Chiropractor, Childhood Chiropractic, Healthy Baby

Does the CAA represent Australian Chiropractors? The Courage of Their Convictions

Chiropractor, Childhood Chiropractic, Healthy BabyWhen the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) began, way back in 1994, amongst the core group of 6 founders were 2 chiropractors. One was a local practitioner and another was from further away. They, like most chiropractors, fully supported the rights for all individuals to make free and informed health decisions without fear of coercion, financial penalty or government threats. One of those chiropractors went on to run a State branch of the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia (CAA), one of the 2 peak bodies governing the profession in this country.

Since its inception, the AVN has had a close, cooperative and friendly relationship with Australian chiropractors and the CAA. They had in excess of 10% of all Australian Chiropractors as Professional Members of the organisation when that level of membership was still available and I have personally spoken at many conferences and meetings hosted by both state and national branches of the CAA. Chiropractors who came to hear me have even been granted CE (continuing education) points.

Pressure brought to bear on chiropractors

Several years ago, things started to change. Chiropractors started to come under attack for supporting freedom of choice because many of them are sceptical about the benefits and safety of vaccination and were very supportive of their patients’ right to make informed choices about this issue. They were also being abused for daring to treat infants and children as well as adults, and for having the nerve to claim that chiropractic adjustments could treat more than back and neck pain.

The Chiropractic Board at that time deemed that chiropractors must not discuss any vaccination issues with patients. Chiropractors were not to have any information or books about vaccination in their offices and if a patient asked for their opinion on this topic, that patient was to be referred to the government health authorities or their local GP. In other words, chiropractors – health professionals who go through nearly the same training as medical doctors (without the emphasis on drugs and surgery) for the same number of years, were being told that they were not allowed to use their expertise to help their patients! Many of the chiropractors I spoke with at that time, including sitting Board members of the CAA, were furious about these moves!

Asking the hard questions

A few weeks ago, I was copied in on an email sent to a large list of Australian chiropractors by one of the top practitioners in this country. his question is below as well as my answer sent to him directly.

Q. should we get involved in this [vaccination] debate, as chiropractors, at this time ?

A. I’m not a chiropractor (as you well know, XXXXX :-), but Palmer went to jail (several times, from memory) for what he believed to be true regarding health. If he hadn’t done so, we most likely would not have chiropractic anywhere in the world!

If chiropractors allow themselves to be silenced, they are not doing right by themselves or by their patients. The only ones who will benefit from your silence are corporate government, corporate media and big pharma – all of whom want to see the end of chiropractic care, patient rights, the right to choose any and all forms of natural health. Do you really think that staying silent at this time will be a good thing?

The question is a good one: should chiropractors get involved in the vaccination debate or should they simply hide their own opinions, beliefs and the data their education has prepared them to analyse and just let their patients get information from one side only – the side that has been approved by the government?

On November 14, 2016, the CAA, a body that charges chiropractors for membership and purports to represent their interests with both the government and the general public, issued a statement you can read in its entirety at this link.

On the one hand, the CAA states, regarding best practice when caring for infants and children, that:

Best practice requires:

• placing the interests and wellbeing of the paediatric patient first;
• ensuring there is informed consent from the paediatric patient’s parent or guardian;
• carefully explaining the risks of care and alternatives to care to the parent or guardian; and
• identifying any ‘red flags’ particular to the paediatric patient and investigating, managing, co-managing or referring to an appropriate health practitioner.

All laudable goals when it comes to any form of treatment!

But then, they proceed to state that:

The CAA supports the Australian government’s view that immunisation is an important health care initiative. It is outside the scope of practice for chiropractors. When considering immunisation, patients should consult with either their GP or Maternal and Child Health Nurse for further information.

Now, this is a view that, I can comfortably state after personally speaking with many hundreds of chiropractors, represents a tiny minority of those in the profession.

CAA attacks the AVN-an organisation supported by many chiropractors

As if that were not bad enough, or disrespectful enough of the majority of their members’ informed and educated opinions, the CAA made a statement on their Facebook page:

Chiropractors Association Australia, Freedom of Choice, Chiropractic Care

I have spoken with the AVN Committee and to date, nobody from the CAA has contacted them about removing any link. In addition, since I was the one who set up the AVN’s web page and their links (medical, natural health and general), I can tell you that for many years, the CAA link has been reciprocal – in other words, they linked to the AVN and the AVN linked to the CAA.

