Regular readers of this blog will be well aware of the trouble chiropractors have been getting into of late.

The backlash from the BCA decision to sue Simon Singh back in 2009 resulted in a huge Streisand Effect for the profession. Attempting to silence Singh with legal chill had many knock-on effects including one in every four chiropractors in the UK being investigated for making false claims in their advertising. To avoid prosecution, the McTimoney chiropractors emailed all their members and instructed them to take down their websites and “remove information leaflets that state you treat whiplash, colic or other childhood problems in your clinic..”.

Here in Australia we haven’t seen anything as hysterical as this, but our paranoid friends over at the AVN were clearly worried, issuing a warning in their Nov 2010 newsletter that sceptics were posing as clients and reporting chiros to the authorities.

chiros warning

To me, this seems like a silly way to go about reporting chiros – paying them. It’s much simpler to just take a look at their websites or promotional material. Just like the anti-vax handouts I was given by Nimrod “I’m not anti-vaccine, i just don’t recommend it” Weiner, whom I’ve blogged about previously.

Of course, none of this would be a problem if they simply operated within their code of conduct and stuck to cracking backs.


So I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to see this claim in a leaflet sent to me by a friend earlier today:

The text says; IQ – A study demonstrated an increase in visual perception, motivation, performance and 100% of the sample group showed an increase in IQ.

One hundred percent of the sample group showed an increase in IQ? Wow, what an extraordinary claim! You’ll note there is no reference provide for this “study”, but if you want one, why not contact them through their website. (The page above is taken from a newsletter from October 2007).

As @cactopos suggested on Twitter; “I guess you could argue that alternative medicine increases everyone else’s IQ thru a process of natural selection?”. Touche Cactopos.

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  • I like the penultimate paragraph in the October 2007 newsletter above that says, “If your child does suffer from ear infections, constant colds and tonsilitis then chiropractic may be able to help”. To me, this says, “If you have a normal child, bring ’em in!”

  • Gib

    So, is it illegal, or against any of the codes of conduct, for a chiropractor to say they can treat colic?

    Because I have a brochure here from “Wellness Practices” in Perth, who say:
    Some of the benefits of chiropractic for children include:
    Helping a range of common childhood conditions including colic, asthma, allergies, recurrent chest and ear infections and behavioural problems.
    Improved coordination, strength and flexibility [sounds like an ad for power balance :)]
    … and a few more claims.

    Just wondering if there’s anything to be done against those quacks.

  • RichardJ

    Check out the July newsletter. They claim they have proof that immune system “competence” is increased by “200%”. What total BS! Can you even measure it?

  • “Evidence that we need to stick together” How about some evidence to support their bullshit claims?

    Taking websites offline, removing leaflets, fear of skeptics. These are all symptoms of a crook. Taking your website offline is the 21st century equivalent of closing the suitcase and fleeing the market.

  • AndyD

    Once again I feel the urge to tout my own study which shows that obtaining a driving licence causes an increase in facial hair growth in males. The link is obvious yet no one seems to talk about it.

  • EoR

    Childrens’ IQ increases! That’s an amazing result. That certainly wouldn’t have happened without the back cracking. I expect to see similar research shortly proving that children who have back cracking also develop larger feet, and grow taller. And move up grades at school. All stuff that would be impossible without the chiro intervention.