MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

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    by Edzard - Saturday 20 May 2017 14:54
    he would not know what a well-designed study is, if he fell over it; clueless about research!

    by Lenny - Saturday 20 May 2017 13:30
    The depth of your ignorance sometimes defies belief, John. Thomas details exactly why. But for all your sputtering and flailing about chemistry and how you imagine it supports your misconceptions regarding the effectiveness of your pet quackery, you are still unable to show any proof that homeopathy works. Thomas will be able to provide links to lots of excellently designed studies which unarguably prove the effectiveness of a particular therapy. Surely you can provide similar studies for homeopathy? Oh, no. You can't. Because all the well-designed and properly constructed studies show it to have effects indistinguishable from inert placebo. Look at the soldiers marching past. Private Benneth knows he's the only one marching in time.

    by Thomas Mohr - Saturday 20 May 2017 09:32
    John, you are so ignorant, I am speechless. You have really not the slightest idea how science works, do you ? With this post this is now established beyond any reasonable doubt. You don't even known what a null-hypothesis is and how scientific hypotheses are tested. Let me lecture you: In science you never, ever prove a null hypothesis. You reject it. The null hypothesis is that there is no difference between two conditions in your experiment. The burden of proof lies on homeopaths (yes this is you !), namely (a) to show by data that the null hypothesis has to be rejected. (b) that - by study design and prior probability - the alternative hypothesis, namely that the difference is caused by homeopathic treatement - is the most probable one. In simple English for a simpleton like you: If I claim the moon is made of cheese, I have to prove it. As for your chemistry. You have not only demonstrated that you missed ionization of substances in chemistry 101, You missed the entirety of chemistry 101. Taken together this proves that you are not competent to assess any scientific paper. As a result you present crap and take it for real.

    by Björn Geir - Saturday 20 May 2017 08:46
    the chemical assays that detect the phase change in the solute from molecular to ion And that proves... what? Certainly not the efficacy of shaken water for health.

    by Edzard - Saturday 20 May 2017 07:15
    I NEVER RETRACTED ANYTHING; IT WAS A TIME-LIMITED OFFER FROM ITS BEGINNING.

    by Edzard - Saturday 20 May 2017 07:14
    "If that is true then why is it that I feel no weight upon my shoulders?" TRUST ME [I'M A DOCTOR] IT'S TRUE!! AND WHY DO YOU NOT FEEL IT? BECAUSE YOU ARE IRRESPONSIBLE, PERHAPS?

    by John Benneth - Friday 19 May 2017 22:29
    Typical of all losers, Lenny says that the burden of proof for homeopathy is not on him to prove his null hypothesis, but on the proponents of homeopathy to produce proof for some unnamed criteria. If that is true then why is it that I feel no weight upon my shoulders? What are you offering for proof of exactly what? Another million dollars for detection of the solute in post Avogadro 's solvents? Prof. Ernst offered $10,000 at one point. But when confronted with the chemical assays that detect the phase change in the solute from molecular to ion, both Randi and Ernst retracted their offers. Keep the complaints coming, Lenny. The burden of proof of the null hypothesis is yours to bear, Lenny. I can't do it for you. Each man has to prove it for himself.

    by Lenny - Friday 19 May 2017 09:39
    We have seen what you consider to be evidence, John. And we have laughed at it. As I say. A trial which had to be stopped because of ethics as regards the control arm. As happens with treatments which work. We're waiting, John. It must be out there if your magic shaken water works as well as you claim. Burden of proof's on you, sunshine.

    by Thomas Mohr - Friday 19 May 2017 08:23
    John, you did NOT show evidence. What you showed are bad papers with overreaching conclusions

by Barrie Lee 'Wellness' Thorpe - Saturday 20 May 2017 14:53
Your eventual conclusion/ recommendation is, sadly,too unsatisfying for many.Instead of electing people who will make genuine efforts to clean up the environment and tackle genuine pollution, they fall for the outright lies and conspiracy theories of petulant teenagers like Trump, a man who made his anti- science beliefs perfectly open right from the start. In the end, adults are children who have grown up( some less than others). I remember seeing a company spokespuppet on the Richard and Judy daytime show who was gamely plugging a kind of 'miracle cooking fat'' recently brought over from America, which could be used in the production of things like cake and biscuits, and which- as his simple- minded explanation claimed, somehow wrapped up the food you ate in globules of magic stuff which then shot through your body too quickly for it to stay around and do any harm, I.e. put weight on you. 'But hasn't this stuff caused diarrhoea in some people?' was the question put to him. ' Well in the early days there were some problems with anal leakage', admitted the spokesmonkey, 'but they've all been dealt with'. At which point the camera shot straight to an aghast and horrified Judy's face. So in other words, the company had cottoned on to the fact that huge numbers of people, like children, just wanted to be told that they could eat as much as they wanted in the way of chips, buns and cakes,with no repercussions( once the bum explosions had been sorted out).No need for any serious thinking on the subject, just sort it out at the other end. So to speak.

