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230 thoughts on “Modern shamanism—naturopathy for hypertension

  1. vargkill says:

    Dear SD

    you have some bad ass english!

    I like lack of eveyone elses ability to make their point around you.

  2. Karl Withakay says:

    vargkill

    “Some people who are good at what they do might not wish
    to be in the spot light as much as other people. ”

    I must be psychic because I predicted you would say something similar to this.

    The only Sik Kin Wu I could find in WI was this guy, who I assume is not your guy:

    http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F3/81/72/530648/

    “Why not try it for yourself Karl?”

    Well, I don’t anticipate getting anywhere near Wisconsin anytime in the foreseeable future, but are his services free of charge for at least a trial demonstration?

    “If things can be proven then things can be disproven.”

    I maintain that this illustrates your lack of understanding of science and the scientific method.

    “But there are a lot of people who are finding relief from this form of practice.”

    That’s not a scientific claim, it’s an anecdotal claim, and it’s not even a particularly good claim. If I throw a thousand dice, a lot of dice will come up sixes. What percentage find relief? What percentage don’t? How many would or wouldn’t experience relief from a treatment or placebo treatment if put to a controlled trial?

    His diagnostic skills would be quite easy to put to a scientific test. The James Randi Educational Foundation will award him $1,000,000 if he can do what you claim. Many who refuse to take the Randi challenge claim it’s not about the money and they don’t want the money, but none of them ever offers to take the challenge and donate the $1,000,000 to the charity of their choice which they deem most worthy.

    “What could be the reason?”

    Placebo response, self limiting conditions, natural remission, etc, or it could be actual effectiveness of his technique; we really how no basis for drawing any conclusions beyond some people who have been treated by him perceive that they are better off.

    “Heres a good example, If your head hurts why does pushing the web of the thumb or the area between the eyes help?”

    Uhh…it doesn’t help me, but if it helps distract you from the pain or otherwise works for you, more power to you.

    “You get where im going with this?”

    Uhh…If it seems to work for you, it must be for real, and work the way you suppose it does?

    “I am suprised that you did not address the fact that more and
    more doctors are practicing alternative medicine. What are your
    thoughts on that?”

    (I would guess that you were actually disappointed, and not so much surprised, but I could be wrong)
    The term “more and more” might be misleading. It does not necessarily mean that alternative medicine is being practiced be even a significant percentage of MD’s. Also, I hope you don’t count diet, nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle changes under the umbrella of alternative medicine.

    My thoughts on “more and more” MD’s embracing ideas and practices not scientifically validated is that I find it reason for concern. It makes me wonder what these doctors’ criteria is for determining what is an acceptable method of treatment.

    “You admit that you cannot say its impossible right?”

    I admitted that universal spontaneous proton decay is also not impossible, but is also extremely implausible and improbable.

    “What form of tricky was involved with this?”

    I don’t know. I don’t know how James Randi does most of the tricks he does, that just means he’s better at trickery than I am at figuring trickery out. It doesn’t make him a physic or wizard.

    “I still would like you to respond to this question so i can make
    my point.”

    What is the exact question you would like me to reply to?

  3. Marius-9 says:

    It seems to me that this argument is never going to be won one way or another. I also live in Wisconsin, and in fact, have gone to see Mr. Wu for a number of different ailments. I have been healed by him with some, and others I have only gotten temporary relief, but what I will say is that I am not someone that is easily convinced about ailment relief, and placebos have not worked on me in the past. I can’t account for any western scientific method, and I know too little about eastern medicine to argue it without sounding like an idiot, but I can say from personal experience that this guy is the real deal. He could tell me things wrong with me without me saying a word about what was bothering me, and it wasn’t like I was bleeding or limping. I would love a scientific explanation for how he diagnosed me and how my treatment made many of these ailments go away.

  4. vargkill says:

    Karl Withakay

    Thanks for getting to the point of everything in what i had to say.

    “I maintain that this illustrates your lack of understanding of science and the scientific method”.

    I would like to say that it does not illustrate a lack of understanding. The case and point is prove it! Or prove it not.
    Im sorry if i am speaking in terms you are having trouble understanding. Its simple, offer evidence that cannot only
    convince me but everyone else.

    “That’s not a scientific claim, it’s an anecdotal claim”

    Ok you can throw a thousand dice for anything and see how
    many sixes you get right? Do you really think that is a good
    metaphore for getting your point accross? You could say that
    since meds didnt help a thousand people with the same infection that they cant all be sixes right? That is called playing
    the odds. How do you think that argument or method of thinking
    is going to really apply to this nature of the conversation?
    Thats no funnier then the metaphore i used. Try again!

    “Placebo response, self limiting conditions, natural remission, etc”

    Ok now i will use your dice metaphore…

    So i guess for all of the people i know who have been treated
    by Mr Wu are just the few sixes in the thousand dice rolls?
    Way to play the odds hey? I guess Mr Wu is really should
    go to vegas and try his luck on the tables? Ill make sure i
    tell him to try his luck next time i go in to see him.

    “(I would guess that you were actually disappointed, and not so much surprised, but I could be wrong)
    The term “more and more” might be misleading. It does not necessarily mean that alternative medicine is being practiced be even a significant percentage of MD’s. Also, I hope you don’t count diet, nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle changes under the umbrella of alternative medicine.

    My thoughts on “more and more” MD’s embracing ideas and practices not scientifically validated is that I find it reason for concern. It makes me wonder what these doctors’ criteria is for determining what is an acceptable method of treatment.”

    How obtrusive of a thing to say! Acceptable method of treatment? Did you ever consider there might be a reason
    why more doctors are embracing alternative forms of medicine?
    So i guess i pulled that one out of my ass right? Do some research on the matter and tell me if im wrong. I dont come into
    this making false statements to have fun, this is based on things
    i have read or know for a fact.

    Fuck james randi, if he makes a living off of debunking others
    then fine thats ok with me.

    If you want call him up and have him get ahold of Mr Wu, but all
    i can say is if people go to him with a problem and he makes it
    better or fixes it then how can anyone agure that? Like i said
    give me a call if you come to WI we can go visit him and he will
    gladly examine you for no charge, ill even buy you lunch in his
    restaurant which i might add is some of the best chinese food
    this side of the mid west.

    Best get them dice ready and lets see how many sixes you
    can roll!

  5. vargkill says:

    i almost forgot.

    I notice when my head hurts that applying pressure to the web
    of my thumb or doing the same between the eyes helps rid
    the pain.

    This seems to help a lot of people, so i was going to make
    the point of if it works why could other points on the body
    help do the same for other things.

  6. HCN says:

    Marius-9 said “I can’t account for any western scientific method, and I know too little about eastern medicine to argue it without sounding like an idiot, but I can say from personal experience that this guy is the real deal.”

    First, if you are ever in the “East” and get really sick be prepared to be treated with real, er “western” medicine. If you want to be completely accurate both the chicken pox vaccine and many statins can be considered “Eastern” medicine since they were both developed in Japan! Remember the silliness that is called “homeopathy” is from Germany, which is typically considered to be located in the “West”.

    Now that the stupidity of trying to divide a sphere into “East” and “West” has been dealt with… here are some reading recommendations:

    1) get a hold of R Barker Bausell’s book “Snake Oil Medicine” and actually read it

    2) do the same with Sherry Seethaler’s “Lies, Damned Lies and Science”.

    3) and, of course… the Singh and Ernst book “Trick or Treatment”.

    You never mentioned your “ailments”, but unless they were real chronic conditions like diabetes, a broken bone, hypertension or a missing limb — the symptoms may actually wax and wane naturally.

    Oh, and about your question, “I would love a scientific explanation for how he diagnosed me and how my treatment made many of these ailments go away.”

    It is called “cold reading”… you may think you did not tell him anything, but you probably did during an intake interview. The other scientific explanation is known as the “placebo effect.” Don’t diss it, it is a real thing. It has also been shown that more expensive placebos work better than cheap placebos. See “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely (who was very happy to get an Ignoble for this study!).

  7. HCN says:

    vangkill said “I notice when my head hurts that applying pressure to the web
    of my thumb or doing the same between the eyes helps rid
    the pain.”

    Those are called “sinuses”… if you have a sinus headache you can relieve pain with pressure on the area. What I found even more effective was learning how to avoid blocking the sinus cavities by preventing allergic congestion with seasonal allergy medication (benadryl at night and Allegra during the day), or if that fails (depends on the season) by taking a little sudafed.

  8. vargkill says:

    HCN

    Im telling you that you dont have to tell this man anything, and
    there is no interview, you go to him and say, can you examine me, he has you sit down and does his thing.

  9. vargkill says:

    HCN

    Thats fine dude but if your like me and dont want to pump
    chemicals into your body with over the counter meds then
    your going to search for an alternative. or better yet try to
    get to the root of the problem instead of making the symptoms
    go away.

    Look man im not saying i believe in everything “alternative”
    but i am saying i believe that some people can provide this
    type of practice and be effective at it.

