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Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine

review Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine

Whether you are an ardent believer in alternative medicine a skeptic or are simply baffled by the range of services and opinions this guide lays to rest doubts and contradictions with authority integrity and clarity In this groundbreaking analysis over thirty of the most popular treatments acu. Wow The authors treat their readers as if we are unintelligent I really thought this book was going to take a neutral and scientific based approach to exploring the efficacy of alternative medicines I am also surprised to see some of the reviewers on here saying things like this book just confirmed all my beliefs and I was already suspicious of alternative medicines Why even read it if you have already made up your mind It's always easy to convince you of something you already believe The book stereo typed users and practitioners of alternative medicine and even said that conventional medical doctors take a holistic approach to treating patients than alternative practitioners Don't you think that's always going to depend on who your doctor or alternative practitioner is It pointed out all the rare isolated cases and possible side effects and drug interactions of many herbs but failed to mention that most pharmaceutics have just as many side effects possible interactions and rare cases in which something went wrong It had a chart giving ratings of good medium and poor to about 35 different herbs On page 204 the authors write If a herbal remedy does not appear in the table then it is probably safe to assume that there is no convincing evidence to support its use Really So you've covered everything worthwhile here in just a couple of pages huh Do your research be smart about your decisions and never assume anything I say There are many books scientific journals articles etc out there to read LOTS of scientific studies done No I haven't read them all No one possibly could including the authors But I personally would never tell you what to assume nor would I make the assumption that just because something is mainstream that makes it the correct way to do it I'm not jumping off that bridge I do have to admit however that it did have some fun historical facts on the origins of alternative medicines and a few nice uotes I guess my time wasn't entirely wasted O Jérusalem popular treatments acu. Wow The authors treat their readers as if we are unintelligent I really thought this book was going to take a neutral and scientific based approach to exploring the efficacy of alternative medicines I am also surprised to see some of the reviewers on here saying things like this book just confirmed all my beliefs and I was already suspicious of alternative medicines Why even read it if you have already made up your mind It's always easy to convince you of something you already believe The book stereo typed users and AMNESIQUES practitioners of alternative medicine and even said that conventional medical doctors take a holistic approach to treating Histoire du Moyen-Orient (Poches essais t. 266) patients than alternative L'Islam pour les nuls practitioners Don't you think that's always going to depend on who your doctor or alternative La question de Palestine, tome 1 : 1799-1921 practitioner is It Les Femmes du prophète pointed out all the rare isolated cases and PENSEE ARABE possible side effects and drug interactions of many herbs but failed to mention that most Le mois le plus long. Ramadan à Istanbul pharmaceutics have just as many side effects Figures du Palestinien: Identité des origines, identité de devenir possible interactions and rare cases in which something went wrong It had a chart giving ratings of good medium and Le Vent jaune : Récits poor to about 35 different herbs On L'inconscient de l'islam page 204 the authors write If a herbal remedy does not appear in the table then it is L'Expansion musulmane, VIIe-XIe siècles, 5e édition probably safe to assume that there is no convincing evidence to support its use Really So you've covered everything worthwhile here in just a couple of L'Inconscient de l'islam pages huh Do your research be smart about your decisions and never assume anything I say There are many books scientific journals articles etc out there to read LOTS of scientific studies done No I haven't read them all No one Les Palestiniens dans le siècle possibly could including the authors But I Le Gouvernement divin. Islam et conception politique du monde personally would never tell you what to assume nor would I make the assumption that just because something is mainstream that makes it the correct way to do it I'm not jumping off that bridge I do have to admit however that it did have some fun historical facts on the origins of alternative medicines and a few nice uotes I guess my time wasn't entirely wasted

Read & Download Ñ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ß Simon Singh

