Why I have left the BCA and why I am leaving the GCC

February 14, 2011

A long time ago now, I was walking up the mountains in north Italy with an uncle of mine. I was about 14 years old.

I remember asking him (in Flemish): “dad is a GP and you are a chiropractor, what do you do differently?” To which he slowly replied: “We are both trying to make people better. Your dad does it by giving them something they’re missing, I do it by taking away the reason why they are not giving it themselves.”

There was no conflict between the two philosophies, because sometimes my dad would tell me about how the human body is the greatest healer and my uncle would tell me about how great medicine is (an auntie of mine had and survived pancreatic cancer). I deduced from this that the relation between chiropractic and medicine is not “either/or” but rather “at the right time, at the right place”. I soon felt I knew my place as a chiropractor and that there was no real argument. I was tempted by a career in medicine until that walk up in the mountains. The answer I got made perfect sense to me. It was entirely harmonious with what I knew of the natural world and it painted a deep appreciation for the body’s ability to heal.

Even before I began my studies, I realised that noone in health care holds all the answers but that there is a filtration process, a spectrum through which a person may walk on their path to being well or unwell and that there were different stallwarts looking over different segments of the spectrum applying their knowledge to that segment. On the one end of the spectrum there were those who needed nothing, further along the line there were those who needed low-level interventions like a hug, a kind word, a nice meal, some exercise. Further down the line there were those who needed more intrusive changes enabling changes in mechanical, emotional, nutritional behaviour. Further still there were those who needed high level interventions and who literally had to be forcefully changed, induced, rebuilt. This all made perfect sense to me as it was evidenced by what was out there in the world already.

What I hadn’t accounted for was the human element of those stalwarts and their conscious and subconscious ability to undermine the greater good for personal, emotional and/or financial gain. In a nutshell I approached the topic naively. I continue to support such naive notions, by choice now, but I have made further observations which protect this idealised view from the obscene levels of stupidity and arrogance entertained by some.

But back to what matters: I have come to the conclusion that the chiropractic profession, as a group of people rather than a therapeutic ethos, has embarked on a downwards spiral. Two observations I must add to that statement: it embarked on it a long time ago and the negative annotation “downwards” is in respect and relative to what I personally understand to be the correct direction of the “chiropractic profession”. All very subjective, personal and nobody’s concern other than my own. But I am telling you anyway. Because I can. I am not the first to have come to this conclusion and nor does it matter if I were. What does matter is that I have decided that it was a movement I did not wish to be part of.

Firstly; the BCA does not represent me and what I do in my practice. Or more precisely what the BCA pretends to represent does not represent me and what I do. I could tell you why they don’t represent me but I would just largely duplicate what I am writing about the GCC further down. So you will have to wait a little longer but for those reasons I have handed my resignation in. I wrote to them with the detail, explained where I was coming from and said my piece.

I could have gone to another association, but there seems to be a lot of muppetting in any place, group or organisation where politics and power are on the menu.There seems to be no real leadership anyway. Leadership seems to be all about how many people will like an opinion,… a popularity contest, not a learning experience. Richard Brown could of course argue that his choices have been unpopular. Richard, for your benefit: if you’d known in advance exactly how unpopular it would have made you,… would you still have done it? Anyway, it’s not your fault. It is in fact no-ones fault. It is all of our faults.

Secondly: the GCC is not regulating the profession in a way that I believe it to be conducive to helping the profession develop in the direction I believe it should go in. I am positive that it is going in a direction but I believe it is, as I stated before, a direction I am not interested in. I had a brief internal debate as to whether I should then not engage with the politics and make it better (in my view) rather than abandon ship like a “giver-upperer”. But I am not a political animal. In fact I would make a terrible politician. The other question I really had to ask myself was: what is the point of teaming up with people I don’t fully agree with? This is in fact turned out to be far more relevant than I initially considered. On the one hand the point of meeting with people you don’t agree with is that of expanding your horizons and challenging your beliefs. People have been known to become complacent before… on the other hand it is about accruing power by means of oration and reasoning. As I am personally not interested in the latter (I was much loved as a child) I decided that there must be a more intelligent and more productive way of achieving the former but without such wide margin for human error. Ultimately the problem is that a health care profession is not about being right/wrong/indifferent, it is about one thing only; results for patients. So the problem was simply how to build a profession around results and patients.

So I went looking for a solution. And I found one.

