MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

On the website of the Bristol University Hospital, it was just revealed that UK homeopathy seems to have suffered another blow:

“Homeopathic medicine has been available in Bristol since 1852, when Dr Black first started dispensing from premises in the Triangle. During the next 69 years the service developed and expanded culminating in the commissioning in 1921 of a new hospital in the grounds of Cotham House. The Bristol Homeopathic Hospital continued to provide a full range of services until 1986 when the in-patient facilities were transferred to the Bristol Eye Hospital, where they continue to be provided, and outpatient services were moved to the ground floor of the Cotham Hill site. In 1994, following the sale of the main building to the University by the Bristol and District Health Authority, a new purpose built Department was provided in the Annexe buildings of the main building, adjoining the original Cotham House. The NHS Homeopathic Service is now being delivered on behalf of University Hospital Bristol by the Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine (PCIM), a Community Interest Company.”

The Portland Centre for Integrative Medicine has joined Litfield House offering medical homeopathy with Dr Elizabeth Thompson. And this is how the new service is described [I have added references in the following unabridged quote in bold which refer to my comments below]:

Medical Homeopathy is a holistic [1] approach delivered by registered health care professionals that uses a low dose of an activated [2] natural [3] substance [4] to stimulate a self-healing response in the body [5]. At the first appointment the doctor will take time to understand problem symptoms that might be physical, emotional or psychological and then a treatment plan will be discussed between the patient and the doctor [6], with homeopathic medicines chosen for you or your child on an individual basis.
WHAT CONDITIONS ARE SUITABLE FOR MEDICAL HOMEOPATHY?

Homeopathy can be safely [7] used to improve symptoms and well-being across a wide range of long term conditions: from childhood eczema [8] and ADHD [9]; to adults with medically unexplained conditions [10]; inflammatory bowel disease [11], cancer [12] or chronic fatigue syndrome [13]; and other medical conditions, including obesity [14] and depression [15]. Some people use homeopathy to stay well [16] and others use it to help difficult symptoms and/ or the side effects of conventional treatments [17].

This looks like a fairly bland and innocent little advertisement at first glance. If we analyse it closer, however, we find plenty of misleading claims. Here are the ones that caught my eye:

  1. Homeopaths claim that their approach is holistic and thus aim at differentiating it from conventional health care. This is misleading because ALL good medicine is by definition holistic.
  2. Nothing is ‘activated’; homeopaths believe that succession releases the ‘vital force’ in a remedy – but this is little more than hocus-pocus from the dark ages of medicine.
  3. Nothing is natural about endlessly diluting and shaking a medicine, while pretending that this ritual renders it more active and effective. And nothing is natural about remedies such as ‘Berlin Wall’.
  4. It is misleading to speak about ‘substance’ in relation to homeopathic remedies, because they can be manufactured also from non-material stuff too; examples are remedies such as X-ray, sol [sun light] or lunar [moonlight].
  5. The claim that homeopathic remedies stimulate the self-healing properties of the body is pure phantasy.
  6. “The doctor will take time to understand problem symptoms that might be physical, emotional or psychological and then a treatment plan will be discussed between the patient and the doctor” – this also applies to any consultation with any health care practitioner.
  7. Homeopathy is not as safe as homeopaths try to make us believe; several posts on this blog have dealt with this issue.
  8. There is no good evidence to support this claim.
  9. There is no good evidence to support this claim.
  10. There is no good evidence to support this claim.
  11. There is no good evidence to support this claim.
  12. There is no good evidence to support this claim.
  13. There is no good evidence to support this claim.
  14. There is no good evidence to support this claim.
  15. There is no good evidence to support this claim.
  16. True, some people use anything for anything; but there is no sound evidence to show that homeopathy is an effective prophylactic intervention for any disease.
  17. Nor is there good evidence that it is effective to “help difficult symptoms and/ or the side effects of conventional treatments”.

So, what we have here is a short paragraph which, on closer inspection, turns out to be full of misleading statements, bogus claims and dangerous lies. Not a good start for a new episode in the life of the now dramatically down-sized homeopathic clinic in Bristol, I’d say. And neither is it a publication of which the Bristol University Hospital can be proud. I suggest they correct it as a matter of urgency; otherwise they risk a barrage of complaints to the appropriate regulators by people who treasure the truth a little more than they seem to do themselves.

167 Responses to Homeopathy in Bristol: from bad to dismal

  • Homeopathy can be safely [7] used to improve symptoms

    This is surely the worst part.
    Definite claim of efficacy.

    • Dear Simon,
      It is not a claim, but fact.
      Please see me, next time you are sick.
      With best wishes

      • IMr Sharma

        I see you have returned so it’s time to address the issue of evidence and the problem of the post hoc ergo proper hoc fallacy.

        Tell us about the Aztecs.

  • Very ignorant writer. I advise author to try Arnica 30 in any blunt injury pain and see the results. I am practising homoeopathy since 43 years and challenge the author to prove me and homoeopathy wrong. I shall pay the author £1000.
    I have records of more than 1000 patients treated successfully with homoeopathy. If you need to see the results of classical homoeopathy, then come and sit with me for a day. Alternately, send me a patient and follow the results. You need to be honest observer and unprejudiced.
    Homeopathy is helping millions and survived more than 200 years, in spite of venom spitting authors like you, it will survive indefinitely and we need not have one person’s certificate to continue the mission of our master Dr Samuel Hahnemann., and homeopaths shall keep serving the suffering community ignoring silly comments from the non-believer.

    • you don’t seem to appreciate that, in health care, it is not about being proven wrong but about having sound evidence for the claims one makes. where is your evidence? before you answer, please bear in mind that the plural of anecdote is anecdotes and not evidence.

      • Dear Edzard,
        Thanks for your reply to my comment. It confirms that you are very firm and dedicated to your views. I would like to see you and make you my best friend. People like you with firm determination are good for the promotion of any real science, which includes Homeopathy. I am sure that once impressed and satisfied with Homeopathy, you can or will promote and propagate Homeopathy better than any other person.
        With best wishes

    • I have completely failed to take Arnica 30C for all the blunt traumas I have seen and indeed all the knocks and bruises I have suffered myself. And they resolve quite well on their own, thank you. If they did not iI’d remain in a state of permanent bruising from head to foot. So, I constitute my own sufficient evidence that homeopathic absence of Arnica is unnecessary for healing.

      Ah, you might say, “Arnica 30C speeds healing of blunt trauma versus no treatment”. How on earth could we investigate such an hypothesis? Got any suggestions?

      • claim has been tested numerous times; the systematic reviews are negative – even those published by homeopaths!

        • I wonder what answer Mr Sharma might give.

          • Dear Simon,
            I am a very busy Homoeopath and helped many patients today with my knowledge and experience of Homeopathy.
            In any case, many people like you have nothing to do, other than criticising and wasting their time and of others.
            May almighty show you a right path and guide you towards the truth.
            With best wishes

        • I’m not sure he understands the implication of my comment. It will be interesting to see whether he reappears.

          • Why should I waste my time and energy with someone, who fail to understand and admit the truth. Only time and need will guide you and make you believe. No one has seen the God, but billions trust in his name. Similarly more than 500 millions love and admire the benefits of Homeopathy.

          • SMS (sugar water man)

            “No one has seen the God, but billions trust in his name.”
            “Similarly more than 500 millions love and admire the benefits of Homeopathy.”

            Two of the same logical fallacies consecutively! Why not go for a third; you are very good at them.

        • Please come out of the well of darkness and ignorance…

      • Since I use and recommend Arnica for my clients and get amazing results for First Aid. Lets start with this article “http://archfaci.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=480929” and do a search on “Arnica” and “Plastic surgery” and see how many non-homeopathic doctors using Arnica for Bruising. Then lets talk……

    • Mr. Sharma
      From the grandiose pomposity and overbearing tone, one could easily infer that you are writing under an heavy influence of alcoholic beverages.
      But let’s give you the benefit of doubt, consider the grandiosity to be the effect of religious emotion, not insobriety and address some points of your parlance:

      I am practising homoeopathy since 43 years… …I have records of more than 1000 patients treated successfully with homoeopathy.

      An average of 23,3 successful cases per year! That is mildly put, a surprisingly meager rate of success.

      Some possible explanations?
      1. Despite your claims, you are not a very busy homeopath.
      2. Your sugar pills and shaken water leave much to be desired. Maybe you are not banging your vials correctly or your individualised choice of remedies is severely off?
      3. Your record keeping is remarkably shoddy.
      4. You are just making this up.
      5. Homeopathy is indeed worthless and the one thousand and something success cases would have recovered anyway.

      …challenge the author to prove me and homoeopathy wrong. I shall pay the author £1000

      I am afraid that is one of those things that is not possible, like dividing by zero or delimiting the infinite. You simply cannot ‘prove’ the negative.
      If you can come up with a method of proving that Santa Claus does ‘not’ exist, I am sure someone would be willing to pay you much more than £1000. It is not possible, simply because of the fact that Santa does not exist. In the same way, nobody can ‘prove’ that homeopathy does ‘not’ work. One can only fail to prove it works and that has failed so consistently for two centuries, that the accumulated evidence approaches proof.

