The World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) claim to have been at the forefront of the global development of chiropractic. Representing the interests of the profession in over 90 countries worldwide, the WFC has advocated, defended and promoted the profession across its 7 world regions. Now, the WFC have formulated 20 principles setting out who they are, what they stand for, and how chiropractic as a global health profession can, in their view, impact on nations so that populations can thrive and reach their full potential. Here are the 20 principles (in italics followed by some brief comments by me in normal print):

1. We envision a world where people of all ages, in all countries, can access the benefits of chiropractic.

That means babies and infants! What about the evidence?

2. We are driven by our mission to advance awareness, utilization and integration of chiropractic internationally.

One could almost suspect that the drive is motivated by misleading the public about the risks and benefits of spinal manipulation for financial gain.

3. We believe that science and research should inform care and policy decisions and support calls for wider access to chiropractic.

If science and research truly did inform care, it would soon be chiropractic-free.

4. We maintain that chiropractic extends beyond the care of patients to the promotion of better health and the wellbeing of our communities.

The best example to show that this statement is a politically correct platitude is the fact that so many chiropractors are (educated to become) convinced that vaccinations are undesirable or harmful.

5. We champion the rights of chiropractors to practice according to their training and expertise.

I am not sure what this means. Could it mean that they must practice according to their training and expertise, even if both fly in the face of the evidence?

6. We promote evidence-based practice: integrating individual clinical expertise, the best available evidence from clinical research, and the values and preferences of patients.

So far, I have seen little to convince me that chiropractors care a hoot about the best available evidence and plenty to fear that they supress it, if it does not enhance their business.

7. We are committed to supporting our member national associations through advocacy and sharing best practices for the benefit of patients and society.

Much more likely for the benefit of chiropractors, I suspect.

8. We acknowledge the role of chiropractic care, including the chiropractic adjustment, to enhance function, improve mobility, relieve pain and optimize wellbeing.

Of course, you have to pretend that chiropractic adjustments (of subluxations) are useful. However, evidence would be better than pretence.

9. We support research that investigates the methods, mechanisms, and outcomes of chiropractic care for the benefit of patients, and the translation of research outcomes into clinical practice.

And if it turns out to be to the detriment of the patient? It seems to me that you seem to know the result of the research before you started it. That does not bode well for its reliability.

10. We believe that chiropractors are important members of a patient’s healthcare team and that interprofessional approaches best facilitate optimum outcomes.

Of course you do believe that. Why don’t you show us some evidence that your belief is true?

11. We believe that chiropractors should be responsible public health advocates to improve the wellbeing of the communities they serve.

Of course you do believe that. But, in fact, many chiropractors are actively undermining the most important public health measure, vaccination.

12. We celebrate individual and professional diversity and equality of opportunity and represent these values throughout our Board and committees.

What you should be celebrating is critical assessment of all chiropractic concepts. This is the only way to make progress and safeguard the interests of the patient.

13. We believe that patients have a fundamental right to ethical, professional care and the protection of enforceable regulation in upholding good conduct and practice.

The truth is that many chiropractors violate medical ethics on a daily basis, for instance, by not obtaining fully informed consent.

14. We serve the global profession by promoting collaboration between and amongst organizations and individuals who support the vision, mission, values and objectives of the WFC.

Yes, those who support your vision, mission, values and objectives are your friends; those who dare criticising them are your enemies. It seems far from you to realise that criticism generates progress, perhaps not for the WFC, but for the patient.

15. We support high standards of chiropractic education that empower graduates to serve their patients and communities as high value, trusted health professionals.

For instance, by educating students to become anti-vaxxers or by teaching them obsolete concepts such as adjustment of subluxation?

16. We believe in nurturing, supporting, mentoring and empowering students and early career chiropractors.

You are surpassing yourself in the formulation of platitudes.

17. We are committed to the delivery of congresses and events that inspire, challenge, educate, inform and grow the profession through respectful discourse and positive professional development.

You are surpassing yourself in the formulation of platitudes.

18. We believe in continuously improving our understanding of the biomechanical, neurophysiological, psychosocial and general health effects of chiropractic care.

Even if there are no health effects?!?

19. We advocate for public statements and claims of effectiveness for chiropractic care that are honest, legal, decent and truthful.

Advocating claims of effectiveness in the absence of proof of effectiveness is neither honest, legal, decent or truthful, in my view.

