What's Wrong With Chiropractors?

A skeptical look at medical practices
samstafford
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Postby samstafford » Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:31 pm

I saw a chiropractor a few years ago for moderate muscle pain in my upper back. Whether it really helped is uncertain; I suspect it did not do much, and that the fluctuations in my degree of discomfort probably would have occurred anyway.

The adjustments were pleasant, and I did find that my posture was imporved by the adjustments. Posture has been a minor problem for me throughout most of my life.

The chiro I visited did go into the subluxation thang, the credibility of which I doubt. She also receommended (or maybe I should simply say suggested) homeopathic remedies. This, more than anythoing else, was a total credibility-killer for me.

In summary, the adjustments may or may not have helped my primary complaint of upper back pain. There were some desirable other effects. But the philosophy and theory part is far from confidence-inspiring, and for me casts doubt on the credibility of all aspects of chiropractic.

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Postby rational doc » Tue Jan 10, 2006 7:14 pm

success or failure in treating musculoskeletal problems depends on the doctor or therapists ability to diagnose what is wrong, what tissues are involved, the entire scope of the problem - what other factors are affecting the problem, and developing a treatment / rehab protocol which addresses all thes points

and then also you need patient compliance - this is where most treatment fails in my opinion

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Postby rational doc » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:19 pm

i thought that6 i would reprint this for all the "faithfull followers" or quackwatch and stephen barrett

[mod]1-12-06 12:16pm EST
Copyrighted text removed by Maestro[/mod]

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Postby rational doc » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:24 pm

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Postby rational doc » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:29 pm

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Postby rational doc » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:55 pm

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Postby corymaylett » Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:01 am

Rational doc, I'm unsure what you're getting at with these lengthy posts. Are you citing cases that flit around the periphery of chiropractic as evidence of the validity of chiropractic theory?

None of these cases seem to have any bearing whatsoever on the anachonistic and biologically silly underpinnings of chiropractic. And even if they did (which they don't), what difference would it make? Are you under the impression that the courts, various arbitration panels and chiropractic Web sites can render psuedo-scientific gibberish and scientifically inept theories legitimate through some kind of ruling?

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Postby rational doc » Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:58 pm

the p[oint i am trying to make is that i think that the "skeptical " outlook should be applied fairly to all of healthcare - i appears that chiropractic and manipulation is a target on this board and i agree that some theories are and should be held suspect

my issue is that this board seems to accept sites like quackwatch on blind faith - my point of posting all this information is to show that stephem barrett and murry katz and other organizations that bash chiropractic and manipulation should also be looked at "skeptically"

these organizations should be held as suspect as any other healthcare group, as shown by the information i posted, not everyone agrees that these people are credible in their own right

so we have people of dubious credentials and motives attacking people of dubious credentials and motives

i think that healthcare should be held to equal scutiny and skepticium
but i don't see medicine getting the same type of scutiny and abuse that is given to "complementary medicine"

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Postby rational doc » Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:07 pm

i keep hearing that there is no scientific evidence that manipulation is of any use to people - and the clinical evidence available is discounted as not being scientific

the problem is that alot of healthcare is in the same boat

consider this just in the news today:

"Cough is very common in children. However, cough and cold medicines are not useful in children and can actually be harmful.

"In most cases, a cough that is unrelated to chronic lung conditions, environmental influences, or other specific factors, will resolve on its own."

Several studies have suggested that over-the-counter cough medicine do little more than offer comfort to patients.

Research published in the journal Pediatrics in 2004 suggested dextromethorphan, often listed on labels as DM, or diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, did not offer any more relief to children suffering from cough than sugar water.

so hear we have something as common as cough medicine that has been around for years and years shown to be ineffective in doing what they claim it does and can be harmful

where is the outrage that is given to complementary medicine?
the american public has been bilked out of how many million of dollars for a product that was a sham

the problem with chiropractic is a global problem with all of healthcare and i do not that you should hold chiropractic to a higher level than you hold the rest of traditional healthcare

more reseach needs to be done on manipulation and its effects on the human body - this will take years and money - but in the meantime there is clinical evidence that it helps reduce pain and sufferring with minimal risk to the majority of patients