    So instead of making lame brained comments, try adding
    something of value to the conversation.

    “Those are called “sinuses”… if you have a sinus headache you can relieve pain with pressure on the area”

    really HCN? i have no idea thats what they where called
    but if applying pressure to the area makes the pain go away
    or helps the pain would that not say applying pressure to
    other areas of the body might do the same hence acupressure
    really maybe doing something that works?

    As i said before, expression with expletive laced diatribes!

    Lord help me!

  10. Marius-9 says:

    Okay, HCN, If you want to be an Jerk, let me tell you a thing or two about what I do know:

    First off, that which is commonly referred to as “eastern Medicine” is more specifically called Traditional Chinese Medicine, which encompasses accupunture, accupressure massage, and herbal holistic therapies. I am not a huge expert on the matter, as in I didn’t finish school.

    What I can tell you is that my knee experiences chronic pain from a hereditary form of loose joints, as do my shoulders and ankles, but knees mostly. Furthermore, I didn’t say I word, I just said “I need help” and he found these problems, so eat your own words.

    I will also say that I teach both Kung Fu (Chinese Ko Shu, not Wushu) and Ba Gua Zhang (Pa Kua Chang), and I have had many students who have suffered anything from migranes to chronic depression to yes, type II diabetes, and have been able to get off of the chemicals making them well, and just able to do it themselves, through the movement I have taught and been taught. Testimonials can be found if you type in “Oriental Health Methods” in a google search in quotations to find the exact web address.

    I am not trying in any way, shape or form to credit or discredit anyone’s education here, I am just saying that maybe you need to look beyond all of your facts and more into your intuition on matters. Then maybe we wouldn’t have over medicated, under treated people based on ten misdiagnoses to find one real problem.

  11. Marius-9 says:

    *A

  12. Marius-9 says:

    Reading through this whole blog now I feel as though I am trapped with a bunch of Simpsons’ “Comic Book Guys”

    On that note, keep squabling amongst yourselves until the end of time when these arguments are still neither proven nor disproven.

  13. HCN says:

    Marisu-9, you should not have commented until you had read those books. Seriously.

    I hate the “west” vs. “east” crap. If you really understood what I had written you would understand it is a false bit of crap. Especially since some crap sold as “Traditional Chinese Medicine” here in the USA has had real pharmaceuticals like Viagra added! Don’t even go into the mercury and other heavy metals found in Ayurvedic meds!

    Stop being a sap… I take Eastern medicine, it is a compound derived from red rice yeast that was developed in Japan, it is called simvastatin. I really really wish my kids had had the Eastern vaccine developed years before my kids suffered through chicken pox.

    Plus, when it comes to medicine, Google is not your friend. You would be better off using http://www.pubmed.gov (and it even includes “Eastern” medical journals from China and Japan!).

  14. weing says:

    vargkill,

    Confirmation bias.

  15. weing says:

    You can google cognitive bias and find a whole list of them and take your pick to see how you can be led astray.

  16. Calli Arcale says:

    SD: Thank you for reading my comment and responding! While I wasn’t speaking directly to you when I mentioned CAM-adherents (you’re approaching this from a libertarian angle, not a “magic medeicine” angle), obviously anybody can have an opinion about my argument, and I am flattered that somebody read it. ;-)

    “Medicine is regulated not because we distrust the patients. It is regulated because we do not trust the doctors/nurses/Big Pharma/etc. Society therefore requires that they prove themselves worthy, and retains the right to strip them of their privileges should they later prove otherwise.”

    You are thinking in terms of groups. Think in terms of *people*. There is not a “we”, incidentally. I do not consider myself part of a “we” involving anybody on this blog in any meaningful fashion. I do not care about “society”, because I have never seen “society”; what I have seen is “people”. People, as individuals, have rights. One of those rights commonly-infringed, but no less a right – is the right to trade freely amongst themselves without fear of force or fraud.

    What, precisely, is the difference between “groups” and “people”? Or “society” and “people”? I think the distinction between your perspective and mine may simply be semantic. I definitely believe that society is made up of individual people; if I didn’t, I might not care so much about it.

    The right to trade freely without fear of force or fraud is abridged when the con-artists are allowed to operate with no repercussions. Go back a century; doctors certainly wrote prescriptions, but you didn’t need a prescription to get any medicine. You could just as easily ask the pharmacist to mix something up, and more often than not, they’d do it.

    Were people better off? No, because although they were free to choose any medicine they liked, market forces ensured that the ones most available were the fraudulent ones. Mrs Winslow’s Soothing Syrup is one of the more famous examples. Even well-educated folks poured this stuff down their baby’s throats with nary a thought as to its contents. Of course, they probably didn’t realize that it had morphine in it.

    You have argued that all we really need is proper labeling, but is that really an adequate protection? Labeling laws in the early 20th Century were the first attempted defense against the widespread fraud in the medical industry. They did little to stop it, and today, an entire industry has built up around carefully wording one’s labels to avoid prosecution. This does not serve the consumer, because the products in these categories are not sold honestly.

    I would say that if all pharmaceutical manufacturers and physicians were honest, and had the best interests of their customers in mind, your model would work, SD. The problem is that they are not all honest, and they do not have the best interests of their customers in mind. We are not free as consumers if we are vulnerable to fraud.

    The same argument applies to why we need regulation of the banking industry, law enforcement, and waste disposal rules. It’s because it is unrealistic to expect everybody to be both altruistic and wise, especially in a system that rewards competitiveness. (Don’t get me wrong; I think competitiveness is a good thing, and one of the great strengths of capitalism. But it has a price.)

  17. vargkill says:

    weing

    “Confirmation bias”.

    Im not here seeking your approval. Last time i checked i had
    the right to not only form my own opinion based upon what
    i have seen and been through but also because i just do not
    fit the cookie cut out that so many of you have been molded from. It makes life rather boring and less exciting.

    The medical field was not for me. Everyone has a calling in life
    and perhaps it is wrong to ignore your calling to do something
    else that you would not be happy doing, hence my leaving med
    school because i thought there might be better practices or
    dare i say better alternatives.

    So in your eyes “Comfirmation Bias”. confirmation bias, the tendency to interpret new information in such a way that confirms one’s prior beliefs.

    So you in my eyes are – “correspondence bias”
    in which people tend to explain others’ behavior in terms of personality, whereas they tend to explain their own behavior in terms of the situation

    On top of it you are also arrogant and prickish.

    Your also arrogant and probably still believe your methods of
    treating Hypertension are still acceptable along with most
    other doctors who often confuse ones normal bp for high bp
    then throw some beta blockers at them.

    Well i guess if i was making over 80,000 a year i would not
    care about the well being of the people only my damn pay check
    and what kinda IN the people have.

    With all do respect Show your Comfirmation bias and stick
    it you faggot!

  18. weing says:

    Very illuminating. I learn something new every day.

  19. Dr. Skeptizmo says:

    Not to throw a wrench in the machine (and by doing so receive a long winded and inflated answer), but I was wondering if anyone would care to comment on the legal ramifications for the docs who will be treating the “minority” of patients who do diagnose and treat themselves incorrectly and end up in a worse situation than before. Since the doctor will end up with a patient who has a more severe condition, the treatment is likely to be more extensive/ invasive/riskier and may have a worse outcome than the treatment for the original condition. This will inevitably, in the society we live in today, lead to more lawsuits for physicians who are just treating what comes in regardless of what lead up to the visit.

  20. Dr. Skeptizmo says:

    Hey Vargkill-
    I was actually impressed with some of your discussion until you started using profanity and name calling. Also you get a bit more respect when you use spell check. *)

  21. Dr. Skeptizmo says:

    Or correct grammer and punctuation.

  22. Karl Withakay says:

    “Ok you can throw a thousand dice for anything and see how
    many sixes you get right? Do you really think that is a good
    metaphore for getting your point accross? ”

    Yes I did,but it obviously was wrong because you didn’t get my point. Vague terms like “more and more” are loaded and meaningless. Even hard numbers aren’t useful. What one needs is rate information. It doesn’t matter if 1000 widgets are blue, what matters is what portion of widgets out of the total sample is blue.

    Your response to my “Placebo response, self limiting conditions, natural remission, etc…” reply left ignored the part where I said, “…or it could be actual effectiveness of his technique; we really how no basis for drawing any conclusions beyond some people who have been treated by him perceive that they are better off” I actually acknowledged the possibility that the man’s treatment could be for real.

    “So i guess for all of the people i know who have been treated
    by Mr Wu are just the few sixes in the thousand dice rolls?”

    That’s one possible explanation, among many, for at least some of the successes.

    “Did you ever consider there might be a reason why more doctors are embracing alternative forms of medicine?”

    No large group will ever be totally homogeneous. I could easily say that “more and more” doctors are writing bogus prescriptions to supply steroids to athletes or pain killers to drug addicts, that isn’t a sign that it should become an accepted practice. If the fact that some doctors are embracing alternative forms of medicine could be considered support for the practice of said modalities, why doesn’t the fact that the vast majority of MDs are not embracing alternative forms of medicine hold at least equal and opposite weight? Heads you win, tails I loose? Obviously those doctors who embrace “alternative medicine” have their reasons, but you seem to assume they must be good, well supported reasons by default- argument from authority/popularity.

