Terry Power had been registered as a chiropractor since 1988, and as a Chinese medicine practitioner since 2012. In 2020, two female patients (Patient A and Patient B), made separate and unrelated complaints about Power to NSW Police and subsequently to the Health Care Complaints Commission.

Patient A alleged that, during a consultation in May 2020, Power kneaded and squeezed her right breast. Patient B alleged that during a consultation on 14 July 2020, Dr Power inserted two fingers into her vagina. On 27 August 2020, in proceedings conducted under Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW), the Chiropractic and Chinese Medical Council of New South Wales imposed several conditions on Power’s registration including that he must not consult or treat female clients. Subsequently, Power did not practised as a chiropractor, or a Chinese medicine practitioner, since those conditions were imposed.

Power admits inserting his fingers into Patient B’s vagina but denies that he did not do so without “proper and sufficient clinical indications” as alleged by the Commission. In addition, Power denies kneading and squeezing Patient A’s right breast.

In January 2023, following investigation of complaints referred by the Council, the Commission lodged a complaint about Power with the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). With the leave of the Tribunal, the Commission amended that complaint. In May 2024, NCAT found Power to be guilty of professional misconduct. NCAT will determine the appropriate disciplinary orders at a future hearing.

The statements of Patient B are harrowing:

After being escorted to a treatment room and changing into a hospital gown, Patient B said to Power “I am in a lot of pain due to my chronic pain”. Power then put his hand on Patient B’s pubic bone, which was “right on the pain”, “my legs gave out and I collapsed down. I was in pain” … Power lifted her up to crack her back, a procedure he had undertaken before and with which she was comfortable. Power then instructed her to lie down on her side on the treatment table and began to manipulate her hips. He said that her right hip was “out of place” and then cracked her neck. She was still in pain. Power then said, “you can say no, but how do you feel about an internal?”, to which she replied “if it is going to help then yes”. While standing to her side, Power put on white latex gloves and then inserted two gloved fingers into her vagina. This caused some pain and discomfort. Patient B could feel Power’s fingers pressing on parts of her body inside her vagina, “it hurt like hell and I wanted to scream”. After a minute Power pulled out his fingers. Patient B then asked, “what did you find?”, Power responded by walking over to a skeleton in the treatment room and showing her what he had done. He talked about the muscles and said, “I felt where your ovary was missing. The muscles are really tight around where the ovary was and your uterus”. Power then administered acupuncture above and below her breasts. The entire consultation lasted about an hour. At the end Power said words to the effect “we will see you next time”.

Patient B got dressed and walked out without making another appointment … On 29 July 2020 … when she told the GP “what happened with the chiropractor”, Patient B “broke down in tears and was an emotional wreck”. On return to her grandmother’s house, Patient B collapsed into her mother’s arms and rang the Commission and the Health Board, who instructed her to “make a police report and contact the Health Professional Council”. In conclusion Patient B said: “When I saw Terry Power on the 14th of July 2020, I trusted his professional opinions. When he asked me to consent to him doing an internal on me, I thought at the time this was a normal procedure and l trusted him. My pain is at a stage that I would do anything to have it relieved. At no time during the procedure was another person with Terry.”


Was patient B’s right hip was “out of place”?


Is there any justification for a chiropractor to insert two fingers into a patient’s vagina?


Does the question: “you can say no, but how do you feel about an internal?” amount to anything like informed consent?


Is the description “he muscles are really tight around where the ovary was and your uterus” credible?


But this is merely a case report of a chiropractor whom others might classify as a ‘rotten apple’ within their profession. I would, however, point out that such cases are not as rare as we might hope.

A retrospective review of data from the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners, for instance, was aimed at determining categories of offense, experience, and gender of disciplined doctors of chiropractic (DC) in California and compare them with disciplined medical physicians. The authors concluded that the professions differ in the major reasons for disciplinary actions. Two thirds (67%) of the doctors of chiropractic were disciplined for fraud and sexual boundary issues, compared with 59% for negligence and substance misuse for medical physicians. 

And what’s the explanation?

Could it be that chiropractors have no or too little education and training in medical ethics?


31 Responses to Beware of chiropractors who insert two fingers into your vagina!

  • Reminds one of a scene in the 1994 film The Road to Wellville, about the sanatorium of Dr. John Harvey Kellog. Actor Colm Meaney plays just such a charlatan, doing a very similar thing.

  • Could this also apply to Kinesiologists, who are not medical doctors, yet carry out the same ‘unsavoury treatments’ on their ‘patients’?

    • what do you mean by ‘this’?
      of course, anyone who molests women in this way commits a crime, health professional or not.
      Real doctors might need to do investigations of primary or secondary genitalia, but only for a justifiable purpose and with fully informed consent from the patient.

      • Perhaps I should have used the term ‘unnecessary’ in my sentence.
        I do agree with what you have said, on this subject.

      • Prof. Ernst. “Real doctors” are people with PhD’s, Doctor of Law, Doctor of Divinity etc. The people who you refer to are Medical Practitioners who use the courtesy title “Doctor”. Please use the correct terminology.

