ELEPHANT: Hi Roley, Hi Craig. Thanks for joining us to clarify the facts regarding your organisation. I recently read a piece in your newsletter entitled, “Credibility and the Need for Source Criticism,” which addressed myths regarding the Australian Spinal Research Foundation. Could you clarify what that was about?
ROLEY: Sure thing, Elephant. A few rascals have been spreading uncertainty about our organisation. They had the nerve to question our funding model! Pesky kids. We wanted a chance to spin the tale in our favour and create certainty, our marketing plan hinges on it! Chiropractic research money is for everyone, not just researchers, and the ASRF is an organisation for everyone to donate to by clicking here. We want the world to know that as chiropractors, we think differently about life, human potential and certain facts.
CRAIG: Yeah. We have a saying that we throw around the office: Some have facts, some have marketing, and for everything else in life there’s mastercard. And I might add that our marketing department is one of the highest paid, most elaborate in the country.
ELEPHANT: Wow, that sounds like quite the propaganda machine. I hear you have robots producing the marketing? Any truth to that?
CRAIG: Shit yeah!
ROLEY: Craig, please, let me do the talking. Yes. We have robots.
ELEPHANT: Did they come up with this one?
CRAIG: Actually, that was my idea. Originally, I’d put it to the board as a high profile research project. I was hoping to explore how chiropractic helps us integrate modern technology, represented by the chainsaw, with cognitive skills that we use in everyday life, represented by juggling knives. The clown juggling the knives and chainsaws in the video represents me. I wanted to investigate how the adjustment might affect a concept you probably never even heard of: neuroplasticity.
ELEPHANT: Will that study be pursued?
ROLEY: No. It was a contentious issue. In fact, we lost a few board members over that one.
ELEPHANT: Did some of the board think it was not clinically relevant?
CRAIG: No, some of the board were killed. The chainsaw ricocheted pretty bad around the room after I dropped it, juggling. Sheared one guy’s head clean off. Complete bloodbath. I learned from it though. We all learned from it. I was out of place standing atop of the board room table and juggling, pretending to be a clown. I’d just been adjusted, as we all are prior to board meetings, and I was feeling particularly confident, despite not knowing a thing about juggling…but just because I don’t know a thing about a subject, it’s never stopped me from pretending to be an expert… and, in my defence, we were able to use the chainsaw scene as a lesson for marketing our sister project, Dynamic Growth. And, as for personal growth, I’ll stop trying to be such a clown.
ROLEY: Yes, the spin on that one really was my idea.
CRAIG: Yes, thank God for Rolesy here. We were all like screaming and freaking out, and where some of us saw a lawsuit, Rolesy saw an opportunity.
ELEPHANT: Oh, yes, moving along. Dynamic Growth! That really does seem like an elaborate event with some high profile speakers. Some might question why you are for claiming to raise money for the spinal research while spending so much on elaborate parties, flying celebrities around the world. Many of these celebrities are big personalities with little to no contribution to any research capacity here in Australia. In fact, in the past 20 years, you’ve not really built any research capacity in this country. What do you say to that?
CRAIG: Why you little…
ROLEY: Craig, remember, I’ll handle the tough ones. Now Elephant. Might I ask you a question? You ever heard of Bono, Elephant? Well, DG is more than just a researcher’s convention. DG is a symposium that will be the host of Bono! Some of us would say that the profession is better off with Bono saying good things about us in the media. These investments come at a cost.
ELEPHANT: Is that true?
ROLEY: I never lie, that is absolutely true.
ELEPHANT: Are you lying now?
CRAIG: (Nods Yes)
ROLEY: Absolutely not.
CRAIG: (Nods No)
ELEPHANT: Wow. That’s amazing. I still don’t see how Bono has anything to do with spinal research, but it’s great that you’re getting him out here anyway.
CRAIG: Well, he gets adjusted, so, you know.
ELEPHANT: Well, might I ask, do you think it’s appropriate to lead the profession in Australia to believe that you’re doing research, lead them to believe that you’re funding serious, high quality research that supports the Australian research capacity, working systematically towards building our case for continued inclusion in health schemes for government bureaucrats to justify our existence, when you spend it so frivolously on parties, and invest only the left over, modest profit on research with an agenda that is somewhat duplicitous?
CRAIG: Bono has a monkey. We’re gonna adjust his monkey.
ROLEY: Dammit Craig, let me answer the hard questions. Forgive me, Elephant. To your point, a lot of money went into an amazing accountant and tax lawyer we work with who found us that loophole. And, furthermore, what Craig meant to say is that right now, we are working on a very fascinating study involving not only Bono’s monkey, but over 100 monkeys.
ELEPHANT: 100 monkeys? Is that really your plan?
ROLEY: It’s not just my plan, its the plan of the entire ASRF team. This is the future of Spinal Research.
ELEPHANT: I keep seeing comments from chiropractors on social media that leads me to believe they don’t really understand your funding model, but they are happy to contribute towards it because the title sounds like it’s a good thing to support. More research, Faster! It’s sort of sounds like science, but faster. And without the rigour involved. But, after all is said and done, I have to hand it to you. The Australian Spinal Research Foundation is a great name! It’s actually tricked people into believing you are doing something worthwhile! One chiropractor believes this so fervently that they stated they are going to fast for the entire year, and put all of the money that they would have spent on food, towards the Australian Spinal Research Foundation so that it can create more research to show what chiropractors do to be so effective. Do you have any problem with that, when the money will actually be spent on Bono and his monkey?
ROLEY: That is really commendable. This profession is filled with such great, passionate people. I’m honoured to be around it. But I’m really looking forward to Bono. Also, it just goes to show how having the right tax lawyer and accounting agency can really work in your favour.
ELEPHANT: What about spinal screenings? You have encouraged the public to fund the ASRF, and donate towards its cause, by having chiropractors raise money at Spinal Screenings in the name of “Spinal Research” . Some might already suggest that spinal screenings are somewhat questionable in their nature. Do you have any problem with chiropractors, who might be a little unclear about the funding model that you use to fund so little research…do you have any problem with chiropractors deceiving the public this way at spinal screenings, and getting the public to pay money towards “Spinal Research” when its actually going towards expenses, like taxation accountants and Bono?
CRAIG: Don’t forget the monkey research.
ROLEY: GOD DAMNIT CRAIG. Time out corner, now! You see, Elephant, “deceiving” is such an ugly word, really. I’ve eliminated it from my vocabulary. All of us at the ASRF have eliminated it from our everyday speech…in fact, we have a little jar in the office, and any word like fraud, deceiving, misrepresenting…and a whole slew of other words including “diagnosis”…any time they are spoken, you have to put money into the jar. And all funds from the jar go towards the ASRF, minus a transfer fee that goes towards administration costs and office expenses, such as Ice Cream Sundaes. Therefore, I’m not able to answer your question, but I might point out that we are funding some of the most exciting work in the chiropractic field to date. Have you read Heidi’s latest work?
ELEPHANT: Ah, The Changes in H-Reflex and V-Wave following SMT paper. Yes, I have. I have to say, she is very clever. Her writing though, it’s so narrowly focused on neuroscience and specialised scientific jargon. I found it a little cumbersome to critique and interpret for clinical use, myself. There just seems to be a lot that could be misunderstood here. Did anyone at the ASRF read it?
CRAIG: I like her picture book!
ELEPHANT: But did you read the paper, Craig. H-Reflex and V Wave?
ROLEY: Our board employs others to read this type of work and interpret it for us as part of our expenses, Elephant. That’s clear as day on our website.
ELEPHANT: Is that what the robots do?
ROLEY: That’s one of their functions, yes, they are very sophisticated robots.
ELEPHANT: How do you know that the research supports your cause?
CRAIG: Actually, I have it on quite good authority that this work supports what all chiropractors do. We now know that removing subluxations makes you stronger. And we only fund research which we know ahead of time will show positive findings towards our objectives. Otherwise, bye-bye funding!
ELEPHANT: Wow, that would leave some to think there is a little bit of bias in the studies that you fund. Not to mention that instead of investing in Australian PhDs to do this work and build towards something meaningful, that could further thing in a team environment, you’re building a cult of personality around a single author. But Back to my point, if you didn’t read the paper yourself, how do you know how to interpret it?
ROLEY: That’s preposterous. And to your second point…
CRAIG: (Reaches out, grabs phone, “Hi Heidi…Craigy here. Great, Heidi, kids are fine thanks. How’s hubby? Good, Good. Heidi, babe, could you do me one favour? No…ah…not that haha, perhaps I’ll take you up on that at DG. It’s another type of favour. You know that paper you wrote up about Subluxations and whatever. Yeah, the recent one with the waves and reflexes and superpowers and strength of 10 men. Could you do me a favour and give me a sound bite, or explain what it might mean, or write up a few sentences? There’s an elephant here who has the audacity to question if the average chiropractor would be able to interpret this shit. He claims that chiropractors might misinterpret the findings to justify overservicing. Great, Doll. God Damn right I’ll see you at DG!”
“CHIROPRACTIC CARE MAY BOOST STRENGTH… MUSCLE FUNCTION, AND PREVENT FATIGUE…
New research into the effects of chiropractic care suggests that it may have an important role to play in maximising sporting performance and aid recovery from a range of conditions where muscle function has been compromised.
The New Zealand College of Chiropractic’s Centre for Chiropractic Research has recently published a study in the journal Experiment Brain Research which demonstrates that following a full spine chiropractic adjustment session there was an increase in the subjects’ ability to contract one of their leg muscles.
The study shows an increase in muscle electrical activity readings of almost 60% and a 16% increase in absolute force measures. There was also a 45% increase in the ‘drive’ from the brain to the muscle (the degree to which the brain can activate that particular muscle) and a small, but significant, shift in the H reflex curve (a neurophysiological measure of spinal cord excitability).
Dr Heidi Haavik, chiropractor and Director of Research at the NZCC says: `Chiropractic care improves the communication between the brain and body and results in better control of the core muscles during body movements, so that your spine is at less risk of injury. And this particular study suggests that a single session of chiropractic care improved leg muscle activation and increase muscle contractions equivalent to findings following three weeks of strength training. This line of research also suggests chiropractic care may possibly reduce muscle fatigue developing during strong contractions’
ELEPHANT: What’s an H-Reflex and A V-Wave, Craig? How does this help justify keeping Chiropractic in the funding scheme for private health insurances, now that the government is happy to cut other, less evidence based modalities?
CRAIG: Heidi, what’s an H-Reflex and a V-Wave? Ah huh, ah huh. It’s the future of research. Monkeys. Yes. Robots. got ’em. Pixies. Gotcha. Clear as. Let me give you the phone to him. Elephant, I might just let the two of you discuss…Heidi will explain all of that for you. She knows, literally, like everystuff… Heidi, before I give the phone to the elephant, quick question. Another favour to ask. Do you know Bono? That’s right, U2. Bono. The Bono. Was just wondering if you know him? No. Er. Ah. You must know somebody who might know anybody who knows him? We were hoping to get him along to the next DG, it’s gonna be big. We are going to turn the volume up. And we want Bono there with his monkey. It’s time to take things to the next level. This DG goes up to 11.”