    “So i guess i pulled that one out of my ass right? Do some research on the matter and tell me if im wrong. I dont come into
    this making false statements to have fun, this is based on things
    i have read or know for a fact.”

    I never accused you of making any false statements, and to clarify, I do not believe you are lying about anything, other than the possibility that you are exaggerating the 100% number at least a little.

    “Fuck james randi, if he makes a living off of debunking others
    then fine thats ok with me.”

    Constructive dialog is, apparently, not foremost on your mind, and I am starting to grow a little tied of playing the Tireless Rebutter, so please keep it civil if you really wish to continue this dialog.

    By the way, I am intrigued by your silence about the Sik Kin Wu of WI who was convicted of tax evasion.
    http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F3/81/72/530648/
    Was I wrong, and this is actually the same man of which you are speaking?

  23. Karl Withakay says:

    Please see this excellent post by Harriet Hall regarding the “Traditional” nature of Traditional Chinese Medicine

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=252.

  24. Chris says:

    Dr. Skeptizmo said

    I was actually impressed with some of your discussion until you started using profanity and name calling.

    It seemed to go downhill as the timestamps got later at night. I suspect some self-medication.

  25. Karl Withakay says:

    “Ok you can throw a thousand dice for anything and see how
    many sixes you get right? Do you really think that is a good
    metaphore for getting your point accross? ”

    Yes I did,but it obviously was wrong because you didn’t get my point. Vague terms like “more and more” are loaded and meaningless. Even hard numbers aren’t useful. What one needs is rate information. It doesn’t matter if 1000 widgets are blue, what matters is what portion of widgets out of the total sample is blue.

    Your response to my “Placebo response, self limiting conditions, natural remission, etc…” reply left ignored the part where I said, “…or it could be actual effectiveness of his technique; we really how no basis for drawing any conclusions beyond some people who have been treated by him perceive that they are better off” I actually acknowledged the possibility that the man’s treatment could be for real.

    “So i guess for all of the people i know who have been treated
    by Mr Wu are just the few sixes in the thousand dice rolls?”

    That’s one possible explanation, among many, for at least some of the successes.

    “Did you ever consider there might be a reason why more doctors are embracing alternative forms of medicine?”

    No large group will ever be totally homogeneous. I could easily say that “more and more” doctors are writing bogus prescriptions to supply steroids to athletes or pain killers to drug addicts, that isn’t a sign that it should become an accepted practice. If the fact that some doctors are embracing alternative forms of medicine could be considered support for the practice of said modalities, why doesn’t the fact that the vast majority of MDs are not embracing alternative forms of medicine hold at least equal and opposite weight? Heads you win, tails I loose? Obviously those doctors who embrace “alternative medicine” have their reasons, but you seem to assume they must be good, well supported reasons by default- argument from authority/popularity.

    “So i guess i pulled that one out of my ass right? Do some research on the matter and tell me if im wrong. I dont come into
    this making false statements to have fun, this is based on things
    i have read or know for a fact.”

    I never accused you of making any false statements, and to clarify, I do not believe you are lying about anything, other than the possibility that you are exaggerating the 100% number at least a little.

    “F— james randi, if he makes a living off of debunking others
    then fine thats ok with me.”

    Constructive dialog is, apparently, not foremost on your mind, and I am starting to grow a little tied of playing the Tireless Rebutter, so please keep it civil if you wish to continue this dialog.

    By the way, I am intrigued by your silence about the Sik Kin Wu of WI who was convicted of tax evasion.
    http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F3/81/72/530648/
    Was I wrong, and this is actually the same man of which you are speaking?

  26. Karl Withakay says:

    I’m afraid there might be a double-tap coming. If so, I’ve figured out why: I need to stop quoting other people’s profanity when I reply to them so my replies don’t get held up for moderator review.

    Sorry, folks for the double post if it shows up. :).

  27. khan says:

    “I am just saying that maybe you need to look beyond all of your facts”

    I think that about sums it up.

  28. vargkill says:

    Karl Withakay

    Ok ok im sorry for calling you names. that was not right on my part. You are 100% correct and i should have been a bit more
    professional on the board.

    Dr. Skeptizmo

    im not here to impress the crowd, i could take the time to
    get every last detail correct as far as grammer ect. but im trying
    to come as straight forward as i can. I also have a lot more going on in my life then to sit on here all day but thanks for
    playing the role of grammer cop. Please don’t take me to jail?

    Karl Withakay

    ““more and more” doctors are writing bogus prescriptions to supply steroids to athletes or pain killers to drug addicts”

    Dude you are comparing apples to water melons here.
    Just because some do it does that mean every doctor who
    practices or becomes interested in alternative medicine is
    going to write bogus treatments. There is a time and a place
    for everything right? But the benefits are becoming more and
    more clear.

    “why doesn’t the fact that the vast majority of MDs are not embracing alternative forms of medicine hold at least equal and opposite weight”?

    Let me ask, as far as we all know, how long has alternative
    medicine been in the mainstream? Would it not make sense
    that as time goes on it is going to become more and more so?
    My concern is people being able to practice alternative meds
    who have no clue what they are doing or being able to claime
    the status of calling themselves a PCP. I am not in support
    of that simply because any good practice is going to know when
    someone needs to be treated within a means they cannot support. If someone goes to a acupressure clinic after cracking
    thier head open im sure any good person would know acupressure is going to do little to save the brain from major
    damage. Thats the point im making.

    You have to remember that the weight is still leaning in
    the corner of doctors not embracing alternative form of medicine.
    So again good metaphore on your part but now that the weight
    is slightly shifting you just had to play the oppisit on that one
    right?

    As for the link, i dont think this is the same Mr Wu. If it is then
    i would never be able to tell he had or delt with that much money.

    Chris

    “It seemed to go downhill as the timestamps got later at night. I suspect some self-medication”.

    Ill bet you really think you just contributed something great
    with that comment right? Let me ask, how much thought did
    that really take? Im sure you feel much better about yourself
    now. Nice lack luster effort to add something worth while!

  29. vargkill says:

    Karl Withakay

    Sorry for not being able to address everything you said prior
    i did not read through it enough therefor i did miss a few
    things and i will admit that yes you indeed did admit it could
    be the effectivness of his skills.

    Sorry i missed that part.

  30. Peter Lipson says:

    Not to “shill” for my other blog, but I have a wrap up of this multi-part discussion over at my other place, if anyone’s interested.

    http://scienceblogs.com/whitecoatunderground/2009/04/naturopathy—a_final_word.php

  31. Karl Withakay says:

    “Dude you are comparing apples to water melons here.
    Just because some do it does that mean every doctor who
    practices or becomes interested in alternative medicine is
    going to write bogus treatments.”

    I think you may have missed my point here. I was not saying alternative providers would write bogus prescriptions, my point was that just because “more and more” doctors do something is not justification for their doing it, analogous to the fact that “more and more” MD’s write bogus prescriptions, but that doesn’t make it OK. If the “fact” that “more and more” physicians are incorporating alternative treatments into their practices were justification for their doing so, that would be circular logic, and ANY modality would be acceptable as long as you could convince enough people to start practicing it.

    I’ll also add that I don’t give much credit to the argument “if there wasn’t something to it, it wouldn’t catch on” I believe Dr Gorski and other can point to examples even in the medical world outside of CAM where popularity drives practice before the science fully justifies the practice. I don’t feel like taking the time to find the post, but I recall a post regarding some new laporoscopic surgical procedure for something like a spleenectomy maybe? (I hope I spelled those right, my spell checker is flagging them, but it has no recommendation for a different spelling.)

  32. weing says:

    vargkill,

    Because more doctors are embracing alternative medicine, we should all jump on the bandwagon? Sorry, I would need a lot better reason to abandon science based medicine.

  33. Prometheus says:

    Well, I’m not sure it was worth the wait – or the gratuitous attempts at abuse – but SD has finally given a fairly concise – if not entirely coherent – explanation of his position.

    Some of SD’s responses were a little puzzling until I realized he thought I was a physician and therefore had “a dog in the fight”. Sorry, SD – I’m just a humble biologist who doesn’t treat patients.

    Another misconception that SD has is that I am somehow inflexibly opposed to the idea of people buying whatever drugs they care to without a prescription. I think the idea has certain merits. So does the USFDA – they regularly “convert” prescription drugs to “over-the-counter” once they’ve been shown to be safe enough to be used without close physician monitoring.

    … Because it isn’t your job to tell other people what they can sell, or what they can buy, because you are not their daddy?

    The only problem with this position is that it negates any sort of consumer protection. If people cannot be told what they can and cannot sell (or buy), there is no authority to prevent people from selling contaminated, outdated or mislabeled pharmaceuticals.