Puncture homeopathy aromatherapy reflexology chiropractic and herbal medicines are examined for their benefits and potential dangers uestions answered include What works and what doesn't What are the secrets and what are the lies Who can you trust and who is ripping you off Can science decide. Super biased in favor of conventional medicine which shouldn't be a shock since it's written by an MD Not well cited at all very anecdotal in the examples that prove how useless alternative medicine is other than the super diluted homeopathic drugs Mentioned a FEW people have even been harmed with natural cures but failed to mention the over 100000 people who die in the US every year from correctly prescribed properly taken conventional medicine not including overdoses and illegally used prescriptions drugsI was hoping for a book that gave detailed info on some natural cures and some clinical evidence to back it up but nothing was detailed a waste of time FIGARO (LE) [No 4167] du 29/01/1958 - anastasia, grande-duchesse ou aventuriere par aucleres - loi-cadre algerie adoptee en seconde lecture a l'assemblee par gabilly le droit de greve et la fonction publique hebergement par ravon la citrouille , satellite de l'armee us serait lancee cette semaine par sauvage operations de police chez les etudiants musulmans de paris important jaillissement de petrole dansle sahara oriental - une ombre par guehenno conference du pacte de bagdad jacques guerard potential dangers uestions answered include What works and what doesn't What are the secrets and what are the lies Who can you trust and who is ripping you off Can science decide. Super biased in favor of conventional medicine which shouldn't be a shock since it's written by an MD Not well cited at all very anecdotal in the examples that Droit musulman : du statut personnel et des successions d'après les différents rites, (Éd.1895) prove how useless alternative medicine is other than the super diluted homeopathic drugs Mentioned a FEW Droit musulman - Des successions: D'après les différents rites, et plus particulièrement d'après le rite hanafite people have even been harmed with natural cures but failed to mention the over 100000 Ramadan rariq - Les musulmans dans la laïcité responsabilités et droits des musulmans dans les sociétés occidentales deuxième édition people who die in the US every year from correctly Contingency in a Sacred Law: Legal and Ethical Norms in the Muslim Fiqh prescribed Fondamentalismes, intégrismes : Une menace pour les droits de l'homme properly taken conventional medicine not including overdoses and illegally used Etude Sur La Theorie Du Droit Musulman, Volume 1 - Primary Source Edition prescriptions drugsI was hoping for a book that gave detailed info on some natural cures and some clinical evidence to back it up but nothing was detailed a waste of time

