The Odd Blog

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Legitimising Quackery

Posted by That Other Mike on 06/01/2008

Oh, great. Let’s legitimise quackery:

A range of complementary therapies such as homeopathy and aromatherapy are to be regulated by a new body.

The Natural HealthCare Council is due to begin work in April. Currently, anyone can offer a complementary medicine service.

Given that we already know that homeopathy does not work except as a placebo and can be actively dangerous as a practice, why the hell are we legitimising it by allowing oversight?

There should be a massive public education campaign about these junk treatments, telling people the truth – they don’t work and can’t work.

There is no such thing as “alternative” medicine: if something works and can be scientifically tested, it is medicine. If it doesn’t work except by the placebo effect, or it only works in anecdotes and the supposed efficacy disappears in scientific trials, it isn’t medicine.

This kind of shit really pissed me off. People are being hoodwinked by “alternative” or “complementary” practices which will only ever be effective by accident or psychology.

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21 Responses to “Legitimising Quackery”

  1. Selena Parsley said

    I am about to create a new aromatherapy line for women to pamper themselves with using all natural essential oils. There is no such thing as a natural cure all and some homeopathic herbalist & alternative therapist do hoodwink desperate hurting people such as cancer patients. You are right. However, I enjoy being creative and offering a safer alternative to bath & body products. But even working with essential oils there are some contraindications just as there is to massage therapy. For example peppermint oil will not be safe for expectant moms as it could raise blood pressure. My problem is when therapist claim to have a miracle salve or massage technique that will cure people of whatever ails them. I personally enjoy bathing in natural products and making a way for others who have an interest in natural health or just smelly good products to partake of what I create. I don’t make any claims to be a healer with my practice or products, but I enjoy comforting people. This is honestly more fulfilling than any money I make.

    http://www.elohimsgarden.net/

    http://parsleypatch.wordpress.com/2008/01/04/elohims-garden-spa-products/

  2. Reason said

    What nonsense. Homeopathy doesn’t work? I’d almost laugh at such foolishness, but your childish ignorance is just too pathetic.

    The amusing thing here is that Merck could put out a thousand “scientific trials” proving that some random poisonous concoction is safe and effective. They do it all the time. Big Pharma consistently “hoodwinks” people through their “scientifically tested” toxins, killing them in the process. People like you will gobble up whatever a man in a white coat gives them out of infantile blind faith in the conventional medical industry.

    How people chose to treat their own diseases and care for their own health is none of your business. If they choose to avoid the toxic world of allopathic medicine, so much the better for them.

  3. Selena Parsley said

    Jeeze, Reason, lighten up! Buy some of my relaxing aromatherapy cream and rub it on your temples, hehe.:-D

  4. Mike said

    WHOOPWHOOPWHOOP! Homeopath alert!

    What nonsense. Homeopathy doesn’t work? I’d almost laugh at such foolishness, but your childish ignorance is just too pathetic.

    Well, let’s see… Every clinical trial ever run on homeopathy says that it doesn’t work except by the placebo effect. The entire underpinning of homeopathy is bogus and based on mediaeval ideas, and the methodology is ridiculous and unworkable. So, yeah, it doesn’t work.

    The amusing thing here is that Merck could put out a thousand “scientific trials” proving that some random poisonous concoction is safe and effective. They do it all the time. Big Pharma consistently “hoodwinks” people through their “scientifically tested” toxins, killing them in the process.

    Except that properly run double blind trials make that impossible.

    People like you will gobble up whatever a man in a white coat gives them out of infantile blind faith in the conventional medical industry.

    Uh-huh. And you base this on…? What? Your prejudice as a follower of homeopathy?

    How people chose to treat their own diseases and care for their own health is none of your business. If they choose to avoid the toxic world of allopathic medicine, so much the better for them.

    You mean medicine, don’t you? Homeopathy doesn’t qualify. It’s junk.

  5. Selena Parsley said

    Mike said,”Homeopathy doesn’t qualify. It’s junk.”

    My offering a safer alternative to bath products, which is a type of homeopathy is not junk. Most bath items that you can buy at the local discount store are filled with alcohol and preservatives to keep their huge shelf life span. They pride themselves in adding shea butter and jojoba oils with their expensive ads, but turn right around and cancel it out by adding drying and skin-damaging ingredients. Now their livers have to work over time to process all the toxins they just slathered on and in their bodies. In my homeopathic approach, I am leaving out the synthetic fillers and adding oils that if used correctly, can benefit and even repair skin.

