MD, PhD, FMedSci, FSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

To help follow discussions, the most recent ten comments on blog posts are shown below with the latest comments first.

Older/newer comments can be viewed by clicking on the links at the bottom.

Clicking on the post title will take you to that blog post page and clicking on the comment author and date will take you straight to that comment.

    by S. Cox, MD - Thursday 22 June 2017 17:46
    Marianne, your description of "Complementary" therapy makes sense. However, the con artists have turned it into a dirty word by selling junk and fraud in the name of "Complementary " therapy. They do make the claims to cure,etc, that you stated should not be connected. They have bastardized "Complementary" adjuncts to legitimate therapies for profit and that is a shame.

    by Barrie Lee 'Wellness' Thorpe - Thursday 22 June 2017 17:24
    Julie Tasker quotes Gandhi as saying that perfect harmony is achieved when what you think, say, and do are in agreement. Well, I think altmed is nonsense. I say it's nonsense. I take the mick out of it. Result!

    by Woo Fighter - Thursday 22 June 2017 17:13
    Except it's often a bait-and-switch situation with some "alt" merchants. Customers are lured in, then upsold and "threatened" that the reiki or enemas or baking soda won't work if conventional treatment is continued.

    by Barrie Lee 'Wellness' Thorpe - Thursday 22 June 2017 17:09
    Julie Tasker We still though keep coming back to the same problem. To what extent do they need the support of Magic and flat- out wing- wang?

    by Marianne - Thursday 22 June 2017 16:10
    They're two different things. Alternative therapies are interventions presented by the people selling them as just that - alternatives to other forms of healthcare. This is often dangerous, as it encourages people to eschew effective treatments in favour of ineffective or indeed counterproductive practices/treatments. Complementary therapy is what you're discussing - things like massage, things that smell nice, exercise, music, human interaction, spending time in natural environments/outdoors - anything that doesn't make a claim to cure or treat a disease, illness or disability, but just lend a helping hand, make people *feel* better and cope with whatever troubles or pains they're going through. Alternative therapy is real and it's a real problem.

by Alan Henness - Thursday 22 June 2017 15:34
That's a fantastic gobbledegook generator you've used there, Guarav. One of the best I've seen.

by Pete Attkins - Thursday 22 June 2017 15:00
Gaurav wrote: "Reiki energy field cannot be measured as they are scalar." Scalar fields most certainly can be measured. Examples of measurable scalar fields include: an electrostatic field; the temperature distribution of space; the pressure distribution in a fluid; the humidity distribution in air. By the way, the force that generates a scalar field is a vector force, not a scalar force. "The resonant frequency of the earth is 7.83 hz…" Untrue. 7.83 Hz is the global electromagnetic fundamental resonant frequency of the cavity between the surface of the Earth and the ionosphere (Schumann resonances). It is not the resonant frequency of the Earth. "Everything also vibrates to the harmonics of the fundamental frequency." Untrue. The Schumann resonances you mentioned are an excellent example: 7.83 Hz fundamental; 14.3, 20.8, 27.3, 33.8 Hz, etc. — these are not harmonics, their spacing is approximately 6.5 Hz. Harmonics, by definition, have a spacing equal to the fundamental frequency. Musical percussion instruments are another example of multiple resonances that are not harmonics of the fundamental frequency. Also, the various modes of vibration of a water molecule are not harmonically related. "Scalar waves are information carrying waves" Then they will produce dynamic vector fields, not scalar fields! Information is dynamic, not static. E.g., an unmodulated radio frequency carrier wave conveys zero information, even though it is transferring electromagnetic energy from the transmitter to the receiver(s). By definition, a scalar quantity conveys only the magnitude of the quantity. A vector quantity conveys both the magnitude and the direction of the quantity. Therefore, "information carrying waves" are carrying information from the sender to the recipient(s): they are vector quantities. "Scalar waves are ELF longitudinal waves and can penetrate anything. Submarines communicate in this frequency." Untrue. Obviously, the waves cannot be both "scalar" and "longitudinal". Longitudinal means that the waves are axial to their direction of propagation. Therefore, they are vector waves, not scalar waves. Sound waves are longitudinal waves. ELF radio waves are not longitudinal waves because the height of the cavity between the surface of the Earth and the ionosphere is much less than one wavelength. The only propagation mode that encounters low attenuation is vertically polarized, transverse electromagnetic mode, in which the attenuation is only 1 to 2 dB per 1,000 km. Some submarines use ELF, but the bandwidth is far too narrow for any purpose other than receiving a calling signal. When the signal has been received, they tend to use VLF for communications, which is limited to a depth of circa 20 metres. "When left and right brain lobes are in balance Alpha waves are generated, which resonate in sympathy with Schumann frequency of 7.83 Hz." Untrue. Alpha waves are neural oscillations in the range from 7.5 to 12.5 Hz. They do not "resonate in sympathy with Schumann frequency". If the frequency happens to be at 7.83 Hz then it is simply a coincidence; it does not lead to a conclusion of cause and effect. NB: I haven't addressed any of your statements specifically about Reiki because it's blindingly obvious that it is you who does not understand the scientific terms that you decided to include in your comment.

