WFC Review of Immunity & Chiropractic Fatally Flawed - Says Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation

Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation
WFC Review of Immunity & Chiropractic Fatally Flawed - Says Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation

Researchers Use Eminence Instead of Evidence in Opinion Piece

As the world was starting to grapple with the emergence of Coronavirus and its related pandemic, chiropractors around the world were gearing up to care for millions of people suffering from the emotional stress and physical strain of daily life in a new normal. Meanwhile other chiropractors were gearing up to see how much trouble they could cause for chiropractors who chose to remain open and serve the suffering masses.

Within just a few days those chiropractors who deny the vitalistic, salutogenic model of vertebral subluxation had "leaders" within the profession to help them wreak their havoc. The World Federation of Chiropractic's Research Committee under the leadership of Greg Kawchuk DC, PhD - Adjunct Faculty at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and Christine Goertz DC, PhD - Palmer College of Chiropractic Honorary Alumna led the Committee in the development and dissemination of a deeply flawed hit piece falsely claiming that there is no credible, scientific evidence that chiropractic has any clinically relevant effect on the immune system.

They went on to reveal the real purpose of the flawed document falsely claiming that there was no evidence that would permit claims of effectiveness for conferring or enhancing immunity through chiropractic to be made in communications by chiropractors.

Immediately following the release of the hit piece several state chiropractic regulatory boards including Texas and Wisconsin endorsed the document and sent threatening notices about discussing immunity to chiropractors licensed in their states.

Parker University President William Morgan DC conducted an interview with Parker's Director of Research Katherine Pohlman DC, Ph.D who echoed the WFC's document snickering in an interview about it stating "There is no credible research" to support such claims. Morgan threatened chiropractors that if they suggested chiropractic boosted immunity that they would be "under the hand of the law" and that chiropractors were "making claims that they can't back up".

Pohlman is the current Director of Research at Parker University, was previously a researcher at Palmer and has made false claims recently in regards to research on chiropractic and autism stating:

“We don’t have any current evidence to make any sound, safe statements"

Sound familiar?

In addition to Parker University and several regulatory boards endorsing the flawed document, several prominent Subluxation Deniers in the United States and Canada have been using the document to encourage the public to file complaints against chiropractors that remain open during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Robert Maybee DC who practices in Portland, Oregon and runs an anti-chiropractic group called Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance thanked the World Federation of Chiropractic, Parker University and the American Chiropractic Association telling his fellow Deniers that:

"You are now properly armed with FACTS thanks to the WFC and Parker and ACA"

He was instructing his army of trolls to copy other chiropractors websites and Facebook pages where they were discussing immunity and use those screen shots to report them to the regulatory boards.

Another leader of Deniers in Canada - Marc Bronson DC from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College - put out a call for volunteers across Canada to find and submit complaints to regulatory boards throughout Canada about any chiropractors making posts pertaining to immunity. He stated he had already been sent over 100 images. Bronson created a template for his trolls to use in filing the complaints.

The individuals on the WFC Research Committee represent or are affiliated with several chiropractic schools as well:

  • Greg Kawchuk DC, PhD - Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College Adjunct
  • Christine Goertz DC, PhD - Palmer College of Chiropractic Honorary Alumna
  • Iben Axén DC, PhD - Institut Franco-Européen de Chiropratique
  • Martin Descarreaux DC, PhD - Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
  • Simon French B.App.Sci (Chiro), MPH, PhD - Macquarie University
  • Mitch Haas MA, DC – University of Western States
  • Jan Hartvigsen DC, PhD - Nordic Institute of Chiropractic
  • Carolina Kolberg BSc (Chiro), PhD - Latin American Federation of Chiropractic
  • Michele Maiers DC, MPH, PhD – Northwestern Health Sciences University

The Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation reviewed the WFC document and issued a rebuttal stating:

"This is a political response masquerading as a scientific pursuit" with ". . . the use of amorphous and undefined terms such as 'credible' leading to cherry-picking based on dogma."

The Foundation found widespread bias in the “rapid review” by the WFC researchers. stating:

"The credibility of the review should be questioned even further because some of the authors are known critics and deniers of vertebral subluxation theory and clinical practice."

For example, complaints about Kawchuck’s presentation during a WFC Researcher Conference were filed with the WFC by the International Chiropractors Association (ICA). Kawchuk, compared bringing a child to a vitalistic chiropractor to bringing them to a Catholic priest at a children’s school. According to the ICA’s President, this was:

“. . . so offensive, to so many people, that this behavior alone should be sufficient to immediately take the action recommended by the ICA. The demonstrated religious intolerance and blatant offensive behavior on a public stage speaks for itself. This behavior cannot be excused under any circumstances.”

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In a separate presentation at the same conference, Hartvigsen (another WFC Researcher who authored the report) suggested that subluxation was imaginary. He said that the practice of using x-rays to identify subluxation and outcomes of care was “absolutely rubbish.”

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The WFC has repeatedly attacked the management of vertebral subluxation in a vitalistic, salutogenic model and the WFC endorses chiropractic as only the treatment of musculoskeletal pain syndromes.

The Foundation points out the real motivation for the WFC Deniers to produce their report. The key here, they say, are claims of effectiveness in communications by chiropractors. Herein we find the real motivation to produce this document by the WFC and its supporters. They sought to limit the ability of chiropractors to communicate on the topic - an effort to restrain trade. 

And it was organized. Within hours of the WFC releasing this “review” it was endorsed or otherwise adopted by several organizations, regulatory boards, and at least one chiropractic school. These groups all have political connections to the WFC and hold a similar bias against traditional chiropractic theory and practice. The regulatory boards then used the document as a rationale to outright threaten their licensees for communicating any inference that chiropractic plays a role in immunity. 

The Foundation concluded its review of the flawed document stating:

"The conclusions are based on flawed methodology, a grossly incomplete review of the literature, unfounded interpretations of the results of the studies, and bias demonstrated by the authors".

CLICK HERE to review the document from the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation Research 

ABOUT Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation

The mission of the Foundation is to advocate for and advance the founding principles and tenets of the chiropractic profession in the area of vertebral subluxation through research, education, policy and service.

Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation