Parkinson’s and Chiropractic

Question:

Noel Batten from Australia makes impressive  claims with regard to Parkinson’s Disease and has an interesting website: http://info.noelbatten.com/testimonies_and_cases.html

Did you hear about him?

If his claims are right, then I would get an x ray for my wife and let a chiropractor re-align the vertebrae.

Response:

I have known about this particular website for several years but have received no feedback from anyone who has used his service. Noel Batten presents case studies  on his website of people with a wide variety of diagnoses including carpal tunnel, cancer, MS, autism and Parkinson’s Disease. He shows videos before and after his treatments which reveal improvements. Keep in mind he does not show his videos of people who did not experience improvements.

In my research, we find that any specific therapy or modality will help some, perhaps many, but not everyone. I will invite Noel Bratten to be a guest on my radio program so we can all learn more about his approach. I hope he accepts my invitation.

I examined the testimonials on his website and have a sense that his five day program involves a little in the
way of chiropractic adjustment and a lot in the way of physical exercise. The research is very clear with regard to physical exercise. If a  person engages an exercise program for five straight days they are vitually assured of seeing some improvements in their symptoms, particularly those related to mobility. The case studies he
has on the website show people who clearly have inflammation. My hunch is that the exercise and his treatments probably help relieve the inflammation.

I would point out that the video testimonials involve a taping just before the five day treatment program began (showing the person has difficulties of one type or another) and a taping immediately after the end of the treatment (at day four or day five of his treatment program). These results are typical of what we see when people exercise regularly or when they get body work in one form or another (e.g., cranio sacral work, energy healing, etc.).

Of course, you can also see similar improvements that are just as dramatic when medications are “on” or working as opposed to “off” or not working. We do not know how medications might have confounded what we are seeing in the videos.

If the person did not continue with their exercise program, I suspect a video of them a week after their treatment ended would reveal they had reverted back to their baseline (when they were shown as being significantly challenged from a mobility perspective). It would be wonderful news if a five day program resulted in permanent improvement, but we see no evidence of that on the website. Of course, temporary improvement can be a blessing to many people.

What we want to see from a research point of view is sustained improvement over months and years. Speaking intuitively, this is not likely to happen with a few chiropractic adjustments or with five continuous days of exercise. The underlying factors that put the spine out of alignment in the first place need to be identified and addressed.

I should also report that I always ask the persons I interview with Parkinson’s  what treatments or therapies have helped them.  Chiropractic adjustments are mentioned by a few people, but they certainly do not float to the top as being one of the therapies that helps people the most. Exercise does float to the top as a helpful therapy,
so to the extent that his program includes exercise, it may indeed be helping over the long term if his clients  continue with the exercise program.

If anyone has direct experience with his five day program, please let us all know.

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