20. We commit to an EPIC future for chiropractic: evidence-based, people-centered, interprofessional and collaborative.

And what do you propose to do with the increasing mountain of evidence suggesting that your spinal adjustments are not evidence-based as well as harmful to the health and wallets of your patients?


What do I take out of all this? Not a lot!

Perhaps mainly this: the WFC is correct when stating that, in the interests of the profession in over 90 countries worldwide, the WFC has advocated, defended and promoted the profession across its 7 world regions. What is missing here is a small but important addition to the sentence: in the interests of the profession and against the interest of patients, consumers or public health in over 90 countries worldwide, the WFC has advocated, defended and promoted the profession across its 7 world regions.

46 Responses to The 20 principles of the World Federation of Chiropractic

  • You are far too kind in your assessment. Please allow me to translate their gospel:

    1. We want sell our SCAM to everyone.
    2. Yes, we really want to sell our SCAM to EVERYONE all over the world!
    3. Everyone should promote our SCAM, especially politicians.
    4. We must also sell our SCAM to all those healthy people out there.
    5. We must be allowed to practice our SCAM totally unhindered [by plausibility, evidence, ethics, rules, or guidelines].
    6. We are allowed to lie (e.g. about evidence) in order to sell our SCAM.
    7. We shall blindly support our colleague SCAMmers, no matter what.
    8. We shall promote our SCAM, no matter what.
    9. We shall support any research that paints a positive picture of our SCAM.
    10. See #1.
    11. See #1 and #4.
    12. We shall NEVER criticize colleague SCAMmers, regardless how poorly educated, stupid or dangerous to patients they are. (Also see #7)
    13. Patients have a right to good healthcare, as long as our SCAM is obligate part of that healthcare.
    14. See #1 and #2.
    15. We shall commit ourselves to teaching our SCAM to new students.
    16. We shall help new SCAMmers on their way to fooling the gullible public.
    17. We shall spread the gospel of our SCAM by pretending it’s science.
    18. We shall preach progressive understanding of our SCAM, even though there is nothing to understand.
    19. See #6.
    20. All of the above – rinse and repeat.

    • I think the operative words in your opening statement are “in their view.”

      This is not a view widely shared among what I would call “right-thinking people.”

      I borrow the phrase from a judge I know who explains it this way. Often, you have to make decisions not based on truth—because everyone has their own version of that—but on credibility. As you can imagine, those can often be difficult decisions.

      You ask yourself many questions to determine credibility, he says. At the top of that list: Is this plausible? (With chiropractors, I think we all know the answer to that!) This is followed by this question: Do they have a vested interest or stand to gain in any way because of their version of the “facts”? (Is this starting to sound familiar?) The answers to these questions will determine what, if any, questions follow these. (With chiropractic, I think we can pretty much stop there.)

      He also looks at the body of evidence, which is often science-related and asks: How does it measure up against what we jokingly refer to as “reality.” (Obviously, if it flies in the face of all the other evidence, it carries little weight.)

      The final decision of the court, then, is often what “right-thinking people” would find reasonable.

      I would suggest that these principles were not drafted by “right-thinking (or even honest) people.”


      The above is apparent, is his ignorance deliberate to help him sell his books? Or is he obsessed with his crusade? I would argue that after spending his life on this he has at the least lost his ability to be objective about this.

  • All their principles sound reasonable and are similar to other health professionals, you on the other hand are just ranting your dislike for a profession and making lots of wild statements based on your limited understanding of the profession. There are lots of papers on research in the chiropractic field including those in conjunction with universities. You make claims of injuries caused by their profession, it may surprise you to know that all health professions have injuries. Provide injury rates by professions for the same treatment. Chiropractors do not work in the area of vaccines so your statement is just plain silly.

    • 1) these principles are not similar to those of serious healthcare professions; if you disagree, show evidence!
      2) yes, there are lots of papers; many of the ones published between 2012 and now have been discussed on this blog, and most are rubbish;
      3) yes, there are injuries by other professions, the difference is that other professions can demonstrated that they are doing more good than harm; chiros cannot!

      • Here they show the same standards of practises, evidence based, Chiropractors
        participated in this study.

        While there may be a few chiropractors whom disagree with vaccines, was wakefield a chiropractor?
        There are some dentitsts whom disagree with fluoride, do you now distrust all dentists?

