British Institute of Great Orators, Thinkers and Skeptics, according to Bruce on quackometer.
I was asked a question by someone calling himself “badly shaved monkey” (rather reiterating his lack of elegance and his close intellectual relationship to cercopithecoid primates – ie. not hominoids, which is where-unlike monkeys- humans descended from) about what proof we have for the existence of a subluxation. I was stunned. The shear idiocy of that question left me completely flabbergasted.
So I decided to have a bit of fun. Then, after a few brief posts, I quickly realised that he, and some of the onanists who circumnavigate websites that aim to condescend to chiropractic theory, really did not understand the difference between a philosophy and a practise. That said, I have had to admit that some people who practise chiropractic also do not know the difference either…So I proceeded by making it as clear as I could that my interpretation of the theory was only ever my personal view point and understanding and held no representational value.
Anyway the point is this: in my opinion (I reiterate: in MY opinion) the term subluxation in the context of chiropractic philosophy is a theoretical umbrella term referring to ANY source of dysfunction, whether it be biomechanical, mental or nutritional/chemical. Much laughter ensued when I declared this position on my posts. Much laughter but zero counter-argument. To my colleagues who do have a sense of what they are meant to be doing as chiropractors, remember this: zero counter argument. And it is easy to see why: it is so blatently obvious that all things must have cause and that sometimes, particularly when the cause is not so apparant, it might be worthwhile looking at why the patient doesn’t seem to be able to heal themselves. Not laughing so much now… But here comes the crux of that debate: when the cause is not that apparent it might be worthwhile looking at why the patient doesn’t seem to be able to heal themselves.
The cause might not be that apparent because a clinician may not know how to look for it. In which case improving clinical ability and clearly deliniating scope of practice are paramount. Fair criticism may be levied against some clinicians in any field for failings in this context…and I feel that some of the bigoted opinions on chiropractic clinical practice are based on a vague and unsubstatiated sense that the quality of the education in chiropractic is substandard and that regulation of scope of practice is poor. But is that sense all that vague and unsubstatiated? On the one hand I think that a little introspection and acknowledgement of the facts may actually lend some credence to the “sceptics” view point (inverted commas as most them really aren’t that sceptical of their own held beliefs and won’t do the research required to know the facts). Let’s have some clemency through the acknowledgement that the human mind is easily led by those who shout the loudest and let’s look at those who shout the loudest in the chiropractic field… ain’t all that pretty is it? Yes, they are a minority, yes they are maybe misguided idiots, but regardless of the facts, they are still shouting the loudest. Can you really blame poor wannabe sceptics to be guided by the impression created by the above shouting and idiotic minority? Remember, most of them are not used to accessing data-bases or well-versed at critical thinking and my conclusion is that the “bigoted and biased” behaviour is nothing more complex than wannabe-sceptic herd behaviour. Yes they are led by people who do the data-base accessing and the critical thinking, but isn’t it entertaining to see how little those actually state? Like true puppet masters they allow for the herd to infer from those minimal statements of fact whatever the herd’s bias predisposes it to think. Say a word and let the herd make sentence. It is really rather comical if you see it from this angle.
