After the Storm–what have we learned? That Richard Brown has learned nothing .

January 31, 2012
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I have got involved with a very interesting discussion on Linkedin  on the relevance of the subluxation to chiropractic. The discussion moved on to “chiropractors needs cultural authority” like the osteopaths in the US and this point of view was supported by an interview given by Richard Brown in the Austrialia  After the Storm – What have we learned The suggestion seems to be that it was subluxation chiropractors who brought the Skeptic attach on chiropractic, rather than evidence based BCA chiropractors who were silly enough not to question their leaders. I have not read any chiropractic literature recently so its amazing to me so little has been learned.

I told this American chiropractor John I did not diagnose or treat conditions and he felt I was just a technicians. I though you might find the context interesting even though I have written this stuff many times here, so apologies for repeating myself.  What I have learned is there are two groups of chiropractors with conflicting ideas as to the future of chiropractic and they will never  agree or be able to work together. The sooner the leaders of chiropractic accept this, the better for chiropractic and stop all this crap about unity. I am so glad I made my decision to come off the register, I practice chiropractic how I want to and am only answerable to my clients and the law of the land. This is my final contribution to the Linkedin discussion.

competition  v coperation

@ John Ventura In my opinion ,the subluxation debate is really a bit of a red herring as Its easier to argue that its an old fashioned name for a fixation, than say we are chiropractors who want “cultural authority” and we believe the way to achieve that is to embrace the biomedical model as the Osteopaths have because   “nobody” trusts chiropractors, and its that one over there who is to blame for the professions problems.  You say “ the majority of chiropractors consider themselves doctors; not to be petty but DC is doctor of chiropractic” I know what DC stands for, but who cares what chiropractors think its what the 93% of the public who dont use chiropractic  that matters what do they think. Do they think chiropractors are “real doctors” or like Dr Alan Harper in 2 & half men. You seem to think its traditional chiropractors are the problem and I think its  chiropractors seeking “cultural authority” . Just the word “authority” sounds paternalistic and moving away from the patient centred philosophy of empowering patients to choose.

To convince me that the profession needs to embrace the biomedical model, for “cultural authority”, I would ask what evidence you have beside the opinion of an MD in a book and dont physical therapists already provide this “chiropractic physician” service in the US as do Physiotherapists in the UK and what would the USP between a chiropractic physician and a physical therapist who does spinal manipulation.

You ask what is a chiropractor who does not diagnose, I take you know what a “differential diagnosis” is, its the back up in case your original diagnostic theory is wrong, diagnosis is not an exact science and if one of my patient wants a diagnosis I will send them to someone who has been properly trained in the diagnosis of medical conditions. Does not bear thinking about if I had gone to a chiropractor hoping he would diagnose my colon cancer.

You also seem to think the fact I dont “treat” conditions is pejorative. There has been some reference to Richard Browns talk in Australia. I know Richard and it is an interesting perspective on what has brought the chiropractic profession in the UK to its knees. You need to understand that the chiropractors who were brought to task in the UK were the chiropractors who claimed to “treat” various conditions, they were 700 BCA evidenced based chiropractors, were judged to have a case to answer, including Richard Brown himself. Richard  presented his “plethora of scientific evidence” to justify these claims on treatment and the Editor of the British Medical Journal laughed at him in their editorial on the matter.

The irony of all this is, that the chiropractic profession is split along similar lines as in the US. The BCA would be the equivalent of the ACA and it was these chiropractors that were charged not subluxation high volume practitioners. Some of the chiropractors who were found guilty by the UK regulator would be horrified to be described as “ subluxation chiropractors. The reason this happened was because foolishly the BCA decided to sue Simon Singh rather than debate him as I did. I know Simon  and supported his right to say what he did even though a lot of it was ill-informed. The Guradian newspaper offered the BCA a right of reply which they refused and decided to sue him, which resulted in the “Streisland effect” (where you are hoping to suppress something with intimidation and it just draws lots attention to what you were hoping to supress. I have a Masters in Health Promotion and I am amazed that senior chiropractors thought there was rigorous scientific evidence to support chiropractic as a treatment for anything, beyond  “spinal manipulation” as being effective at reducing back pain. Not all chiropractors do “spinal manipulation” so at this stage we are not even sure what the chiropractic intervention is, to apply the term chiropractic to anything.

