MD, PhD, MAE, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

alternative therapist

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Have you ever wondered how good or bad the education of chiropractors and osteopaths is? Well, I have – and this new paper promises to provide an answer.

The aim of this study was to explore Australian chiropractic and osteopathic new graduates’ readiness for transition to practice concerning their clinical skills, professional behaviors, and interprofessional abilities. Phase 1 explored final-year students’ self-perceptions, and this part uncovered their opinions after 6 months or more in practice.

Interviews were conducted with a self-selecting sample of phase 1 participant graduates from 2 Australian chiropractic and 2 osteopathic programs. Results of the thematic content analysis of responses were compared to the Australian Chiropractic Standards and Osteopathic Capabilities, the authority documents at the time of the study.

Interviews from graduates of 2 chiropractic courses (n = 6) and 2 osteopathic courses (n = 8) revealed that the majority had positive comments about their readiness for practice. Most were satisfied with their level of clinical skills, verbal communication skills, and manual therapy skills. Gaps in competence were identified in written communications such as case notes and referrals to enable interprofessional practice, understanding of professional behaviors, and business skills. These identified gaps suggest that these graduates are not fully cognizant of what it means to manage their business practices in a manner expected of a health professional.

The authors concluded that this small study into clinical training for chiropractic and osteopathy suggests that graduates lack some necessary skills and that it is possible that the ideals and goals for clinical education, to prepare for the transition to practice, may not be fully realized or deliver all the desired prerequisites for graduate practice.

Their conclusions in the actual paper finish with these sentences, in the main, graduate participants and the final year students were unable to articulate what professional behaviors were expected of them. The identified gaps suggest these graduates are not fully cognizant of what it means to manage their business practices in a manner expected of a health professional.

In several ways, this is a remarkable paper – remarkably poor, I hasten to add. Apart from the fact that its sample size was tiny and the response rate was low, it has many further limitations. Most notably, the clinical skills, professional behaviors, and interprofessional abilities were not assessed. All the researchers did was ask the participants how good or bad they were at these skills. Is this method going to generate reliable evidence? I very much doubt it!

Imagine, these guys have just paid tidy sums for their ‘education’ and they have no experience to speak of. Are they going to be in a good position to critically evaluate their abilities? No, I fear not!

Considering these flaws and the fact that chiropractors and osteopaths are not exactly known for their skills of critical thinking, I find it amazing that important deficits in their abilities nevertheless emerge. If I had to formulate a conclusion from all this, I might therefore suggest this:

A dismal study seems to suggest that chiropractic and osteopathic schooling is dismal. 

PS

Come to think of it, there might be another fitting option:

Yet another team of chiro- and osteos demonstrate that they don’t know how to do science.

Pancoast tumors, also called superior sulcus tumors, are a rare type of cancer affecting the lung apex. These tumors can spread to the brachial plexus and spine and present with symptoms that appear to be of musculoskeletal origin. Patients with an advanced Pancoast tumor may thus feel intense, constant, or radiating pain in their arms, around their chest wall, between their shoulder blades, or traveling into their upper back or armpit. In addition, a Pancoast tumor may cause the following symptoms:

  • Swelling in the upper arm
  • Chest tightness
  • Weakness or loss of coordination in the hand muscles
  • Numbness or tingling sensations in the hand
  • Loss of muscle tissue in the arm or hand
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

This case report details the story of a 59-year-old Asian man who presented to a chiropractor in Hong Kong with a 1-month history of neck and shoulder pain and numbness. His symptoms had been treated unsuccessfully with exercise, medications, and acupuncture. He had a history of tuberculosis currently treated with antibiotics and a 50-pack-year history of smoking.

Cervical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed a small cervical disc herniation thought to correspond with radicular symptoms. However, when the patient did not respond to a brief trial of chiropractic treatment, the chiropractor referred the patient back to the chest hospital for further testing, which confirmed the diagnosis of a Pancoast tumor. The patient was then referred for medical care and received radiotherapy and chemotherapy. At 2 months’ follow-up, the patient noted feeling lighter with less severe neck and shoulder pain and numbness. He also reported that he could sleep longer but still had severe pain upon waking for 2–3 hours, which subsided through the day.

A literature review identified six previously published cases in which a patient presented to a chiropractor with an undiagnosed Pancoast tumor. All patients had shoulder, spine, and/or upper extremity pain.

The authors concluded that patients with a previously undiagnosed Pancoast tumor can present to chiropractors given that these tumors may invade the brachial plexus and spine, causing shoulder, spine, and/or upper extremity pain. Chiropractors should be aware of the clinical features and risk factors of Pancoast tumors to readily identify them and refer such patients for medical care.

This is an important case report, in my view. It demonstrates that symptoms treated by chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists on a daily basis can easily be diagnosed wrongly. It also shows how vital it is that the therapist reacts responsibly to the fact that his/her treatments are unsuccessful. Far too often, the therapist has an undeniable conflict of interest and will say: “Give it more time, and, in my experience, symptoms will respond.”

The chiropractor in this story was brilliant and did the unusual thing of not continuing to treat his patient. However, I do wonder: might he be the exception rather than the rule?

WHAT?

Biblical naturopathy?

Yes, it is not a hoax; it does exist!

It’s another so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) that is new to me.

This website explains what it is all about:

The Biblical Naturopathic Philosophy is based on the following principles:

Do no harm
God has designed the body to be self-healing
Recognize the healing power of nature as designed by God
Recognize the supernatural healing power of God
The natural and supernatural work together
God has made provision for recovery of sickness
Identify the cause and source
Involve the total person (body, soul, spirit)
Support the body rather than treat symptoms
Health is maintained through Biblical patterns and principles

What do we believe?

We believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1-20).
We believe God is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. (Gen. 1; John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:3).
We believe Jesus is both Lord and Christ, to the glory of God the Father. (Acts 1:9-11; 2:36; Phil. 2:9-11).
We believe that whosoever will confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in their heart God raised Him from the dead shall be saved. (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 2:21; 1 John 1:12).
We believe that the Holy Spirit is sent by Jesus to indwell, empower, teach, guide and comfort believers. (Luke 12:12; Rom. 8-11; John 16:13; Acts 1:7-8, 9:31).
We believe that the Lord Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead provided for the healing of the spirit, soul, and bodies of all peoples.
We believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ, who will come to rule as King upon the earth with the saints. (Acts 1:9-11; 1Thess. 4:13-5:2; Rev. 19:11-21, 22:20).

And this is what they offer in terms of coursework:

COUNSELING

CNS101 Christian Counseling
Covers ethics, foundations of faith, makeup of man, motivational gifts and personality, Faith-Based Therapy™, leading someone into salvation, identity / position / purpose / significance in Christ, scriptural concordance, basics of counseling, opening a counseling center, recognizing mental illness, initial forms and assessments, value of nutrition, and legal issues.

CNS102 Advanced Christian Counseling
Covers stress, co-dependency, self-esteem, anger, forgiveness, premarital and marriage counseling, divorce, family issues, blended families, depression, suicide, grief / loss, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, sexual abuse, sexual addictions, and reality disassociation.

CNS103 Drug & Alcohol Recovery (GOD14®)
Provides an overview of drug and alcohol education, sin and disease of alcoholism, identifying the addict, AA and NA, scriptural steps, relapse and enabling, family dynamics, steps to breaking physical and psychological addiction, prescription drugs, screening, neurotransmitters, chemistry rebalancing, recovery flowchart, detox categories, and forms and assessments.

BIBLICAL

BIB210 Ministerial Ethics
All ministers should hold themselves above reproach. This course will challenge as well as encourage spiritual ethics beyond a secular view.

BIB220 Ecclesiastical Ordinances 
This course outlines the duties required of ministers such as baptism, funerals, weddings, etc. The course is designed to prepare the licensed or ordained minister to structure and carry out ministerial duties.

BIB230 Doctrinal Foundations 
The foundations of the Christian faith are scripturally established. Every minister should be able to give an account of what they believe and why. This course is designed to assist rather than to indoctrinate.

BIB270 Biblical Naturopathy
What is a Biblical naturopathic doctor; Biblical philosophy of healing; Creation and makeup of man; Scriptural principles for understanding and restoring health; Causes of disease; Things that block healing; History of naturopathy; Naturopathic tenets / axioms; Forefathers of health and healing; The mind & heart of God – It is God who heals; Health in America; Introduction to the techniques of health evaluation; Introduction to the healing modalities; Genetics, predispositions, generational curses; Biblical examples of natural healing; Physical to spiritual analogies; Foods of the Bible; Emotions and organs.

BIB280 Understanding & Improving Health
Health in America, History of Nutrition; Water and Sunshine; What is Protein?; What are Carbohydrates?; What are Fats, Oils, and Fatty Acids?; Issues with Sugar, Milk, Soy, MSG, Aspartame, and Genetically Modified Foods; Dietary Guidelines; Diets and Dieting; and Nutritional Deficiencies; Exercise; Biblical Principles and Perspectives; Confronting Sickness and Disease; Practical Support.

BIB290 How to  Pray for  Healing
Understanding who we are in Christ; The authority of the believer; The role of faith in prayer; The benefit of confession; Praying for guidance; How to pray for physical healing; Praying for Inner Healing; A balanced approach to understanding deliverance; Understanding spiritual warfare.

BIB300 Biblical Freedom Techniques
Forgiveness; Generational curses; Demonic influences; Demonic influences for sickness; Evil spirits as a cause of sickness; Biblical examples; Types of spirits; Strongholds; How do you know?; How to remove evil spirits; Inner healing.

DIET AND GENERAL WELLNESS

DGW310 Biblical Eating
Biblically speaking, are there certain foods best not eaten? What does the Bible have to say about diet and why? God has said plenty about the diet best suited for His creation.

DGW320 Biblical Health Principles
Times have changed, but the Bible and its principles have not. Learn basic principles that can be applied for maintaining health while understanding some of the changes to our foods. Have we become addicted to certain foods? This course teaches how to have a healthy diet and live healthy in a not-so-healthy world.

DGW330 Wellness with Weight Loss
For many, losing weight is a never-ending struggle — especially since our bodies are designed to keep weight on at all costs; it’s a matter of survival. But a medical revolution is under way, showing us how to work with our bodies instead of against them to ignite the natural fat-burning furnaces that lie dormant within us. Drawing on the cutting-edge science of nutrigenomics — how food talks to our genes — Dr. Mark Hyman has created a way of losing weight by eating the right foods, which in turn sends the right messages to our bodies.  In this easy-to-follow eight-week plan based on each individual’s unique genetic needs, Dr. Hyman explains how to customize your personal weight-loss program with menus, recipes, shopping lists, and recommendations for supplements and exercise. Ultimately, you will rebalance and stabilize your metabolism — an UltraMetabolism — to maintain weight loss and enjoy lifelong health.

NUTRITION

NUT410 Digestion & Enzymes
Digestion Enzyme therapy is an emerging successful alternative for restoring health. Learn the basics of digestion along with how enzymes work and the benefits to immune function, pain reduction, mood stabilization, and mental clarity, and more. Discover the inexpensive yet highly effective digestive enzymes needed to restore digestive, neurological, and behavioral health.

NUT420 Nutrition 1
This is a comprehensive course that will guide you to achieve and maintain a high level of health and fitness through careful dietary planning and nutritional supplements. The elements of health are discussed along with recommendations for a multitude of conditions. This course is also a guide to various alternative remedies and therapies.

NUT430 Nutrition 2
This course provides a thorough resource and reference to natural supplements, herbs, and homeopathic remedies as well as relating them to all the major ailments and health conditions. The information is thoroughly documented by scientific data and research.