        You have failed to provide injury rate by profession for the same initial treatment of injury. You are just speculating nad have no basis aside from your prejudice for your statement

        • Wakefield was ousted from the medical profession and is now the darling of chiros giving lectures for them and confirming their anti-vax views.

          • Wow, you really hate chiropractors. Wonder how you would like people attacking your profession in a similar way. Have you thought of talking to your gp and get them to explain to you what chiropractors do? Hint not vaccines.

          • thank you for demonstrating that you have no true arguments against criticism [not hate!].

          • Thank you for demonstrating you are obsessed with your dislike for a profession you don’t understand.

          • obsessed? hate? don’t understand? no basis aside from your prejudice?
            perhaps you might benefit from reading this:

          • I gave you a link to standards used by all health professionals in my country including chiropractors. Here is a list of all recognized health professionals for injuries

          • read up about the concept of risk/benefit balance, please.

          • Why would the government use chiropractors if the risk of further injury was significantly higher than other professionals? Answer, they wouldn’t. I realize that chiropractors in the US have issues due to poor standards of practice in the US. That just reflects on the whole health service in the US.

          • Why would insurance companies pay for chiropractic treatment if it would result in further injuries? They wouldn’t. Chiropractors receive a lot of the same training as other health professionals at universities. Their treatments are regularly assessed for effectiveness and are on par with other health professionals such as acupuncturists and physios. I get it that you have had a bad experience and that has clouded your judgment but you seem obsessed with attacking their profession

          • or perhaps you are obsessed with the myth that I am obsessed.
            you state complete fantasy as fact [my bad experience], make numerous claims and provide no evidence for them.
            this might work where you come from – it doesn’t here!

          • Okay you claim you are not obsessed, then how many times have you create a new thread about them? You give the appearance that you are looking for things to complain about. If you found someone whose primary injury was te60. and you found they were being treated by a chiropractor you wouldn’t start a new post complaining about it? Good to hear.

          • @Julian

            In response to one of your, let’s be gentle about this, misinformed comments.

            “All I see is petty criticism from a Google doctor.”

            Apologies, in advance, to Dr. Ernst if this is embarrassing and I start sounding like a bit of a fan but, well, I am a fan.)

            Julian, Dr. Ernst may be a lot of things and you may not always (ever) agree with him but one thing he is not is a “Google doctor.”

            I encourage you to read “A Scientist in Wonderland: A Memoir of Searching for Truth and Finding Trouble.” Then, please show a little respect. Here are some links, depending on where you live.


            You will learn a lot.

            Then read “150 modalities.” You will learn a lot more.

            Full disclosure: I’ve read both and believe what I’ve read. Funny thing about science. It has this fact-based thing about it I quite admire.

            Also, he is not afraid to say the truth AND puts his whole face, name and reputation on the line when he does so.

            Unlike you.

            I was also going to respond to another of your uninformed—rather than misinformed, for a change—comments. I was going to explain the reasons behind insurance companies funding chiropractors but I doubt you’d understand. (Hint: When the dust settles, they make more money than if they didn’t. Hard to wrap your mind around that but trust me, if they didn’t make more money, they wouldn’t do it. Insurance-company executives are a lot of things, but they are not stupid.)

            Have a nice day, Julian.

          • Julian said:

            how many times have you create [sic] a new thread about them?

            How many, then?

          • How accident insurance works in my country, every one pays fee according to their income and how much they drive. Additional funds come straight from the government. So each year let that amount be X. If someone is injured then typically they would see their gp first whom would refer them to the health provider that will help them recover quicker. If they are unable to go to work they get paid 80% of their salary so emphasis is on getting them to work asap. Makes no financial sense to have them receive treatment which doesn’t work. Did I mention all providers are regularly assessed for their patients recovery times. So not only would they know if a provider not provide proper treatment there is no profit in it for them . If you bothered to read the royal commission of enquiry you would realise that chiropractors are different in the US from the rest of the world, although I understand even in the US things are changing for the better.

        • Then write a paper on it and get it published in a chiropractic journal. All I see is petty criticism from a Google doctor. Do I take it you have no issues having a chiropractor treat a patient whoms primary injury is te60. injury?

          • why in a chiro journal and not in a reputable one?

