James Martin, D.C., Disciplined Twice
for Misleading Advertising and Convicted of Grand Theft

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

In 2012 and 2013, the California's Board of Chiropractic Examiners disciplined James Joseph Martin, D.C. for misleading advertising.

Martin has posted many YouTube videos in which patients say that he has helped them with thyroid disorders, diabetes, or other problems. During 2013, he began doing business as "Dr. James Martin, D.PSc." and advertising on his main Web site that he "performs extremely comprehensive saliva hormone testing, comprehensive blood testing, stool analysis, inflammation testing, autoimmune antibody testing, food sensitivity testing not typically performed by traditional medicine . . . to uncover the . . . underlying reasons for many conditions like type 2 diabetes, auto immune thyroid conditions, vertigo, dizziness, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, chronic pain, insomnia and a number of other health conditions." The "D.PSc." designation represents a "license" issued by the Pastoral Medical Association (PMA), which claims that its members have a legal right to offer health care and advice to patients who join the association. However, I do not believe PMA's "licenses" enable anyone to bypass standard licensing requirements.

In 2014, Martin was sued by a patient who charged that (a) Martin was not licensed to practice any of the above services, (b) he had improperly induced her to contract for $3,084 to pay for services that she did not receive, and "(c) the company through which she had financed the expected care had improperly pursued her debt. Martin ignored the suit and has been ruled to be in default. The case against the finance company was assigned to binding arbitration.

In January 2016, I noted that Martin, doing business as Concierge Natural Medicine Sacramento, was making claims almost identical to those he used in 2013. The cost for his services was $297/month for "intensive care membership," $97/month for "individual health maintenance membership," and $47/month for "childrens health membership." Instead of the initials "D.PSc.," he was using "Lic.MD(P)." I do not know what this designated. In August 2016, the chiropractic board announced that Martin (a) had been arrested and charged with one count of practicing medicine, 11 counts of grand theft that involved taking money from patients, and one misdemeanor count of misrepresenting himself as a physician, (b) at Martin's first court appearance, the judge ordered him to stop performing acts for which a chiropractic license is required, and (c) the California's Medical Board had determined that the "D.PSc." designation does not authorize anyone to practice any of the healing arts in California. The board obtained a court order banning Martin from providing any chiropractic services, but three weeks later, the judge handling the criminal case said that while awaiting trial, Martin could work for another chiropractor who would supervise his activities. In 2018, Martin pleaded guilty to three counts of practicing medicine without a license, four counts of grand theft by false pretenses, and misdemeanor charges of illegally using "MD" and "physician" in advertisements.

Cause for Citation (Aug 7, 2012)

On June 26, 2012 the Board opened a complaint regarding your advertising in the Sacramento Bee dated June 19, 2012. On July 15, 2012 the Board received your response to the allegations of misleading advertising and you provided a two page response as well as additional documents. On July 24, 2012 the Board sent the case to an expert for review. The Board expert found the following:

  • The supporting evidence submitted by you did not substantiate the claim in the ad for the following reasons:
    • Your ad states you use "Martin Neuropathy Pain Protocol" which includes chiropractic manipulation, dual signal tens therapy, massage therapies, vibration therapy, dietary and lifestyle changes, natural plant botanicals/vitamins/mineral supplements ... " which is not a protocol or treatment regiment but a list of thing that a chiropractor performs.
    • Some of these studies that you provided for review were not applicable and did not substantiate the treatment in the ad, such as:
      • one article had a case study of only one patient.
      • one did not have the results or discussion section to review, and another did not have relevance to human treatment as it related to the Martin Protocol, or chiropractic treatment, as it involved injections.
    • Some of the statements in your ad can be misleading:
      • The statement that nerves are more likely damaged can instill fear and may be a falsehood.
      • No evidence was provided to show that the treatment is a breakthrough
      • The TENS was patented in 1974 and is not a breakthrough treatment for chronic pain and is very well known and not new.
      • The statement of the elimination in pain within the first five minutes of treatment can be interpreted as fabulous and sensational.

Based on the information in the ad, the documents you submitted for review, your response to the allegations, and the expert review, the Board found that you are in violation of CCR 311 - false/misleading advertising. The advertisement has grand claims and can deceive the public. The statement you provided and the information provided does not support the advertising.

Fine Penalty

The fine assessed on this citation is $100.00.

Order of Abatement

The Board orders that you immediately take such measures as are necessary to ensure future compliance of CCR 311 by reviewing your advertising and ensuring the advertising is not misleading and does not contain misstatements. The Board orders that you immediately refrain from submitting printed and online ads that are misleading. Failure to comply may result in further disciplinary action.

Cause for Citation, (April 29, 2013)

On January 17, 2013 the Board received a complaint alleging that you had false/misleading advertising on www.news10.net/default.asRx. On January 18, 2013 the Board asked you to respond to the allegations. On March 4, 2013 the Board received your response dated February 4, 2013. On March 8, 2013 the Board sent your response and all documentation to an expert for review. On March 29, 2013 the Board received the expert report. The expert found the following violations:

  • 18 out of the 40 videos found online, which were approximately 5 minutes each, were found to be misleading. There was no written evidence or verbal indication in the advertisements that you are a doctor of chiropractic.
  • You were introduced as a "local medical specialist, Dr. James Martin" or "Sacramento medical specialist, Dr. James Martin". This misrepresentation was found to be misleading and deceitful to the public.
  • You treat weight loss and the reduction of inches from the waist line and in at least two videos dated 7/6/12 and 7/27/12 you discuss E-Lipo which is described by you as "pulling apart fat fibers" and works on the "subcutaneous and visceral fat" and "it's like having your own personal trainer on you for 3 months but in 30 minutes". You claim that the "patient will lose 6-11 inches" off the waist measurement in the first treatment and 9-20 inches over the course of treatment" which is six sessions. It was found that no studies indicate that contraction of abdominal muscles due to electrical stimulation result in pulling apart fat fibers in the subcutaneous fat or in the visceral fat. Fat is a non contractile tissue and therefore would not be pulled apart by muscle contraction!
  • No indication was found In the literature for reducing stretch marks by electrical stimulation as they are scars. There is no evidence that the treatment will result in the patient losing "9-20 inches around the waist".
  • No indication was found in the literature which verifies weight loss by the application of electrical stimulation to abdominal muscles other than the few calories burned by the contraction of the muscles themselves. There are also no muscles in the abdomen that cannot be 'worked out" or exercised as you mentioned the contrary in your ads.
  • The advertisements make statements which are sensational, fabulous, misrepresentations and are false.

Fine Penalty

The fine assessed on this citation is 1000.00.

Order of Abatement

The Board orders that you immediately take such measures as are necessary to ensure future compliance of CCR 311 by reviewing your advertising and ensuring the advertising is not misleading and does not contain misstatements. The Board orders that you immediately refrain from submitting printed and online ads that are misleading. Failure to comply may result in further disciplinary action.

This article was revised on February 18, 2018.

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