Simon Singh has a PhD in particle physics, which hardly makes him an authority on chiropractor or clinical science for that mater, but for reasons best known to Richard Brown and a few other BCA politicians they asked lawyers to argue the case for them. The sceptics attacked BCA “evidence based” chiropractors not subluxation chiropractors. The reason they were able to bring the charges was because of an over zealous, incompetent regulatory body, the GCC, of which I was an elected member in 2007. I did not last long and was voted off after nine months by what Richard Brown call the “silent majority” who need to be heard, they are the ones with the power over chiropractors lives.Richards truest words in the article are that “The very thought of becoming involved in political activity is an understandable anathema to most chiropractors”. So we have to do with politicians of the silent majority like Richard occupying three positions, President of the BCA, Secretary of European Chiropractic Union, and the Secretary General of the European Academy of Chiropractic.

I was removed from the regulatory board because I had the courage to stand up and tell them they were not fit for purpose. There are twice as many osteopaths in the UK as chiropractors yet chiropractors have four times as many complaints being brought  by the regulator and very few of these complaints were about unethical practice building or subluxations. Now the new chief executive of the GCC is telling chiropractors this is all going to change because they need to save money, so perhaps the complaints were not because chiropractors are worse people than osteopaths and it was after all because the GCC had an incompetent chief executive and the council played their fiddles while she brought the profession to its knees.

Three years ago I had enough and resigned my chiropractor licence but continued to practice chiropractic. Presumably because I have cultural authority in my community people did not care whether I called myself  chiropractor or Richard.  I assume clients keep coming because I am good at what I do and word of mouth gives me the “cultural authority” others wish for. Over the years the GCC has spent in the region of $200,000 dollars trying to have my blog closed, and covering up things I have exposed. They put defamation lawyers on me. Finally they hired Private investigators to pose as patients to see if I would call myself a chiropractor so they could have me arrested. So chiropractors who claim to “treat” conditions could be asking for trouble with the regulator  if Richard Browns warnings are true, because its going to be very difficult to provide the type of “evidence” proof Simon Singh wants. I had to laugh at Richard saying “some say we owe Simon Singh a debt of gratitude, because it has made us recognise, we need to know, who we are, know what we do, and know why it works.” Now if Richard Brown did not know it then why on earth did he and Tony Metcalf sue Simon Singh and if he does not know it today why does he occupy three senior positions in the chiropractic profession.   Its nothing personal against Richard when I have met him he has been very pleasant but his rational here does seem odd.

Anyway back to the subluxation discussion, John says spinal joint dysfunction/subluxation cannot be proven by any reasonable methodology yet assures me “unequivocally the diagnosis of a grade III ankle sprain is more reliable and more valid than any person who claims to diagnose a subluxation” .

Which begs the question what evidence do you have to support such a statement. Both are examples of joint dysfunction in synovial joints one uses chiropractic terminology, the other chiropractic terminology. Your only reason for believing in one over the other can only be explained as prejudice. Anyway we have reached the point where chiropractors nail their colours to the mast and wont be moved. Fortunately its not my problem anymore I practice how I want to and good luck in your search for “cultural authority”

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Related posts:

  1. Richard Brown Vice President of British Chiropractic Association argues that the criticism of his profession is wide of the mark
  2. Born again, British Chiropractic Association joins skeptics “attack” on chiropractic.
  3. When will the BCA realise they will not win this argument.
  4. Dawn of a new age or more smoking mirrors from Coats,Dixon and General Chiropractic Council.
  5. Subluxation Chiropractors must make sure there is not a grain of truth in allegations being made by sceptics
  6. What is the difference in the service provided by a regulated osteopath, a chiropractor or a physiotherapist?
  7. Spinal Joint care
  8. The BCA should know,you never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.

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  • http://www.chiropracticlive.com Richard Lanigan

     Remember Andy Lewis is the guy who posted on Twitter in April
    Richard Lanigan is “treating his cancer with chiropractic”. I asked him
    which part of radiation, chemotherapy, surgery and more chemo was
    chiropractic.I laugh now as I lie drained by the chemo a bag of shit on
    my stomach, as I pop declofeneac which are the only drugs whic touch the
    gout pain triggered by the chemo. I have acupuncture every week and get
    adjusted every couple of weeks and it helps. Does it cure the help cure
    the cancer?? Do I give a shit, I fell better after it and I know people
    who come in contact with me on this journey get far more out of me than
    anyone ever did from Ernsts ramblings. I so hope I make a full recovery
    so I can devote my time to the harm these clowns are doing to the hopes
    of the terminally ill. Above all these need hope and all the
    oncologists I have come into contact with recognize this. I have been
    amazed at some of the treatments they have gone along with where
    patients were scared of surgery or chemo.

