April 21, 2011

"Pseudoscience is insinuating itself into our medical schools across the nation, going by the name 'Integrative Medicine.'"

"Integrative medicine is just the latest buzzword for a collection of superstitions, myths, and pseudoscience that has gone by various names over the years. First it was Holistic medicine, and once that fell out of favor, it became Alternative medicine, followed soon after by Complementary and Alternative medicine (CAM), and lately Integrative medicine...."

127 comments:

John Lynch said...

If it works, it's just "medicine."

pbAndj said...

So, who's going to start the countdown to crack?

The Crack Emcee said...

"Pseudoscience is insinuating itself into our medical schools across the nation, going by the name 'Integrative Medicine.'

That is such a lie, because it implies our medical schools - where all those intelligent medical and scientific people are - are being hoodwinked. They're not - they actively hoodwinking the rest of you. Are you seriously going to tell me a doctor with 8 years of medical school doesn't understand homeopathy is water?

The medical cults are an ugly problem no one is addressing - and the help they get, from politicians, is unseemly. How to stop people from doing this stuff I'll leave to you guys:

I can't even stop you from believing the obvious.

Michael K said...

That battle has been pretty much lost. One of the instructors in the program I teach is a full time acupuncturist in her private practice. She is an MD and, I think, has boards in internal medicine.

Have any of you heard the story of Dr Praetorius? He was an MD in Germany who couldn't find a job as a doctor so he went to a small town, hid his degree and worked as a butcher. The townspeople, who were very suspicious of doctors, began going to this butcher who could cure their ailments. He was very successful until someone found his medical degree and he was run out of town.

Many people want to believe magical thinking. One, unfortunately is our president but that is another topic. When I was in medical school, chiropractors were high school graduates and held in very low esteem. Now, the chiropractic colleges have many applicants with college degrees and the laws in some states, such as Illinois, even allow them to admit patients to hospitals.

It has something to do with the anti-science attitudes of the boomers and the whole deconstruction trend.

The medical schools are just cashing in. The wife of one of the electronics billionaires gave UC, Irvine a big grant to set up a school and do "studies." They jumped at it.

Kev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kev said...

(the other kev)

Sorry, I prefer to think of this as Darwinism at its finest. If you're stupid and arrogant enough to demand that centuries of hard-earned learning be tossed aside in favor of the latest trendy quackery, that's just natural selection collecting its due. Just please do it before you breed, 'mkay?

Methadras said...

Oh you, mean like the wellness/hoilistic bullshit schtick being peddled by that fat fuck of medicine Andrew Weil? That human butterball should be indicted for the fraud he's perpetrated on medicine, science, and in suckering tens of millions of people into believing his new age bullshit. I hate these fuckers. I really do. Their nonsense hurts and kills people without an iota of applicable medicinal value.

Oh, the water remembers what it had in it? Really? H2O has a memory now? I must have missed the classes that shows the synaptic functions of water. Fucking clowns. If anyone here believes in homeopathy, you should be ashamed and embarrassed to have done so.

Irene said...

It's already an accepted practice area at UW Health.

Eric said...

How to stop people from doing this stuff I'll leave to you guys:

Why should we stop them? I don't have an interest (in a government/legal sense) in forcing people to make sensible decisions. If I were running things you wouldn't need a certificate from the AMA to practice medicine provided you didn't misrepresent your qualifications.

The Crack Emcee said...

Michael K,

It has something to do with the anti-science attitudes of the boomers and the whole deconstruction trend.

I try to tell them but, with Ann and Meade being Whole Foods shoppers of a certain age, the desire to defend - rather than fight the problem like they do for Scott Walker - is strong. Hell, even Glenn Reynolds and Dr. Helen don't know what's going on. Boomers have just unleashed this nonsense on us and left us to fend for ourselves with it.

I don't want to be confronted with this nonsense should I get sick.

Methadras,

I must have missed the classes that shows the synaptic functions of water.

Dude, I'm so into this shit that hit me like a full-on joke!

edutcher said...

This sort of thing was big in Germany under the guise of National Socialist Science.

Another one of those slippery slopes the Lefties love.

PatCA said...

Let's not forget "Fake Sick Notes for Activists."

PatCA said...

You know what's weird? I hit the wrong keys before and I heard people talking. Don't know what they said!

Big Mike said...

There's a lot of junk science loose in the world. Why should medicine be any different?

virgil xenophon said...

I'm pretty much in agreement here, with the exception of vitamin and nutrition therapy. Most Med schools teach next to nothing about EITHER subject. My wife, the RN had Lupus for years (since the 60s) before it was even given a name. The Docs didn't know SQUAT about her symptoms and every treatment they tried was next to useless--and she had access to some of the best academic medicine in the nation. Were it not for her own research and heavy vitamin therapy she would have been dead long ago..

(I might add that my wife has been an active RN for 40 yrs and has experience in almost EVERY area of nursing--burns, psych, med-surge CCU/icu/micu--ambulatory care, rehab--you name it--whether as staff, unit Nurse mgr, or Dir of Nursing as well as VP for Healthcare supervising the DON, outreach clinics and the Pharmacy at hospitals in Ind, Ky and La., and has numerous academic and performance awards from Ind, Ky, Louisiana, PA and Calif hospitals as well as sitting on the Board of Public Health in Louisville. In short, she knows what she's doing)

traditionalguy said...

Since the Yoga practice boom started up 5 years ago, this occult medicine stuff is now also popping up like weeds. using the same old lies in new packages. Unlike my friend Crack, I see the danger in them not that they never have any power nor results, but that they do sometimes work, but always leave their victims in confusion and with their families destroyed. The MDs need to stand strong here and quit pretending that maybe it is OK to try it out.

The Crack Emcee said...

edutcher,

This sort of thing was big in Germany under the guise of National Socialist Science.

Another one of those slippery slopes the Lefties love.


I said I told 'em. Ann, Meade, Glenn - everybody. They don't listen. Not to this. They're too "smart" for this. And so it grows.

The Crack Emcee said...

Tg,

Unlike my friend Crack, I see the danger in them not that they never have any power nor results, but that they do sometimes work, but always leave their victims in confusion and with their families destroyed.

Backing you up. I, too, know they "work" (like chiropractic "works": to keep you coming back) but the downsides are so vicious and cruel - and so obvious to the trained eye - I've drawn a line in the sand on it. Which is exactly what the medical/science professions ought to be doing.

Them, and everybody else.

The Crack Emcee said...

First it was Holistic medicine, and once that fell out of favor, it became Alternative medicine, followed soon after by Complementary and Alternative medicine (CAM), and lately Integrative medicine...."

First it was the occult, and once that fell out of favor, it became NewAge, followed soon after by Mind/Body/Spirit, and now acceptance with Oprah...."

Henry said...

Homeopathy is a pretty harmless way to trigger the placebo effect.

Expensive! But harmless. Hypochondriacs can do far worse.

The Crack Emcee said...

Henry,

My ex-wife killed three people with that "harmless" concoction. Don't be fooled:

There's nothing harmless about any of it.

Here's a list of hospitals that are involved in it.

Michael K said...

First, I learned a long time ago to NEVER try to talk these people out of their delusions. We used to have a quack guy in the community who was into hyperbaric oxygen for strokes and bunch of other stuff. He was into chelation in a big way. He sent his failures to me to operate on. I never said a word and sent them back with warm feet. My only objection is the money that is spent but that is human nature. You should see the stuff that Medicaid pays for in California. I'll bet you can imagine but it's worse than that.

I used to get questions about these remedies from patients with terminal cancer. I told them I didn't care but not to pauperize themselves.

Henry said...

Crack -- With homeopathy? I picked that one on purpose. It is just water.

The problem for doctor's with triggering the placebo effect is that the placebo effect doesn't work if you tell people that you're prescribing sugar pills.

Arguably there is a problem if someone depends on homeopathy to cure something really deadly. But there's levels of everything. Misuse of prescription drugs is its own problem.

traditionalguy said...

Listen to Crack. He is vetted and tested in this field. The first time we ever argued here was about Sanjay Gupta of CNN fame then rumored to be nominated as Surgeon General by Obama. Crack listened to me and I listened to him until we understood each other. I happened to know Sanjay, and that he is 100% medical science in his training and practice. Mr Woodruff gave half his Coca-cola fortune to Emory for Medical Science only, and to this day 2 things are never found at Emory Medical School: 1) teaching any psychic remedies, and 2) any Pepsi-cola products.

ALH said...

While I generally agree that there is a danger to incorporating or even encouraging "pseudoscience", the author of that article is ignoring some of the proven benefits to homeopathy.

There are peer reviewed articles which do show benefit of homeopathy (immunotherapy via shots or sublingual drops) for ailments such as seasonal allergies

Anga2010 said...

You know, I was going to write here last week about your mistaken belief that being cold causes you to become sick. It is germs and viruses (especially on doorknobs) that make you ill.
Wash you hands frequently!

