When it comes to expansion and infiltrating medicine, "integrative medicine" has frequently seemed like the Terminator: utterly relentless. Recent setbacks at major integrative medicine "Crown Jewels" resulting in their closure cast that narrative in doubt. However, I never forget that after its seeming destruction, the Terminator always comes back.
As quackery in the form of "integrative medicine" has increasingly been "integrated" into medicine, medical journals are starting to notice and succumb to the temptation to decrease their skepticism. The BMJ, unfortunately, is the latest to do so. It won't be the last.
It is important for consumers to understand the phenomenon of hospitals, even prestigious hospitals, offering dubious treatments, and how we got here. Don't be fooled by the apparent endorsement of nonsense. It is still nonsense.
Myths integrative medicine sells us: “We never advocate alternative medicine without conventional medicine”
"Integrative medicine" (IM) effectively integrates quackery with real medicine. The main talking point by advocates of IM meant to deflect this criticism is that IM practitioners always use alternative medicine with conventional medicine and never advocate the use of alternative medicine alone. A new book by a prominent advocate of IM suggests that this talking point is at best self-delusion among academics...
In the tradition of Chairman Mao, traditional Chinese medicine gets a new boost by the Chinese government
Despite a lack of evidence for its efficacy and safety, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has made major inroads into US medical centers, both academic and community. I've told the story of how Chairman Mao Zedong created the myth of TCM and promoted it to credulous Westerners to facilitate the "integration" of TCM and "Western medicine." Over the holiday break, I learned that...
Placebo effects are inextricably bound to the question of whether the alternative medicine modalities that are being “integrated” into medicine actually have any useful therapeutic effects or not; i.e., whether they are merely placebos. Here, I examine an article in National Geographic that peddles the false narrative that placebo effects have real "healing" powers against diseases like Parkinson's disease.
Integrative medicine is not a real specialty in medicine. Let's not treat it as though it were.
The "integration" of quackery with real medicine occurring in academia and now private hospitals and practices didn't occur overnight. It began decades ago. Here, we examine what an advocate of "integrative medicine" views as key milestones on the path towards adding pseudoscience and quackery to your medicine.
We at SBM argue that there should be a single, science-based standard of care in medicine. Unfortunately, with the rise of "complementary and alternative medicine" (CAM) also called "integrative medicine," there is a separate standard emerging that allows CAM practitioners to get away with using unproven and disproven treatments. The case of Dr. Kenneth Woliner illustrates this problem.
Yes, diet and exercise can be useful to prevent some cancers. Unfortunately, they don't prevent all cancers, and the effect size is more modest than often represented. That's not to say that eating right and exercise aren't good. They are, for so many other reasons than cancer. Just don't view them as a panacea for preventing cancer.