Are the leaders of the chiropractic profession in Australia now guilty of cowardice? When their founder, Daniel David Palmer, felt so committed to the health of his patients that he spent time in prison in their defence, have his descendants strayed so far from their roots that their income has now become more important than their morals and knowledge?

Anyone who knows me at all, knows that I revere the chiropractic profession. My family’s healthcare provider has been a chiropractor for the last 25 years. But when I see that profession so afraid to hold to the courage of their convictions that they are willing to allow their patients to make decisions based only on information they themselves disagree with, I have to ask whether their usefulness as a healing modality is in its last days?

I support chiropractic and want to know what you think

By writing this blog, I know that I am exposing chiropractors to attack. In fact, all natural health modalities are and have been under attack. There are no rocks big enough for them to hide under any longer. It is time to fight back. It is time to stand up for what you believe in. It is time to tell the government, organisations like Friends of Science in Medicine and others whose stated goal is to see your profession exterminated that you will not bow to government-approved health tyranny.

Please comment on this blog if you are a chiropractor or if you use chiropractors for your healthcare. Feel free to use an alias since you will be threatened with deregistration if you dare to become public about your beliefs. It is time to support each other!

The last days of natural health in Australia?

Green PillsI’m writing this blog whilst sitting at my chiropractor’s office waiting for my appointment. The air is filled with the scent of lavender and soft music is playing in the background. It’s a lovely, relaxing environment. But thinking about the threats to chiropractic care – and all forms of natural therapies – is keeping me from feeling relaxed.

Those pseudo-skeptics who are reading this are thinking (and working towards the day) that chiropractic will no longer be allowed to exist in Australia. Only drug-based, toxic treatments are OK as far as they are concerned. There are two ways of doing things in their minds – their way or the wrong way. And anyone who doesn’t agree with them on health issues (or most anything else, come to think of it), should be forced to go along with their view of the world.

Bunch of schoolyard bullies, they are!

Normally, I would laugh at people like this. They are so pathetic; so immature; so wrong minded. But when they are backed by a multi-trillion dollar pharmaceutical industry that not only owns the government and the media, but backs them and gives them a platform to spew their hate speech, it’s no longer a laughing matter.

So, I sit in the chiropractor’s office, knowing that it may only be a matter of a few years before chiropractic is no longer able to be practiced openly in Australia. Chiropractic, naturopathic medicine, homeopathy, Bowen therapies, Chinese Herbal medicine…the list goes on. All of these treatments, some of which have been safely and effectively used for thousands of years, could be in their last days here in Australia.

All because people are choosing in their hundreds of thousands to turn their backs on Western medical doctors and opt for treatments that work and are, as close as any treatment can be, harmless. A claim which cannot be made for medical any ‘treatment’. Medical drugs, procedures and errors kill between 18,000 and 54,000 Australians EVERY YEAR! Doctors have not earned the right to be trusted or listened to without question – a right which the government and the medical organisations are demanding.

It’s all about money, power and control

Government control has gone completely bonkers. Not content with trying to ban natural therapies, our diets are also under threat.

Let’s not talk about the fact that labelling of foods containing genetically modified organisms is still not mandatory – despite survey after survey showing that 90% and more of Australians say they want this (who is the government working for again?)

Or the issue of additives, colourings and preservatives that have never been shown to be safe being used in the manufacture and packaging of the foods we eat. Thousands of these additives were approved by our government without any testing or proof of safety either singly or in combination (very much like vaccines, come to think of it). Guess they really DO take their responsibility to keep us safe seriously, eh?

And let’s not forget the herbicides, pesticides, pre-emergents and fungicides used in the growth, packaging and shipment of our foods. These products are not only unsafe for human and animal consumption, but they have destroyed our already depleted soils to the point where foods grown conventionally in Australia are virtually devoid of nutrition.

So our government, sworn to protect us and our rights, has worked full time to destroy our health and take away our rights. All the while, trying its hardest to remove the forms of healthcare that WE choose to use and even the way that WE choose to eat!

I am eating a modified Paleo/ketogenic diet and have been on this for about 2 1/2 months. It’s been amazing! Apart from losing weight (bonus!), I have felt really good and have been feeling increases of energy nearly every day.

This is a diet I chose after doing a lot of research and reading – especially because of its ability to help prevent cancer. I don’t have cancer, luckily, but at nearly 60 years old, I felt it was time to get serious about my health so I read a lot and have chosen to use my diet to help me get healthier. So far, so good.