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Postby Pyrrho » Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:09 pm

rational doc wrote:the p[oint i am trying to make is that i think that the "skeptical " outlook should be applied fairly to all of healthcare - i appears that chiropractic and manipulation is a target on this board and i agree that some theories are and should be held suspect

my issue is that this board seems to accept sites like quackwatch on blind faith - my point of posting all this information is to show that stephem barrett and murry katz and other organizations that bash chiropractic and manipulation should also be looked at "skeptically"

these organizations should be held as suspect as any other healthcare group, as shown by the information i posted, not everyone agrees that these people are credible in their own right

so we have people of dubious credentials and motives attacking people of dubious credentials and motives

i think that healthcare should be held to equal scutiny and skepticium
but i don't see medicine getting the same type of scutiny and abuse that is given to "complementary medicine"

You are welcome to make your arguments, but you can't post copyrighted texts in large quantities. Please edit your posts as requested.

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Postby rational doc » Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:30 pm

sorry just trying to give enough info to make my point

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4598006.stm

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Postby rational doc » Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:33 pm

Over-the-counter (OTC) sales for acute cough medicines currently reach approximately £100m a year in the UK - money that is being spent on remedies, where evidence regarding their effectiveness is inconclusive."

thats 176, 400,000 dollars US that is wasted on ineffective unproven therapy that was supported by traditional medicine every year in england alone!

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Postby Pyrrho » Thu Jan 12, 2006 3:41 pm

rational doc wrote:sorry just trying to give enough info to make my point

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4598006.stm

I'll give you another hour to edit the posts in question.

edited to add:

If you edit them, you can leave brief, relevant portions, with link to the online sources.

If I have to edit them, I'll remove everything except the links already in place. The posts without links to the online sources will be emptied completely.
Last edited by Pyrrho on Thu Jan 12, 2006 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Pedantica » Thu Jan 12, 2006 4:15 pm

rational doc wrote:Over-the-counter (OTC) sales for acute cough medicines currently reach approximately £100m a year in the UK - money that is being spent on remedies, where evidence regarding their effectiveness is inconclusive."

thats 176, 400,000 dollars US that is wasted on ineffective unproven therapy that was supported by traditional medicine every year in england alone!


In what way was it "supported by traditional medicine"? Did doctors give patients prescriptions for ineffective cough medicines for example? Or did docters charge patients for administering cough medicine?

I think it is interesting research which casts a great deal of doubt on the effectiveness of traditional cough medicines. Just like the doubt that is cast on chiropractic. In both cases arguments can be made that many people have used them for years and believe they work.

I would consider them the same: unproven remedies not backed up by comprehensive scientific evidence.

Why are you treating them differently? Why are you not supporting cough syrup as a tried and tested traditional remedy?

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Postby corymaylett » Thu Jan 12, 2006 4:52 pm

Pedantica wrote:I think it is interesting research which casts a great deal of doubt on the effectiveness of traditional cough medicines. Just like the doubt that is cast on chiropractic.

Exactly! The recent studies on over-the-counter cough medicines help confirm what many have suspected for years — they're ineffective. And thanks to rational doc for bringing it up.

These studies are a perfect example of why medicine rooted firmly in the scientific method moves ahead while chiropractic doesn't. I welcome these studies on cough medicines because they provide scientific evidence that leads to a better understanding of issues involved and to better health care. Chiropractors, on the other hand, largely dismiss the overwhelming body of evidence that indicates that the foundation of their profession is based around psuedo-medical nonsense.

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Postby Pyrrho » Thu Jan 12, 2006 5:26 pm

[mod]I've edited several of rational doc's posts to remove copyrighted text. rational doc may post brief quotations of the original articles, with links to the source, if he chooses, but not the entire articles.[/mod]

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Postby rational doc » Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:51 pm

OTC cough medicine is recommended by doctors for use on their patients

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Postby Pedantica » Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:28 pm

rational doc wrote:OTC cough medicine is recommended by doctors for use on their patients


Some doctors recommend a trip to the chiropracter too.

However personally I have never had a doctor recommend OTC cough medicine to me or even heard of anyone who has had it recommended by a doctor. In the UK almost no one would even consider going to a doctor with a cold; I am pretty sure you would be politely asked not to trouble the doctor with such a trivial matter again.

