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Homeopathy
Posted: 30 December 2007 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Yes, the AM lobby has powerful friends in the legislature who prevent effective regulation, and they have a great PR machine. Not to mention lawyers. When the legitimate medical establishment tries to limit their access to the public or decries what they offer as nonsense, anti-competitive lawsuits and all kinds of pro-AM doctors and “experts” get trotted out to say we’re just protecting our jobs and incomes, we’re stooges of the pharmaceutical companies, etc. Sadly, the general public usually lacks the ability to distinguish between real science and BS, so such efforts are often effective.

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Posted: 30 December 2007 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Oops sorry.  I put in the wrong link for the list of universities who have sold out.  The right link is http://www.imconsortium.org/cahcim/members/home.html

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Posted: 30 December 2007 02:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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David Colquhoun - 30 December 2007 12:54 PM

Oops sorry.  I put in the wrong link for the list of universities who have sold out.  The right link is http://www.imconsortium.org/cahcim/members/home.html

Pardon my ignorance, but what precisely does The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine support? Do they actively support homeopathy, for example? Or is it rather a more catchall organization that supports serious study of nonstandard health practices?

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Posted: 30 December 2007 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Well there is a whole stack of stuff there and you’d have to follow the links to get details.  I’ve just been going through a few of them. They all try (but fail) to make themselves sound respectable by claiming that they are interested in evidence, but there is little sign of that in most of their activities. 

They mostly don’t seem to put much emphasis on homeopathy, but there is a lot on acupuncture and traditional chinese medicine, for both of which there is little decent evidence of any substantial therapeutic effect.  There is a great deal of talk about “integrative medicine”, a favourite hobby horse of the Prince of Wales over here (he is also into talking to trees).  As Raymond Tallis once said, that term seems to mean integrating things that don’t work with things that do work.  The point I suppose is, that they all seem to be busy integrating before there is any good evidence,

Here is one thing that I have just made into a slide.  It comes from OHSU, an otherwise very reputable place.  It is quite disgracefully inaccurate and obviously written by a committed believer in that particular form of witchcraft.

What is Homeopathy?

This therapy treats ailments with very small amounts of the same substance that causes the patient’s symptoms.

Wrong –in many cases it is ZERO amount

Explanations for why homeopathy works range from the idea that homeopathic medicine stimulates the body’s own natural defenses to the idea that homeopathic medicine retains a “memory” of the original substance.
However, there is no factual explanation for why homeopathy works and more research is needed

Wrong –the explicit assumption that is DOES work is contrary to all the good evidence that it is merely a placebo only

I still can’t understand why the many good people at OHSU aren’t out on the streets protesting about this sort of stuff being put out in their name.

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Posted: 30 December 2007 04:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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I certainly agree with you that traditional chinese medicine, etc., is largely quackery. And although I am open to some of its ingredients and potions eventually being demonstrated to have beneficial pharmacological effects, I do expect that most of it will be inert and some will be quite dangerous. But I think you may be overinterpreting the OHSU page you’re quoting. In my experience, “more research is needed” is the standard scientific way of claiming that the substance in question is believed ineffective. That’s because any finite testing regime may simply have missed the effect, and so these sorts of scientific agencies tend to prefer charitable sorts of phrasing.

Certainly, I do agree that for the general public this way of putting things can be quite misleading. But I don’t think that it shows whoever wrote those words is actually a believer in homeopathy. (Or at least I would want further evidence to demonstrate that).

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Posted: 31 December 2007 12:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Well the point is that, as you say, it is misleading. It doesn’t really matter what the beliefs of the writer are.  And OHSU should not be putting out misleading messages.

It is certainly quite possible that good things may eventually be found in TCM, but the time to talk about “integration” is surely after they have been found, not before.

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Posted: 31 December 2007 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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David Colquhoun - 31 December 2007 12:51 AM

It is certainly quite possible that good things may eventually be found in TCM, but the time to talk about “integration” is surely after they have been found, not before.

Absolutely!

And the federal government should not be funding studies of queer methodologies. They should spend it on methodologies most likely to be effective.