    However, SD has already claimed that he doesn’t rule out entities like the USFDA that would mandate quality controls. But that sounds a lot like telling someone what they can’t sell and, coincidentally, what they can’t buy.

    … Because it *especially* isn’t your job to make money by interfering in that transaction with the threat of force, because in any other context, that’s called “extortion”?

    I guess SD would see taking money from people with a threat of force – like Income Tax – to be extortion. I can’t say I disagree with him too much, especially today (15 April).

    However, all laws are based on the threat of force, so every law that involves a fee, fine or requirement that a third party be involved – like when I had to get my engine fixed by a mechanic in order to get my auto license tags – is the same in that respect.

    What about sales tax, in which the state makes money by interefering with a transaction – in this example, without even providing any direct service to the purchaser? And if you think that isn’t done under the threat of force, try not paying sales tax.

    In the case of physicians, they don’t actually make money from the prescription. They charge for diagnosis and any treatments (like surgery) they personally carry out.

    They don’t charge for prescriptions or for prescription refills (if you don’t need an office visit). If they do require an office visit, the purpose of that is to monitor the condition the drug was prescribed for. Of not, some of the office visits physicians require to get prescription refills are mandated by state or federal law.

    Unlike CAM practitioners, SBM practitioners don’t sell the drugs (or medical equipment) they prescribe. In most states, they are legally barred from selling prescription drugs or equipment to their patients.

    … Because, contrary to your operating hypothesis, patients are neither morons nor your wards?

    That was an obvious straw man, since I never said patients were “morons” or “my wards”. I did say that most people lack the training or expertise in diagnosing and treating medical disorders.

    This is no more an indictment of the “average person” or “patients” than saying that most people (myself included) cannot fix their own cars, beyond routine maintenance and minor repairs.

    Not having a certain set of skills does not make a person a “moron” or indicate that they are in need of guardianship. This is not only a straw man, it is a juvenile straw man.

    … Because nobody suggests that you not be available for consultation, or that it’s a bad idea, only that it not be a statutory requirement?

    Why would anyone want to consult a molecular biologist with a medical problem? On the other hand, I don’t believe that I (or anyone else) stated a concern that physicians would be put out of business.

    On the contrary, if people were allowed to self-prescribe, I suspect that most would continue to go to their physician and probably would still want to get a prescription. After all, a prescription is simply a note telling them what medication to get and how to take it.

    In fact, I suspect that physicians would make even more money (or, at least, have more business) dealing with people who thought they had X disorder and took the medication for that, all the while actually suffering from Y disorder.

    … Because it gives SBM a strategic and moral victory over CAM, denying them important ground to occupy, and provides momentum to SBM treatments without taint of profiteering or persecution?

    The thing about science-based medicine is that it doesn’t need strategic or moral victories because it actually works. I’ve never seen any of my CAM-friendly neighbors fail to eventually see a real doctor and get real treatment if they had a disorder that wasn’t self-limiting.

    … Because nobody so far has produced any credible scientific evidence that the prescription requirement is a good idea, instead basing their defense solely on the fact that it’s fait accompli and a stream of “Well, what if [bad thing] or [bad thing] or [REALLY bad thing] happened, huh? What then, huh?” Neologism/portmanteau: “The plural of ‘What if?’ is not ‘data’.”

    The legal requirement for a prescription did not simply appear out of a vacuum. In fairly recent times – not quite within living memory, but almost – anybody could and did pop into the chemist’s shop and purchase whatever they thought they needed.

    If they had a prescription, it was to instruct the chemist in how to compound and label the drug – not a “permission slip”.

    This practice was gradually eliminated, not because drugs became more dangerous – you could buy strychnine and arsenic in the chemist’s shop “back in the day” – but because of a growing awareness that it was safer to require a prescription. Not foolproof or absolutely safe, just safer.

    SD probably sees this as just another encroachment of the “nanny state”. Perhaps he’s right. He also probably doesn’t feel that this sort of historical process reaches the level of “data”, and he’d be right about that, too.

    However, we also don’t have much data to support the idea that requiring a driver’s license reduces car crashes. We’ve come to accept that requiring testing and licensing of drivers was a “good” thing, despite the coercive nature of the requirement.

    … Because nobody has produced any *moral* justification that does not draw from the poisoned aquifer of slavery (one good definition for which is “denial of self-determination”), instead producing a stream of blandishment about how it’s really better for your options to be limited because you might hurt yourself by choosing the wrong one, a well-known, well-trodden, and highly-polished cobblestone on the road to Hell?

    It’s a bit of a stretch to link prescription drugs to slavery, but let’s run with that one for a while.

    If not being able to buy whatever drugs (or medical equipment) you want is akin – in some small measure – to slavery because it interferes with self-determination, then all laws are equally offensive. Face it, the purpose of a law is “denial of self-determination”.

    Such is the price of living in society.

    As a friend of mine used to say, “That was a long run for a short slide!” After all the insults, the playground taunting and the coy teasing, this is SD’s “big truth”? He feels that laws are coercive (they are) and that not being able to buy prescription drugs without a prescription is interfering with his self-determination?

    No doubt, he’ll have many more cutting remarks about how I clearly don’t understand his answers. So be it. I’m really not that interested in hearing what he has to say, now that I know he has so little to say.

    Prometheus

  34. vargkill says:

    weing

    “Because more doctors are embracing alternative medicine, we should all jump on the bandwagon? Sorry, I would need a lot better reason to abandon science based medicine”.

    When did i ever say anything about abandoning the practice
    of SBM for alternative medicine? All i said was more doctors
    are starting to embrace it. Nothing ever about switching all
    together.

    Karl Withakay

    I think you read a little to deep into my last response.
    I was taking your anology and challenging it with my own.
    Get it now? The point i was making is that not everyone is
    going to embrace alternatives but that more are adding it
    to thier practice.

    Who are you to say what is good justification
    for a doctor to embrace other alternatives? If you have such
    an issue with this indeed being a fact, then why don’t you take
    that concern to the medical board of what ever state you practice in? Bottom line, if you see no reason to do so yourself
    then why is it wrong for others to do so? You cannot speak for
    every doctor who indeed does start to embrace other alternatives.

    If you knew for a fact that a treatment did not work would you
    continue to provide the treatment for the people who come
    to see you? Well what if doctors who are embracing other
    alternatives are seeing real results with their embrace of
    alternative treatments?

    I Could find links and other sources but maybe later im not in
    the mood to go hunting right now. Case in point, whats good
    for the goose is not always good for the gander.

    Some will some wont, if it works for some and the success rate
    supports the growth then why not right? Im sure with its growth
    will come more and more testing to see what the cold hard
    truth really is. Until then we can debate this all day and night
    and have no real winners.

  35. weing says:

    From my point of view alternative medicine is quackery, there is no science behind it, and embracing it is tantamount to abandoning science based medicine. Those docs that I’ve seen embrace it are doing it for the money. They are selling snake oil to patients. They cater to the worried well. What they are doing is exploiting these patients. Do those patients deserve being exploited? Did Bernie Madoff’s clients deserve it?

  36. vargkill says:

    weing

    So one bad apple ruins the bunch?
    Thats an argument a 5 year old child cannot get away with.

    This is America and you have the right to feel and to practice
    what you would like and i am in full support as well as respect
    of your opinion. However that does not change the fact that
    some doctors might truly see the benefit in alternative medicine.
    Just because one choses to embrace such practices does not
    mean they are in it for the medicine. Where you think this
    argument gives you solid ground is beyond my ability to understand and for an educated man you seem to be really
    lacking in your skills as a person of understanding.

    The science behind alternative medicine is that if it provides
    relief for a number of people it must be doing something right?
    Im sure you can google that and come up with an explination
    as to why. With all due respect weing i think you are a moronic
    tool!

  37. vargkill says:

    This is being reposted to correct my mistakes in my last post.

    weing

    So one bad apple ruins the bunch?
    Thats an argument a 5 year old child cannot get away with.

    This is America and you have the right to feel and to practice
    what you would like and i am in full support as well as respect
    of your opinion. However that does not change the fact that
    some doctors might truly see the benefit in alternative medicine.
    Just because one choses to embrace such practices does not
    mean they are in it for the money. Where you think this
    argument gives you solid ground is beyond my ability to understand and for an educated man you seem to be really
    lacking in your skills as a person of understanding.

    The science behind alternative medicine is that if it provides
    relief for a number of people it must be doing something right?

    With all due respect weing i think you are a moronic
    tool!

  38. Chris says:

    vargkill said <blockquote.The science behind alternative medicine is that if it provides relief for a number of people it must be doing something right?

    What science?

  39. vargkill says:

    Chris

    Get in where you fit in you clown.
    Is that all you have to bring to the table?

    You just don’t the point im making, funny thing is there is
    science and then there is science to say it bull crap so who wins?

    You are a moronic tool and unless you’re going to add anything
    besides a few one liners you have no point of refrence.

  40. Chris says:

    One liners? I believe each of those books consist of several lines, and actual several chapters.

    Still have not seen much science from you.

