“Chiropractic is 80% placebo” I often tell people. I am fond of that number “80%” but it is a number I just pull out of my head. I don’t know. Studies have shown that chiropractic works just as well as doing nothing for most types of back pain, and as for any other symptom it works as much as any other placebo. There are several styles of Chiropractic such as the “activator” gun and the use of a stylus on the atlas (atlas orthogonal), as well as a whole host of other “non-force” Chiropractic techniques that I have always (and I mean ALWAYS) been certain are 100% placebo treatments. The difference is that at one time I thought that selling the placebo was possibly okay. I have never known anyone who knowingly sold a placebo other than myself, and I couldn’t live with myself for very long. I felt filthy. It wasn’t a choice to get out. The peddlers all believe. I never did. Push came to shove.
There is a Chiropractor in Seattle who puts her hands over the patient’s neck and never even touches it. She gets great results and has people lining up out the door. I try to explain this placebo phenomenon to people and they look at me like I’m crazy. They are sure that if something makes you feel better, it must work. I am not susceptible to hypnosis. This may be one of the reasons why it is so obvious to me that the placebo is at work and so difficult for some others to grasp. Some of my friends in school, despite being academically smarter than I am, had no comprehension any of this that I am talking about. It just didn’t occur to them that any of it mattered and they looked down at me, still do, for caring about this issue.
Chiropractic helped me realize the power of belief in ways I could not have ascertained otherwise. The magnificent, extraordinary power of the mind to invent an internal reality and dupe thousands of intelligent people. You’ll notice that these very same people are highly likely to believe in intelligent design, vaccination myths, and all sorts of conspiracy theories.
I opened my mailbox and found the newspaper “The Chiropractic Journal” today. I don’t know how they found my new address. I have not received anything from them in ages. I looked through the magazine, and still nearly every article is instructing Chiropractors how to make more money, increase business. Different articles provide contradictory technique beliefs- some trying to correct posture, some subluxations, some neurology all with dubious science behind it to say the very least. None of the techniques these people do are scientifically studied. They are all based on subjective “results”. The reason there are so many different techniques and beliefs is because none of them work. And at the same time everything works. In other words, none of them do anything, but all of them work because of the placebo effect. The doctors either know this and don’t care or don’t know it and chase shadows while taking credit for every subjective outcome.
There are so many videos I want to make and this I can’t wait to do. But the ultrasound video is taking far longer than expected. Maybe I will become faster as I get better at the software, but right now I have a rough 3 minutes and am maybe 1/4 through.