    I would not wish cancer on anyone, I wonder would what these computer
    trolls would do were they diagnosed only to told there are no truths in
    clinical science

    I dont like to call people idiots and I do respect Blue Wodes
    passion for what he believes and yes there are problems in CAM like
    every profession but the gross generalization they make on the basis of
    one anecdote is laughable. I have offered to go to any of their meetings
    and debate their limited understanding of ‘evidence” in a clinical
    setting so far no takers. However CAM is not helped by the suits they
    elect to represent their views.

  • http://spinaljoint.com Richard Lanigan

    Remember Andy Lewis is the guy who posted on Twitter in April Richard Lanigan is “treating his cancer with chiropractic”. I asked him which part of radiation, chemotherapy, surgery and more chemo was chiropractic.I laugh now as I lie drained by the chemo a bag of shit on my stomach, as I pop declofeneac which are the only drugs whic touch the gout pain triggered by the chemo. I have acupuncture every week and get adjusted every couple of weeks and it helps. Does it cure the help cure the cancer?? Do I give a shit, I fell better after it and I know people who come in contact with me on this journey get far more out of me than anyone ever did from Ernsts ramblings. I so hope I make a full recovery so I can devote my time to the harm these clowns are doing to the hopes of the terminally ill. Above all these need hope and all the oncologists I have come into contact with recognize this. I have been amazed at some of the treatments they have gone along with where patients were scared of surgery or chemo.

    I would not wish cancer on anyone, I wonder would what these computer trolls would do were they diagnosed only to told there are no truths in clinical science

    I dont like to call people idiots and I do respect Blue Wodes passion for what he believes and yes there are problems in CAM like every profession but the gross generalization they make on the basis of one anecdote is laughable. I have offered to go to any of their meetings and debate their limited understanding of ‘evidence” in a clinical setting so far no takers. However CAM is not helped by the suits they elect to represent their views.

  • Liam

    Its a bit like my little conversation with Andy Lewis after he was appalled at a TV GP giving any credence to the Brusyski Clinic.
    The Jobbing Doctor on December 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Dr Jones clearly has a very limited knowledge of the subject, and would have been better remembering Wittgenstein’s 7th Proposition:“Whereof we cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”Jobbing Doctor.
    Reply

    Liam Mulvany on December 22, 2011 at 4:39 pm
    If all skeptics followed that one we wouldn’t have any. Apparentley it’s ok for an IT person to comment on medical matters because they can search the net and look at conclusions of research studies without actually knowing anything about medicine or research for that matter. But if a medically trained doctor airs his views, and lets face it Andy Lewis doesn’t have a flying clue just how much Dr Jones knows, well thats not on.
    Reply Le Canard Noir on December 24, 2011 at 1:51 am Of course Liam, as a chiropractor, I would expect you to know even less. Would you care to point out where in my analysis I am wrong, or is ad hominem all you can muster here? Liam Mulvany on January 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm Andy my comment was aimed at the point the job Dr. made ie “Dr jones clearly has a limited knowledge of the subject” Has he? does the Jobbing Dr know Dr Jones? Do you? Do you actually know if Dr jones has researched this clinic or worked in oncology in the past?OK Andy who is Dr Jones friend that has attended the clinic. Do you know? What I meant was you have no idea about how much Dr Jones knows about this clinic do you? yes or no? Do you know Dr Jones background? yes or no? Do you agree with the term “Whereof we cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”Yes or no?Its not ad hominem its a simple answer to the jobbing Dr, I would like to hear his/her response especially as they have used the above quote.And of course Dr lewis as a chiropractor I know very little compared to you.Maybe the quote should read “Whereeof we cannot speak, google it,write a blog about it, pretend you have researched every aspect of it from your laptop even if you don’t really understand the “where of” but never be silent, (even if you maybe wrong).”

  • Liam

    I love that quote Richard. ” eminent physicist Richard Feynman who said a “physicist commenting on anything but physics is as dumb as the next guy”

  • Richard

    Former professor of complementary medicine Edzart Ernst now earns a crust searching the internet for things to write about hoping a newspaper will pay him. He has just commented on Richard Brown talk which I have mentioned above. Before I am blamed for providing Ernst with ammunition to fire at the chiropractic profession can I say it was  skeptic “Blue Wode” who alerted me to the article  in the first place. If chiropractors are going to keep licking frozen pipes, it is difficult to feel sorry for them when their tongue sticks to it. 

