Born again, British Chiropractic Association joins skeptics “attack” on chiropractic.

May 25, 2010

When Richard Brown went begging for money to the international chiropractic organisations he spoke of the attack on chiropractic from the sceptics. When he is with his BCA colleagues he is talking prescribing and getting into the NHS. The “new” born again BCA (this will be their third reinvention in 15 years) is all about evidence based practice as described recently by David Byfield to the ECU. Aparently they represent  “good”  and presumably chiropractors like myself are bad and unethical. So convincing is the born again BCA, Simon Singh e-mailed me yesterday asking are these the same people who made the decision to sue him?

Yes they are the exact same people although Tony Metcalf has stepped back as president  after his term ended in October and been replaced by his equally incompetent deputy Richard Brown. As immediate past president Tony remains part the BCA executive.

Today the BCA announced that they agreed with Skeptic Barista view of chiropractic, apparently there is no basis for chiropractors claims that the can help wellbeing by improving spinal joint dysfunction (vertebral Subluxation Complex). If this is true what is Chiropractic?

How could chiropractic have evolved over 100 years on the back of a bogus principal and now a minority of medipractors who spend more time on committees than correcting subluxations have announced its all bullshit in the hope that a few medical doctors will embrace them and make them the experts in managing back pain in the NHS? Dream on Richard.

This simply will not happen and the best analysis for the future of Richard Browns profession was done by chiropractic skeptic Blue Wode and some of his colleagues who said chiropractic will evolve into something like sports massagers. If one looks at the correct definition of quackery thats where Richard Brown will take the chiropractic profession if  allowed.

Today the GCC education committee which  is chaired by physiotherapist Graham Pope and his deputy the Medical Doctor Christopher Stephens have pronounced on the Veterbral Subluxation, the traditional name for the chiropractors “spinal joint dysfunction”.  These two “chiropractic experts)have been assisted by chiropractic skeptics and BCA members Alan Breene and David Byfield  and the token traditionalist Christina Cunliffe.

Personally I would prefer if the GCC  came out and appointed Skeptic Barista and Simon Singh to their education committee. At least these guys are honest and open about their opinions of chiropractic and the “Vertebral Subluxation Complex” and will engage in discussion about it. Brown et al are not bright enough to do that as seen by their efforts to discredit Simon Singhs.

The BCA bottled making a decision on Subluxation in2001 after their rejection of the ACC paradigm and now the GCC have done it for them. The GCC  will say it has been forced on them by, Skeptic Barista “The tea boy who dunked the GCCs Subluxation”.

The GCC have passed their advice onto the  ASA making it virtually impossible for registered UK chiropractors to use the term in relation to people seeking chiropractic care in the UK, because the GCC say there is no clinical research evidence linking “health concerns” to spinal joint dysfunction (subluxation) a breach of the GCC code of practice. . This decision taken by the GCCs physio and medical doctor questions the entire theory  chiropractic is based on.

In response the BCA is  trying to cherry pick from their “plethora of evidence”  and dismiss the rest as bogus. Simon Singh could not have written a better response for the BCA and its not surprising he is wondering if these BCA fools are the same fools that sued him. This is the GCC’s statement.

The GCC states: “The chiropractic vertebral subluxation complex is an historical
concept but it remains a theoretical model. It is not supported by any
clinical research evidence that would allow claims to be made that it
is the cause of disease or health concerns”.

The question chiropractors should be asking their regulator is; what does the GCC mean by a “ vertebral subluxation” and what does the GCC mean by health concerns. The GCC has avoiding defining them because to do so undermines the principles of spinal care and chiropractic and they would have to comment on the WHO understanding of chiropractic.

The GCC uses a 1999 World Federation of Chiropractic definition. The most recent definition of chiropractic (2005) is the World Health Organisations definition of chiropractic: Chiropractic as a “health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. There is an emphasis on manual techniques, including joint adjustment with a particular focus on subluxations”.

