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    A Must Have!

    Spin Doctors Spin Doctors

    Canadians visit chiropractors about thirty million times a year, and surveys show that patients are generally satisfied with them. But Paul Benedetti and Wayne MacPhail have another opinion. This book has been a best-seller in Canada and exposes the chiropractic profession at its roots in Canada. It is a must read for any patient, and professionals who refer to chiropractors.

    U.S. orders only - - U.S.

    Canadian orders - Chapter.IndigoChapters.Indigo - Canada

    This is Sam Homola's latest book. What a relief to find a book that is an honest appraisal of how to treat the aches and pains of everyday living. If you are high on chiropractic, then this book should be on your shelf. Dr. Homola practiced for years as a chiropractor and his knowledge is based on those years of practice. Order it today

    This is Dr. Chotkowski's second book on chiropractic exposes chiropractic as a false health care practice that has flourished basically unchallenged over the past century.

    The Naked Chiropractor exposes everything you need to know about back pain and the facts Chiropractors and Alternative Medical Practitioners prefer that you did not know. The inside story of the wars between unscrupulous practitioners and insurance companies. Behind the scenes stories about what's really going on at State chiropractic boards across the nation.

    Craniosacral therapy is quackery

    Many chiropractors follow the bizarre teachings of a licensed osteopathic physician from Florida named Dr. John Upledger. His Upledger Institute promotes techniques that have never been confirmed by medical science. Unfortunately, the press just doesn't understand that this technique is quackery, and every so often these promoters, both licensed healthcare professionals, and unlicensed quacks are featured in major publications.

    This web site, for the most part, will focus on craniosacral therapy as practiced by those who are license or registered as a health professional. The fact that health regulators ignore this quackery is a terrible indictment.

    • NOTICED CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY - Globe and Mail - January 3, 2004
      By Karen von Hahn

      This article is a prime example of what is wrong with medical journalism today. It really sucks up her in the great white north. Karen von Hahn's treatice appeared on the Globe and Mail's web page under the banner of HEALTH. In the print version, the title was "NOTICED CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY", and ran with a very large picture of a woman, who was having treatment to her face. It ran on page 3 of the STYLE section. It really belongs in the WANTED column, under REALITY CHECK.

      The article promoted this bogus therapy without a single word of objective criticism. The fact that she featured Norman Allan, a Toronto chiropractor, who we have featured before on Chirowatch made us all smile.

    • Karen von Hahn usually writes about the lifestyles of rich and famous Torontonians, entertainers, or about recent holidays. My guess is that the paper needed someone to fill in the rather tiny Saturday paper, and she was available. It was after Hanukkah, after Christmas and New Years.

    • She also hosts a TV show called The Goods on the Atlantis Alliance's Life Network up here in Canada. Hosted by super-shopper and style-writer Karen von Hahn, The Goods is a smart style show that takes you shopping for the best new products, and looks at the trends that have inspired them. The Goods offers both an entertaining and delicious look at sumptuous products, along with insight into why we want them. My guess is that she was sold a bill of goods by the local craniosacral therapists and just fell for it hook line and sinker.

    Why is craniosacral therapy quackery?

    • Google Search for craniosacral quackery

    • Head cases - Spiked Health by Brad Hehir - May 2002

      'You push heavy with the pediatrics because
      no one wants anything to happen to their kids.'

      If you live in a big city and are the parent of an under-five, you've probably heard of craniosacral therapy (CST). CST is described by its advocates as 'a gentle but profound form of treatment that works at the deepest level of the human system'. CS therapists claim that the bones of the skull are designed to accommodate movement, and are in constant motion in response to a pulsation known as the 'craniosacral rhythm' - a rhythm different and more subtle than that caused by breathing or heartbeat.

      Patients are being taken for a ride by people who, while being scornful of scientific medicine, seduce patients into believing they need to have sessions of a worthless therapy for their wellbeing.

      As one chiropractor and outspoken critic of the profession said of the developing field of paediatrics in chiropractics: 'You push heavy with the pediatrics because no one wants anything to happen to their kids.'

    • Wired to the Kitchen Sink: Studying Weird Claims for Fun and Profit
      An evaluation of Dr. John Upledger's craniosacral therapy illustrates an exercise proposed for skeptics to develop critical thinking and a better understanding of human psychology
      Harriet A. Hall, M.D. "I recently heard of craniosacral therapy. It is a method some osteopathic physicians use to restore health by adjusting the bones of the skull and sacrum. Anatomists can demonstrate that the skull bones are fused together in adulthood and cannot move. Other fallacies inherent in the therapy are too numerous to list: craniosacral therapy is totally implausible and has been thoroughly debunked elsewhere."