  41. vargkill says:

    Chris

    Oh, wait I found some:

    Snake Oil Science

    and

    Predictably Irrational

    Is what im talking about, nothing better to add to the conversation? You gotta do better then that.

  42. vargkill says:

    Chris i wanted to ask, How many of these doctors dicks did
    you have in your mouth when you posted that?

  43. vargkill says:

    For everyone else im sorry to have to say what i said to
    Mr Tool over here, but nothing bothers me more then someone
    posting who has nothing better to offer other then a few lines
    of bull crap!

    Least some of the other people on here who seem full of crap
    have worth while things to say even if they conflict with the
    thoughts of others. I to am not perfect but at least i try to talk
    to people and gladly admit when someone else has made a good point.

  44. Chris says:

    If you put your mouse pointer over the words you will see a little hand show up, that means they are hyperlinks (created with HTML tags, it involved some “less than” and “greater than” brackets, the letter “a”, an “href” and some quotation marks). If you push the left hand button of your mouse it will take you to a page of a major online book store… You can either order the book, or read about them and then place a hold at your local library.

    You see, I have actually read both books, along with several others. That is because I am literate. Something you might notice since I use real punctuation and know how to spell.

    It is about time for some of us to tuck ourselves into bed and go to sleep, and I suspect our little friend “vargkill” has indulged in some self medication when he decides to write for all to see some absolute idiocy like

    Chris i wanted to ask, How many of these doctors dicks did
    you have in your mouth when you posted that?

    Now I ask again, what science? Have you read Dr. Bausell analysis of the the studies on acupuncture? What about his instructions on how to find a “qualified” quack? What did you think of Ariely’s study that showed more expensive placebos work better than cheaper placebos?

  45. vargkill says:

    You see Chris, the issue i have with you is its ok for you to
    make smart comments but when i do it in a way that is not
    to your liking you call it idiocy. Funny indeed. You’re the kinda
    person i would slap if i met you in person.

    Chris so im supposed to go read your links when thats all
    you have to say is a cheap line and then add some links
    to the bottom? Or did you ever consider that i might have
    read books like this already? Or perhaps you think that i believe
    all doctors are just overpaid meat magicians?

    “Now I ask again, what science? Have you read Dr. Bausell analysis of the the studies on acupuncture”?

    First off, i went to med school and as i have stated in earlier
    posts, medicine was not for me. I realized i wanted to do something else with my life. So i don’t know about you but
    i do have medical knowledge, its not like im in here at age
    17 making assumptions based on what i think is fact, and for
    your info im a grown man so the whole bed time bit, pretty
    original! How long did that take you? Or better yet, your little
    analogy on the hyperlinks! Is that the same as hypertension?

    Second, are you a doctor? I would assume so since you seem
    to be taking your rhetoric to such a challenging level.

    Have you ever experienced any sort of alternative medicine
    for yourself? If you would have experienced what i did you
    might be a little more supportive of it. I have seen this man
    Mr Wu on so many occasions do what he does. No intake
    interviews, no way of tricking the person. Yes Chris i know
    what you guys all mean with the whole mind trick or cold
    reading stuff. Again i guess there is no way to convince
    anyone else, but i know what i have seen with my own two
    eyes!

    Its one thing to go based on what you have read but its
    another to experience it for yourself. Placebo effect or not
    it still does not explain how Mr Wu is able to diagnose in the
    fashion he does. Im not sure how long you have been with
    the entirty of the conversation, but in case you did not read
    earlier posts i explain all of this.

    The placebo effect is really a medical phenomenon! What gets me is if thats all it takes for some people what can people really
    do for themselves? After all it can sometimes improve a patient’s condition simply because the person has the expectation that it will be helpful.

    My point is i believe even though we are prolly years away
    from developing this awareness, perhaps humans can heal
    themselves naturally? If we can trick ourselves into making
    a condition improve then what does that say?

    Im not stating this as a fact but imagine the possibilities?
    Hence why i believe the alternative medicine to be a bit more
    then just “quackary”. I believe there are some people and i stress some! Who have the ability and i know that i know one
    personally.

  46. pmoran says:

    “Again i guess there is no way to convince
    anyone else, but i know what i have seen with my own two
    eyes! ”

    Coming in late — I’m entirely in sympathy with you until you start to make somewhat improbable scientific deductions from what you have experienced.

    With regard to your symptom improvement, I accept it as a valid observation. But it could be either coincidence or a placebo influence, as you know. Any symptom occasionally goes away for no obvious reason or for reasons less obvious than current therapy.

    Any placebo influences would have been enhanced by the mystique of the apparently miraculous diagnosis and high expectations of this renowned healer. There is no real mystery or conflict with known science in this. We already know that acupuncture “works”, but mainly as a placebo.

    The apparently mystical powers of diagnosis, are a far less likely phenomenon. We would have to test this out more rigorously. You yourself will know that guessing that a young otherwise healthy looking woman is consulting about female problems will be right in excess of fifty per cent of the time. And you may only need a strike rate of perhaps 20% to gain the reputation you describe. Any misses would be quickly covered up and forgotten, or presented as yet to be experienced health problems.

    But you seem to already know all this.

  47. vargkill says:

    Its an interesting thing is it not? I like the way that you
    decided to approach this conversation.

    I know about the guessing thing but it just seems how can
    he be dead on every time? Im sure there is a method to his
    madness as there is to everything and everyone. But its
    just amazing to see what i see with my own 2 eyes and not
    be amazed and not have some sort of faith that he might
    really be the real deal. Its hard because if you see it for
    yourself or better yet have it done on you then its like WTF?
    I mean he even knew which side of my nose was starting
    to get congested from allergies, also which ear was feeling a
    bit plugged. I know i cant seem to stress it enough and i know
    its not going to be so easy to convince you guys on here
    who have not seen it for yourself.

    Maybe he should be tested? Im not sure how you would do
    it personally, what would you suggest i do next time i go in?
    Im looking for other ideas outside of my own.

  48. weing says:

    Use a hidden camera and tape recorder.

  49. vargkill says:

    weing

    I think your a prick!

    Since you seem to be of the narrow minded variety
    and are so sure alternative medicine is “quackary” then
    i will from this point forward refer to you as a “meat magician”.

    I do not need your opinion nor do i wish to have any dialog
    with you so for lack of better terms for someone like you,

    Please insert a retractable baton up your a**.

  50. weing says:

    That alternative medicine is quackery is my working hypothesis. I am looking for evidence to overthrow this hypothesis but haven’t found any so far. Your anecdotes are worthless and provide as much information as your sinking to personal attacks to make your point. Good luck to you.

  51. vargkill says:

    pmoran

    Almost forgot to make a point…

    “guessing that a young otherwise healthy looking woman is consulting about female problems will be right in excess of fifty per cent of the time”.

    Thats the thing pmoran, she did not inquire about the issue
    he simply told her without ever meeting her and did so without
    any prior knowledge.

    Lucky guess every time?

  52. vargkill says:

    weing

    hypothesis

    consists either of a suggested explanation for an observable phenomenon or of a reasoned proposal predicting a possible causal correlation among multiple phenomena. Yet not standing
    on its own 100%. Its your “theory” and nothing more. Still not
    able to prove your case just as i still cannot prove mine. Unlike
    many on here i know what i saw and that is enough for me to
    roll with.

    “I am looking for evidence to overthrow this hypothesis but haven’t found any so far”.

    If it is “quackery” in your book then why do you need to
    have a “working hypothesis? but haven’t found any so far…

    If you’re so sure then why do you need hypothesis?
    Why are you not pushing this as a fact?

    The personal attack was not meant to make my point, it was
    intended to tell you that you’re a prick. Did my personal attack
    prove my point to anyone else on here? Unlike you weing
    i can admit to the possibility that i might be wrong. I can also
    admit that there is a chance that it could all be a pile of bullcrap.
    But i do not need a “hypothesis” to make my point. That is just
    as unreliable as my supposed belief in what you claim to be “quackery”.

  53. vargkill says:

    weing

    I think i might have misunderstood your post about the
    “hypthoesis. I now understand what you meant was
    trying to find evidence to overthrow “your hypothesis”
    on alternative medicine being “quackery”.

    Sorry for jumping the gun.

  54. Chris says:

    pmoran said

    Coming in late — I’m entirely in sympathy with you until you start to make somewhat improbable scientific deductions from what you have experienced.

    To sum up: The plural of anecdote is not data.

    I am a mechanical engineer, vargkill, I do not need to resort to tautology since you have more than adequately revealed your true nature.

  55. Karl Withakay says:

    vargkill posts:

    “You are 100% correct and i should have been a bit more
    professional on the board. ”

    and then follows it up with:

    “Chris i wanted to ask, How many of these doctors dicks did
    you have in your mouth when you posted that?”

    “You are a moronic tool”

    “You’re the kinda
    person i would slap if i met you in person.”

    “I think your a prick!”

    Here’s a false dichotomy for you: Were you insincere in the first statement, or are you just incapable of impulse control?