by Edzard - Saturday 20 May 2017 14:29
" I cannot understand why this statement is not backed up by solid evidence. " read the post again; perhaps you overlooked the evidence I supplied? as to the 'state of crisis' - it relates mostly to poor quality trials; perhaps realising this made the % figures you quote decrease? AS THIS BLOG IS ABOUT ALT MED, LET ME ASK YOU: is it therefore better to go with alt med? imagine you are in a burning house; you have 2 ladders to get out; one is far from perfect, the other one is awful with missing steps etc.; which one would you take?

by Olavius - Saturday 20 May 2017 14:15
Thank you for bringing this up. Have read you article and must say it confirms what I said earlier. Of 3000 treatments conventinal as well as alternative only 330 can be termed beneficial by looking at the evidence. As stated earlier the beneficial group has shrunken over the years (from 17, to 13 to 11%). I understand your point that treatments used by conventinal doctors are/must be from the 35% group, but I cannot understand why this statement is not backed up by solid evidence. Furthermore many published articles in BMJ, Lancet and New England Journal and other openly admits that evidence based medicine is in a state of crissis as the evidence can not be trusted. The following quote is form the book he Truth about Drug Companies by former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine Marcia Angell "A review of 74 clinical trials of antidepressants, for example, found that 37 of 38 positive studies were published. But of the thirty-six negative studies, thirty-three were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome (Turner, 2008)".

by Theevenbetterthanthegoodthinkingsocietysociety - Thursday 18 May 2017 18:01
Cherry picked data from some studies at single clinics in the mid 90's gives a 80% figure that suits you Edzard. Who knows what the true figures were in the UK at the time? It may be higher now but you don't know what the levels were 20 years ago.

by Leigh Jackson - Saturday 20 May 2017 12:35
Only one. Interpretation matters. http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2012/02/23/everything-is-connected/

by Bart B. Van Bockstaele - Saturday 20 May 2017 11:49
According to the Pauli exclusion principle Bart everything in the Universe is connected to everything else. That must mean that we are connected. How many different Pauli exclusion principles are there?

by Bart B. Van Bockstaele - Saturday 20 May 2017 11:44
Not petrochemical ladden tar And where do petrochemicals come from?

by Thomas Mohr - Saturday 20 May 2017 11:41
Contrary to what you claim - natural supplemets do not turn into petrochemical tar, essentially they do. Additionally you do not seem to be aware that petrol is 100% bioorganic. Another probably new thing for you. "natural" supplements are NOT optimized for human use. A plant gives a rat's fart on humans, as does "mother" nature. This is the reason why you take a pertrol-tar producing Aspirin if you hae a headache and you do not drink willow bark tea.

by Michael Kenney - Friday 19 May 2017 21:19
I read these blogs with great interest...30+years as a DC (and teacher) has proven to me unequivocally that Chiropractic IS and always was a religious dogma, whose proponents can only utilize logical fallacy (post hoc ergo proptor hoc and ad hoc hypothesis....very similar to well-entrenched Scientologists) in order to placate themselves and give the appearance of argument. Interesting enough is the accumulation of data suggesting: 1. Palpation of the spine (as well as ALL the nonsensical "subluxation tests" e.g. leg checks, applied kinesiology, occipital & Atlas mis-placement, x-ray etc etc) are both unreliable, invalid and logically untenable....supra-mundane guesswork disguised to the gullible as 'science'. 2. "Hyper"-mobile vertebra segments (sequestered via force closure maneuvers i.e. increased muscle stiffness) are the most likely attributes of back pain....NOT the elusive "hypo"-mobile/fixation...which offer no validating findings other than a DCs whim....and not coincidentally that "thrusting" to move shuff "more" is what we sell. Aren't fused segments the most stable and least likely pain-generators? I'd suggest that is a scientifically valid premise. IF a shear instability/hyper-mobile segment is causative of many if not most "back events" (and pain chronicity) why pray tell add more, possibly damaging motion? And wouldn't a thrust cavitate the already "too mobile" segment (as segmental 'specificity' is just more dogma)? I believe that is a logical conclusion. A Religious burden is why logic cannot dissuade proponents. Finally, ALL pre-"modern" science concepts have ignominious beginnings....however they evolve as knowledge grows....and replace the bad with the better. Dogmas and religions by their very nature refuse to expand. Chiropractic has been forced to change but its done so blithely and stubbornly using fallacious arguments to try to remain relavent. Chiropractic 'works' based on shallow-effects accomplished via innumerable less dangerous and expensive means...and based on psychology of its proponents....not on substantial biomechanical or anatomical actions.