Simon Singh ß 9 Download

What is best or do the old wives' tales really tap into ancient superior wisdomIn their scrutiny of alternative and complementary cures authors Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst also strive to reassert the primacy of the scientific method as a means for determining public health practice and policy. So Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine was written by Simon Singh who I used to respect and Edzard Ernst MD who calls himself the world's first professor of complementary medicine and immediately relative to this I have heard people who know him clear their throats and add Although I have never heard where he studied any complementary medicine See what I just did there I cast aspersions upon one of the authors by relating an anecdotal and therefore spurious sourceThe book has a single goal to prove through repetition that complementary medicine is invalid because it can not be proved through that golden standard of medicine the double blind trial to lead to evidence based medicine The introduction states The contents of this book are guided entirely by a single pithy sentence written over 2000 years ago by Hippocrates of Cos Recognized as father of medicine he stated 'There are in fact two things science and opinion; the former begets knowledge the latter ignorance' which says it all and I need explain nothing further From the outset science is the only thing that is important in the field of medicine Anything else is opinion Which illustrates the delightful paradox in that this book is positively chock full of opinion For example the first first chapter The Truth About Acupuncture begins with the bold statement that it was not the Chinese who invented it because in 1991 two German tourists Helmut and Erika Simon discovered a frozen corpse 5000 years old covered in tatoos that resemble conventional acupuncture points Scientists began examining him he was covered in tattoos consisting of lines and dots 80 percent of the points correspond to those used in acupuncture today Voilà case proved ipso facto Europeans invented acupuncture For two men who profess to loathe anecdotes they have no compunction about pulling them out to prove one of their batty theories Next the authors discuss ch'i and frankly anybody who studies Chinese medicine knows that what they say is wrong wrong wrong The character for ch'i or i rarely if ever exists alone in Chinese text books; it is always modified because and this is the difference between Chinese medicine and biomedicine i describes a process or function not a structure or a measurable substance See Westerners like tangible measurables in medicine When the Chinese talk about yuan i vitality or wei i immune robustness or gu i nutrient absorption it is all relative The Chinese philosopher doctors use their language to describe how systems function in relative terms not how they compare from one human to another In other words how is someone handling all of their basic functions digestion elimination breathing sleep not what are your values To talk about Chinese medicine without understanding this most basic concept is the euivalent of saying I English good speak By the way the photo on page 45 of illegal non clean needle techniue in which a patient has 16 needles in his face makes me wonder what's going on there A face lift by acupuncture Because jeez loueez it's not recognizable acupuncture I've ever seenNext there are all the scary stories about infections death and so on C'mon you guys In my 15 years in the biz I've heard of one case of pneumothorax caused by L'amour en Islam de l'enchantement à l'étouffement primacy of the scientific method as a means for determining Lawrence d'Arabie public health Le monde méditerranéen, 15.000 ans d'histoire practice and La Tragédie de l'islam moderne policy. So Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine was written by Simon Singh who I used to respect and Edzard Ernst MD who calls himself the world's first L'Islam expliqué en images professor of complementary medicine and immediately relative to this I have heard Les grandes figures de l'islam people who know him clear their throats and add Although I have never heard where he studied any complementary medicine See what I just did there I cast aspersions upon one of the authors by relating an anecdotal and therefore spurious sourceThe book has a single goal to 60 Ans de conflit israélo-arabe : Témoignages pour l'Histoire prove through repetition that complementary medicine is invalid because it can not be Israël-Palestine : Une terre, du sang, des larmes proved through that golden standard of medicine the double blind trial to lead to evidence based medicine The introduction states The contents of this book are guided entirely by a single Opération Raisins de la colère. L'histoire secrète d'un succès diplomatique français (Sciences politiques et relations internationales) pithy sentence written over 2000 years ago by Hippocrates of Cos Recognized as father of medicine he stated 'There are in fact two things science and opinion; the former begets knowledge the latter ignorance' which says it all and I need explain nothing further From the outset science is the only thing that is important in the field of medicine Anything else is opinion Which illustrates the delightful Un printemps arabe paradox in that this book is Pour une lecture profane des conflits (POCHES ESSAIS t. 426) positively chock full of opinion For example the first first chapter The Truth About Acupuncture begins with the bold statement that it was not the Chinese who invented it because in 1991 two German tourists Helmut and Erika Simon discovered a frozen corpse 5000 years old covered in tatoos that resemble conventional acupuncture L'État islamique de Mossoul (CAHIERS LIBRES) points Scientists began examining him he was covered in tattoos consisting of lines and dots 80 Le crime occidental percent of the Les Chrétiens d'Allah (TEMPUS t. 115) points correspond to those used in acupuncture today Voilà case L'islam proved ipso facto Europeans invented acupuncture For two men who Qu'est-ce que le salafisme ? profess to loathe anecdotes they have no compunction about Les musulmans en France : Courants, institutions, communautés : un état des lieux pulling them out to Les religions et la guerre : Judaïsme, christianisme, islam, ouvrage collectif prove one of their batty theories Next the authors discuss ch'i and frankly anybody who studies Chinese medicine knows that what they say is wrong wrong wrong The character for ch'i or i rarely if ever exists alone in Chinese text books; it is always modified because and this is the difference between Chinese medicine and biomedicine i describes a Des voix derrière le voile (Hors collection) process or function not a structure or a measurable substance See Westerners like tangible measurables in medicine When the Chinese talk about yuan i vitality or wei i immune robustness or gu i nutrient absorption it is all relative The Chinese La conquête de l'Occident: D’un Islam subversif à la France fourre-tout philosopher doctors use their language to describe how systems function in relative terms not how they compare from one human to another In other words how is someone handling all of their basic functions digestion elimination breathing sleep not what are your values To talk about Chinese medicine without understanding this most basic concept is the euivalent of saying I English good speak By the way the Dictionnaire historique de l'islam photo on Qu'Allah bénisse la France page 45 of illegal non clean needle techniue in which a Ce voile qui déchire la France patient has 16 needles in his face makes me wonder what's going on there A face lift by acupuncture Because jeez loueez it's not recognizable acupuncture I've ever seenNext there are all the scary stories about infections death and so on C'mon you guys In my 15 years in the biz I've heard of one case of Rachid Lahlou, un humanitaire musulman dans la République pneumothorax caused by


10 thoughts on “Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine

  1. says:

    DIE HOMEOPATHY DIEThis book is perfect I've been thinking I had to write this book eventually but now I don't have to because it exists and it's exactly as I imagined it Now all I have to do is have a child and plant a tree It's a fact that otherwise smart people have a tendency to believe weird stuff It's always there right under the surface My own mom just came in to tell me I have to be careful tomorrow 111111 because the number 11 scares her I don't understand it but there it is And being afraid of the number 11 probably won't hurt her but there are people out there who will find ways to take advantage of her fearThis is why this book is so important People need to know why alternative medicine doesn't work and they need to know how we can tell that it doesn't work And if I had to write a book for non sciency folks to understand how we've come to that conclusion well this is exactly the book I would write Except it's already been written I'll have to find something else to do with my timeThe book is at the same time ruthlessly scientific and ridiculously accessible It flat out refuses to make any assumptions choosing instead to revise from scratch all the evidence we have on alternative therapies Except you can't do that without first explaining the method you're using so that's what the authors do they intertwine all the acupuncture talk with scientific method talkThat is they start out by laying out the origins of the clinical trial and before you know it they're explaining the concept of publication bias and the Cochrane initiative The result is a rigorous honest and well researched book and the fact that it's a little lightweight is probably its greatest strength


  2. says:

