To the editors:
As an adult who spent her childhood and adolescence in an overmedicated fog, I feel I must respond to James Beebe's extremely narrow-minded and arrogant letter on the subject of chiropractic [July 26].
I have learned by experience the difference between traditional AMA drug therapy and chiropractic treatment. I've never been to an AMA doctor who didn't try to give me drugs. I've often wondered if they get kickbacks from the pharmacies.
When I was one year old I was diagnosed with asthma and hay fever. From that moment until I was in my early 20s I was continually using strong prescription drugs. As a teenager I began to realize that the drugs were causing problems, and on slowly reducing my use (against the advice of the legion of doctors) I found the drugs were causing my mood swings, spaciness, fatigue, anxiety attacks, insomnia, and migraine headaches. No doctor had ever mentioned these side effects to anyone in my family or to me.
I found it was impossible to visit a traditional AMA doctor without having at least three prescriptions forced on me, so I stopped going. All by myself, by experimentation, I discovered that I'm allergic to two foods. If I avoid these foods I need almost no medication. The little I use I can get over the counter. I hardly need to point out that if all those AMA doctors had been on the ball they could have directed my mother in discovering my food allergies and I might have had a normal, happy, nonmedicated childhood.
Two years ago I discovered chiropractic when I sprained my ankle and was referred by a member of my martial art class. My chiropractor is also an acupuncturist. He has successfully treated me for the sprained ankle, a pinched nerve, and clogged sinuses--all without using a single drug.
My chiropractor is the only doctor I've ever known who really seemed to make my best health his first priority. I've often wondered what my condition would be now if I had trusted an AMA doctor with these problems. Knocked out by killer pain pills (for the ankle and the nerve), undoubtedly. Walking with a limp (because AMA doctors don't believe in aligning the bones), probably. And the misery of a massive sinus infection (Because those AMA types would rather dry the sinuses with drugs than allow them to drain as nature intended), more than likely. Possibly even a scar and chronic neck pain from surgery on the pinched nerve. I shudder to think!
In spite of all this, what really angers me about the AMA doctors is not so much their bumbling as their attitude. I've seen many, and almost all of them display the same arrogance and narrow mind as James Beebe. Many of those quoted in your article did, also. They'd rather protect their arrogant little egos by pretending that they always know best than allow patients to get alternative treatment that could help them. It should be obvious to anyone who can think that skilled chiropractic could help patients with injuries such as broken bones, torn ligaments, and bad backs. It's outrageous that Mr. Beebe and his AMA pals are too busy protecting their turf to admit this.
In conclusion I'd just like to say that if Mr. Beebe defines the "Cult of True Believers" as anyone who desires a healthy, drug-free body and clear mind, he is welcome to include me in that category. I would take his sneers as compliments.