Anti-vaccine chiropractors 57 – HANDS OFF THE BABIES

[Originally published as Anti-vaccine chiropractors redux 7 – HANDS OFF THE BABIES]

With many thanks to Ebony, who commented on the Stop the Australian (anti) Vaccination Network Facebook page, today we tone it down a little compared to the previous two anti-vaccine chiropractors. This doesn’t mean this post contains anything appropriate, or what we might expect to call “evidence-based”. It’s just the crazy hasn’t been ramped up like the previous chiropractors.

Ms Amanda Boyd is a chiropractor who owns Flemington Chiropractic in Melbourne. She is a member of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia. She is/was a member of the thoroughly disgraced anti-vaccination group, the Australian Vaccination (now) skeptics Network.  Boyd’s website bio also states that she is a member of the anti-vaccine, subluxationist, US-based organisation, ICPA, which is headed by anti-vaccine chiropractor Jeanne Ohm:

Boyd 1 bio ICPA Webster CAAIt is clear from Boyd’s Chiropractic web page that she is an adherent of the vitalistic, or subluxationist, movement of chiropractic; which has as its major stumbling block the small impediment that subluxations aren’t a thing which is a thing in the minds of non-subluxationists like you and me:

Boyd 1 subluxations websiteOkay, now we know what it is, or isn’t, Boyd treats, or does not really treat, we can skip over to her Chiro 4 KIDS web page. You can see that Boyd is making some pretty big claims about chiropractic being able to treat some pretty specific issues [my bold]:

There are many common childhood problems that Chiropractic is beginning to show effectiveness in treating.

If you wish to find out more on the current level of research supporting the effectiveness of Chiropractic in treating ear infections, infantile colic, bedwetting, asthma, scoliosis, ADHD and headaches, to learn more about chiropractic care for children -go to…

And if you look at the bottom of the image you’ll see that Boyd links directly to the website of the maladjusted, anti-vaccine AVsN – this is on a kid-specific health information page:

Boyd 1 website AVN ICPA claimsBoyd has been quite careful to keep anti-vaccine stuff off her Facebook page. But – and if you were going to delete any anti-vaccine stuff from your Facebook page, really, you’d do this first – look who remains, from 2013: VINE, and a post which states vaccines have caused 145,000 deaths in the last twenty years. Astonishing:

Boyd 8 145000 deaths from vaccines VINESo, we have a known member (past or present) of an Australian anti-vaccination organisation, an organisation which totes an albatross around its soiled neck in the form of a Public Health Warning from the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission; a person who is also a member of an anti-vaccine, US-based chiropractic organisation which calls itself “paediatric”, the leader of which is demonstrably anti-vaccine, who just so happens to teach the Webster technique in prenatal care, just like this chiropractor (for a most excellent exposé of the baseless Webster technique, which is being taught at the CAA NSW AGM seminar weekend, in two days, see this post by Dr Mick Vagg in The Conversation); a person who is demonstrably treating patients according to the outdated and evidence-free tenets of vitalism and the subluxation; and this person treats babies.

I want to show you an excerpt from Murdoch University’s chiropractic department’s about page. Specifically, what Murdoch has to say about the treatment of infants and children, and what claims can be made about certain treatments. It ends with this sentence:

Musculo-skeletal conditions in infants are uncommon as babies are delivered with mostly pristine spines.

Murdoch 1 MSK babies pristine asthma bedwetting ear infectionIf you need to, feel free to scroll back up the page and compare the following images with what the evidence-based chiropractic department at Murdoch has to say above about some childhood conditions, and the manipulation of babies, and whether or not it is advocated by evidence-based practitioners, or indeed required.

You see, I have a real ethical objection to any health care professional using babies and children in their advertising – and let’s not be mistaken, this is advertising and seen as such by the CBA – and I am starting to believe that the use of babies and children by these subluxationist chiropractors would constitute breaches of the advertising guidelines I have previously included, which cover the encouragement of the indiscriminate or unnecessary use of a health service. All of the following images [redactions mine] are advertising for the purposes of promoting a service, the adjustment of babies and children, for which there is little to no clinical indication, and which is not substantiated by any robust evidence.

Boyd 1 kids babyIf there is some risk, and no benefit (in this plane of reality anyway), then, why is this okay?