    This is the third book I've read this year that examines the evidence for and against alternative medicine so much of the ground it covers was already familiar to me Despite that fact I enjoyed this book a great deal and think it is likely to be the most accessible to those who have personal experience with alternative medicineThe authors take an in depth look at the four most popular modalities in the alternative medicine world acupuncture homeopathy chiropractic and herbal medicine They briefly discuss the history and public perception of each before they analyze what science has to say about the true effectiveness of these techniuesThe authors are not shy about stating those cases in which science does indicate possible effectiveness of these modalities such as acupuncture for pain and nausea chiropractic for low back pain and certain herbs for various specified conditions They take things a step further however by comparing these treatments with their conventional counterparts in terms of both cost and risk While chiropractic may be effective for certain types of back pain it has not been shown to be effective than conventional therapies is usually much expensive and carries a rarely discussed but very real risk of stroke leading the authors to recommend against itThough the bulk of the book is spent on the four most popular CAM treatments the appendix contains brief summary of their findings for 36 other CAM modalities from Ayuveda to spiritual healing that I found particularly informative I hope that the authors' willingness to give credit to those therapies that do warrant further study will make this book likely to be read by those who could best benefit from this information Unlike the authors of Suckers and Snake Oil Science Ernst knows this world from the inside He is world's first professor of complementary medicine and also a former homeopath As the authors discuss the placebo effect the empathetic nature of CAM practitioners and the preference we give to anecdotal over scientific evidence are likely to continue keeping the public confused about the true effectiveness of some of these methods Those who would like to make certain they are getting good value for their hard earned cash before trying one of these treatments however will find this book an invaluable resource


  3. says:

    Wow The authors treat their readers as if we are unintelligent I really thought this book was going to take a neutral and scientific based approach to exploring the efficacy of alternative medicines I am also surprised to see some of the reviewers on here saying things like this book just confirmed all my beliefs and I was already suspicious of alternative medicines Why even read it if you have already made up your mind? It's always easy to convince you of something you already believe The book stereo typed users and practitioners of alternative medicine and even said that conventional medical doctors take a holistic approach to treating patients than alternative practitioners Don't you think that's always going to depend on who your doctor or alternative practitioner is? It pointed out all the rare isolated cases and possible side effects and drug interactions of many herbs but failed to mention that most pharmaceutics have just as many side effects possible interactions and rare cases in which something went wrong It had a chart giving ratings of good medium and poor to about 35 different herbs On page 204 the authors write If a herbal remedy does not appear in the table then it is probably safe to assume that there is no convincing evidence to support its use Really? So you've covered everything worthwhile here in just a couple of pages huh? Do your research be smart about your decisions and never assume anything I say There are many books scientific journals articles etc out there to read LOTS of scientific studies done No I haven't read them all No one possibly could including the authors But I personally would never tell you what to assume nor would I make the assumption that just because something is mainstream that makes it the correct way to do it I'm not jumping off that bridge I do have to admit however that it did have some fun historical facts on the origins of alternative medicines and a few nice uotes I guess my time wasn't entirely wasted


  4. says:

    Super biased in favor of conventional medicine which shouldn't be a shock since it's written by an MD Not well cited at all very anecdotal in the examples that prove how useless alternative medicine is other than the super diluted homeopathic drugs Mentioned a FEW people have even been harmed with natural cures but failed to mention the over 100000 people who die in the US every year from correctly prescribed properly taken conventional medicine not including overdoses and illegally used prescriptions drugsI was hoping for a book that gave detailed info on some natural cures and some clinical evidence to back it up but nothing was detailed a waste of time


  5. says:

    This book investigates the claims alternative medical treatments make based on a scientifically acknowledged methodologyThe book starts with a description of the scientific methods studies have to be based on to have any value They also evaluate some well known studiesThe next chapters look thouroughly on acupuncture homeopathy chiropractic therapy and herbal medicineThe last chapter which I found particularly interesting discusses if the placebo effect of alternative treatments is something that should be used as an addition to school medicineIn the appendix you find an overview and short evaluation of many alternative treatmentsI don’t think it is a spoiler when I tell you that most alternative treatments have turned out as ineffective with a placebo effect in best case a few have a slight positive impact and some are not only ineffective but also dangerous The authors’ evaluation is based on a clear and well described scientific methodology their conclusions are comprehensively describedThis is a book for readers who appreciate a rational and scientific approach to things Readers who prefer gut feeling and a strong belief over facts will not be happy with this book


  6. says:

    In my continued exploration of alternative medicine I turned to Drs Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh’s Trick or Treatment While rife with medical history and science unfortunately it reads somewhat like stereo instructions Trick or Treatment is simply too tedious for the casual reader I’m sure medical professionals will find this text fascinating Laypeople? Not so much It’s too academic Further I find it irritating that the doctors denigrate alternative medicine practitioners for relying on anecdotal experience when they do the same It's story after story of the negative effects a certain complementary treatment had on one or a few person Basically the definition of an anecdote I was looking for the science or lack thereof behind why specific alternative remedies are pure uackery Give me the science I WANT THE SCIENCE The one highlight of Trick or Treatment is the synthesized glossary It covers a wide variety of alternative treatments and rates them based on efficacy and risk factor It’s entirely possible to simply read the glossary and skip the remainder Summary Read if you’re a medical professional or avid fan disregard otherwise


  7. says:

    This is essential reading on the topic of alternative medicine and I'm a little embarrassed to admit that it's been sitting unread on my shelf for over a decade Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine is a practical balanced and evidence based guide to the legitimately confusing world of complementary and alternative medicine CAM The authors are well ualified on the topic Dr Edzard Ernst is a now retired academic physician and the first Professor of Complementary Medicine at Exeter and Simon Singh is a science journalist and gifted explainer This is the sort of book that if everyone could read and appreciated it would save consumers billions of dollars annually It could save a lot of lives as wellAlternative medicine is filled with grey areas when it comes to testing support effect harm cost consistency and a host of other factors Singh and Ernst wade into this murky state of affairs to demonstrate why science is so essential and clinical trials so powerful in establishing the truth of what works and what doesn't With historical examples they show how careful blinded testing among large sample sizes have cut through pet theories testimonials placebo and wishful thinking Anything that proves effective becomes part of medicine whatever its origin and everything else remains alternative either not proven effective or proven ineffectiveThe book primarily focuses on the four largest categories of CAM acupuncture homeopathy chiropractic therapy and herbal medicine The authors walk us through the origins and practice early success stories ways they've been tested over time people who have been harmed and the narrowly prescribed situations in which they may prove helpful The full treatment is worth reading for its context history and nuanced arguments but I'll summarize with these proposed warning labels for each product the first is from Dylan Evans in his book PlaceboHomeopathy Warning this product is a placebo It will work only if you believe in homeopathy and only for certain conditions such as pain and depression Even then it is not likely to be as powerful as orthodox drugs You may get fewer side effects from this treatment than from a drug but you will probably also get less benefitAcupuncture Warning this treatment has shown only very limited evidence that it can treat some types of pain and nausea If it is effective for these conditions then its benefits appear to be short lived and minor It is expensive than conventional treatments and very likely to be less effective It is likely that its major impact is as a placebo in treating pain and nausea In the treatment of all other conditions acupuncture has no effect other than a placebo effect It is a largely safe treatment when practiced by a trained acupuncturistChiropractic Warning this treatment carries the risk of stroke and death if spinal manipulation is applied to the neck Elsewhere on the spine chiropractic therapy is relatively safe It has shown some evidence of benefit in the treatment of back pain but conventional treatments are usually eually effective and much cheaper In the treatment of all other conditions chiropractic therapy is ineffective except that it might act as a placeboA host of alternative modalities are discussed along the way and there's an incredibly helpful appendix at the end that gives one page summaries of dozens of additional diagnosticstreatmentsdietsmethods some you may have heard of and others you'll know to look out for It reads like a list of former and future investigations for my podcast in which I've subjected myself to many of these treatments This book will serve as a constant reference for me to return to You'll also learn a bunch of fun facts along the way For example who knew that the e meter Scientology's famed spiritual technology device was originally invented in the 40s by chiropractor Volney Mathison? Or that the word drug comes from the Swedish word druug meaning dried plant? Or that Viagra was initially a failed treatment for angina until researchers found that male participants didn't want to give their pills back? Or that homeopathic remedies have started with materials as absurd as fragments of the Berlin Wall?This is a book chock full of valuable information and reasoned argument that will sharpen anyone's understanding of medicine and science It's dense but rewardingly so Highly recommended


  8. says:

    This book takes an objective look at alternative medicine The outcome is electrifying to everyone who thinks and has used or considered using anything like homeopathy or acupuncture Singh and Ernst don’t set out with any malice – Ernst has worked for many years in alternative medicine – but they show devastatingly how proper trials have shown these alternative treatments to rarely be better than a placebo and often to have negative or even life threatening conseuencesIt really is striking – the vast majority of alternative medical treatments are proved to be on a par with snake oil Apart from anything else this ought to be reuired reading for doctors a surprising number encourage alternative treatment – for celebrities who endorse this kind of medication and particularly the media which all too often is wide eyed and idiotic on the subject of alternative treatments In the UK Prince Charles who has bumbled on about the subject for many years ought to be forced to copy this book out by hand until he gets the pointAll in all a really important book which wasn't given the coverage it deserved when it came out and what’s it’s very readable too By combining Ernst’s expertise on the subject and Singh’s superb science writing we have a book that is as entertaining as it is informative and the emphasis on real testing will be a delight to anyone who enjoys the saying ‘data is not the plural of anecdote’ More than recommended – essential