    With my massage practice, another type of homeopathy, releasing tight, tense muscles, as a way to reduce stress has been very effective to my clients.

    BTW Homeopathy was practiced way before mediaeval times.

  6. Reason said

    WHOOPWHOOPWHOOP! Mindless sycophant to industrialized alert!

    Clearly, you are convinced that you know everything and so having an adult discussion with a person so head over heels in love with industrialized, capitalist culture will dribble all over themselves to protect and rationalize the status quo at any cost. People like you are the reason we live in a toxic world.

    Mike: Ah, the joys of being the man in charge; I can edit into posts.

    Yes, I’m so enamoured with capitalism that I’m probably the most left-wing person you’ve ever met. I’m a syndicalist, you dipshit.

  7. Selena Parsley said

    “…so head over heels in love with industrialized, capitalist culture will dribble all over themselves to protect and rationalize the status quo at any cost. People like you are the reason we live in a toxic world.”

    Dude, your name is Reason? This sounds cultic, almost like a homeopathic nazi…

  8. Reason said

    Selena, you’re an imbecile, just like the guy who runs this ridiculous blog. I have no idea what strikes you as being “cultish” about recognizing the manner in which modern medicine has been co-opted by a purely chemical-based, profit-driven industry, but perhaps you’re simply dizzy from all of the aromatherapy.

    Mike: Aha. And by what basis does homeopathy work, pal? Oh, wait, that’s right – Hahnemann said it was an impression on the spirit of the liquid. Because by the time that the final dilution has been made, the chances of there being any active ingredient in the liquid, even so much as a molecule, are vanishingly small. Therefore, it must involve some kind of “impression” on the molecules of water.

    What rot! What utter nonsense! As bad as the idea of “similars” or “miasmas”. Homeopathy is nothing more than a quack update of mediaeval medicine with its “humours”.

  9. Selena Parsley said

    “Selena, you’re an imbecile…but perhaps you’re simply dizzy from all of the aromatherapy.” ~ Comes from “Reason” hehe

    Nope just balanced in my views of homeopathy. Geranium oil is good for balance, want some? 😉

  10. Reason said

    Yes, “Selena”, you’re very “balanced.” And a blog in which the author does little but mindlessly denigrate everything and refer to anyone with a different perspective as an “idiot” and a “moron” is just the place for “balanced” people like you. I’m sure your chakras are well-ordered. 🙂 The classic way to appear well-informed on teh internetz is to pretend that you are an authority on just about everything, whilst tossing out a hefty portion of ridicule and disdain to make oneself appear more discriminating. “Mike” has got all of that down pat. Kudos!

    Mike: I know what I know, sunshine. Unlike you, who appears to know nothing but homeopathy – which is to say nothing at all.

  11. Selena Parsley said

    Reason, you have no idea why I visit here and read entries that I do not agree with. I am a creationist Christian, fundy. The owner is an atheist. I don’t have chakras, that’s a bunch of new age bull. I do have intentions and they are in the right place. “Yes, “Selena”, you’re very “balanced.” Thanks! 😀 I agree!

    “The classic way to appear well-informed on teh internetz is to pretend that you are an authority on just about everything, whilst tossing out a hefty portion of ridicule and disdain to make oneself appear more discriminating.”

    Ever heard of the saying, “That’s the pot calling the kettle black?”

    Kudos!

  12. Mike said

    My offering a safer alternative to bath products, which is a type of homeopathy is not junk. Most bath items that you can buy at the local discount store are filled with alcohol and preservatives to keep their huge shelf life span. They pride themselves in adding shea butter and jojoba oils with their expensive ads, but turn right around and cancel it out by adding drying and skin-damaging ingredients. Now their livers have to work over time to process all the toxins they just slathered on and in their bodies. In my homeopathic approach, I am leaving out the synthetic fillers and adding oils that if used correctly, can benefit and even repair skin.

    With my massage practice, another type of homeopathy, releasing tight, tense muscles, as a way to reduce stress has been very effective to my clients.

    BTW Homeopathy was practiced way before mediaeval times.

    Well, with respect, Selena, that isn’t homeopathy. The first is herbalism, which actually can have some grounding in the real world (unlike the nonsense of homeopathy and its water “cures”), and the second is massage, which is nicely relaxing.