by JohnnyV - Thursday 22 June 2017 12:23
Wow....just...wow. I don't recall breaking out of any shackles 5 years ago, nor does the rest of mankind, last I checked. I can't believe the amount of disinformation packed into a single post. I'll let others pick it apart, but thanks for the entertainment.

by Frank Odds - Thursday 22 June 2017 12:12
"u opposers of Reiki don’t know anything about it" Courtier's reply. "These Vedic seers were literally supermen, with king sized pineal glands." Evidence? "Sanskrit is a divine language from the DNA. When you utter an alphabet, you can see it in your mind’s eye, as a form of cymatics." Paranormal horse manure. "Jesus Christ ( Damisa ) came to Kerala , India by ship to learn this unique system of healing, and crystal dowsing — before he burst upon the scene at Jerusalem." Evidence? (Also crystal dowsing is more paranormal horse manure.) "For a person with 2 strand DNA out of which 96% is junk, symbols increases the energy flow. It works on the root cause of the disease within the sub-conscious mind." Incomprehensible bollocks. "The human body is nothing but energy." Anyone who can make this statement is not a member of this planet. "Reiki energy can be beamed across the planet through worm holes , with NIL loss of strength faster than light." Meaningless, sciencey-sounding word spaghetti. I can't go on... this comment is so full of arrant nonsense, new-agey (un)logic, sciencey-sounding but meaningless — often plain stupid — claims it's a waste of time even to bother to respond. I'm not pleased with myself for having gone this far. Gaurav, you apparently read the most arrant nonsense available. You misunderstand wildly when you do read about something real, you stir everything you've read (and only vaguely understood) in a huge cauldron of blind ignorance, stir the contents and spout probably the most hilarious guff I've ever seen. Your main problem lies in your opening tilt about "a little learning..." Check my link to the courtier's reply: before we go into any kind of detail we first need robust evidence that Reiki has real-world effects anywhere outside its believers' addled minds.