Later the WHO explains the subluxation as; A lesion or dysfunction in a joint or motion segment in which alignment, movement integrity and/or physiological function are altered, although contact between joint surfaces remains intact. It is essentially a functional entity, which may influence biomechanical and neural integrity.  And Subluxation theory as: A theoretical model and description of the motion segment dysfunction, which incorporates the interaction of pathological changes in nerve, muscle, ligamentous, vascular and connective tissue this has been taken from  Meridel Gatterman’s excellent book Foundations of Chiropractic – Subluxation which puts subluxation theory into its historical and contemporary context and presents the evidence that the theory is based on.

The BCAs responses to the GCCs announcement was immediate so immediate I suspect Richard Brown was consulted on the GCC statement; Richard Browns response to the GCC statment was hardly a surprise in fact the only question one might ask was, why if the BCA believed this were they suing Simon Singh. This takes us back to the issue of the BCA’s “honesty” which became a key point in Simon Singhs case.

It would now seem that the BCA agreed with Simon Singh all along but fearful of losing members to other associations they put claims on their website that they did not believe in (honesty??). Now having managed to create a situation where chiropractors are fearful of  more complaints from skeptics and the GCC they have calculated they can push ahead with their aim to medicalise chiropractic, gain prescribing rights and few chiropractors will object.

The BCA anounced that it “welcomes today’s statement from the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) on Vertebral Subluxation Complex, which appears here

As a responsible organisation”, the BCA understands the need to ensure that the public is properly informed about the evidence base for chiropractic treatment so that it is able to make informed choices about the care it receives. For many years, the BCA has not supported the concept of the Vertebral Subluxation Complex in the light of the absence of evidence supporting claims made it can be the cause of disease and serious illness. It also notes that no provider of UK undergraduate chiropractic education teaches Vertebral Subluxation Complex theory in the context of modern healthcare delivery.

The BCA supports and encourages the inclusion of chiropractic in mainstream healthcare provision in the UK. To facilitate the integration of chiropractic, unsubstantiated historical concepts and ambiguous terminology must be discarded in favour of an emphasis on delivering an evidence-based care model that is easily understood by other members of the healthcare team.

The BCA reminds members of their obligations under the GCC Code of Practice and Standard of Proficiency. In ensuring compliance, they should refrain from making any reference to Vertebral Subluxation Complex in media to which their patients or the general public may have access. This advice has no bearing on scope of practice, which is not defined in the Chiropractors Act, but all chiropractors are required to adopt the practice of a reasonable and competent chiropractor.

Chiropractors are the leaders in non-surgical spinal healthcare. There is strong evidence to support the inclusion of chiropractic in musculoskeletal healthcare initiatives, most recently contained in the NICE Guidelines Chiropractors have specific expertise in the assessment, treatment and management of spinal and joint pain syndromes, and are well placed to deliver cost-effective services within the mainstream UK healthcare framework.

Notes to the above statement:

The issue from which this advice stems is that a member of the public has requested information from the GCC about its view on the strength of the research evidence supporting the contention that the VSC is the cause of disease, many health conditions and in some cases, premature death.

The enquiry was made in the context that outcome 4(a) in the current version of the GCC’s Criteria for Recognition of Degrees in Chiropractic, requires that students must “understand the history, theory and principles of chiropractic in a contemporary context” is accompanied by guidance that includes reference to “vertebral subluxation-centred models”.



The GCC’s Education Committee sought observations on the following from the three recognised UK providers of undergraduate chiropractic degree programmes (AECC, MCC and WIOC): -

  • How the chiropractic vertebral subluxation complex is covered in the detailed curriculum; and
  • What relevant research they draw from.

The detailed responses from each of the institutions can be read in the paper which was considered by the GCC at its meeting on 12 May 2010

The GCC’s Education Committee provided the following advice to the GCC which it accepted at its meeting on 12 May 2010 : -

  • The chiropractic vertebral subluxation complex is taught only as an historical concept.
  • There is no clinical research base to support the belief that it is the cause of disease or health concerns.

The GCC did consult all of the professional associations and the College of Chiropractors prior to its meeting, and has had further dialogue with representatives at the end of last week. This guidance relates to marketing materials and websites and is not an attempt to define the scope of chiropractic practice.