          • Whichever reputable chiropractic journal you desire. Or do you plan to publish in a cardiology journal? Dental journal? Veterinary journal?

            Maybe if you bothered to read what is required just enter school of chiropractic treatment,

          • Really? Your evidence is your own opinion? I gave you a link to what a chiropractor must know before they can even train in it. Your journals are all US journals, you arrogantly think the US leads the way in back care?

          • it seems that you cannot get much right about what I say.
            who spoke about US?
            who about chiro entry criteria?
            who about back care?
            who offered an opinion? I showed you facts.

          • Ask a chiropractor for a reputable journal, and not a USian one.

          • I know them all and don’t need to ask

          • 1979 – I am impressed!

          • You know all non USian chiropractors? Wow? You may want to read the reports finding , yes we had skeptics back in 1979 but they could see even then that chiropractors were a valid practice and continue to be so with the full support of the school of physiotherapy. I realise you find it hard to admit you are mistaken but that is what scientists do. All treatment providers are constantly assessed here for their effectiveness. You behave like an anti vaxxer but sorry your degree in Google searches does not make you an expert. Chiropractors can’t be bothered talking debating with people like yourself just like doctors can’t be bothered debating with anti vaxxer. I have been in multiple discussions with people like yourself whom think yourselves as the anti psuedo science police, some even give themselves self appointed titles but you all fall down in the same way, you think your Google searches make you an expert. Sorry that only makes you an expert in Google. As soon as I use medical jargon that can’t be googled you all become silent. If you want to genuinely know the truth, learn to actually listen and read, not scan.

          • I said I know all the journals;
            sorry, but you are truly not bright enough to discuss with:

          • @Julian

            We become silent because you cannot hear us shaking our heads in disbelief!

            First of all, if you were half as knowledgable and smart as you claim, you’d be able to string a few words together into a coherent sentence.

            As my contribution to this thread, I offer these simple instructions.

            Let’s start with something easy. The most basic sentence comprises a subject (often a noun) and a verb (an action word).

            Let’s try it!

            Think of a subject (e.g., Julian). Then, add a verb (e.g., “sleeps”). Now, put them all together and what do you get?

            Please send your answers in by Tuesday at noon or you will be marked accordingly.

          • @Julian

            Is this reference the best you can do? You lean heavily on a document that was probably unearthed when Jesus is said to have walked the planet.

            Nevertheless, I point you to this:

            Don’t read just this:

            “. . .chiropractors have reasonable grounds based on clinical evidence for their belief that symptoms of ‘the kind described above can respond beneficially to spinal manual therapy.”

            Read the first part of the sentence, as well:

            “Although the precise nature of the biomechanical dysfunction which chiropractors claim to treat has not yet been demonstrated scientifically, and although the precise reasons why spinal manual therapy provides relief have not yet been scientifically explained. . .”

            Don’t read just this:

            “By the end of the inquiry we found ourselves irresistibly and with complete unanimity drawn to the conclusion that modern chiropractic is a soundly-based and valuable branch of health care a specialised area neglected by the medical profession.”

            Read the very next point, as well:

            “The Commission does, however, have strong reservations about some aspects of modern chiropractic.”

            They say endorse chiro but then admit there is no reason to say this. Hmmm. . .

            They clearly understood nothing—like many policy-makers today. Just because you are an elected politician, doesn’t mean have any common sense.

            Do I need to give you examples of this?

    • Julian

      Not sure who you aimed your arrow at—I’ll take it, though.

      I don’t dislike the profession, Julian, anymore than I dislike fortune tellers. And I don’t recall making any “wild statements” that right-thinking people would find objectionable.

      I do struggle to understand, however, that with “lots of papers on research in the chiropractic field including those in conjunction with universities,” why there is such a dearth of real science. That’s all. I know. What kind of silly person would ask for such a thing, right?

      If someone under your care was ill and I offered a treatment that was 1) invented by a quack before randomized controlled studies were even a thing, and, 2) to this day, simply didn’t stand up to the rigours of science, would you want me treating her? I would hope your answer would be NO. But frankly, I’m not sure you’d say that.

      • Who convinces me that vaccines are safe? The anti vaxxers. Whom convinces me that fluoride is good in our water, anti fluoride. Who convinces me that acupuncture is fine? The anti acupuncturists. Same for chiropractic treatment, you all argue the same way, you give your opinion or use other people’s opinions, but always ignore expert research. Learn to read, learn to listen. All you do is scan, not comprehend. Stop living in the past

        • Okay, Julian. You win.

