Why Do Chiropractors Respond
Evasively to Criticism?

March 5, 1999

It seems to me that every time a chiropractor is confronted with information similar to that of Chirobase, they avoid the confrontation at hand and then begin to attack an entirely different healthcare system.


Justification of what we do by means of attacking someone else is no justification at all. Of all the time, money and effort the chiropractic community has spent in defending marketing and researching itself, including the recent studies done at the OAM (which was given a 50 million dollar budget annually). Not one has examined the general premise which serves as the basis for entire practices—the question: "Can a mixed spinal nerve have a decreased output through abnormal movement (subluxation) of a vertebral segment?" Most of the studies done that deal with this topic examine the effects of increased or decreased sympathetic activity, yet they seem to forget to address the more important component. Can vertebral displacement effect the mixed spinal nerve?

Sites like Chirobase should help the chiropractic community try to justify its practice through research of what it is exactly we are doing. I firmly believe that manipulation has many beneficial effects, probably many which we will not understand for quite some time, yet until that time (when science has either proven or disproved any unsubstantiated claim) we should feel morally obligated to practice by these understood boundaries. If we are to partake in practices that are just based off of cause and effect relationships then why not consider faith healing, voodoo, or any other practice that solely relies on cause and effect relationships?

One of the Jeers commentaries made a very good point, both chiropractic and medicine started with very similar roots, and both were considered to be quackery in their early stages. But today there stands a obvious difference, one of the practices has advanced. How often do you hear of a M.D.s still using leaches, or performing surgeries without antiseptic? You don't because they have sprouted from their roots and grown into a tree. My objective is to stimulate thought-provoking ideas, honest evaluation of therapies, and a quest for advancement of knowledge in the chiropractic community. So that we can also have a tree of our own.

Bryan Capen
Student (finishing first year)
National College of Chiropractic

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