The only advice I have ever had from doctors with regards to cold viruses is that there is almost nothing you can do to cure yourself and you should simply look after yourself and wait for them to run their course.

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Postby rational doc » Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:46 pm

i guess that is a difference betwenn the UK and US

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ ... i_56959146

American family physician article on neck pain

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Postby rational doc » Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:03 pm

http://nccam.nih.gov/health/backgrounds ... .htm#intro

article on some of the unique challenges in doing research on manipulation and body work

another issue is the lack of funding and access to funding sources - studying manipulaion is not as exciting as studying other diseases

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Postby rational doc » Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:07 pm

http://backandneck.about.com/od/researc ... atcost.htm

article on cost effectiveness of manipulation in the treatment of chronic pain

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Postby rational doc » Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:12 pm

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/ ... i_n6106292

article on improved outcomes with children suffering from ear infections who have manipulation as opposed to routine medical care

this is in response to earlier posts and it is in disagreement with other studies
cited - the debate continues!

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Postby rational doc » Fri Jan 13, 2006 2:13 pm

perhaps some of us skeptics need to read more than "quackwatch" to get the full picture

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Postby rational doc » Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:00 pm

http://www.physiotherapy.ca/pdfs/SelectedResources.pdf

this is a reference paper produced by the physical therapy association of canada on manipulation

like i have been saying, manipulation is in use by DO's, PT's and MD's besides chiros - but chiro's do the majority of this type of work

some of the theories behind chiropractic are suspect, but the treatment modality by used chiropractors (manipulaiton) is villified on this board when it is a modality of treatment commonly used in other professions

i don't follow the logic used by some of the board members that say manipulation is useless or should only be used in acute low back pain - it is being used in medicine for much more than that and has been for a long time

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Postby JJM » Fri Jan 13, 2006 7:42 pm

R doc,

The “American Family Physician” article says about neck pain, “… use of alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic manipulation have been suggested.”
>This is not research supporting chiro. The article merely mentions the medical equivalent of a “Hail Mary pass” (for foreigners- in American football, that’s when the quarterback throws the ball high and far down the field and prays that one of his teammates catches it).

>The NCCAM brochure does not cite any definitive, clinical results concerning subluxations. Even when research is diffcult to do, we still don't accept unproven notions (especially the irrational notions). Note that, under pressure from Congress (threats to withhold funding), the NIH and NCCAM impanel quacks to write position papers promoting their points of view. Senator Tom Harkin (D, IA) and Rep. Dan Burton (R, IN) are primarily responsible for this.

>I cannot evaluate the article in the chiropractic journal (JMPT) concerning back pain; but, there is no mention of subluxation or the treatment of visceral disease.

>The ”Better Homes and Gardens” article does not relate to chiropractic subluxations; it concerns osteopathy.

>The Canadian reference is about physical therapy, not chiropractic. It certainly does not support the chiropractic myths.

Joe

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Postby rational doc » Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:57 pm

what i am talking about is the use of manipulation - that it is being used by many professions besides chiropractic and should not be discounted out right as has been done on this board

i'm glad to see that you are open minded enough to even consider reading anything in a referenced chiropractic journal - not!

and for the zillionth time - the things that osteopaths and PT's manipulate are the same things that chiropractors manipulate except that chiropractors call them subluxations

so if the osteo's and pt's can find a reason (medical necessity) to manipulate - why can't the chiro's?

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Postby JJM » Sat Jan 14, 2006 12:31 pm

r d wrote:
"so if the osteo's and pt's can find a reason (medical necessity) to manipulate - why can't the chiro's?"

>I don't know how much classical osteopathy is held over, it probably varies by physician. I do know PTs do not manipulate the spine to treat hepatitis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc.

"Arkansas Chiropractic Board Trying to Stop Physical Therapists from Manipulating"
http://www.chirobase.org/08Legal/teston.html
It seems the PT elicited a popping/snapping sound during a treatment, and the board considered that to be the realm of chiropractic. The board thinks there is a distinction between chiro and PT. They are correct, chiro is fantasy-based and PT is physiology-based.