The GCC’s Guidance is as follows:-

The chiropractic Vertebral Subluxation Concept is an historical concept but it remains a theoretical model. It is not supported by any clinical research evidence that would allow claims to be made that it is the cause of disease or health concerns. Chiropractors are reminded that they must make sure their own beliefs and values do not prejudice the patient’s care – GCC Code of Practice Section 8.3. They must provide evidence based care which is clinical practice that incorporates the best available evidence from research, the preferences of the patient and the expertise of practitioners including the individual chiropractor her/himself – GCC Standard of Proficiency Section A2.3 and the Glossary refer. Any advertised claims for chiropractic care must be based only on best research of the highest standard – GCC Guidance on Advertising – issued March 2010 refers.

Any members referring to the VSC on their websites, are recommended to review the context of the wording used as a matter of urgency to ensure compliance with the GCC’s Code of Practice and Standard of Proficiency and thus prevent the possibility of a complaint being made to the GCC about the use of the terminology.

Please contact BCA Head Office if you require any clarification.

Richard Brown DC, LL.M, FCC, FBCA, FEAC

President, British Chiropractic Association 24th May 2010

You could not make this up.

To all chiropractors. I told you this would happen in 2002. What will UK chiropractors call

Spinal Joint Dysfunction now. A Zeno instead of a subluxation.

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42 Responses to Born again, British Chiropractic Association joins skeptics “attack” on chiropractic.

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  15. Stefaan Vossen on September 14, 2010 at 09:46

    Hey Eugene,
    I have two quick questions for you:
    -what is it that in essence makes you conclude that “vertebral subluxation wellness” are “nonsence”? Or otherwise said, why do you believe the subluxation concept, at the root of your chosen profession to be nonsense?
    -why do you want to prescribe pain medication? Surely most pain medication a chiropractor could advise for the vast majority of patients whom we are seeing and treating would fair equally well with over-the counter medication? Have you got frequent need for other pain meds? If so, could it be that you are trying to fulfill a GP’s role and case manage the patient beyond the musculo-skeletal framework?
    I understand some chiropractors have come to work in that context due to lax GP services, but in that case I would encourage people to seek and improve cooperation rather than alienate by taking over a chunk of GP work and charge for it where the NHS will subsidise the service.
    I am curious as to your views and reply.
    Kind regards,

  16. Richard Lanigan on September 14, 2010 at 02:08

    Hi Eugene,
    Prescribing has been a possibility since the Health and Social Care act 2001, individuals like your self have pushed for it over the years but it is only recently that the BCA council has sought and been given a mandate from a majority of its members (who in total probably only represent about 20% of the entire UK profession)
    Prescribing drugs is not part of chiropractic practice according to the WFC and why should a small group of BCA chiropractors be allowed to redefine scope of practice for all registered chiropractors??? The GCC/BCA have had a medical agenda for chiropractic since the mid 90s, however they have only publicly declared it recently. When Frank Dobson was Health secretary the prescribing proposals were included in the Health and Social Care Green paper in 1999 after consolation with the GCC ( presumably Coats), the profession was not consulted.

    We have a fundamental disagreement on the future of chiropractic, however you know I would also fight for your right to have your view and if that view is what the majority of chiropractors want to call chiropractic fair enough, but the BCA represents only 50% of the UK profession and it will be interesting to see how many BCA members remain members next year, surely you are not suggesting that because the power lies in the minority they should force the majority to go along with them.

    Simon Sing accused the BCA of dishonesty for putting “bogus” claims on their website. The question for Simon Sing became did the BCA council believe in the claims they had on their website. Their subsequent statement post The Simon Singh case would suggest they did not and in fact Simon Sing was in fact correct when he accused them of dishonesty. The decisions by McTimoney to take down their websites and the BCA to change theirs would suggest our profession lacks integrity. You may think I am stupid to subscribe to subluxation theory but I am not dishonest and I dont associate with dishonest people.

    If you were a mechanic I would hope you would get a painter to do the spray job.

    I hope its the best arguments wins this debate rather than the most influencial, with that in mind I invite you to write an article explaining to readers why you no longer want to refer patients you believe benefit from pain medication to their GPs. Medical doctors have more experience, will have better training and its free. And why you dont think you making a mistake with a prescription would adversely affect your colleagues who dont prescribe.

