Nova Scotia

Company that calls vaccines 'chemical stressors' under scrutiny by college of chiropractors

Officials with the Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors are taking a look at a business partly owned by a chiropractor which sells materials that say vaccines are "chemical stressors" for children.

Products marketed include posters and pamphlets discussing antibiotics and vaccines

Materials marketed by Wellness Media call vaccines "chemical stressors" that can be eased by regular visits to a chiropractor. (Matt Rourke/The Associated Press)

Officials with the Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors are taking a look at a business partly owned by a chiropractor which sells materials that say vaccines are "chemical stressors" for children. 

Wellness Media is a company co-owned by Chad Mykietiuk, who has a chiropractic practice in Upper Tantallon, N.S., and his brother-in-law, Darren Hubley. The online site sells products chiropractors can use in their offices, such as posters and pamphlets.

"The idea for Wellness Media first came from my own experiences in practice," Mykietiuk says in a promotional video on the company website.

"I found that I was talking to patients about the true components of living a wellness lifestyle, yet my support material in the office and online didn't exactly convey those same messages."

A screen grab of one of the posters available for purchase from the Wellness Media website. (Wellness Media)

Mykietiuk, who is also president of the college's council, did not respond to multiple phone and email messages.

While many of the products offered on the website are in keeping with the scope of practice for chiropractors, some are not.

There are multiple products related to the "stressors" toddlers, school-age children and teenagers face, and how regular checks by a chiropractor can ease those challenges.

The posters and handouts list physical stressors, emotional stressors and chemical stressors. Included in the latter group are vaccines and antibiotics.

Neither vaccines or antibiotics are within the scope of practice for chiropractors in Nova Scotia and guidelines from the national association of chiropractors also notes vaccines are outside their scope of practice.

Some of the materials Wellness Media markets to chiropractors include products with information about vaccines and antibiotics, neither of which are within the scope of practice for chiropractors in Nova Scotia. (Wellness Media)

The registrar of the Nova Scotia college, John Sutherland, said he's aware of Wellness Media and some of its products. The college is looking into whether it has jurisdiction to act, if deemed necessary.

The college licenses people who work as chiropractors and companies incorporated for the purpose of practising chiropractic services. Because Wellness Media isn't engaged in chiropractic practice, the company and its materials don't fall under the college's regulations, said Sutherland.

The college is seeking legal advice, given that they're dealing with a private company, he said.

"If we are to do something, I want to be sure that we're well-founded from a legal perspective," he said.

This message, posted on the Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors website, reflects the Canadian Chiropractic Association's guidance on vaccines. (Nova Scotia College of Chiropractors)

The other potential factor at play is Mykietiuk is not the only owner of the business, said Sutherland.

"Really at issue is what ability we have to control a business activity in a third-party company of one of our members."

The company sells their materials to the North American market, said Sutherland, and it's up to each practitioner to determine what's appropriate for their practice in keeping with the guidelines of their respective regulators.

Sutherland noted regulations for chiropractors are not uniform for all jurisdictions.

Sutherland said the college does have the ability to act if one of its members uses materials in their practice that do not follow provincial regulations.

He said the Nova Scotia college has not been made aware of any chiropractor in the province using materials from Wellness Media or any other company that would fall outside their scope of practice.

About the Author

Michael Gorman is a reporter in Nova Scotia whose coverage areas include Province House, rural communities, and health care. Contact him with story ideas at michael.gorman@cbc.ca