Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:33 am UTC

curtis95112 wrote:But I still hold that it's clear from context that by "definition", he meant the first principles of the field rather than the dictionary definition.
Yes, when I say 'knowing the definition of homeopathy is sufficient to dismiss the field of homeopathy', I don't mean looking up homeopathy in the dictionary is sufficient grounds to dismiss homeopathy; I mean understanding what homeopathy essentially is -- understanding its most basic underlying principles -- is sufficient. I like 'first principles', too; largely, I mean the fundamental principles upon which a field operates. 'What must be true for this field to be true?' is, I think, another good method to build a definition from.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:42 am UTC


Time is up for the infighting. The following page will be filled with very politice discussion of the pros and cons of chiropracty (or whatever you guys call it), or it will be closed.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:48 pm UTC

Sigh, anyyyyyyyyyway;

Back to the OP: The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) claims that the babies neck was not broken by the chiropractic. I've linked one of the least biased articles I could find.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Chen » Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:41 pm UTC

Seems there's a link to the leaked report:

http://www.australiandoctor.com.au/getm ... t2013.aspx

I'm not sure how unbiased this is. It's not clear if its a chiropractor who did the report or not (names are blanked out). One subsequent CT scan apparently showed no indication of fracture and another one after that did show some possibility of a healing fracture, but not in the spot the original doctor said that the vertebrae was broken. The conclusion though was that the procedure described wouldn't have enough force to actually break a vertebrae.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:38 pm UTC

I'm confused by this wording:
The Article wrote:"The chiropractor could not and did not cause an injury to the child," his statement said.
Could not cause injury to the child?
Chen wrote:The conclusion though was that the procedure described wouldn't have enough force to actually break a vertebrae.
This also confuses me; is it really that hard to break an infant's vertabrae? Couldn't the procedure have enough force to do it if the chiropractor applied sufficient force? Wouldn't this be possible if the chiropractor didn't have a lot of experience regarding how much force is appropriate for an infant versus an adult?

That being said, I'm also still clueless as to why a chiropractor would treat an infant in the first place.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:58 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Sigh, anyyyyyyyyyway;

Back to the OP: The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) claims that the babies neck was not broken by the chiropractic. I've linked one of the least biased articles I could find.
So there was chiropractic manipulation on an infant with an already broken neck? How does that paint them in a better light?
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:05 pm UTC

Am I wrong in reading into the claim as a diversion of blame, i.e., the parents are abusing the child or the pediatrician actually broke the childs neck? I'm all for not misappropriating blame where there is none, but in a situation wherein one party is adjusting the neck vertebrate of a baby, doesn't it seem odd to say 'No, we didn't break that kids neck, you did'?
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:19 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Am I wrong in reading into the claim as a diversion of blame, i.e., the parents are abusing the child or the pediatrician actually broke the childs neck? I'm all for not misappropriating blame where there is none, but in a situation wherein one party is adjusting the neck vertebrate of a baby, doesn't it seem odd to say 'No, we didn't break that kids neck, you did'?


Well, if the neck is clearly broken, it happened somehow. Diverting blame is predictable, I suppose.

Still, one would hope that if there was even the slightest bit of legitimacy to the practice of prodding at a neck and back, they'd maybe be able to recognize a broken neck, and, yknow, not do that. Or not work on a baby, who is unable to give feedback, etc the way an adult would.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:30 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Still, one would hope that if there was even the slightest bit of legitimacy to the practice of prodding at a neck and back, they'd maybe be able to recognize a broken neck, and, yknow, not do that. Or not work on a baby, who is unable to give feedback, etc the way an adult would.
I suppose this is the part that really confuses me -- beyond the implication being made that it would be impossible for the chiropractor to break a baby's vertebrae (seriously? What are their backs made out of, adamantium?). I'm confused as to the benefit of chiropractics performed on infants.

As I understood it, the primary benefit of chiropractics is relieving back pain -- and it's really hard for an infant to tell you that yes, you've successfully relieved their back pain.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:50 pm UTC

So I took my car to the mechanic because my tail light was out, and I got it back with a smashed tail light. The mechanic said 'No way I could have done that, it wasn't me. You probably did it'.

