Clinical Research


          I have a theory.  I call it the theory of attraction of masses.  The theory is that two bodies attract each other with a force.  I have not quite worked out the exact details of why it happens or what the mechanism is.   I think it may be that the force is proportional to the product of the bodies’ masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.  That part of the theory is really not necessary from a practical sense.  It would be nice to know but it is not that important to people in their day to day lives, not as important as the first part of the theory. 
          People can live productive lives without knowing the mathematical mechanism of the theory.  They can use logic to conclude that it is more harmful to jump out a ten story window than a one story window.  The can figure it out if they know the first part of the theory.  They cannot lead productive lives if they do not know that two bodies attract each other with a force.  They will be injured or worse, dozens of times a day.  No one has done clinical research on my theory.  However every day anecdotal proofs are given.  People drop their car keys and they are attracted to the surface of the earth.  A little boy throws a ball into the air as hard as he can and it eventually comes back down.  A professional baseball player, much bigger, much stronger does the same thing – same result.  A housewife knocks a glass off the counter while washing dishes and it crashes to the floor.  A corporation president reaching for the phone knocks his expensive pen off the desk and it lands gently on the plush carpet.  These do not prove anything, they are not done under exacting conditions.  They are not done by scientists.  The president’s accident is not written up in a refereed journal.  On the other hand, the housewife does not need to knock one thousand glasses off the kitchen counter to know that it is hard on all of the glassware.  Still, some people say I need some clinical research done in an acceptable manner.  so I go to the top of a tall building and drop an object off it.  (The preferred object is a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and I even have a particular one in mind.)  He will hit the ground (I theorize).  How many times must I drag his battered torso up that building and throw it off to prove my theory true?  Four times, a hundred times, a thousand times?  Or is it necessary at all?

          Straight chiropractic says that if an individual has a vertebral subluxation the body will not work at its maximum potential and if that subluxation is corrected the body will work better.  We haven’t necessarily demonstrated clearly the mechanism yet.  notice, straight chiropractic does not say if they have a subluxation they will have every disease or any disease.  It does not say that if the subluxation is corrected they will get better from the effects of every disease or even any disease.  It does not even say that if the subluxation is corrected, the body will work better.  Anecdotal proofs have been occurring in thousands of chiropractic offices for almost a hundred years.  Peoples bodies have worked better after an adjustment.  So much better that on occasions they even appear to have gotten rid of the effects of some disease.  Some have had organs and systems that appeared to be working fine, start to work even better.  Others have remained healthier for longer periods of time.  Some say they think better, others they work better or play better or sleep better.  To some that is not enough to say chiropractic works.  We need clinical proof.  Here is a question.  How many people out of 100 or 1000 in a clinical experiment would have to get well or improve from a disease or a condition to prove the “theory” of chiropractic works?  (The “theory” being that the body works better without subluxations)  Answer,  One!  If one person improves slightly from one condition on only one occasion, it means their body was working better.  If that is the case then chiropractic works on every person, every time.  One person’s improvement, attributed even in part to a chiropractic adjustment, means that when you correct a subluxation, remove nerve interference, the body works better, at least to some degree.  It is not necessary to demonstrate it on one hundred or one thousand people or one hundred or a thousand conditions.  If it works for one, it works for everyone, no matter what their circumstances.

          If chiropractic is a cure for backaches then we need clinical research.  If chiorpactic is a cure or a treatment for headaches, sinus trouble, asthma or any other disease then we need clinical research on those disease (actually on people with those disease, but then you knew that!)  The mixers need clinical research.  They are treating disease.  they all should quit practicing until they have their clinical proof.  The straights do not need clinical proof.  When D.D.  Palmer gave that first adjustment almost a century ago, he gave us all the clinical proof that we will ever need.  He demonstrated that the human body works better without nerve interference due to vertebral subluxation.  the principle that was demonstrated in Harvey Lillard is applicable to every human being “sick or healthy.”  Every member of the human race functions better after an adjustment.  That doesn’t mean we do not need research.  We need to demonstrate the biochemical effects of vertebrae on nerves just for the sake of science and medicine.  We need to research better, more effective ways to correct subluxations.  We need to research better ways of knowing when a vertebra is subluxated and when that subluxation has been corrected.

          What we do not need is clinical research to prove chiropactic.  Clinical research is needed too prove whether one procedure or drug is more effective than others in treating a condition.  It is also used to determine whether the value of a treatment outweighs the harmful side-effects.  it is to determine condition/treatment specificity.  If chiropractic needs to prove itself as a more effective treatment than medical or drugless therapies, for certain conditions it needs clinical research.  that is why mixers are pro-research.  they nee to prove tat their “chiropractic treatment” for disease is better than medicine.  that is not what straight chiropactic is.  It is not an alternative or superior treatment.  It is not a substitute for anything else.  It has no possible negative side effects to be considered.  It is good and perfect and consistently beneficial to every human being no matter what their state.  Like gravity it works each time, every time.  That is why straights are not “into clinical research.”

          Dropping little steel balls form a measured height and timing their descent may be helpful to a first year college physics student.  But it doesn’t advance the science of physics.  The first adjustment by D.D. Palmer was all the “clinical research” the profession needed.  Clinical research to prove “chiropractic works” will not advance the art or science of chiropactic.  It in fact will hinder the profession’s development.  It will create a mind-set that limits the value of chiropractic care to conditions and diseases that have been researched.  It already has.

          The New Zealand study and the Rand Study have caused chiropractors, the public, researchers, the government and just about everyone else to think of chiropractic in terms of a superior treatment for bad backs.  That’s not progress.  On the contrary that sets us back eighty years.  that would be like recommending good eating habits for only those people with cardiovascular problems because that is all clinical research has demonstrated nutritious food benefits.  If it is good for people with heart problems, it is good for everyone.

          Chiropractic works.  Not because it gets sick people well.  It doesn’t.  Not because backaches improve under care.  They don’t always.  it works because it is based upon a principle, a principle that deals with the functional integrity of the nervous system, and the fact that the innate intelligence of the body works better with a good nerve supple.  That principle is sound, as sound as the “theory” of gravity.  If you don’t accept it as a principle or need clinical proof…well…go take a flying leap! v10n3

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