      Some of Upledger's beliefs are among the strangest I have ever encountered. Chapter 2 of his book, CranoSacral Therapy: Touchstone of Natural Healing, he describes, how he discovered and communicates with what he calls the patient's "Inner Physician":

    • Craniosacral therapy - Stephen Barrett, MD - Quackwatch

    • Stephen Barrett's CANOE.CA Craniosacral therapy is one of many terms used to describe a variety of methods based on fanciful claims. I do not believe that craniosacral therapy has any therapeutic value. Its underlying theory is false because the bones of the skull fuse during infancy and no research has ever demonstrated that manual manipulation can move the individual cranial bones.
    • Some Notes on Cranial Manipulative Therapy - NCAHF - William T. Jarvis, Ph.D. Chiropractic applications are woefully lacking in any substantive research. All lack evidence that they are safe and effective for specific conditions, and because of they involve intense physical contact by a practitioner, and expectations on the part of both the provider and patient, all have potential as a form of suggestive therapy. This has been pointed out to NCAHF by practitioners who have used the "skull tap" as a method of conditioning. Hands-on techniques seem to have a special ability to deceive both practitioners and patients.

    • British Columbia Office of Health Technology Assessment - 1999 report is in Adobe .pdf format and is 70 pages. It's about the best review of why British Columbia has dropped almost all coverage for alternative medicine. Summary:
      This systematic review found there is insufficient scientific evidence to recommend craniosacral therapy to patients, practitioners or third party payers for any clinical condition.

      The literature suggests that the adult cranium does not obliterate, fuse or ossify its sutures until well into late life. There is also some evidence (albeit of variable research quality) that there is potential movement at these suture sites in earlier life. Questions remain as to whether such "movement" is detectable by human palpation or whether mobility has any influence on health or disease.

      The authors of this review also note that, in accord with a basic tenet of craniosacral therapy, there is evidence for a craniosacral rhythm, impulse or "primary respiration" independent of other measurable body rhythms (heart rate, or respiration). Avezaat & Eijndhoven ' 86 (40) and Feinberg & Mark '87 (46) used sophisticated technology to gain an understanding of the phenomenon.

      However, these and other studies do not provide any valid evidence that such a craniosacral "rhythm" or "pulse" can be reliably perceived by an examiner. Our review does not suggest any reasonable data that would allow such a conclusion. The influence of this craniosacral rhythm on health or disease states is completely unknown.

      Clinicians require a reliable means of assessment for decision making. Craniosacral assessment has not been shown to be reliable.

      The literature on craniosacral therapy does not include any high grade evidence, such as random controlled trials, of its effects on health outcomes. (20) The evidence that is available is of poor methodological quality, is highly variable, lacks consistency and does not allow any logical "positive" conclusions regarding craniosacral therapy.

      Upledger ('95), osteopath and founder of the Institute of Craniosacral Integration, argues that: "[P]ositive patient outcomes as a result of CranioSacral Therapy should weigh greater than data from designed research protocols involving human subjects, as it is not possible to control all of the variables of such studies. (56)

    • National Committee Against Health Fraud Report Craniosacral therapy blasted. Two basic science professors at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine have concluded that "craniosacral therapy bears approximately the same relationship to real medicine that astrology bears to astronomy" and "should be removed from curricula of colleges of osteopathic medicine and from osteopathic licensing examinations." [Hartman SE, Norton JM. Craniosacral therapy is not medicine. Physical Therapy 82:1146-1147, 2002; and Interexaminer reliability and cranial osteopathy. Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine 6(1):23-34, 2002] Craniosacral therapy -- also called cranial therapy and cranial osteopathy -- is based on the notion that the skull bones can be manipulated to relieve pain (especially of the jaw joint) and remedy many other ailments. Its practitioners also claim that a rhythm exists in the flow of the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord and that diseases can be diagnosed by detecting aberrations in this rhythm and corrected by manipulating the skull. However, the practice is senseless because:
        a.. The bones of the skull fuse by the end of adolescence.
        b.. No research has ever demonstrated that manual manipulation can move
      the individual cranial bones.
        c.. Studies have found that practitioners who examine the same patient(s)
      disagree about what they are feeling.
        d.. There is no logical reason why pressing the skull should influence the
      course of ailments throughout the body.
      Most practitioners of craniosacral therapy are osteopaths, massage
      therapists, chiropractors, dentists, and physical therapists. The two
      professors appear to be the first osteopathic educators who have publicly
      called for its removal from their educational system. 