I suppose it's possible that the pediatrician or the parents broke the kids neck, it just seems insane to suggest as much given that the chiropractor was the one working on the kids neck.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:58 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Still, one would hope that if there was even the slightest bit of legitimacy to the practice of prodding at a neck and back, they'd maybe be able to recognize a broken neck, and, yknow, not do that. Or not work on a baby, who is unable to give feedback, etc the way an adult would.
I suppose this is the part that really confuses me -- beyond the implication being made that it would be impossible for the chiropractor to break a baby's vertebrae (seriously? What are their backs made out of, adamantium?). I'm confused as to the benefit of chiropractics performed on infants.

As I understood it, the primary benefit of chiropractics is relieving back pain -- and it's really hard for an infant to tell you that yes, you've successfully relieved their back pain.
That may be the primary (or only) *real* benefit, but chiropractors believe every other condition can also benefit from a bit of spinal manipulation.

Even, as in this case, conditions that tend to correct themselves about 97% of the time with much simpler interventions like holding the infant on their other side or making sure they turn their heads both ways about the same amount.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Cleverbeans » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:25 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:That may be the primary (or only) *real* benefit, but chiropractors believe every other condition can also benefit from a bit of spinal manipulation.

I've never met one that made such claims, but I've definitely met doctors who've claimed homeopathic medicine is the real deal. Maybe you're just hanging out with shitty chiropractors?
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby ahammel » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:47 am UTC

Cleverbeans wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:That may be the primary (or only) *real* benefit, but chiropractors believe every other condition can also benefit from a bit of spinal manipulation.

I've never met one that made such claims, but I've definitely met doctors who've claimed homeopathic medicine is the real deal. Maybe you're just hanging out with shitty chiropractors?
The survey results quoted above tend to suggest that the vast majority of chiropractors believe that.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:06 am UTC

Cleverbeans wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:That may be the primary (or only) *real* benefit, but chiropractors believe every other condition can also benefit from a bit of spinal manipulation.

I've never met one that made such claims, but I've definitely met doctors who've claimed homeopathic medicine is the real deal. Maybe you're just hanging out with shitty chiropractors?
I make a point to hang out with as few medical quacks as possible, actually. I'm basing the claim on actual surveys and chiropractic organizations rather than anything so crass as personal anecdotes.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:04 pm UTC

On the subject of chiropractic....

I've met (and been treated by) a few chiropractors who had backgrounds in sports medicine; they were independently qualified to correct actual dislocations (particularly ribs....ouch) and provided me with mainstream peer-reviewed studies to support any supplementary therapies they recommended. It's certainly possible that the "adjustments" were nothing more than glorified ROM exercises, but I think they at least released enough endorphins to help me relax and correct some of the involuntary muscle tightness around the injured site.

But I've met many more chiropractors who swore up and down that spinal manipulations could correct any conceivable malady as long as it was connected to the nerves they were adjusting around. Constipation? Check. Heartburn? Check. Carpal tunnel? Check. Amenorrhea? Check. And don't even get me started on the quackery of pretending that they can correct allergies. Not just seasonal allergies (ineffective but mostly harmless)....food allergies, too. "Your throat swells up and you go into anaphylactic shock from peanuts? Don't worry, I've got a fix for that." That's not just unethical; that's criminal.

On the subject of homeopathy....

I know that all homeopathic preparations are required to carry the standard FDA disclaimer: "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." That's the same thing that goes on vitamin supplements and so forth.

But I don't think that's enough. Vitamin supplements can have actual pharmacological effects. I've got a better idea for a disclaimer for homeopathic remedies (at least any remedies with greater dilutions than 12C):

"This product contains no trace of any active ingredients and any perceived effect it may have is purely psychological. This is not a safe substitute for medical care in the case of any serious or life-threatening condition."

Strong enough?

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:10 pm UTC

I prefer anything that ever claims to have any health benefit must first be approved by the FDA. Even if it's food; none of this 'may reduce cholesterol' crud or 'this is a dietary supplement not medicine so you can't regulate us' crap. That includes anyone offering medical advice; if you are offering any professional service, you must be licensed.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:32 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I prefer anything that ever claims to have any health benefit must first be approved by the FDA. Even if it's food; none of this 'may reduce cholesterol' crud or 'this is a dietary supplement not medicine so you can't regulate us' crap. That includes anyone offering medical advice; if you are offering any professional service, you must be licensed.


Agreed. I mean, why is that even there if it's not trying to imply a health benefit?