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/scie…  this is Earnst piece an d of course it got the skeptics going in the comments . If only Richard Brown had quoted from eminent physicist Richard Feynman who said a “physicist commenting on anything but physics is as dumb as the next guy” thats all him and Tony Metcalfe needed to say three years ago, that would have been the end of it.

    I am not saying Simon Sing is dumb in fact I like him, however his understanding of “Evidence based Medicine” as outlined  by Edzard Ernst in Trick or Treatment   is extremely limited as is his understanding of anatomy and neurophysiology.  I challenged Simon with this at a talk he gave in Kingston on March 28 2011, The date is clear in my mind because earlier in the day  I was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. I sat at Simons talk and laughed at his jokes at the expense of the homeopaths and then it occurred to me the only reason I was able to sit there , concentrate on what Simon was saying and challenge him on his understanding of EBM, was because I had been hypnotised the day before and every time my mind would wander I would think of Popeye the Sailor Man reaching out for his spinach and becoming strong again.http://www.rectalcancer.me/?p=46

    Despite, radiation, chemo and surgery and now more chemo, I have not had one sleepless night since my diagnoses which must improve chances of recovery from cancer. So the fact shaking water sounds a lot of crap, like having Popey sitting on my shoulder, they fact I can gain comfort from it is all that should matter to a good clinician. The fact these beliefs do not obey any law of physics is completely irrelevant to a patient being helped clinical science has to focus on quality of life rather than quantity.

  • http://www.chiropracticlive.com Richard Lanigan

    Former professor of complementary medicine Edzart Ernst now earns a crust searching the internet for things to write about hoping a newspaper will pay him. He has just commented on Richard Brown talk which I have mentioned above. Before I am blamed for providing Ernst with ammunition to fire at the chiropractic profession can I say it was  skeptic “Blue Wode” who alerted me to the article  in the first place. If chiropractors are going to keep licking frozen pipes, it is difficult to feel sorry for them when their tongue sticks to it. 

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/feb/22/simon-singh-british-chiropractic-association?fb=native&CMP=FBCNETTXT9038  this is Earnst piece an d of course it got the skeptics going in the comments . If only Richard Brown had quoted from eminent physicist Richard Feynman who said a “physicist commenting on anything but physics is as dumb as the next guy” thats all him and Tony Metcalfe needed to say three years ago, that would have been the end of it.

    I am not saying Simon Sing is dumb in fact I like him, however his understanding of “Evidence based Medicine” as outlined  by Edzard Ernst in Trick or Treatment   is extremely limited as is his understanding of anatomy and neurophysiology.  I challenged Simon with this at a talk he gave in Kingston on March 28 2011, The date is clear in my mind because earlier in the day  I was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. I sat at Simons talk and laughed at his jokes at the expense of the homeopaths and then it occurred to me the only reason I was able to sit there , concentrate on what Simon was saying and challenge him on his understanding of EBM, was because I had been hypnotised the day before and every time my mind would wander I would think of Popeye the Sailor Man reaching out for his spinach and becoming strong again.http://www.rectalcancer.me/?p=46

    Despite, radiation, chemo and surgery and now more chemo, I have not had one sleepless night since my diagnoses which must improve chances of recovery from cancer. So the fact shaking water sounds a lot of crap, like having Popey sitting on my shoulder, they fact I can gain comfort from it is all that should matter to a good clinician. The fact these beliefs do not obey any law of physics is completely irrelevant to a patient being helped clinical science has to focus on quality of life rather than quantity. 

  • Richard

    Hi McJimmoney, I am curious as to what you think Chiropractic is then, its got to be more than anything goes except McTimmoney. I have been searching for a definition for fifteen years but cannot find one that chiropractors can  agrees on, if chiropractors had some sort of  consensus perhaps you could make the case. For example I am not a chiropractor in the UK but some would say, I practice  the art of chiropractic better than most. There are far stranger techniques being used by chiropractors to correct subluxations than McTimmoney. So what in your mind makes a chiropractor and what he does in his practice? 

  • Liam

    McJimmoney, would you also class a piece of mechanical equipment designed by a chiropractor (not a mechanical engineer) as a chiropractic method/tool? what would a chiropractor know about engineering?

  • Liam

    McJimmoney you are showing your lack of knowledge. Would you put DD under that umbrella of “just inventing something?” John McT did not just develop something after treatment, “Some years later (around 1949), he met Dr Mary Walker of Oxford, an early graduate of the Palmer School of Chiropractic in Iowa who had trained under B J Palmer, the son of D D Palmer. She was then in her seventies, wanting to train others in the skills she practised, to carry them forward to form a profession in this country. An innovator and a pioneer herself of considerable dedication to chiropractic, Mary Walker recognised a kindred spirit in John McTimoney. She set out to develop his formidable talents. She ensured that he kept to a strict training schedule, in spite of the long journeys by bicycle this entailed. John was unable to pay the ÂŁ200 fees, but Dr Walker trained him in the basics of chiropractic and he qualified in the early 1950s.”

