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Greg Hart
10-26-1998, 08:09 AM
This list is a great forum for scientific discussion and spinal
manipulation is a great topic for such a discussion. It would be great if
proper references were given so that the science can be separated from the
pseudoscientific jargon. Open mindedness is also an essential element of
scientific skepticism as I mention below . . .

Brian Fay wrote:

>The endless debate over the value of alternatives therapies...
>

>This causes mainstream groups such as the AMA to doubt the value of
>alternative therapies. Unfortunately, groups such as the AMA have nothing
>to offer persons with uncommon medical conditions.

That, I would have to say, stands as a fairly significant chunk of
rhetoric, not to mention absurdity. It would exceed the maximum posting
limit to cite all the examples where AMA approved procedures offer
significant assistance to people with "uncommon medical conditions." It
would also be prudent to bear in mind that this thread started as a
discussion of chiropractic manipulation of the spine which deals with some
of the most common ailments going (e.g., back pain, headaches, etc.).
>
>Thus, I would point out:
>(1) Western alopathic medicine is very good at treating conditions which
> conform to a scientific model and can be verified statistically.

Are you suggesting that there are conditions that do not "conform" to
investigation with scientific model? What exactly is the nature of these
conditions? Are these metaphysical or religious illnesses?

There are a couple of things to investigate - clinical outcomes where
proper control and contrast is provided to understand actual correlations
and basic science investigations that look at possible mechanisms for
describing the apparent effects of therapies.

>(2) Alternative therapies often develop a niche of patients with similar
> conditions that have a variety of sources. Often these conditions
> cannot be grouped into scientific studies.

Again, we are speaking of spinal manipulation . . . it is ubiquitous (30
million procedures performed by chiropractors alone in Canada last year).

>(3) Medicine, in any form, is an art. A good doctor or practitioner
> usually has a unique ability to integrate the patient's symptoms and
> any complementary information into a treatment program.

I think you may be referring to the wisdom element here. This is where a
clinician carefully and *critically* accumulates information from a variety
of sources (e.g., history, physical exam, lab investigations, previous
experiences with similar patterns of symptoms, etc.) and then integrates
this into a logical process for reaching an accurate diagnosis and
prescription for treatment. I would submit that this has nothing to do
with art. There are right and wrong answers, it is not in the "eye of the
beholder". It is also a process anchored in objectivity and critical
thinking.

In this process, being open minded is important, but not so open minded
that your brain falls out! (sorry, can't remember the author of that quote).

Let's talk about spinal manipulation, from a scientific viewpoint. It is a
worthy topic.

Greg Hart
Calgary, Canada

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