    I suggest we all self moderate and stop replying to vargkill. I am done with him.

  56. vargkill says:

    Chris

    Im glad you are a “mechanical engineer” Chris, i still think you
    are arrogant. Im an IT Pro and i think you have not really
    been paying attention to what i have been saying on here.

    You see Chris after my last reply to you all you have to say
    is i reveled my true nature, well since you take such pride
    in being a “mechanical engineer” along with making that
    sound like your a perfect human being, why then did you
    have nothing else to say after my long reply to you?
    That shows that you are not truly listening and just did
    nothing more then come into a conversation just wanting
    to make your points and not try to hear anyone elses.

    Looks like the “mechanical engineer” tough guy revealed your true nature! Nice way to push your point and then make someone else seem lesser simply because you dont want
    to reply in any fashion that lets you be on top.

    Here i thought “mechanical engineers” knew better?

    Good solution Karl, If you don’t like what i have to say then
    just dont reply to it. You see i personally think its funny that
    for such prideful and educated people some of you people
    sure are sensitive.

    I dont know how many times i have explained the points
    i was making, even acknowledging the fact that i am not 100%
    right in my claims yet you still find a need to push the fact that
    my evidence is not 100% factual. When did i ever say that
    it was? If you clearly read what i have been posting i was
    simply stating that for myself i cannot understand with all
    thing considered how Mr Wu does it. There was never any
    need to get so damn personal about it. Yes my personal
    experience can be looked at with many different view points
    and still having been through it yourself is much much different
    then anything else i have read in a book.

    I still stand in my opinion that we still cannot fully disprove
    alternative medicine. I still stand in my opinion that i cannot
    fully prove alternative medicine and can only go on my own
    personal experience.

  57. Karl Withakay says:

    “Good solution Karl, If you don’t like what i have to say then
    just dont reply to it. You see i personally think its funny that
    for such prideful and educated people some of you people
    sure are sensitive.”

    I’ll make one last reply, in spite of my last statement, just to clarify.

    I’m not being sensitive. In certain/most social contexts, I drop the F-Bomb more often than most people do. I’m not especially offended by your crude remarks. I’m just more interested in intellectual discourse than I am in listening to people resort to asking people, “How many of these doctors dicks did you have in your mouth…” in lieu of actual thoughtful or witty discussion.

    By the way, why bother posting,

    “You are 100% correct and i should have been a bit more professional on the board. ”

    if you’re going to continue the way you did? Why not just be honest and say something like, “I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but that’s they way I talk/ write when I’m passionate about a subject, if you don’t like it too bad. I’ll keep talking that way until/unless the moderators warn/ban me.”?

    That’s probably all form me in this thread. The dead horse is a bloody pulp anyway.

  58. vargkill says:

    Well i will tell you Karl that sometimes that is just how i do things.

    Unlike most on here i can admit where i am and can be wrong.

    Yes Karl i can be an a**hole at times. That is just how i roll.

    Anyways i have had a good conversation with a lot of you
    on here.

  59. vargkill says:

    One last thing Karl

    We where having a pretty good conversation there for a minute.

  60. vargkill says:

    Hey don’t let me stop this interesting conversation from evolving. You all had a lot of interting things to say on here
    and i mostly enjoyed debating with some of you.

    I will say that i am sorry for my crude nature. That is just
    how i get sometimes. I can be an a**hole.

    But if anyone wishes to continue this conversation in any manner then by all means.

    Ill be nicer!

    Sorry again for anyone who felt disrespected.

  61. Scott says:

    “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME!” Or put another way, at this point why should anyone trust your claim that *this* time you’ll actually be civil – given what you posted immediately after the last such statement?

  62. vargkill says:

    Scott

    I am a human being and last time i checked no one is perfect.

    We all make mistakes and do things that could have been
    handled better right?

    Ok then.

  63. Dr. Skeptizmo says:

    Vargkill-
    I have three statements to make in regards to this entire conversation.

    1) I have experienced “alternative medicine” and yes, this person diagnosed me without having heard one piece of information out of my mouth. Now, as an osteopathic medical student I can explain that away without resorting to non scientific principles.
    a: I was in the office for some type of medical complaint
    and I did not appear acutely ill- therefor she assumed
    my complaint was chronic.
    b: Many common medical conditions manifest somewhere
    on the surface of the body in some way and it is
    possible to make an initial diagnosis based upon that.

    Without doing any sort of testing on me to confirm this she treated me with a form of energy healing and told me to come back regularly to keep up the treatment because my problem was not something that she could permanently fix- it needed surgery.

    2)The above experience is something that I now remember in my studies to become a DO. There is a lot to be said about diagnosing the correct problem, the next step is being able to do something about it. Many pathologic processes are self limiting and I am sure these are the things that your practitioner treats. The problem with seeing a practitioner who only treats self limiting processes is that they may not recognize when it is not self limiting and may not get you the treatment you actually need.

    3) Saying that a practitioner has a 100% correct diagnosis rate is absolutely ludicrous. No practitioner on this planet has a 100% anything. There will always be mistakes and denying them is only going to make you sound like a fool.

    Ok now let’er rip. I know that you will have a snappy come back for all of this, but I am hoping that you take this as it is intended. To show you that people can be open to alt med but also hold many qualms about it due to the lack of testable efficacy and the limited usefulness it may have. I don’t dismiss things outright, only after many (many, many, many) factors weigh in.

  64. vargkill says:

    Dr. Skeptizmo

    No dude i enjoyed your explination very much and i thought
    you said what you had to say in a very interesting way. So i respect your view point because you seem open minded about it. My issue comes when people are narrow minded and wish
    to not look beyond anything other then what they have learned.

    So snappy? No reason to be. I personally believe that there
    are those who can do what they do and do it well. At the same
    time i openly admit to anything being possible.

    The only thing i can say to anything you wrote is, my claim
    to the mans success rate is by what i have seen with my own
    2 eyes. There are many other stories i could tell about my
    expirences with Mr Wu. One noteable thing about the man
    is he admits when he sees a problem and says he can only
    fix for a short amount of time, or in his words… “I can fix but
    very easy to come back”. Other simple things he fixes using
    a very very different method. He only does acupressure but
    seems to do it in his own way. I think he practices a very
    old school chinese method that involves some kinda energy
    reading with the general principles of classic energy points
    in the body.

    Whatever he does seems to work thats all im saying.

    Now if i cracked my head open where would i go to get treated?
    Not to him! I know and im sure he knows when someone needs
    to have a good does of SBM. I believe both can co exsist without
    the back and forth! I think SBM is good for some things and
    alternative medicine is good for others.

    I for one believe in alternative things for issues such as minor
    injuries and hypertension which is the most misdiagnosed
    things these days. I know for me i suffer from something we
    all know as “white coat syndrome”. Im sure all doctors are
    aware of the phenomenon. For some people something higher
    then 120/80 could just be normal for that person. bp can
    also change in the course of the day. My point is is that
    i have seen far to many times meds being shelled out for
    “hypertension” when for some people its normal to have
    a higher reading then what we consider normal. Its when
    the bp starts shooting up from a persons normal reading that
    we need to consider medication. I just see to often people
    are getting beta blockers thrown at them without extra monitering. Not saying all doctors do this but it happens a lot.

    Im sure some of you are gonna attack me and say how you
    never do or did this and anything over 120/80 is hypertension.
    Well i will argue this point until im blue in the f**king face.

    Point is, doing the “DASH” wont work for most people whos
    normal bp is higher then the standerd. No one body is the same.
    My grandmothers bp has been 140/80 her whole life and shes
    80 years old and healthy!

    Sorry for the long post just had a few glasses of wine and just
    in the mood to talk!

  65. The Blind Watchmaker says:

    Are these “primary care” naturopaths going to be paying the same kind of horendous malpractice insurance that I am paying?

    They should.

    I’m sure the trial lawyers will have a field day with this.

  66. vargkill says:

    The Blind Watchmaker

    Im not sure who that was directed at, but if you have been
    reading most of the conversation you will see that i have never
    once said that alternative medicine folk should be PCP’s.

    Should they be allowed to practice? I think so!

  67. HCN says:

    If they are allowed to practice anything they should also be required to pay malpractice insurance.

  68. vargkill says:

    Why? Most places make you sign a form that states what they
    are doing. Making the person fully aware that they are being
    treated by a form of theorpy that differs from SBM.

    I know its hard to ween the good from the bad but not
    every person who practices alternative medicine is a rip off
    artist.

    Plain and simple, If someone does not wish to be treated
    by these people no one is making them right?

    It is one thing if you do not believe in this form of practice
    but you have to remember this is a different education and
    its not your place to judge if it works or not. If someone goes
    in and feels better then has it not served its purpose?

    If its so bad then let people go get treated at their own risk.
    Any normal person knows they are walking into a place that
    practices alternative medicine.

    Now i will agree that if they are able to become PCP’s then
    maybe they should have to pay the malpractice insurance.
    But what about the ones who are not trying to become PCP’s?