  • McTimmoney_McJimmoney

    I suppose I would define chiropractic as that developed by a chiropractor. If one of my patients went home after getting adjusted and over the next few months developed a technique based on his care I would be retiscent to describe it as a chiropractic technique or method of treatment.

  • Liam

    How would you define chiropractic? a single adjustment or a method of treatment? Do you class activator as a chiropractic method? Do you try to correct subluxations or restore mechanical function? McT is a method with an aim to restore mechanical function and symmetry, thus removing any restictions that may be causing muscle tension, or an inflammatory response. Well thats my take on it.

  • McTimmoney_McJimmoney

    McTimmoney Tech – is it chiropractic? Why?

  • Richard

    Hi Colin,

    Like Blue Wode you guys
    know more about whats going on in the profession than Chiropractors. I think
    your drawing is very perceptive. There are some people in the profession who
    talk a lot of sense and an awful lot of people who talk absolute bolox. The
    question is which of your paths have the sensible chiropractors taken. I would like to think mine was one of the sensible paths, but both wings  of the chiropractic profession have conclusively rejected my ideas, judging by my discussion with what I would call reasonable chiropractors on Linked in. They had no preconceived ideas about me and they fact the majority of subluxation chiropractors must be hiding in a cave somewhere and Blue Wode has only Richard Brown to go to for his questions about subluxation raises many questions of the credibility of “subluxation” being presented as a theory to support chiropractic.
     So Colin I think these examples you provide may be the only way forward for chiropractors to go if they want to be seen as a profession, I will do a more detail blog on my rational the next few days. 

  • Liam

    Hi Colin, I think you are right with the idea of a battle for the chiropractic label, by many “types of Chiropractors”, though the physio prof. has also developed lots of different modalities ,
    “Physiotherapy is a profession related to healthcare that is concerned with human function and movement. Physiotherapy involves working with people of all ages to promote their own health and well being and to restore their movement and function to as near normal as possible when they have been affected by injury, illness, developmental or other disability. A Physiotherapists work includes health promotion, preventative healthcare, treatment and rehabilitation. It may include working with people of all ages with their family and carers where appropriate. Physiotherapy uses physical approaches to promote, maintain and restore physical, psychological and social well being.” “There are many different types of physiotherapy treatments for a wide range of conditions that people may suffer. Our physiotherapists at Manchester physio use various types of physiotherapy: ”

    So why can every physio use what ever techn. they please and still have no fear that other physios are labelling them as un scientific ( there is no evidence traction works, but still used by many physios today), or not really a Physiotherapist because they do this or that.

    The problem is with the profession no doubt, and the totally blinkered strive for evidence to prove the skeptics wrong has, in my opinion, caused all the problems.

    I run a PRT group, have done for some years now, and I do it for one reason, to try to unify all chiros that sit in font of me. at the end of each day the PRT’s are asked to fill in a form about the day and so far I have seen at least 3 that have on them “changed my opinion of Mctimoney Chiropractors” We work differently but must work together or its pointless. The term chiropractic is as meaningless as the title chiropractor if you don’t get results, what does it all mean if you can’t help a patient in pain? 

  • http://welshandgrumpy.blogspot.com/ Colin Jenkins

    These related podcasts and the links within them are interesting…

    http://ontheotherhand.podbean.com/2011/07/28/ep-30-chiropractic-cultural-authority-identity-and-the-importance-for-unity/ 

    http://ontheotherhand.podbean.com/2011/05/07/ep-26-australian-chiropractor-dr-john-reggars-on-the-crossroads-of-science-vs-subluxation/ 

    I find John Reggers particularly good – I’m guessing Richard doesn’t :)

    Maybe I’ve been misinterpreting “cultural authority” – I’ve been interpreting it to mean a position by which the public have consensual confidence in chiropractic care.

    Within the profession, it’s all about a battle for the “chiropractic” label really isn’t it.   The battle only exists because modern modalities emerge in parallel with, but never seemingly able to replace, existing modalities.  A situation that is unusual in most other domains…

    And it has some interesting implications if chiropractors of all modalities are equally successful given the same cases – but I duuno if that is in fact the case (sic)…

    My nephew is at WIC now. He loves it….

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