  17. Paul on September 13, 2010 at 23:02

    Hi Eugene

    I think the problem was that the BCA began its action when in fact they agreed in full with Simon Singh’s postion and statement thereof. The decision to do so was made from the top down and showed complete incompetence. I would fully expect them to invite Singh to speak at their next conference as per the invite to Ernst.

    The BCA membership is not trying to achieve anything. Medical Manipulators geared toward pain management (much like yourself) have taken the BCA over and your statement, ‘if you have read all the manifesto’s for the up coming council members not one is pro vertebral subluxation wellness or any other nonsence’ confirms this in full.

    The BCA no longer defend or promote chiropractic and after the bait, blackmail and switch they pulled in conjuction with the GCC at the last ECU GC meeting, they have no place there either.

    Eugene with respect I think that it is time the BCA had some balls and asked its members deregister and the BCA changed its name to the British Medical Manipulation Society.

  18. Eugene Pearce on September 13, 2010 at 20:56


    I think you are deliberately and possibly changing the timeline about the BCA’s reinvention.

    I proposed prescribing introduction rights at the conference 5 years ago. You should remember as we debated the fact on your old website. It was then voted on and supported by 80% of BCA chiropractors. David Byfield arranged for the Pharmacology lecturer to talk at the WIOC conferece the following autumn. This was all well before Simon Singh. You are trying to deliberately misrepresent the BCA and suggest these changes were made top down as a result of the Simon Singh case and it simply is not true.

    Furthermore as I proposed prescribing Richard, you can tell the tutor who suggested that it was for meaningful research funding he is talking from where the sun doesnt shine. The fact is drugs are a useful tool in pain management. Drugs also cause side effects including musculoskeletal symptoms. We must have a recognised level of expertise in the field of pharmacology, and know which drugs are appopriate, and which might be causing symptoms. Currently pharmacology is taught to a arbitory level. I see patients in pain, if I were a mechanic I would want more than a box of hammers to work on a car.

    Dont get me wrong I am not here to defend the BCA just want some truth out there, I didnt support the BCA’s stance on the Singh case, (easy to say with hindight, and I am guilty of not speaking up) but when your defense is “we werent lying, just ill informed” c’mon. The fact is if the BCA had won its case it would have set chiropractic back 50 years and the attention it has brought on the profession has knocked many into line. What the BCA membership is trying to acheive should be applauded.

    Perhaps next time you are emailed by Simon Singh you might at least set the record straight regarding prescribing. You know I proposed it and it was voted on years before Singh trial. You probably know the membership of the BCA are the ones pushing for change. If you have read all the manifesto’s for the up coming council members not one is pro vertebral subluxation wellness or any other nonsence. A welcome change.

  19. Richard Lanigan on May 29, 2010 at 00:34

    Hi Paul,
    The problem is time, the GCC and BCA have many people in their offices. I do most of this at night. The good thing is Blog numbers are growing averaging 600 a day and 30% from abroad. I sense a change in attitude and have been getting lots of e-mails.

    The MEPs would be good for European chiropractors who want to work here without doing the Test of Competence or paying the registration fee.

  20. Paul on May 28, 2010 at 23:32

    Richard run with it HARD – why not bring in an MEP?

  21. Richard Lanigan on May 28, 2010 at 20:43

    If all the BCA chiropractors defended themselves that would finish the GCC they could not afford to prossecute. The GCC have cut a deal with the BCA to have the hearings behing closed doors and just throw a few bodies to the skeptics.

    The phones is not the worst thing they have done. I think there is more milage in my MP raising it. I am aprivate citizen after all and dont have a criminal record. There are two witness who will swear that the PI was trying to entrap me and my receptionist into saying I was a chiropractor. I had intended putting it all on the blog two weeks ago but so much has happened.

  22. Paul on May 28, 2010 at 15:51

    Wouldn’t the best thing be for these two groups to implode through bankruptcy?

    Do you intend to sue over the phone bugging Richard?

  23. Richard Lanigan on May 28, 2010 at 15:00

    Hi Peter,
    People can leave the BCA, but they are still stuck under the GCC/BCA alliance it is called catch 22 and why it is virtually impossible to change things from within. I wrote this in 2006

  24. peter on May 28, 2010 at 09:31

    Its the same old story the politicians use. Problem, Reaction, Solution.