Now, finding one and implementing one,… two different ballgames, I know, but in a petulant fit of the Fuck You’s when the PCC finally realised last week (after 18 months and Darwin-knows how many thousands of pounds in admin and legal fees) that Simon Perry’s claim that I had behaved in an “unprofessional manner” was ridiculous (they didn’t even get as far as the third point), I, in return, decided that it had nothing to do with Simon Perry (nice guy, had him over at the office, put some BCA colic leaflets in the waiting room for a laff) but everything to do with the GCC ‘s desire to persue a case where no case existed (details on the GCC website). The good news: I haven’t paid the GCC for two years now. That said, and for clarity: I have CPD’ed the hell out of 2009-2011 and have no issues with the premise of a vexatious case-the GCC had no choice but to act on them. The manner in which they acted on them… well let’s say that that left to be desired. Nor am I a “subluxation-station” kindaguy. It makes me want to vomit yesterday’s breakfast when I hear mindless drones talk about lesions visible on X-rays or thermal scanners,… malpositions/heat discrepancies: they are the end product, not the cause! Nor do I feel “misunderstood…man” (pronounce “man” as if high on illegal substances and theorising about having found the reason for existence) and nor have I “outgrown the chiropractic label”…

It is just that my understanding of the chiropractic label  is too big for the people that exist in it (including myself by the way-I know I can make a good impression of being arrogant). It is just that some of the people within any given profession but particularly the cottage industry that is chiropractic have fragile egos and happened to have manoeuvred themselves into positions of power and have redefined what the label stands for. It is just that the democratic process allows the majority to decide what a label means. It is just that the label, no longer reflects the meaning I oroginally signed up for. And because I value democracy I must honour this changed reflection and concede that if that is the majority decision it should be I who removes themselves. And that is why I have no longer any use for calling myself a chiropractor… my patients come to me because I am a “Stefaan“. It is just that it has no commercial value for me to be labelled a “chiropractor”. In the public eye it does not impart respect or expertise for my professional being. The perception of our profession has not really evolved from “back-cracking-some-are-good-some-are-bad”-status of pre-1994 despite the GCC’s existence. The public still doesn’t know that I know my stuff when it comes to back pain. GP’s still take the proverbial out of us unless they have heard for the umpteenth time that you helped one of their patients. The number one question is still “so what’s the difference between a chiropractor and an osteopath then?”

And for all these and probably some other reasons, I am leaving the UK chiropractic profession. Because I still am passionate about what I believe chiropractic philosophy and ethos stand for and love it so much that I see no other way to save it than to leave it.

Stefaan Vossen, Human Being

This is only the beginning

39 Responses to Why I have left the BCA and why I am leaving the GCC

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  3. Michael Harvey, D.C. on March 19, 2014 at 3:32 am

    I love you guys! Here’s what you did wrong and why you are still having difficulties with the brutality of regulation: YOU haven’t taken them into court yet and formally destroyed them. You cannot fix the chiropractic problem from within or by joining a corrupt system and trying to change it.
    We had these challenges in the US until we pooled our funds, hired a notorious undercover investigator and then the right lawyer and brought the regulators into shaking, quivering piles of shit on the witness stand. They could dish it out but the little pussies couldn’t take it.
    You need to contact me: dr.michael_harvey@yahoo.com. I am forming the Global Chiropractic Alliance of committed chiropractors, who will take no prisoners until the bureaucratic machine is left in ashes. It’s our turn now! And payback is a bitch!

  4. rod macmillan on March 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Stefan

    It is not personal, and I am glad Simon is using his own name and posting.

    This is the two bits that appear to me to be a common view which I disagree with,

    1. (There are so many practitioners who have completely lost the plot, giving 20 or 30 treatments on the say so of their laptops)
    computer assisted diagnosis and recording is here to stay, the records can be checked by other practitioners, sent to the GP and used by Locums and associates. Technology gives a better diagnosis and prognosis, leads to better rehab exercises such as mirror image and picks up a lot more pathologies than would otherwise be found. Digital x ray can be emailed for a fast second opinion saving time treating pathologies.

    2.(.Motion palpation should be the mainstay of diagnosis…and yes it takes years of practice to really know what you are feeling…then equally years of treating thousands of patients before becoming proficient at specific manipulation of the fixed joint. )
    How can you audit this? , apart from it being state of the art last millennia, it is just a tiny part, what about onset? Organ review and a good case history? There is a danger of motion palpation when used on its own, being a license to fantasy. Do practitioners really remember the motion palpation they carried out several years ago?

