The flowers smell beautiful and its great to be alive.

May 19, 2011

bloody%20sunda%20b4yAt about two in the afternoon, on November 21, 1920, the players of Tipperary lined up for a team photograph before the match against Dublin. At the rear three good friends from the village of Grangemokler stand side by side, In the centre my grandfather Richard (Dick) Lanigan, to his left Gerry Shelly and  to his right Mick Hogan. In minutes Hogan would be dead, shot by British paramilitaries, along with 13 other people, the youngest a fourteen year old boy.

Before the match only two of the players were members of the IRA, after the game the all joined. Within 2 years Ireland was independent and this team had won the all – Ireland football championship. Some  say they became champions because you did not mess with these guys they were warriors and they had courage, rather than skill.

My grandfather would not have wanted an apology from the Queen yesterday at Croke Park, it would have been better if politicians showed they  learned from their “mistakes” as the queen put it. No doubt 100 years from now another British Monarch will be visiting sites in Iraq, Afganistan and Libya where thousands of innocents civilians  have also died as a result of foolish foreign policy. 


When I was diagnosed with cancer I decided to remove all stress from my life and I would put the GCC behind me, what I now realise it was not the GCC or skeptics that were causing me stress, it was my frustration that so few chiropractic colleagues possessed the courage to stand up for themselves and were happy to be beaten into submission for 20% VAT. I come from a family of warriors, you did not mess with my mother, father  or sisters. This was never just about Coats or Dixon it was about the team I found myself on, I was not able to make them better and I could not  accept they level of mediocrity that has been set by the GCC.

When you dont know if you have a future, you take time to reflect and realise whats important. I am so lucky to have had the upbringing and the family I have had. I have had two sleepless night since I found out I had cancer. One was the day I saw the tumour on the colonoscopy. The other was when Arsenal lost to Bolton. My young children have shown the courage I would expect of a Lanigan and I have no doubt they will do me proud in the future. I am in my third week of chemo and radiation and have not had one side effect and the prognosis is good and I am putting together another blog about my experience which I am sure will help others.

The doctors warned me of all the side effects I might have, and I said I would not have any! How was I going to do this? they asked. I was going to change my diet, go to bed early, have lots of sex and get adjusted every week. Now my chiropractor is living in fear of the GCC finding out. He/she has not x rayed me, or referred me back to my GP, in fact there is no record of me attending the practice. Find the subluxation and correct it, thats all I ask. 

No doubt the skeptics would say I am “deluded”. I pity them if they ever become seriously ill and are going to restrict themselves to treatments supported by RCTs. How can people to be so stupid to think medicine has all the answers. They have some and have been fantastic with me however there is a lot more to this than removing a tumour from my body.  If I ever needed convincing of how “deluded” the skeptics are it was at a Cancer workshop put on by the College of Medicine yesterday and I will be attending their inaugural conference today;  Skeptics are entitled to their opinions, I have been reading some of their stuff of Twitter during my break.  It was amusing to think it made no difference whether I engaged with them or not their message is the same; No RCTs so it cant work! They are unable to see how ridiculous that position is in relation to clinical science. I have been critical of chiropractors inability to articulate clearly what they do and failure to take these people on, however the reality is it wont make any difference to these guys so dont bother, concentrate on you clients

If I ever needed convincing cancer has thought me how much our philosophy has to offer people who are unwell and how foolish it is to restrict the practice to musculoskeletal conditions.

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11 Responses to The flowers smell beautiful and its great to be alive.

  1. Richard Lanigan on May 23, 2011 at 09:22

    Thanks for your kind words Skepticat. 
    I have been reading a number of the of the tweets by professor Ernst  et al since I was diagnosed Any non medical treatment suggested as a possible aid to cancer patients draws derision from the skeptic community.  Having cancer has given me a very different perspective as a patient. I can honestly say not one person suggested I should not have medical treatment and I was amazed that Andy would think a “chiropractor” is so stupid that he would think he could turn his back on medicine and treat my tumour with chiropractic.  The medical prognosis for me to be alive five years from now is good. However thats just an average  so presumably some people with the same tumour may die after a year and other may live for twenty years. There is little research money going into the area where you can improve the odds in your favour. There is evidence which supports drinking green tea, changing your diet, increasing amount of exercise,  positive relationships and general wellbeing. Medical doctor Dean Ornish gave a very interesting talk on this at the inaugural metting of the College of Medicine on Thursday. You cant always have “truth” or RCTs to base health care on. In fact only 11% of NHS interventions are supported by RCTs and the best clinicians will rely on experience and the little evidence that may be out there on the subject. 