Boyd 2 14 day old babyI placed these two images side-by-side for the purposes of this post; they appear as consecutive, vertical posts on Facebook. Apart from some coincidental change in this baby’s demeanors, one day apart (obviously it is cranky baby versus happy baby – go figure, right parents?), what merit is there in this chiropractor making any claim of successful treatment? And this chiropractor is doing just that, as advertising. Confirmation bias is a helluva drug, boys:

Boyd 5 comparison of baby pre post chiroApparently chiropractic makes your kids “chilled out”. Another advertisement offering expectations to those who would be reading. A clear breach of the advertising guidelines:

Boyd 6 5 week old babyNow we come to the mostly meme-based claims. Remember what Murdoch University has to say about them.

Chiropractic is absolutely magic! It will even stave off tonsillitis, as well as the usual inane clown posse of claims, just with the power of adjustments:

Boyd 3 meme inferring less allergies tonsilitis ear infections asthmaDon’t forget, children have nervous systems which can only be freed up by chiropractors who can rid the nervous system of the subluxations:

Boyd 4 Ohm restore nerve system function Pathways meme95% of infants have misalignments after birth? It says it right here. But, hang on a minute, Murdoch University’s chiropractic department says that babies are born with “mostly pristine spines” and that “musculo-skeletal conditions in infants are uncommon”. I just don’t know who to believe any more: a university which roots itself firmly on the side of evidence, or a chiropractic Facebook meme:

Boyd 7 95% babies misalignments

All of the above chiropractic memes are absolutely ubiquitous to the Facebook pages of subluxationist chiropractors. And they are only few grains of sand compared to the unsavoury beach of chiropractic advertising. What you have just seen is extremely common. Are you depressed, yet?

Here’s a message for the Chiropractic Board of Australia, and the various CAA outlets around the nation: you will never be taken seriously while the subluxationists and anti-vaccinationists speak for you on your boards and in the media and on their own Facebook pages. And you will never be taken seriously when the premier chiropractic research organisation in this country, the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, steeped in anti-vaccinationism and founded on subluxations, exists.

About reasonable hank

I'm reasonable, mostly.
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0 Responses to Anti-vaccine chiropractors 57 – HANDS OFF THE BABIES

  1. Silk says:

    “5 year old …. and big brother …. after THERE adjustments…”



  2. There really should be two different names:
    Chiropractors, use evidence based methods in the practices
    Chiroquakers, believe in the magical subluxations

  3. I keep finding more, Hank. I blame RMIT, I really do. They’re the only uni in Victoria with a course in chiropractic. Their poster child wants to have a career in equine chiropractic. So . . . you study the human spine and can then treat horses? I thought that was veterinary science? Ahhhh, but you need a much higher ATAR to get into Vet Science at Melbourne (98.5) than chiropractic at RMIT (66.3).

    It’s time the proper, evidence-based chiropractors took a stand.

  4. Send me in there, undercover! As a ‘mature’ age student . . .

  5. Meanwhile, physiotherapy courses require an ATAR of 90 or more. Can physiotherapists call themselves Dr? Mine don’t.

  6. Thinking_Chiro says:

    I don’t that title either! The NSW rego board, before AHPRA, clamped down on the use of the title and diciplined/fined chiro’s for using it. Then AHPRA came along and gave it even though many in the profession lobbied against it! Inappropriate use of the title is just plain wrong and creates confusion for the public!
    I’ve consistently said to the chiro’s treating children, do the research, prove it and I will use it. Unfortunately they think that solid case studies constitutes evidence. The plural of anecdote is not data!

  7. Thinking_Chiro says:

    Typo: “I don’t USE that title either”!!!

  8. Thank you, Thinking Chiro. Do you feel like you’re in the minority, or do you feel it’s ‘only a few bad apples’? Are you losing clients because you don’t want to treat children with unproven techniques? And of course, the big question, do you vaccinate and encourage your clients to do the same if they ask your opinion? (Sorry, can’t help being a nosey parker.)

  9. Thinking_Chiro says:

    In reply to Ebony McKenna:
    Research in Europe, USA, Canada and Australia consistently put the percentage of subluxation based chiro’s at 15-20%. That is still way too high!
    I have focused for decades on building a medical referral practice and I work with medico’s in a medical centre, so I have an EBP catering to the 100%, not the 8-10%.
    I am up to date with my vaccinations as is my whole family. If patients ask about vaccination, I support it, but also say that it is outside my scope of practice so speak to a Dr who is an expert!

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