---edited to add:
The American Chiropractic Association thinks that what chiros do is, or should be, unique. They are pursuing legal action to prohibit real health-care workers from duplicating chiro manipulations of "spinal subluxations."
http://www.amerchiro.org/media/releases/121405.shtml
end of edit---

Joe

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Postby rational doc » Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:23 pm

you said:
I don't know how much classical osteopathy is held over, it probably varies by physician. I do know PTs do not manipulate the spine to treat hepatitis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, etc.

well from what i have read, technically chiropractors do not manipulate the spine to treat any disease, what they say they are doing is manipulating the spine to reduce the spinal malfunction, thereby allowing the body to use it's natural healing response to work on the disease process

so the chiropractors say that they are fixing the spine and letting the body cure itself - they are not treating the disease process

those that say they can treat these are extending themselves inappropriately

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Postby rational doc » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:31 pm

If still 50% disabled, then prescribe manual therapy [Benchmark cost: $250]: Refer to massage therapist, chiropractor, physical therapist, or occupational therapist (3 visits in first week), or by treating DO/MD

http://www.ngc.org/summary/summary.aspx ... w+AND+back

Chiropractic and other manual therapies referenced in the national guideline clearinghouse website - guidelines for the treatment of acute thoracic and lower back pain

do they know something that skeptics do not?

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Postby rational doc » Wed Jan 18, 2006 4:43 pm

http://www.ngc.org/summary/summary.aspx ... w+AND+back

for those of you that still think that medicine changes and adapts with new information - read this - it doesn't always happen

like i have been saying this is true for every profession - including chiropractic and medicine

this article talks about the lack of effectiveness of normally prescibed PT modalities in the treatment of back pain - still in common use at the PT is ultrasound, mechanical traction and TENS for back pain - these have been repeated shown to be ineffective but they are still in use - maybe becuase they have nothing better to offer??

also noted is the lack of effectiveness of therapeautic exercise except in specific types of cases - and here i thought that exercise was the cure all to all back problems??

may point again is that many skeptics look at this situation in a very simplistic fashion and do not understand the complexity of treatment of the spine, what is effective and when and the politics of healthcare and research

chiropractic despte it's obvious problems should be not wholely disgarded - there are benefits to manipulation when used properly - these should be explored - we simply do not understand all of what is going on in the human body - and we should be open to ideas and theories - ie run them up the flag pole and see who salutes

many things in healthcare just need more study and many things that we do are out of habit and not always totally scientifically proved - that's the way healthcare is

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Postby JJM » Wed Jan 18, 2006 5:27 pm

You said:
"well from what i have read, technically chiropractors do not manipulate the spine to treat any disease, what they say they are doing is manipulating the spine to reduce the spinal malfunction, thereby allowing the body to use it's natural healing response to work on the disease process"

>Since there is no quality control in chiro, they make a variety of claims. The quoted claims are vague and weasely,* intended to impress people who don't really think about them. They claim an indirect effect on disease so they don't claim an actual effect on disease!? Nonetheless, they beg the questions (and answers):
Q- What "spinal malfunction" (subluxation)?
(A- There is none http://www.chirobase.org/02Research/crelin.html )
Q- How do they know they have "reduced" them?
(A- They don't, in fact they have no effect on the spine (same citation))
Q- What proof is there that the course of any visceral disease is affected by spinal* manipulation?
(A- There is no proof of this)

The question before us is still "What is wrong with chiros?" It has been answered- they bilk people using irrational, unproven, dis-proven, and needlessly dangerous methods as the CORE of their practice. And they also harm if they delay a person's visit to a real doctor when that is important. See the references in this and previous posts.