NUT435 Biblical Eating and Clinical Nutrition
What is food?; Protein, fats, carbohydrates; Foods of today; Biblical foods and diets; Food sources of vitamins and minerals; Vitamins and deficiency symptoms; Minerals and deficiency symptoms; Amino acids; Enzymes; Neutraceuticals; Synthetic verses whole food vitamins; Nutritional deficiencies as a cause of diseases; Diets and individualism; Nutrition deficiency questionnaire; Therapeutic clinical nutrition

NUT440 Emotional Biochemistry
Learn how to screen for emotional and behavioral symptoms. Recognize the mental and physical clues that indicate biochemical imbalances, particularly in the brain. This course teaches natural ways of dealing with physiological causes of depression, anxiety, paranoia, anger, emotional instability, and addictions to prescription and non-prescription drugs.

NUT450 Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis
This course teaches more than just knowing the levels of good and toxic minerals in the body from hair tissue analysis. How do you balance the levels and what do the ratios mean? Hair analysis can also reveal immune system problems, emotional trends, cellular energy levels, glucose intolerance, kidney and liver stress, adrenal and thyroid activity and more.

BOTANICAL

BOT510 Herbs of the Bible
What herbs were used in Bible times? The herbs of the Bible are reviewed in light of their past and present uses. Precautions are also explained.

BOT520 Herbal Pharmacy
This is a comprehensive course reviewing the best herbs for healing, including complete herb forms, benefits, parts used, side effects, dosages and remedies for hundreds of ailments.

BOT530 Nutritional Herbology
This course teaches the nutritional components of herbs and how to determine an herb’s medicinal property. You will also learn the active chemical(s) behind an herb’s use that makes it effective. Classification of herbs and which herbs are commonly used for certain body systems is covered.

BOT540 Way of Herbs
This course blends the Eastern, European, and American Indian herbal healing traditions. Learn the three functions of herbs and the eight traditional methods of herbal therapy. Included are detailed descriptions and dosages of over 140 western herbs and 31 Chinese herbs.

BOT550 Herbals Systems
This course covers the Chinese and Ayurvedic classification of herbs and foods, and the classification of over 400 medicinal herbs available in the west, according to properties and actions. The preparation and processing of herbs is also covered.

BOT555 Leaves of the Tree (Revelation 22:2) Herbology
Comprehensive course covering the use of herbs; herb forms, benefits, parts used, side effects, dosages and recommendations for ailments; Classification of herbs and which herbs are commonly used for certain body systems.

BOT560 Aromatherapy
Science is now confirming that essential oils have healing properties for most physical and emotional conditions. This course is a hands-on guide to the understanding and use of essential oils.

ALTERNATIVE OR ANALYTICAL STUDIES

AAS610 Biblical Strategies
Is there a spiritual strategy for overcoming sickness? What choices are available when faced with terminal illnesses? This course reveals traditional as well as non-traditional natural strategies for defeating sickness and regaining health, particularly if facing death.

AAS620 Parasitology
How prevalent are parasites? What tests are available to determine if you have parasites? What role do they play in allergies, fatigue, bowel disorders, and immune function? What are the latest drugs, treatment, and herbal remedies?

AAS630 Energetic Testing
This course is a basic guide to bio-kinesiology and nutritional therapy using muscle response testing. Learn antidotal therapies using vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and homeopathic remedies.

AAS645 The Lamp of the Body 1 (Matt. 6:22) Sclerology (Basic and advanced)
Sclerology is easy to learn. Sclerology is the study of the red lines in the white of the eyes and how they relate to stress-patterns in a person’s health. What is a person’s predisposition to disease? What is the hidden cause of symptoms? What will the health challenges be five years from now? The lines in the sclera change as health conditions change. Thus Sclerology is an excellent way to confirm that a natural therapy is working. Are cold hands and feet a circulatory, thyroid, constitutional-vitality, or immunological    problem? What is the key to losing weight? Is it glucose metabolism, the endocrine glands, the liver, or an allergy pattern? Is chronic fatigue attributed to a chronic infection, a weak endocrine system (thyroid/adrenals), an exhausted immune system, a liver weakness? The answer is reflected in the sclera!

AAS655 The Lamp of the Body 2 (Matt. 6:22) Iridology (Basic and advanced)
Anatomy & Physiology of the Eye; Topography/mapping; Physical Integrity Evaluation; Color Constitutional Types & Subtypes; Specific Iris Structure Irregularities; Specific Iris Pigmentation Irregularities; Misc. Signs; Collarets Signs; Syndromes; Sclera & Conjunctiva Signs; Deviation in Contraction Furrows; Exceptions to the Rules; Case Studies; Combination of Signs; Introduction to Time Risk; Iridology practice suggestions.

AAS665 The Body Electric (Genesis 2:7) – Energetic Response Testing
Our bodies, made from the dust of the earth, are very electric. Using electro-magnetic principles it is possible to determine which areas of the body are stressed and what nutrients are needed. Step-by-step hands-on training is provided in how to use and integrate Energetic Response Testing. – Brief History; Preliminaries Before Testing; The Arm Technique; Ways of Verifying a Weak Response; Why Does it Work?; Twelve Things That Can Block the Body’s Ability to Heal; Terms and Techniques; Correcting “Reversed Polarity”; Correcting “Switching”; Correcting “Blocked Regulation”; Response Testing Points (organs, glands, systems, nutritional).

AAS670 Serum Blood Analysis
This course presents an analytical system of blood chemistry and CBC analysis that focuses on physiological function as a marker of health. Optimal values are presented that increase our ability to detect dysfunction long before disease manifests. This course covers an in-depth coverage of 52 blood tests, 62 patterns of functional disorders, and 11 nutrient deficiencies, as well as correlating non-invasive in-office functional tests.

AAS685 Functional Analysis
Functional testing without labs: pH, tongue, fingernails, face, and body signs; Functional testing with laboratory assessments: hair, blood, urine, saliva, neurotransmitters, and hormones; Heavy metals; Food sensitivities; Strategies and applications.

NATUROPATHIC

NAT710 Naturopathic Heritage and Future
This course is the primer on principles and practice of naturopathy. It covers the history of naturopathy, its philosophy, the laws of disease and cure, and explains the modalities used by naturopaths.