  9. says:

    So Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine was written by Simon Singh who I used to respect and Edzard Ernst MD who calls himself the world's first professor of complementary medicine and immediately relative to this I have heard people who know him clear their throats and add Although I have never heard where he studied any complementary medicine See what I just did there? I cast aspersions upon one of the authors by relating an anecdotal and therefore spurious sourceThe book has a single goal to prove through repetition that complementary medicine is invalid because it can not be proved through that golden standard of medicine the double blind trial to lead to evidence based medicine The introduction states The contents of this book are guided entirely by a single pithy sentence written over 2000 years ago by Hippocrates of Cos Recognized as father of medicine he stated 'There are in fact two things science and opinion; the former begets knowledge the latter ignorance' which says it all and I need explain nothing further From the outset science is the only thing that is important in the field of medicine Anything else is opinion Which illustrates the delightful paradox in that this book is positively chock full of opinion For example the first first chapter The Truth About Acupuncture begins with the bold statement that it was not the Chinese who invented it because in 1991 two German tourists Helmut and Erika Simon discovered a frozen corpse 5000 years old covered in tatoos that resemble conventional acupuncture points Scientists began examining him he was covered in tattoos consisting of lines and dots 80 percent of the points correspond to those used in acupuncture today Voilà case proved ipso facto Europeans invented acupuncture For two men who profess to loathe anecdotes they have no compunction about pulling them out to prove one of their batty theories Next the authors discuss ch'i and frankly anybody who studies Chinese medicine knows that what they say is wrong wrong wrong The character for ch'i or i rarely if ever exists alone in Chinese text books; it is always modified because and this is the difference between Chinese medicine and biomedicine i describes a process or function not a structure or a measurable substance See Westerners like tangible measurables in medicine When the Chinese talk about yuan i vitality or wei i immune robustness or gu i nutrient absorption it is all relative The Chinese philosopher doctors use their language to describe how systems function in relative terms not how they compare from one human to another In other words how is someone handling all of their basic functions digestion elimination breathing sleep not what are your values? To talk about Chinese medicine without understanding this most basic concept is the euivalent of saying I English good speak By the way the photo on page 45 of illegal non clean needle techniue in which a patient has 16 needles in his face makes me wonder what's going on there? A face lift by acupuncture? Because jeez loueez it's not recognizable acupuncture I've ever seenNext there are all the scary stories about infections death and so on C'mon you guys In my 15 years in the biz I've heard of one case of pneumothorax caused by an untrained MEDICAL doctor The explanation he gave to his patient was get this Your lungs are too big See I can use anecdotes tooActually this book continues along just of the same The scientific part of the book turns out to be a selective review of some of the scientific studies Conclusions are drawn but they are wifty Here are some thoughts about the difficulties posed by studies of acupuncture efficacity 1 Double blind tests with acupuncture protocols where there are no reduction of symptoms don't prove acupuncture doesn't work they just prove that that protocol doesn't work;2 The first thing a student of Chinese medicine learns is Same symptoms different treatment different symptoms same treatment This means that even when the symptoms are same over a group of people you treat them differently because they have different presentation age sex robustness In order for any treatment to be successful it must be tailored for each subject Thus for obvious reasons the double blind test for acupuncture efficacy is not viable there would always be too many variables;3 Sham needling is SHAM study The Japanese style of acupuncture called Toyohari for example developed by blind practitioners do not for obvious reasons insert the needle into the dermis they just use needles to stimulate the surface of the skin Toyohari has been shown to have tremendous therapeutic value Therefore the idea of using sham retractible needles that contact the surface of the skin means there still has been treatment;By the way I had a Toyohari treatment when I was in Japan At the time didn't think I'd gotten any treatment at all Later on do you know how I felt? Like a million freakin' bucks that's how I felt When was the last time you left a doctor's office and felt like a million freakin' bucks?Let's not go into that rat's nest of placebo but frankly do you think acupuncturists are talking dogs cats and horses into