Joe

*Corrected the spelling of "weasely," added the word "spinal"
Last edited by JJM on Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby rational doc » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:22 pm

sounds like joe has a few issues of his own

first off, i love everyone who uses chirobase as a reference - chirobase has been discredited and is obviously extremely biased to anyone with a healthcare background who reads it


you said:
Q- What "spinal malfunction" (subluxation)?
(A- There is none http://www.chirobase.org/02Research/crelin.html )
Q- How do they know they have "reduced" them?
(A- They don't, in fact they have no effect on the spine (same citation))
Q- What proof is there that the course of any visceral disease is affected by manipulation?
(A- There is no proof of this)

so i am to believe that joints do not become mechanically fixated? so what do PT's and DO's treat when they impart a force into a joint?

how do you know you reduce it - let's see, improved segmental range of motion, elastic end play at the joint's range of motion end, reduction of pain and pain on palpation, improved global range of motion at times

#3 we agree on, but there is alot more ailments of the human body that can be helped besides "visceral disease" - should we ignore these?

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Postby rational doc » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:26 pm

nice to see a 1973 reference - nothing more recent??

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Postby JJM » Thu Jan 19, 2006 12:57 am

A chiro wrote:
"so i am to believe that joints do not become mechanically fixated? so what do PT's and DO's treat when they impart a force into a joint?"
>PTs and DOs, are STILL NOT CHIROs.

"how do you know you reduce it - let's see, improved segmental range of motion, elastic end play at the joint's range of motion end, reduction of pain and pain on palpation, improved global range of motion at times"
>Unrelated to the CORE of chiro- "manipulating the spine to reduce the spinal malfunction, thereby allowing the body to use it's natural healing response to work on the disease process." YOU quoted/wrote this. You still have no evidence. Shot yourself in the foot, again.

"nice to see a 1973 reference - nothing more recent??"
>So, cite something, anything, more recent that refutes it; but, wait, we know you can't. You have failed to do so in the past, and anatomy has not changed since 1973. Another shot in the foot.

Joe

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Postby JJM » Thu Jan 19, 2006 1:32 am

A chiro wrote:
"Chiropractic and other manual therapies referenced in the national guideline clearinghouse website - guidelines for the treatment of acute thoracic and lower back pain"
>Irrelevant to the core claims of chiro concerning visceral disease

"for those of you that still think that medicine changes and adapts with new information - read this - it doesn't always happen"
>Slow change is expected. However, chiros still speak of the day in 1895 that DD Palmer reconnected a man's auditory neural pathway by slapping him on the back!? This resistance to change is why chiro is a cult.

Joe

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Postby corymaylett » Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:40 pm

rational doc wrote:well from what i have read, technically chiropractors do not manipulate the spine to treat any disease, what they say they are doing is manipulating the spine to reduce the spinal malfunction, thereby allowing the body to use it's natural healing response to work on the disease process

You've summed up in one paragraph the basic flaw that is at the foundation of chiropractic. Chiropractors actually believe that misaligned vertebrae and mysterious pinched nerves are commonplace conditions that routinely interfere with the body's ability to fight off disease and heal itself. Despite a hundred year's worth of scientific evidence that fails to support this conclusion, they actually teach this bizarre 19th-century nonsense in chiropractic schools and, even now, it forms the foundation of their so-called "profession."

The day that chiropractors formally renounce this BS and join the 21st century by embracing modern biology, the scientific method and decent double-blind clinical research is the day that I might start to take them seriously. Of course they'll never do this because it will reduce the remnants of their profession to being little more than upscale massage therapists.

Until then, however, this association of pseudo-doctors is little more than a health hazard to the general public that sucks billions of dollars away from naive and desperate sick people by delivering baloney, false hopes and bogus treatments.

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Postby Silly Green Monkey » Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:01 am

So, when they stood me on a pair of weighing platforms, stretched strings behind me, and told me that I put more weight on one leg than the other, my hips, shoulders, and ears were not held level, and told me that they could do something about it---they were lying?
Normal is just a stereotype.

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Postby corymaylett » Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:41 am

Or is that question even a real question at all?

The leg that supports the most weight is completely dependent upon how you're standing at the moment, and it shifts each time you move. Nobody holds their ears perfectly parallel to the ground, and shoulders and hips move around at all kinds of angles, even when you're standing still. All this is perfectly normal and isn't a symptom of any kind of problem at all, unless something's really out of whack.

Did a chiropractor actually perform this quack diagnostic procedure on you, then tell you that the invented-on-the-spot non-problem could be fixed by having your spine adjusted (plus a fat fee, I suppose)?
Last edited by corymaylett on Fri Jan 20, 2006 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.


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