NAT720 Homeopathy
Homeopathy is a natural, safe, inexpensive, and highly effective complement to any modality as well as to conventional medicine. You will learn the laws of homeopathy, how to assess illness, identify clues that point to the right remedy, individualize the remedy, and how to know when medical treatment is required.

NAT730 Detoxification
We live in a toxic world. This course outlines the steps needed to thoroughly detoxify and cleanse your body through fasting, juicing, oxygen therapy, exercise, heat therapy, colon cleansing, kidney cleansing, liver cleansing, and herbal detoxification.

NAT735 Cleansing the Temple
Why detox?; A cause of disease; Elimination organs/channels; Levels of detoxification; Lymph system; Fasting/exercise; Detox side effects; Avoiding a healing crisis; Foods to assist/avoid; Heavy metals; Pathogens; Infrared sauna; Ionic foot baths; Coffee enemas.

NAT740 Anatomy
Illustrated with detailed colored drawings, this course is a road map to the human body. With descriptive text, this course will educate you about the position and basic functions of all the organs and systems of the body.

NAT750 Functional Anatomy
An advanced level of anatomy is presented with more detailed information of the organs and bodily systems. With 210 color illustrations depicting all organs and systems, this course covers basic principles with special emphases on function.

NAT755 Fearfully and Wonderfully Made – Anatomy and Physiology
Basic anatomy and physiology; Understanding the Pathology of sickness and disease, Common disease conditions (this course meets the requirements for certification with International Iridology Practitioner’s Association).

NAT760 Reflexology
Reflexology is a unique system of foot massage, which can treat and prevent a wide variety of ailments. This course covers the history of reflexology, interpreting the feet, basic techniques, the treatment sequence, and an understanding of the meridian system.

NAT770 Naturopathic Jurisprudence
This course covers the legal guidelines for unlicensed practitioners. Learn what your rights are, what the constitution has to say, and what to do if legal disputes arise. Some topics included are insurance, licensing verses certification, correct and incorrect usage of words, and legal consent and disclaimer forms.

NAT775 Establishing a Naturopathic Ministry
Starting a practice; Setting up a business; Operating as a ministry; Legalities; Ethics; Referrals; Evaluation forms; Assessments; Record keeping; Accounting and inventory; Taxes; Advertising; Vendors; Equipment; Business management, Practice management, Introduction to flower essences, Introduction to homeopathy, Introduction to essential oils, Conducting an evaluation, Disorders, Therapeutic Applications, Unusual conditions.

_____________________________

Chad Hayes who has studied the subject in some detail has published an excellent article about Biblical Naturopathy which is well-worth reading. Here are his conclusions:

So what is biblical naturopathic medicine? It’s untrained, unqualified, unlicensed practitioners that believe their religion makes them immune from government oversight. It’s people that think two individuals signing a contract to call something what it’s not prevents them from being subject to laws designed to keep people safe. It’s delusional people that don’t want to be held accountable for the things they do, doing things they shouldn’t. It’s people that are so arrogant to think that their holy book, written thousands of years before we discovered germ theory, during a time when seizures and schizophrenia were attributed to demonic possession, by authors that never intended for it to be used as a medical text, gives them superior knowledge to those of us who respect our patients enough to spend years actually studying medicine and who are willing to be held accountable for our actions. It’s biblical literalists that disingenuously omit the abortion potion recipe provided by the LORD in Numbers 52 from their biblical naturopathy curriculum, while voting for legislators who put the lives of their constituents at risk by criminalizing abortion and putting a bounty on the heads of pregnant people and the physicians that have devoted their careers to caring for them.

__________________________

In a nutshell:

Biblical Naturopathy is yet another SCAM that I recommend avoiding.

Why?

Because it is dangerous nonsense.

If you go on Twitter you will find that chiropractors are keen like mustard to promote the idea that, after a car accident, you should consult a chiropractor. Here is just one Tweet that might stand for hundreds, perhaps even thousands:

Recovering from a car accident? If you have accident-related injuries such as whiplash, chiropractic care may provide relief. Treatments like spinal manipulation and soft tissue therapy can aid in your recovery.

In case you don’t like Twitter, you could also go on the Internet where you find hundreds of websites that promote the same idea. Here are just two examples:

A frequent injury arising from an automobile accident … is whiplash. After an accident, a chiropractor can help treat resulting issues and pain from the whiplash… Proceeding reduction in swelling and pain, treatment will then focus on manipulation of the spine and other areas.

The primary whiplash treatment for joint dysfunction, spinal manipulation involves the chiropractor gently moving the involved joint into the direction in which it is restricted.

There is no question, chiropractors earn much of their living by treating patients suffering from whiplash (neck injury caused by sudden back and forth movement of the neck often causing neck pain and stiffness, shoulder pain, and headache) after a car accident with spinal manipulation.

Why?

There are two not mutually exclusive possibilities:

  1. They think it is effective.
  2. It brings in good money.

I have no doubt about the latter notion, yet I think we should question the first. Is there really good evidence that chiropractic manipulations are effective for whiplash?

When I was head of the PMR department at the University of Vienna, treating whiplash was my team’s daily bread. At the time, our strategy was to treat each patient according to the whiplash stage and to his/her individual signs and symptoms. Manipulations were generally considered to be contra-indicated. But that was about 30 years ago. Perhaps the evidence has now changed. Perhaps manipulation therapy has been shown to be effective for certain types of whiplash injuries?

To find out, I did a few Medline searches. These did, however, not locate compelling evidence for spinal manipulation as a treatment of any stage of whiplash injuries. Here is an example of the evidence I found:

In 2008, the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders (Neck Pain Task Force) found limited evidence on the effectiveness of manual therapies, passive physical modalities, or acupuncture for the management of whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) or neck pain and associated disorders (NAD). This review aimed to update the findings of the Neck Pain Task Force, which examined the effectiveness of manual therapies, passive physical modalities, and acupuncture for the management of WAD or NAD. Its findings show the following: Evidence from 15 evaluation studies suggests that for recent neck pain and associated disorders grades I-II, cervical and thoracic manipulation provides no additional benefit to high-dose supervised exercises.

