The United States Olympic teams take chiropractors with them to treat before and after events to enhance their performance by helping their bodies perform at their peak. Dr. Michael T. Petty, and Dr. Glenn Lowenberg and others will be with the team in China this summer.
Lately there has been a media discussion of performance enhancement. I’d like to ask a question to all of you reading this blog. At what point is enhancing your performance a bad thing?
Most people will agree that taking drugs to improve your athletic performance is bad. Why? When you eat good food you will enhance your body’s performance. Herbal or other supplements will enhance your performance. Training at high altitude will enhance your performance. For that matter training at all will enhance your performance, and could be dangerous.
A recent study actually found that placebo can cause enhanced performance. So, if we convince an athlete they were given steroids they will actually perform better. Is that wrong? In fact in many cases performance enhancing drugs do very little and often less than placebo. Would it be better to allow athletes to use these medications and have them monitored by physicians so they could limit the risk and future complications?
Are the Olympics, just pushing the body to see how well it can perform? The human body will never do more than it can. It’s impossible. So we try new techniques or foods, we allow people to use chiropractic. All these things have been shown to improve the body’s performance. All these things have a risk to the athlete, but bionic people is too far; and steroids are too far. I’m not saying we should allow them, I’m just wondering why we have drawn the line. Is it fairness? Because it’s not fair that the US team has chiropractors while some other team might not. Should we not allow chiropractic, or certain diets?
We could even take this farther. There was talk this year about an amputee trying to get into the Olympics. He was denied because his prosthetic legs gave him an enhancing advantage. (Having your legs amputated is an advantage, I’m not sure that statement works).