    The BCA cause a stir with Simon Singh and the like , react to it by sueing him, which they did on their own accord , and never once even attempted to get the opinions of their own members , and now come up with a solution of changing the paradigm to suit their own greedy needs.
    The BCA have become a bunch of sorry, arrogant losers who have nothing more than their own intentions in mind and it is becoming very clear that they and the GCC have their own agenda. I emailed them earlier this week regarding this matter and received some lame excuse for an answer.
    I can see a lot of people terminating their membership with the BCA and all they will be left with is Richard Brown and a few of his chronie geeks.
    Good riddance to the geek brigade

  25. Alan on May 27, 2010 at 23:05

    Hi Richard

    Things are going great. I have sent you an email last week when this all kicked off, it was to the last address I have for you.

    I remember the name Jenny Zee but not any philosophy classes. If was before 11 AM I might not have made it to them :¬)

    I remember the uproar and struggles we had then to get any discussion of Chiropractic philosophy. (For those interested I was in the same year as Richard Hollis) Yes we did have to change the name to discussion group. Circa 91 our year graduated in 93

    As you have said many times it is the busy ones who just get on with it and keep clear of politics.

    Of course drug companies will be falling over themselves to fund chiropractic research just like I can imagine they have funded Osteopathic research in the US.

    What saddens me is that we have a system to report incidents where is the system to report all the great things that happen in practice every day.

  26. Richard Lanigan on May 27, 2010 at 21:00

    Hi Alan,
    How is it going. Who is this Jenny Zee a subluxation chiropractor teaching philosophy at AECC never heard of her. In fact I remember when a guy in your year started a “philosophy” club circa 93 he was told by Gerianne Rowe that they had to change the name to discussion club to get permission to use college facilities.

    A tutor at AECC recently told a student that we had to begin prescribing as that was the only way to get funding to do meaningfull chiropractic research.

  27. Alan on May 27, 2010 at 19:44

    Hi Rich H.

    Alan Scott here, long time no speak. What would it take to persuade you that spinal dysfunction with a neurological component has an effect on health?

    Would you consider indigestion or heart burn, high blood pressure or frequent micturation (in an adult) to be a health sign of ill health, what about sinus problems, low energy levels or the inability to think clearly?

    Would you be willing to create a quick questionnaire for your patients to see if any of these health concerns change over the course of your treatment? How about asking whether they have less colds or flu? Or asking their partner if their personality has changed may be they are less moody, happier not so quick tempered, even if they still have pain.

    You never know you might persuade your self :¬)

  28. fed up on May 27, 2010 at 17:14

    Hi Richard H this was on your broadgate site,
    “Chiropractic does not involve the use of any drugs or surgery.”
    I was just wondering what your thoughts where on prescribing rights?

  29. Richard Hollis on May 27, 2010 at 17:01

    Oh, and lastly, whilst I’m here, I did feel a slight nausea using the term “C#ltural Auth#rity”. It does sound like the worst kind of management consulting talk. I picked it up from a real medipractor Scott Haldeman, speaking last weekend. Thanks for pointing it out.

  30. Richard Hollis on May 27, 2010 at 16:53

    I must be an idiot, still not knowing how to spell chiropractic.