      • Dear Bjorn,
        The number 1000 means that I have the testimonials from more than 1000 patients, although in my 43 years of practice I have treated more than 1,00,000 patients. (Read this number carefully). You seems to be intelligent and it is good to have a good friend like you. I enjoyed reading your comment, as at least you have gone through it seriously.
        With best wishes

        • …in my 43 years of practice I have treated more than 1,00,000 patients

          Why should I read this number carefully? A quick glance at the number suffices to reveal that it is formatted wrong, indicating that your education may leave much to be wanted. Do you have difficulties with numbers?
          Perhaps that is why you have trouble understanding that water, exponentially diluted to homeopathic levels is just that, pure water.
          If you intended to write ‘one million’ (1,000,000), you are missing a zero. As it seems unlikely that you managed to attend to 23,256 customers per year or almost a hundred per working day, I gather you intended to write one hundred thousand, which is formatted thus: 100,000.
          It still seems unlikely but not impossible that you managed to sell your “services” to more than 2326 customers per annum, which would amount to more than 9 new patients per working day. Assuming repeat visits, that does not leave much time for the acclaimed “individualised” interview?
          That is also a lot of people to take money from for some smalltalk, sugar pills or shaken water. Let’s say that your documented success figure was 2000 (That’s 100% “more than a thousand”) Then that would still be only one in fifty, which is rather poor efficacy for a remedial system that is supposed to be able to fix most health problems, and then some.

          • A good man just told me that writing one hundred thousand in this peculiar manner, with a comma after the first digit, is possibly due to some kind of local, Indian convention. Of course, if that is true, I will gladly stand corrected on this trivial detail. Always happy to learn something new.
            But the fact remains that anyone daft enough to believe that an herbal decoction diluted in water to the ridiculous level of one part in ten to the sixtieth, can cure ailments that usually improve by themselves, is unlikely to be in posession of a funtioning education and at least needs help with understanding numbers. The rest of my reasoning also stands

          • “Always happy to learn something new.”

            Really? Perhaps that same good man could help you learn how to rewrite the rest of your post to sound less condescending. He might also explain what “to sound less condescending” is politely substituting for.

          • I’d forgotten that Indian convention as well.

            “Indian numbering system” on @Wikipedia:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_numbering_system?wprov=sfti1

          • Really? Perhaps that same good man could help you learn how to rewrite the rest of your post to sound less condescending. He might also explain what “to sound less condescending” is politely substituting for.

            pm
            When confronted with the Teflon-coated slogans of our typical homeopath it is unclear to me what tone you’d like to see adopted. They uniformly refuse to or are incapable of handling logical evidence-based discussion.

            BG’s comments were relatively patient and understated.

            You object to insulting them. Fair rnough, but that reduces the comedy potential where our options, given the activities of homeopaths, are either to laugh or cry.

            Homeopaths are in the wrong and derive their income and personal gratification from exploiting ignorant and, sometimes, genuinely ill people. What tone would you like to see adopted? I’ll stick with moral outrage until I hear a better idea.

          • @jm,
            ______________________________________________________________________
            “Always happy to learn something new.”

            Really? Perhaps that same good man could help you learn how to rewrite the rest of your post to sound less condescending. He might also explain what “to sound less condescending” is politely substituting for.
            ______________________________________________________________________

            Ahh, I see you are taking a break from your busy schedule of scraping victims’ patients’ skin with a flat stick to cause healing(?) bruising, and seek to engage with your trolling once again.

            This may be a surprise to you, but an objective deconstruction of Sharma’s strange claims, as Björn has done, is not condescending. You might also try to understand that having a common enemy (in this case, rational, logical, and scientifically minded people) does not make you and Sharma “friends”. Perhaps it is the guilt you should feel in perpetrating a nonsense on the gullible that you feel the necessity to spring to the defence of another charlatan?

            You do, however, bring a smile to my face when I think about your “branch” of alt-med; it is one of the silliest things I have heard of in a long time. I do hope Monty Python makes a movie about alt-med. I would love to see you have a lead role.

          • Ah, yes. Grumpy old “jm”. Seems like s(he) is constantly pissed at us for pointing out known facts that hurt her/his cognitive dissonance and belittle her/his business.
            We are still waiting for him/her to present evidence of the health-effects of scraping the skin to produce blemishes.
            Wonder if s(he) is also in the shaken water business?

          • Bjorn

            “Seems like s(he) is constantly pissed at us for pointing out known facts that hurt her/his cognitive dissonance and belittle her/his business.” Pissed? Nope, just pointing out you were needlessly being an ass. Again.

            “We are still waiting for him/her to present evidence of the health-effects of scraping the skin to produce blemishes.”

            No we’re not. Scraping works the skin and superficial tissue. Palpate for evidence. I’ve told you that. Many times. And you usually reply with some sort of fantasy, made up by you or an author of children’s books.

            I see you’ve changed your wording from ‘bruises’, ‘damage’, etc to ‘blemishes’. Sounds like you’re actually starting to leave your fantasy world and do some research. Bravo! Progress! Have you actually received gua sha yet? Since the last time you beat that dead horse, I’ve started collecting stories from people who have scraped or cupped western physicians. Still in the early stages, but no physician yet has identified their markings as bruises, or damage in any way. I’d love to find one though – maybe you’ll be the first!

          • im

            I’ve been thinking through your quibbling over the use of the word ‘bruise’ in relation to the effect of gua sha and I think bruise is right.

            Petechiae and ecchymoses are characterised by their size and describe extravasation of blood due to non-traumatic processes. Bruise is the word for extravasation of blood from physical causes.

            So, I think the word bruise will suit very well to describe the effects of gua sha. Perhaps the bruising is not severe, but that’s only a matter of degree in the same way that sometimes we are loath to use the word ‘pain’ and substitute it for something like ‘discomfort’. Your choice of the word ‘blemish’ looks to me like an attempt to denote a qualitative difference from ‘bruise’ whereas the difference is, at most, only one of degree versus the bruising that arises from more severe trauma than that caused by bluntly scraping the skin.

            And to be clear, bruising is pathological. The body does not normally bear bruises. You might argue that the bruises deriving from gua sha are a minimal price to pay for its manifold benefits, as with the pain of muscles that have been exercised hard, but let’s not pretend that bruising is physiological and it would be up to the practitioners to demonstrate that the claimed benefits are not illusory. Medical benefit seems not to have been shown.

          • @jm,
            “No we’re not. Scraping works the skin and superficial tissue. Palpate for evidence. I’ve told you that. Many times.”
            So what? That doesn’t mean it offers any health benefits, apart from to your wallet.

            “And you usually reply with some sort of fantasy, made up by you or an author of children’s books.”
            Do you not get satire? No, sorry, that was a silly question. Anyone who thinks scraping skin with a stick is a form of healthcare does have a skewed reality.

            “I see you’ve changed your wording from ‘bruises’, ‘damage’, etc to ‘blemishes’.”
            I don’t see your point, apart from nitpicking about terms that, essentially, have similar meanings but are not letter identical.

            “Have you actually received gua sha yet?”
            Why? I doubt he has tried homoeopathy either but who knows? Maybe, Björn drank six bottles of 30C sleeping potion and he fell asleep for days, or didn’t? I was given some homoeopathic potions years ago before I knew what it was. I remember wondering when I would feel the stuff working.

            “Since the last time you beat that dead horse, I’ve started collecting stories from people who have scraped or cupped western physicians. Still in the early stages, but no physician yet has identified their markings as bruises, or damage in any way. I’d love to find one though – maybe you’ll be the first!”
            Argument from (false) authority so who cares? How about some real evidence?

            Anyway jm, thanks for another amusing post. LOL

          • I’ve obviously come late to this party. What is the service that jm sells?

          • @Björn,
            “A good man just told me that writing one hundred thousand in this peculiar manner, with a comma after the first digit, is possibly due to some kind of local, Indian convention. Of course, if that is true, I will gladly stand corrected on this trivial detail. Always happy to learn something new.”

            Sharma has been in England for 27 years, so if he used the Indian convention, it only shows that he has a slow uptake. Not surprising, given he is a homoeopath and incorrectly uses the title “doctor”.

            http://www.drsmsharma.com/

          • As I said… 😉

          • Don’t ever change, Bjorn – you always make me smile :).

          • @Simon Baker,
            jm “sells” Gua Sha, whereby he scrapes the skin of his paying victims to cause bruising. Voila, “cured”.

            Simon, please Google it and have a look at the various descriptions. It is a real hoot (and scary) that people believe this stuff. It will give you an insight into jm and explain why I cannot take him/her, or anything s/he says, seriously.

          • Thanks, Frank

            I am now wiser on the subject of gua sha. Always interesting to discover a new form of alt med that combines deftness and pomposity in equal measure.

          • Simon

            Frank’s a bit confused. I don’t know anyone that ‘sells’ gua sha, gua sha doesn’t ‘cure’ anything, and the markings aren’t bruises. He’s been told this many times, but alas, it doesn’t seem to stick.

            In reality, gua sha (Chinese term for scraping) is a massage technique, just like deep compression is a technique, and percussion, stretching, whatever. It’s usually used to increase or normalize local blood circulation. That’s all. It’s quite good for that, because the tool edge gets more specific than say, a hand or finger. And as the name implies (‘gua’ means scrape or shave) it doesn’t dig deep into the body. It’s used for skin and superficial tissue, and there’s a lifting quality at the end of each stroke.

            It’s used when it’s the right tool for the job. It’s great for someone with arthritic hands, for example. Easier than massaging one arthritic hand with another arthritic hand, and it doesn’t compress tender joints. If you consider that a health benifit, great. If not, also great. But what it definitely is: fast, easy, free, and you can do it anywhere, at any time, with minimal training, and with any tool that’s handy (pun slightly intended).

            Hope that helps, and now back to your regularly scheduled thread on homeopathy.

          • @Simon,
            “Frank’s a bit confused.”
            I’m confused? Keep reading then.

            “I don’t know anyone that ‘sells’ gua sha,”
            I can only assume from the above jm does gua sha for free. It does seem odd though. It is my understanding that when money is transacted for a service, the service has been sold by the provider to the recipient. Perhaps alt-meds have a different understanding? Please correct me, jm, if I am wrong?

