Answers to Questions about Chiropractic:
Can Chiropractic Adjustments Make You Smarter?

Samuel Homola, D.C.

Question

My friend started going to a chiropractor because his brother went. His brother was told that the left side of his brain was slower than his right side. I think that is very stupid to be diagnosed with the left side of the brain being slower than the right. His brother goes to the chiropractor regularly for adjustments to make his brain faster. This boggles my mind to the point of anger. I know he is being scammed big time.

Now my friend is now going to the chiropractor all the time because the chiropractor told him that he can get smarter by getting his back adjusted. The chiropractor told my friend that some people can make things levitate with their minds as a result of adjustments to the back. My friend now wants to be a chiropractor because he believes all this.

I can see how chiropractic would help a back or neck problem, but my friend gets chiropractic treatment for the common cold and will not take any medicine when he is sick. So he stays sick for a long time every single time he is sick. I'm not against my friend becoming a chiropractor, but he thinks he can learn to perform miracles. He fully believes that you will not die from AIDS or get infected with the AIDS virus if you have regular chiropractic adjustments. (My friend does not have AIDS.) I hope you can help me convince my friend that the money he pays for regular adjustments is a waste and that he would be living a career of lies if he thinks that he can cure anything and everything after graduating from a chiropractic school.

Answer

Your friend should follow your advice and discontinue treatment with the chiropractor he is now seeing. Whereas chiropractic treatment can relieve some types of back and neck pain, I would not entrust my care to a chiropractor who proposes that chiropractic adjustments will make you smarter by speeding up brain function.

Relying upon regular spinal adjustments to protect against disease is futile and potentially dangerous as well as a waste of time and money.

Advise your friend to read some of the articles on the Chirobase web site before choosing where to go. Some chiropractic colleges might encourage him to believe that he can perform miracles with chiropractic adjustments. Without knowledge of chiropractic's limitations, he make a disastrous career choice.

____________________

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 December 8, 2002.