by Gaurav - Wednesday 21 June 2017 21:08
A little learning is a dangerous thing while no learning is very dangerous thing.So it is better to accept that not be a hypocrite as u opposers of Reiki don't know anything about it😎 and one more thing Reiki is really intelligent scalar energy(yeah! scalar firstly get it "what is scalar energy then talk about reiki and science") and also tons of times stronger than placebo .u don't need to believe in it to work for you. just read these lines and I hope if u have some understanding of physics and Vedas then these words will surely strike your brain with some new sparks about the miraculous healing power of reiki....... Reiki originated in India in the Vedic period 9000 years ago. The 12 strand Maharshis used hand Mudras and Sanskrit sound mantras, and not written symbols. These Vedic seers were literally supermen, with king sized pineal glands. Sanskrit is a divine language from the DNA. When you utter an alphabet, you can see it in your mind's eye, as a form of cymatics. Buddha who was born 3900 years ago, continued this system with Sanskrit/ Tibetian symbols. Buddha was determined to bring Vedic knowledge to the common man in his own local language. Today the modern Japanese Reiki symbols have been derived from this. Jesus Christ ( Damisa ) came to Kerala , India by ship to learn this unique system of healing, and crystal dowsing -- before he burst upon the scene at Jerusalem. . Reiki was re-invented by Dr. Mikao Usui a Japanese man in 1890. He nearly died of Cholera , and he had a vision of Buddha. When he told of this the day in the local temple, the Jap priest beat him up and drove him away , and told him never ever to come back. Dr Usui, did NOT use any Reiki symbols till he trained his last 3 students. In 1921 Mikao Usui moved to Tokyo and formed the Reki society. By the age of 62 when he died he had a large following. The token payment which Usui wanted for Reiki services ( he found free services had no value in a Jap leper colony ) has now been subverted and Western Reiki masters charge fantastic amounts to do attunements and healings, much against the spirit of this divine channelling force. For a person with 2 strand DNA out of which 96% is junk, symbols increases the energy flow. It works on the root cause of the disease within the sub-conscious mind. The human body is nothing but energy. Reiki balances the left and right brain lobes. Reiki can be used to charge an object (including food) with scalar energy. Reiki energy can be beamed across the planet through worm holes , with NIL loss of strength faster than light. Nikola Tesla was introduced to this scalar energy by Swami Vivekananda, a great Indian mystic. Reiki connects with Akashic records and can go to the past or future. Reiki energy field cannot be measured as they are scalar. However the field can be photographed with a Kirlean camera. For skeptics-- holding a small double terminated quartz crystal doubles the photographic portion of the aura. The aura containes the 7 chakras. The chakras are connected to each other through etheric channels. Holes in the aura occurs due to illness , fear and stress. The human body generates scalar waves from the mobius coils ( figure of eight ) of the DNA and the mobius coils of the circulatory system. When the left and right sides of the brain lobes and the circulatory system in front of the lungs, are in balance the human body generates scalar waves. When two energy fields exactly cancel out each other the 5th dimension is accessed which is all pervasive and has the power to heal. Scalar waves are information carrying waves, and are linked to human consciousness.They are the interface between the mental and physical world. The existence of Scalar waves and the Akashic field ( Zero point field or Aether ) have been known to the Vedic Maharishis since the past 11000 years. Every object has its own fundamental frequency, at which it vibrates, also called the resonant frequency. The resonant frequency of the earth is 7.83 hz... Everything also vibrates to the harmonics of the fundamental frequency. When a frequency outside the object matched the fundamental frequency, RESONANCE occurs causing amplification of the vibrations. Resonance is established by lowering or one side frequency or raising of the other side frequency until union is established allowing reciprocal exchange. . We tune our radio of TV this way. A Reiki healer projects white light towards the patient, with disharmonious energy field, with INTENT, to entrain the weaker field, causing resonance to happen. It is about transfer of quantum energy. Scalar energy is capable of restructuring water molecules into smaller clusters, thus promoting biochemical functions of water regulated activities within the body--revitalising the metabolic functions. Scalar fields permeate the body tissues and enhance ion transport at cellular level.. Akasha is the womb of creation, bringing forth every physical aspect that can be perceived with the 5 human senses. The Akashic chronicles record everything that has ever happened or will happen in this cosmos.It contains the story of every soul that has lived on our planet. The Indian Vedic seer has exploded into a space of consciousness in which inner awareness is spontaneous. Some use Mantras , some use Mudras. In Reiki when you apply your hands to any part of the body, the energy moves to where it is need. The cells begin to communicate, and healing takes place with generation of heat, due to eddy currents. Reiki knows just where to go to seek balance , just like how the universal water flows down and finds its level. Scalar waves are ELF longitudinal waves and can penetrate anything. Submarines communicate in this frequency. ELF fields can change the characteristics of neurotransmitters and hormones. The intelligence of all the cells in the human body, constitute the sum total of intelligence. Our cosmos is self aware. Every atom, planet and star is self aware with individuality. Consciousness is NOT restricted to organic life forms alone. Come 21st Dec 2012, mankind will break out of the shackles of Freemasons Isaac Newton who stole from Vedas without understanding it, divorcing quantum physics and classical physics. Even in this DNA age, the world controlled by Rothschild still do NOT allow Darwin to be expunged from the science text books of school. Reiki healing draws on the infinite energy source via Schumann Resonance. When left and right brain lobes are in balance Alpha waves are generated, which resonate in sympathy with Schumann frequency of 7.83 Hz.. Source:http://ajitvadakayil.blogspot.in/2011/08/reiki-capt-ajit-vadakayil.html?m=1

by Frank Odds - Thursday 22 June 2017 15:09
No true chiropractor.

by Blue Wode - Thursday 22 June 2017 14:03
Dave Newell wrote: “…much effort and education, particularly those colleges signed to these statements (http://www.aecc.ac.uk/cdn/Undergraduate/MChiro/Educational%20Statements%20Updtaed%20with%20Immunisation.pdf) is brought to bear on shifting the 80:20 (change:gospel) ratio even further toward the ‘willing to change’ as evidence accrues as to what, in who and how the delivery of a package of chiropractic care has the positive effects seen in most trials and in day to day practice. This effort as far as I can tell is increasingly marginalising those that wish to look backwards…” @ Dave Newell 1. What does the “much effort and education” involve with regard to the (alleged) 20% of ‘gospelists’? 2. What criteria are you using to measure the “increasingly marginalising those that wish to look backwards…”? 3. When chiropractors say ‘chiropractic care’ instead of ‘chiropractic’, is that a deliberate attempt to disassociate from true ‘chiropractic’? If so, shouldn’t UK chiropractors be regulated by the General Chiropractic Care Council? 4. What aspects of chiropractic ‘care’ distinguish it from the care already being provided by physiotherapists? ______________________________________________________________________ “Chiropractic is the correct term for the collection of deceptions DD Palmer invented.” Björn Geir Leifsson, MD

by Dave Newell - Wednesday 21 June 2017 10:15
Ha ha...I'm genuinely flattered E. From you that means a lot. I do agree that there is an unhelpful diversity of definitions and descriptions within the profession, some untenable in the context of evidence and very rarely some that drive unacceptable behaviour. You concatenate these in your paper into 2 major groups 'those religiously adhering to the gospel of its founding fathers and those open to change'. I would concur with that division still hobbling the profession and much effort and education, particularly those colleges signed to these statements (http://www.aecc.ac.uk/cdn/Undergraduate/MChiro/Educational%20Statements%20Updtaed%20with%20Immunisation.pdf) is brought to bear on shifting the 80:20 (change:gospel) ratio even further toward the 'willing to change' as evidence accrues as to what, in who and how the delivery of a package of chiropractic care has the positive effects seen in most trials and in day to day practice. This effort as far as I can tell is increasingly marginalising those that wish to look backwards and empowering those that wish to go forwards. As you have rightly said in the past this is our journey and these are our battles. All I ask, as I think you increasingly do is fairly note where success is gained as well as continuing to critique where it isnt.

by Frank Odds - Thursday 22 June 2017 09:17
And yet so many providers of pseudo-medicine tell us their remedies aid/boost/restore the body's inherent healing capacity.

by chris - Wednesday 21 June 2017 16:10
"This is made worse by the sCAM providers, who always give a remedy for every ailment " This. Why is it that for such "natural" holistic practitioners they can never accept that the body has its own healing capacity. They always have to do something (acupuncture) or add something (herbalists) . If the body was really as fragile as it apparently seems to be (always needing some type of support) I would think we would have been vanquished as the dominant species ages ago. The denial of the inherent healing capacity of the body is one of the linchpins that underlies much of sCAM treatments

by has - Wednesday 21 June 2017 09:04
If GMC was doing its job, this quack and others like her would be immediately and irrevocably struck off. Patients deserve far better. Never mind ethics; any medical professional lost to such delusional thinking is by definition grotesquely unfit to practise.