            “gua sha doesn’t ‘cure’ anything, and the markings aren’t bruises. He’s been told this many times, but alas, it doesn’t seem to stick.”

            “Bruising” and “curing”? This is what Wikipedia has to say;
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gua_sha
            ” is a traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped to produce light bruising”
            ” Practitioners believe gua sha releases unhealthy elements from injured areas and stimulates blood flow and healing.”

            And; http://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/press-releases/2015/05/05/science-gua-sha
            “Gua sha is a part of acupuncture therapy, but not limited by law to acupuncture practice”
            “Historically, gua sha has been indicated for any problem that has a feature of surface or internal blood stasis and/or pain, which means in classical Chinese practice in the tradition of Dr. James Tin Yau So, every patient is checked for sha. The articles and studies from the Chinese language database cover an array of conditions responsive to gua sha including headache, migraine, neck, shoulder, back, and knee pain, as well as acute diseases such as fever, flu, earaches, asthma and bronchitis in children and adults. Gua sha is also effective in chronic disease including hepatitis, as discussed above.”

            “In reality, gua sha (Chinese term for scraping) is a massage technique, just like deep compression is a technique, and percussion, stretching, whatever. It’s usually used to increase or normalize local blood circulation. That’s all. It’s quite good for that, because the tool edge gets more specific than say, a hand or finger. And as the name implies (‘gua’ means scrape or shave) it doesn’t dig deep into the body. It’s used for skin and superficial tissue, and there’s a lifting quality at the end of each stroke.”

            The question is; what causes any minor, localised, increased blood flow? Might it be trauma to the skin and flesh? What else does that cause?

            “It’s used when it’s the right tool for the job. It’s great for someone with arthritic hands, for example. Easier than massaging one arthritic hand with another arthritic hand, and it doesn’t compress tender joints. If you consider that a health benifit, great. If not, also great. But what it definitely is: fast, easy, free, and you can do it anywhere, at any time, with minimal training, and with any tool that’s handy (pun slightly intended).”

            So, if it does nothing, “great”, otherwise, if YOU think it is a health benefit, it is also “great”. I don’t understand this confused paragraph.

            A question for you, jm? Which alt-meds don’t work? Or, do you believe they all do? If so, what makes yours better than the others? If it is not better, why do it and not the superior one?

            See Simon, it is all crystal clear?

            “Hope that helps, and now back to your regularly scheduled thread on homeopathy (sic, actually homoeopathy, but what would an alt-med know?).”
            Yes, now back to the nonsense called homoeopathy.

          • “Don’t ever change, Bjorn – you always make me smile :).”

            jm, I don’t think you get it. The only one anyone is laughing at, from your post, is you for your abstruseness.

          • Frank

            “(sic, actually homoeopathy, but what would an alt-med know?).” Well, you know best. {Edzard – you should correct the title of this post.)

          • @Edzard,

            “(sic, actually homoeopathy, but what would an alt-med know?).” Well, you know best. {Edzard – you should correct the title of this post.)

            Would do as the smart-arse suggests, please?

          • Gua Sha:

            https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e4/Gua_Sha_Massage_Aftermath.jpg

            This is bruising. Calling it “Blemishes” is simply an exercise in pedantry.
            This picture is in no way exaggerated. You can of course see less bruising after GuaSha scraping, I have seen more, after desperate attempts at curing serious disease.

            The “jm” troll-phenomenon rattles indignantly on about Gua Sha being this and Gua Sha not being that but the fact is that it is nothing but superficial injury to the skin and there is no plausible mechanism by which that can help with any health condition. It is ancient, pre-scientific health-foolery based on superstition and imagination, which if the idiots that sell[sic] it were right, would be long since in general use both in homes and hospitals. It is not, for only one reason… it does not work.
            Any perceived effects by the victims of this kind of scam can be readily explained by other more plausible effects.

          • Here you go, Frank: http://freehealthinfousa.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-best-way-to-get-rid-of-pain.html

            A bit down the page, he gets into what’s probably going on with the blood and vessels. A couple of MDs that I’ve cupped & scraped described it the same way. Both said that anyone with any training should be able to tell that there’s no damage – and even med students should be able to explain why it’s good for the tissue & vessels.

            Oddly both docs that got into the physiology referred to them as bruises right off the bat. I asked them about that, both said “well, technically they aren’t bruises…” then got into specifics of why they aren’t. They both said that ‘bruise’ is easier than ‘interstitial extravasation’ or something similar.

            A lot of people use the term because the actual terms (xie qi & sha) take a fair amount of explanation and lead the more superstitious to think that it’s witchcraft. (xie qi means ‘evil qi’, something that’s getting in the way of proper function – sha is a specific type of xie qi)

            And, I’ve explained this to you before, but let’s do it again. I don’t know anyone that charges for scraping. They charge for whatever therapy they do (massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, etc) and use scraping when it’s needed. Clients pay for the treatment, there’s no seperate charge for scraping. Or stretching, or deep compression. You use what you need to use. Hopefully that’s clearer than the other few times I’ve explained it to you.

          • They charge for whatever therapy they do (massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, etc) and use scraping when it’s needed

            Are you aware of Monty Python’s Spansih Inquisition sketch?

            For myself, if ‘amongst their weaponry’ a therapist counts acupuncture, massage, physical therapy and scraping and they are sold as a package with one fee, I’m going to account the scraping service as being sold.

            As with the bruising vs extravasation of blood cells, your arguments strike me as me sophistry. At most you are arguing over distinctions that have no distinction and I don’t understand why you are doing it except to divert attention from the main thrust of the argument, which is that this gua sha thing is sold for its supposed medical benefits but none can be shown.

          • “jm” never ceases to amaze.
            The word salad “jm” refers to, and seems to believe provides an explanation of how GS works is nothing but a potpourri of incoherent fantasies and misinterpretations of something the author has read but not understood. A small example from this confused attempt at intellectualising prescientific nonsense is enough to understand how stupid this is:

            To summarize, when red blood cells stick together and jam up at the mouths of capillaries, the tissues they were supposed to nourish are deprived of oxygen, but they do get other vital nutrients from plasma. These tissues can survive but not thrive. I suspect that when sha is present it is the lack of oxygen to the tissues and the pressure on surrounding tissues caused from excess fluid accumulating in the area which people experience as pain.
            Sha, then is a situation wherein a vital component of the nutritive qi (energy), oxygen, does not flow with the blood to nourish tissues. Not coincidentally, when there is deficiency of qi in an area, qi cannot hold the blood, and there may be hemorrhages, since “Qi is the commander of Blood.”

            “jm” ‘s attempt at explaining away the concept of selling is however quite interesting and perhaps telling.
            S(he) claims it is not the scraping per se but the service that constitutes the commercial good.
            An analogy might be that of a pusher trying to tell the judge that “I wasn’t selling the junkie heroin, I was only helping the poor man alleviate his withdrawal symptoms”
            I suspect that the self-deluded soul behind “jm” really has a subliminal sensation that what s(he) is doing is neither sensible nor honest. But instead of admitting “OK, I was wrong” and stop lying to people and taking their money for make-believe medicine, s(he) desperately denies the facts of testable science and established knowledge and angrily grabs at whatever nonsense other equally delusional ignorami have written.

            I am sorry, but I can show no respect for the behaviour of people who defraud and swindle on gullible people with false and potentially dangerous pseudo-medicine like cupping and scraping. But I feel for their persons, the individuals, knowing quite well that they are themselves the greatest victims of their destructive delusion.

          • ,

            To summarize, when red blood cells stick together and jam up at the mouths of capillaries, the tissues they were supposed to nourish are deprived of oxygen,

            This is effectively a description of DIC, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation otherwise known in the trade as Death Is Coming. It is not a Good Thing and a bit of light scraping is unlikely to postpone the funeral.

            Always interesting to see the many ways that CAM merchants can construct sentences that use the words of science but are devoid of meaning.

          • Bjorn

            You actually bring up gua sha more than I do, usually in an insulting way. I appreciate it though, because as I’ve told you before – unlike chiropractic, naturopathic, etc, you can test this yourself in very little time. The link I gave Frank has instructions toward the end of the page.

            In very little time, anyone can prove for themselves that no injury is taking place. Every human on the planet knows what a bruise feels like – and it is quickly apparent that that’s not what’s going on. They will also prove that the marking don’t come up everywhere, and they can also prove to themselves that with repeated treatments, the markings are less each time.

            You also never cease to amaze me. This is my new favorite: “It is ancient, pre-scientific health-foolery based on superstition and imagination, which if the idiots that sell[sic] it were right, would be long since in general use both in homes and hospitals. It is not, for only one reason… it does not work.”

            It is in general use in homes. I’ve been told by many folks who studied in China that scraping isn’t taught – because they assume you already know how to do it. Your mom probably taught you. You could probably go into any Asian grocery, anywhere in the world and have the shopkeeper teach you. (Of course, if it’s a Vietnamese grocery they won’t teach you gua sha. They’ll teach you cao gio, which is the Vietnamese term for scraping. It’s used in households all over the world.)

            It’s showing up more and more in households where I live, partly thanks to you (so, thanks!). For various reasons, it’s pretty rare that I use scraping in my practice. But your initial response to my offer to help you with your hands prompted me to teach more clients how to do this for themselves. Many of them have taught others – after others have seen how easy it is, and how dramatic the results are. So, thanks again for helping!

            As far as hospitals go, the only one I know of in the US using scraping is Mount Sinai (a hospital in New York City).

          • Simon

            If you’re after accuracy, use the terms xie qi and sha. The word and meaning for bruise is distinctly different. This isn’t about semantics – if you want to understand gua sha, you need to understand the difference.

            In the link I posted for Frank, there are scraping instructions toward the end of the page. You’ll understand the difference quite quickly.

