Answers to Questions about Chiropractic:
Can Network Chiropractic Cure
My Daughter's Asthma?

Samuel Homola, D.C.

Question

My husband believes that our six-year-old daughter will benefit from regular treatments of Network Chiropractic care for her asthma. Is there any information on its us for children? Is such treatment appropriate for use in treating asthma? My husband thinks this treatment will improve our daughter's immune system, allowing her to stop taking medicine when she has an attack.. His ultimate goal is to have her stop taking any medication, including antibiotics and vaccinations, and he believes that this can be accomplished with Network Chiropractic. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Answer

Network Chiropractic proposes that correction of "vertebral subluxations" will remove "nerve interference" as well as improve the flow of cerebrospinal fluid which csupposedly carries "life energy" needed to heal the body. This approach often includes CranioSacral Technique in which cranial (skull) and spinal structures are manipulated to "pump" the flow of cerebrospinal fluid throughout the body. There is no logical reason to believe that such treatment will improve the immune system or influence the course of asthma. In fact, I consider it to be utter nonsense. The fact that the chiropractor is antagonistic to vaccination is additional evidence that his advice is untrustworthy.

I do not believe that young children should ever be treated by a chiropractor. Although many chiropractors claim that spinal adjustments are effective for treating asthma, these claims are not backed by scientific studies. A well-designed study published in the October 8, 1998, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that "In children with mild or moderate asthma, the addition of chiropractic spinal manipulation to usual medical care provided no benefit." Claims that adjusting "vertebral subluxations," moving cranial bones, or pumping spinal fluid will cure a child's asthma or replace the need for medication are dangerous as well as nonsensical. Your daughter's asthma may improve with time, but she should be under the care of a competent specialist.

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Dr. Homola is a second-generation chiropractor who has dedicated himself to defining the proper limits on chiropractic and to educating consumers and professionals about the field. His 1963 book Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism supported the appropriate use of spinal manipulation but renounced chiropractic dogma. His 1999 book Inside Chiropractic: A Patient's Guide provides an incisive look at chiropractic's history, benefits, and shortcomings. Now retired after 43 years of practice, he lives in Panama City, Florida.

This article was posted on February 13, 2003.