by Derpkak Mothra - Thursday 22 June 2017 03:40
There is an image macro " A Flowchart to Help You Determine..." yada, yada.."...Rational Discussion." floating about somewhere on the internet that is very helpful for establishing either 1) how you are willing to discuss a subject and/or 2) why the discussion is being abandoned. https://thoughtcatalog.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/a-flowchart-to-help-you-determine-if-yoursquore-having-a-rational-discussion.jpg

by George Henderson (@puddleg) - Wednesday 21 June 2017 23:05
So you have researched a subject by reading the title of a meta-analysis (if you read all the papers it cites you would see that these are high fat diets, often very high-fat) and Googling someone's name and reading second-hand versions of their ideas. Bravo. If this is the standard of science on this blog, it is a miracle that you ever worked out that crystals are useless. My understanding of elementary metabolism is that it is controlled by hormones as well as by substrates, that adiposity is controlled by insulin and glucagon, and that appetite is controlled by leptin, PYY, ketone bodies and so on. In this context fat, in the absence of carbohydrate, reduces lipogenesis (including cholesterol synthesis through HMG-CoA reductase) and controls intake of calories through its effect on appetite.

by Frank Odds - Wednesday 21 June 2017 11:26
@George Henderson Thank you for this clarification: your original comment made poor or no sense, as others already told you. The publication you link to is a meta-analysis of trials comparing low carbohydrate diets with low fat diets. It is not about low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets as you claim. I Googled 'Christine Cronau'. From the results it's pretty clear to me that, while Ms Cronau may well represent "the consumer voice on a scientific and medical issue", in common with many consumer voices on medical issues she is far from "unqualified but well-informed". She is at best ill-informed; at worst, wilfully ignorant. She believes it is possible to consume unlimited quantities of fat in the diet without gaining weight, a belief that flies in the face of our understanding of elementary metabolism. Christine Cronau appears to be a typical representative of many advocates of all kinds of pseudo-medicine. She holds a firm belief based on personal experience and supported by anecdotal evidence, and is unwilling to listen to what reasonable voices try to tell her. Professor Ernst was right to include her in the same basket with crystal therapists.

by George Henderson (@puddleg) - Monday 19 June 2017 21:09
There is no stick, unless it is your dowsing stick. A comparison is being made between crystal healing, astrology (in the comments) and a low carbohydrate, high fat diet. More than one meta-analysis of low carb high fat diet RCTs shows them to be superior to, and clearly not inferior to, other dietary approaches to weight loss and cardiometabolic health. This is a normal, indeed normative, scientific procedure. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26768850 And if there is debate about any aspect of this finding, this is healthy scientific debate. In the rush to find examples of quackery to support an otherwise valid thesis Dr Ernst seem to be oblivious to the fact that he has labelled scientific orthodoxy as quackery on the second-hard word of someone who may be a quack himself for all we know, and is certainly a professional rival of the person under attack, Ms Cronau. That Dr Ernst refers to "Our protests" indicates that he identifies with the attack on Ms Cronau's area of science. The one point that Dr Ernst does not make, that has putative validity, is the Christine Cronau is not qualified. But what does this mean in this context? That she lacks a professional qualification in dietetics, a medical speciality. Qualified surgeons can perform operations that are inferior to placebo and become rich. Qualified doctors can prescribe drugs that are no better than placebo and make a living. This is not science - a license to practice is not a scientific qualification, but a professional one. Qualified dietitians can prescribe diets that keep their clients and themselves chronically ill. And therein lies the rub - unlike the surgeon or doctor, the dietitian is a thrice-daily consumer of her own services. Unqualified but well-informed consumers frequently present at medical conferences. Christine Cronau very much represents the consumer voice on a scientific and medical issue, and as such has attracted the sort of hatred only Australians can generate. I can understand why people not living in this part of the world might be unaware of the deeply unhealthy culture that surrounds the practice of dietetics in Australia and fall into the trap of piling on here. I suggest interested parties research the cases of Gary Fettke and Jennifer Elliot to understand the Aussie dietetics culture.