But in this ‘democracy’ of Australia, doing things differently to corporate interest’s recommendations is a sure fire path to conflict.

quote-the-chinese-do-not-draw-any-distinction-between-food-and-medicine-lin-yutang-307803

Chef Pete Evans is one of the top Paleo experts in Australia. Now, he does not go out and grab people off the street and say, “Ve haf vays ov making you eat Paleo!” He simply offers information, recipes and stories about people who have changed their diet and the positive effects they’ve discovered.

But this is not allowed! If too many people eat Paleo, the food pyramid will be turned upside down! Companies like Kelloggs, Sanitarium and other grain and cereal manufacturers will show a decline to their bottom lines. We can’t have that!

So, their tame front group nutrition organisations (the same ones that still push margarine, genetically-modified oils and a crazy amount of grains with too little greens) have viciously attacked Chef Evans and people like myself who eat a Paleo diet.

These companies are silent about conventional farming practices, adding all sorts of dangerous crap to the foods we and our children eat and the use of antibiotics and hormones in our food animals. But try to eat a diet that is close to nature and that makes you feel good – oh no! We can’t have that!

Big Pharma, Big Ag, Big Food – they are all the same. They are all one.

They have their tentacles throughout government and the media. They control what you read, hear, see and do in ways that you – if you are like most Australians – are completely unaware of.

But step outside the box; choose to think independently about diet, healthcare or education and you will find out quickly enough how narrow those confines actually are!

Want to drink raw milk like our ancestors did for generations? No way! Much better to drink pus-filled white stuff that has had all of the nutrition boiled out of it (to kill germs that are only there because of the way in which cows live and are treated on commercial farms). Drink or sell raw milk and you face fines and/or imprisonment.

Want to feed your children a vegan diet? Well, even though a large number of people in countries like China, India and Southeast Asia live on a vegan diet with no problem, you will not be allowed and could even face removal of your children!

No tolerance, no acceptance of any differences allowed in our Australia. You follow the party line or you suffer the consequences. And the party wants to control you from the second you wake up in the morning until the moment you close your eyes at night.

So…I sit here trying to relax before I get called in for my appointment, and wondering how many more appointments I will have before my chiropractor, and your naturopath, and your neighbour’s homeopath become a distant, illegal memory. And asking myself what it will take to finally get natural therapists to work together against the common enemy trying to shut them down for good.

Dynamic Growth Conference, Brisbane 2011

This is just going to be a very quick post to say that I’ve just returned from an inspiring and fun weekend at the Dynamic Growth conference, hosted by the Australian Spinal Research Foundation (ASRF) in Brisbane.

I have been to several DGs in the past, but this is the first time I have spoken at one and to look out at a sea of 500 or so attentive, interested faces as I described the 10 ‘Must Knows’ of vaccination – well, it was a wonderful experience!

I thank the ASRF for their kind invitation to speak, and to all of the chiropractors, chiropractic students and recent graduates, CAs, naturopaths, homeopaths and others who took the time to come up to me and ask some very interesting questions, thank you as well!

The weekend was filled with incredibly in-depth discussions with people – all of whom share the philosophy of the AVN that health information must be freely available in order to facilitate people in making informed choices. One of the most touching of these conversations was with a woman who was probably close to my own age. She came up after my talk with tears in her eyes. She had been given a rubella vaccine when she was in high school and immediately had a seizure and has been treated for epilepsy ever since. The doctors all told her parents that the vaccine had nothing to do with her reaction but her seizures have continued to this day and have affected her life terribly. None of her children were vaccinated and she believed that this has given them a better start in life then she had herself. She hugged me and cried a bit and I could feel that her emotions were as much relief at having someone who believes her when she said she was vaccine injured as sadness for what might have been.

I spoke with some 3rd generation chiropractors whose parents and grandparents were pioneers of this healing art in Australia. Many of them are completely unvaccinated and they just glowed – it is hard to describe except to say that they radiated health, vitality and a kind of energy that you rarely see in people of their age today. They are the best advertisement for chiropractic and natural health you could possibly get.

I know that there is a lot of interest in the topic of my discussion and have now scheduled the same talk (only an expended version with a full hour of material) as an up-coming webinar for Tuesday, March 1st.

Due to the high cost of these webinars (Our costs increase by more than $400 a month if we have over 100 people want to attend and our last webinar had over 200 attendees), I have decided to charge a nominal fee of $5 for attendance. I do not want cost to be a factor in anyone’s ability to access this information however so if you are unable to afford this, please send an email to info@avn.org.au and I will be happy to provide you with a free virtual seat at this event.

If you would like to find out more or book in for this webinar, please click here to be taken to our shop site.

ICPA Conference – Freedom for family wellness

From October 21st to the 24th, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s (ICPA) Freedom for Family Wellness summit in Washington D.C.

This summit was comprised of 4 action-packed days (I started most mornings by 7am and some nights didn’t finish until after 11pm!) devoted to sharing knowledge, information, support and ideas for activism.

The speakers included the best-of-the-best in natural health, chiropractic, birthing and parenting and I left the venue fired up, feeling incredibly positive and filled with ideas about how to better spread the message of vaccination choice in Australia.

One of the most important things to come out of the weekend was the forging of alliances with American pro-choice organisations and this was accomplished with many of our sister groups pledging to work closely with the AVN and hundreds of practitioners (chiropractors, midwives, doctors, nurses, etc.) hearing about our group for the first time.

We were able to give out over 3,000 information flyers and vaccination choice cards to attendees and many of them will be putting our information into their offices and workplaces so people in the US will be making the link between their own situation and the struggle we are currently undergoing in Australia and realising that we are all in this together.

The weekend was opened with a talk by Peggy O’Mara who is one of my absolute heroes from the time when my first child was born, almost 22 years ago.

The positive changes I made in the first years of child-rearing came from information I discovered in the pages of Peggy’s magazine, Mothering, and the slightly more radical but very excellent Compleat Mother from Canada. In those pages, I discovered such unheard-of concepts as extended breastfeeding, the family bed, organic food and clothing and whole foods. Like many new parents, I was totally unaware of these issues before giving birth and being thrust into this role completely unprepared. I have tried to model our own magazine, Living Wisdom, on these publications and hope that we in Australia will be able to accomplish even a fraction of what they have done in the US and Canada.

Mothering has also tackled the vaccination issue in an unbiased way that accepts all choices and provides information to a population that may have never even have heard that there could be questions about the benefits or risks of this procedure. Their current issue includes an article entitled the Vaccination Debate that is typical of the way in which they allow for open and respectful coverage of this emotive issue.  At only $9.90 (US) for a 2-year digital subscription, this would be a great buy for any new parent either to have or to receive as a gift.

I was so excited to hear Peggy speak in person and was not disappointed by the messages she conveyed.

I guess everyone listening to a speaker will emerge with a different impression or take-away message, but the one thing that Peggy said that has stayed in my mind is that the opposite of courage is conformity. This resonates so strongly with me!

This is the message of the AVN as well. Conformity is comfort, it is the way society wants us to behave. But when conforming means going against your instincts, your knowledge or your family’s best interests, it takes courage to oppose those pressures and make your own way. But that is what we need to do.

But we don’t need to do it alone. Peggy says that courage is self-generating. We need to:

1-    Practice self-appreciation – be gentle with ourselves and accept that we will make mistakes as part of this process.

2-    Don’t listen to negative self-talk. Move on from what doesn’t work without beating ourselves up.

3-    Expect things to work out. Be positive and picture things working out for the best and they will.

4-    Leave time for fun and pleasure. When life stops being fun and when you stop taking pleasure in what you are doing, it’s time to step back and see what changes you need to make to bring these vital elements into your life again.

5-    Surround ourselves with like-minded friends. Don’t allow negative nay-sayers to bring you down. Form a community or join one that feels the same way you do – either way, make sure that you are supported.

Peggy said – and quite rightly too – that we are influenced by the company we keep. She said that we need to find our tribe – a group that we can relate to and with whom we can both share and gain knowledge.

Mothering forum’s 150,000 members – the largest group discussing these issues in the world – is a great place to start. If you don’t have a local ‘tribe’ or support group yet, you can tap into theirs. They are in the process of upgrading their forum software but that job should be completed soon so if you want to check the Mothering website in the next couple of weeks, you should be able to join in then.

I will try to bring you more blogs about this event over the next week or so. I learned so much and I want to share it all with you.

My gratitude goes to our wonderful AVN members whose financial support allowed me to attend this conference. Without your assistance, none of this would have been possible.