feeling better with acupuncture? A veterinarian with an euine practice in Middleburg VA came to acupuncture school after he successfully treated a horse with a dripping eye The key is that conventional treatment had not been effective it was only after he had tried acupuncture that he had positive results Do you think he persuaded the horse into stopping his eye from dripping?Ernst and Singh do the same thing for chiropractic therapy thank god for chiropractors my doctor wanted to cut open my back for exploratory surgery When I declined he offered me physical therapy didn't work and Oxy no thanks My chiropractor bless him fixed me However Ernst points out that you are taking your life into your hands any time you step into a chiropractic office despite the fact mine pays about 900 a year in malpractice whereas my GP pays 50000 and that chiropractors are 9 times likely to be brought up for charges for sexual misconduct Oh you randy randy chiropractors What will we do with you? I guess Ernst and Simon have forgotten all those years when female patients were given unauthorized pelvic exams by residents and students while under anesthesia a practice that continues today Google Unauthorized practice teaching pelvic examination on women under anesthesia and guess only chiropractors fall under the bright light of scrutiny medical doctors sticking their hands into anesthetized women's parts doesn't rate mentionThe authors continue to find hoaxes within homeopathy herbal medicine meditation naturopathy Alexander techniue leech therapy why do they not call it hirudotherapy and why do they not acknowledge it is now used for over a dozen approved post surgical therapies in North America? etcThey conclude with a chapter entitled Does the truth matter? Well hah of course it doesn't Smart people know this is all bunk Those stupid people who head to acupuncturists and chiropractors in droves are not to be blamed for being hood winked Oh and the Prince to whom the book is dedicated is a Royal fool gullible and weak minded In short the Prince of Wales ought to start listening to scientists rather than allowing himself to be guided by his own prejudices They ask who is to blame for all this nonsense? Well celebrities are especially pretty ones like Pamela Anderson and Goldie Hawn; medical researchers are here they may be talking about people like a man diagnosed with MS while he was finishing his PhD in Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University upon receiving the diagnosis he set his considerable mind to pursuing available information about treatment protocol outcomes and concluded there was no pharmaceutical on the market that actually performed better than placebo He decided to go holistic and is now a teacher of i gong of national renown and has had no further exacerbations; universities are bad universities bad bad down boy By awarding profitable degrees in these alternative therapies they are creating false hope and real profits; alternative gurus are eg charismatic MDs like doctor Oz This really cheeses me off when I've been telling patients for four years their Raynaud's symptoms would improve if they stopped smoking inevitably they come back to me and and say Dr Oz says such and such; the media well look at the bullshit that's happened in the last 16 months there who can believe anybody any ; the World Health Organization; the National Institutes of Health; and so onWhen the authors talk about biomedicine moving out of the dark ages I think they refer to biomedicine moving away from how are you today? towards an Orwellian world where your physician faces a screen Electronic Health Records anyone? instead of her patient To a world where the patient's numerical values are the end all be all and outside of those values he as a patient has no value himself One area the authors never touch upon is the importance alternative medicine has for society in a world in which doctors are priests standing between a man and his own health and only care about that small slide from ill health to death alternative medicine allows for a place in which a person can go to learn about self care to augment the uality of his healthy life and prevent an odd situation from becoming a chronic situationAs a final statement I'd like to mention the Starfield report published by Barbara Starfield MD in JAMA 2000; it stated that the third leading cause for untimely death in the US is iatrogenic in nature This is in direct conflict to the CDC's list of top ten killers in which lung disease is third after cardiovascular disease and cancer Please note that alternative medicine doesn't figure in the top 100 causes of untimely death Draw your own conclusions Written forStephen dead at 23 from a fatal drug interaction prescribed by a medical doctorElizabeth currently blind crippled and brain damaged by a routine allergy shot administered incorrectly by a medical doctorEgan survived pneumo thorax caused by medical doctor using acupuncture incorrectly while attempting to treat his shinglesWilliam saved from sepsis by a phenomenal surgeon and an extraordinary team of physicians nurses and techs at Yale Teaching hospital We need each other guys


