Category: Traditional Chinese Medicine

Iridology

Australian review finds no benefit to 17 natural therapies

Health care systems around the world are being pressured to “do more and spend less”, to make healthcare more cost effective. Owing to aging populations and the growing cost of providing health services, there’s more scrutiny than ever on the value of different health treatments, with the goal of reducing the use of treatments that don’t help. The Choosing Wisely initiative was...

/ November 19, 2015

Acupuncture/TCPM Crapfest

As I get older I get more grumpy. Issues that at one time I was rather sanguine about, now irritate the hell out of me. It is not like it was when I started practice. Information was hard to come by. Going through the Index Medicus, with the world’s tiniest font, wandering the stacks looking for papers, sending off for reprints, getting...

/ November 13, 2015

How To Listen to Chi

You will need flat shoes and a bottle of vitamins, herbal formula, or prescription medicine. Step 1: Hold the bottle with both hands, touching your chest Step 2: Stand up straight and get your balance Step 3: Close your eyes and feel what is happening to your body. Results: If your body moves forward or stays neutral – going side to side...

/ July 14, 2015

“America’s Quack” strikes back

Those of you who read my not-so-super-secret other blog (or who follow the news) familiar with this, but I feel that what happened over the last couple of weeks with respect to a man to whom I like to refer as “America’s Quack” is worth posting right here, in modified form. Last week, a group of ten doctors led by Dr. Henry...

/ April 25, 2015

Pseudoscience North: What’s happening to the University of Toronto?

  Today’s post is a reluctant challenge. I’m nominating my own alma mater, the University of Toronto, as the new pseudoscience leader among large universities – not just in Canada, but all of North America. If you can identify a large university promoting or embracing more scientifically questionable activities, I’ll happily buy you a coffee. Yes, it’s personal to me, as I...

/ February 26, 2015

Traditional Chinese Pseudo-Medicine Hodgepodge

As I have noted before, more is published on acupuncture and traditional Chinese pseudo-medicine than the other SCAM. Here are some of the articles that drew my attention. Captain Hook and acupuncture Here is one of the more curious articles on acupuncture I have yet to find, “Psychophysical and neurophysiological responses to acupuncture stimulation to incorporated rubber hand.” I did not know...

/ February 20, 2015

2015 NHIS Report on Complementary Health Approaches (whatever that means)

Back in 2004, data from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) appeared in a report titled “Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Adults: United States, 2002.” It showed a whopping 62% of adults had used CAM in the past 12 months, but only if prayer for health reasons was included. With prayer excluded, the percentage was substantially lower, at 35%. “CAM”...

/ February 19, 2015

Skeptic’s Guide to Debunking Claims about Telomeres in the Scientific and Pseudoscientific Literature

The New Year starts with telomeres as the trendiest of trendy biomarkers. As seen in Time, telomeres are the means to monitor our well-being so we can protect ourselves from all sorts from threats, including early death. A skeptic needs to do considerable homework in order to muster the evidence needed to counter the latest exaggerated, premature, and outright pseudoscientific claims about...

/ January 11, 2015
Several snarks were painfully maimed in the writing of this blog post

Mel asks and I do my best to answer. On acupuncture.

I read a lot of the pseudo-medical websites. The writing is at best pedestrian, often turgid, and, at its worst, incoherent. It is rarely either engaging or clever. Wit, the clever bon mot, the amusing turn of phrase or retort, is rare at best. So rare I cannot think of an example. It is ironic that those who engage in fantastical treatments...

/ January 9, 2015

2014: Chiropractors, naturopaths and acupuncturists lose in state legislatures

I am happy to report some good news: chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists and assorted other practitioners of pseudo-medicine didn’t fare too well in the 2013-2014 state legislative sessions. We’ve been following their legislative efforts all year over at the Society for Science-Based Medicine. Some state legislatures meet in yearly sessions. At the end of the year, pending bills die with the session. Some...

/ January 8, 2015