This might very well be a dead horse. And I’m going to beat it one more time, in what I hope is the LAST time. In fact, I wasn’t going to write another post on the chiropractic Maximized Living franchise, but I do feel I might need to clarify and reiterate a few items, in response to some of the themes of feedback I’ve gotten on my previous posts on this subject.
First, I want to thank everyone for their comments, whether they agreed with my viewpoint or not. My intent in writing these articles is not to stir any pot, but rather to disseminate information and provoke thought. Your contributions, from no matter which side of the fence, enrich that discussion and add to the overall thought-provoking that is taking place. It is for that reason that I have censored hardly any (if any at all) comments, regardless of content (other than spam or over-the-top ridiculousness – which might have amounted to 1 or 2 posts in all, if even that many). I feel that to minimize censorship of opinions allows for a greater variety and deeper discussion, which benefits everyone. So again, I thank you, and I encourage the discussion to keep rolling.
Where I will draw the line from here on, however, and consider NOT approving some comments, is when the commenter appears to have a reading comprehension issue. This usually follows a theme of, “How can you hate nutrition/exercise/chiropractic?? How can you be against an organization that promotes health??”
The answer to the first question is, I’m not against those things at all. A chimpanzee probably has enough sentience to realize that proper nutrition, exercise, and appropriate chiropractic care is a much-needed (and much-neglected, to our peril) foundation for achieving and maintaining good health. When I ask the commenter where in my posts I said that nutrition/exercise/chiropractic were unnecessary or a scam, I usually receive silence in return. Because the truth is simple: those commenters have put words in my mouth; I never said them, so they cannot be quoted. It is from here on that such questions will be discarded without approval, because they don’t add anything to the discussion–they are meritless – not because I disagree, but because I’m having to defend myself against something I never said or did.
Thus, if you are going to disagree with me on a particular point, I’m only going to approve the comment if: 1) I can validate that I said what it is you’re taking issue with, or 2) you provide the quoted text above your comment. I thank you for your efforts in advance, and I appreciate them. I have absolutely no problem with people disagreeing with me; all I’m asking now is that they back it up. I can own what I’m putting into print, and I’m asking the same of everyone else.
The answer to the second question (“how can you be against an organization that promotes health??”) is, Very Easily. Not because it promotes health – that’s not the issue at all – but rather, the way in which it is done. As I have stated in some of the discussions below ML-related posts, *no* DC knows for sure that you’re going to need 80 visits when all that doctor has done is the initial exam. Thus, to design an 80-visit treatment plan right out the gate is ridiculous. Chiropractic is much like other types of medicine/therapy in which the doctor/practitioner gains a greater insight to the patient’s expected progress (and estimated timeline thereof) during the course of the treatment plan itself. If the patient is progressing faster or slower than expected, then the doctor can make the appropriate changes/adjustments to that treatment plan. But 80 visits from the git-go? No doctor has a crystal ball that good.
I also realize that not all ML-based doctors practice the same way. Some are more aggressive in terms of salesmanship than others. Some are more genuine than others and take a more ethical, individualized approach toward each patient’s needs. Simply because a doctor is part of the Maximized Living franchise does not make him/her a bad doctor. Heck, different doctors have different reasons for even signing on with the franchise itself. This is because like our patients, every doctor is also different.
But for the record, seriously – if you found a doctor who connects with you, makes progress with you, addresses your needs, gives you relief, and helps you achieve what you could never do before, who cares if they’re an ML doc or not? The fact is, they’re a good doc, and if you’re comfortable with them, you should stick with them!
So my beef is not with chiropractic. It is not with exercise. It is not with nutrition. It is not even with long treatment plans (hey–some patients legitimately need longer plans than others – to get better overnight or after one treatment is not usually a realistic expectation, but it doesn’t mean that chiropractic is a failure or a fraud in any way). My beef is not even against all ML docs! My beef is with the way some/many of the ML docs practice – the sales techniques/hard-sells and the gimmicks (such as free exams and x-rays – you get what you pay for – and if you truly are getting something for free now, it’s because you are indeed expected to pay later!) At any rate, I think these gimmicks degrade medicine in general, including (and especially) chiropractic.
Some people think I might’ve been brainwashed. It’s been claimed I must’ve gone to a “mixer” school in order to think this way. At that point, I must ask – what does my alma mater have to do with anything? I’m not so brainwashed that I’ll simply believe anything any school, mentor, guru, or seminar feeds me. And neither should you.
Sure, I’m absolutely a mixer. I think that these days, it’s the only rational approach, because today’s problems are hugely multi-factorial and thus we need multiple therapeutic routes, not all of which involve chiropractic, per se. But I don’t think that where one went to school should really matter in that regard – by the time we enter school, we’re well into adulthood, and by then we can make philosophical decisions for ourselves. What if I told you I went to a “mixer” school? What if I revealed that I went to a “straight” school? Would what I have to say be any different? Would my opinions and experiences be any more or less valid?
Some comments took issue with the fact that I came this-close to calling Maximized Living a cult/scam. Actually, if you look closely, I didn’t. I purposefully put a question mark at the end of that post title – a question mark means that the answer is ambiguous and could go either way; it is not the same as a statement. If I put an exclamation point at the end of that post title, these commentators would certainly have a point, because at that point, I’m making a solid claim that can be confirmed or refuted. It looks a bit silly to disagree with a question, especially when I didn’t exactly answer the question. Semantics, I know, but important.
When confronted with shortcomings of the chiropractic profession, many well-meaning people go on the defensive and say, “but–but look at those dirty white-coated medical doctors over there, pushing toxic drugs and invasively cutting into people!” Yes, I know. It’s tragic. And I’m with you, I really am. But it’s not an excuse for those DCs who are practicing unethically. Think of it in this (crude) way – if I have piles of dog poop in my back yard, I’m responsible for that. If my city’s Code Enforcement Officer stopped by to cite me for it, I’d be liable. It is not a legitimate defense that my neighbor has twice as much dog poop in his backyard as I do. That doesn’t get me off the hook; I still have to clean up mine. Well, same thing goes for chiropractic. We have to stop pointing fingers at our conventional medicine neighbors and just clean up our own dog poop already.
Lastly, I want to reiterate that my posts about Maximized Living were based on three items:
- Our own, firsthand experience
- The firsthand experience of a respected colleague whom we personally know
- Allegedly internal documents leaked to me by a commenter (whose comment I did not publish in order to protect his/her identity) – and I admit that since they came to me in comment text, I cannot verify for sure whether or not they’re authentic.
This is not a case of “my cousin’s friend’s sister’s boyfriend knows this kid who has this neighbor who saw Ferris Bueller pass out at 31 Flavors last night”; this is first-hand stuff, especially the first two items. I’m not feeding into any anti-ML frenzy; I’m simply writing about my experiences so that others who are curious or skeptical can find some information during their research. I have no vested interest in entering into a pissing context with Maximized Living. I have no stake in any competing interest.
You may disagree with me. Your experiences may have been different than mine and if they were, I’m happy for you. However, please do not insinuate that my experiences were somehow less valid than your experiences/opinions. That’s why I posted them on my blog. If you have a life-changing story to shout out and you feel passionate about it, start a pro-ML blog and write a post that counteracts mine. It’s a free world – in which lies its beauty.
OK, I think that dead horse probably went through about three more lifetimes. It’s done 🙂