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Pseudoscience is bad and all, but there are simple deductions one can make from general biological principles that perhaps from an excessive awe of science people are not making and applying to their lives. If a plant lives a long time before reproducing sexually, the main advantage to the plant of so doing, it seems to me, is that it affords the plant time to profit by effecting evolutionary changes in those animals interacting with it. In other words, the plant can give health to those animals which eat of it properly as is in the plant's interest, while killing off the animals that eat of it the wrong way. If you are eating from a kind of plant that lives and reproduces a long time, there's a very good chance that the plant will be very healthful or very poisonous in a non-obvious way that depends on whether you eat the plant in the manner the plant to survive would need to encourage. Take grapes. The grape presumably needs its seeds swallowed and not chewed. Swallow the grape seeds, leaving them in your manure where the seeds evolved to want to be, the grape is good for you. Chew the seeds, you're likely to shorten your life. Spit the seeds out, somewhere in between. Run around exercising after eating the grapes like an animal that spreads seeds wide-and-far, and that'll probably help you too. I do not need someone to tell me the healthy way to eat a grape--common sense, my own intuitive feelings about grapes (which intuitive feelings scientists are apt to think suspect as though for some bizarre reason they less than creationists believe humans have evolved notwithstanding the scientists supposedly believe in evolution) and a basic understanding of high school biology tells me the way. So why are people so stupid as to want grapes with no seeds? It's not touchy-feely stupidity to consider ecologically what plants would want, it's just prudent common sense.

Or take farm crops that reproduce often, which are sort of the opposite. Stuff like broccoli is healthy largely because humans have forced broccoli to live in harmony with it. In the old days when farmers ate their own crops and used their own seeds, broccoli that was extra healthy survived better because the farmers that grew those extra-healthy strains lived longer and had more healthy children to plant more of its seeds. Why not be clever and try to make crops healtheir by, say, dividing broccoli farms into thousands of plots, sacrificing half the broccoli to rabbits, groundhogs, etc., in each plot, then preferentially using the seeds in the plots with the healthiest longest-lived rabbits and groundhogs? Farming could be fun and something the wildlife could participate in. And with a great deal of thought, thought from millions of farmers trying to farm beautifully, it could be something really beautiful that makes food significantly healthier for humans and the other animals.

Pogo said...

Part of the problem is that modern medicine has nothing to alleviate the suffering of thousands of people.

Chronic pain is everywhere, and there is little to offer. Meds are limited to tylenol, ibuprofen, and narcotics. Then what?
Lyrica, Cymbalta, gabapentin, Savella.
Only somewhat effective.
Surgeries? Pfff.

Searching, searching.
Hell if I know what the answer is, so I have less animus against the search.

When medicine has an actual answer, people rarely choose magic. Broken bones and pneumonia, for example. But cancer, dementia, autism, chronic pain, MS, and the like?

Medicine is often powerless.

edutcher said...

The Crack Emcee said...
edutcher,

This sort of thing was big in Germany under the guise of National Socialist Science.

Another one of those slippery slopes the Lefties love.


I said I told 'em. Ann, Meade, Glenn - everybody. They don't listen. Not to this. They're too "smart" for this. And so it grows.


Dude, you do know Blogger gives me all kinds of "Danger, Will Robinson" content warnings when I click on one of your links.

This is what you get for hijacking Ann and Meade's Quarterversary photo.

The Crack Emcee said...

Michael K,

Yeah, it gets tiring, like trying to empty the ocean with a paper cup.

Henry,

Yes, with Homeopathy. And no, it's not just water - all of these practices come with an occult belief system embedded in them. (Have you ever noticed that people who use homeopathy swear by it, clamor for it, and defend it like their lives depended on it? Who does that for "just water"?) I won't go into details, but let's just say it's kind of like that ol' motto: it's not the crime but the cover-up.

It's not the water, it's the belief system.

Also using the placebo effect, as homeopaths desire it, is just lying. Doctors have been doing fine without resorting to it, and without their "help".

Hey, Tg, I don't know if you caught this - it's not about Gupta, but another wonderful guy, with lots of credentials, who's got a few loose in the head.

ALH,

While I generally agree that there is a danger to incorporating or even encouraging "pseudoscience", the author of that article is ignoring some of the proven benefits to homeopathy.

There are peer reviewed articles which do show benefit of homeopathy (immunotherapy via shots or sublingual drops) for ailments such as seasonal allergies.

You are either badly misinformed or lying. Homeopathy has been around for 200 years. if it was the wonder drug it's fans claim, we'd have known it a long, long time ago - and you wouldn't still be insisting there's all these comprehensive studies nobody can ever find.

The Crack Emcee said...

Pogo,

Part of the problem is that modern medicine has nothing to alleviate the suffering of thousands of people.

Yeah, and the "worried well" just can't accept it. I know you know my thing so I won't add anything, except check this out: It's one of my favorite posts.

edutcher,

Dude, you do know Blogger gives me all kinds of "Danger, Will Robinson" content warnings when I click on one of your links.

Yeah, some lamer who got offended by the word "macho" got me lit up with Google. It's been a drag. I'm no longer the top search term when you put me in Google and my visitors have fallen through the floor.

Palladian said...

"You know, I was going to write here last week about your mistaken belief that being cold causes you to become sick. It is germs and viruses (especially on doorknobs) that make you ill."

Actually, being cold does make you significantly more likely to get sick, because when the body is cold, the immune system is weakened, in order for the body to use that energy to maintain torso and brain temperatures. So while it's correct that pathogenic bacteria and viruses are agents of sickness, a cold-weakened immune response makes it more likely that you'll get infected.

Revenant said...

Medicine is not powerless in dealing with chronic pain.

Medicine is legally *prevented* from dealing with chronic pain, because of people's desperate fear that someone might use the drugs to get high instead.

As a society, we've decided that it is better for the sick to suffer than for the healthy to get stoned. And so here we are today -- in a world where doctors keep a death-grip on effective pain meds because they're afraid of getting prosecuted.

Beldar said...

I represented a series of health insurance companies in the 1980s which had all refused to pay for an "alternative" cancer therapy called "antineoplastons" on grounds that the therapy was not "medically necessary."

During one jury trial, I was presenting as an expert witness one of the doctors from M.D. Anderson who pioneered the entire concept of chemotherapy. During my direct examination, I elicited the fact that he had also served as chair of the AMA's committee on "unproven remedies."

"What does that phrase, 'unproven remedies,' mean in the context of your committee work, Doctor?" I asked him.

"Oh, that's just something the lawyers make us use as the committee name," he replied with no trace of reluctance. "When it's us doctors talking with each other, we just say 'quacks.'"

The resulting belly laugh from the jurors required a short recess to abate.

blake said...

Crack's "What's The Harm" site is bullshit.

Apparently the harm of "Moon Landing Denial" is being punched in the face by an astronaut. Or maybe it's being provoked into punching a denier, it's a little hard to make out.

What happens is people like Crack get burned by bad people and start painting everything with the same brush.

For example, on chiropractic: In its original form, chiropractic is a form of energy medicine based on unscientific principles such as 'innate intelligence'. To be fair, not all current chiropractors still believe in these concepts.

Yeah? In it's original form, medicine is a form of barbering that favored unscientific principles such as bloodletting, but to be fair not all doctors still believe in these concepts.

Doctors and conventional medicine are arguably the #1 cause of death in this country. We don't even need to go into its more spectacular failures and horrors.

That said, this is bad. If there is value to any alternative treatments, let them test them scientifically. (They could also test some of these medically approved treatments a lot more rigorously.)

Revenant said...

This sort of thing was big in Germany under the guise of National Socialist Science. Another one of those slippery slopes the Lefties love.

A plurality of Americans believe prayer can cure the sick. I'm fairly certain at least a couple of 'em are conservatives.

Revenant said...

Yeah? In it's original form, medicine is a form of barbering that favored unscientific principles such as bloodletting, but to be fair not all doctors still believe in these concepts.

That's a pretty dumb attempt at drawing a parallel. The number of licensed doctors who believe in bloodletting is approximately zero, whereas the number of chiropractors who base their practice in unscientific bullshit is approximately all of them.

The Crack Emcee said...

blake,

Doctors and conventional medicine are arguably the #1 cause of death in this country.

ROTFLMAO!!!!

hmi said...

I believe in science-based medicine. That’s why I take vitamin C, vitamin E, avoid all forms of cocoanut oil, never eat eggs, don’t touch alcohol, avoid chocolate, prefer formula to breast milk, use nothing but gluten-free breads, avoid carbohydrates, load up on proteins, etc. etc. etc.

I'm willing to believe that so-called alternative medicine has problems. I'd trust the so-called evidence-based stuff if its practitioners didn't keep coming up craps while insisting, "Now we have the answer!"

The Crack Emcee said...

I have a friend whose daughter is a chiropractor - beautiful woman, but about as gullible as the day is long. She thought homeopathy is "herbal medicine" until she met me, and once found herself working in an office building filled with Scientologists until they totally creeped her out.

