Having recently mentioned that bullshit is accepted as a proper term in scientific circles, I hasten to add that chiropractors often excel in putting out bullshit. Most of us probably knew that but I was reminded of it when reading this paper by an Irish chiropractor who employs nit just spinal manipulations but also offers CranioSacral Technique, Counselling together with Neuro-developmental training, and Pre and Peri-natal education:

There are essential ethical elements required for a chiropractor to establish an authentic professional relationship in order to maintain the integrity of a healing relationship with their patients. Ethically, chiropractors also have an ongoing responsibility to do their own personal and professional development. Therapeutic presence is the capacity to hold a healing space for another person by developing trust and rapport and providing them with a safe energetic container influenced by one’s calm and centered state of being. The Polyvagal Theory provides a neurobiological narrative that focuses on the importance of ‘safety’ and the adaptive consequences of detecting risk on our physiological state, social behavior, psychological experience, and health to achieve presence. To fulfill our biological imperative of connectedness, our personal, professional and ethical agenda needs to be directed toward making patients feel safe in the moment and getting into right-relationship. Recognizing and interpreting the mother/baby dyad’s adaptive behaviors provides an insight into their pre & perinatal imprints which reflect the child’s Baby Body Language patterns.

And here are the rather pithy conclusions of this paper:

Practicing the principles of therapeutic presence requires patience, experience and ongoing commitment as it is an invaluable model or paradigm of conscious awareness for helping others. A chiropractor who chooses the path of self-development to help them be more present for others in each moment, in a space of caring and compassion, would enable them to receive as well as give. The ability to serve in presence for someone else’s healing brings the professional into a deeper state of grace and resonance.

When both the chiropractor and mother/child dyad respect their own individual body’s physiological responses, they move towards a more evaluative state in which they become more respectful of themselves and the treatment outcomes. The PVT provides the neuroscience in understanding the continuum between the physiological states of fight, flight, freeze and dissociation. The application of the ongoing evaluation of these states functionally contributes to the treatment and healing process and facilitates a sound basis for the ongoing connectedness of the mother/child dyad.

The way in which practitioners are grounded in themselves, open to others (while holding appropriate boundaries) and participate fully in the life of the mind and body, are important aspects of practicing therapeutic presence which is at the heart of relationships that help others to grow. This inside-out view helps chiropractors to see the ongoing personal development work they need to do as professionals to develop the essential receptive starting place of therapeutic presence for all clinical encounters.

After having read it several times and repeatedly drowned in this abundant mixture of bullshit and platitude, my main question is this:


If so, please explain.

10 Responses to A chiropractor excels in bullshit

  • i will join the question… reading the original “paper” is even worse

  • It sounds a lot like the psychobabble back in the 1970’s. Rolfing comes to mind. A quick internet search shows this “therapy” still exists. What is Rolfing. Well, there are still a few Jungians about. Jordan Peterson comes to mind.

    Anne Matthews may be on to a bestseller.

  • Journal of the ICA…nuff said.

    • Edzard-the incomprehensible word salad you quote maybe a long winded way of trying to express the valuable experience of a clinician with that of the art component ( compassion and empathy) of the practice of caring and treating humans (medicine); the science component is missing!

  • I have always understood bullshit to refer to something which is superficially plausible but not actually backed up by evidence and quite probably not true. This baffling nonsense is something else entirely which to my mind comes under the heading of managementspeak, where the primary objective is to convince the speaker (or writer) of his own erudition; communication isn’t really an obective. Generally the target audience, not wanting to appear ignorant or stupid, doesn’t offer any challenge.

    • Dr J M K- well I think that seriously attempting a challenge to such absolute gibberish is quite difficult since it takes a continued effort to stop laughing every time an attempt is made at it’s comprehension.

    • @Dr Julian Money-Kyrle
      I think you are on the right track, and that the above is not exactly bullshit, but a carefully crafted yet hugely nonsensical sales talk intended to impress people.
      The way I understand is that bullshit serves the purpose of making the bullshitter look good/important/strong/knowledgeable etc. by sheer verbal momentum, with the defining characteristic that the bullshitter does not care about truth – they often don’ t even know what the truth is. Their bullshit is just a means to an end, and can be amended, discarded or even flat-out contradicted on a whim, whenever it suits the bullshitter. And there’s always plenty more where it came from.
      (This makes bullshit also quite different from a lie, which in a way is defined by the truth, and requires a certain amount of consistency as well as effort to maintain.)

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