Have not blogged for a while. Funny how your priorities change when faced with the possibility of a premature end. About two months ago I was given the all clear, which means 12 months after surgery and having finished six months of chemotherapy I am still alive, no longer have a colostomy bag and there are no visible signs of cancer in my body. Chemo has caused a peripheral nuropathy in my hands and feet which I am slowly recovering from. In May I was palpating a clients spine one Monday morning and suddenly could not feel any “subluxations”. For a few days I was concerned that the skeptics were in fact right, and I had been delusional to believe that I could palpate spinal joint dysfunction AKA, (subluxation). However when I could no longer button my shirt, I was referred to a neurologist who explained that I was not delusional and how chemotherapy had damaged sensory neurons in my hands and feet, it might take years to recover and there was nothing that could be done. Hopefully I will prove them wrong, I am playing Golf, tennis and working again ( not as well as before, but getting there). If ever a statement was true, it is; “if it does not kill you, it will make you stronger” applied to chemotherapy. My plan now is to demonstrate the truth of this in May next year, by completing the endurance marathon on the Great Wall of China, only twelve months after finishing chemotherapy. At the moment I am in Cape Town and it is raining, I am here because of the possibility that this could have been my last summer of doing exciting things with the kids and Africa is the place to be . The weather so far has not been great, the kids have gone to bed. I have not brought much reading material and was surfing the internet and found this new blog by Edzard Ernst http://edzardernst.com/2012/10/chiropractic-lessons-that-have-not-been-learnt/ responded to it (blue wode described this as an attach this evening on twitter) and felt a blog coming on.
Just as I love getting up Ernsts nose, he loves winding up chiropractors, and when they complain, he wears their complaints like medals of honor. The opinions that should matter most to chiropractors are those of their clients. Ernst et al say we need more research to “prove” what we do, he has convinced the leaders of the profession that this is what we need, when in fact what we do need is more people “liking” our product on platforms like Facebook and sharing their satisfaction with their friends, its called “word of mouth” marketing, its how chiropractic has grown, how Simon Singh got the BCA to withdraw their libel claim. Now if chiropractors are going to take on an opponents dont let them decide the subject, or set the parameters of the discussion. If you have skilled hands, you know chiropractic works, so be patient and opportunities will present themselves. As when Ernst thanks fellow “skeptic” Blue Wode for his support in the comments on the blog, by saying; “Thank you BW; this explains very clearly why chiropractors will find it hard or even impossible to free themselves from their long tradition of quackery”
Below, is how I explained my point to Ernst in the comments section on his blog and would encourage others to stick to their strengths when debating with him. Published research is only one of the three pilars that David Sackett built his model of “evidence based medicine” , its the only one Ernst ever talks about, because his view of patient values or a chiropractors experience are irrelevant However you may have to accept that there is an argument for addressing chiropractors who want to prescribe and be a subset of manual medicine as “quacks”
The definition of quack from the Oxford Dictionary
“a person who dishonestly claims to have special knowledge and skill in some field, typically medicine”:
It would appear “quacks” are people who pretend to have expertise in subjects they know little about, presumably subjects like, chiropractic medicine or acupuncture. I practice chiropractic, I dont diagnose or treat illness or disease, I dont make medical claims. You may not like chiropractic or understand it, however practicing chiropractic would not appear to conform to the definition of “quackery”, however claiming to have “special knowledge” about chiropractic and having only been trained as a medical practitioner may in fact make you a “quack” professor Ernst. All I do is maintain movement in spinal joints that become stiff from sedentary lifestyles, movement effects function of mechano receptors(nerves) in spinal joints. You may not believe that is possible, you may not believe maintaining joint function is important or that it effects wellbeing, you are perfectly entitled to your opinion, however I am not so confident of you depth and breath knowledge in anatomy and physiology. You might start by asking, why joints were immobility post surgery in the 80s and now post surgical treatment is all about maintaining joint motion as chiropractors have been advocating for years.
You will find dirt by scraping the bottom of any barrel, you are welcome to visit my practice and quiz my clients any time you like, you may even check my cellar for “victims” of spinal manipulation.