Her father keeps me abreast of her adventures, and it's just one scam after another, with this poor woman, who's trying to be, and considers herself a doctor, being tossed around like a cork in an ocean of fraud. I don't interfere with her, even though I know her, out of respect for her father, but I'm sure a day's going to come when she's killed someone and I'll be called in to talk to her.

I do NOT look forward to that.

Eric said...

Before your know it, they will have flattering courses on the fraud of Rudolf Steiner's "biodynamism".

The Crack Emcee said...

hmi,

I believe in science-based medicine. That’s why I take vitamin C, vitamin E, avoid all forms of cocoanut oil, never eat eggs, don’t touch alcohol, avoid chocolate, prefer formula to breast milk, use nothing but gluten-free breads, avoid carbohydrates, load up on proteins, etc. etc. etc.

I'm glad you're onboard with science, but there is taking things too far, you know?

ALH said...

@ Crack:
You said - "You are either badly misinformed or lying. Homeopathy has been around for 200 years. if it was the wonder drug it's fans claim, we'd have known it a long, long time ago - and you wouldn't still be insisting there's all these comprehensive studies nobody can ever find."

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I am not lying and I am not misimformed. Nor did I say they were "wonder drugs". And, again...I generally agree that there is a lot of BS in medicine.

But it IS factual to state that homeopathic immunotherapy has been proven in scientific studies to have beneficial affects on some seasonal allergy symptoms.

As for those "scientific studies that no one can ever find"... with an open mind and a computer connected to the world wide internets, one can find a comprehensive scientific study which supports the use of sublingual immunotherapy, as I originally noted

Again, I'll stick to my original and narrow point. On the broader context of the new age stuff I agree with you.

Lucien said...

As has been said before, anyone who believes in alternative medicine is invited to drive across a bridge built by an engineer trained in alternative physics.

Anga2010 said...

Palladian, cleanliness and basic sanitation is the key. Being cold could possibly compromise your immune system (still not buying that), but not more than grabbing a handful of germs and wiping your drippy nose.

hmi said...

@Crack

I have an extremely high opinion of trauma care in the Western world. But every one of those fads I listed came stamped, "approved by the latest scientific research." There is way too much official medicine that has about as much solid evidence behind it as the alternative stuff—but which proffered a thin study with marginal statistical validity ("better than chance") to win FDA approval. And some of that alternative stuff has a way of creeping into standard practice. All of which means that I'm not so ready to reject something merely because someone with an M.D. claims that he stands with Science herself at his back.

hmi said...

@ Lucien
"anyone who believes in alternative medicine is invited to drive across a bridge built by an engineer trained in alternative physics."

Cute, but by that standard, I suppose I shouldn't stand under the roof of the Pantheon in Rome. There is a world of difference between engineering, which has been putting up solid bridges for thousands of years, and a medical science that claims that there was virtually no such thing before 1900.

Methadras said...

ALH said...

While I generally agree that there is a danger to incorporating or even encouraging "pseudoscience", the author of that article is ignoring some of the proven benefits to homeopathy.

There are peer reviewed articles which do show benefit of homeopathy (immunotherapy via shots or sublingual drops) for ailments such as seasonal allergies


Are you high? It's water. You are being given water sublingually or intravenously. Benefits of scameopathy against what else?

Lee J. Cockrell said...

It happened at Duke, too.

Duke got $11 million from John and Christy Mack, one of the real housewives of Wall Street for their "center for integrative medicine".

The news section is full off yoga and alternative medicine articles.

Christy Mack runs The Bravewell Collaborative, which appears about as vapid as you might expect from the name.

More from Christy: “I had seen programs that were immersed in hospitals get diluted and dissolve and I didn't want that to happen at Duke. We had several discussions with the Duke leadership and upon learning that the entire Duke University Health System and the University itself were deeply committed to integrative medicine, we agreed to build the facility.” $11 million? Why yes, we love integrative medicine!

Actual science and medicine are hard work. Much easier to mouth some platitudes and pat yourself on the back. The subsequent broken arm will be healed, of course, by aligning one's checkbook with the doctor's qi.

Methadras said...

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Pseudoscience is bad and all, but there are simple deductions one can make from general biological principles that perhaps from an excessive awe of science people are not making and applying to their lives. If a plant lives a long time before reproducing sexually, the main advantage to the plant of so doing, it seems to me, is that it affords the plant time to profit by effecting evolutionary changes in those animals interacting with it. In other words, the plant can give health to those animals which eat of it properly as is in the plant's interest, while killing off the animals that eat of it the wrong way. [snipped the rest for redundancy]


Oh my GOD!!! You've discover symbiosis. Will someone give this man a Nobel? Oh wait...

The Crack Emcee said...

ALH,

It IS factual to state that homeopathic immunotherapy has been proven in scientific studies to have beneficial affects on some seasonal allergy symptoms.

I am going to say this one time, so pay attention:

It's only water - so what you're suggesting is impossible, O.K.?

Not unlikely, not within the realm of even a remote chance, but impossible. I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E. It can't be so. Now, please, accept this as your first primer on how much you understand medicine and science, how in touch with reality you've been, and how pervasive cultish thinking is in our society.

Anga2010,

Palladian, cleanliness and basic sanitation is the key. Being cold could possibly compromise your immune system (still not buying that), but not more than grabbing a handful of germs and wiping your drippy nose.

Palladian, sorry buds, but Anga's right. All that immune system shit is just that - shit. You can go stand in the cold all night without anything happening to you.

hmi,

You're whacked in the head. So much so, that I'm not even going to try. Don't follow me now, I'm just backing away,...

Methadras said...

Pogo said...

Part of the problem is that modern medicine has nothing to alleviate the suffering of thousands of people.

Chronic pain is everywhere, and there is little to offer. Meds are limited to tylenol, ibuprofen, and narcotics. Then what?
Lyrica, Cymbalta, gabapentin, Savella.
Only somewhat effective.
Surgeries? Pfff.

Searching, searching.
Hell if I know what the answer is, so I have less animus against the search.

When medicine has an actual answer, people rarely choose magic. Broken bones and pneumonia, for example. But cancer, dementia, autism, chronic pain, MS, and the like?

Medicine is often powerless.


Hence, why the 'art' of medicine is in the practice of medicine.

Lee J. Cockrell said...

emphasis added in the above quote, btw

The Crack Emcee said...

Methadras, you're killing me over here,...LOL!

Methadras said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Yeah, some lamer who got offended by the word "macho" got me lit up with Google. It's been a drag. I'm no longer the top search term when you put me in Google and my visitors have fallen through the floor.


You know that was done on purpose right?

caseym54 said...

Hmmmm .. most of the physicians I know believe that acupuncture has benefits, particularly in chronic pain management. Acupuncture, used in combination with western medicine, hardly deserves to be lumped in with homeopathy and spirit healing.

The Crack Emcee said...

Lee J. Cockrell,

Thanks for that. I'll look into it. Might make for a good blog post.

The Crack Emcee said...

Methadras,

You know that was done on purpose right?

Unfortunately, no, I'm assuming. I haven't heard from the guy since it happened, where before he was a daily annoyance. He was hitting me with gay references ("I bet you love to suck cock" kind of stuff) so I started deleting his comments. Then comes this.

My blog's been the subject of attacks since Day One (It's been sabotaged, and taken down, twice) so nothing surprises me anymore.

ALH said...

@ Crack -
I know you only said it once..."it is just water".

Except in the specific example i am bringing up, it IS NOT just water!

It is very dilute amounts of things that cause allergies (mold, pollen, etc) which are taken by the patient every day. What occurs is a modulation (in this case a reduction) of the patient's immune response to those allergens....resulting in less allergic symptoms. And yes, there is a TON of science behind it.

As you sit here and claim the science about this PARTICULAR topic doesn't exist, you are starting to sound exactly like the people you are railing against.

Do yourself a favor. Take a few "Klopper Units" (approximately 30 seconds) and think before you write next time.

wv: foratio

The Crack Emcee said...

caseym54,

Hmmmm .. most of the physicians I know believe that acupuncture has benefits, particularly in chronic pain management. Acupuncture, used in combination with western medicine, hardly deserves to be lumped in with homeopathy and spirit healing.

Hmmmm .. it's funny but we've been opening and closing people up for quite some time now and - nope - no qi's, no chakras, and no meridians, so I'd say, if I were you, I'd find some new physicians to hang with. Maybe some who didn't think, for instance, there's "western medicine" and some other kind.

What would that other kind be, BTW?

Methadras said...

The Crack Emcee said...

Methadras, you're killing me over here,...LOL!


I shake my head at the utter disbelief that some people exhibit when it comes to medical quackery. This is an alleged modern age. Fuck, we walk around with computers on our wrists and in our pockets to access information at will and yet, the pervasive medical nonsense that is available to all for dissemination into the cultural body of my fellow citizens leaves me bewildered at how utterly gullible and stupid they can be when it comes to this stuff. If you ever listen to AM radio on the weekends you can hear this shit all day long with these devil peddlers peddling new fangled herbs, vitamins, substances not even my dogs would eat.