          • Simon

            “For myself, if ‘amongst their weaponry’ a therapist counts acupuncture, massage, physical therapy and scraping and they are sold as a package with one fee, I’m going to account the scraping service as being sold.”

            Then you’re missing the point – scraping is a tool, not a modality. If someone ‘sells’ massage, I would assume they practice massage, and use whatever tools they use. If someone ‘sells’ deep tissue massage, I would assume that they specialize in deep tisssue work. If someone were to ‘sell’ gua sha, I would assume that they specialize in gua sha.

            Maybe it’s a cultural thing (I’m in the US, not sure where you are). If you hired a carpenter, would you say that they are selling chiselling? Or would you assume they would use a chisel if they needed to?

          • If you’re after accuracy, use the terms xie qi and sha. The word and meaning for bruise is distinctly different. This isn’t about semantics – if you want to understand gua sha, you need to understand the difference.

            Thanks, but I’ll stick to describing pathophysiology by recognition of the underlying processes not through the wonky prism of prescientific superstition

            To some degree modern understanding of science explains how people came to believe in the actions of the four humors. The converse is not true. So with qi and its associated outdated chinese terminology

          • Simon

            Fair enough – it’s quite a bit of scrolling you have to do to get to the instructions on that link. Then you’d have to read, and spend a few minutes trying it out. That’s a lot of work in the name of accuracy – especially for a lazy Sunday.

            Much easier to pretend it’s prescientific superstition, and avoid all them funny soundin’ foreign words. They can be scary at times – especially ‘xie’.

          • Thanks, jm, my scrolling finger is just fine.

            I did scroll through that blog and read a some science culminating in a load of unevidenced speculation and assertion. The entertainment comes with these things from trying to spot where the author wanders from the real world into la-la land.

          • @jm,
            Thank you for the link.
            “Here you go, Frank: http://freehealthinfousa.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-best-way-to-get-rid-of-pain.html

            I opened it and then searched on the author, “Dr.” Harvey Kaltsas, A.P. , Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM, who is not a real doctor but sees to find prestige in the fraudulent use of the title. I found this gem, http://www.vanharding.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Acupuncture-Works-A-compendium-of-157-peer-reviewed-research-studies-covering-52-ailments.pdf, which will come as a very big surprise for the good prof.

            I will now possibly have to reconsider my view of the prof’s competency. After researching alt-med, including acupuncture, for more than 25 years, the prof has not found any good evidence of the efficacy of acupuncture, but this guy has! Not just some mild effects, but this;

            “Acupuncture Works – the Proof 3”

            and the ailments it can cure;
            “Section Three: Peer-Reviewed Research Studies 23
            Allergic Rhinitis 23
            Angina Pectoris 25
            Breech Birth Version 26
            Cancer Care – Improving Quality of Life 27
            Cardiac Arrhythmias 30
            Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 31
            Chronic Venous Ulceration 34
            Depression 35
            Diabetes 38
            Diabetic Peripheral Neuritis and Neuropathy 40
            Dry Eye Syndrome 42
            Dysmennorhea 43
            Dyspepsia 44
            Endometriosis 45
            Facial Paralysis 46
            Fertility Support 47
            Fibroids, Uterine 50
            Fibromyalgia 51
            Gall Bladder Disorders – Cholecystitis 57
            Glaucoma 59
            Headache 60
            Hot Flashes and Post Menopausal Symptoms 65
            Hypertension 67
            Improved Gait Performance in Geriatric Patients 69
            Inflammation 70
            Insomnia 72
            Copyright © 2012 by Dr. Harvey Kaltsas, AP and Acupuncture Media Works 4
            Irritable Bowel Syndrome 75
            Labor Pain 76
            Leukopenia and Neutropenia Induced by Chemotherapy 77
            Low Back Pain 79
            Lupus 91
            Migraine 92
            Military Use 97
            Musculo-Skeletal Disorders 99
            Nausea and Vomiting 100
            Neck Pain and Whiplash 107
            NIH Consensus Statement – Various Disorders 114
            Osteoarthritis of the Hip 116
            Osteoarthritis of the Knee 117
            Osteoarthritis Pain 124
            Peripheral Joint Osteoarthritis 125
            Pain 126
            Poststroke and Other Forms of Paralysis – Rehabilitation 135
            Raynaud’s Phenomenon 138
            Restless Leg Syndrome 139
            Rheumatic Conditions 140
            Rheumatoid Arthritis 141
            Schizophrenia 143
            Shingles 144
            Strength Performance 145
            Substance Abuse and Alcoholism 146
            TMJ Disorder 151
            Tendonitis – Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow) 152”

            Now, my question is; is the good prof incompetent or is this fellow a crackpot? As the prof is a medical doctor, trained in physiology and research methodologies, and has displayed an unerring objectivity in his research and its presentation, the only conclusion is the latter.

            “As far as hospitals go, the only one I know of in the US using scraping is Mount Sinai (a hospital in New York City).”
            I searched the hospital website and could not find any reference to gua sha.

            What about this then;
            “A question for you, jm? Which alt-meds don’t work? Or, do you believe they all do? If so, what makes yours better than the others? If it is not better, why do it and not the superior one?”

          • Big deal.
            So the Quackmeister at Mount Sinai decided to include GS in their offering of alternative nonsense, which has been rebranded and called “integrative medicine”. Does that say anything about wether it works? Nope still doesn’t do more than impress the gullible.
            We all know what is happening to healthcare in the US where hospitals and even prominent institutions have been forced to offer make-believe medicine to win PSP’s, Patient Satisfaction Points, in order to keep their accreditation. Why? Because of idiots that use their freedom to fill the public with misinformation and lies via the internet. They know very well they are letting in mumbo-jumbo but they have to protect their continued existence.
            The American health care system wasn’t so great before and now they have to put up with this stupidity because of politics and the freedom to spread misinformation and lies on the net and in other media. Just look at Dr. Oz for example, and you understand why an MD title is no guarantee for honesty and sensibility, especially in the US.
            In any other business, delusional fools like “jm” would be out of business in a matter of days. But the prefix “Health-” carries a magic protective element. Just think what would happen to a mechanic who advised scraping the tires for a problem with the transmission.

          • Simon

            The author mentions that the western explanation is speculative. Never would have thought that anyone would spend the time, money and effort to get the actual details – it’s a simple technique, usually done at home, with household objects. But apparently Nielsen & Mount Sinai are actually researching it. Who knew?

            Easy enough for you (or anyone else) to determine what the markings & effects are all about on yourself. The post author has simple instructions. Just change #3 to your thighs, hands, forearms – anything easily reachable.

          • Bjorn

            The least you could do is put in the effort to come up with some new attempts at insult. You’ve already used quackmeister and delusional fool. Although, maybe you’re running out. You’ve used so many.

            “But the prefix “Health-” carries a magic protective element.” ???

          • Predictably, “jm” gets all worked up and indignant when her(his?) cognitive dissonance is rubbed with the salt of truth.
            The “Nielsen” that “jm” mentions in the other comment, is Arya Nielsen who flaunts a PhD title, which actually is on the subject of Philosophy[sic] in medicine. A fitting title for someone who is trying to mangle science to fit TCM, which has its roots in philosophy, not knowledge. She has been dappling in acupuncture an oriental Arya Nielsen seems to be associated with the Mt. Sinai department of delusional doctors, run by another TCM aficionado. Arya thinks she is discovering something when all kinds of things happen in the tissues after GS. Of course a lot of things happen after GS, it is INJURY for christs sake and injury starts all kinds of processes. She found for example that microcirculation increases. We could have told her that, it says so in old textbooks. She thinks it is exiting that one patient with chronic hepatitis B had better Lft’s after a bout of GS and that warrants boastful declarations in different places that GS may (for example, “may” is repeated four times in the text here) have an effect on Hepatitis B. The woman does not have all her wires plugged in!
            Now, “jm” thinks he or she can win respect by babbling on and repeating the same nonsense and get all indignant and complain of our tone. As I have repeatedly said. Fools that ignore facts and established nonsense and defraud people by selling[sic] them suck marks and bruises with lies about health effects are beyond respect.

          • It should have read “established knowledge” not “established nonsense” in my last comment. Anyone want to guess at the cheerful schadenfreude our resident troll will get out of this little omission in altering the text just before the five minutes expired 😀

          • @jm,
            This post from Björn, to which you posted this response, should not require explanation, however;
            ___________________________________________________________________________
            The least you could do is put in the effort to come up with some new attempts at insult. You’ve already used quackmeister and delusional fool. Although, maybe you’re running out. You’ve used so many.

            “But the prefix “Health-” carries a magic protective element.” ???
            ___________________________________________________________________________

            From my observations, Björn is far less likely to label you accurately than me, so the use of these terms probably points the exasperation you cause with the vacuousness of your responses.

            The last sentence isn’t an insult (not that I should even need to say it), but an observation of the apparent status of healthcare (in the alt-med, alt-nearly-everything except where there is modern convenience, like computers, mobile phones, cars that don’t kill you, and the trappings of modern technological life) where it is above scrutiny, particularly if you have some notion which defies the laws of nature and sense. Where you can re-define medical definitions, simply because you don’t understand that you don’t know enough to understand them.

            Anyway, back to my question. You do like asking but not answering. What about this simple bunch?
            ____________________________________________________________________________
            A question for you, jm? Which alt-meds don’t work? Or, do you believe they all do? If so, what makes yours better than the others? If it is not better, why do it and not the superior one?
            ____________________________________________________________________________

          • Actually Bjorn, I never would have noticed the knowledge/nonsense thing – you and Frank have pretty much become indistinguishable at this point. Hard to tell which one of you wrote what nonsense.

            Get back to me when you’ve actually had some first hand experience, eh? And speaking of hands, even though you’re consistently an asshole, my offer to help you with your hands still stands. I’m absolutely certain it will help.