  5. Stefaan A.L.P. Vossen on March 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Hi Rod,
    what specifically do you disagree with in Simon’s statement? I appreciate you may not have the time but I do think it is very important to hear from the different sides of the debate to identify a constructive progression and would appreciate you elaborating on this?

  6. rodmacmillan on March 10, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Hi Simon well done for using your own name, I disagree with everything you say but am glad you said it. We all have our opinions, and patients who like our style, surely that is the point. Patient choice a refund policy and settling complaints in an open constructive manner would go a long way to improving our reputation

  7. Fedup on March 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I had a new patient on the phonetoday who bad been seeing a chiro twice a week for months with no improvement. I listened to his report following a MRI scan and explained what it meant. He told he had learned more about his problem in a 10 min phone call with me than all his visits to the chiros office. I wanted to say WTF!! Did they not talk to you ffs. Did they not explain? I would mention the gcc if I didn’t dislike themmore than money grabbing you MUST rely on my adjustment chiros.

  8. Richard Lanigan on March 9, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    This is something that has come up in many of the responses I have got today. “Chiropractors need to be regulated because of unethical practice”.

    In 2002 I complained to the GCC about a chiropractor who was trying to get £2,000 out of a young postal worker. Her mother was taking a second mortgage to pay for chiropractic. For whatever reason deputy registrar Greg Price did not send the complaint to the Investigating Committee. Coats knows it Dixon knows it. I was the only GCC member who wanted to ban prepayment schemes because they have the potential to exploit. In my opinion the abuse of prepayment schemes is the one thing the GCC needs to deal with and what do they do, go after 700 chiropractors for not crossing their Ts and dotting their I’s. Every day skeptics post stuff on Twitter about things chiropractors do which is shameful.

    The fact is the chiropractic profession is unable to regulate itself and would be better off leaving it to the law of the land, than Coats which is only bringing more shame on the profession. The beauty of social media is the public will soon learn about chiropractic and good chiropractors from their friends. Anyone who can predict how you will respond after 100 visits is a probably bit of a bullshitter and best avoided. Yellow Pages is dying and the only way to get new patients in the future will be to be good at what you do as Simon says.

  9. Simonbarron on March 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    It is starting to fall apart..and quite rightly so. There are so many practitioners who have completely lost the plot, giving 20 or 30 treatments on the say so of their laptops …I am sick and tired of people asking me why have chiropractors got such a bad name. The old school ..the true Chiros..the find it ..fix it..leave it alone brigade…get fantastic results in just a few treatments. Motion palpation should be the mainstay of diagnosis…and yes it takes years of practice to really know what you are feeling…then equally years of treating thousands of patients before becoming proficient at specific manipulation of the fixed joint.
    Not long ago I saw a patient who had been paying one third of his monthly wages to a chiropractor who relied on the modern equivalent of the neurocalometer..after 500 euros and no improvement he went to the surgery to explain that he would not be returning for any more treatment having paid 500 euros and in the same pain as at presentation. he was told by the receptionist that ..it usually takes 1000 euros before improvement and then the practitioner told him that according to the computer his nervous system was in a better condition from when he started !!! As I understand it this sort of practice is becoming more widespread…wait and see…in years to come when studies look at patients satisfaction …the Professor will have his day.
    I also understand that this practice is now common place in the UK. It would appear that Associations and GCC alike condone it. In my day as |Disciplinary officer it would be a clear case of over treatment. However on the bright side… I suggest that you all join in ….make loads of money…20 or even 30 treatments per patient. use an activator and save your own back…before some bright spark from channel 4 decides to do a documentary …
    I am now proud to call myself a spinal manipulative therapist..in reality thats all we are…well those of us who dont rely on an activator..
    By the way..the patient was even more upset when after 3 treatments he was 90 % improved…simple SI fix!!! . but then ..I will never be rich.