  31. Richard Hollis on May 27, 2010 at 16:41

    Hi Richard, thanks for suggesting I post on comments about me on your blog.
    Paul, I did not put the link up, rather it appeared automatically as I mentioned this blog on my posting (I imagine because this is a “wordpress” blog like mine)as I was commenting on opinions different to mine, and this blog was a good place to show them. I’m all for people having opinions.
    Richard L and I were contempories at college, although he was a couple of years below me, despite appearances ;-)
    We got on due to a love of football, laughing at everything including ourselves and the fact that he fancied my housemate. Oh, and I stopped him getting into fights with opposing managers at the college football matches with a linesmans flag. Sometimes it’s best not to give your opinion!
    Richard, I did learn about VSC in “Chiroprcatic Philosophy” with Jennie Zee. You might remember I was a supporter of yours in getting Reggie Gold in. As you know, I also hate censorship and want to hear everyones opinion and love hearing something controversal.
    Surely you can give me enough credit to know I am able to make my own mind up. I have worked with Alan for 6 years, but with a few others over 17 years in practice too. I have heard Dan Murphy speak, attended a couple of Carrick seminars (only introductory, admittedly) but not heard Gatterman although I would like to. I have only read excerpts from her book but you’re right, I should read it all.
    The way we differ, is that although I of course know that spinal joint dysfunction has neurological consequences, I have not been convinced that it has a effect on health in any other way but to the spine.
    I like to think myself open minded, rather than prejudiced, so can be persuaded. I just haven’t been.

  32. Richard Lanigan on May 26, 2010 at 22:55

    People can swear on this blog say what they like but as of now the latest buzz word in chiropractic “Cultural Authority” is banned. I hate these words that some “clever dick” comes up with as if to say this is the answer to the professions problems achieving cultural authority BOLLOX! One could argue the BNP have the “cultural authority” to abuse ethnic minoritys in the UK.

    Richard Hollis is a good friend of mine, I hope that does not harm him in the eyes of his colleagues on the BCA council. They would never have the guts to get into a debate this with me and I applaud Richard for being prepared to try and back Richard Browns statement up on his blog, rather than put out a press release under cover of the GCC.

    Paul asks about the Danes, they are very tolerant and dont get hung up on the use of language, their favourite word is hygligt (cosy). I find it hard to believe they would reject the “subluxation” because its not a Danish word that I am familiar with.

    Danes dont have nudist beaches ,if you dont want to wear a swimming costume dont, no one would pay any attention unlike the Brits and Americans. As for them not fighting the Germans, I would point out all Jews living in Denmark managed to get out because of the way the Danes handled their evacuation to Sweden.

    The Danish government was paying for chiropractic in the 80s so I dont think it had anything to do with any statement rejecting subluxation made in 1992, by that time they were the only country funding chiropractic for infants with colic which hardly falls into the musculoskeletal category.

    There is no doubt Chiropractic has been medicalised in Denmark mainly because the busy Palmer graduates sat back and allowed medipractors like Alan Jordan and a medical school in Odensa take over the training of chiropractors. They do a common pre-med and specialise in later years in a chosen field chiropractic or orthopedics. The most successful chiropractor in Denmark in the 80s and 90s was Ole Wessung a Palmer grad doing Gondstead, he got me into chiropractic and he will tell you the Danish Association is just like any other association. Chiropractors with time on their hands. Ole is not a member of the association but they are always requesting his time for conferences.

    Richard Hollis works with Alan Jordan a Canadian Orthopractor who spent time in Denmark and did research at the Copenhagens Rigs hospital. Alan Jordan is known among academics in Denmark but he would not be nearly as well known in Denmark as Kiropraktor Ole Wessung. There is no comparison between the two except in the eyes of medipractors.

    When Richard and I were at AECC the word Subluxation was never used, explained, in any kind of historical context or part of the curiculum. There were a few students who ran a philosophy group who talked about it, that was all. The only reason I knew about them was because Joe Bone who was vice principal wanted to ban Regie Gold from speaking on campus. I was president of the Student Union and censorship and banning people are things I would always fight against.

    In 1993 Richard and I were in very similar places chiropracticly. Richard graduated went working for a guy who came back from a practice building course and told all the staff they had to x-ray all their patients including the old ones and use the subluxation word to justify continuous care and prepayment schemes. After that a medical chiropractor like Alan Jordan would have been heaven even if he is a smoker .

    Paul I did not end up with Richards view of Subluxation because in 1995 I attended the Chiropractic Centennial in Davenport and was fortunate to hear two people speak. Dan Murphy and Meridel Gatterman a mechanist who was about to release a book Foundations of Chiropractic – Subluxation. I defy anybody to study that book and tell me that is not the future of chiropractic, a profession separate and distinct from medicine.

    So inspired and confident was I that in my final exam when asked for the differential in each of the three clinical cases I offered “Vertebral Subluxation Complex” (VSC) . It was not on the examiners list of conditions and they did not even ask what is a VSC, so brain washed are they that subluxation is a partial dislocation of a joint.

