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Welcome to Chiroland

Updated: Sep 26, 2022


Chiroland is a fantasy land filled with thrill rides and other attractions. In Chiroland the rides include treatment tables. You can ride the drop table, be exhilarated by the roller coaster motion of a Spinalator, or experience the heights and depths of a Hi-Lo table. There are water rides too, like the hydrotherapy bed, where you can have a hot tub experience without getting wet. You’ll feel 10 feet tall after being stretched on the DRX 9000 or similar automated traction machine, and you’ll love the tingle you’ll get by hanging from your ankles on a back swing. If you’re lucky enough to see a chiropractor with an in-office gym, you might get to exercise on a vibrating platform or go for a roll on a gymball. In some offices you won’t have to wait for a treatment: you can ride a mechanical massage chair while waiting in the reception area (which will be charged to your insurance company). And then there’s the topsy-turvy fun you’ll have on the wobble chair. Chiropractic offices don’t have bumper cars, but taking a ride in a car that gets bumped can land you at a chiropractor’s office.


There’s also a carnival game played by many chiropractors. It’s a chiropractic version of whack-a-mole. The interns I supervised at an outpatient teaching clinic were fond of this one. Patients seen at the clinic, it seemed, were always in need of more treatment. Rather than addressing the postural strains and muscle imbalances underlying their complaints, the students kept finding vertebrae that needed adjusting. “You’re just pounding down the bumps,” I told them. Adjust one and another pops up somewhere else.


In the world of chiropractic, the only thing that stands between you and perfect health is subluxation, a small misalignment of a vertebra that pinches a nerve and interferes with the flow of Innate Intelligence—that magical, mysterious force that is released with each adjustment. The only way to become free—and stay free—of subluxations is to see a chiropractor. Regularly. For the rest of your life. A life that will be very long, happy, and fulfilling—as long as you stay under chiropractic care.


Chiroland is a make-believe place that is nonetheless real to many chiropractors and their patients. The chiropractic world stands in relationship to our standard medical care system as the Bizarro World from Superman comic books is to the normal world—a setting that is weirdly inverted or opposite to expectations. To those who live in Chiroland, chiropractic is more than an alternative or complementary healthcare discipline. To orthodox chiropractic advocates, chiropractic stands in opposition to traditional or allopathic medical care, a system sui generis.



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About J. Michael Burke, D.C.

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During 45 years of diverse experience as a chiropractor, I have witnessed and documented many facets of the profession and the follies of many chiropractors, myself included. My involvement in various activities and endeavors has ranged from cracking necks and backs to developing a managed alternative healthcare network to investigating fraud.

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