Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Why would anyone provide

"chiropractic care" to a baby just a few hours old?
When I had that violent headache on Saturday my physiotherapist sister came around and provided me with some additional (and much needed) pain relief. She also, painfully, massaged my tight shoulder and neck muscles. It helped. It was not a cure but it helped.
My sister does not however do much "hands on" work any more. She has never done much. It is not her way of doing things. She believes that the best thing she can do is to teach people how to handle and treat their own problems. She can do this because she also trained as a physical education teacher. The two things combined made her particularly good at her job - and I do not say that merely because she is my sister.
I have not seen her since Saturday and she may not be aware of the report in the press about a chiropractor who provided "care" for a very young infant and, allegedly, broke a vertebrae in the baby's neck.  When she does hear about it I imagine that she will have something to say. I also know what she will say.  She would not handle a baby a few hours or even days old.
I admit I am highly sceptical about "chiropractic" and a lot of other therapies, even my sister's physiotherapy. I don't believe in homeopathy although I know there are people who are firmly convinced by it. I don't believe in things like iridology either but I know people who do believe in it.
Herbal medicines? Yes, I believe there are some things that help. Tibetans have been using such things for thousands of years, so have Andean Indians and others. I have no doubt at all they have found natural remedies for conditions. Indeed some of their remedies form the basis for prescriptions supplied by pharmacists.
But all these things are a far cry from "manipulating" the spine of a baby. Why on earth would anyone want to do it? It makes no sense to me. Why would a parent allow it, especially when there is no apparent reason to do it?
We had neighbours some years ago who were firm believers in the use of chiropractic. They took their four year old son to one on a regular basis in the belief that it helped his "behaviour problems". Why they believed this I do not know and how manipulating his spine should help his behaviour I do not know either. He certainly did not enjoy the experience.
If adults can make an informed decision about treatment then it is up to them to accept or reject it. Babies and young children don't have that choice.
I know, and my sister knows,  I could go up to our local shopping
centre this morning and visit the girl who does the "Chinese massage" there. I did go once before when I had a similar problem and my sister was away. She did much the same thing as my sister with much the same results. She told me much the same thing as my sister told me. It wasn't a cure but it helped.
I know there are people who would probably say that even this was "all in your mind". Perhaps it is - or perhaps it isn't.
What I am quite sure of is that the girl who does the Chinese massage would not handle a baby either. The idea would terrify her and my sister as much as it terrifies me.


Jan said...

I too was horrified when I saw that.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't let my brood anywhere near a chiropractor! Ros

virtualquilter said...

We have to support a baby's head so they don't damage their neck and spine ... so how gentle would a 'back cracker' have to be on a tiny baby. Not a job for the average chiropractor or physiotherapist.

widdershins said...

Talk about irresponsible!!! Grrrrr.

Judy Edmonds said...

I was sickened and infuriated by that story. I disapprove of chiropractors anyway - they use the title Dr for goodness sake! Someone trained in remedial massage can relieve some muscle pain and/or relax you, and that can be very pleasant - I enjoy the occasional massage but I never expect it to cure something. I have visited sports physios for physical injuries (not sporting ones, but they seem to have a good approach) where their work has, after several visits and helpful suggestions for remedical exercises, cured a specific physical problem.