  10. says:

    I once watched a pigeon waddling around on the sidewalk launch into the air and bounce off a pedestrian’s chest It shattered the illusion that the natural world is some sort of flawless mystical place—that animals are so in tune with their surroundings that they never make mistakes or have poor judgments “Yeah I can totally achieve escape velocity before that giant lumbering treetrunk or whatever crosses my flightpath” thinks the pigeon No You didn’tThis sort of magical thinking—or perhaps magical unthinking since I often either consider suirrels or pigeons as fuzzy automatons running their behavioral scripts or as exterior décor like leaves or sunlight—permeates the world of self proclaimed alternative medicine “Alternative therapists continue to wear the name ‘alternative’ as a badge of honour using it to give substandard treatments an undeserved level of dignity They use the term ‘alternative’ to promote the notion that they somehow exploit alternative aspects of science The truth however is that there is no such thing as alternative science just as there is no alternative biology alternative anatomy alternative testing or alternative evidence Trick or Treatment The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine falls into the title construction format the I find personally aggravating; a clever title and then an aggressive subtitle that cannot be denied Outside of the feeling of being punched in the face with the subtitle I knew—because I’ve read articles and books by Simon Singh before—that I was already in the same boat about homeopathy acupuncture chiropractic and herbal medicine as the authors Chiropractors who manipulate the neck can cause stroke which can be fatal Some herbs can cause adverse reactions or can interfere with conventional drugs thereby leading to serious harm Acupuncture practised by an expert is probably safe but minor bleeding is common for many patients and serious problems include infection from re used needles and the puncturing of major organs Even homeopathic remedies which of course contain no active ingredient can be dangerous if they delay or replace orthodox treatment Basically it’s hokumIf anything I became accepting of herbal medicine; I had dismissed it out of hand because well herbal medicine But Trick or Treatment isn’t ideological it just dumps facts on your face “ There have been attempts to isolate the key active ingredient in St John’s wort thought to be either hyperforin or hypericin but when these have been tested however it appears that they are not as effective as the plant itself In this particular instance the herbalist’s view appears correct In other words it seems that the benefits of St John’s wort are due to a combination of chemicals each one working to enhance the effect of the others” My expectation of constant confirmation bias based personal validation was brought up short but it is affirming to be reminded that scientific testing—conventional medicine—will check whatever alternative bunkum spills forth from the mantra and placebo industry and use what is proven to be relatively safe and effective Replicable results—that’s pretty much science in a nutshell Scientists focused their attention on willow bark which had been used to reduce pain and fevers for thousands of years They successfully identified the active ingredient this time naming is salicin based on salix the Latin word for willow In this case however chemists took nature’s drug and attempted to modify and improve it driven by the knowledge that salicin was toxic Taken in either pure form or in willow bark salicin was known to cause particularly harmful gastric problems but chemists realized they could largely remove this side effect by transforming salicin into another closely related molecule known as acetylsalicylic acid The Bayer company in Germany started marketing this new wonder drug under the name of aspirin in 1899 That’s science in a willowbarkThe opening sections give a strong run down of the historical context and comprehensible principles of the scientific method the clinical trial and the placebo effect Simply having a working understanding of these three concepts is reuired to form an educated opinion on the actual content regarding the specific alternative medicine chapters Having the historical background makes learning the necessary practical definitions and current applications memorable; it is nice to be reminded this is a book after all not a white paper The word placebo is Latin for ‘I will please’ and it was used by writers such as Chaucer to describe insincere expressions that nevertheless can be consoling ‘Flatterers are the devil’s chaplains that continually sing placebo’ It was not until 1832 that placebo took on its specific medical meaning namely an insincere or ineffective treatment that can nevertheless be consoling The ethical discussions contained near the tail end of Trick or Treatment are predicated on a working comprehension of the placebo effect For some conditions such as back pain conventional medicine struggles to offer a reasonably good solution which means that a homeopathic remedy might be as good as anything else After all it will garner whatever psychological strengths the patient can bring to bear Our position—that the routine use of placebos is unacceptable because doctors should never lie to their patients—might seem draconian Indeed those who oppose our view would argue that the benefits of lying outweigh the ivory tower ethical arguments These opponents would feel that white lies are acceptable if they improve the health of patients I can’t really tell you how an ardent supporter of alternative medicine would view Trick or Treatment but if you want to know about acupuncture homeopathy herbal medicine and chiropractic this is a reliable place to become informed Even if you dismiss the conclusions—that alternative medicine is often outright dangerous or at the least obfuscatory in finding effective treatment—the historical background and functional detailing is informative and at times fascinating By the start of the twentieth century acupuncture was extinct in the West and dormant in the East It might have fallen out of favour permanently but it suddenly experienced a revival in 1949 as a direct result of the communist revolution and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China Chairman Mao engineered a resurgence in traditional Chinese medicine His motivation was partly ideological inasmuch as he wanted to reinforce a sense of national pride in Chinese medicine However he was also driven by necessityto deliver affordable healthcare in both urban and rural regions Mao did not care whether traditional Chinese medicine worked as long as he could keep the masses contented The medical data mostly from clinical trials and meta analyses of clinical trials is pretty straightforward It’s hard to dismiss the conclusions without succumbing to willful ignorance and any book that closes out on a Carl Sagan uote is worth reading It seems to me what is called for is an exuisite balance between two conflicting needs the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas If you are only skeptical then no new ideas make it through to you You never learn anything new You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world There is of course much data to support you On the other hand if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you then you cannot distinguish useful ideas from worthless ones If all ideas have eual validity then you are lost because then it seems to me no ideas have any validity at all