  10. Stefaan A.L.P. Vossen on February 25, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I think if you learned to read that the title says exactly what I have done, and am going to be doing. You may of course not be privy of the way the GCC works, but it’s OK, don’t beat yourself up over it, ad homs are obviously all you’ve got… and I shan’t take that away from you. It would after all be too easy for the readers to see through you. Good luck big boy, but delusion is not the answer. No, really…
    Stefaan Vossen
    This is only the beginning

  11. Andrew Gilbey on February 25, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Stefaan – Your website (http://www.chiropractorswarwick.co.uk/) seems to suggest that you are still a chiropractor. I guess you haven’t resigned from the GCC yet? Remember to update your website as soon as you do! Or was the title of this post all hot air (again)?

  12. Richard Lanigan on February 23, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I did not say I am against regulation, however I am not going to be regulated by a body that sends Private investigators into my clinic in an effort to entrap me into saying I am a chiropractor http://www.chiropracticlive.com/it-would-appear-the-gcc-acted-illegally-when-they-instructed-private-investigators-to-spy-on-me/. That spend in the region of £100,000 trying to have my blog shut down. That has spent millions processing vexations cases that were eventually thrown out when the Lawyers got involved. When I member of council I asked for evidence that they had the confidence of chiropractic patients, there is none. You may be happy to live with injustice and look the other way, I am not.

    The vast majority of people got on with their lives when the Nazis came, small groups resisted. I was brought up to resist. I am gratefull for the fact its not the Natzis I am fighting because I would have been shot by now. You want to know how often I was punished as a kid because I questioned priests and told people they were abusing boys at my school. I was picketing the South African embassy long before it became fashionable. So when a bunch off jobsworths weasel their way into a position of power in my life, you think I should roll over and take it. As I said many people can look the other way and ignore injustice, thats not the way I was brought up.

    So if you think I am dangerous and a threat to the public and you have evidence of it, (I suppose you could try manufacturing it like the GCC ) you should take it to the police. They will want evidence not just you opinion.

    It took almost 40 years for the victims of Derry’s Bloody Sunday to get justice. I am particularly proud that my mother was arrested protesting in the House of Commons the day after the shootings. Christy Moore dedicated this song to my mothers memory http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1divI2HcVPM. My grandfather was one of the players in the original bloody Sunday in 1920 they never got justice from the British Government.

  13. Stefaan A.L.P. Vossen on February 23, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Au contraire mon cher, I feel that the regulation which is in place is too weak and not protecting the public enough. The public is safer by being protected under common law than it is under the GCC. The one thing many people seem to forget in public protection is that once a case has gone through the GCC no damages have been awarded, and as they have already been traumatised once with the GCC litigation process it would, I surmise be perfectly conceivable many of them would not seek further and just retribution. GCC regulation is a non-regulation and the standards it sets are nothing short of non-standards. Also you may want to know that licensing of chiropractic therapy is not like it is in the states or with our antipodean friends, in fact it just protects the term, not the meaning.
    Of course you could be right, I might just be doing it to make my life easy, but if you knew me you would know I don’t do anything to make my (professional) life easy.

  14. Andrew Gilbey on February 23, 2011 at 4:58 am

    A charismatic chiropractor? Heck – we’d better watch out!

    Anyway, if chiropractors have to be registered, and what you do is essentially chiropractic, then how is you don’t need to be registered and your average Joe chiropractic does? Personally, I think it’s dangerous you and Stefaan think you’re above regulation when you still working in health care.

  15. Robin k on February 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I didn’t see your comment until yesterday. Thank you for the information.

  16. Richard Lanigan on February 21, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Forunately I have never had to rely on my looks, apparently I have charisma.

    I have had the same liability insurance since I gradudted and never had a claim. My reputation is important to me, I am well known in the community as being very good so that keeps me on my toes.

    So say I went off the rails completly and started drinking and doing terrible things to my patients. I am bound by common law and trading standards. If a patient wants redress they dont get that from the GCC and need to take civil action if they want compensation.
    Being regulated does not help at all. Harold Shipman was a registered docter it did not protect the public from him or get families compenstaion. Even though he had admitted the murder it took ages for him to be struck off.

  17. Andrew Gilbey on February 21, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Richard, I’ve seen your picture, you’d survive jail just fine. Stefaan wouldn’t – he’s far to good looking!

    On a more serious note – how will you get public liabilty insurance, who will regulate what you do, and who will sort out the mess if things go wrong?

