of Chiropractic School Faculties (JAMA 1966) (posted 8/4/99)
Canadian Professors Visit Three Chiropractic Schools (1962) (posted 9/7/04)
Visit to a Chiropractic College (Medical Economics 1968) posted 11/24/98)
Recent Visits to Two Chiropractic Colleges (updated 12/13/01)
Improper Claims on Chiropractic College Web Sites (posted 3/6/04)
Chiropractic Admission Standands Lowest among Health Professionals (posted 12/24/01)
Life University:
Some Notes on Its Assembly and "Money Hum" (updated 8/26/01)
Administrators' Salary Criticized as Exhorbitant (posted 2/17/00)
Life University College of Chiropractic Placed on Probation (posted 6/17/01)
A Brief Query to "Dr. Sid" (posted 12/20/01)
An Open Letter to Life University Students (updated 5/28/03)
Life Life University Loses CCE Accreditation (updated 11/6/02)
Students Sue Life University (posted 10/11/02)
CCE Issues Open Letter about Life University (posted 11/13/02)
Controversy Erupts over Proposed Chiropractic College at Florida State University (posted 12/31/04)
The Student Loan Mess: Why Chiropractic Is in Trouble (posted 4/23/03)
Council on Chiropractic Education Standards (link to another site)
Unscientific Teachings at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (updated 12/12/99) FEATURE
Licensing Exam Results for Candidiates from Different Schools (link to another site)

Consumer Strategy/Consumer Protection
Low Back Pain
A Medical Perspective (updated 5/18/99)
AHCPR Consumer Booklet (posted 11/5/98)
AHCPR Quick Reference Guide for Clinicians (posted 11/11/98)
Scoliosis: A Medical Perspective (posted 1/14/98)
What a Rational Chiropractor Can Do for You (updated 5/19/99) FEATURE
Tips on Choosing a Chiropractor (updated 1/2/99)
Orthopractic Guidelines for Manual Therapy Practice (posted 11/11/98)
Chiropractic Guidelines and Referral Directory (56 chiropractors) (updated 12/7/04) FEATURE Answers to Questions about Chiropractic (updated 11/3/04) FEATURE
What to Do If a Chiropractor "Quacks" You (revised 6/26/02)

Early Chiropractic History
A Brief History of Chiropractic's Discovery (D.D. Palmer, 1910) (posted 11/26/98)
What Can Chiropractors Treat? (B.J. Palmer, 1906) (posted 11/11/98)
Observations by H.L. Mencken (1924) (posted 11/23/98)
The Basis of Chiropractic (Morris Fishbein, M.D.,1932) (posted 11/27/98)
Chiropractic Theory and Practice (1939) (posted 5/20/04)
Chiropractic Insurance Abuse in the 1960s (posted 11/8/98)
Report of the National Advisory Commission on Health Manpower (1967) (posted 5/27/02)
The Incredible Drown Case (1968) (posted 12/5/98)
The Spine Salesmen (1976) (posted 6/9/01)
The Barrett/Hoppenstein/Sportelli/Wilk Debate (David Susskind Show, (1981) (posted 4/17/00)
What Are the Chiropractors Trying to Hide? (1983) (to be posted)

Books and Government Reports
The Scientific Brief Against Chiropractic (1963) (posted 11/23/98) FEATURE
Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism (1963) (updated 2/8/00) FEATURE
Independent Practitioners under Medicare (HEW Report, 1968) (updated 3/16/00)
At Your Own Risk: The Case against Chiropractic (1969) (updated 2/11/99) FEATURE
Ethnography of a Chiropractic Clinic (1975) (posted 3/17/00) FEATURE
The New Zealand Chiropractic Report: An Evaluation (1980) (posted 6/9/01)
AHCPR Report on Chiropractic Training, Practice, and Research (1997) (updated 11/3/98)
Medicare Utilization Parameters for Chiropractic Treatments (1999) (PDF document)
Chiropractic Benefit Services Malpractice Benefit Program (link to another site)
U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on Chiropractic Services for Veterans (link to another site)
New Book Hits Chiropractic Misconduct (posted 12/5/02)
C.J. Mertz and "The World's Best Kept Health Secret" (posted 4/7/04)
Library of Early Books on Manual Therapy in America (link to another site)

Legal, Political, and Regulatory Matters
AMA Antitrust Suit (updated 11/12/98)
Bizarre Therapy Leads to Patient's Death (posted 7/6/03)
California Voters Attack Chiropractic Insurance Fraud (posted 3/12/02)
Can Physical Therapists Be Barred from Treating "Subluxations"? (posted 2/12/02)
Chiropractic Board Trying to Stop Physical Therapists from Manipulating (posted 9/30/03)
Appeals Court Overturns $285,019 Award to Former Chiropractic Students (updated 3/31/02)
Affidavit of Julie Bernet (a Former Cleveland Chiropractic College Student) (posted 8/13/99)
Chiropractic Magazine Publisher Charged with Defrauding Postal Service (revised 2/16/03)
False Claims Halted for Pain-Relief Device (posted 12/27/99)
Bruce Hedendal Sentenced for Tax Evasion (revised 10/23/04)
ICA Report to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy (posted 3/12/01)
Libel Suit against Tedd Koren, DC (posted 8/25/04)
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Says Chiropractors May Not Use Term "Physical Therapy" (link to another site)
Scope of Chiropractic Practice in State Licensing Laws (to be posted)
Hearing on Veterans Health Administration and Chiropractic Care (updated 10/22/00)
Wisconsin Chiropractors Agree to Settle FTC Price-Fixing Charges (link to another site)
Chiropractor Suspended for Excessive Care (posted 4/23/03)
Disciplinary Action against Harold J. Dykema, D.C. (posted 7/22/03)
Disciplinary Action against Ogi Ressel, D.C.(posted 1/21/04)
Veterans Affairs Chiropractic Advisory Report Nears Completion (posted 10/28/03)

Miscellaneous Chiropractic Documents
Chiropractic State of the Art, 1994-1995 (American Chiropractic Association booklet)
Massachusetts Chiropractic Board "Fact Sheet" (posted 12/12/99)
FCER Fundraising Appeal for Subluxation Research (posted 12/24/98)
Manga Reports [1993] [1998]
Symptoms of Spinal Misalignment Questionnaire (download PDF)
American Association of Chiropractic Colleges Position Paper #1: The Chiropractic Paradigm.

Responses to Chirobase and/or Quackwatch
How Chiropractors Generally Respond to Criticism (posted 12/20/98)
Comments from Chiropractic Practitioners, Students, and Employees (updated 12/11/03) FEATURE
Correspondence with James Winterstein, D.C. (posted 5/1/04]
Central New Jersey Chiropractic Society (posted 6/6/01) FEATURE

Links to Chiropractic Web Sites
Educational Agencies, Schools, and Seminars (updated 3/6/04)
Insurance-Related Sites (updated 11/8/04)
Organizations (updated 1/13/04)
Practice-Builders (updated 2/14/04)
Publications (updated 2/24/04)
Regulatory Agencies (updated 1/22/03)
Software Venders (updated 12/19/99)
Suppliers (updated 2/26/04)
Techniques (updated 6/11/04)
Miscellaneous Links (updated 6/24/03)
Individual Chiropractors and Clinics (180 sites, updated 12/28/04) FEATURE

Ring Membership