But this is most puzzling!

Why do chiropractors promote their manipulations for whiplash, if there is no compelling evidence that it does more good than harm? Again, there are two possibilities:

  1. They erroneously believe it to be effective.
  2. They don’t care but are in it purely for the money.

Whatever it is – and obviously not all chiropractors would have the same reason – I must point out that, in both cases, they behave unethically. Not being informed about the evidence related to the interventions used clearly violates healthcare ethics, and so does financially not informing and exploiting patients.

 

All healthcare professionals have an ethical obligation to be truthful and act in the best interest of the patient by adhering to the best available evidence. Providing false or misleading information to patients or consumers is thus a breach of medical ethics. In Canada, the authorities have started taking action against nurses that violate these ethical principles.

Now it has been reported that a former registered nurse in West Kelowna has been suspended for four weeks after giving a vulnerable client anti-vaccine information and recommending “alternative pseudoscience” treatments.

According to the terms of a consent agreement posted on the B.C. College of Nurses and Midwives site, Carole Garfield was under investigation for actions that happened in September 2021. The college claims that Garfield contacted the client when she was off duty, using her personal mobile phone and email to give information against the COVID-19 vaccine and recommending so-called alternative medicine (SCAM). The exact nature of the “pseudoscience modalities” Garfield recommended to the client was not listed in the college’s notice.

Garfield’s nursing licence was cancelled back in April, according to the college’s registry. It’s unclear how exactly the four-week suspension will be applied. In addition to her month-long suspension and a public reprimand, Garfield is not allowed to be the sole nurse on duty for six months. She will also be given education about ethics, boundaries, and client confidentiality, as well as the province’s professional nursing standards. “The inquiry committee is satisfied that the terms will protect the public,” read a statement from the college.

In my view, it is high time for professional bodies to act against healthcare professionals who issue misleading information to their patients. In the realm of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM), issuing false or misleading information is extremely common and causes untold harm. Such harm would be largely preventable if the professional bodies in charge would start acting responsibly in the best interest of patients. It is high time that they follow the Canadian example!

Why are we here?

Who am I?

What is my life’s purpose?

These are BIG questions indeed.

And here are the answers:

The spiritually transformative work of Life Between Lives (LBL) hypnotherapy began with one man’s dedication and curiosity to search for answers to the great questions about life and beyond. Today, the Michael Newton Institute (MNI), founded by Dr. Michael Newton, and our global network of over 200 LBL Facilitators hold his vision for humanity and carry on his passion for researching the Afterlife and bringing the evolving modality of LBL hypnotherapy to humanity.

Our Vision

For humanity to live the unconditional love and wisdom of Spiritual Consciousness.

Our Mission

To raise personal and collective consciousness, by bringing the healing and wisdom of Life Between Lives to individuals around the globe, reawakening their immortal identity and integrating Spiritual Consciousness.

Who We Are

The Michael Newton Institute is a not-for-profit organization, bringing together a worldwide collective of trained Facilitators to offer Life Between Lives hypnotherapy, as pioneered by Dr. Michael Newton.Dr Michael Newton. We are committed to providing opportunities globally for people to experience their soul state and a reconnection to the wisdom of the After-life / Inter-life.

What We Offer the World

We advocate for the Spiritual Realm, sharing the wisdom received by individuals around the globe through the exploration of their existence between lives by offering:

  • Life Between Lives Sessions – Access to LBL sessions for individuals all around the world through our network of members.
  • LBL Facilitator Network – Our MNI members are a diverse group of over 200 individuals who offer LBL to clients all around the world in 40 countries and over 25 languages within their own practices.
  • LBL Training – Empowering new generations to learn LBL and continue this important work for their own clients. We create and nurture a community of Life Between Lives Facilitators to connect, learn and grow, so they may support their clients.
  • Stories of the Afterlife – Our quarterly journal shares the latest LBL cases and information about LBL (public subscriptions welcome).
  • Publications – Continued publication of Dr Michael Newtons and the Institutes own books ensure the wisdom of LBL work is accessible to all people. Over 1 million people have enjoyed these books and learnt from others, Life Between Lives spiritually transformative experience, applying the wisdom to bring new insight, awareness and healing to their own lives.
  • Research – We continue to explore the afterlife and conduct studies into the therapeutic benefits of LBL.
  • Facebook Community – Our thriving social media discussion group has over 8,000 members who discuss the work of Dr Michael Newton, MNI and LBL every day.

You can read about Dr. Newton and the development of the Michael Newton Institute over the last 20 years at History of MNI. The Michael Newton Institute is overseen by a Board of Directors and Volunteer Teams.

Our LBL Facilitator Community

MNI is an organisation of like-minded, yet diverse individuals who are called to help others expand their awareness of their immortal identity furthering Dr Michael Newton’s legacy. Individuals in our LBL facilitator member community can be found in 40 countries around the world.

We understand more than anyone that our higher guidance draws us together for a common purpose. Many feel the call to join the Michael Newton Institute, often inspired by reading our publications, or through a life changing experience in their own Life Between Lives session. MNI is always seeking to grow the community, if you feel drawn you may consider LBL training.

After completing LBL training and certification requirements, certified LBL facilitators join our global membership community offering LBL to their own clients in their independent practices. LBL work can be a spiritually transformative experience for many clients and MNI LBL Facilitators consider the offering of LBL work to others an honour.

Values and Ethics

As LBL Facilitators, and Members of the Michael Newton Institute (MNI) we are:

  • Dedicated and passionate about reawakening humanity’s connection to the unconditional love and wisdom of Spiritual Consciousness for healing and personal growth.
  • Trusting in the innate wisdom within everyone and All That Is.
  • Compassionate to those we serve and each other, seeking to transcend the human condition.

We are a Spiritual based organization. The Michael Newton Institute is committed to maintaining the highest standard of human and spiritual Values and Ethics in delivering our Mission for humanity. Our LBL Facilitators and those in many volunteers in roles throughout our organization commit to following the MNI Code of Ethics in their own practices, or working on behalf of MNI. Our Alliance Hypnotherapy and Alliance Past Life Regression Program partners also commit to these ethical standards, to support our Vision and Mission.

