I'll just highlight a few things that triggered my suspicions:
In mid-February, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the Bravewell Collaborative are convening a "Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public." This is a watershed in the evolution of integrative medicine, a holistic approach to health care that uses the best of conventional and alternative therapies such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture and herbal remedies. Many of these therapies are now scientifically documented to be not only medically effective but also cost effective.A "summit" is a "watershed in the evolution"? Even setting the inane mixed metaphor aside, that's inane. The convening of a "summit" is not a scientific advance, it's just people talking about something. And either treatments are supported by scientific testing or they are not. I'm not impressed that "many" alternative therapies have been "scientifically documented to be ... medically effective." The proper distinction is between what has passed scientific testing and what has not. I don't care about the categories "conventional and alternative." If it's proven scientifically it becomes conventional, doesn't it? The proven ones don't get to hang out with the bogus ones, propping up their reputation. [CLARIFICATION: I mean Chopra, Ornish, Roy, and Weil can't be permitted to group the proven ones with the bogus ones.]
President-elect Barack Obama and former Sen. Tom Daschle (the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services) understand that if we want to make affordable health care available to the 45 million Americans who do not have health insurance, then we need to address the fundamental causes of health and illness, and provide incentives for healthy ways of living rather than reimbursing only drugs and surgery.So, the alternative therapy gurus want their cut of the money. Millions of people need medical treatments, and these guys want money to instruct people about meditation and eating right.
Many people ... have a hard time believing that the simple choices that we make in our lifestyle -- what we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke cigarettes, how much exercise we get, and the quality of our relationships and social support -- can be as powerful as drugs and surgery.Oh, bullshit. People believe that — to excess if anything. What they have a hard time with is actually losing weight, exercising, and quitting smoking. Don't waste limited health care funds on these characters who only want to nag us about what we already know. And by the way, this isn't alternative medicine. It's is the routine health advice that any doctor would give you.
Chronic pain is one of the major sources of worker's compensation claims costs, yet studies show that it is often susceptible to acupuncture and Qi Gong. Herbs usually have far fewer side effects than pharmaceuticals.Usually. Look, if those herbs are drugs, test them as drugs and get them approved by the FDA. Don't spread the generic notion that "herbs" are good. That's harebrained hippie talk. And as for acupuncture and Qi Gong: Point me to the scientific studies.
I'm skipping the paragraph that talks about erections. Integrative medicine wants to help you with your orgasms.
Closing in on the conclusion:
It's time to move past the debate of alternative medicine versus traditional medicine, and to focus on what works, what doesn't, for whom, and under which circumstances.Yeah, let's call it all science, and let's just do real science, and cut the bullshit.
It will take serious government funding to find out, but these findings may help reduce costs and increase health.Look, if you have a study you want funded, apply for funding. If you just want public support for a nice chunk of cash to go toward promoting alternative medicine, I say no no no no no no no.
Integrative medicine approaches bring together those in red states and blue states, liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, because these are human issues.Oh, shut up.