          • jm,
            What about this?

            ****************************************************************************
            Anyway, back to my question. You do like asking but not answering. What about this simple bunch?
            ____________________________________________________________________________
            A question for you, jm? Which alt-meds don’t work? Or, do you believe they all do? If so, what makes yours better than the others? If it is not better, why do it and not the superior one?
            ____________________________________________________________________________
            ****************************************************************************

          • Frank

            I answer most of your questions. You usually don’t like the answers, or ignore them. Sometimes your brain adds words that aren’t really there, sometimes it deletes words that are there. It’s fascinating, really.

            Anywho, sorry I can’t answer your questions. I don’t use or practice alt med. Did you ever get around to answering AN_Other’s question? If you did, I missed it. Could you post the link?

          • @jm,
            “I answer most of your questions. You usually don’t like the answers, or ignore them. Sometimes your brain adds words that aren’t really there, sometimes it deletes words that are there. It’s fascinating, really.”

            Putting aside the couples on instances of Tu Quoque in such a short paragraph, of which I have accused you several times, you didn’t answer the question about what you do until now. I have also accused you of a paucity of original thought, another claim I will now make.

            “Anywho, sorry I can’t answer your questions. I don’t use or practice alt med.”

            So Gua Sha is not alt-med, nor acupuncture? Such as curious take given their almost universal acceptance as anything but real medicine. Since the prof can’t find anything in Cochrane, is it worth reminding you of the hoary old saying; “The plural of anecdotes is not evidence”.

            “Did you ever get around to answering AN_Other’s question? If you did, I missed it. Could you post the link?”

            No, you didn’t miss anything, apart from me telling the contrarian troll that it what they are and I wasn’t interested. That troll shares many traits with you, Tu Quoque included.

          • “…you didn’t answer the question about what you do until now.” We’re probably up to 3 or 4 times now.

            “So Gua Sha is not alt-med, nor acupuncture?” Acupuncture (which I don’t practice) is not a system of medicine. It’s a tool used in various Traditional Medicine systems. (Chinese Medicine, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, etc.) Same with gua sha – simply a tool. For working soft tissue.

            “No, you didn’t miss anything, apart from me telling the contrarian troll that it what they are and I wasn’t interested.” So in the future, if I don’t answer your questions – assume I’m not interested.

            Cheers.

          • Acupuncture (which I don’t practice) is not a system of medicine.

            Dear jm

            Have you heard of the googles? Maybe it’s a young person’s thing, but I’ve come across it and it allows you to search a whole wide world of information like it’s all part of a web.

            Perhaps you should try it before you grace us with another of your pontifical pronouncements. It’s very easy. Go to the googles and type the phrase “acupuncture is a system of medicine” including the quotation marks.

            Have fun

          • Simon

            If this helps, change what I said to: No one that I know of practices acupuncture (which I don’t practice) as a system of medicine. It’s a tool used in various Traditional Medicine systems. (Chinese Medicine, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, etc.).

            There ya go.

          • Thanks, indeed. That adds a No True Scitsnan to the parade of fallacies.

  • Dear All,
    I feel happy reading your comments. Please carry on enlightening me…
    With best wishes

    • Please, tell us about the Aztecs.

      So far all you have done is repeat platitudes and unevidenced assertions.

      I’d like to see you actually show you can engage in a rational discussion.

  • Only time will give you wisdom. This is called stubbornness and sycosis of unnecessary of intruding into other’s business.
    It is better to leave you, where you are.
    This is my last comment, as I am have better things to do in my valuable time.

    • Shashi Mohan Sharma on Tuesday 20 October 2015 at 08:35
      Dear All,
      I am busy with organising an International event, but will continue this tread after the event on 27th Ocober 2015. I suggest that we continue this thread.
      At least, all are learning something new.
      I shall keep you in my thoughts and prayer.
      With best wishes

      What happened in the 2h19m between these posts? One can only wonder. Perhaps he spent it reviewing the fallacious basis of Aztec beliefs and, by inference, his own.

    • @Sharma,
      “This is my last comment, as I am have better things to do in my valuable time.”

      Is your “valuable” in the sense that you can spend it more “viably” taking money from people for sugary water with no health benefits?

      • Frank, you are really have no sense at all.

        • @Sharma,
          “Frank, you are really have no sense at all.”

          What am I to take from an insulting post from a dubious “doctor” who has been in the U.K. for 25 years, learnt the English language from a very young age, and, yet, cannot compose a simple insult? The question is, of course, rhetorical (but only mentioned because the recipient may not understand what most will).

          Is there a potion which may accord you the facility of written communication? If so, please drink several litres of it?

          • Dear Frank,
            I willingly wrote that sentence to annoy you (wrong English) and I succeeded. This is called primary action from me and secondary action from you. I have studied psychology to deal people like you in this manner, who offends me. You need to be careful next time.
            Take care

          • you are comedy gold personified

          • Mr Sharma

            I continue to observe that in your posts, whether in deliberately bad English or not, you have failed to engage with the problem I posed you about the fallacious nature of the Aztec belief system.

            I’m beginning to think you don’t understand why it is being asked of you.

          • So, until now, you failed to know my abilities…..give your brain some rest…

          • So, until now, you failed to know my abilities…..give your brain some rest…

            Is your proper name Ozymandias? Certainly, I do look on your works and despair.

            Now, as Mojo has also asked, please give us your considered view of the Aztecs’ belief system. You keep turning up here but you keep avoiding the question.

          • @Shashi Mohan Sharma:

            I willingly wrote that sentence to annoy you (wrong English) and I succeeded. This is called primary action from me…

            Actually, on this interwebs thingy it’s more usually called “trolling”.

            Anyway, about those Aztecs: were they right to conclude that human sacrifice was required to make the Sun rise each day?

  • Prompted by Mr Shsrma’s visit here, I’ve looked at his college’s website.

    May I strongly recommend the “Hahnemann Song”. Part of me would like a translation of the lyrics, but I fear that may spoil it.

    Enjoy

    http://www.hchuk.com/watch-video.html

    http://youtu.be/mZJgsS5ufWA

    • Also this video doesn’t really require translation but perhaps an explanation might be nice.

      I struggled to understand the part where Nehru, Hahnemann, MS Dhoni and Spider-Man beat a recumbent Micheal [sic] Jackson. Obviously Socrates didn’t feature in that section because he had died in an earlier scene and it would have been simply silly for him to reappear after the car chase and gun-fight.

      http://youtu.be/xyyAop-Nrt0

  • Maybe it’s a cultural thing (I’m in the US, not sure where you are). If you hired a carpenter, would you say that they are selling chiselling?

    I think that chiselling has the same colloquial meaning in US and British English. I found use of that particular term quite apt.

    • Simon

      If chiselling has the same colloquial meaning in the US, couldn’t tell you. I had to look it up. I was using the boring meaning of “using a chisel”. But that made me wonder (again) why folks keep bringing up some weird money angle with scraping. I’ve told Frank (and probably Bjorn, can’t remember), but here we go again: there’s no money incentive to do scraping on folks.

      I’m a massage therapist, and I use scraping when it’s the right tool for the job. I don’t charge extra for it – or any other tool or method that I use. I charge for the session. Same with acupuncturists. Couldn’t tell you about chiros or PTs – I never thought to ask.

      So the whole money thing always leaves me scratching my head. Your comment, for some reason, made me look at it the other way around.

      Suppose I woke up with a unable to turn my neck – say, from a draft or something. I’d spend a few moments scraping, problem solved. If I didn’t know to do that (free, easy, fast) I might call my doc. That would take a whole lot of time (travel, waiting room for about an hour, 10 minute visit, more travel, lost work, etc), and about $275 for the visit. Plus whatever meds (from what clients tell me, a muscle relaxant or prescription pain killer).

      From what my clients tell me (and other bodyworkers) – this happens a lot. Scraping would save a lot of time and money. Who could be against a quick, easy, free fix?

      It didn’t occur to me that the money saved is money the doc now isn’t pocketing. Probably really easy money for the doc – and a lot of it. It would be in their best interest if folks didn’t know how to scrape their own (or a loved one’s) neck.

      Hmmm…thanks for that.

      • @jm,
        As far as I’ve seen, this is the first time you’ve said what you do.
        “I’m a massage therapist, and I use scraping when it’s the right tool for the job.”

        “I’ve told Frank (and probably Bjorn, can’t remember), but here we go again: there’s no money incentive to do scraping on folks.”
        It isn’t about incentive, it is about what is an efficacious treatment; one that has been properly tested.

        I formed the impression you are an acupuncturist (in a sense you are since you use scraping) when I saw that hilarious exchange you had with Sasha in another thread where you were discussing the in and outs of acupuncture. It was very amusing to see people argue about something where the only source material is from the person or people who made it up.

        • That’s funny, Frank. I think you said the same thing the last couple of times I told you what I did. Oh, and ‘proper’ testing would be palpation.

      • “Suppose…”

        You can suppose anything you want. Supposition doesn’t prove that a therapy has sizeable and reproducible effects for real and significant problems.

        On the other hand if your claims are restricted to the level of “I woke up with a stiff neck and it got better after I rubbed it a bit” then it’s very hard to care. Patients who trouble their doctor with that level of problem could be well-described as time-wasters.

        • “Supposition doesn’t prove that a therapy has sizeable and reproducible effects for real and significant problems.”

          No, supposition won’t. But doing it will. Guess it depends on what you mean by real and significant. Gua sha is for soft tissue. For appendicitis, go to the ER.

          “Patients who trouble their doctor with that level of problem could be well-described as time-wasters.”

          Ah, those irritating patients.

