Sunday, November 04, 2007

Pt 4- Chiropractic Smokescreens

This picture is of the "subluxation station". It looks fancy but is utterly worthless.

In Chiropractic College, you take a business class which tells you how to market yourself and how to do what is called a "report of findings". After doing your x-rays and whatever you do, you sit down with your patient and answer these questions: What is wrong? How does it get fixed? How long is it going to take? How much is it going to cost?

What I experienced in business class, sitting in the auditorium with about 200 of my classmates listening to the instructor, was the full transparent awareness that not a single one of us had an honest answer for any one of those questions, and we all knew it. And when you add to this the total known fraudulence of the analysis methods I mentioned, it becomes clear that the "report of findings" is nothing at all but a salesman's gimmick. And that is exactly what it is by it's very definition (as it includes findings which have been demonstrated to be invalid). Of course, there are some people who actually *believe* what they are telling their patients during these sessions and alot of these people are fundamentalist Christians or spiritualists involved in certain groups with names like "Body by God". Needless to say, these people are divorced from the need to explain anything rationally.

But can't you just practice Chiropractic like a medical doctor practices medicine and take in hurting people and help them? No. Because there are almost as many hurting people as there are Chiropractors nowadays and not enough of them just walk through your door. You have to market hard. You must be a salesman. And if someone else has an approach which scares the patient shitless and makes them feel they need to come back again and again, that bird will get the worm. Marketing includes giving talks, going to malls with booths, going to marketing groups and advertising yourself, making connections, incessantly explaining what it is you do and why. Eventually after years of this you may end up with a word of mouth practice where you can stop all the marketing.

Now for a couple more common deceptions.

One leg is shorter than the other- This is an absolute joke. I almost puke evertime I hear someone tell me this. just stand on one leg and bend it a couple of time and lay down. One leg appears shorter because the muscles are contracted. It doesn't last. Most Chiropractors know this is bullshit. Patient's don't.

Ongoing wellness care- If you get regular adjustments you will "add life to years and add years to life". There's no evidence that people who get adjusted live longer. People who care about their health certainly are healthier, so you can't make the correlation that people who decide to get regular adjustments are healthier because of it. The ongoing wellness care is certainly a good marketing tool. I don't get adjustments anymore. I have no desire to at all, and it doesn't feel natural to me.

I could write a book about all this, but why? Most of the practitioners it would be aimed at already know this stuff and simply don't care.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was actually laughing when the assistant ran the device up my spine! She said "what is so funny?" I just lied and said it tickled....I have no backbone (no pun intended) when it comes to confrontation.
The incredible graph that was displayed was almost perfect....which the DC explained away as "results vary by people. Your subluxations have been there for awhile, therefore the nerves have become accustomed to the stress" (not exactly word for word...but pretty close!

Good for you for not continuing down the path of marketing and gimics. I enjoyed reading your blog and wish you success in the future.