Go into a vitamin store and smell the fraud. This industry is one of the largest uncertified scams in existence. I'll give you an example. Amino acid supplements in all their various forms have some of the nastiest manufacturing techniques. Unless this stuff is made at a certified US lab under the strictest supervision of raw material acquisition that is vetted and verified, then 99.9% of the amino acids in bottles on store shelves in US Vitamin stores comes from China made from lye dissolved bird feathers from god knows what species and god knows under what health and living conditions. This is a piss drop in the ocean of the vita-industrio-supplemental fraud industry.

You can make a good living in that business with slick marketing and little overhead. Anyone remember the colloidal silver bullshit being peddled a few years ago? I can go on.

Methadras said...

caseym54 said...

Hmmmm .. most of the physicians I know believe that acupuncture has benefits, particularly in chronic pain management. Acupuncture, used in combination with western medicine, hardly deserves to be lumped in with homeopathy and spirit healing.


Ask yourself why 5000 years of eastern (chinese) medicine which is basically akin to fucking voodoo/shamanism, has transmigrated and injected its way into western science based medicine? When you come up with the answer then write back so we can have a little chat.

Methadras said...

Revenant said...

A plurality of Americans believe prayer can cure the sick. I'm fairly certain at least a couple of 'em are conservatives.


If for nothing else, prayer is as harmless as the air it consumes to utter it. If for nothing else, I'd rather pray for someones health than directly put them in the line of quackery. With prayer at least, you are trying to invoke a higher power for benefit and comfort for the sake of someone else. Where is the harm in that. If it works then someone is helped, if not, then at the very least the projection of caring for that person enough to ask for some form of divine intervention has to hold some level of meaning.

When I say, I'll pray for you, not only would I do that, but what I'm also saying is, "Hey, I'm there if you need me to if I can help." It has empathic and sympathetic value.

wv = evelike = so this is a description of a woman who was like that bitch that started this all?

Methadras said...

ALH said...

@ Crack -
I know you only said it once..."it is just water".

Except in the specific example i am bringing up, it IS NOT just water!

It is very dilute amounts of things that cause allergies (mold, pollen, etc) which are taken by the patient every day. What occurs is a modulation (in this case a reduction) of the patient's immune response to those allergens....resulting in less allergic symptoms. And yes, there is a TON of science behind it.

As you sit here and claim the science about this PARTICULAR topic doesn't exist, you are starting to sound exactly like the people you are railing against.

Do yourself a favor. Take a few "Klopper Units" (approximately 30 seconds) and think before you write next time.

wv: foratio


Allergy treatment protocols are not scameopathy.

Methadras said...

The Crack Emcee said...Hmmmm .. it's funny but we've been opening and closing people up for quite some time now and - nope - no qi's, no chakras, and no meridians, so I'd say, if I were you, I'd find some new physicians to hang with. Maybe some who didn't think, for instance, there's "western medicine" and some other kind.

What would that other kind be, BTW?


Will if for nothing else, what you can find in people sometimes are sponges, forecips, scalpels, and any other litany of surgical equipment that gets oopsied into a body cavity.

The Crack Emcee said...

ALH,

@ Crack -
I know you only said it once..."it is just water".

Except in the specific example i am bringing up, it IS NOT just water!

It is very dilute amounts of things that cause allergies (mold, pollen, etc) which are taken by the patient every day. What occurs is a modulation (in this case a reduction) of the patient's immune response to those allergens....resulting in less allergic symptoms. And yes, there is a TON of science behind it.

Do yourself a favor. Take a few "Klopper Units" (approximately 30 seconds) and think before you write next time.


See, now you're getting insulting while talking crazy talk, and I don't have a lot of patience for insults or crazy talk (that's why I'm not even touching hmi) so, before we get too deep, let me try this again politely - in another fashion - one more time:

Your example is from the homeopathic law of "like cures like". If you wouldn't drink coffee to go to sleep, how are you going to take something that will cause an allergy to cure it? Don't you see the Alice In Wonderland-quality of thinking there?

Also, please explain how, if I gave you a 1/4 can of Pepsi, how diluting it in a gallon of water would make the carbonation stronger?

And did they hit the "very dilute amounts of things that cause allergies" against a Bible? Because it can't be a true homeopathic solution unless it's hit against a Bible. Hahnemann was very clear on that point, ALH. That's how you activate the medicine's "vital force" which, of course, no one throughout history has been able to detect.

Now, do you consider hitting a dilute solution against a Bible "science", ALH? You've got to keep in mind that homeopathy is a pre-science modality:

Another homeopathic law is the "water has a memory". If that's so, ALH, please explain how your diluted solution "remembers" the allergy substances, but not everything else it's encountered throughout time - including sewage?

I'll wait a few "Klopper Units" for your answer.

C T said...

1) Placebos can "work" (i.e., have a placebo healing effect) even when people know they are just getting a sugar pill. Please see this recent study report at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222173033.htm

2) Studies in the UK have found that living in poorly insulated dwellings there is correlated to increased health problems and deaths; I think that would indicate that being cold does indeed weaken the body's resistance to illnesses, as a previous poster argued.

The Crack Emcee said...

CT,

Studies in the UK have found that living in poorly insulated dwellings there is correlated to increased health problems and deaths

Why won't you guys stop? Have you no life experience? No critical thinking skills?

Every year - every winter - there are people who go for a swim in almost-frozen water. They're usually called "Polar Bears" or some such. And guess what? Nothing. No colds, no death, no nothing. How do they fit into your cold scheme of things?

Haven't you ever stayed out without a jacket? Did you die? Catch a cold? Did anything happen but shivering?

People "living in poorly insulated dwellings" are probably poor and thus many are not capable of taking good care of themselves. Geez.

tsj said...

Hemopathic logic.

C T said...

TCE, why do you assume that I'm supporting homeopathy and other "alternative medicine"? I don't.
That said, studies have shown that living in cold dwellings increases people's susceptibility to illness and death. The fact that some people healthy enough to go swimming in winter survive the cold temperatures just fine doesn't disprove what I've pointed out.

Methadras said...

ALH, I have to ask you what you are defending here? There isn't a single chemist I've ever heard of on the face of the earth that would claim under any circumstances with a shred of credulity that water has a memory for any other substance that comes into contact with it when that substance undergoes dilution. Name me one.

Example:

Oscillococcinum, which I think I've misspelled, which is a scameopathy product that made for cold and flu symptoms has has a dilution rate of 200C. Do you know what the ingredient is that they dilute at 200C is? Duck's heart and liver. Now tell me, first of all, how did the scameopaths know that duck's liver is a reliever for symptoms of a cold or a flu? Furthermore, tell me how the preparation of the ducks heart and liver which involves desiccating it for weeks, then filtering it, then hydrating it again then rediluting it over and over until you reach the 200C dilution scale. Do you even know what 200C dilution is? It's 1 x 100^200 power. That's a monstrous number. The scameopothists take this dilution and inject it into a sugar cube and give it to the poor schmuck who believes in it.

Do you know how much duck heart and liver is needed to make this stuff? One. Just one duck, any old duck is needed for this process because their is enough heart and liver to make this nonsense to last for a year. Do you know how much money this stuff makes? 10s of millions. Something on the order of $50 million according to my paperwork.

There isn't a single chemist on earth or frankly in this universe, much less the multiverse of alternate realities where the laws of physics may not even apply that would shred their credibility to say that a 200C dilution extract. Basically the number of molecules in the universe would exist in that scameopathic solution to have any effect on cold or flu symptoms. It's a fucking scam and you are defending it and for what?

You want me to go on and utterly destroy this fantasy you are clinging to?

ALH said...

Crack,
i'm getting tired (way past my bedtime here in the midwest) and have to catch some sleep.

I'll try to sum up my entire bunch of posts

1) i COMPLETELY AGREE everything you and the author of the article from the link are saying about homeopathy(with the exception of my next point) - the "like cures like", "water having memory", hitting the medicine on the bible...it is all quackery.

2) the specific criticism i had with the original article was that i thought of an example (allergen drops under the tongue leading to decreased allergies) that was an exception to the rule

3) this therapy does have solid scientific research and acceptance. I would consider it along the lines of homeopathy in that small (but measurable) doses of an allergen are given.... eventually leading to improved allergy symptoms due to the allergic response being modified.

Other people would actually say that these shots / drops are NOT even homeopathic in nature.

D) I have seen plenty of examples of financial conflicts of interest and "ego" conflicts that result in BAD science (that looks like GOOD science if you're not aware of the BS going on behind the scenes). I won't say that some of that isn't happening with the studies regarding this particular field of medicine. But there is a ton of solid looking research that lends credibility to it (see my link to the review article from before)

Gotta sleep.
Have a good weekend-

ALH said...

Methadras -

Just finished my "last post" and saw your comment @ me.

My only posts on this particular thread have been regarding a very specific type of allergy treatment.