          • Yes, jm, the “worried well” give you an income, despite your lack of provision of any meaningful and useful healthcare, in the same way they clog up the real healthcare system.

            All you do is take their money, dispense some illogical bullshit, give out platitudes, make them feel better about themselves, be “nice”, and then take their money for the same bullshit the next time, all with a smile and “isn’t he nice”?

            Would charlatan and fraud be too strong to describe your “trade”?

          • Frank

            “All you do…etc etc blah blah blah” is a great paragraph, but how does that apply to people doing some scraping on their own neck, at home? Since you are the one that brought up illogical bullshit…your comment is illogical bullshit.

      • jm

        Can you confirm that you charge for the time you spend with clients?

        • That’s a really weird question, Simon.

          • I suspect others recent guise he import of my question. And I suspect you do too, hence your non-answer.

            So, I ask again. Do you charge for the time you spend with your clients?

          • Others recent guise he import, suspect you do?

            I guess comparatively, your question wasn’t that weird after all.

          • ‘recent guise’ = recognise thanks to autocorrect and wearing the wrong glasses so I didn’t spot it

            I see you have quibbled but failed again answer the question.

            Do you charge for your time with clients?

          • Recognize the import of your question? If it’s that important, tell me why you’re asking.

          • I don’t think I will.

            So far you have shown an enthusiasm for repeating empty platitudes. I’m interested to see whether you can or will show some evidence of actively thinking about your beliefs.

          • Simon

            No beliefs on my end. I’ve actually experienced the reality of both performing and receiving gua sha. You’re actually dealing with fantasy (literally).

          • No beliefs on my end. I’ve actually experienced the reality…

            Which was the commuted cry of the leechman for centuries. Whatever happened to them?

  • jm

    I also notice that you have still not specifically confirmed that you charge a fee for your time.

    Now, this constant avoidance of simple questions is a pattern I have observed in alt.med. practitioners over my 15 years of significant engagement with them. My inference is that they have a vague awareness of the pit that opens at their feet should they ever answer a straight question with an honest reply. The frustrating thing is that their awareness of that pit’s existence does not appear to initiate a process of self-critical evaluation. Oh, well.

    • Simon said:

      “…they have a vague awareness of the pit that opens at their feet should they ever answer a straight question with an honest reply. The frustrating thing is that their awareness of that pit’s existence does not appear to initiate a process of self-critical evaluation.”

      The truth is like salt to the open wound called cognitive dissonance.

    • Sorry Bjorn, but when you start with “The truth is…”, I have to disregard what comes after. You’ve pretty well proven that you’re not really interested in ‘truth’. Here are a couple of my favorites of yours, from the gua sha thread:

      • “As I have pointed out before, there is a very important prevailing misunderstanding about what constitutes GS. Real GS involves inflicting painful injury.”

      • “Now let’s think very open minded about what Gua Sha (GS) really is. GS involves stroking the external tissues heavy handedly.”

      That’s just the tip of the iceberg – you write quite a lot about your understanding of gua sha, based on no actual experience. As laughable as that is, it got funnier when you followed it up with these comments:

      • “I have several degrees and decades of experience that says that I can call myself authority on these matters”

      • “I AM an expert in this matter, I have tons of paper to substantiate my claims and you have not.”

      • “I suggest JD and the other sanctimonious scrapers read (again) my previous posts above for some expert information instead of listening only to ignorami.”

      As I’ve said before, it takes about 10 minutes with someone who practices it to verify your “Bjorn-‘splainin’ truth”. Oy.

    • Simon

      How is that relevant to gua sha being a simple, straightforward, working of the tissue? Or that the effects are immediately observable by palpation? You seem to be trying to make gua sha something it’s not, by avoiding the reality that it’s a simple physical technique.

      For the life of me, I can’t figure out why you (and others) want to make such a simple thing so mysterious. I guess it makes for a longer comment thread, but other than that….??? Oh, and I guess there’s no money to be made if folks learn to do this at home. Forgot about that angle.

      It certainly is interesting, in a weird kind of way, to watch the mental gymnastics. I love it when Bjorn brings up gua sha on unrelated threads – it’s a good litmus test.

      • jm

        No one is denying that gua sha is simple. What we are challenging is the notion that it has useful medical effects. You have referred us to speculation about purported mechanisms but no objective clinical evidence.

        When it comes to gymnastics I see that yet again you have vaulted over the question about whether you charge for your time. I find that fascinating.

        • Simon

          Gua sha works soft tissue. To see the effects, palpate. Simple.

          • GUA SHA THERAPIST TO PATIENT: your soft tissue is much better, I have palpated it and therefore know.
            PATIENT TO GUA SHA THERAPIST: fine! the fact that my health has deteriorated is irrelevant then.

          • jm

            I am forced to conclude that you don’t understand the problems of drawing causal inference from unblinded observations of physical interventions.

            And still you won’t say whether to charge an hourly rate for your services.

          • jm

            I am forced to conclude that you don’t understand the problems of drawing causal inference from unblinded observations of physical interventions.

            You are not alone in this. I argued publicly with a professor of surgery last year after he presented a report of hundreds of surgical cases and claimed that their post-surgical improvement proved the benefit of surgery, but had no controls with which to compare them.

            And still you won’t say whether to charge an hourly rate for your services.

          • Edzard

            That’s priceless! Now do the one where the patient comes in after waking up with a stiff neck. After treatment the therapist sends out for an MRI to see if the muscles in the neck have relaxed, and how their pain level is with movement.

            Good grief.

          • good to see that you don’t understand MRI either

          • Simon

            Call me crazy, but I expect manual therapists to be able to feel the effects on the tissue, while they’re working. Surgery would be different.

            Oh, and I don’t charge an hourly rate for my services. There you go – question answered. That should free up some time, and you can focus on the Aztecs.

          • but we do! we do!
            [call you crazy]

          • Call me crazy, but I expect manual therapists to be able to feel the effects on the tissue, while they’re working. Surgery would be different.

            Your expectation betrays your lack of comprehension of the problem. Do you really not see the problem?

            Oh, and I don’t charge an hourly rate for my services. There you go – question answered.

            Well, if you offer your services for free you cannot be accused of ripping people off and they certainly get value for their money.

          • Edzard

            You’re right – my understanding of MRI is probably only marginally better than Bjorn’s understanding of gua sha. Feel free to sub in whatever unnecessary and expensive test you want.

          • A Pro Bono quack? Nah… not likely. Benevolence is extremely uncommon in alt-med. Money is one of the major driving forces of woo-worship.

            Wonder if our resident scraping and sucking specialist charges per suck-cup and square inch of his beloved “blemishes” 😀

          • Simon

            “Do you really not see the problem?”

            Sadly, I do see the problem. It’s not with a manual therapist being able to palpate tissue…that should be expected or required.

            It’s with someone claiming to be an expert on the subject, changing the definition of gua sha. “Real GS involves inflicting painful injury” and “GS involves stroking the external tissues heavy handedly” is either ignorant or intentionally deceptive.

          • jm

            No, you don’t see the problem. It is the same with any intervention, but especially where the assessment is subjective. Assertions of efficacy are especially prone to self-deception. There are ways to minimise the induced bias, but too many alt.meddlers don’t even recognise or accept that there is a problem.

          • Simon

            Do you suppose it’s some sort of hypnosis thing? Maybe when you rub a muscle, the body gives off some chemical that affects your perception… I bet the chemical is stored in the trapezius muscle.

            Quite possibly, the Aztecs are behind it.

          • Simon

            No? Good. So maybe we can figure out why you don’t think you could palpate tissue, determine where there’s excess tightness, massage the tissue, and determine by palpation if there’s been any change in the tissue. You really think it’s some sort of self-deception?

            I really am trying to understand the thought process here. I’ve seen this ‘mysterious’ skill performed many times – by massage therapists, PTs, acupuncturists, MDs. It’s not a skill that’s unique to bodyworkers, either. The best steaks I’ve had were evaluated by touch (through a tool, no less) rather than by a standardized cooking time. Why? Because no two hunks of tissue are the same. It’s more accurate to palpate.

            Hell, even the overly superstitious fantasy prone fundamentalists look at massage as “sensible health care”.

          • jm

            You are correct. My comments about the unreliable subjective nature of physical assessments apply to all practitioners from massage therapists to orthopaedic surgeons. Those assessments might be the best you can do on a daily clinical basis but that does not make them reliable and claims of efficacy for any intervention are very poorly based if that is the only evidence.

            A veterinary example. Following cruciate surgery in dogs, owners and vets report about 70% of dogs to be functionally sound 1 year later. But objective measurement of the force transmitted through operated legs shows only about 1 in 7 return to full function. Ask yourself why owners and vets might make judgements that differ so much from an objective method.

          • jm

            And, yes, I have seen assessments of evidence that show massage therapy confers benefit which is more than can be said for a variety of wackaloon alt.med therapies.

            A problem is that practitioners of fairly well-founded therapies choose to offer therapies that are beyond the fringes of what is supported by good evidence and even things that are utter nonsense. I don’t want to be offered acupuncture by a physiotherapist. I would walk out of the door if they offered homeopathy. Gua sha looks a bit more plausible than acupuncture but only if it is regarded as just another way th knead sore muscles. Any wider claims of medical benefit are just silly.

          • Simon

            I’m talking about making tense tissue more relaxed. Nothing more. Whether or not you loosened up some tissue is easily determined by palpation. There are a couple of barriers keeping us from going beyond that.

            The first one, is that you’d have to go for a few sessions with a decent practitioner. I can tell you that markings will not be produced anywhere you scrape. Only in ‘problem’ areas. Bjorn’s under the impression that is theatrics – that the practioner will lighten pressure so that markings will not appear, something along those lines (which is the ludicrous fantasy of someone who has never experienced it). It’s easily demonstrated that very very light scraping in a problem area will bring up some pretty dramatic markings. The same or stronger pressure just outside of the area will not. Strong pressure in an area that doesn’t need scraped will leave no mark at all. Don’t take my word for it – try it.

