Outrage Over 'Deeply Disturbing' Video Of Chiropractor Treating Baby
The Victorian health minister is "deeply disturbed" by a video showing a Melbourne chiropractor performing controversial spinal treatment on a two-week-old baby.
Regulators are now assessing the video, posted six months ago by Cranbourne Family Chiropractic clinic on its Facebook page, that shows Dr Andrew Arnold "adjusting" a baby for the first time.
It has since been deleted.
Arnold is seen manipulating the baby's back, hips and collarbone, using a spring-loaded "activator" on its neck and spine and performing a "wiggle and tap" motion on its abdomen -- a technique he claims synchronises the baby's bowels with its brain.
"You don't need a lot of force," he said in the video.
At one point, Arnold briefly holds the baby by its ankles while another person off camera stabilises its neck.
"This vision is deeply disturbing," Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said on Wednesday.
"It's appalling that young children and infants are being exposed to potential harm."
She has referred the video and practitioner to the Chiropractic Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) asking the matter be investigated.
The board has the power to issue industry standards while AHPRA can discipline the practitioner involved.
Chiropractic treatment on infants, a form of alternative medicine, focuses mainly on the "manipulation" of the spine. While not illegal, it is highly divisive across the medical community.
Peak expert groups claim there is not yet credible evidence it is a treatment for colic, digestive issues, ear infections and sleep troubles.
Victorian President of the Australian Medical Association Julian Raid said previous studies into infant manipulation practice could have adverse effects including paraplegia and bleeding on the brain.
"This is a potentially risky thing to do and yet there's no evidence of any benefits," he said.
The Chiropractic Board of Australia told 10 daily it is aware of the videos and its "assessing the concerns raised".
"The board has made a strong statement about the care of children and has written to every chiropractor in Australia to warn them to comply with their professional and ethical obligations, which are clearly outlined in the board's code of conduct," a spokeswoman said.
"The board is always concerned if there are any chiropractors not practising in accordance with these obligations and welcomes advice about such practitioners."
In 2016, a similar viral video spurred APHRA to place conditions on Melbourne chiropractor Dr Ian Rossborough banning him on from manipulating the spines of children under six.
10 daily has contacted the clinic that did not wish to provide a comment.