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Posted: 25 February 2008 06:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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I have read this thread until here but really feel urged to give my 2 cents by now.

I find it very shocking how many people disregard alternative treatments like homeopathy or even the well established TCM (The later being a few thousand years older than our so called “civilization”) just because some statistics or surveys/studies throw a few numbers at us. An intelligent person does more than that. If you want to have an opinion based on facts you need to test the treatment for yourself. This is the only way to know if something is suitable for one’s own condition or not!
In my own example: I am suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and the usual medication allthough it helped was not tackling the root of the problem at all. I got a reduction of symptoms but I was never cured and on top of that the medication needs different medication to treat the symptoms/side effects of the initial medication.

Now, after going through this cycle for a while I decided to give treatments like EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques - http://www.emofree.com) and NES (http://www.nutrienergetics.eu) a try and guess what? I had the same or even better reduction of symptoms so far and feel a LOT better in general. EFT is based on TCM and its meridian system. NES is based on TCM too and some more.

Yes, there are a lot of voices who say: This is all bull! It cannot be proven and therefore it cannot exist!
I say: I have the results so what are you trying to convince me about?

So in my case I am not fighting against the side effects of medication anymore but still receive the benefits of a treatment, even though not fully explained yet.
Not everything unexplained is BOGUS. If you continue to think like that and only rely on statistics made by an established lobby which is interested in profits and not health, you basically doom yourself and our society to stay in the stone ages when it comes to health.
The same lobby btw is trying to get vitamins off the market and only available by doctor’s prescription because vitamins can’t be patented.

Connect the dots smile

Cheers
Michael

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Posted: 25 February 2008 07:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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And again a very old thread…..hehehehe

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Posted: 25 February 2008 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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protein - 25 February 2008 06:57 AM

I find it very shocking how many people disregard alternative treatments like homeopathy or even the well established TCM (The later being a few thousand years older than our so called “civilization”) just because some statistics or surveys/studies throw a few numbers at us. An intelligent person does more than that. If you want to have an opinion based on facts you need to test the treatment for yourself. This is the only way to know if something is suitable for one’s own condition or not!

Actually, an “intelligent person” knows that personal experiences like these typify anecdotal evidence, and are scientifically worthless. The only way to properly diagnose causation is by doing a properly blinded, statistically relevant sample study of a broad variety of patients with similar symptoms. Meta-analyses done with such studies on homeopathic medicine shows such medicines to be no better than placebo. This isn’t surprising, since homeopathic medicine is simply water.

protein - 25 February 2008 06:57 AM

The same lobby btw is trying to get vitamins off the market and only available by doctor’s prescription because vitamins can’t be patented.l

Nobody is trying to get “vitamins” off the market. Since vitamins are a natural part of all foods, it would be impossible to get vitamins off the market without eliminating food. What responsible physicians are trying to do is to eliminate quackery, and in particular to eliminate quack advertisements which sell useless products to sick people.

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Posted: 26 February 2008 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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James Randi: “Homeopathy Explained” video

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Posted: 26 February 2008 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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And nobody is trying to ban homeopathy either.  But if you claim that a pill (homeopathic or otherwise) will cure something then you must have evidence (not anecdote) that what you say is true.  It is not a question of taking vitamins off the market, simply a question of getting the same rules for ALL medicinal claims. At present, vtiamin hucksters make a fortune by making medicinal claims but then saying its a food not a drug, so evading all the rules.  The same goes for the enormous “nutriceutical” market.  It’s just basic honesty really.

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Posted: 26 February 2008 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Protein:
If you want to have an opinion based on facts you need to test the treatment for yourself. This is the only way to know if something is suitable for one’s own condition or not!

Ok, let’s play this game.  I used a chiropractor for a little while way back when.  He spent a great deal of time cracking my neck and back.  To absolutely no good effect.  In fact, his long-term diagnosis for me was a lie.  I have complete range of motion of my neck and head 20 years later with no intervening treatment.  So, chiropractic is crap.  No one should use it.