  2. skepticat on May 22, 2011 at 17:48

     I’m so glad to read you’re doing well, Richard. 

    Not sure where you get the idea that anyone thinks medicine has all the answers, though.

  3. Student on May 21, 2011 at 17:40

    Richard, I wish you all the luck in the world. I am sure that along with the medical treatment chiropractic will make it easier for your body to handle the stress its under. But even if it doesn’t if the therapy makes you feel better then that alone will allow you to get well quicker. I for sure know that chiropractic makes me feel better and it kept me away from the surgeon’s knife when I had a prolapsed L5 disc. 
    I was so impressed I decided to train in the profession. Sadly the training is mechanistic, very medical low on chiro technique and deliberately more stressful than it ever needs to be but I keep fighting along. Hopefully my recent exams will be successful.
    You bring us all inspiration Richard.. 

  4. Richard Lanigan on May 21, 2011 at 12:54

     Lets face it I am a chiropractor, but I call myself Richard Lanigan. My patients/clients all call me a chiropractor my family and friends call me a chiropractor, I was trained as a chiropractor, I practice chiropractic. If you asked the vast majority of chiropractors in the world they would say I was a chiropractor.

    The GCC believes it owns a word, and it relies on fear to control its members. Give me 2 hundred trained chiropractors off the register and we will take back the word from these despots, in January 2011.

  5. wysiwyg on May 21, 2011 at 07:28

     Re your comments on the GCC.  I was a chiropractor.  I have ‘opted’ out.  I am not a practitioner at the end of my career, but I am not prepared to be represented by an organisation that lacks integrity and seems hell bent on destroying that which makes chiropractic effective and serves patients is the best way.  If I’d wanted to be a medical doctor I would have gone to medical school.  
    As it is I see patients, serve them in the best way I can, refer to others if I am not the best person to help them.  I am free of any worry that the GCC would come down on me like a ton of bricks – which was looking likely, the patients are happy.
    I am not alone in opting out.  I know many other young practitioners who have been unwilling to compromise their principles.  It is sad that to truly practice chiropractic, it is increasingly best not to call yourself a chiropractor.

  6. CDC on May 20, 2011 at 23:42

    Have a good recovery Richard!! You ARE a warrior. Much love my friend.

  7. Richard Lanigan on May 20, 2011 at 23:20

    Unbelievable!  Skeptic Andy Lewis, read the above and concluded on twitter that I am treating cancer with chiropractic???  He must have missed “I am in my third week of chemo and radiation and have not had one side effect and the prognosis is good” I know the skeptics have a very limited understanding of Chiropractic but I can assure him this is medical treatment, I go to the Royal Marsden in Sutton every day.

    Andy as skeptics do has ignored the facts to confirm his own beliefs to his followers about me and chiropractic. Three months ago I would have been angry, now all I can do is laugh.  The medical care has been fantastic all on the NHS. I doubt if there is a medical person in the country who thinks treating cancer is simply a matter of chemo, radiation and surgery, unfortunately little money is put into funding research into nutrition and exercise and emotional stress or the skeptics might have heard about it. 

  8. Richard Lanigan on May 20, 2011 at 14:31

    Every body said I should read that book. First chapter he describes his
    symptoms nad how beating cancer was his greatest victory. I am a
    realist, I would never have had chance of winning one stage never mind 7
    tours. I put the book down.

     Armstrong is a Superman, I am just like
    everybody else who gets cancer. Hopefully I am more fortunate than Lance in that I have had the education I have had and approach cancer from a different perspective. We all have cancer cells in our body and in some people those sells go rogue, why? Because of things we eat, unhealthy stress, not enough love, not enough exercise etc etc. Actually DD Palmer put it very well. Toughts, Toxins and Trauma. I have my spine checked every week for subluxations.

  9. Aden on May 20, 2011 at 06:19

    You remind me of Lance Armstrong

  10. barney on May 19, 2011 at 12:42

     sorry ‘musculoskeletal’

  11. barney on May 19, 2011 at 12:40

    Well put Richard!  Continue the great fight  – with adjustments every week. I am behind you all the way.

    How right you are as well: the chiropractic profession has sold themselves up the river and principles and ethos of the ‘art and science’ (with art first) sacrificed (philosophy removed from college curricula by the GCC).

    But you know – and I know – that chiropractic is SO MUCH more than muscolskeletal. We see this daily with our patients. THEY know!

    I wish you a speedy recovery…and love.


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