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Consumer advocates and victims of chiropractic have asked to meet with Canadian legislators and the Minister of Health to propose the following guidelines:
1. INFANTS AND CHILDREN: Highest neck manipulation should never be done in infants and children for claims to treat such conditions as ear infections, tonsillitis, infantile colic, asthma and gastro-intestinal disorders nor as an alternative to scientific immunization against diseases such as polio, tetanus, measles, mumps, German measles or chicken pox. The Chiefs of Paediatrics of our Canadian Hospitals have all condemned such claims by chiropractors.
2. PHILOSOPHICAL CLAIMS: Highest neck manipulation should never be done for the claim that it is effective to awaken the "innate intelligence of the spinal cord" and thereby provide "wellness or health" of the entire body. The idea that the spinal cord has some magical "innate intelligence" is a fundamental chiropractic belief. It is false.
3. REPETITIVE HIGHEST NECK MANIPULATIONS: Highest neck manipulation should not be done on a repetitive basis with claims that this will keep the neck vertebrae in proper alignment. It is false to claim that highest neck manipulation is necessary for the "maintenance" of the alignment of the highest neck vertebrae. The vertebrae are attached to each other by a complex structure of bone, ligaments and muscles. Manipulating the highest neck time and time again on people who have no complaints in that area should not be done.
4. INFECTIONS: Highest neck manipulation should not be done for any claims that it alters in any manner, the immune system, to prevent or to treat infections such as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and other bacterial, viral or fungal infections.
5. BODY ORGANS: Highest neck manipulation should not be done for claims that it can have a health benefit upon a body organ such as the heart, lungs, kidneys and liver or as a means of preventing the onset of genetic disorders or cancer.
6. VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATIONS: Highest neck manipulation should never be done for the claim that it can remove so called "vertebral subluxations" in the highest neck area. It is false to claim that these top vertebrae are out of alignment, even in new born babies, and that manipulating the highest neck area one can improve the function of the brain stem as well as treat conditions such as sinusitis and even multiple sclerosis. There is no neurological or scientific basis for such claims'. [Ends] These guidelines make sense, and rational chiropractors should have no objections to them. They would not interfere with spinal manipulation therapy for musculoskeletal conditions, and they would eliminate much of the quackery in chiropractic.
Harriet Hall, MD, Science Based Medicine (1st July 2008)