But, hang on! Isn’t the same true for chiropractors? Is it not true that 600 chiropractors find themselves under scrutiny because they have duplicated information they thought to be correct? Unthinkingly, unquestioningly duplicating whatever the GCC, their colleagues or the seminar guru said? Some, you may say, genuinly think that subluxations are vertebrae that out of line and impinge on nerves which causes the lung/thyroid/bladder dis-ease. They, I would argue, are muppets. A very (too) vocal, minority of muppets. A chiropractic Punch and Judy show if you wish. They are a liability that needs to be excised from the profession for no other reason that they bring what is in my opinion a fantastic profession with hughe and untapped potential in disrepute. But the regulators have no say on the matter and other than that a chiropractor cannot advertise in breach of ASA regulations (DUH) the GCC’s regulation of the profession has done none-other (sweeping statement-I am guessing that the GCC’s understanding of regulation has done more than that but it isn’t that obvious to me) than give the public a complaints process they could access. It has not “regulated” anything. It has not said what you should do, must do, shouldn’t do,… if it doesn’t involve a patient complaint. It can’t touch the scop of practice, it can’t tell you that seeing a patient three times a week for 6 weeks is unnecessary and that if it were to appear to be necessary it would mean the clinician missed something. It can’t tell you that if you have a need for prepayment schedules to acquire patient loyalty that it means you’re not a very good communicator and rather than relying on an admin-heavy negative karma process you should invest in some communication classes. It can’t tell you many things that are very relevant to teh future of chiropractic in the UK… Why? Because there is no concensus and there is no true understanding of what best-practise is. There is no evidence to tell you that twice a week for 3 weeks is plenty to get very respectable results. There is no evidence to say that if Mrs. Smith presenting with this symptom which she’s had for 3.2 years that it will take 8 visits to achieve 65% improvement within 6 weeks and 90% improvement with 10 visits and a pair of orthotics at £350 a pair. There is no evidence to state categorically that one way is better than the other or that “route A” costs £400 and will achieve 85% improvement in 6 weeks and “route B” costs £200 and will achieve 75% improvement in 8 weeks-which would Mrs. Smith like to follow A (expensive but fast) or B (cheaper but slower and less complete)? There is no real understanding of “best practise”, there is no real “informed choice”. The whole exercise is a waste of breath until treatment formats are agreed upon, protocols are set and the results from the different formats and protocols are tested against one-another. What does this have to do with the GCC? As I stated the GCC is mainly a complaints vehicle (no disrespect, just an observation) and fact is that complaints (other than those malicisiously generated by certain people in and outside the profession-so I am referring to genuine complaints) are primarily due to poor communication, lack of clarity and false expectation, things that undermine whether a patient will like the clinician or not. In fact studies have shown that patients will not make complaint against clinicians whom they like, even if the action the clinician took was negligent. So, without the ability to make clinicians better communicators, without better predictors of therapeutic outcomes, without expectation and cost management procedures based on sound protocol assessment, … without any of these,… regulation is by and large never going to be any more than fire-fighting. Fire fighting with arguments and disagreements about what constitutes a fire to boot!
So,… not so bigoted after all. In fact the puppet masters of the B.I.G.O.T. movement have plenty of reasonable grounds to make their comments and evaluation of the chiropractic profession in the way they have done. The puppets at the end of the strings are just that, puppets, but they, in all their puppetness are showing us a great many valuable things. Should we wish to see them.
So, Badly Shaved Monkey for all his being a narcissistic puppet, actually had a point in asking me what a proof we have of the existence of subluxations. And that point is that all I can give him, is my own and personal opinion. That point is that until we overcome the current political stale-mate, and until we decide on clearer, more directive and less opinion-bound positions on our protocols, methods and outcomes, until then, regulation has achieved nothing more than a cover the profession with a false veil of respectability, designed to protect the incapable and the clincally feeble, not the public.
Come to think of it, my calling myself a chiropractor has actually cost me more than it has earned me. My patients don’t come to me because I am a “chiropractor”. They come to me because I, like so many others out there, deliver the goods in a pleasant manner. In fact, come to think of it, there are people out there with successful clinics who have done phenomenal work whom the profession needs more than they need the profession. Let’s not delude ourselves, there are people out there who acquire respectability on your back. Because you are a good clinician you represent and heighten the public perception of the profession. All I can think now is that the formation of the GCC and the beast it has become was either a charitable attempt of those wonderful chiropractors that are and were out there to share in their success and help those who were struggling or an attempt for those who were struggling to make sure that the power did not come to lie with those who had the success,… or maybe it started as the former and got taken up by the latter.
A parasitic monster that has grown out of a seed of good…
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