Back in May 2010, the General Chiropractic Council (GCC) stated that the Chiropractic Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) was lacking any research that could associate it with any diseases and that it exists today as an historical concept. It would be an understatement to say that this was not welcomed by chiropractors, both here in the UK and further a field. Historically subluxations were a fundamental part of chiropractic philosophy. Today finding a definition of a subluxation that is universally acceptable to chiropractors is practically impossible, however many still feel that the subluxation lies at the heart chiropractic. Some openly state that it is the subluxation that differentiates chiropractic from other forms of manipulative therapy. This 'subluxation', still features in some chiropractors advertising, however as we know there are rules surrounding what can or cannot be said and advertisers should have evidence to support their claims. I recently found the website of Life Chiropractic, a company who certainly appear to be supporters of the subluxation and despite the GCC's statement it was clear that they believe these subluxations can have quite a profound impact on a persons health.
Chiropractic is not a cure or treatment for ANY of the health and LIFE challenges identified below BUT when nerve system interference (known as a “vertebral subluxation”) is corrected, with safe, effective chiropractic care, the body can regain lost performance and functionality and heal and repair itself and perform at a much higher level of LIFE and vibrancy.
Life Chiropractic is the website of chiropractor Marie-Claude Lambert, she introduces herself as “I’m not your usual type of Doctor. I’m a Doctor of chiropractic” – Anybody who feels the need to state they are not the ‘usual type‘ of doctor …… probably doesn’t qualify as a real Doctor!
When it comes to health matters it’s always better when your doctor is medically qualified!
She describes herself as a fully registered member of the United Chiropractic Association (UCA), a group who are very pro-subluxation and openly disagree with the GCC’s view that the subluxation is an historical concept.
Life Chiropractic were certainly not shy when it came to making claims for health conditions related to subluxations, although they did think it prudent to add some form of disclaimer. Disclaimers are fine, when they actually mean something, but they should not be thought of as a mechanism that would allow people to make claims that they cannot support with evidence.
So what exactly do Life Chiropractic think they can achieve by ‘correcting‘ a subluxation? Are we talking about an aching back or a stiff shoulder ….. Well yes, but with a whole lot more included! So it was time to send some of these claims off to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
Life Chiropractic believe in the subluxation and all they would be asked to do would be to prove that what they were claiming was true. If they couldn’t produce the evidence then it would be these subluxations claims would have to be ‘corrected‘.
The ASA response was that the issues raised would be sent to formal investigation and that Life Chiropractic would be contacted and given the opportunity to submit evidence to substantiate their claims. Successfully defending these claims would not only be good for Life Chiropractic, it would be a hugely important win for chiropractors in the UK, so I imagined they’d be quite keen to do it.
If they didn’t already hold the evidence then I’m sure the UCA would be able to help if needed. Failing there is always the Association of UK Chiropractors (AUKC), this is the organisation who presented the GCC with what they described as a substantial 120 page dossier called “The Vertebral Subluxation Complex – The History, Science, Evolution and Current Quantum Thinking on a Chiropractic Tenet”, that would surely come in handy. Although it seems the AUKC are not keen on releasing this document to the public – maybe it’s just not that convincing!
Given all the potential sources available that they could call on, I was kind of surprised (even a little disappointed) to hear from the ASA that rather than defend their subluxation claims, Life Chiropractic had simply told the ASA that they would remove the claims from their website.
So here is a look at what they claimed to treat, but failed to defend.
Autism: Subluxation claim challenged & removed! Freezepage – Autism!
Please note: Chiropractic Care at LIFE Chiropractic is not a cure for symptoms of mild autism or even severe autism but by correcting vertebral subluxations (poor nerve flow from the spinal channels due to correctable imbalance) YOUR BODY is more able to heal this type of health challenge.
Deafness: Subluxation Corrected. Claim removed! Freezepage – Deafness!
At LIFE Chiropractic we do not treat the symptoms of deafness but by working with the body to correct vertebral subluxations we have had deaf people’s hearing return. Deafness is also associated with the birth story of chiropractic.
Mini-Stroke: Subluxation Corrected. Claim removed! Freezepage – Stroke!
Mini Stroke Warning Signs & Chiropractic: Chiropractic is not a cure or treatment for mini stroke warning signs such as:
1. Vision problems in one or both eyes, including double vision.
2. Dizziness, clumsiness and weakness.
3. Speech problems including slurring.
4. Inability to walk.
5. Sudden amnesia and/or loss of consciousness.
However, by correcting vertebral subluxations which interfere with the brains ability to communicate with the body the team at LIFE Chiropractic have seen the body heal and cure many “incurable” and “inexplicable” problems.
Life Chiropractic also made other statements that stated or implied that subluxations played a part in either the cause or cure of certain conditions. Apart from those already covered, they also told the ASA that they would remove all references and testimonials referring to:
allergies, arm pain, arthritis, car accident recovery, foot pain, hand problems, migraines, sciatica and whiplash.
Subluxations Corrected. Claims removed!
Of course if you don’t have any proper evidence you can always fall back on testimonials, which tend to fall into the ‘it worked for me‘ category. If you are lucky you could even get include a testimonial from a celebrity. Quite why the views of a celebrity on the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment should be considered more valid than any other I cannot imagine!
The thing about testimonials is that the ASA also have requirement relating to their use.
Testimonial: Subluxation Corrected. Claim removed!
So I guess there is more than one way to correct a subluxation, or at least the claims surrounding it!
As Life Chiropractic chose not to defend their claims, my ASA complaint was ‘informally resolved‘ and is listed on the ASA website here: Trinity Chiropractic Ltd t/a Life Chiropractic
However that is not the last we’ll hear about subluxation claims and the ASA, there was a second chiropractor who has complex about subluxations and that was also sent to the ASA, again this been sent to formal investigation!