  69. HCN says:

    vargkill said “I know its hard to ween the good from the bad but not every person who practices alternative medicine is a rip off
    artist. ”

    Then they should be happy to pay malpractice insurance for those rare times when something goes wrong.

    Why should only those who are primary care providers pay malpractice insurance? Why not those who claim to be specialists, like the chiropractic neurologists (who often do things like brain mapping and cranialsacral therapy)? What about those who claim to cure allergies with NAET? They are specialists, shouldn’t they have to pay malpractice insurance just in case their therapy does not prevent an asthma attack?

    Wait you said “f its so bad then let people go get treated at their own risk. Any normal person knows they are walking into a place that practices alternative medicine. ”

    Wouldn’t it be better if there was some real information that explained the real effectiveness of the alternative medicine? What evidence is there that chiropractic neurology is related to real neurology? What does cranial sacral therapy really do? Does NAET actually help allergies?

    How does a “normal” person know these things work if the information presented is usually just marketing materials and without all that pesky science?

  70. vargkill says:

    HCN

    “Then they should be happy to pay malpractice insurance for those rare times when something goes wrong”.

    So if i go in to get some acupressure done for a knee that
    is bothering me and he/she does their thing, and i end up poping my knee out of place should i go and sue the person
    who told did the acupressure work? Knowing full well that
    i was not promised any drugs or any kinda shorts or surgery?

    If you are like me and want an alternative other then filling your
    body up with medications then your willing to try something else. I know full well the extent of my allergies and i hate taking
    medication for it cause it makes me feel like s**t. So whats
    my alternative? Do i just suffer? Or do i try something that might
    help that does not involve taking meds?

    My point is, if these people want to treat other people with
    alternative medicine then let them. If people want to get treated
    by these people then let them. They know full well it might not
    work so in the end whos to blame? Are you just upset because
    your not getting that persons insurence? Or do you really
    hate folks who practice alternative medicine? Or is this just
    against the ones who want to become PCP’s?

    Again HCN im not in support of them being able to become
    PCP’s. But i am in support of them having the right to practice
    and treat those willing to come to them and try something different, placebo effect or not, its helps some people.

    Thats my point.

    PS
    I honesly have not heard of all the methods you mentioned
    but i will look some of them up so i have a better point of refrence.

  71. weing says:

    Suppose he gives you some accupressure and your leg feels better and you keep coming back for maintenance and after a few months it pops and you can’t walk and end up losing the leg because the tumor growing there has gotten too big or worse, it has now metastasized. Would you want to sue him then?

  72. vargkill says:

    weing

    Would that be his fault? No it would be my fault for choosing to
    go to someone who practices this form of medicine.

    Have you guys like recently lost patients to these alternative
    practitioners or something? I understand your concern but
    who is it hurting?

    1. There is no law against alternative medicine.

    2. Its a persons choice to choose the treatment they want.

    3. When is the last time anyone practicing alternative medicine
    in the US was able to write a prescription? Unless of course they are already an MD and choose to embrace alternative medicine.

    4. No one is holding a gun to your or anyone elses head and making you personally believe in it or anyone else for that matter.

    I don’t understand this attitude. This is eastern medicine and it
    must work or someone would have been able to fully debunk
    its years ago. You ever been to China? Any of you personally?
    Its a pretty common practice.

    You have nothing to worry about because as soon as your
    enemies prove to do their own undoing then you’ll get your
    patients back.

  73. Vargkill, if you view Not Being Chinese as a problem among the critics of medical practices traditionally used in China, go to skepticblog.org and read all posts by Yau-Man Chan. (Spoiler: he wants science-based medicine.)

  74. vargkill says:

    Perky Sleptic

    Ok that is just another opinion from a guy i have never heard of
    until you had me go read his stuff. I know nothing about this man other then the fact that he is from East Malaysia.

    Im sure i can find blogs of people who are for or against many
    things in life. So i think to use him as a point of refrence to
    prove a point is basically, pointless.

    Try again!

  75. Dr Benway says:

    vargkill,

    Let there be CAM. Just please, don’t “integrate” it with science-based medicine.

    Integrative medicine corrupts the rules of evidence. Once our evidential standards are corrupted, hello 1984.

  76. vargkill says:

    Dr Benway

    I guess the chips will land where they may right?

    Look man i dont really believe in everything “CAM”
    I just believe some people can practice alternatvie medicine
    and provide real results. Do you guys finally get where im
    coming from?

    This is a no win argument for anyone. So why do we keep
    going in circles?

  77. weing says:

    “Would that be his fault? No it would be my fault for choosing to
    go to someone who practices this form of medicine.”

    What form of medicine? How would you be at fault unless you knew it wasn’t the real thing? Call it entertainment, distraction, anything. But it is not medicine. It would be your fault for choosing to go to someone who entertains you instead of a real doctor.

  78. weing says:

    Maybe he should have a disclaimer saying that any benefits are illusory and not intended to treat any real illness.

  79. vargkill says:

    weing

    But when we choose to go to someone who is not a “real doctor” then they must know exactly what they are going into
    right?

    Iv never seen any alternative practitioner claim to be a real doctor.

    It seems as if your grievances are with the people who want
    to be PCP’s So for the last time im not in support of this.

    Do you understand now? I have only said this probably
    20 times on here now.

    Maybe everyone should have a disclaimer saying that no
    treatment of any kinda including SMB is 100% guaranteed
    to work.

    Sound fair?

  80. Calli Arcale says:

    That’s exactly the problem, vargkill. Most of the people seeing an alternative medical practitioner do not realize that they are not seeing a “real” doctor, or that the alt-med proponent lacks the training and expertise to recognize serious conditions that require the attention of a specialist. And many alt-med proponents do in fact try to sell themselves as equivalent to a PCP.

    I think you are actually more on our side than you realize. You just don’t realize how pervasive the problem is.

    I’m all for “traditional” treatments if they work. What I’m opposed to is the promotion of unproven therapies as if they *have* been proven, and that, in essence, is what alternative medicine is. If a traditional therapy is proven and practical and adequately safe, the mainstream will adopt it and it will no longer be “alternative”. So why have an alternative category at all? It actually impedes the study of this stuff, because if you can sell it without proving it, why bother proving it?

  81. vargkill says:

    Calli Arcale

    I am on your side in a lot of ways.

    Im sure you have been reading a lot of my posts and still
    i stand by what i went through with my acupressure guy.

    Whatever he does or did or does for people works.
    Placebo effect or not it worked.

    Do i think everyone who practice is as good as him?
    f**k no. There are some who are the real deal and others
    who should not be able to practice.

  82. Joe says:

    vargkillon 23 Apr 2009 at 11:59 am wrote “But when we choose to go to someone who is not a “real doctor” then they must know exactly what they are going into
    right?”

    Iv [sic] never seen any alternative practitioner claim to be a real doctor.”

    You are playing with words- chiros and naturos call themselves “doctor” with no distinction from real, medical professionals. Others may follow suit. Chiro- and naturo-quacks want to position themselves as “primary care physicians.” Your suggestion is just wrong. Many people mistake a “doctor” for a Doctor.”

    vargkillon 23 Apr 2009 at 11:59 am suggests “Maybe everyone should have a disclaimer saying that no treatment of any kinda [sic] including SMB is 100% guaranteed to work.”

    I suggest a disclaimer that says “No CAM method has ever been proven safe and effective” would be better.

    There is no doubt that results from medical interventions vary, humans are complex beings. I think your warning is subsumed in the health professional saying “I cannot promise; but there is evidence for this therapy.” Quacks are seldom so modest, even when the supposed ‘evidence’ does not exist or, more likely, is as flimsy as toilet paper- they make their positive claims.

  83. SGNeill says:

    Hi, I just discovered this site the other day, having been directed here off of a comment on the HuffPo. This site is likely the best thing I’ve been exposed to as a result of visiting HuffPo from time to time.

    I’m a soon-to-be MD, graduating in less than a month. I think I’ll spend some time in the run-up to residency indulging myself at SBM.

    I’ve read much of this thread. I had to stop reading SD’s posts, as his behavior is too stereotypical to draw me into some kind of “challenge the tenets of the world” debate.

    vargkill, I’ll give you my response to your queries. First, I think you’d have a hard time finding a physician who would tell you that their interventions are 100% guaranteed to work. If you have, I’m sorry. All interventions carry risk and there is no guarantee.

    As for this statement: “Look man i dont really believe in everything ‘CAM’ I just believe some people can practice alternatvie medicine and provide real results.” …

    While it’s certainly possible that some CAM treatments are safe and effective, the burden of proof is on the CAM practitioners to verify those claims. Why is the burden of proof on CAM? Why is it not up to modern medicine to disprove CAM? Because much of modern medicine has been built up through that kind of experimentation and it has been proven to work. Modern medicine is verifiable through the scientific method, the same method that has brought us most of modern life. Western medicine had its own shamanistic/holistic traditions in the lead-up to the scientific revolution; I’m sure you’ve heard of the “four humors”. The scientific method soundly defeated shamanistic tradition in the lab and in the world outside. In order for any treatments in CAM to be accepted as truly valid, they will have to pass the same tests that modern medicine has passed (and shamanistic tradition has failed).

