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Science (from the Latin scientia, 'knowledge'), in the broadest sense, refers to any systematic
knowledge or practice. In a more restricted sense, science refers to a system of acquiring
knowledge based on the scientific method, as well as to the organized body of knowledge
gained through such research. Science is about discovery. It is constantly being upgraded
based on new discovery. Facts that are not disproven though they may have been discovered
some time ago may still be valid. Valid knowledge endures.

Where does chiropractic fit into "Science"?

  • Chiropractic is that clinical science that is based upon a law of biology (homeostasis)
    that states that inborn into all living things is the ability to be well.

  • It draws on the theory of physiology stating that the nervous system (consisting of the
    brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves and special sensory organs) controls and co-
    ordinates all other organs and structures in the body and relates it to its environment.

  • Chiropractic clinical science further hypothesises an association between this governing
    system, the nervous system, and the existence of health in the body.

  • Chiropractic was originally conjectured, by its founder, as that science that primarily
    investigates the interference to nervous systems control of all other organs and
    structures by the human framework (spine, skeleton and joints). Today this conjecture
    has been elevated to hypothesis by a growing volume of research behind it.

In the face of much opposition, the chiropractic profession has since the 1920's been involved
in the ongoing gathering of data on what works, what changes have been observed and what
does not.

Much of this can be seen in peer reviewed journals and some of these have been indexed in and which is a "Medline"
indexed journal. Many chiropractic and health related papers can be accessed via
PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a free search engine
for accessing the Medline database of citations and abstracts of biomedical research articles.

The science related to chiropractic is there, it is not funded by drug companies and has the
scrutiny of all of the major healing arts. At times robust debate ensues. It is surprising how
much dust these debates can generate. In the end though truth always wins if the science
used to measure it is valid. So far the evidence for the validity of chiropractic is increasing all
be it ever so slowly due to a lack of funding from especially from governmental "health"
departments. Funny use of the word "health" since these departments are more interested in
disease and
pathology  than health



Scientific method is used to determine the effectiveness of chiropractic.


In 2007, Sarnat, Winterstein and Cambron (5) published a paper on chiropractic care utilisation of medical insurance claims and costs.

JMPT Volume 30, Issue 4, Pages 263-269 (May 2007)


Clinical Utilization and Cost Outcomes From an Integrative Medicine Independent Physician Association: An Additional 3-Year Update

Richard L. Sarnat, MD, James Winterstein, DC, Jerrilyn A. Cambron, DC, PhD



Our initial report analyzed clinical and cost utilization data from the years 1999 to 2002 for an integrative medicine independent physician association (IPA) whose primary care physicians (PCPs) were exclusively doctors of chiropractic. This report updates the subsequent utilization data from the IPA for the years 2003 to 2005 and includes first-time comparisons in data points among PCPs of different licensures who were oriented toward complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).


Independent physician association–incurred claims and stratified random patient surveys were descriptively analyzed for clinical utilization, cost offsets, and member satisfaction compared with conventional medical IPA normative values. Comparisons to our original publication's comparative blinded data, using nonrandom matched comparison groups, were descriptively analyzed for differences in age/sex demographics and disease profiles to examine sample bias.


Clinical and cost utilization based on 70274 member-months over a 7-year period demonstrated decreases of:

  • 60.2% in-hospital admissions,

  • 59.0% hospital days,

  • 62.0% outpatient surgeries and procedures, and

  • 85% pharmaceutical costs when compared with conventional medicine IPA performance for the same health maintenance organization product in the same geography and time frame.


During the past 7 years, and with a larger population than originally reported, the CAM-oriented PCPs using a nonsurgical/nonpharmaceutical approach demonstrated reductions in both clinical and cost utilization when compared with PCPs using conventional medicine alone.

Decreased utilization was uniformly achieved by all CAM-oriented PCPs, regardless of their licensure.

(emphasis added)

In short if governments wish to cut health care costs, then chiropractors and other Complementary and Alternative medicine practitioners need to be a part of the health care team that a patient has access to under  taxpayer funded health care schemes.

Not all "scientific reports" are good science. Scientism is rife in the some journals and official health reports. An example of what goes on makes for interesting reading and destroys any trust you may have had in those "official" health directives you may see from time to time. This is definitely worth reading it is an eye opener. (6) Part of this is that some investigations that are done are written up many times by different persons using the same data to pad out the number of studies that say the same thing on a topic. (1)

Not all negative studies are published. Scientific knowledge is not only about positive findings.

It is just as important and in some cases more important to know what doesn't work so that you can get on with treatments that do work. (1)

The term "Medical science" is another scientism. A study done by .Pickin M, Cornell J, Booth A,
Morris F, Wardrope J, Nicholl J. (2) states that only  17.9% of medical articles are evidence
based in strictly valid, true science terms.
That means that 82.1% is not based on science.


In August 2005, John P. A. Ioannidis's paper (4) came to the conclusion that based on study design, most scientific papers "... may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias". We clearly need a rethink of how "science" is carried out. As such, most scientific papers may be invalid in terms of true science.

So next time you hear that term "Medical Science" I hope you get a giant smirk on your face. A smirk of knowing the real story behind the throw away statement. And I hope you throw it away too.

There is also a "scientism" that goes along the lines that ....
if it is not a recent study that it is not valid."

What utter arrogance and rot ! Good science, based on solid evidence and presented in a logical, clear way is valid science and always will be no matter if it is 200 years old or hot off the press. (3) While it might be "nice" to have recent articles as a reference, Solid science is solid no mater what its age. True science is an evolving process, it is robust and is constantly under review. Studies are considered valid till refuted by evidence NOT by opinion or fads of thought.

2        Pickin M,et al; Annu Meet Int Soc Technol Assess Health Care Int Soc Technol Assess Health Care
          Meet. 1999; 15: 53. Medical Care Research Unit, ScHARR, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
3        self evident no need for a reference


          pmed.0020124&ct=1 &SESSID=ea5a94bcb4b8e01d4b3aafa3047ff7dd

5        Sarnat RL, Winterstein j, Cambron JA "Clinical utilization and cost outcomes from an Integrative Medical

          Independent Physician Association: An additional 3 year update JMPT 2007; 30 (4):263-269

Health - Naturally
Mornington & Beechworth, Victoria, Australia


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Sitemap      Index       Disclaimer      New Patient Forms      Peter's Bio      Privacy     Contact us                                           updated Oct 2011