  18. Garland on February 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    You can go to any one of the state chiropractic boards in the US and read the law. Basically the law establishes and defines what chiropractic is and what chiropractors are allowed to do and not to do. Each state is different in its scope. They run from the ultra conservative law in Michigan which doesn’t even allow chiropractors to use physical therapy equipment to Oregon which allows chiros to deliver babies and perform minor surgery. In New Mexico chiros can prescribe some controlled drugs and give injections. They’re all different. I’m mostly familiar with Texas, South Carolina and Florida where a chiropractor can do pretty much anything they want (or rather were trained to do) except write prescriptions for controlled drugs and cut people open. You’ll find that most states are very broad about the scope of practice thereby allowing chiros to practice as they see appropriate as longs as it’s ethical and reasonable. The biggest thing in favor of the US method is that there is no one person like Margaret Coats or Peter Dixon who has that kind of authority. Board members are elected but rotate off. You can’t stay on and make a career out of it. Here’s the link to the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners. You can look it over and see how it done there. Texas is a good state to practice in.


    I never understood why the laws of a state like Texas or Florida weren’t used as a template for the GCC. Would have prevented what we have now. The US gets a lot of things wrong but when it comes to chiropractic licensure most states get it right.

  19. Stefaan A.L.P. Vossen on February 17, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Prior to graduating I did my American Board exams in case I was at some point going to work in Belgium, where registration requires it. I found it surprising how easy it was to register in the UK as an AECC graduate, but never questioned it. My view is that regulation in the UK is too loose, but struggle to get pedantic about it as I know that what we do is not that difficult once you know what you need to know. I guess the same is true of anything when that’s all you do day in day out. The question I have is what would it take to regulate scope of practice? Or is it just because teh GCC was set up from an existing profession. Could it be done if a new profession were created? Anyone know?

  20. Garland on February 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Robin K
    There’s a difference in US and UK “licensure / registration”. You’re used to the practice of chiropractic being regulated or licensed. While in the UK it’s the name or designation or profession that’s regulated. Does this make sense? In the UK you can “manipulate” or “adjust” people and call yourself anything you like as long as it’s not a regulated designation like osteopath or chiropractor. The GCC is not allowed by law to set scope of practice. They do get around this by using the ASA. In the US each licensing body (state) regulates scope of practice. That is they decide who can and cannot treat people with manipulation and what you can do. In the UK the GCC decides who can and cannot call themselves a chiropractor.

    I have dual citizenship both, US and Irish and can tell you that on the practical side here are a few things you’ll need to resolve to practice anywhere in the EU. You’ll either have to be a citizen of one of the EU countries OR get someone to sponsor you for a work permit. In order to get a work permit the sponsor will have to show that he/she is not able to fill the position you’re applying for with an EU citizen. This isn’t hard to do in theory. He advertises for a chiropractor to fill a position and shows that no one came forward with the qualifications needed and therefore he has to go outside the EU to find a suitable person. However the problem you’re likely to run into is what position are you going to fill if it’s not called something? Like chiropractor. In order to call yourself a chiropractor, you have to be GCC registered. EU citizens can live anywhere in the EU and do whatever they want as long as they don’t break the law. In the UK the law is you can’t call yourself a chiropractor unless you’re registered. You can however “practice” chiropractic all you want as long as you don’t call it that. Call it something else like Osteomyology. Once you been in the country long enough to attain permanent residency (at present 5 yrs.) you can then work for yourself.

    Hope this helps.

  21. Stefaan A.L.P. Vossen on February 15, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    I think it is largely a question of style and public perception. Complex debate which I would like to engage with on a one-to-one basis should you see it fit to give GB another visit in the future.

  22. Robin k on February 15, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Is Osteomyology an option for you ,Stefaan or even I? What if a manual therapist caused an injury?

  23. Richard Lanigan on February 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    You can practice chiropractic but you can not call yourself a chiropractor in the UK. I have written a lot about it on this blog. The GCC even went as far as hiring Private investigators acting as patients to get me to say I was a chiropractor.

    If you have you wits about you you will be fine. If not its a £3,000 fine or a month in jail. Ten years at boarding school prepares you for jail so not fearing it helps, they use fear to keep chiropractors in line.

  24. Robin k on February 15, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    To Richard and Stefaan,
    How is it possible to practice in the UK without being registered? I’m anAmerican DC who’d like to practice in the UK because I’d like to live there. Are you familiar with the Test of Competence for foreign trained graduates offered by the GCC? It’s very expensive and far more
    daunting than I think it needs to be. If you make one mistake,you fail. So far, that’s been enough
    to keep me as a tourist only. So, without becoming an osteomyologist how can one legally do the things we do in the UK?