I'm not as concerned about medical advice. At a certain level, medical advice is more acceptable. Informal advice happens, and isn't always a bad thing. I'm much more leery of "advice" sponsored by companies that make money selling products that just so happen to match this advice. I'd simply just classify that as advertising.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Spambot5546 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:41 pm UTC

This seems to be specific to "dietary supplements", but if this article is correct some lobbyists got a law on the books saying anything can be marketed as a supplement until it actually kills someone. I didn't read the law itself.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby qetzal » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:29 pm UTC

davidstarlingm wrote:I know that all homeopathic preparations are required to carry the standard FDA disclaimer: "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." That's the same thing that goes on vitamin supplements and so forth.


That statement is required for dietary supplements, but not for homeopathic remedies. See here for a description of how Royal Copeland (a homeopath; duh!) made sure that US law recognizes any product in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States. See also here. So yes, homeopaths can legally claim that their products treat disease. And they do; check for yourself next time you're in the pharmacy.

I believe there are some restrictions though. Like, some of them got in trouble for claiming that Oscillococcinum (duck liver diluted 10400-fold!) could treat H1N1 influenza.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:33 pm UTC

10400? And I thought 1060 was absurd enough.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:39 pm UTC

As a biologist, I am not good at orders of magnitude at that scale. I can't even fathom how diluted that is. Is that like, one duck liver meted out to the entire US water supply over the course of a year? Am I under shooting?
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Spambot5546 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:47 pm UTC

So is that one part duck liver, 10^400 parts water? Is that how they measure that? I ask because assuming the volume of a duck liver to be 500 millilitres it would take 10^399 litres of water to achieve that level of dilution. According to wolframalpha the volume of the observable universe is 10^83 litres.

Edit: that is, to dilute one whole duck's liver.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:48 pm UTC

10^60 is 1cc of duck liver portioned out among 115 million cubic light years of water. So yeah, you're undershooting it a bit.

10^400 is bigger than the visible universe, even if you start out with a bit of liver on the order of the Planck size.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:49 pm UTC

qetzal wrote:
davidstarlingm wrote:I know that all homeopathic preparations are required to carry the standard FDA disclaimer: "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." That's the same thing that goes on vitamin supplements and so forth.


That statement is required for dietary supplements, but not for homeopathic remedies. See here for a description of how Royal Copeland (a homeopath; duh!) made sure that US law recognizes any product in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States. See also here. So yes, homeopaths can legally claim that their products treat disease. And they do; check for yourself next time you're in the pharmacy.

I believe there are some restrictions though. Like, some of them got in trouble for claiming that Oscillococcinum (duck liver diluted 10400-fold!) could treat H1N1 influenza.

Holy crap, really?

I think we definitely need my disclaimer. Too bad no one in Congress can do enough math to figure out that 1060 is larger than 1023.

gmalivuk wrote:10400? And I thought 1060 was absurd enough.

Just think. 10400 is obviously 340 times stronger than 1060. Unless, of course, it was produced using C dilutions instead of X dilutions, in which case it's just 170 times stronger. Though if it used V dilutions, it's a full 680 times stronger. A V dilution of occillococcinum to 10400 should be able to cure you from inside a sealed bottle across the room!

Speaking of sealed bottles....that's how homeopaths treat patients to self-prescribe. My mom used to line up a series of bottles and have me hold each one close to my chest if I was sick, then she'd feel the grip strength of my other hand. Whenever her perception of my grip strength went up, this was evidence that my body was choosing that particular remedy. Through the glass bottle.

Izawwlgood wrote:As a biologist, I am not good at orders of magnitude at that scale. I can't even fathom how diluted that is. Is that like, one duck liver meted out to the entire US water supply over the course of a year? Am I under shooting?

*erupts in laughter*

Yes, you are undershooting. WAY undershooting. The mass of the observable universe is 6e52 kg. A single molecule of duck liver "meted out" into the entire observable universe is a dilution of 1 in 1075....a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion times MORE potent than 1 in 10400.

EDIT: Sniped by two of you....though I still like my explanation better. =P

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:51 pm UTC

What if it's really concentrated duck liver?
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby davidstarlingm » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:00 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:What if it's really concentrated duck liver?

One molecule of duck liver dropped into the entire universe is "really concentrated" compared to a 10400 dilution. :D

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Red Hal » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:06 pm UTC

That would have to be duck liver neutronium, and even then from the core of a duck liver neutron star you're only going to gain around 14 orders of magnitude.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby qetzal » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:27 pm UTC

Spambot5546 wrote:So is that one part duck liver, 10^400 parts water? Is that how they measure that? I ask because assuming the volume of a duck liver to be 500 millilitres it would take 10^399 litres of water to achieve that level of dilution. According to wolframalpha the volume of the observable universe is 10^83 litres.

