Following a complaint to the General Chiropractic council, Glasgow Chiropractic tweaked their website to remove some of their claims and to included a surprisingly truthful statement that "Chiropractic has never cured anyone of anything".
Since then, they have completely revamped their website, bringing in a ChiroMatrix, a "leader in Chiropractic website design" with the strapline "Raising healthier families".
This is quite a subtle but interesting shift happening within chiropractic - Chiropractors are salespeople, and as any sales guru will tell you , integrating your business with your client as much as possible makes repeat business more likely and therefore the business increases profitability. No longer are chiros happy to hand wave and back-crack, if they can peddle a philosophy of constant need, regular checkups, and a long-term 'wellness plan', they are on their way to the bank because:
Every person is unique, therefore everyone requires a customised wellness plan. The purpose of our wellness program is for you to achieve good spinal alignment, have a healthy diet, exercise, and maintain a positive mental state.Long termism, think more of the model of the dentist, rather than the doctor.
Phase 1 of the Glasgow Chiropractic's "What to expect" is initial intensive care. Here we find the Humpty Dumpty language of what it means to cure:
Chiropractic does not 'cure' anything! If you are looking for a list of symptoms that Chiropractic has been shown to 'cure' then you will just end up more confused than when you started.No, you'll end up realising that there is no real evidence that chiropractic has any effect over placebo or similarly administered therapy. But they wouldn't say that, now would they? They'd rather call you 'confused'. I can understand how someone would be confused - here they repeat the 'chiropractic has never cured anyone of anything' line then one paragraph later state
There are many 'conditions' that Chiropractic care has shown to provide assistance with.- there's glory for you!
Phase 2 is Corrective Care. Bearing in mind the push for repeat business, how does this sit with you:
In order to prevent a rapid recurrence of symptoms, it is often necessary to continue receiving care even though your symptoms are gone.Nice little earner - a therapy which does nothing will continue to do nothing long after whatever it was it was supposed to do is not even needed! Taking a leaf out of the homeopaths book, they have the 'heads-I-win-tails-you-lose' argument -
Do not be discouraged if you have mild flare-ups in your symptoms on occasion. This is normal.Homeopaths have a similar get-out clause - called aggravation. i.e. if the problem gets better it shows the sugar pill is working, if the problem gets worse, it still shows the sugar-pill is working. Similarly with Chiropractic, if the pain goes, it was due to chiropractic, if it doesn't that in no way means that the therapy is not beneficial - how can you lose! As sugar on top,
this phase of your care may last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.Kerr-ching!
Phase 3 is Wellness Care
When you make routine chiropractic care a part of your lifestyle, you avoid many of the aches and pains that so many people suffer through, your joints will last longer and you will be able to engage in more of the activities you love.A completely unfalsifiable statement, but a slick sales ploy nonetheless.
It turns out that
Some of our offices are equipped with the very latest in technology designed to non-invasively test your nervous system very accurately. This technology uses a number of cutting edge techniques to give you a very detailed report on the integrity of your spine and nerves. These systems are called the 'Discovery Insight' or the 'Neuro-Infiniti' - please ask at reception about what technologies apply to you.Doesn't that all sound very sciencey and exciting! Here is a bit more information on the Discovery Insight Subluxation Station. (Bear in mind, subluxations are a very undefined woolly concept in chiropractic, with no real agreement about what they are, so how anything can 'detect' them is a mystery). From the ad, it was used by NASA - oooooh.
Except it wasn't, as they've distanced themselves from it. Indeed, the Chiropractic Journal has launched an investigation regarding the sales practices of the companies behind such machines. Without a hint of irony they state:
The Chiropractic Journal has 23- year history of representing doctors of chiropractic and watching their backs. We will not sit by and see doctors taken advantage of by charismatic salesmen concerned and motivated purely by profit.Spoing!
One last bit on Glasgow Chiropractic, in case you had thought they had launched the "cure nothing/heal the person" Chiropractic 2.0 free of therapeutic indications, here is a photo of the Glasgow Chiropractic stand in an East Kilbride shopping centre, complete with old school (and removed from their website) claims of colic.
I'll be sure to let the Advertising Standards Authority know.
So either their stand or the website is talking rubbish. I reckon it's both.
H/t to Blue Wode and Zeno