  25. Fedup on February 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    OK regarding the heal cure thing, I’m sure you understood what I meant Richard, but for any skeptics reading, if a patient says to me that I have healed or cured them I tell them I have merely removed a mechanical restriction that has prevented their body from recovering!

  26. Richard Lanigan on February 15, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I tried to do that, but the BCA establishment were scared by the power my popularity at AECC gave me ( they were right to be).

    Apparently BCA president Peter Dixon was terrified I would run for BCA president as soon as I graduated and came up with a plan to stop me. Part of this was changing the BCA constitution so you had to be a member of council before you could run for presidents position. According to the BCA I could not even get the 50 votes to get on the council. I ran about 4 times.

    Regarding the “cure” and “healing” thing. Anybody who has been following me on twitter will know that the way skeptics expect CAM practitioners to talk and if you dont talk that way they have difficulty. Simon Perry wants to debate about the evidence. I have said I accept the evidence is week and keep asking him and Ernst whether they think their is any benefit in maintaining “Spinal Joint Function” they refuse to answer and I keep asking.

    KISS, thats our strength, chiropractic is not complicated like medicine, its not dangerous. However it relies on good chiropractors rather than evidence and where are the good chiropractors where were they when the skeptics attacked. Too busy in their clinics. A good epitaph for UK chiropractic.

  27. Fedup on February 15, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Hi richard, i agree about focusing on technique, as I said it’s outcomes that matter not wether you use this or are a that, it’s wether that person has been helped to overcome their problem. People often say to me that I have “cured” or “healed” them to which I always reply, “no it’s your body that has done the healing, I just gave it a push in the right direction”
    Maybe I should have finished my last post with.
    “But no matter what I call myself and no matter what patients come to see me for I will be applying chiropractic techniques” and principles.

    I am also staying with the GCC because colleges are still producing polarised chiropractors and I am doing my best to get them to meet in the middle, I try hard to unite chiros from all associations and maybe, one day, I might try to climb the MCA ladder and try to do the same from there.

  28. Richard Lanigan on February 15, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I think chiropractors focus too much on the technique rather than the principle of chiropractic. The body has the ability to self heal and regulate when there is no interference. A number of factors can interfere with the process. Poor diet, stress, chemicals, lack of exercise and spinal joint dysfunction.

    To be in a “profession” you have to have something that binds you together, you cant pick and choose, it has to mean something. The McT BCA thing has dragged on because the leadership did not want to consider that they may have had things in common. The focus was on the technique and this more than anything has led to the divisions that Coats has been able to exploit.

    Tony Gilmore is one of the “chiropractors” I respect most in the profession. His patients are horses he uses the McTimoney Technique and he was trained in a very different way to me. The principle rather than our differences is why I consider him a colleague and a chiropractor in the traditional sense.

    If patients come to you because you are “Mr Fedup” why you you want to be part of an organisation that reduces everyine to its lowest comon denominator, that is allowing bigoted skeptics to define the way you should practice.

    Five years ago Edzard Ernst presented his research to the GCC council and they sat there and said nothing http://www.chiropracticlive.com/gcc-fiddles-while-edzard-ernst-burns/. These chiropractic “academics” have given hims such an easy ride in recent years. I question him and he calls me a “Plonker” and today its a “Twit”, I guess being a Twit on Twitter is far better than being a Quack on GCC, thats all chiropractors will be when they start prescribing.

  29. Ratporchrico on February 15, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Stefaan – there *was* a very loose definition of what chiropractic was, formulated by the Working Party of which I was a part. That definition would have allowed a wide variation in manipulative techniques and was deliberately loose for that very reason. As soon as registration opened the definition was altered, almost as a priority, and became much more prescriptive. What the reason was for that change is lost in the mists of time or the Registrar’s psyche.
    For what it’s worth there is much life in the boondocks, indeed there is great relief to be had in the freedom to practice according to one’s own philosophical bent. Unfortunately the greater incursion into practice fundamentals by EU legislation means that CAM is vulnerable but provided you’re happy to practise ‘under the radar’ there’s still a great life to be had.
    I resigned in 2004 realising that loosing battles consume too much of my energy. I’m still here, still practising, still enjoying the manipulative technique that has made me a living and, coincidentally, helped many patients both two and four legged in a 35 year career.
    Chiropractic is dead. Long live chiropractic.
    Tony Gilmore
    (aka ratporchrico)

