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Chop Shop

Since this is not a cop show, I am not referring to a shop where stolen cars are processed. I am referring to surgery.

I am not saying that surgery is always unwarranted, unnecessary and absurdly dangerous, only about 99% of the time. There is a time and place for things, surgery included. However, the proper times and places for surgery are few and far between, a far cry from what is commonly (mis)understood. Someone gets shot, an appendix bursts, a compound fracture, an infant’s bowel folds into itself (due to a certain kind of vaccination)? Surgery is the thing. No question. What about the rest?

The French have two words for surgery. One is the direct translation of the word, “chirugie.” The other is, in my opinion, a more telling word, “intervention.” Well, it sounds better when you say it in French. The thing to realize here is that surgery IS a gross intervention into a living being. On the other hand, autopsies are 100% safe. (See, I did learn something in medical school in France.)

Hippocrates’ first dictum to physicians was “primum nocerum”… “First, do no harm.” Harm? Do some research of your own. Find out

Hippocrates: Father of Medicine?

Hippocrates: Father of Medicine?

how much surgeons pay in malpractice premiums each year. I believe that the grand prize winners are the neurosurgeons, who, I understand, pay in the neighborhood of a quarter of a MILLION dollars a year in malpractice. That’s a lot of malpractice!

One might say that they handle serious cases. Well, people come to me with cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, thyroid conditions, out-of-control diabetes, cerebral palsy, major depression, etc. I’d call these things serious. I pay a little over a thousand bucks a year in malpractice. There goes the “serious” argument.

While people may decry abuses of surgery, they believe that the proposed surgery, in their own case, is absolutely necessary. There are always the test results, and there is always the WORD of THE DOCTOR, as if the results and the interpretation had come down from Mt. Sinai. (There is a Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, which makes this even more confusing.)

How about I pick on the orthopedists first? They are an easy target. Their “test results” for knees and hips are truly amazing. I have never heard of a test in this category where the surgeon didn’t say “It’s bone on bone.” Their only back surgery failureanswer is replacement. Some people actually want this, thinking that they can just “get it done.” Replacing what G-d has made? You’ve got to be kidding! A woman in her 80’s came to me last year. Had knee problems for decades. I explained to her that I will be restoring nerve supply to the knee and surrounding muscles, blood vessels and other tissues by adjusting the spine, thereby removing subluxation… interference… allowing the knee, and other parts, to heal. I also explained that I will be adjusting the knee, itself, and below, the foot, and above, the hip joint, where abnormal biomechanics would further damage the knee. There were a variety of major diseases as well, including heart disease. I explained how a better nerve supply to the heart will allow it to function better and begin to heal. She said “OK.” After many years of knee problems, after only six weeks of chiropractic care, she “couldn’t wait. She went for the knee replacement. She went into anaphylactic shock from one or more of the medications, which took many weeks to recover from. By that time, she was in clinical depression. By that time, the “masked man” realized that the artificial knee didn’t bend right. They tried to manipulate it under anesthesia. No good. At least she didn’t get osteomyelitis (infection of the bone).

As far as creating candidates for joint replacement, those orthopedists do work hard. The newer, more powerful anti-inflammatories, fake hipsand the never-to-be-outdone corticosteroid injections, reduce the pain by stopping the inflammation. This is what Medicine does, covering up the effect, instead of dealing with the cause. Well, the inflammation, like every other symptom, is the body actually trying to heal itself. So, anti-inflammatories interfere with the healing process in the joints, thus causing more joint destruction, thus creating more possible candidates for joint replacement.

Most think that surgery, including orthopedic surgery is gentle and exacting. In my current revision of my badly out-of-date website, I will have a link where you will be able to see spinal surgery in action. Looks like “amateur hour” at Home Depot… drills, chisels, mallets. Lovely. And, of course, it doesn’t work. Usually makes people worse, much worse. Then, there are the surgeries to correct the mess from previous surgeries. Failure is so common that they have a name for it, “Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.” Pathetic! Realize, too, that a “back problem” is never in one spot, where they might choose to operate. I am amused when someone tells me that their problem is a “herniated disk on the left at L4-5.” This “one-spot” obsession is pure medical fantasy. It holds no water, in real life. Those of you who are getting adjusted, how many places have you been adjusted?

I did “lose” one practice member to spinal surgery (in 32 years). He was 86, in great shape. He played several sets of tennis, three times a week. But his orthopedist said that he had a “herniated disk,” and he was scheduled for surgery in three months. He began care with me. He did fabulously, by his own (subjective) standards, and by my (objective) tests. He was almost concluded with Intensive Corrective Care. But, this nice man was a fool. For no reason whatsoever, he decided to have his scheduled surgery. He never came back. About a year later, I saw him in town. This former vital, athletic man was now all bent over, shuffling along, obviously in a haze of drugs. Another medical “victory.” Sad.

Heart surgery is all the rage. Seems like every other person over 50 is getting a stent (a medicated pipe) shoved into one of their coronary arteries. Research has shown this procedure to be all but useless, but that doesn’t stop the surgical mills. Of course, every “test result” says that the coronary artery in question is “90% blocked.” Never 72% or 97% or 51%. Always “90%.” Are you beginning to see through this? No, this is not science. This is nonsense.

Neurosurgery? Let us not forget the “cutting edge,’ excuse the pun, of fifty years ago… prefrontal lobotomy. Are they doing better now? I doubt it. The few cases that I have seen of brain surgery have been nightmares.

Except for rare instances, mostly extreme emergency cases, it would be advisable to stay away from surgery. The body is amazing. It can heal itself, and it will heal itself, when interference to the nervous system is removed through the chiropractic adjustment. I cannot count all the people, over the last 32 years that “absolutely needed” surgery, spinal and otherwise, got adjusted, and didn’t need the surgery. Remove interference, and all is possible.

Don Harte, D.C.

Liberator of Innate

Marin Straight Chiropractor

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