See the link in one of my earlier posts to a review article regarding the therapy.

Kirk Parker said...

Crack,

Sucks to be Content Warninged.

I had a couple very unsatisfactory interchanges with Google (non)-Support today about this. Apparently they're just totally happy with making it (a) easy for folks to complain about the content of a blog (there's a link right at the top of each and every page), and (b) virtually impossible for people to complain about an unjustified Content Warning.

Methadras said...

ALH said...

Methadras -

Just finished my "last post" and saw your comment @ me.

My only posts on this particular thread have been regarding a very specific type of allergy treatment.

See the link in one of my earlier posts to a review article regarding the therapy.


Yeah, I just read your Mea Culpa. It's backhanded and insulting. If you want to back-peddle then don't do it like this. Just say you fucked up, tuck tail, and move one to the next topic to get destroyed in. kthxbye.

JAL said...

Damned blogger just ate my comment.

@ Eric Why should we stop them? I don't have an interest (in a government/legal sense) in forcing people to make sensible decisions.

Here's why:

FY 1992 $2 Million (OAM)
FY 1999 $50 million (NCCAM)
FY 2010 $128 million (NCCAM)

This money has produced no positive results but it has lined the pockets of alt true believers who happen to have credentials.

Meanwhile autism research money was wasted and misdirected for years by the alt believing anti-vaxers. Those millions could have been saved (not spent) outright. Or invested in research in a wide variety of areas of health and disease research which, starting with a PLAUSIBLE hypothesis, would have moved our knowledge and understanding forward in helpful and even life saving ways.

sCAM is the result of, and has the goal of, undermining of the values of Western Civilization.

That our medical schools have fallen for this tripe is a great failing.

Weil, Chopra and now Oz will be seen as charlatons of science based, effective medicine.

History will not treat that well.

If people want to eat nails, or drink water infused with energy from flower petals and sunlight let them. But when they collect money for telling other people lies about how good eating nails or flower power water is for them and how scientific it really is, or when they feed children and old people nails ... off with their heads. (Ooops. That needed a metaphor alert tag.)

Alt / CAM / integrative medicine has been an interest of mine over the past 20 years. Marilyn Ferguson in her Aquarian Conspiracy described the process presciently. And here we are.

You know, when I almost died in India the young Indian doctors who treated me and saved my life did not use ayurvedic medicine. I wonder why not? (Thank God.)

Methadras said...

JAL said...

Damned blogger just ate my comment.


I fucking hate that.

Methadras said...

JAL said...

Weil, Chopra and now Oz will be seen as charlatons of science based, effective medicine.


These people I wish to see dead then have their entire fortunes dissolved back to as many people that they took them from. Seriously, fuck them into hell, there is a special place for them there. Weil especially, that fat, bloated piece of shit who started this whole fucking modern mess.

ALH said...

@ Methadras -

My post to Crack was not meant as a "mea culpa". I didn't backpeddle on anything that I said. It was a clarification and summary of my narrow point on a specific topic. Backhanded and insulting?

Thin skin much?

_________________________________

@ Crack- last time I swear. It's 2 hours past my bedtime. The one post that i did act rudely in was the sarcastic post about finding the scientific article that supported by point. For the sarcastic part, I do apologize.

JAL said...

this therapy does have solid scientific research and acceptance. I would consider it along the lines of homeopathy in that small (but measurable) doses of an allergen are given.... eventually leading to improved allergy symptoms due to the allergic response being modified.

Other people would actually say that these shots / drops are NOT even homeopathic in nature.


It's not. They are not.

Homeopathy by design, in its inception, does NOT claim to cause or give evidence for the response you are describing.

There is a rational, biological and physiological explanation for the progressive desensitization you describe. Pogo and Mike could probably give your the correct details.

Homeopathy claims to work *energetically* NOT physically.

Those who explain it as being like a "immune response," or vaccinations are ill informed or lyng through their teeth.

You might also want to note that the classical homeopaths treat emotional, psychological, personality and spiritual problems (sin) through homeopathy. It is a very complex system whereby the personality type of the patients also must be figured into the remedy choice. (Not astology but similar in that way.)

This over-the-counter crap is a marketing ploy that has what's left of Samuel Hahnemann's molecules spinning like crazy.

(Maybe *that's* the explanation for AGW.)

The Crack Emcee said...

C T,

TCE, why do you assume that I'm supporting homeopathy and other "alternative medicine"? I don't.

I don't see where I did. I answered you completely separate from the others.

That said, studies have shown that living in cold dwellings increases people's susceptibility to illness and death. The fact that some people healthy enough to go swimming in winter survive the cold temperatures just fine doesn't disprove what I've pointed out.

I'll ask again: where are your critical thinking skills? I've walked 12 miles in the snow - not just the snow but a blizzard - and didn't get sick. And that was without gloves and wearing the wrong shoes for it. We have a germ theory of medicine because that's what causes sickness, if it didn't, Eskimos would be dropping like flies.

Use your head.

Revenant said...

If for nothing else, prayer is as harmless as the air it consumes to utter it.

Well, sure. But the same applies to homeopathy -- say what you will about distilled water, but it ain't gonna hurt you any. The point is, a desperate need to believe that something out there can save you or the ones you love isn't uniquely liberal. It is human.

Bruce Hayden said...

Interesting discussion. I am still amazed at how many people attribute colds and the like to being cold. For example, I read recently about President William Henry Harrison dying because he didn't wear a coat. This has been accepted wisdom since I learned it some 50 years ago.

I do appreciate Pogo's point about chronic pain. Friend as such, and her life is hell because of it. Compounding it though, are the drug laws. Her pain doctor has her drug tested monthly (despite seeing the x-rays, etc.) just to make sure that she has the drugs in her system, and isn't selling them. And, don't even think of going to another doctor in an emergency when she runs out of meds - she lost her last pain doctor that way.

If she could find something that worked without narcotics to relive her pain, she would jump at it. She is too rational though to jump on anything that has come by so far though.

Finally, the water thing. We tried to get a patent through that essentially claimed water having a memory. This is one of those places where the USPTO requires that you actually prove that your invention works, and, the requirement for proof is pretty steep - we failed. Same category for them as perpetual motion machines.

It isn't just that the sort of memory being claimed is not likely to have a scientific basis, but there is also a question why and how that could possibly benefit someone. Like the duck liver above, the question is why would a memory of being part of a glacier in the past be of benefit.

I am not suggesting or claiming that none of it works, but rather, that most of it does not. Some, very small percentage, does, and that is because we haven't yet discovered why it does.

Bruce Hayden said...

(Not astology but similar in that way.)

Now there is something that has no discernible scientific basis, and something that most of us here are going to disbelieve.

Yet, a week and a half ago, when I was in D.C., I met a woman who guessed our signs. And, she was 4 for 4 in her guesses. The odds of that happening randomly are better than 10,000 to 1.

The Crack Emcee said...

Revenant,

If for nothing else, prayer is as harmless as the air it consumes to utter it.

Well, sure. But the same applies to homeopathy -- say what you will about distilled water, but it ain't gonna hurt you any. The point is, a desperate need to believe that something out there can save you or the ones you love isn't uniquely liberal. It is human.


I was going to say something here but, actually, I agree with it. The problem with prayer and/or homeopathy is the belief system and what's done with it.

Because of my experience, I'm always a little struck by how people don't understand the dangers of belief, like saying homeopathy is harmless. Sure, homeopathy is water, but it's not just water - it's water plus a kooky belief system that's taken many lives and, in some cases, allowed murderers to walk free. I'm not overselling that. Robert Wohlfahrt and Karine Anne Brunck should be in prison. Penelope Dingle's husband, and her homeopath, should be in prison. Frank Shallenberger should be in prison. Mitra Javanmardi should be in prison. These are all people who knew what they were doing, did it anyway, and giggled at the rest of society's ignorance of the "spiritual" landscape and how it's integrated in/with the pseudoscientific subject matter of NewAge quackery. They've committed evil, as surely as Manson.

But, without the belief system, the delusional and cultish thinking, none of this stuff is worth beans.

L said...

@Anga2010 4/21/11 9:56 PM

Here's my theory:

Different germs thrive in different temperatures, so if you are in the cold, and your extremities get cold it creates a temperature gradient within your body from cold thru normal body temperature. This makes it more likely that zootica will find a temperature band to thrive in. Yes, the bacteria have to be there in the first place, but in certain circumstances being cold could increase your chances of getting sick.

boinky said...

they will also use the MCAT to screen out hard science ability in favor of PC correct attitudes:
link

"The revamped recommendations also propose revising the current verbal section of the MCAT to test the way examinees reason through passages in ethics and philosophy, cross-cultural studies, population health, and other subjects, thus communicating the need for students to read broadly in preparation for their medical education..."

Tom Perkins said...

"If you wouldn't drink coffee to go to sleep, how are you going to take something that will cause an allergy to cure it?"