by Edzard - Monday 19 June 2017 10:21
I think he got the wrong end of the stick

by markko - Wednesday 21 June 2017 10:59
Exactly. Even wikipedia article says - The term "nanoparticle" is not usually applied to individual molecules; it usually refers to inorganic materials.

by Halvard Heggdal - Monday 19 June 2017 16:26
"If the ‘nano-theory’ were true (which I doubt very much), it totally fails to provide an explanation as to how homeopathy works." It does not work. There is nothing to explain and any attempt at explanation is meaningless in the first place.

by John Badanes - Tuesday 20 June 2017 20:11
Wm. A. Watson, Chiropractor wrote: I would think it important to have chiropractic used on any vertebrate. Think of the savings in research since we wouldn't have to do double blind studies with animals!Where did you ever get the idea that blinded studies couldn't be done on animals? For example: When I was in school, there was an announcement that came over the classroom 'intercom' that said, "Dr Pogrelis will be Adjusting a dog in room 22 at eleven-thirty." People clamored to get a front row and watch the drama unfold. The dog was, how shall I put it -- a dog ... frisky, wet nose, tongue out, tail-wagging, ready to please. The canine was then placed on his side, at which time the chiropractor determined his LOC (Line of Correction), and then delivered a "toggle" to the Atlas. PRESTO! The dog leapt from the table -- frisky, wet-nose, tongue out, tail wagging, ready to please. The students were AWED at the spectacle, all murmuring to each other how the dog seemed to be SO much better. Like you, their expectation was that "it [is] important to have chiropractic used on any vertebrate." You see, no one ever said it was the animal that needed blinding in these studies. ~TEO.

by jm - Tuesday 20 June 2017 14:32
to S. Cox We weren't talking about Alternative Health Imitators, we were talking about modern med practitioners. MDs and such.

by Edzard - Tuesday 20 June 2017 12:12
thanks for the compliment! in case anyone wonders who Andrew is [I don't think I have ever met him but I looked him up]: Andrew Sordyl is a well respected, highly qualified and experienced exponent of his profession. After three years Diploma study at the London School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, he completed a two year post-graduate Licentiate in Oriental Herbal Medicine at the London College of Traditional Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He has completed post-graduate clinical training at the second affiliated hospital in Nanjing, China, and in the Colombo general hospital in Sri Lanka. He has trained in, and mastered, all the disciplines of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) including Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Tuina, nutrition, meditation, Qi Gong, as well as Shiatsu, Yoga and western massage. He has a background in Homeopathy and is a Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), which he uses in Life Coaching. He is a member of the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine (MRCHM) and Member or the British Acupuncture Council (MBAcC). He has been practising since 1994 and has three busy Clinics in Surrey. Because of his former extensive experience in business, and as a family man, he brings great insight and empathy to his work.

by Andrew Sordyl - Tuesday 20 June 2017 11:47
You complete cretin Ernst, he was a far better man than you could ever aspire to be. Disgraceful obituary

by Barrie Lee 'Wellness' Thorpe - Monday 19 June 2017 21:43
Interesting Stephen Barrett post today about Jeffrey Beall/ predatory journals. One comment there was that CAM is increasing in popularity, whereas ( here and elsewhere) there's often encouraging news re the decline of homeopathy funding in the NHS, and the closure of homeopathy courses in Spanish universities and elsewhere. Anybody have views on whether or if the balance is shifting? It sometimes seems there's contradictory evidence.

by Alan Henness - Monday 19 June 2017 14:00
Homeopathic products are generally displayed outside the designated pharmacy area and therefore outwith the control of the pharmacist. That shouldn't stop them trying to ensure the shop itself doesn't sell them, but they are in a difficult position. The same issue doesn't arise with small high street pharmacists where the pharmacist owns the shop.

by Time Fritterer - Monday 19 June 2017 13:05
Wouldn't 2 for 3 be a fairer reflection of their philosophy?

Newer comments → ← Older comments
Recent Comments

Note that comments can be edited for up to five minutes after they are first submitted.


Click here for a comprehensive list of recent comments.

Categories