Edit: that is, to dilute one whole duck's liver.


Yeah, they take one part liquefied duck liver (or something like that) and mix it with 99 parts water. Then they mix it up (aka "succussion"). Then they take out (& discard?) 99% of what's in the vial, leaving just 1%. Then they add a fresh 99 parts of water. Repeat to a total of 200 times, and you get Oscillococcinum 200CK, from Boiron.

This page suggests they sometimes go out to 100,000CK! That is, 10200,000. And the scary thing is, to me at least, that I expect most of the people at Boiron don't see any problem with that!

And notice how they're using a "device specially designed to ensure that the dilution process is reproducible from one dilution to the next." As if that could possibly matter! "Oh, no!!! Our Korsakovian Diluter has malfunctioned. It's been doing 1/50 dilutions instead of 1/100. We'd better issue a product recall immediately, before someone overdoses!!! Oh wait - less dilute homeopathies are actually weaker. Never mind."

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:27 am UTC

10^400 is, well...

Imagine a cube that is Planck Length in all dimensions, i.e., the smallest size in which something can be proven to even exist. Comparing that to a cubic meter is about 10^100, give or take a few orders of magnitude. A cubic meter is 1/10^80th the size of the visible universe, for a total of 10^180. If you were to expand space to the point where the entire known universe was a Plank cube in comparison, that would only be 10^360, or not even close to the dilution that is claimed.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby addams » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:52 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:What if it's really concentrated duck liver?

Then we call it pate' and put it on a cracker.
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Diadem » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:38 am UTC

But what if the duck has eaten a single atom of arsenic during its life? A 200CK duck liver tincture would be like 220CK arsenic, or something in that neighborhood. That's insanely dangerous, you could kill everybody on the planet just by opening the bottle!

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby Zamfir » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:16 am UTC

No worries. Even water from the purest source will presumably contain more than 1 molecule of arsenic. So every dilution would actually increase the concentration of arsenic, relative to the duck liver.

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:25 am UTC

Also, remember that homeopathic arsenic *cures* whatever conditions real arsenic causes
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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:38 am UTC

Enough insults about homeopathy already! The principals are sound! Why else would medicine be more effective the less homeopathy you have in your medicine cabinet, huh?

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Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby davidstarlingm » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:21 pm UTC

qetzal wrote:This page suggests they sometimes go out to 100,000CK! That is, 10200,000. And the scary thing is, to me at least, that I expect most of the people at Boiron don't see any problem with that!

And notice how they're using a "device specially designed to ensure that the dilution process is reproducible from one dilution to the next." As if that could possibly matter! "Oh, no!!! Our Korsakovian Diluter has malfunctioned. It's been doing 1/50 dilutions instead of 1/100. We'd better issue a product recall immediately, before someone overdoses!!! Oh wait - less dilute homeopathies are actually weaker. Never mind."

But if they discard the improperly diluted remedies into the sewer system, they'll end up with something SO dilute that the ENTIRE WORLD WILL OVERDOSE.

But hey, who knows? Maybe they really did figure out a way to magically transfer the spiritual essence of random ingredients into water by shaking it in the right pattern.

gmalivuk wrote:....remember that homeopathic arsenic *cures* whatever conditions real arsenic causes.

It makes perfect sense. Arsenic makes you sick. Less arsenic makes you less sick. WAY less arsenic makes you WAY less sick. Continuing this trend, then, a sufficiently low dose of arsenic will make you healthy!

All this discussion is leaving me aching for a real homeopath to mock.

More seriously -- can we all simultaneously petition the FDA to require homeopathic remedies to carry a "this product contains no active ingredients and should not be used as a substitute for treatment of serious conditions" label?

KrytenKoro
Posts: 1487
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:58 pm UTC

Re: Chiro quackery - now on bebbies!

Postby KrytenKoro » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:12 pm UTC

Cleverbeans wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:That may be the primary (or only) *real* benefit, but chiropractors believe every other condition can also benefit from a bit of spinal manipulation.

I've never met one that made such claims, but I've definitely met doctors who've claimed homeopathic medicine is the real deal. Maybe you're just hanging out with shitty chiropractors?

I listened to a radio commercial just yesterday where a local chiropractor's office claimed that you could "stop being a zombie" (halloween-themed reference to feeling generically exhausted) by getting your subluxations cured. It said absolutely nothing about back pain.
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.


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