Oh, but I have another.  I had walking pneumonia last year.  My doc gave me antibiotics which I took diligently, finishing the prescription.  I didn’t get better.  Worse, actually.  I had to go to the emergency room for additional treatment for bronchitis.  So, antibiotics are crap.  No one should use them.

Of course, protein’s logic is deeply flawed.  As Doug points out, we need double-blinded properly conducted tests to determine whether or not a treatment is effective.  My experience or your experience matters not.  We are human: flawed, biased, ignorant of biochemistry, frequently mistaken.  Protein, I don’t know and you don’t either.  Let’s leave it to people with advanced degrees to sort out the effectiveness of medical treatment.

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Posted: 26 February 2008 04:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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I have found antibiotics to be helpful for my sinus infections, even though I have to take two rounds most of the time, but it seems to do the trick.  However, when I was 17 I was rear ended by a hit run driver and the next morning I couldn’t move my head at all. It was so stiff and so painful that the GP gave me pain killers and muscle relaxers, which I didn’t care much for.  My mother thought the cure was a chiropractor.  Cracking my neck scared the hell out of me and I begged my mother not to make me go. Besides that, it usually hurt worse after he was done working over my neck.  Little did I know that at 17, I did have a choice in my medical treatment, but it was not knowledge I was privy to at the time.  My mother either thought she had full control until I was 18 or didn’t tell me she didn’t have control.  I don’t know which, but regardless, IF I had it to do all over again, I would have refused to have gone because it does not help a neck injury, esp of that magnitude.

Speaking of which, after that, I intentionally involved my sons in their medical treatment, esp after they became teenagers as were allowed by law to speak for themselves.  The bad part about that is though, my older son has bipolar (Dx around 14) and stopped all meds when he was 15.  He cycles so much, even at 18, but refuses to take meds for multiple reasons, two of which is that they cause weight gain and they make him feel constantly depressed.  He rather be on the high/manic end than experience constant depression.  I can understand his reasoning, but I have a feeling that is why he has bounced from one part time job to another while attending school and currently isn’t doing anything now (he graduates soon if he gets his act together).

So as not to dump too much about it all, in some respects, medicine might not be all that bad, esp in cases of mental illness, as long as it works for the purpose it is intended for and is not homeopathy or at least as long as the homeopathy is not the only choice of treatment.  Sometimes a change in medication is what is needed and not stopping medicine all together.

As for protein, I have read people don’t need as much protein as they think they do.  For meat eaters, it’s what?  6 oz of meat a day? Other sources for those, like myself who don’t eat meat (thus why I am uncertain of the meat intake) there are other sources of protein such as nuts, eggs, cheese, seeds, soybeans, and alike.  Protein shakes are really not necessary to meet one’s daily requirements.  I’ve spent the majority of my life as an ova-lactos vegetarian and have had no ill affects from it.  Now veganism concerns me, because they restrict so much from their diet that the lack of protein can and often does cause them health problems.  Plant sources alone are not the best sources of protein.  Extremes can be just as bad as some homeopathic medicines.

I did miss saying something about antibiotics, they only work on bacterial infections.  If the infection is viral, it’s not going to work at all for a person.  Thus, if you have pneumonia and it’s viral, antibiotics won’t work and are the wrong course of treatment.

[ Edited: 26 February 2008 04:17 PM by Mriana ]
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Posted: 26 February 2008 04:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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LMAO about the “protein” stuff, Mriana!!  I was replying to a new poster, named Protein, above!!

He was saying that we can’t trust medical science for the effectiveness of traditional and “alternative” methods.  We can only trust our own personal experiences.  So I gave him one each when alternative and regular medicine “failed”.  Just to show what a completely ridiculous statement that was.

It was pure snark all the way through.  Sorry you missed it!!!  But if you did, then others will too.  You are one of the smarter posters here!!

For the record: I will continue to take antibiotics if my doctor prescribes them.  She knows more than I do.  And I will never let a chiropractor anywhere near me.  Ever.  Those guys are quacks!

And I will continue to trust the double-blind method and peer-reviewed studies.

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