Allergy shots, which, curiously enough--work just fine, on the same principle, and put money in MD's pockets--work the same way as this "homeopathy" would.

I smell rent seeking.

Tom Perkins said...

To be fair, for a homeopathic amelioration for allergies to work, it would not be effective to dilute it to the degree that "true believers" in homeopathy do. At that point it is just water.

Pogo said...

"Some, very small percentage, does [work], and that is because we haven't yet discovered why it does."
The placebo effect accounts for a great majority of this effect. But the placebo effect isn't zero or nothing. That's what's fascinating.


"$11 million? Why yes, we love integrative medicine!"
Heh.
If standard medicine was still a way to make enough money for a practice to survive, none of this would be happening.

One effect of state control of a market is to distort the market in ways innumerable and unintended.

"chronic pain. Friend as such, and her life is hell because of it. Compounding it though, are the drug laws."
Rev mentioned that above. very true.

Tibore said...

"While I generally agree that there is a danger to incorporating or even encouraging "pseudoscience", the author of that article is ignoring some of the proven benefits to homeopathy.

There are peer reviewed articles which do show benefit of homeopathy (immunotherapy via shots or sublingual drops) for ailments such as seasonal allergies "


Bull****ing s***. There are ZERO benefits of homeopathy. This has been demonstrated over countless studies and metastudies of results.

"Yeah? In it's original form, medicine is a form of barbering that favored unscientific principles such as bloodletting, but to be fair not all doctors still believe in these concepts."

The other part you're deleting is that medicine progressed from it's state of unscientific principles to one of evidence based practices. Let me know when chiropracty and homeopathy do the same. Until then, you can no more conflate old school medical practices than you can cite serfdom to criticize modern democratic governments.

Oh, also: You're mixing in old time surgery with medical practice. That's only one of the ancestral branches of moderm medicine, so you're misleading by phrasing things that way.


"Doctors and conventional medicine are arguably the #1 cause of death in this country. We don't even need to go into its more spectacular failures and horrors."

Evidence please. My understanding is that heart disease followed by cancer are the leading causes of death. Well, if you're associating that with medical practice, then feel free to also blame cars instead of alcohol consumption for being responsible for all the drunk driving accidents.

"That said, this is bad. If there is value to any alternative treatments, let them test them scientifically. (They could also test some of these medically approved treatments a lot more rigorously.)"

Yes, that's exactly the point of evidence based practices. And that is exactly why branches like homeopathy fail: They've had the opportunity, but have not delivered.

Tibore said...

Oh, also:
"blake said...
Crack's "What's The Harm" site is bullshit."


Riiiiight... simply listing cases where people were harmed or outright killed because they followed medical quackery instead of proven medical practices is "bullshit". Let's take a look at some of this supposed "bullshit":

Homeopathy:
Lucille Craven
Age: 54
Pelham, New Hampshire
Died (untreated cancer)
2000

Lucille concealed the diagnosis of breast cancer from her family. She secretly consulted a naturopath and took homeopathic remedies. She also used quack treatments like blood irradiation. Her cancer raged out of control and she died.


Paul Howie
Age: 49
South Mayo, Ireland
Died (untreated cancer)
April 22, 2003

A natural health therapist & homeopath told Paul and his wife that he would die if he used conventional medicine. The treatable tumor in his neck grew to the point where he died of suffocation.


Chiropractic practice:
i A. Bedenbaugh
Age: 24
Little Mountain, South Carolina
Died
1993

Kristi sought relief from sinus headaches from her chiropractor. A neck manipulation caused a brain stem stroke and she died three days later. The chiropractor later paid a $1000 fine.


Linda Epping
Age: 8
Los Angeles, California
Died
December 29, 1961

Linda was scheduled for surgery to remove a tumor, when her parents met a chiropractor who said he could cure her. He had her swallowing up to 124 pills a day for months. He was convicted of second-degree murder in 1967.

Donald Pereyra
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Died (liver failure)
December 17, 1987

After a tumor on his back was surgically removed, his doctors recommended radiation and chemo. His chiropractor disagreed and injected him with unproven substances. He died of liver failure (he had no liver cancer) and a lawsuit resulted.

Yeah, nothing like homeopathy or chiroprac for things like cancer... right. Bullshit, huh?

Or, you want non-cancer, non-emergency examples?

Linda Barter
Age: 42
Sutton Coldfield, England
Permanent neck injury
1997

After a neck manipulation at her chiropractors, Linda now has a permanent neck problem and must take tranquilizers daily

Frances S. Denoon
Age: 28
Bristol, England
Stroke
March 1998

She visited a chiropractor to relieve some neck pain. On her second visit, "my world went into a dizzy spin" with nausea and loss of speech. The neck manipulation had caused a brain stem stroke.

And there are other examples for homeopathic treatments. As well as other forms of antiscience quackery practices.

Yeah. The site's full of bullshit all right. But the bullshit is what it's revealing, not what it's engaging in. It's not the sort of bullshit you're trying to paint it with.

Tibore said...

What the hell?

"As for those "scientific studies that no one can ever find"... with an open mind and a computer connected to the world wide internets, one can find a comprehensive scientific study which supports the use of sublingual immunotherapy, as I originally noted."

Sublingual immunotherapy isn't homeopathic. Read the damn paper: It's a different way of applying allergens to stimulate immunologic desensitization. That is nowhere near being the same thing. This isn't "like cures like", this is desensitization treatment.

Marshal said...

Jesus, now the professor's posting CrackNip.

themightypuck said...

Perhaps it is better to have the hokkum in a med school where the light of science will shine a little brighter on it. The fact is that the people want their woo and medicine is a business.

blake said...

That's a pretty dumb attempt at drawing a parallel.

You're a pretty dumb attempt at drawing a parallel.

The number of licensed doctors who believe in bloodletting is approximately zero, whereas the number of chiropractors who base their practice in unscientific bullshit is approximately all of them.

As usual, you miss the point. The site specifically claims a historical belief as a way to discredit some portion of chiropractors. It's exactly like slurring medical doctors for a historical belief they're probably not even aware of.

The site is bullshit. If somebody with a rabbit foot keychain in his pocket has a heart attack, it's a cult-related death. A guy gets hit by a car with a copy of Mary Baker Eddy in its trunk and it's Christian Science's fault.

It's all well and good to stamp out superstition and pseudo-science but follow your own damn playbook.

Crack,

The overall incidence of serious ADRs was 6.7% (95% confidence interval [CI], 5.2%-8.2%) and of fatal ADRs was 0.32% (95% CI, 0.23%-0.41%) of hospitalized patients. We estimated that in 1994 overall 2216000 (1721000-2711000) hospitalized patients had serious ADRs and 106000 (76000-137000) had fatal ADRs, making these reactions between the fourth and sixth leading cause of death.

The blood and treasure lost to conventional wisdom absolutely dwarfs oddball beliefs practically by definition.

I've dealt with too many senior citizens on contradictory medicines to care too much whether or not they're drinking rose-hip tea.

Oh, yeah, also: An entire hospital tried to kill one of my kids. You guys have to watch out for this "conventional medicine" medicine stuff--it'll kill you!

Smilin' Jack said...

I read a study recently (forget where) showing that the placebo effect works even when patients know it's a placebo. The doctor literally says, "If you take these sugar pills I think you'll feel better" and the patient does feel better. Never underestimate the power of stupid.

Phil 3:14 said...

MichaelK;
I hope you were being facetious because

Have any of you heard the story of Dr Praetorius? He was an MD in Germany who couldn't find a job as a doctor so he went to a small town, hid his degree and worked as a butcher. The townspeople, who were very suspicious of doctors, began going to this butcher who could cure their ailments. He was very successful until someone found his medical degree and he was run out of town.

Is the plot of a stage play and movie starring Cary Grant, People will talk

The Crack Emcee said...

blake,

I'm with the doctors, so if you think I'm going to drink whatever Kool-Aid you're sipping from, you're crazy. Wait - you're already crazy. I'd get some help for that if I were you:

From a real doctor!

Phil 3:14 said...

During my MPH coursework I did some research on the historical divergence between "Allopathic/orthodox" medicine and "Alternative" medicine. Prior to the "scientific revolution" within medicine of the early to mid 20th century this was an ongoing battle, not only a battle of viewpoints regarding disease and treatment but a battle for patients and market share.

Scientific breakthroughs like antibiotics, vaccinations etc. pretty much won the battle for "orthodox" medicine. But, of course, we will never conquer death and suffering. And not surprising, when "orthodox" medicine is successful in reducing deaths due to pneumonia, heart attack stroke etc we're still left with suffering and death. So for many its easy to turn to something that offers a "different way" and hope.

I don't have a problem with medical schools teaching what some of these alternatives are and what research, if any, is available. BUT Medical Schools and Residencies MUST BE CLEAR on what therapies, orthodox or otherwise, have been clearly demonstrated in large, well designed research studies to make a difference (and by difference I mean in reduction of symptoms and/or prolongation of life.)