            If you have an area that dramatically marks, the next session that same area will mark less. Session after that, even less. After a few sessions, no markings. Again, don’t take my word for it – try it. Easily demonstrated.

            Another barrier is resistance to terminology. The word qi has many different meanings and usages. In terms of gua sha, it’s referring to the movement of blood. If you think the fact that blood moves within the body is superstitious, fantasy, an outdated concept, etc – the conversation stops there. There’s really nowhere to go, and we’re left with “scraping tissue relaxes it”.

  • “jm” seems to think I was addressing her/him. Sounds like her/his but-hurt is getting worse.

    I frequent a gym where I can get good massage when I want. That is sensible health care.
    This is an example of Gua Sha, which leaves bruising of the superficial layers of the skin. The most common selling argument is that it draws out toxins. That is plain stupid:

    https://youtu.be/gRzpfEbETSo

    “jm” has admitted to selling “cupping” services also. That is no less idiotic than GS.
    Note that in the video below there is a short sequence showing “hijama” or wet cupping where the skin is incised so the cup draws blood. This seems to be still practiced in some parts of the world, namely the middle east and is just plain old blood-letting. Most of the world abandoned blood-letting a couple of centuries ago because it simply did not work and could be dangerous. Cupping is a relic of this ancient, abandoned practice.
    Fortunately most TCM worshipers who practice this particular folly, refrain from incising the skin and let the suck marks suffice to impress their gullible customers :
    https://youtu.be/D3DQsrHF9ps

    These two videos were picked because they were the first to come up in a search for the terms “Gua Sha” and “cupping”

    • “These two videos were picked because they were the first to come up in a search for the terms “Gua Sha” and “cupping””

      …as I said…

    • Bjorn

      You seem to have posted the wrong video. There is no “hijama” in there. There doesn’t seem to be any wet cupping at all. Odd choice of video – hard to tell how painful it is with all the “feels good on my muscles” and giggling and such, and the woman translating saying how it always feels good.

      Interesting choice of gua sha video, as well. If you had some actual experience, you’d know how good that treatment would feel – during and after.

      Poke around youtube – you’ll be able to find some awful examples of gua sha and cupping. People like to post the more dramatic outlier stuff, not the run of the mill everyday stuff. Although, more and more people are posting “I thought this would hurt, but it feels great” cupping & scraping vids.

      Beware though – like I told you, it’s dangerous. You could choke on the soup spoon.

      • Our resident scraper-sucker actually looked at the videos I linked and caught an erroneous link. Must be a genuine connoisseur of cupping.
        Here’s the correct YT-video if someone’s interested (The hijama sequence starts at appr. 0:45):
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrnxhaoekS8

        You know, such evidence is real easy to find. Just go to Youtube and throw in some keywords like “cupping”, “hijama”, Gua Sha… etc. and you’ll get an evening’s worth of pure woo.

      • Real evidence is pretty easy to find, too. Just find a practitioner. Be sure to ask if “Real GS involves inflicting painful injury.” or if “GS involves stroking the external tissues heavy handedly.” 🙂

        Your made up definitions and descriptions just don’t stand up to reality, Bjorn.

        • Ideomotor effect (though, in your case, I’m not sure the first four letters should not be replaced with five).

          • I strongly suspect our resident scraper is only pretending to deliver classical Gua Sha. Theres a woo-salon in Iceland that advertises all kinda of “nice experiences”. Among them is an hour of “facial Gua Sha pampering”
            Just imagine the return business they would (not) get if they scraped bigtime bruises, sorry, “blemishes” into the customer’s face. I’m on the iPad at an airport so you will have to google yourself for stories of how genuine GS hurts and the bruises are sore for days

          • Hopeufully they are well trained – in the Heimlich maneuver. Gua sha on the face obviously increases the choking factor. Dangerous.

            As I said…litmus test.

          • One wonders if “jm” knows what Heimlich maneuver or litmus is 😉 Her logic seems deteriorating.

          • Usually when your comments reach the point where it’s all insult attempt…the comedy gold of “Bjorn-splainin gua sha” is over. Oh well. You had some doozies this time! Hope you didnt pull a muscle stretching for the “classical gua sha” bit. (Although, I was really hoping you’d ‘splain away all the joking and giggling in the cupping video – you could have claimed that they swapped out the soundrack or something. Or maybe the magical mystery liquid made them loopy? You’ll think of something…)

            But hey, 142 comments and counting – that’s got to be good for something, eh?

          • “But hey, 142 comments and counting – that’s got to be good for something, eh?”

            Yep, successful trolling, if nothing else.

            You’ve explained nothing that can’t be explained properly by real science. For example, gua sha bruising as some meaningful therapy because of the bruising, and less bruising in later “treatments”. There may be two reasons why there is less bruising subsequently; ideomotor effect and the more susceptible arteries and capillaries have already been ruptured and repaired.

            “where it’s all insult attempt”
            When you fly in the face of reason and deny the existence of the fundamental laws of nature, why would you expect anything else?

          • Hey, he can count!

            Note to self: Stop heckling “jm”. It’s getting boring 🙂

          • Spot on, Frank.

            Well, except Bjorn doesn’t know what gua sha is (“Real GS involves inflicting painful injury.”, “GS involves stroking the external tissues heavy handedly.”, etc). Other than that, spot on!

            Well, except he doesn’t know what it’s used for. Oh yeah, he also doesn’t understand the terminology. Or how it fits into traditional medicine. (The ideomotor thing is interesting, but disproven in about 10 minutes. Good try, though!)

            To his credit, what he doesn’t understand he makes up plausible explanatins for. Well, plausible until you do some research and experience it. Inventing explanations is good sciency stuff, yes? Well, it’s at least science fictiony.

            One thing he got right – the common spelling. Same with acupuncture (he made up a lot of stuff, but he spelled it right!). He also spells chiropractic, homeopathy, Ayurveda, and naturopathy right, too. I wonder how accurate the rest of his “research” on those topics are….?

          • The ideomotor thing is interesting, but disproven in about 10 minutes

            How?

          • “How?”

            Find a practitioner.

          • I think my bprevious comments about the unreliability of physical assessments by practitioners of all types were completely lost on you. The concept is so easy to grasp I am constantly disappointed when people fail to grasp it.

            It looks like you are beyond the reach of rational discussion on this topic. I give up.

          • ““How?”

            Find a practitioner.”

            For the same reasons I won’t go to a chiropractor, osteopath, naturopath, homoeopath, iridologist, or any of the quacks, I won’t go to have Gua Sha. When I know it is baseless and foundered on an unscientific fiction, why would I bother to waste money on a nonsense?

            A person, like you, who has magical thinking won’t ever see reality. The problem with democracy is it allows people like you to vote.

          • Frank

            You getting a gua sha session wouldn’t help Simon understand how ridiculous the whole ideomotor thing is. It was nice of you to want to pitch in, though.

            I thought you did see some sort of quack or witch doctor or wizard or something, for a thoracic issue? Something you’re keeping secret from AN_Other?

          • “You getting a gua sha session wouldn’t help Simon understand how ridiculous the whole ideomotor thing is. It was nice of you to want to pitch in, though.”

            No, and it won’t help you understand that everyone is susceptible to it.

            “I thought you did see some sort of quack or witch doctor or wizard or something, for a thoracic issue? Something you’re keeping secret from AN_Other?”

            If you going to try to be a clever smart-arse, at least get some of the information correct. I saw a physiotherapist, and that was stated from the outset. Not that facts have troubled you up to now.

          • Simon

            Actually, you’re not grasping what I’m telling you. Find a practitioner, tell them the ‘ideomotor’ issue. In an area where you’re not marking, have them increase pressure. Not a suble increase, have them really dig in. Simple as that.

            Where you’re marking, it takes very little pressure to bring up the marks. Where there’s no marking, most practitioners will increase pressure dramatically, to make sure they didn’t miss anything It’s not a subtle difference. Have them make the difference as obvious as the difference between a tap on the shoulder and a punch on the shoulder. And you still won’t mark. You’ll end up with a nice deep tissue massage…but no marking.

            Better yet, have them increase pressure to the point where there actually IS damage to the skin. (They will not only have to increase pressure, but the amount of time scraping an area for damage to occur.) Then you’ll be able to compare and contrast gua sha markings with damage. Again, not a subtle difference. Damage will hurt. It will also be visibly different.

            There are some other simple, straightforward tests you can do to prove to yourself that Bjorn’s understanding of gua sha is fictional. But let’s start with the funniest one, eh?

          • Frank

            “If you going to try to be a clever smart-arse,…” Not my intent, Frank. I have no idea where you draw your lines. I thought you considered physiotherapy baseless witchcraft. Especially since many are trained in craniosacral, visceral manipulation, and even (gasp) gua sha and cupping.

            It’s hard to tell how far your superstitious fundamentalism reaches. Sorry for the confusion.

          • “Not my intent, Frank.”

            Probably not because you can’t tell the difference.

            “I have no idea where you draw your lines. I thought you considered physiotherapy baseless witchcraft. Especially since many are trained in craniosacral, visceral manipulation, and even (gasp) gua sha and cupping.”

            Nope, I didn’t ever say or infer that. I said before, several times, to read the words I’ve written, not what you want to read. (I suppose, at least you are consistent in your lack of comprehension.)

            Your second sentence only demonstrates (if true but purely mischievous speculation without any basis in fact) how far witchcraft may have infiltrated into some medical areas. Even if true, it equally demonstrates that charlatans, like you, should be exposed for what you are.