    I say to Richard and sceptics fine reject the VSC but do it from a position of strength, of knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of spinal joint dysfunction and the effect on the nervous system, not prejudice. Dont limit your scope of practice to a limited knowledge base of what works for you and Alan Jordan. The chiropractic profession has two extremes Richard et al just happen to be at one end, unfortunatly their beliefs are just as strong as BJs.

    Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

  33. Paul on May 26, 2010 at 18:42

    PS isn’t it shameful to see the AECC begin the process of merger with the British School of Osteopathy?

  34. Paul on May 26, 2010 at 18:34

    Since Richard Hollis provided nothing substantial rather than a link to his blog I thought I would provide a comment upon it.

    From Richard Hollis’ blog….

    “It seems to have come as news to some, but the Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) has been regarded as a historical concept by the BCA and the chiropractic academic institutions for many years. When I was at the AECC 1989 -93 I was taught it as such.”

    Richard weren’t you training at the AECC during this time – one of you must be wrong.

    ‘I have been looking into the situation in Denmark, where chiropractors are covered by the health service and have “cultural authority” as specialists in the non-surgical management of spinal healthcare. Patients with back pain can access a chiropractor directly, without requirement for referral from their GP.

    I’ll blog later on what other steps they took in Denmark, and how we could learn from them. But for now I’ll reproduce the definition on chiropractic from their website:

    “A chiropractor is a licensed health care professional dealing with investigation, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of pain conditions and function of the musculoskeletal system.” ’

    Richard you lived in Denmark – how is it there?

    Then R Hollis goes on to state:

    “Their identity doesn’t seem to have suffered too much.”

    How the blind describe colour…..

    Now personally I see the problem with the ECU – that it was led for years by a BCA / DCA pairing that carved up the votes and claimed legitamacy by dragging along the other national associations

    I don’t expect my reply to last long so here it is..

    Hi Richard,

    I think you had a differenet outlook on your training than many of those who trained with you. It’s a pity you rather like many of those in the BCA executive (rather than its membership) that have decided that chiropractic is something different than it is and has been.

    The Danes also decided not to fight the Nazis in WW2 perhaps the Brits should have taken their lead there too?

    BTW loved the fact that when I got to the bottom of this page there was an ad for a physical therapist.

    Perhaps you should retrain and fight for xray rights.

  35. [...] reproduced the response from the BCA below regarding the GCC statement but there are some who think that the GCC or the BCA rejecting this concept is the death knell for chiropractic. [...]

  36. Stefaan Vossen on May 25, 2010 at 16:17

    This is only the beginning

  37. Richard Lanigan on May 25, 2010 at 14:32

    Not really Glen, at long last the BCA have come out. The rest is up to UK chiropractors to decide where their future is; in medicine or chiropractic. No one can say I am exagerating any more, and I made my decision when I resigned from the register. The only question now is will the UK chiropractors be like the gambler chasing his losses in Vegas

    I took Byfields arguments apart in 2002 and will do the same in 2010. I have been wrong about few things since I left AECC in 1996 and the BCA has made itself very vulnerable by making this statement. Hopefully this blog will be the rallying point for UK chiropractors to inform themselves about events.

    If they dont change their leadership now, the BCA will go the same way as the National Associatiopn of Chiropractic Medicine, remember those guys and their Orthopractors. Opportunists who thought their medipractor philosophy could build them a niche in the medical profession after the Wilk case. They disappeared into oblivion two years ago I will blog about them and their soul brothers the BCA tomorrow.

  38. Garland Glenn on May 25, 2010 at 13:51

    This is truely a very sad day.

  39. Richard Lanigan on May 25, 2010 at 12:06

    What do you know Steffan, you are only a chiropractor. The Chairman of the GCCs education committe Graham Pope (who comes highly reccomended by the British Chiropractic Association) and Skeptic Barista say otherwise.