From that perspective, proton beam therapy for prostate cancer is the same as coffee enemas.

Stephen A. Meigs said...

Methadras said...

Stephen A. Meigs said...

[snip]

Oh my GOD!!! You've discover symbiosis. Will someone give this man a Nobel? Oh wait...


What the hell, Methadras. You are
totally misrepresenting what I said. The point of my example was not to suggest symbiosis (a fancy word for interaction between species) exists, but to point out that simple reasoning based on premises that follow from nothing more complex than high school biology suggests that plant species which live a long time are going to be the sort that are most likely to have underappreciated medicinal properties, but that the medicinal properties are going to be associated with poisonous properties, which need to be disentangled from the medicinal properties. Broccoli, a short-lived plant, is good for people, period, because humans have forced it to be good for people. Grapes and other plant products from long-lived plants are not good for people unconditionally, but only if people eat them correctly, because, e.g., the grapes are forcing people to be good for grapes. As for non-farm plants that reproduce frequently, they may be nutritious, but if so, they would mostly taste like they are so (often to a misleadingly large extent, which is why herbalism is overrated--just look at all the stoners who practically have replaced God with a certain weedy plant that attracts pollinators to it by making them high).

So is it that you are a liar, Methadras, or just that you don't think well enough to grasp simple generalities? Does it go back a ways? Is your icon a self-portrait of yourself taken just after you've decided to screw gentle patient reflection and reasoning as thoughts naturally come to you in exchange for a hell-bent quest to memorize and assume true everything respected and successful authorities teach you? Is that the approach that gave you the most dependable supply of baby food?

As for your "Nobel" snarkyness, I defy you to find in the scientific literature the actual point I was making and have made again in this post. I also defy you to tell me why that point if true would not be of great importance. If you don't believe my claim, I challenge you to explain to me why reasoning shouldn't suggest to me that it is true. And while you are at it, you might explain to me why biologists, being proud of their advanced scientific learning, would not have a tendency to overrate the importance of their learning at the expense, on the one hand, of the sort of basic learning of biology possessed by anyone who has bothered to read a high school biology textbook with care, and on the other hand, of the sort of basic reasoning possessed by anyone with reasoning faculties who takes thought seriously and bothers to spend the time thinking about questions as they arise. There are many with such a general high-school level understanding of biology, and though there aren't a great many who think carefully and often, biologists (and more particularly, health specialists) on average are no great thinkers (I wouldn't say more than that maybe they are on average slightly to moderately above average). What the elite biologists do possess much more than others is a knowledge of a great many esoteric biological facts; such facts are useful, of course, but it is only natural they would tend to overestimate the specialness of possessing such esoteric facts, even when it's biologists that are coming up with the ideas using a mix of esoteric facts, general simple facts, and reasoning.

blake said...

Tibore,

Yeah, it's bullshit. From your own example:

Lucille concealed the diagnosis of breast cancer from her family. She secretly consulted a naturopath and took homeopathic remedies. She also used quack treatments like blood irradiation. Her cancer raged out of control and she died.

I'd say CANCER killed her, NOT homeopathy.

There's an unproven presumption of guilt all over this: IF she hadn't tried homeopathy THEN she would've gone to a doctor AND she would've survived.

Totally unsupported by the evidence.

She might never have gone to a doctor, she might have gone to a doctor and gotten chemo, lived for months in agony, and died after spending tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars in ineffective treatments.

Sounds just like quackery, doesn't it?

The point isn't that homeopathy (or anything else on that site) works, it's that there's a pile of assertions and assumptions behind it all that's just as bullshit as what it's trying to expose.

To say nothing of misrepresenting arguably good things:

Bart Sibrel
Age: 37
Beverly Hills, California

Punched in the face
September 9, 2002

Bart is a major proponent of moon hoax misinformation. When he decided to harrass[sic] astronaut Buzz Aldrin about it, Buzz fought back. Bart became the recipient of a punch to the face.


I'm at a loss to see how this isn't win-win.

Darcy said...

I think Blake is right. Why dismiss alternative medicine or whatever they are calling it entirely?

I can tell you from my own experience with recent severe, debilitating back disc degeneration, that I went the traditional route. Orthopedic surgeon. He wanted to cut me, of course. Discouraged chiropractic, of course. Sent me straight to a pain doctor for a painful series of injections that were very costly and that did not work. Six weeks of hell.

I finally begged for a physical therapy referral. PT was what worked for me. And right away. The orthopedic surgeon virtually assured me that I would be back asking for the surgery. Guess what? Wrong.I'm playing tennis again.

I know it's not alternative medicine, but I think the argument is similar it may as well be for the trouble I had to get to it and have it covered.

And by the way, I have had chiropractic care most of my life and I believe a good chiro would have helped me as much as PT. It was basically strengthening and learning how to care for my back, which a good chiro would help you with.

Tibore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tibore said...

Darcy, there are evidence based branches of chiropractic that is trying to move towards a more rigorous, empirical approach to practice. And there are other branches that put forth propoganda like "MD = More Death". And that's the problem: If you get a practictioner who realizes the fallacies in old-school, discredited practices and is attempting to be more responsible in his/her practices, then you can have a non-tragic outcome. But if you go to the wrong type who doesn't believe that manipulations can cause injury and strokes, then you can be in trouble.

Furthermore, it's one thing to equate physical therapies in chiropractic to ones in standard medical practices; it's a whole other to equate homeopathy to chemotherapy for cancer. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, but Blake is NOT correct. It's his mindset that leads to greater, not lesser harm.

I understand that you had problems with standard medicine yourself; believe me, I know the limitations of medical practices as applied to back pain. I've got a bum disk myself from having missed a stair in college and crashing down. There are areas where standard medicine simply doesn't have enough knowledge yet to cure. As Pogo - a physician, if I remember correctly - pointed out, modern medicine is still struggling to get a good grip on pain management. There are admitted limits.

But that's where the harm can come in. If a quack claims a cure where medicine has not found one, the question is whether they can rigorously prove it. I'm not talking about random testimonials; even cancer has had spontaneous remissions. I'm talking prove cure above nontreatment and other treatments. Only then is such a claim proven.

But the "irony" here? To reach that level of proof, you're no longer talking alternative practices. A process has to be studied rigorously.

In my mind, I don't want to take an individual practitioner's word for a treatment. I want to see the established rates of success over time and over a population of patients. A series of individual testimonies isn't going to cut it for me. And non-medical practitioners simply cannot provide that. And that's where the strength of modern, evidence based medicine comes in. I don't doubt that they've failed you in this case, but if chiropractic was genuinely a "cure", then it's their responsibility to discover what element of the treatment was effective, why it's effective, and how to apply the treatment consistently for the precise problem is solves. And again, some practitioners are moving towards that. And many are not. There's the disappointment.

Tibore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil 3:14 said...

PS The testimonial is not science

Tibore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tibore said...

Why does my response to Blake keep disappearing?? I don't think for a second that the professor is doing this; it's something about either Blogger or Google.

Blech. Anyway, here's the post I composed prior to answering Darcy. Minus the link.

--------

"I'd say CANCER killed her, NOT homeopathy.

There's an unproven presumption of guilt all over this: IF she hadn't tried homeopathy THEN she would've gone to a doctor AND she would've survived.

Totally unsupported by the evidence."


OMG, you can't be serious. My whole point was that she sought quack treatments for a potentially survivable condition. Maybe her cancer was too advanced to be treated no matter what, maybe it wasn't. But the point is that homeopathy gave her zero chance at survival. And yes, there is evidence that breast cancer is survivable. I'll submit my own mother as exhibit A for that.

Homeopathy is what's totally unsupported by evidence. Hell, it's contradicted by evidence. And the point is instead of looking at what worked, she went to what's yet to cure a single case of breast cancer. You have evidence that homeopathy's ever cured breast cancer, you have any double-blinded, replicable studies that there's any efficacy for any cancer using homeopathy, now's the time to present it.

But you can't. Because there is none. I know already. This has been known for a long time now. At least with modern chemo- and radiotherapy, there's a survival rate. And that's the point: Homeopathy cannot present any equivalent rate for the same disease.

Again, you want to shut me up? Present the studies showing a heightened survival rate for homeopathy in treating any cancer.

Tibore said...

".... it's that there's a pile of assertions and assumptions behind it all that's just as BS as what it's trying to expose."

The bull**** is in thinking that a death rate in treatment equals ineffectiveness. That's exactly the equation you're presenting in this statement, and that's exactly the part you got wrong. Again: Survival rate. Yes, I'm fully aware that there's a failure rate with medical cancer treatments. Believe me, I'm all TOO aware. But that failure rate isn't 100%. And there's no success rate with homeopathy. This has been demonstrated, and it's been done so outside of cancer.

So you want to heap criticism on a practice that doesn't have a 100% success rate, but can demonstrate one better than nontreatment? Fine, you go ahead. And you'll have sites like "Whatstheharm" thrown in your face by people like Crack and me at every turn. Because it's unjustified anger - yes, UNJUSTIFIED - combined with overreaching conclusions based on fallacious thoughts like YOURS that lead people like Lucille to treatments that have zero chance of working.

