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Echiropractic Greeting and Reminder Cards:
Selling "Maintenance Care" Through the Internet

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Many chiropractors assert that every spine should be checked and "adjusted" beginning in infancy. Typically they claim that spinal problems are the basis of good health and that ignoring "subluxations" can have dire consequences. They refer to process of checkups and adjustments as "maintenance care."

eChiropractic helps promote these ideas through the Internet. For about $480 per year, subscribing chiropractors can send messages directly to their patients, asking them to click on a link that opens a page with their header above an illustrated message. The service is offered by Now You Know, a company whose mission is "to enable Chiropractors to spread the message of chiropractic, using the tools of technology." The messages were written by Now you Know president Robert C. Braile, D.C., and Fred H. Barge, D.C., both of whom are past-presidents of the International Chiropractors Association. Braile's curriculum vitae states that he has given over 250,000 chiropractic adjustments. Since he graduated from chiropractic college in 1978, this amounts to over 10,000 per year.

On October 1, 2000, Echiropractic offered eleven messages, some of which appear in full and some of which are merely described. (Although some messages are partially blocked by pictures, the underlying text can be viewed by either copying of downloading.)

TITLE SAMPLE TEXT
Welcome and
Thank You

(for new patients)
One of the most important things you can do to help yourself is to find out as much as possible about your care, subluxation, chiropractic, and health in general.
What is an
Adjustment?
Adjustment shall be differentiated from spinal manipulation in that the adjustment can only be applied to a vertebral malposition with the express intent to improve or correct the subluxation, whereas any joint, subluxated or not, may be manipulated to mobilize the joint or to put the joint through its range of motion.
Infants Need
Chiropractic
Care
! (for new
parents, "to educate
them about the
trauma of the birth
process and the need
for chiropractic")

Health consequences to the newborn from subluxations caused from birth trauma range from immediate and severe to hidden problems that may take years to surface. Some of the more immediate and tragic results that have been documented are spinal cord and brain stem injuries, brain bleeding and swelling, neurological deficits, breathing problems and even sudden infant death syndrome.

The long-term consequences are as varied as the nerve system itself. Some of the more commonly mentioned problems that have been linked to traumatic birth are learning disabilities, headaches, visual and hearing problems, certain palsies, and a number of immune functional problems.

Chiropractors have been stressing for years the importance of having newborns checked for vertebral subluxations. Checking the spine of an infant is painless and easy. The importance of a developing baby being free of nerve interference from subluxation cannot be understated

The Two Most
Important Things
to Us
(for patients
who often miss
their scheduled
appointments.
When someone has crooked teeth, and they get braces, they need to wear those braces on their teeth continually for up to several years. This may then have to be followed by several years of retainers or night braces. In chiropractic, we do not put little braces on each spinal bone to pull them into position. To make a correction most spines require a series of adjustments to start the process changing spinal structures. These schedules are specifically designed for the spine of each patient. Missing appointments and not following your schedule, greatly reduces your chance for correction of your subluxations.
We Miss You (for
"long lost patients")
If you have subluxations effecting your nervous system you can not function at your highest capacity. Therefore, you are less efficient and waste time. There is no better time spent than that spent on your health. Giving yourself health now will prevent a much greater waste of time later possibly fighting health problems of all kinds.

In addition:

  • What is a Subluxation? "uses laymen's terms to explain subluxations."
  • Subluxation Degeneration covers "the tragedy of uncorrected subluxations through the progress of subluxation degeneration" and "creates the understanding in your patients for the need for more than short term relief care."
  • What Does it Take to Become a Chiropractor? "compares the hours in medical school with those in chiropractic school and shows chiropractic to be second to none."
  • New Technology to Help You describes the use of "The Subluxation Station," a three-part screening device that detects when "subluxations" are present.
  • Will Chiropractic Help Me? "using a series of beautiful sunsets . . . answers the question clearly and succinctly. Understanding that the body uses it's innate abilities to heal itself, the ultimate answer is yes!"
  • Thank You for Your Referral "makes a big deal out of that referral and leaves patients with the feeling to do it again."

Prudent Consumer Strategy

Chiropractic "maintenance care" is a very poor investment. No study has ever shown that people who have their spine checked and adjusted enjoy better health or have less disease than people who do not. Chiropractors who make such claims or who hunt for "subluxations" should be avoided.

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This article was posted on October 1, 2000