            “It’s hard to tell how far your superstitious fundamentalism reaches.”

            Ho hum, more Tu Quoque and unoriginal thought. Nothing new from you. Don’t you ever get tired of yourself, in the way others do?

            “Sorry for the confusion.”

            Do you have a choice in your state of confusion? I don’t see that.

          • @ Frank

            Have you managed to use a search engine and find out whether there is evidence for spinal manipulation for thoracic spine pain?

            Otherwise, when you went to see the physiotherapist for your thoracic spine pain, he treated you with a treatment that has minimal to no evidence base.

          • @AN Other,
            I can’t see the point; you don’t read my responses anyway.

            I’m not convinced you aren’t the the “Other” troll, jm, posting under a different name. Notwithstanding, it doesn’t diminish that you are a contrarian troll.

          • @ Frank

            If you can direct me to the response to my question then i will read it. But, i don’t recollect reading a response to that question.

            I am not jm.

            Obviously, you don’t read my replies because i explained that i am not a contrarian troll.

            All, i am trying to do is to show you that you have had treatment that is not based in evidence. As you said previously “science based medicine does not invent treatments and dispense them without evidence that they work”.

            Therefore when you went to the physio (a science based sub-discipline of medicine, in your view) and received a treatment that was not based on sound evidence, you went against you own advice. Also, because there is minimal to no evidence for the treatment done, what you experienced may have just been a placebo. In addition, you have seemed to accept this treatment without criticism or analysis, just because it either got you better or it was done by a physio (you even went back for the same treatment 6-8 times).

            So it seems to me that you applies rules to one situation and then choose not to apply those same rules in another. I think most people can work out what that means.

            p.s. didn’t you previously see a chiro for a bad back?

          • “If you can direct me to the response to my question then i will read it. But, i don’t recollect reading a response to that question.”

            Do I need to wipe your bum too?

            “I am not jm.”

            Same standard of prose, same inanity, same trolling.

            “Obviously, you don’t read my replies because i explained that i am not a contrarian troll.”

            Tu Quoque, and as original as jm who uses this abuse of logic regularly.

            Troll someone else who cares what you might have to say.

          • @ Frank

            You still have not answered my question and resulted to insults. I am not trolling you. I am asking you one simple question.

  • Millions spent on Homeopathy but BILLIONS spent on Pharma drugs! Instead of bashing Homeopathy, why don’t you and those who pose as “Science” experts go after the lack of scientific evidence for allopathic drugs? That would save BILLIONS and be of real service to the patients who use the NHS and to the taxpayers who fund allopathic fraud. Read what the experts say:

    Source: Health Services Journal. Can we believe any medical research – at all?
    ‘Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.’
    John P. A. Ioannidis is a Professor of Health Research and Policy at Stanford School of Medicine, the University’s Rehnborg Chair in Disease Prevention and director of its Prevention Research Center.

    Here is what Richard Horton (editor of the Lancet) has to say on peer-review:
    ‘The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.’

    Dr Marcia Agnell, editor of the New England Journal of Medicine for two decades. This was, and remains, the single most powerful and influential medical journal in the world. At least it is, when it comes to citations and impact factor: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”

    In his editorial entitled, “The Scandal of Poor Medical Research,” Doug Altman wrote that much research was “seriously flawed through the use of inappropriate designs, unrepresentative samples, small samples, incorrect methods of analysis, and faulty interpretation…The poor quality of much medical research is widely acknowledged, yet disturbingly the leaders of the medical profession seem only minimally concerned about the problem and make no apparent efforts to find a solution.We need less research, better research, and research done for the right reasons. Abandoning using the number of publications as a measure of ability would be a start.”
    Source: MHRA, December 2011
    Figures obtained by the Ecologist reveal that a range of medicines were linked to 274,123 suspected adverse reactions reports received by the MHRA between January 2000 to November 2011. 12,020 deaths linked to these adverse reactions were recorded in the same period.
    A 2004 study by the University of Liverpool suggested that as many as 10,000 patients annually were dying in the UK because of adverse reactions. The researchers stressed the overwhelming majority taking medication do not suffer side effects. A later report by the think tank Compass claimed that more than a million patients were admitted to UK hospitals in 2006 as a result of the drugs they were prescribed, and estimated the problem cost the NHS nearly £2 billion a year. The MHRA acknowledges that the true number of adverse reactions is higher than official figures show as the Yellow Card Scheme is associated with ‘an unknown level of under-reporting.’

    • “Instead of bashing Homeopathy, why don’t you and those who pose as “Science” experts go after the lack of scientific evidence for allopathic drugs?”

      You wouldn’t be this Karyse Day, perhaps?

      http://www.healthwatchswindon.org.uk/swindonlink/about-swindon-link/steering-group/index.html
      “Karyse Day

      Karyse Day is in full time employment in the private sector. Her main focus will be on the right of the individual to choose the type of health care best suited to their needs and lifestyle. She has an extensive knowledge and experience of the many benefits of Homeopathy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture and other Complementary therapies and the benefits they may bring to the Swindon community.”

      She strongly believes that healthcare should include a provision to be proactive and for the community to be informed of new ideas so that they are able to make informed choices in their care.

      http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/9078173.My_hope_for_new_types_of_therapy/
      “Karyse has been using complementary and alternative medicine, such as homeopathy, chiropractics, reiki and acupuncture, for the past 35 years, and says she has been successfully treated for a number of medical issues, from slipped discs in her back to suspicious moles on her face.”

      Having practised this nonsense for 35 years, have you ever seen any research to show any of it is efficacious? An Australian body has found that homoeopathy is baseless, as have many others who have a rudimentary understanding of chemistry.

      Come back when you have a cure for many of the cancers real medicine successfully treats, instead of bleating about treating the worried well. Here is a clue; they get “better” because there wasn’t much wrong with them in the first place.

    • Yes, we’re all (I should think) familiar with Ioannidis and Richard Horton and have read Bad Pharma and the like. Some of us have direct personal experience of how poor some medics are at assessing evidence or understanding scientific method and basic statistics…Some of us have also called during our professional lives for greater attention to be given to evidence based practice and useful outcome measures…

      None of which makes homeopathy and the like work…

    • Millions spent on Homeopathy but BILLIONS spent on Pharma drugs

      Millions spent on shaken water and sugar pills or billions on drugs that have been more or less shown to work. Even if some drugs are overrated and others frequently used on the wrong patients or indications, then I think that is billions well spent.
      Work is ongoing to improve use of pharmacological drugs. How about shaken water and sugar pills?
      The only novelties since the demise of Hahnemann have been more fantastic ways of conjuring up silly things to shake out of the water. Like rocks (supposedly good for bone tumours), houseflies!! or light from saturn (via a telescope) 😀

      The housefly must make be an especially potent[sic] potion. Here’s a few of the things that “provers” noted after taking a remedy during an homeopathic “proving” of this nostrum:

      del. frenzy of hands when washing face

      del. the water on his wrist looks like many eyes

      del. lint on robe looks like nest of insects or fish eggs

      del. sees hundreds of eyes in soap foam

      del. garbage moved

      del. surrounded by corruption and decay

      del. was in Grand Armee and dying of cholera on his return from Russia

      del. feels like an animal with eyes darting about

      del. hears retching in subway

      vision of dead squirrel with beetles and wasps burrowing into its collapsed eyes

      homophobia, fear/ obsession with homosexuality

      thinks, sees, “Italian” people and things (also #2 & others, “things Mediterranean”)

      desire to stay home and protect wife

      fears wife is leaving him

      flinched- thought wife would hit him

      had a compulsive need to buy things

      was drawn to brackish water in subway

      he thought remedy was degrading and decomposing

      he opened a book to random page and it was about maggots

      cleaning pearls

      his wife guesses that the remedy is a sea worm or a fly

      he thought the remedy was about garbage- the word garbage keeps coming up

      Forgive me for sometimes… no, frequently being tempted to think that people must be intellectually impaired or even deranged to believe this royally ridiculous nonsense.

  • Gentlemen!
    I presume there are no women in this correspondence. And I assume most of you are fairly well educated too.
    Why are you behaving in such a disgracefully rude way? Would you talk to people face-to-face as you address your dissenters here?
    Debate is important but this sort of behaviour is grotesque.
    You demean yourselves. You are acting like bullies. Bullies are known to be cowards too. What are you afraid of?
    Before you type a bile-laden reply (which I will not be reading) please pause for a minute and consider whether you could write with more dignity and courtesy. Thank you.

    • OK Jane, I can’t resist even though you say, shrilly, “Before you type a bile-laden reply (which I will not be reading)”. Why bother giving us, presumably all male, fairy well educated, alleged bullies the benefit of your wisdom if you don’t bother to see how chastened some, or all, of us might be? Putting aside this lack of logic, let’s plough on, gleefully.

      “Why are you behaving in such a disgracefully rude way? ”

      Who said it’s rude? You, and by what authority? As Stephen Fry said of people being offended, “So f@cking what.”

      “Would you talk to people face-to-face as you address your dissenters here?”

      In a word, “yep”. If they behave in a troll-like manner, are belligerent, abstruse, and are charlatans, then wholeheartedly, YES. However, you come here once, read a few posts and commit the Sweeping Generalisation Fallacy. Is that not offensive?

      “Debate is important but this sort of behaviour is grotesque.”

      Another worthless and gratuitous opinion based on little evidence.

      “You demean yourselves. You are acting like bullies. Bullies are known to be cowards too. What are you afraid of?”

      In quick succession; nope, nope again (The hoary bullying accusation which is meant to stop any discussion. Sorry, try that with some little kiddies, not us grownups.), another Sweeping Generalisation, and nothing.

      What do you do for an encore? I hope it is a better effort that this, and grounded in logic and reason, hopefully devoid of fallacies.

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