    • Craniosacral therapy is not medicine - Physiotherapy - November 2002 - Two professionals at the College of Osteopathic Medicine in New England speak out against quackery.

    • Interexaminer reliability and craniosacral osteopathy - Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine
      Winter 2002
      Drs. Stephen Harman and James Norton Extensive review of literature and claims of John Upledger's claims. This article should put the lid on anyone who uses this quackery to treat patients of any age.

    Wild claims by craniosacral promoters

    • Roger Turner moves skull bones at health expos
    • His weird claims about craniosacral therapy - he calls it cranial adjusting. Dr. Polevoy had this done to him at the Total Health Expo a few years ago in Toronto. We have a video to prove it.

      From his own web site:

      The human skull is comprised of 13 bones that are joined together with sutures (puzzle like structures). Although the sutures cannot be pulled apart, the bones in the skull can be knocked out of their proper alignment. The onset of your health problem(s) may be the result of an injury to the head.
      Recent microscopic research has demonstrated that nerves from the skull and spine control the immune system right down to the cellular level.

      The Turner Head Injury & Wellness Center has put together a technique combining a number of disciplines for maximum results. The skilled hands of Dr. Turner can detect misalignments in the skull very quickly. Then with 27 years of Chiropractic experience and 17 years of Cranial Adjusting, Dr. Turner is able to realign the bones in the skull with precision and care.

    • The CCO disciplined him in 2002 - .pdf file - page 23 After complaints were launched by members of the local chiropractic society the Chiropractic College of Ontario ruled on Turner. He sent postcards to patients soliciting business. He offered a video "That could save your life" concerning parasites feeding on humans. He sold or endorsed parasite cleansing products as well as an "amazing" diet product. The most amazing thing that he did was to authorize one of his office staff to draw blood that would be sent for bogus tests such as dark-field microscopy. This is not allowed under Ontario regulations.

      Did Roger Turner's office comply with the CCO's professional misconduct decision?

    • Why didn't the CCO rule on his anti-vaccine web site? - He blames autism on mercury in vaccines. There is absolutely no evidence that would support this. Yet he persists on promoting this dangerous position.
    • He still says he can adjust the skull bones - The CCO had no comments about this either. The techniques used in the Turner Wellness Centre are collectively called Cranial Adjusting. The skilled hands of Dr. Turner can detect misalignments in the skull very quickly. Then with 26 years of Chiropractic experience and 16 years of Cranial Adjusting, Dr. Turner will realign the bones in the skull with precision and care.

    • Craniosacral Therapy Association of the UK
    • craniosacral therapy and children The compressive forces experienced during birth as a result of the passage through the pelvis and the tight fit in the birth canal can cause imbalance in a baby's system; even in natural and apparently problem-free births. Common newborn's problems like colic, sucking problems and respiratory difficulties may be due to compression arising from birth trauma. These can develop into problems later in life: depression, migraine, sinusitis, spinal and pelvic pain can often be traced back to what happened at birth. Examination of young children by Craniosacral therapists may be not only curative, but also helpful in preventing problems later in life. Health issues in adults which are linked to their birth or very early experience can be back-tracked and resolved retrospectively.

    • The Fulcrum their journal reveals how really absurd their claims really are. Pay attention to the articles on autism, and their thoughts on research and regulation.
    • Norman Allan, PhD, D.C. and more

      Norman Allan says that he is a distinguished researcher, has a PhD from Sussex in the U.K., practices as a chiropractor, and to top it all off, he's a poet and an author. He appeared on one of Christine McPhee's now-defuncted radio shows a few years ago called The Touch of Health. When you do that, you've arrived. You've become a person of authority, someone to be believed. So what's the problem here?

      • Practice modalities - Many are pure quackery. Which means not only is there no scientific evidence for many of them, but if a patient accepts the therapy suggested, they may be ignoring scientific treatment that could help them.

      • MS - multiple sclerosis treated with acupuncture and St. Johns Wort has no merit.

      • Cancer - among those are 714-X, shark cartilage, Ralph Moss (he even gives them a phone number), Gerson therapy, Essiac (No, he doesn't mention the recent FTC move against those who sell the quack cancer herbal mixture), homeopathy (totally useless, and possibly harmful), hydrogen peroxide, cranial sacral, and many many more.


      Dr. Bowling explains the potentially dangerous interactions between complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies and medical treatments utilized in the management of MS; identifies CAM therapies that are possibly effective, low risk, and inexpensive; and exposes ineffective, dangerous, or needlessly costly alternative therapies. Among those therapies is craniosacral therapy as advanced by people like Norman Allan, D.C.

  • Canadian Quackerywatch