_____________________________

So:

Why are we here?

Who am I?

What is my life’s purpose?

I found one therapist offering these services, and it was her website that provided some plausible answers:

We are here to be exploited by charlatans.

We are considered to be gullible morons.

Our purpose in life is to support quacks.

The costs for the sessions range from 90 to 795 Euros!

As numerous of my posts have demonstrated, chiropractic manipulations can cause severe adverse effects, including deaths. Several hundred have been documented in the medical literature. When discussing this fact with chiropractors, we either see denial or we hear the argument that such events are but extreme rarities. To the latter, I usually respond that, in the absence of a monitoring system, nobody can tell how often serious adverse events happen. The resply often is this:

You are mistaken because the Royal College of Chiropractors’ UK-based Chiropractic Patient Incident Reporting and Learning System (CPiRLS) monitors such events adequately. 

I have heard this so often that it is time, I feel, to have a look at CPiRLS. Here is what it says on the website:

CPiRLS is a secure website which allows chiropractors to view, submit and comment on patient safety incidents.

Access to CPiRLS

CPiRLS is currently open to all UK-based chiropractors, all ECU members and members of the Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia. To access the secure area of the CPiRLS website, please click the icon below and insert the relevant CPiRLS username and password when prompted.

In the UK, these can normally be found on your Royal College of Chiropractors’ membership card unless the details are changed mid-year. Alternatively, email admin@rcc-uk.org from your usual email address and we will forward the details.

Alternatively, in the UK and overseas, secure access details can be obtained from your professional association.

National associations and organisations wishing to use CPiRLS, or obtain trial access to the full site for evaluation purposes, should contact The Royal College of Chiropractors at chiefexec@rcc-uk.org

Please click the icon below to visit the CPiRLS site.

Yes, you understood correctly. The public cannot access CPiRLS! When I click on the icon, I get this:

Welcome to CPiRLS

CPiRLS, The Chiropractic Patient Incident Reporting and Learning System – is an online reporting and learning forum that enables chiropractors to share and comment on patient safety incidents.

The essential details of submitted reports are published on this website for all chiropractors to view and add comments. A CPiRLS team identifies trends among submitted reports in order to provide feedback for the profession. Sharing information in this way helps to ensure the whole profession learns from the collective experience in the interests of patients.

All chiropractors are encouraged to adopt incident reporting as part of a blame-free culture of safety, and a routine risk management tool.

CPiRLS is secure and anonymous. There is no known way that anyone reporting can be identified, nor do those running the system seek to identify you. For this security to be effective, you require a password to participate.

Please note that reporting to CPiRLS is NOT a substitute for the reporting of patient safety incidents to your professional association and/or indemnity insurers.

So, how useful is CPiRLS?

Can we get any information from CPiRLS about the incidence of adverse effects?

No!

Do we know how many strokes or deaths have been reported?

No!

Can chiropractors get reliable information from CPiRLS about the incidence of adverse effects?

No, because reporting is not mandatory and the number of reports cannot relate to incidence.

Are chiropractors likely to report adverse effects?

No, because they have no incentive and might even feel that it would give their profession a bad name.

Is CPiRLS transparent?

No!

Is CPiRLS akin to postmarketing surveillance as it exists in conventional medicine?

No!

How useful is CPiRLS?

I think I let my readers answer this question.

 

Guest post by Ken McLeod

On 07 June 2022, we published an article warning readers of the planned visit to the UK of health crank Barbara O’Neill, ‘A residential health programme that poses “a risk to the health and safety of members of the public.” ‘ We referred to the Prohibition Order that the New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission has imposed on her:

‘The Commission is satisfied that Mrs O’Neill poses a risk to the health and safety of members of the public and therefore makes the following prohibition order:

Mrs O’Neill is permanently prohibited from providing any health services, as defined in s4 Of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993, whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.’

We showed that O’Neill remains undaunted by such mere technicalities and continues to spruik her nostrums and misinformation, such as that planned for Manna House, Stoke-on-Trent.

One reader did a little bit of digging into O’Neill’s lectures and found something that should alarm anyone; her advocacy of asbestosform Yoni Stones for ‘Balancing Your Hormones.’

So what are ‘Yoni Stones?’ and ‘Why should we be worried?’ we hear you ask. Good questions, so here we go.

0. BACKGROUND:

According to promoters in alternative health industries, ‘Yoni stones,’ also known as ‘Yoni Eggs’ are ‘semi – precious stones carved into the shape of eggs that can be inserted into a woman’s womb space for vaginal wall tightening and energetic cleansing. Yoni Eggs have been used for many decades by the most in-tuned women who know that keeping good vaginal wellness is keeping universal wellness. The more in-tuned a woman is in her femininity the better all her relations will be.’ 1

1. PROMOTION AND SALE:

The following are examples of the promotion and sale of Yoni stones and showing how wrong and dangerous they are.

1.1 ‘La Loba’

A Google search found hundreds of retailers selling them, such as ‘La Loba’ 2 whose website does do not give an address, but are located on the Gold Coast Australia. La Loba sells nephrite jade eggs like this:

La Loba claim that ‘GIA certified means that it’s certified by the Gemological institute of America to be that specific stone. So you know it’s a real stone that is high quality.’ La Loba makes several claims of therapeutic benefit, like:

‘Yoni Eggs Physical Benefits Pelvic Floor Health Assists with incontinence Increases lubrication Builds sensitivity Helps improve Libido Can be used to prepare for childbirth and to heal post childbirth Helps to prevent and improve prolapse Balances hormones by increasing blood flow to the Yoni Increases orgasmic pleasure for yourself and your partner Spiritual Benefits Healing properties of the chosen crystal are absorbed Builds connection with your Yoni Helps one work through any trauma/stagnant energy held… ‘

 

Despite the claims of therapeutic benefits, ‘La Loba’ did not display any regulatory approval from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration or US Federal Drug Administration, so we can take it as read that Yoni Stones have not been assessed for safety.