    • By “Kinesiologists” do you mean practitioners of:

      Kinesiology is the scientific study of human body movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, anatomical, biomechanical, pathological, neuropsychological principles and mechanisms of movement.


      Applied kinesiology (AK) is a pseudoscience-based technique in alternative medicine claimed to be able to diagnose illness or choose treatment by testing muscles for strength and weakness.

      George J. Goodheart, a chiropractor, originated applied kinesiology in 1964 and began teaching it to other chiropractors.

      While this practice is primarily used by chiropractors, AK is also used by a number of other practitioners of complementary therapy.

  • I’m reminded of a sign I saw on a NYC bus that read, “Assaulting the driver is a felony.” People actually need a SIGN to tell them there’s something wrong with this sort behavior?

    It seems I’m going to have to add “Avoid chiropractors who insert two fingers into your vagina” to my “SOME GUIDELINES ON CHOOSING A CHIROPRACTOR.”


  • Are internal treatments only unjustified for chiropractors? If a physical therapist performs an internal treatment, is it still sexual assault? How about if an MD recommends it?

    • I’d say it depends mostly on the indication and less on the profession.
      Fully informed consent is mandatory of all.

  • Prof Ernst. Your research is appalling, and you get an “E” for effort. i.e. Fail.
    You could have done a very quick google search and found other health care providers who have done the same or worse
    things. This does not justify what the chiropractor did, but it just gives a very good example of how bad and bias your research is.
    E,g. About Larry Nassar

    Just two examples that you omitted to include, I am sure that you could find more over many occupations in health care.

  • Here are some very interesting recent statistics. You could have used these also and done a really informative item on sexual abuse by healthcare providers.

    • More whataboutism.

      • Nope. Ernst mentioned the comparison in his blog. That opens it up to look at both sides.

        • so, if I state that your arguments are as silly as those of a high-school kid, we can all discuss high-school education here?

          • I must protest. High-school kids argue better than DC whose level is more like that of a kindergarten. 😉

          • EE: And what’s the explanation?

            Could it be?

            Did they include people like radiologists who rarely/ever see patients?

            Did they assume abuse was equally reported between professions both by patients and administrators?

            Did they assume that professions punish at equal rates?

            Did they take into account that MDs seldom/rarely/never perform hands on therapy?

            Did you even read the study nonetheless do a critical analysis? Or is this just another case of confirmation bias?

            If you don’t want folks to expand on a comparison; don’t mention a comparison in your blog. Geesh.

          • High-school kids argue better than DC whose level is more like that of a kindergarten.

            “The music is nothing if the audience is deaf” Walter Lippmann

          • Bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.
            (Harry Frankfurt)

          • @DC

            “If you have no idea: Just shut the fuck up!”
            (Dieter Nuhr) 😉

          • Factors to take into account.

            “…many cases of physician sexual abuse of patients go unreported.

            victims may not know how to navigate the regulatory system to seek redress for the harms of physician sexual abuse

            physicians often are unwilling to report their impaired or incompetent colleagues to relevant authorities

            many hospitals and health care organizations regularly ignore or circumvent reporting requirements for medical boards regarding impaired physicians

            medical boards may not always act on complaints of physician sexual abuse of patients, especially when there is no material evidence or witnesses

            only 1.5% of the overall complaints to medical boards reached the formal hearing stage.

            medical boards did not discipline 70% of the physicians who had peer-review sanctions or malpractice payments made on their behalf due to sexual misconduct.”


          • Factors to take into account when discussion sexual transgressions by chiropractors.

            – Many cases of sexual abuse of patients go unreported.
            – Victims may not know how to navigate the regulatory system to seek redress.
            – Chiropractors often are unwilling to report their colleagues to relevant authorities.
            – Many health care organizations regularly ignore or circumvent reporting requirements.
            – Professional organisations may not always act on complaints of sexual abuse of patients, especially when there is no material evidence or witnesses.
            – Only a small % of the overall complaints reach the formal hearing stage.
            – Chiropractic boards do not discipline the majority of the implicated chiropractors.

          • Factors to take into account.

            As I said previously: Whataboutism.

            Tell me, @DC, are you just playing dumb or are you really that stupid?

          • RPGNo1, I will take it you don’t know how to critically evaluate a paper, which BTW, Ernst shared in his blog to support his position.

            Ernst, yes, but are all of those they equal between chiropractors and MDs? That’s important when doing a end stage comparison study, don’t you know?

          • “Ernst, yes, but are all of those they equal between chiropractors and MDs? That’s important when doing a end stage comparison study, don’t you know?”
            No Thompson,
            I don not even know what an “end stage comparison study” is – are you bullshitting again?
            What I do know, however, is that your command of the English language seems to deteriorate – sorry to have to tell you that as a non-navive English speaker.

          • In this case it was those who received formal disciplinary action. That is the end stage of the investigation, at least as this paper is concerned. That is what they compared. Thus, an end stage comparison study. Got it?

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