Chiropractic Is Quacktastic!
Chiropractic Feels So Good!
Until it doesn't.
If I have a “trigger”
I guess it’s the unexamined assumption so many make of the efficacy/effectiveness of “alternative medicine”, commonly, deservedly referred to as “woo”.
Even more so because I have personal, successful experiences with the much unjustifiably maligned mainstream, modern, evidence based medicine and much as I do with religion and self help silliness, no tolerance for bullshit that has no basis in evidence and which more often than not involves some kind of deception and grift upon the part of its purveyors.
So, after a rather heated exchange between myself and a family member over wether or not chiropractic is considered quackery, here’s what I discovered from about ten minutes or so of Googling about chiropractic, some of which I’d already read up upon.
The overall consensus within the traditional, science based community seems to be that while the more progressive (excluding the more traditional woo based pseudoscience which has been thoroughly disproven) application of chiropractic can have a positive effect upon common lower back pain, though no more than simply using an analgesic, like Tylenol and certainly more expensive and which is analogous to a good back massage and/or what you’d get going to see a physical therapist, chiropractic as a whole and the way in which it is still taught within the many chiropractic institutions is utter bullshit and often very dangerous.
Not to mention the various ways in which traditional chiropractors generally make patently absurd and over the top, evidence free claims about what subluxation (a co-optation and misapplication of an actual medical term) and spinal manipulation can achieve, ranging from back pain to curing cancer and all kinds of wild claims in between including hawking the values of and cross over with similarly woo woo, pseudo scientific, cult leader based (Daniel David Palmer, the inventor of chiropractic) and also evidence free, non-replicable, non-peer reviewed practices and beliefs like homeopathy (invented by Samuel Hahnemann, a guy in 1800s Germany), naturopathy, anti-vax hysteria (which really started because of the thoroughly debunked “study” done by one now thoroughly discredited guy in Britain, Andrew Wakefield and the promotion of his views by celebrity geniuses like Jenny McCarthy) etc. and Waldorf (one guy in 1800s Austria, Rudolph Steiner). In other words it’s mostly just another version of snake oil foisted upon the world by cult leaders and hucksters.
This isn’t my opinion,
rather it is overwhelmingly backed up by the evidence or really the lack thereof.
So, while you may have had or you may know people who have had good experiences with chiropractic, both things can be true, that it’s mostly crap, but anecdotally some people have success with it, especially since the aspects of it that are actually effective are essentially modern evidence based physical therapy by another name and decidedly without the woo.
It’s useful to keep in mind that the whole practice developed from the delusions of one maniacal séance and magnetism as medicine believer in the 1800’s before germ theory even existed and just before the x-ray was invented, which as it turns out was the first actual medical innovation that absolutely destroyed the claim that manipulating the spine did anything remotely like what he claimed he had “discovered”.
For more, check out the links below and please understand I’m not interested in denying your experience, rather like all the other woo based bullshit that pisses me off, especially anti-vax and homeopathy, there are real dangers not just to believers, but to those that they in their narcissism never seem to consider their self centered choices will effect, like other children or the immune compromised (like me!), or people desperate for a variety of cures for their ailments who seek out “alternative” therapies that amount to nothing or prevent them from seeking treatments that may actually help because they’ve been snookered by the various grifters who run rampant within the various alt-medicine factions of the alt-medicine industry.
So things that seem harmless, like the now infamous jade egg Gwenyth Paltrow hawks on GOOP are actually incredibly dangerous, or like Dr. Oz and Deepak Chopra’s ludicrous claims about the evidence free efficacy of alternative supplements or even just getting in touch with the cosmos in quantum, tandem consciousness vibrations or some such word salads. All of these assholes make money off of the gullibility of desperate people.
One of my favorite things on the inter-tubes is this: http://wisdomofchopra.com
Here’s an example:
The genius of this site is that it so easily, cleverly and hilariously proves what a fraud and huckster that jerk off really is. Take the quiz: http://wisdomofchopra.com/quiz.php and see if you can distinguish between his actual quotes and the ones generated by the algorithm.
So, basically my beef is the pernicious claims of alternative medicine hucksters and believers that their belief systems are the same as or better than actual science. It’s inherently a false equivalence before one even gets into any detail anyway because science is not a belief system, rather it is a pretty simple protocol of putting a hypothesis to rigorous tests via A/B and control experiments, confirming the results via replication and sharing the results and data with peers and publishing the results in peer reviewed, accredited journals and perhaps most crucially never trying to massage or cherry pick the testing or results if they do not confirm the hypothesis, because all credible scientists accept and are thrilled to learn from the experience wether it confirms their theories or not. Either way, they learn something and thus the scientific state of the art is pushed forward.
Pseudo science does none of this, or really effectively does the opposite. Constantly moving the goal posts in order that their “testing" and results fit their narrative and silly unscientific ideas is irresponsible and honestly, really kind of insane.
And the thing is, it is science which is responsible for the entire lifestyle and infrastructure which allows for modern life, yet all of these conspiracy theory deluded, alternative ding-a-lings furiously posting to Facebook and Twitter, etc. from their smart phones and computers never seem to grasp the inherent irony that without science they’d just have to be happy still scrawling upon parchment in dimly lit by candle light only, uninsulated hovels, dying by droves of now mostly entirely preventable diseases, unable to broadcast their uninformed inanities to anyone!
Thanks for coming to my TED Talk!