1.2 Barbara O’Neill

The most prominent promoter of Yoni Stones is Barbara O’Neill, of Misty Mountain Lifestyle Retreat, of Bellbrook, New South Wales.

The internet, especially YouTube, is alive with hundreds of her videos promoting all sorts of quackery, but today we can limit ourselves to the dozens of videos in which she promotes Yoni Stones, such as the video of Barbara O’Neill conducting a lecture at Living Springs Alabama, USA. This video 5 ‘Balancing Your Hormones’ has been viewed 43,636 times since it was first published on 3 May 2022.

From the video:

In that video, Barbara O’Neill makes claims that are of concern. From the transcript,6 at 00:44:31, she recommends ‘Yoni Stones,’ and at 00:44:44 ‘… ideally, they’re made out of nephrite.’ (See the above screencap of her whiteboard presentation, bottom left-hand corner.) In the transcript she advises that women should insert them daily for several hours at a time over several months, even years. O’Neill describes Yoni Stones at 00:44:35 in the transcript: “The Chinese dynasty developed Yoni stones to help the young concubines be sexually toned for the emperor. But they’re very popular today, and ideally, they’re made out of nephrite. Jade nephrite. Jade is like a green marble. The nephrite jade is heavy and as you’ll see why that’s important in a minute. But it’s also a smooth marble, so there are no crevices.”

There are several falsehoods in this:

1.2.1 There were many dynasties in Imperial China, but none of them were named ‘The Chinese Dynasty.’

1.2.2 No Imperial Chinese dynasty developed Yoni Stones. It’s marketing hype designed to dupe the gullible. Obstetrician -Gynaecologist Dr Jennifer Gunter 7 and archaeologist Professor Sarah Parcak 8 researched that claim by conducting a search of the online databases of four major Chinese art and archaeology collections in the United States. They identified more than 5000 jade objects viewable in online databases. They found that no vaginal jade eggs were identified, and concluded that:

“No evidence was found to support the claim that vaginal jade eggs were used for any indication in ancient Chinese culture.” 9

1.2.3 As for O’Neill’s claim that there are no crevices and are therefore safe, O’Neill says in the transcript at 00:45:13 ‘….There are two holes in the bottom (of the Yoni Stone) so that a woman can insert dental floss for easy extraction….’ So crevices are out but holes are OK?

The Cleveland Health Clinic published an article 10 on July 30, 2021, by Obstetrician – Gynaecologist Dr Suchetha Kshettry, MD, ‘Think Twice Before Putting a Yoni Egg in Your Vagina. She says that ‘Gemstones like jade and onyx are semi-porous, which means there’s space for bacteria to take up residence within them. Semi-porous materials are difficult to fully clean, too, meaning that bacteria may stick around and fester.’ She listed the following hazards:

Ø Persistent bacterial infections;

Ø Irritation, scratches, tears;

Ø Damage to pelvic floor muscles; Ø toxic shock syndrome that can lead to serious health issues and even death.

Dr Kshettry makes it clear that there is no benefit.

That is supported by Obstetrician -Gynaecologist Dr Jennifer Gunter, who has written that Yoni stones do not balance hormones and have all the risks that Dr Kshettry listed above. 11

Further, California officials prosecuted Gwyneth Paltrow and her company Goop for making the same claims as O’Neill. In an out-of-court settlement, Paltrow’s company agreed to pay $US145,000 ($202,000) in civil penalties. 12

1.2.4. More concerning, nephrite jade is notorious as a dangerous asbestiform prismatic tremolite, a mineral composed of microcrystalline tremolite asbestos. Nephrite is a variety of the calcium, magnesium, and iron-rich amphibole minerals tremolite or actinolite, aggregates of which also make up one form of asbestos. The chemical formula for nephrite is Ca2(Mg, Fe)5Si8O22(OH)2. It is one of two different mineral species called jade. In layman’s terms it is ‘asbestos’ and we would think that it is therefore carcinogenic. Strangely enough, while there is plenty of research on the consequences of inhaling asbestos, there seems to be little or no research on the consequences of inserting it into vaginas.

That may be because scientists thought that it was not a productive area of research because they thought nobody would be stupid enough to do that. (How wrong they were.) Nevertheless, in the absence of definitive research showing that inserting asbestos into vaginas is perfectly safe, promoting that is incredibly irresponsible.

All we could find on the subject was the limited research which examined the dangers to people shaping nephrite jade asbestos:

1.2.4.1. Yang HY, Shie RH, Chen PC. Carving of non-asbestiform tremolite and the risk of lung cancer: a follow-up mortality study in a historical nephrite processing cohort. Occup Environ Med. 2013 Dec;70(12):852-7. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2013-101404. Epub 2013 Sep 18. PMID: 24142973; PMCID: PMC3841744. 13

1.2.4.1.1. The researchers found that nephrite processing led to a significantly increased risk of lung cancer.

1.2.4.2. Bailey et al, ‘The Asbestiform and Prismatic Mineral Growth Habit and Their Relationship to Cancer Studies – A Pictorial Presentation.’ 14

If anyone can find research on the effects of inserting asbestos-form Yoni Stones into vaginas, please let us know in the comments.

2. CONCLUSIONS:

2.1 As if the risks of persistent bacterial infections, irritation, scratches, tears, damage to pelvic floor muscles, toxic shock syndrome, serious health issues and death were not bad enough, Barbara O’Neill’s and other health gurus’ and retailers’ recommendations to insert asbestos stones into vaginas for extended lengths of time is reckless and dangerous. And there is no therapeutic benefit in the use of Yoni Stones.

But that’s Standard Operating Procedure in Alt-Med, so that’s all right then.

So what would health regulators make of this? Should they issue a Public Warning to all users, processors, manufacturers, importers and retailers? Watch this space.

1 https://www.yonieggs.com/

2 https://laloba.com.au/collections/yoni-eggs

3 https://laloba.com.au/collections/yoni-eggs/products/nephrite-jade-eggs?_pos=1&_sid=ab4fad37e&_ss=r

4 https://laloba.com.au/blogs/resources

5https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7uATPC-7CY. A backup copy is available on request.

