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Author Topic: Edzard Ernst: "Was Sie über Chiropraktiker wissen sollten  (Read 1659 times)


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Edzard Ernst: "Was Sie über Chiropraktiker wissen sollten
« on: June 11, 2009, 03:29:07 PM »

What you should know about chiropractic
29 May 2009 by Edzard Ernst
Magazine issue 2710.


The origins of chiropractic are surprising and rather spectacular. On 18
September 1895 Daniel Palmer, a "magnetic healer" practising in the
American Midwest, manipulated the spine of Harvey Lillard, a janitor who
had been partially deaf since feeling "something give in his back". The
manipulation apparently cured Lillard of his deafness. Palmer's second
patient suffered from heart disease, and again spinal manipulation is said
to have effected a cure. Within a year or so, Palmer had opened a school,
the first of many, and the term he coined, "chiropractic", was well on its
way to becoming a household name.

The only true cure

Palmer convinced himself he had discovered something fundamental about
human illness and its treatment. According to Palmer, a vital force - he
called it the "Innate" - enables our body to heal itself. If our vertebrae
are not perfectly aligned, the flow of the Innate is blocked and we fall
ill. Chiropractors speak of these misalignments as "subluxations" (in
conventional medicine, a subluxation means merely a partial dislocation).

The only true cure is to realign the vertebrae by manipulating the spine,
and in the logic of chiropractic it follows that all human illness must be
treated with spinal manipulations. Many chiropractors also assert that we
need regular "maintenance care" even when we are not ill so that
subluxations can be realigned before they cause a disease. In the words of
Palmer "95 per cent of all diseases are caused by displaced vertebrae, the
remainder by luxations of other joints".
All diseases are caused by 'subluxations' blocking the flow of the 'Innate'

This bit of history is important because it explains why many
chiropractors treat all sorts of conditions, not just back pain. In fact,
in the early days, back pain was not an issue for chiropractors at all.

Today they are divided into roughly three camps. One adheres religiously
to Palmer's gospel - indeed, at one stage Palmer considered establishing
chiropractic as a religion. Another has moved on and now employs a range
of non-drug treatments in addition to manipulations, mainly for treating
back pain. The third group is situated somewhere in between these two
extremes and, at least occasionally, treats many conditions other than
back pain.

If you find this hard to believe, here is the evidence. A 2004 survey by
the UK General Chiropractic Council revealed that most chiropractors

-- they can treat asthma (57 per cent),
-- digestive disorders (54 per cent),
-- infant colic (63 per cent),
-- menstrual pains (63 per cent),
-- sport injuries (90 per cent),
-- tension headaches (97 per cent) and
-- migraine (91 per cent).

According to a 2007 survey, 69 per cent of all UK chiropractors
see themselves as more than just back specialists, and 76 per cent
consider Palmer's original concepts to be "an important and integral part
of chiropractic".

Edzard Ernst is professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula
Medical School in Exeter, UK. In his investigations of alternative
therapies, he has found only about 5 per cent are supported by scientific
evidence; the rest are either ineffective or have not been tested


Ernst+Canter: Systematic review of systematic reviews o.spinal manipulation

« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 03:35:28 PM by ama »
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