  40. Stefaan Vossen on May 25, 2010 at 11:22

    Hi Richard,
    this is a copy of a post I left on sceptic barrista’s website. I copy pasted it as I thought you might find it interesting in teh context of this discussion.
    Hope you’re well
    On the topic of “the demise of the subluxation concept”:

    A subluxation never should have been interpreted as a clinical entity and this is where the chiropractic profession in its ill-faited attempts to medicalisation sold its spirit and principles. Unfortunately this has also caused much confusion amongst the so-called sceptics who come up with “subluxations don’t exist” banners which are only directed to the address of the subluxation concept as per GCC and BCA interpretations who enacted these attempts to medicalisation. Once and for all: a subluxation is not a spinal event. It is a group name given to any systematic dysfunction in any arena of the healthcare spectrum which is causing a challenge to the ability to cope and which, when its intensity exceeds the ability to cope causes a reduction in well-being (subluxation is cause of all dis-ease).
    Subluxations can be identified in the biomechanical, biochemical and psycho-social arena. Lots of people treat subluxations and chiropractors tend to primarily treat biomechanical subluxations. Some poeple who treat subluxations in the other arena’s are amongst many others cogitive behavioural therapist and clinical nutritionists.
    When a subluxation has caused so much damage that there is no therapeutic point to reversing the subluxation in order to achieve an improvement to the condition then surgery and palliative care are the only appropriate pathway. If the injury or trauma is not caused by a subluxation but blunt trauma, cancer, retro-virus or other similar pathological process then there is no need for the removal of a subluxation as there is none. When there is a subluxation (e.g.nutritional deficiency) accompanying such injury ,then removing the subluxation will facilitate recovery by virtue of non-interference (i.e. the person is recovering without further challenges to their ability to cope).
    Chiropractic is bigger than most chiropractors, because they aren’t too well equipped to deal with subluxations of non-biomechanical origin. Some chiropractors are not that well equipped to deal with these either and should rethink their claim in the health-care market. Some common biomechanical subluxations include gait dysfunction (pes planus/cavus), anatomical leg length discrepancies, orthognastic subluxations (bite/occlusal dysfunction) and spinal subluxations. They don’t usually exist in isolation in the presenting patient due to the fact that the presenting patient is a symptomatic patient (in most cases) which will either require a high-intensity subluxation, a chronically present subluxation or a multitude of low-level subluxations. The potentially cumulative capacity of subluxations has some people confused as they see changes or improvements in one arena (say the biomechanical) when subluxation is removed in another arena (say the psychological) which then swiftly and simplistically leads them to presume they treat these biomechanical conditions.
    Some chiropractors are as confused about this as some sceptics, and understandably so.
    Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst et al aren’t wrong in saying there is no research evidence to back up certain claims, but they are grossly mistaken in assuming that there is any research out there assessing the chiropractic model. Often they refer to poor or weak evidence on back pain, my point is that considering the research treats back pain as an entity makes it invalid as a whole. Back pain, back pain and back pain can be three different things. Some can be caused by flat-footedness, some can be caused by spinal dysfunction some can be caused by orthognastic dysfunction, some can be caused by any combination of the three. Considering these are only three of a myriad of potential sources of subluxation I would go so far that research that looks at exercise vs manipulation vs medication is completely impotent and find it surprising that under those circumstances it was yielding weak or even poor evidence levels at all.

    It isn’t easy, but then rarely is anything worthwhile easy.
    Kind regards,

    Stefaan Vossen
    This is only the beginning

  41. Richard Lanigan on May 25, 2010 at 10:07

    To be fair to McTimoney while removing their websites damaged the chiropractic profession, the BCA/GCC alliance is taking the credibility of chiropractic in the UK to a whole new level: Quackery.

    Joining the “witch hunt” the BCA themselves provoked is some achievement, this is the kind of thing the BNP do. Create unrest in racially diverse urban areas, then try and present themselves as the voice of reason. Even the skeptics can not be taken in by this subterfuge by these quacks ( Chambers dictionary; a boastful pretender to medical knowledge and skill that s/he does not possess)if anything comes out of this, hopefully it will the correct use of the term “quack” in relation to medipractors and the like.

  42. dazed on May 25, 2010 at 06:18

    Ha ha ha the BCA order slash and burn of own websites. Maybe they have been infiltrated by the MCA?????


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