  30. Fedup on February 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Hi Stefaan, just a quick thought. You said your patients come to you because you are sefaan, but I know a steffan who cleans windows,. They come to you because you are stefaan who uses a specific technique that works. I think as chiropractors very few people have patients that see them because they are chiropractors, they have patients that attend because of an individuals reputation not their title. This, I feel, is why the term Chiroparctor has to be all encompassing. See Bill (who uses mainly Gonstead) see Tom (who uses mainly diversified) see John (who uses McT) they are all chiropractors using chiropractic techniques but that is not what their patients are interested in, only outcomes. Thats why one technique isn’t BETTER than the other, it’s about who applies it and how. I have thought long and hard about leaving he GCC but decided not too, I hope one day I can actually make a difference, I do try. But no matter what I call myself and no matter what patients come to see me for I will be applying chiropractic techniques.

  31. Richard Lanigan on February 15, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Lets get in first Stefaan, lets see what we can agree on and see who is interested.

  32. Stefaan A.L.P. Vossen on February 15, 2011 at 8:56 am

    On this, I would be up for setting up a place where people can register their interest in a very strict code of conduct and standards. If there are enough people interested it may well be worthwhile setting up as a profession. I will be surprised if more than three people agree but I think that we can look into the idea.

  33. Stefaan A.L.P. Vossen on February 15, 2011 at 8:51 am

    I think regulation has a very good place and I am in full support of it. It is just a question of which way one should regulate. I personally think taht the first thing to do is to agree on a definition, give the beast a name and then offer it to the world. If people agree with the definition and perform to standards set, they can call themselves by that name. The current regulatory process went about it the other way round and is forcing everyone who thought they were a chiropractor to reconsider the definition they held or change their name. My beef is more with the direction it is going in. I have no problem with integration, in fact I think that true chiropractic thinking should be primary to GP intervention, but narrowing chiropractic thinking to purveying spinal manipulation is just the same as killing it off and wasting a really good ideal.

  34. Stefaan A.L.P. Vossen on February 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I never understood that, but it seemed so obvious to me considering I was already having some serious doubts.

  35. Richard Lanigan on February 14, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Its going to be like Sparticus, we all call ourselves Stefaans.

    I should have mentioned, good for you for refusing to pay you registration fees and there was nothing the GCC could do about it. Shame the BCA did not have the balls to give this advice to their members.

  36. Richard Lanigan on February 14, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    If we want to be part of a profession, we have to subscribe to certain standards. When you dont people like blue wode will take examples of the lowest common denominator and present it as representative of the profession. Its amazing the shit he finds and posts as chiropractic and chiropractors.

    “Before” chiropractic was not a profession in the UK and it did work better. However the increase in numbers and competition has also brought in questionable marketing strategies that were not there when I graduated. The GCC does not allow for chiropractors to go back to doing your own thing and only worry about your relationship with your own patients and community. Perhaps better to resign and call your self a spinal health care practitioner

  37. Barney on February 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Great post Stefaan

    “And that is why I have no longer any use for calling myself a chiropractor… my patients come to me because I am a “Stefaan“.

    After ten years of fighting – fruitlessly – for the profession, I left two years ago.

    My patients refer to me as ‘the back lady’. Like you Stefaan, they come to me because of me and not one of them is, or even was, interested, in whether I was registered, qualified, trained or anything else.

  38. Drrodmacmillan on February 14, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Why do we need regulating, it worked a lot better before ?

  39. Richard Lanigan on February 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Its taken a while to sink in, Colin mentioned it on Twitter and my comment was “chiropracticlive the Tahir square of the chiropractic profession. Now that I have thought about it and read you post I am saddened by this news, because deep down I hoped that chiropractors like you would make the profession into something I would want to be part of again.

    IN recent weeks I have been having fun with the skeptics and forgot about the problems the chiropractic profession has. Your post has reminded me, The GCC, the Associations, all the bullshitters and snake oil salesman that make me cring even more than the medipractors, they will all thrive in the regulatory vacum created by the GCCs inept performance in recent years.

    The truth is the chiropractic profession needs regulation but does not have the people to do it or the people to represent the chiropractors who need to be brought into line. Having spent ten years on this it is depressing, really fucking depressing.

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