    Homeopathy refers to a very specific brand of quacking pseudo-medicine.

  13. Reason said

    Amusingly, “Reason”‘s latest diatribe was caught in the spam filter.

    You think that herbalism can have “grounding in the real world” while homeopathy is “quackery”? Wow. What a remarkably ignorant statement! Thank for you that laugh.

    Mike: Herbalism, at least in principle, acts on an established methodology – ingredients which are chemically active. It doesn’t rely on some warped version of the doctrine of signatures coupled with a supposed “spiritual” component.

    Homeopathy, herbalism, naturopathy, natural healing, etc. are all extremely closely-related and share a similar systems approach to the body and the natural world. Homeopathic remedies use botanical medicines, herbs, and plant-based materials.

    Mike: Way to leave shit out! Homeopathy is based on unproven, nonsensical “spiritualism”. Homeopathy only uses herbal elements as a basis for dilutions which remove all chemically-active components.

    So, your above statement regarding herbalism is utterly nonsensical. Further, alternative medicine generally encourages an individual, holistic approach based on nutrition and (often) ancient wisdom,

    Mike: *snort* Ancient wisdom? Like bloodletting? Spontaneous generation? Mental illness caused by demonic possession? I’ll stick to modern knowledge, thanks. As to nutrition, it only works because of the science you repudiate.

    as opposed to the traditional medical paradigm, which is usually grounded in erroneous application of germ theory,

    Mike: You meant to type “grounded in science”. Germ theory is so well-established as to be irrefutable.

    consensus/profit-driven treatment, as well as a one-size-fits-all “a chemical pill for what ails you” solution.

    Mike: Yeah, because no doctor is in it for the patients. Can you say “conspiracy nut”?

    Chemically-active medicine is so well-established as a means of treatment because it provably works. And generally, one size does fit all. Individual attention to patients (establishing a variation of the placebo effect) is no counter to science.

    Generalizations like yours are particularly dangerous when the conventional medical industry and Big Pharma are killing people by the droves: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10904513?dopt=Abstract

    Mike: Except that they’re not; for every person killed by misuse or abuse of medicine, there are literally hundreds who lived when they might have died but for modern medicine. And you linked to an abstract apparently about the poor state of the US health system, which is an entirely different issue.

  14. Selena Parsley said

    I am glad to hear that the other important part of my essence isn’t seen as quackery. Not that I live a life needing people to validate who I am as a person, but it’s good to be understood.

    Among the aromatherapist, which are herbalist, and massage therapist circles we are consider homeopathic or alternative therapist since we apply therapy systemically to bring wellness to the whole person. The definition of homeopathy has taken off to mean a variety of practices here in the US. I have to take so many hours of CEU’s to maintain my license. These CEU providers love to market the terms homeopathy/alternative therapy, as it is a growing trend even though my particular scope of practice has been around since people knew how to draw pictographs on primitive walls.

  15. Selena Parsley said

    *Thinks Reason should have stayed in the spam box*

    Did you notice Reason (that name still cracks me up) said,”…refer to anyone with a different perspective as an “idiot” and a “moron.'” Then Reason turns around and says,”Selena, you’re an imbecile, just like the guy who runs this ridiculous blog.”

    LOL

  16. Mike said

    I did notice that. It briefly tickled my funny bone.

    It’s not so much that I care that people have different POVs, just when they lie to promote them. You want to kill yourself because you think water has magically accrued healing properties? Go right ahead, but don’t you dare fuck up anyone else’s cancer treatment by lying about it.

    </rant>

  17. Selena Parsley said

    My grandmother faithfully took some type of homeoptahic (here I am talking herbs) treatment her last few months of life and she hated it, she couldn’t even enjoy eating foods she liked because of this treatment…
    IMO Everything needs to be done in balance without such an extreme way of living and perspective.

  18. jdc said

    Nice post, Mike. Very succinct. And a special word of praise to ‘Reason’ for making the comments thread so hilarious. Doubtless the humour was unintended, but I was amused all the same.

  19. Mike said

    Thanks! Always nice to meet a fellow traveller.

    I swear, though, people like that make it harder and harder to do parody.

  20. […] hordes, I despair at the way their brand of escapism is, as Mike pointed out here, being legitimised — and even funded by the […]

  21. She-Liger said

    http://postpostscripti.wordpress.com/2008/06/25/real-aims-of-great-quackbasters-the-grain-of-lie-which-will-help-them-to-survive/

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