Dead Doctors Don’t Lie and Live Doctors Don’t Tell the Truth


Most everyone has listened to or at least heard of the popular audio tape “Dead Doctors Don’t Lie.” Its message ultimately is about nutritional supplements and how you can receive or sell a particular supplement through a multilevel marketing program. It is an interesting tape and probably has some good material in it. Whether it is a sufficiently good message to warrant hundreds of thousands of copies being produced and disseminated to the American public is open to discussion. Regardless of whether their message is important, I know ours is. The idea that by correcting vertebral subluxation a person’s potential for self-healing can be raised, as well as their potential to perform better at work or school, in sports and their potential to generally get more out of life is elevated, is an important one. I believe that every person in the world needs to hear that message in a clear way.

Unfortunately, they are not hearing it. Chiropractors are not telling the truth. We are telling them a lie, a half-truth or nothing at all. Telling people that chiropractic is a cure for all physical ailments is a lie. Chiropractic does not get sick people well. As far as getting well is concerned, the best thing that we can say about chiropractic is that sometimes it enables a person’s body to work sufficiently better so that the body is able to heal itself. I am not minimizing the value of that. But I am saying that it is a far cry from the idea that vertebral subluxation is the cure for the cause of all disease.

Some chiropractors tell people half-truths. Chiropractic may help people with minor musculoskeletal conditions and studies seem to confirm that. But it seems to me if we are presenting chiropractic as a treatment for minor sprains, strains, aches and pains, we are withholding valuable information from them. Frankly, while withholding information may not seem like lying, it is anything but telling the truth or at least telling the whole truth. It is a half-truth. Chiropractic can benefit people with back problems but if your back problem goes away and you fail to reach every potential in life, you have been cheated by your chiropractor.

Most chiropractors are telling them nothing at all about the far reaching benefits of chiropractic. They say, “Well, we have not proven scientifically that nerve interference causes the body to work at less than its full potential and until it is proven, I can not promote that concept.” Well that is fine for you, get your spine adjusted only when you hurt. But suppose it is proven someday in the future? How are you going to look at those parents whose children never reached their potential or the widow whose husband came 2 to 3 times in the last 10 or 12 years for a back problem and died at age 52? How about giving these people the opportunity to decide for themselves? Tell them we have not proven this scientifically but…”here’s the logic and reasoning behind this information.” Here is the basis for saying that regular chiropractic care will help your body to work at a higher level. Give them some information. Give them a tape. Have the decency to allow them to make that decision for themselves. You must really want to take responsibility for their health by denying them the opportunity to hear what may be the full truth about chiropractic and deciding for themselves whether they want regular care or not. Some of my practice members do not buy it. They want to use chiropractic for their back pain but at least we give them the whole story. If you believe this idea of correcting vertebral subluxation to enable the innate intelligence of the body to be more fully expressed is a bunch of nonsense, then by all means do not share that with people. But if you think there may be a shred of truth in this idea, if it sounds logical despite not being proven, then at least have the decency to share that with your practice members and let them decide for themselves what they want to do. If you knew that there was a 40% chance of a major tropical storm hitting your town, would you withhold that information because the odds were that it would not happen? No, you would share that information with people. Tell them the likelihood and allow them to decide for themselves what course of action to take. You owe the same consideration to the people who come in your office seeking chiropractic care.

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This article has 4 comments

  1. Terri Galant, DC 01/18/2012, 11:17 pm:

    Joe, your statement that a person FAILS TO REACH EVERY POTENTIAL IN LIFE, because their chiropractor failed to teach them & give them regular chiropractic care?? (last sentence in paragraph 3)
    I believe chiropractic helps one to get closer to becoming all one can be. But to say that “if they fail to reach every potential in life” it’s their chiropractor’s fault – that’s really stretching it! Don’t you believe that a person can be free of subluxation and still be lazy? Don’t you believe that a person can be free of subluxation and willfully decide to be a gambler instead of work for a living? Don’t you believe that a person can be free of subluxation and have a great talent for singing but is just too shy to sing with people or in front of people and therefore not share their talent? Don’t you believe a person can be free of subluxation and be overweight to the point that they cannot physically do what they should be able to do? Don’t you believe a person can be free of subluxation and still “shop till they drop” and max out their credit cards?
    We as chiropractors can do our part by correcting subluxations for people, but they still have the responsibliity to “live out that potential”.
    They can decide not to.

    • JStraussDC 01/19/2012, 2:12 am:

      Terri, you missed my point. There are many reasons why a person fails to reach their full potential…you elucidated them very well. BUT not understanding the value of chiropractic care and availing yourself of it is one of them. The former is our responsibility, the latter, theirs. Taking care of people for bad backs and not telling them chiropractic is more than that is telling a half truth and a half truth is, IMO, closer to a lie than it is to the truth, especially if you know the truth and withold it. There are too man “live doctors (of chiropractic) out there not telling “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth(the truth as in the Big Idea) some out of ignorance and some for other reasons.

      • Terri Galant, DC 01/20/2012, 3:36 pm:

        Gotcha! Thanks!

  2. M Castaneda, DC 01/06/2013, 3:23 am:

    Fabulous post, Dr Strauss. Thank you for writing it, it will be shared!

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