          Your comments have become so confusing and your arguments so outlandish, I won’t dignify them with a thoughtful—or even witty—response. I can assume only that you must love the attention. No more from me.

          • the only adequate reaction: do not feed trolls!

          • EE
            Your website is an intended magnet for trolls. Without trolls, your website is meaningless, you’d be preaching to the choir.

          • a rare insight of yours to admit you are a troll!

          • Curious, according to Google you have retired, why don’t you just leave this to your successor? Why do you not enjoy your retirement? Have them do the statistical studies using either classical or bayesian. You have been at this for 40 years or more. Do you not have hobbies aside from attacking branches of medicine you have little if any training in? Or if you insist on it then give advice to researchers on how to do better statistical studies, I.e, hire the statistician at the start of a study not the end. Too much funding is wasted due to poor foundations. I have never tried to win an argument on what is or isn’t a psuedo science, as frankly I have no medical qualifications so won’t play the who has the most Google links to share. For chiropractic and acupuncture I ask the physiotherapist and osteopaths. Yes I ask the experts. I of course have my opinions on what I think is correct but am always open to have my mind changed. Fluoride for example I was initially against adding to water but after additional information I changed my mind. Too many scientists confuse opinions with truths . Pi is an irrational number, I accept this to be true but don’t understand why it is. You can’t know everything. I think you have forgotten that. Do you remember the last time you changed your mind? Just curious. A lot of critics I see require as proof a study which ignores ethics. Do you accept that due to ethics, funding not everything can be certain?

          • most of your personal questions are answered here:
            So, I will just address this one; “Why do you not enjoy your retirement? ”
            Contrary to your assumption, I do!
            you are an excellent example of someone picking up loads of BS from google – how about a course in critical thinking?
            it would do you a world of good, I am sure.

  • “5. We champion the rights of chiropractors to practice according to their training and expertise.”
    I think Richard Rawlings got this one’s meaning right. It means they will oppose any effort to stop chiropractors doing what is ineffective, unsafe, or dishonest, if it was part of their training or past practice.

  • Julian wrote: “In case you are unaware experts have already examined chiropractors”

    @ Julian

    Apparently the report you cited is:

    “…fundamentally untrustworthy primarily because its conclusions are based upon otherwise inadmissible, unreliable evidence collected and evaluated by persons with no particular skill or background to make assessments respecting the safety or efficacy of health care practices.”


  • “If science and research truly did inform care, it would soon be chiropractic-free.”
    “Could it mean that they must practice according to their training and expertise, even if both fly in the face of the evidence?”
    “So far, I have seen little to convince me that chiropractors care a hoot about the best available evidence and plenty to fear that they supress it, if it does not enhance their business.”
    “It seems to me that you seem to know the result of the research before you started it. That does not bode well for its reliability.”

    So quote Edzard Ernst:
    “She is a chiropractor with extensive research experience, for example, she was one of the first chiropractors to have studied adverse reactions of spinal manipulation.”
    Charlotte certainly knows a thing or two about adverse effects of spinal manipulation, and I have always found her work interesting.”
    “I have always thought highly of Charlotte’s work, however, her conclusion made me doubt whether my high opinion of her reasoning was justified.”
    So here is a chiropractic researcher doing key research on one of your key criticism of the profession (adverse events) who you follow yet ignore until you could take issue with two sentences in a BLOG.
    Then you write a hatchet blog.
    In ignoring Charlotte’s key research are you suppressing it by omission to support your bias?
    Do you fear her research?
    Your blog on Charlotte Leboeuf-Yde certainly casts new light on your above comments.

    “Advocating claims of effectiveness in the absence of proof of effectiveness is neither honest, legal, decent or truthful, in my view.”
    So is ignoring the chiropractic researchers providing the evidence you demand.
    I always thought that you would change when shown evidence until you published that blog on Charlotte Leboeuf-Yde then I realized that was highly unlikely.

    “Of course, you have to pretend that chiropractic adjustments (of subluxations) are useful.”
    What BS. The WFC does not support subluxation and at their last conference in Berlin it was called out. But hey lets include it anyway to support your bias.

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