    I’ll be very happy when CAM produces a verifiably safe and effective treatment, as it will surely advance our understanding of life. Until that time, I’ll stay with what has been shown to work. Thanks for your time.

  84. vargkill says:

    Ok let me address this again since you seemingly educated
    folks cant seem to grasp what im truly saying…

    First off, your making it sound like i believe in everything
    that these folks practice. No i am not saying that.

    Second, i chalked up my expirence as a good one and thus
    i believe that some people have the ability to be fruitful in
    their practice of alternative.

    Im not sitting here trying to say that every single person
    who practices alternative medicine is good at it or that
    everything works. I am just saying that the person i know
    seems to have a method that works.

    Like i have said time and time again, let the patient decide
    for himself what is safe or what works for them. Why is sudden
    MD crusade on on everything not SBM? Just because you dont
    believe it works dose not mean you can tell me it did not work
    for me.

    If we can give people choices in life like responsibilities and other grown up things then why not let the man decide if he
    wants to put his trust in a CAM practitioner. I had a choice
    and i went to one and it helped me. So its kinda like you’re
    telling me that i should not have that choice? If im being fooled
    then fine let me deal with it and if i die then so be it.

    Joe

    Whats the difference? My life was never in danger when i seen
    my “CAM” person. I will say it again, you still cannot disprove
    the effectivness of some of these practices so again aside from
    the idiots out there who do practice “CAM” I dont see who it
    hurts. If someone wants to find natural pain relief and finds it
    with acupressure then f**k it let them. Did i ever say that
    SBM does not work? No i never did. Did i ever say “CAM” works
    for everything? No i never did.

  85. Dr Benway says:

    vargkill,

    If I said your lover were cheating on you, would you believe me? I assume you’d want proof first, something you could double check yourself.

    If you were accused of raping a girl, should we believe the accuser without proof? Of course not.

    If you have a dangerous heart condition and I tell you I can fix it but it will cost you $40,000, will you take me at my word? Wouldn’t you rather have some evidence you can check for yourself? Maybe some published papers describing the procedure, and describing how things went for several other similar patients?

    Now, your story about the shaman-healer is nothing we can check. We just have to take your word for it. I don’t think you should blame us for feeling skeptical.

    I don’t have a problem with people going to faith healers. I simply want to keep the faith healers separate from the healers who claim to be science-based. Science-based means people can double-check the facts. Faith means, “take my word for it,” which is convenient for liars.

    I dont want the government involved with faith or religion, because that’s totalitarianism. So no Medicaid or Medicare for faith healers.

  86. vargkill says:

    Dr Benway

    How many times do i need to say the same things over and
    over again? Im not against you as you might think. I just think
    you people are on a crusade here and not for all the right reasons.

    I clearly get your point and have gotten everyones point
    thus far. Are you getting mine?

    Tell you what, why not go lobby congress and make alternative
    medicine not legal? Then you would have more of a solid ground
    to complain about the things that you all have an issue with
    instead of getting together on a forum and bashing alternative
    medicine. Unless you’re personally willing to be proactive in
    stopping what you think is unjust medical practice then you
    are just as much a part of the problem and not the solution.

    I also think you are comparing apples to watermelons here.
    Do you somehow think i am advocating for alternative medicine
    folks to treat real crappy conditions? I never said im in support
    of this kinda practice. But what i am say and my whole point
    is that “I THINK IN SOME CASES ALTERNATVIE MEDICINE CAN
    AND DOES WORK TO PROVIDE SOME RELIFE FROM CERTAIN
    CONDITIONS”. I even put it in caps so you can better understand my point.

    Better yet, why dont you head up some research to finally once
    and for all debunk alternative medicine. Im sure a lot of people
    would be happy. Since there seems to be studies for everything
    else would this not be a great idea? Then you can shut people
    like me up and your enemies would just prove to do their
    own undoing. And none of this its already been doen crap, i want to see a new study and im sure a lot of other people
    would love to see it as well.

    Let me know when the research is under way!

  87. HCN says:

    vargkill yelled ““I THINK IN SOME CASES ALTERNATVIE MEDICINE CAN AND DOES WORK TO PROVIDE SOME RELIFE FROM CERTAIN
    CONDITIONS”. ”

    Then prove it. Post the actual medical literature that shows that your favorite mode of alternative medicine provided relief from certain conditions.

    Make it simple, list the the condition, then the alt med that helped it followed with a cite to the literature that proves it. The site http://www.pubmed.gov provides an easy way to find it.

    Look at the title of this blog posting, it contains the word “hypertension.” What is still considered alternative medicine that relieves hypertension?

    My step-mother’s family had a genetic form of hypertension. Members of her family typically died in their mid-40s after a long drawn out painful period. She had pictures of one of her brothers who died that way, they are painful even to look at. But shortly after he died the first set of medication for hypertension was developed: simple diuretics. The rest of the siblings lived into their 80s, and even 90s due to those diuretics (plus doing without salt, maintaining their weight, exercise and healthy eating… after my dad married my step-mother we learned to cook without salt! I still make my own chicken and beef stock with lots of marjoram and other herbs… a way to boost flavor without salt).

    So what alternative medicine works for hypertension better than the diuretics introduced in the 1950s and the more modern beta-blockers? Be sure to give cites to actual medical literature.

  88. vargkill says:

    HCN

    Not my job, you guys are the big bad doctors so you do
    the debunking.

    Try harder HCN

  89. vargkill says:

    HCN

    Just wanted to add…

    Your making it sound like i dont believe in SBM at all.
    Never said i didnt, so enough with the crusade, i issues
    a challange so whos gonna take it?

  90. weing says:

    That’s not the way it works. You made the (ridiculous) claim. The burden of proof is on you.

  91. Dr Benway says:

    vargkill,

    Any right you claim for yourself you must extend to everyone else.

    So if you’re entitled to make claims about the world that we must accept at face value without proof then so is everyone else. And that includes the district attorney at your trial for a crime you did not commit.

    That includes those in power over us.

    Thanks, but no thanks.

  92. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    From Carl Sagan Superstar, the Broadway musical. Everybody sing!!!

  93. vargkill says:

    Perky Skeptic

    You seem to have trouble coming up with original things to say.

    Dr Benway

    How am i supposed to prove to you beyond words that my
    acupressure guy helped me? Last time i checked i was not
    a doctor and did not have as much ability to do such things
    as say maybe a doctor. So prove to me it did not work!
    As a matter of fact you cannot prove to me it did not work
    and i cannot prove to you it did. Can we leave it at that?
    There is no way to win this argument.

    weing

    Same thing. How am i supposed to prove it? If you say
    research online then i can say the internet is full of all kinds
    of things that are true and false. You guys are the big bad
    medicine doctors so show us the light of the path we should
    be walking!

    I at least admit that not all things CAM or all those who practice
    it work or should be practicing. I at least admit CAMS should not
    be PCPS. I at least admit and know that SBM works.

    Can you admit that you might be living inside of a well with
    not enough vision to admit that greater forces could be at
    play in the world? Or do you believe we all just evolved from
    mirco orgs?

  94. weing says:

    The burden of proof is on the person making the claim. If you only have a claim that you cannot support, then there is no real argument.

  95. vargkill says:

    weing

    Well the same goes for you.

    I believe i asked you to prove yourself first, so you too would
    be guilty of the same thing you are accusing me of.

    Way to stick it to me weing!!

  96. cheglabratjoe says:

    vargkill,

    I don’t think anyone is saying you didn’t feel better after whatever treatment you received. Our point is that we need further evidence before accepting that acupressure can reliably help people. Failing that, it is much more prudent to think that you basically got a placebo (and/or got very lucky). Since acupressure has been looked at and found to be ineffective, this conclusion is even more justified.

  97. vargkill says:

    cheglabratjoe

    Its been proven to be effective in a lot of way.
    Some doctors are using it to calm children before surgery
    i a recent experiment.

    Now i read that online so how reliable is it? Not 100% sure
    but there are many documented cases that it helps with calming
    and other things. So why not do more research?

    I guess that was my point to the other buffoons on here.

  98. cheglabratjoe says:

    vargkill,

    Well, if you think that there is lots of evidence that it is effective, I don’t think it’s unreasonable (or buffoonish) to ask that you provide a little bit of that evidence. I haven’t read all 200 comments; have you been providing links and references to that evidence and documentation? If you’ve only been offering personal anecdotes and talking about unspecified better evidence, I can understand why people are getting frustrated with you.

  99. vargkill says:

    cheglabratjoe

    I have not seen anyone else providing any refrences either!
    Show me the research that my claims are full of crap!

    heres an interesting link. Im pressed for time so youll have to
    do the old fashioned copy and paste.

    http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/acupressure_beats_physical_therapy_for_lower_back_pain_10049.html

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