by S. Cox, MD - Friday 19 May 2017 04:05
at Michael Epstein: How many of those patients would have improved without smt? Neither meds nor smt cure back or neck pains, but time, and healthy back care instructions often do. Meds do help for comfort . Persistent symptoms without RED FLAGS often benefit from Physical Therapy or more time. More persistent or red flag signs or symptoms require urgent evaluation for possible surgical intervention. Cracking joint space bubbles(SMT) does not heal strained muscles, tendons or ligaments beyond a theatrical placebo show, and certainly has no effect on herniations, even though time and proper back care can help small HNP's.

by Björn Geir - Thursday 18 May 2017 18:38
@Michael Epstein ... from my own experience as a practising chiropractor with 33 years experience and who has not had ONE complaint of CVA from a patient intervention, according to AHPRA the risk of CVA due to chiropractic spinal manipulation is real but rare. How do you know? People who suffer VAD rarely come back to their chiropractor for more neck wringing. They are usually unable to even tell that they jst visited the chiro due either to death or destruction of brain tissue. Do you follow up on every patient how they did after they left your theatre? Especially, have you followed systematically up on all cervical manipulations who did not return, in order to pick up possible adverse events?

by Edzard - Thursday 18 May 2017 14:16
ahh yes, chiros like to be out of control!

by Dr Michael Epstein - Thursday 18 May 2017 11:08
Whilst empirical, from my own experience as a practising chiropractor with 33 years experience and who has not had ONE complaint of CVA from a patient intervention, according to AHPRA the risk of CVA due to chiropractic spinal manipulation is real but rare. We can have you pay the bill for excessive regulation of an intervention that has proven effectiveness compared to pharmacological intervention for chronic spinal pain. Let us spend more money on how the musician Prince died due to drug overdose before you demand a low-risk profession spend limited resources on regulatory oversight.

by Les Rose - Thursday 18 May 2017 10:33
I'm puzzled by "Data were analysed using descriptive statistics", but they go on to provide analytical stats.

by jm - Friday 19 May 2017 15:45
@Tom & Vodka Pete was probably making a faith based 'uncomfortably sinister' joke. "...I use a very specific grip of the muscle with my left hand, insert the needle...".

by Tom Kennedy - Thursday 18 May 2017 17:57
@Frank What you said was 'both you and the patient need to be blinded to what you’re doing' - you can see why I took this to mean being blinded to the treatment itself. I'm quite happy with the idea of someone else judging the outcome of treatments. I don't know of an obvious way to do this as a part of my clinical practice, or even in a study setting when it comes to pain, as it will usually come down to what the patient subjectively reports, won't it? Although here's an interesting study that seems to show objective improvements for real v sham acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28334999 @Edzard, I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.

by Tom Kennedy - Thursday 18 May 2017 17:39
@Pete 'uncomfortably sinister'! That's a new one to add to the things I've been called on this blog! @Pete and @Frank 'The twitch response to what exactly?' The twitch response is a recognised phenomenon in various manual therapies, and common parlance. Here's a definition from a recent study in the Manual Therapy Journal: 'LTRs [local twitch responses] are involuntary contractions of muscle fibers, which may lead to muscle relaxation by reducing spontaneous electrical activity. This may cause a reduction of pain and stiffness.' In this study the conclusion was that 'dry needling of the upper trapezius leads to a decrease in sEMG activity, compared to rest when local twitch responses are elicited'. ('Several studies have demonstrated a higher surface electromyography (sEMG) activity of the upper trapezius in patients with trapezius myalgia, compared to healthy controls'). http://www.manualtherapyjournal.com.marlin-prod.literatumonline.com/article/S1356-689X(16)30259-4/abstract I don't mean to imply that LTRs are fully understood or free from controversy.

by Bart B. Van Bockstaele - Friday 19 May 2017 09:10
An amazing post, thank you very much for your information that helps us. Someone told me that here you can find the best prices for chiropractors, there’s a huge selection here, here’s the link:https : //www. nearme. life/ Has anyone tried? That would be the equivalent of looking in a phone directory for the cheapest crook or the gentlest thief. Why would anyone do such a thing?

by Albert Kanobie - Friday 19 May 2017 08:33
My only problem with AT, is that it is a common pathway to cults like Gurdjieff

by Edzard - Friday 19 May 2017 06:57
more here: https://humanism.org.uk/2017/05/18/bha-responds-to-consultation-on-charitable-status-of-organisations-promoting-so-called-complementary-and-alternative-medicines/

by Tracy Kolenchuk - Thursday 18 May 2017 20:48
Participants were randomly allocated into a control group or Bowen group. Three flexibility measurements occurred over one week, using an active knee extension test. The intervention group received a single Bowen treatment. A repeated measures univariate analysis of variance, across both groups for the three time periods, revealed significant within-subject and between-subject differences for the Bowen group. Continuing increases in flexibility levels were observed over one week. No significant change over time was noted for the control group. That's the study you quoted. Did I miss something?

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