AW writes: “My sister is seeing a Maximized Living Doctor and is getting other members of the family in for ‘adjustments.’ Do you know anything about this philosophy and is there anything we should be concerned about as practicing Catholics?”
From what I have been able to ascertain, Maximized Living is an organization of chiropractors that behave more like a cult than a healing group and are generally regarded as a consumer scam. They used to be known as Body by God (after the book written by Dr. Ben Lerner) and their website makes all kinds of outrageous and irresponsible claims about the number of diseases they can treat with their five-point system that involves renewing the mind, chiropractic care, nutrition, fitness and toxin flushing. Except for relief of minor lower back pain, none of these claims have been substantiated by any evidence-based science.
The same site also disparages medicine and I was uncomfortable with its subtle suggestions that people stop taking “chemicals” because God made the body perfect and self-healing and all you need to live healthy for the rest of your life is their plan plus a weekly visit to the chiropractor. (Do we really want to tell this to a diabetic whose life depends on insulin?) They also discourage the use of vaccines.
Another red flag for me were the scare tactics they use to lure people into their clinics and adopt their lifetime treatment plan. Consider this statement from their FAQ:
“One of the many questions people ask about going to a chiropractor or any wellness provider is this one: why do I have to go for the rest of my life? The easy answer is: you don’t. You only have to go for as long as you want to stay healthy! When do you stop drinking clean water? When does exercise stop being important? When do you stop building loving relationships? The answer is of course never, unless at some point you stop caring about your life.”
Even more disturbing is that these lures are couched in strong Christian language and suggestions that this is the way God wants us to treat our bodies.
Not all chiropractors are onboard either. Scott F. Gillman, DC, DACBSP, had this to say about them.
“Maximized Living (ML) does not have any research. . . . there is no good evidence that adjusting the neck, once or a million times, will change the curve to some ideal 43 degrees. If there are so many successful cases in their clinics, then they should publish something credible, and not just blab pseudoscience. I have posted several times on this topic of neck curvature and the quack schemes that some of our colleagues are pulling on the public. . . . ML has a lot of money and thus they have the power to get into the heads of young, impressionable students and doctors. That’s what all cult-like organizations do. Trust me, I’ve been through stuff like this . . . and what I want to convey to you right now is that your job is to become a doctor of chiropractic – DOCTOR – not a dogmatic charlatan looking to make a buck with flimsy methods and ideas. So the next time a ML student makes a claim and states they have research to prove it, make them pony up right on the spot and put $100 on the bet.”
I read enough to convince me that there is something very wrong here. Your sister would be well-advised to look into the background of the doctor she’s seeing to determine how many complaints have been registered against him/her.
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