Dynamic Chiropractic - January 3, 1992, Volume 10, Issue 01|
"The Kellogg Report"
By -- Joseph D. Beasley, M.D., and Jerry Swift, M.A.Softcover -- 735 pages
Please see pages xx, Parts #T-138 for information on how to order
This is a volume that I received some time ago. For too long I avoided even a casual perusal of the text. Maybe it was because of the weight of it or because I thought it might be of little interest. How, I wondered, could such a book have much relevance to the chiropractic profession?
After resigning myself to the task at hand, I did what I so often do with a text that's not written by a DC or about the profession. The first order of review was to look in the index to see if I could find any reference to chiropractic. Quickly turning to the indicated page, what I found was a short reference to chiropractic and that it could be a valid form of treatment in many orthopedic conditions. Good. It continued, "It is silly to claim, as some chiropractic schools do, that all diseases are based on dislocations of the frame or abnormal functioning of the nervous system. Neither a kidney infection, liver disease, pleurisy, nor most other illnesses, can be cured by spinal manipulation."
The preceding sounded like some kind of archaic medical record. While it's safe to assume that all diseases are not caused by somatic dysfunction, what proof do the authors have that such dysfunction might not be a predisposing or contributing factor in a pathological process to any tissue served by nerves? It's wrong for chiropractors to make sweeping, unsubstantiated claims, but just as wrong for others, with no clinical experience in our discipline, to make unsubstantiated denials as to the efficiency of those claims. But that's medicine.
The book also claims that chiropractors, "with few exceptions," lack the qualifications to advise patients on nutrition. As if medicine does? In fact, we are probably the best nutritionally informed of the major healing arts, which is still not enough and probably never will be.
All right, we can't let a brief reference color the acceptance of everything else in the text. Fortunately, I didn't and found an intensely interesting book before me.
Like Gaul, the volume is divided into four parts: Five Great Systems of Health, How Healthy Are We? Promoting Health/Healing Illness, and Implications.
This is not a novel, however, and you shouldn't be bored by the statistics of the text. While at first disenchanted with the chiropractic references, I found the book to be a free swinging and rather objective study of nutritional and environmental aberrations of American society. There were no "sacred cows."
On medical education, it condemns the dehumanizing structure of a curricula that terrorizes its students into memorizing copious, useless facts instead of teaching a more humanistic approach to health, and applauds the elimination of the MEAT as a requirement for medical school acceptance.
This intriguing report also startled me by supporting research into an assumed value of nutrition in the fight against cancer and even did an excellent profile on Max Gerson, the often vilified medical nutritionist and cancer researcher.
In another part the authors went into some detail to explore the weaknesses of medicine. "The epidemic of chronic illness in the U.S., particularly arterial disease and cancer, is the stellar embarrassment of medicine and its high-technology weapons." They go on to state that "Many interventions, from prescription drugs to expensive surgery do more harm than good as they are overused or abused by doctors and patients." "Medicine becomes a series of 'quick fixes' following the latest technology available."
The point is that "The Kellogg Report" is a verbal roller coaster of ideas. On one page you might agree with the assumptions espoused and the very next engage in a philosophical struggle of great proportions.
This is a fascinating book. It informs and challenges the reader all at once. Part of a multimillion dollar study, it is more than worth the price for the information received. You won't be able to put it down. And to think I waited as long as I did to read it. Don't you make the same mistake.