So, bullshit? Yes. Totally on your part and the part of alt-"med" providers. Say what you want about proven, evidence based medicine, but at least their failure rates are documented, and at least they have an entire system of resesarch behind it to eliminate that. Again, you cannot point to an equivalent setup for alt-med. And it's because such a setup would disprove more of the alt-med treatments than it proves. It's already happened with homeopathy. You're also seeing it with antivaccination antiscience.

John Lynch already said it above: 'If it works, it's just "medicine."

blake said...

Crack--

Hey, that's okay, man. The feeling's mutual. And the word of the day is monomania.

Tibore seems to have deleted his post so I won't comment on it—or maybe it got swallowed—but I will say I'm not defending homeopathy.

On the other hand, I know that the ketogenic diet for pediatric epilepsy (which has a Biblical origin) is still being trashed by the medical establishment, while they funnel ineffective drugs into kids, cut their brains in what could best be described as "Hail Mary" passes, and just let them flat-out die rather than suggest it.

I know that techniques pioneered and used successfully for decades by the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia have become standard practice for the recovery of stroke patients, even as the medical establishment spent six decades ignoring them (even while they were the only ones working in the field of brain injured children who published their results).

In the end, we're all taking this on faith. For those of you who want to point to peer-reviewed studies (while of course ignoring the one I posted from JAMA on the perils of properly prescribed medicine) and say that's somehow different than any other naked appeal to authority, I have two words: Global Warming.

Medical "science" is just as—okay, maybe it's not as corrupt as climate "science", but it's awful bad and has been for a long time.

Government regulations, drug company interests, litigation—all these things have a vast and non-scientific influence on research.

I'm a little surprised no one can see the massive irony here.

Tibore said...

"Medical "science" is just as—okay, maybe it's not as corrupt as climate "science", but it's awful bad and has been for a long time.

Government regulations, drug company interests, litigation—all these things have a vast and non-scientific influence on research.

I'm a little surprised"


Logical Errors: The 'Nirvana Fallacy'

Darcy said...

Money quote:

Government regulations, drug company interests, litigation—all these things have a vast and non-scientific influence on research.

Yes. Greed, too. Is that shocking to say?

I doubt very much that I could have found many orthopedic surgeons who would have recommended strengthening and caring better for my back. I acknowledge that they're probably out there. But I believe back surgery should have been the LAST resort considered.

The Crack Emcee said...

During my MPH coursework I did some research on the historical divergence between "Allopathic/orthodox" medicine and "Alternative" medicine. Prior to the "scientific revolution" within medicine of the early to mid 20th century this was an ongoing battle, not only a battle of viewpoints regarding disease and treatment but a battle for patients and market share.

Homeopathy's Hahnemann got that whole "Allopathic/orthodox" medicine and "Alternative" medicine nonsense started, which is also reflected in the "Eastern/Western" con.

As john Lynch said, there's only medicine and shit that don't work.

The Crack Emcee said...

Darcy,

Why dismiss alternative medicine or whatever they are calling it entirely?

Because it doesn't work for anything but taking money from your wallet. Look at homeopathy - it hasn't cured anyone or changed in 200 years - while medicine has extended our lives twice over and is revised constantly. It's just not the same thing, and anyone, suggesting it is, is nuts when it's obvious they themselves - everyone talking here - is the product of modern medical breakthroughs.

I, too, have a back injury - had it since I was 19. I go to sports doctors - guys who are used to getting you back on the field and away from them. That's the difference with your comment about chiropractors:

I have had chiropractic care most of my life,...

Not me, because I know the scam.

Phil 3:14 said...

Crack;
Homeopathy's Hahnemann got that whole "Allopathic/orthodox" medicine and "Alternative" medicine nonsense started, which is also reflected in the "Eastern/Western" con.

You're looking at the past from our present perspective. When Hahnemann proposed his homeopathic theories scientific medicine as we know it didn't exist. Accepted therapy of the time included blood letting.

The various threads of alternative medicine are (not inclusive)
-the midwestern strains of manual medicine (i.e. Osteopathic manipulation and the Chiropractic)
-naturopathy (which thankfully lead to a greater interest in preventative medicine within orthodoxy)
-homeopathy (as mentioned above) its been nearly wedded to naturopathy
-the "foreign invasion" which begun with acupuncture (which does have some good research)and continues with Aryvudic etc
-folk medicine (i.e. herbal remedies) reinforced by the "back to nature" movement
- a variety of what could otherwise be called "New Age" therapies (i.e. crystals)

The Crack Emcee said...

Phil 3:14,

You're looking at the past from our present perspective. When Hahnemann proposed his homeopathic theories scientific medicine as we know it didn't exist. Accepted therapy of the time included blood letting.

No I'm not - homeopathy is so lame it was already being exposed in his lifetime. Trust me, I'm not a liberal or a NewAger:

If I don't know something, I'll tell you.

ken in sc said...

What you can get from going out in the wet and cold after drinking heavily, or being halfway sick to begin with, is pneumonia. This is what ‘catching your death of cold’ means. The fact that it is not really a cold is irrelevant. My grandfather died from it and I got pneumonia that way one time my self. Until I was told it was pneumonia, I just thought I had a heavy cold.

JAL said...

Some, very small percentage, does, and that is because we haven't yet discovered why it does.

Name them (it).

@ 5:59 AM "If you wouldn't drink coffee to go to sleep, how are you going to take something that will cause an allergy to cure it?"

Allergy shots, which, curiously enough--work just fine, on the same principle, and put money in MD's pockets--work the same way as this "homeopathy" would.


No Tom.

Allergy shots DO NOT work the same way as this "homeopathy" would.

Allergy shots work through the physiology of the human body. The best dose range can be determined by testing and measurement.

Homeopathy does not even claim to work the same way -- it claims to work on a metaphysical energetic plane which to this date cannot be defined, described or measured. Different homepathic practitioners can't even agree if you get them pinned down.

Repeat: Allergy shots do NOT work like homoeopathy.

And more important, homeopathy, (which doesn't work at all except perhaps through a placebo effect), DOES NOT work like allergy shots.

Eric said...

I'm glad my dad didn't let the pseudoscientists of the 1950s take my tonsils out.

Freeman Hunt said...

Women my age are obsessed with the dangers of common vaccines and eating only organic food.

Pseudoscience abounds.

Tibore said...

"Repeat: Allergy shots do NOT work like homoeopathy.

And more important, homeopathy, (which doesn't work at all except perhaps through a placebo effect), DOES NOT work like allergy shots."


Yes, THIS!! Thank you! I was aghast that the comparison was even made by somebody here. That betrays a frightening ignorance of even the broad strokes of how immunotherapy works.

Again: Desensitation therapy is the application of allergens to convince the body to react less and less to the stimuli and therefore produce less of the histamines responsible for the allergy symptoms to begin with. That's not the "Like cures like" Law of Similars in any way other than an extremely superficial, glossed over, root-cause-and-process ignoring way. And even if you accepted it as proving a homeopathic principle, that in no way transfers over to non-immunoconditioning treatments. You don't, for example, inject carcinogens or metastatic cells to rid a patient of tumors.

Tibore said...

Aaaand, those disappeared posts reappeared. Da hell?... I'll never figure out Blogger and Google.

Sorry for the repeats and deletions. I thought those posts got eaten. And then I come back hours later and wow! What did Blogger.com do to us? Blech...

JAL said...

When Hahnemann proposed his homeopathic theories scientific medicine as we know it didn't exist.

Oliver Wendell Holmes 1842


wv bucksc
Ken, is that you? ;-)

The Crack Emcee said...

Tibore,

Desensitation therapy is the application of allergens to convince the body to react less and less to the stimuli and therefore produce less of the histamines responsible for the allergy symptoms to begin with. That's not the "Like cures like" Law of Similars in any way other than an extremely superficial, glossed over, root-cause-and-process ignoring way. And even if you accepted it as proving a homeopathic principle, that in no way transfers over to non-immunoconditioning treatments. You don't, for example, inject carcinogens or metastatic cells to rid a patient of tumors.

Translation: it's just water.

Tibore said...

Yes, Crack, I understand that. In fact, it's no longer even "just water" because there are countless pills and other non-liquid "homeopathic" "remedies" being peddled out there. Too many homeopaths are folding "naturopathy" into their systems with the result that things are even more cloudy for the end user due to the mismash of pseudoscientific rationales for each treatment's claimed effectiveness, none of which have ever been proved rigorously.

But I digress. Anyway, yes, I understand the deception. What I was doing was explaining to ALH why his conflation of desensitation therapy with homeopathy was erroneous. ALH unfortunately misunderstood what sublingual therapy was, and ended up associating that with homeopathy when in fact it's straight-up immunology.

reynolf oliveros said...

Scam are flying everywhere nowadays so we should be extra vigilant about it. medical schools