6 Transcript is available at https://www.dropbox.com/s/gwdncg5iwx3a31g/Balancing%20Your%20Hormones%20-%20Barbara%20O%27Neill-%203%20May%202022.mp4-transcript%20%281%29.docx?dl=0

7 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jen_Gunter

8 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Parcak

9 “Vaginal Jade Eggs: Ancient Chinese Practice or Modern Marketing Myth?” Gunter, Jennifer MD*; Parcak, Sarah PhD, Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: 1/2 2019 – Volume 25 – Issue 1 – p 1-2, published in Urogynecology – Official Journal of the American Urogynecologic Society. https://journals.lww.com/fpmrs/Abstract/2019/01000/Vaginal_Jade_Eggs__Ancient_Chinese_Practice_or.1.aspx

10 https://health.clevelandclinic.org/are-yoni-eggs-safe/

11 https://drjengunter.com/2017/01/17/dear-gwyneth-paltrow-im-a-gyn-and-your-vaginal-jade-eggs-are-a-bad-idea/

12 https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/goop-settles-lawsuit-over-purported-benefits-of-jade-eggs-20180906-p5021h.html

13 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3841744/

14 Published 2006. Available on request.

Le Figaro reported that France’s medical appointment booking service ‘Doctolib’ is being accused of promoting so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) on its platform. “Measures will be taken soon. Several options are on the table, we do not exclude anything,” announced Doctolib after declaring during the day on its Twitter account the immediate suspension of some profiles.

Health professionals and patients have been criticizing the platform for allowing its users to make appointments with practitioners claiming to be naturopaths and some offering dangerous quackery. Naturopathy is not recognized in France and is sometimes considered to be linked to charlatanism.

A member of the office for the control of conspiracies, Tristan Mendès France, had found a practitioner promoting urine therapy via Doctolib. “The presence of these individuals on a service that puts patients and health professionals in touch with each other gives them totally unjustified credit and endorsement,” stated a Twitter account aimed at informing “about the dangers of certain pseudo-alternatives in terms of health and nutrition”.

Amongst the questioned profiles were the naturopaths Thierry Casasnovas and Irène Grosjean, two influential personalities in the naturopathic world who are discredited in the health world. “We would like to point out that it is impossible for a patient to make an [appointment] on Doctolib in a practitioner not referenced by the Ministry of Health, without having expressly sought to do so,” Doctolib defended its position stating that it would proceed to checks on practitioners “whose actions would be dangerous or condemnable by law” and who would have been the subject of complaints on social media.

97%” of practitioners signed up with Doctolib are registered with the Ministry of Health,” the company claimed. According to Doctolib, only 3% of its practitioners are therefore from the realm of SCAM: sophrologists, hypnotherapists, naturopaths. In France, these practitioners are not regulated and do not have the status of health professional, but they are nevertheless legal. The appointments made on Doctolib with such practitioners represent “0.3% of the totality” of the volume recorded on the platform.

The CEO of Doctolib, Stanislas Niox-Chateau, said that he was responding to a request from patients and refused to position his site as a simple directory of the Ministry of Health: “The demand is there. It is not up to us to say whether these activities are effective or useful. They are legal, so we have no reason to prevent practitioners from being listed on our site.”

As so often in the realm of SCAM, the dispute seems to be one between ethical/moral responsibilities and commercial interests of the parties involved.

 

England’s record goalscorer Ellen White has revealed she suffered a punctured lung while receiving acupuncture treatment. The injury accelerated her decision to retire. White, 33, said she was still coming to terms with the “traumatic” injury.

Manchester City had sourced a “specialist” – evidently not such an excellent acupuncturist because the complication is avoidable with proper knowledge of anatomy – outside the club to provide her with acupuncture to treat her back problem because of a high number of injuries in the squad at the time. “If you’d said to me two or three years ago that you’re going to retire, I would have said ‘absolutely not’, but I’ve got to a time in my career,” she said. “I had a challenging time last year – coming back from the Olympics, I basically punctured my lung, and it was a lot for me to have to go through and a big reason that accelerated my want to retire.”

The injury happened when she returned to her club with a back spasm last summer. “It punctured my lung which isn’t something that happens normally, obviously,” she said. “It was a really traumatic time for me and something that I’m still figuring out now, still working through. I had to wait for the lung to basically inflate again. I had a needle put into my chest to drag all the air out then hopefully the lung would inflate again – which it has. At the time, I think for me, I just got into a zone of: ‘I need to get back playing. We’ve got these games – I want to be back playing for my club; I want to be back playing for England. I went very tunnel vision,” she said. “It wasn’t until a good two or three months later, it just hit me like a train, what actually happened and how traumatic it was.”

Despite her quick return to goalscoring form, which included becoming the Lionesses record goalscorer in November, the striker says she is still affected by the injury and suffers “phantom pain” where it feels like it is happening again. “It’s important for me now to tell my story, and say it was a big factor in my year and leading up to the decision of wanting to retire. Obviously, there are other factors that come into that as well. I don’t want it to happen to anybody else again is my main thing. I don’t want to walk away from the sport having not told it and not say that I want things in place for it not to happen to anyone else.”

______________________________

Pneumothorax is by far the most common of all the serious, potentially fatal complications caused by acupuncture. In thin individuals, several acupuncture points over the upper thorax are just a few centimeters away from the lung. Therefore, it is easily possible to puncture a lung by inserting an acupuncture needle. This is from my 2010 review of the subject:

About 90 deaths after acupuncture have been anecdotally documented in the medical literature. Thus, acupuncture has been associated with more deaths than most other ‘alternative’ therapies except herbal medicine … The fatalities are usually due to an acupuncture needle penetrating a vital organ. This, in turn, can cause pneumothorax, cardiac tamponade, or major haemorrhage. Most instances of this nature are reported in the Asian literature which, for most of us, is not easily accessible.

A 2013 review of ours located 1104 cases that had been reported in the Korean literature alone. However, the truth of the matter is that nobody can be sure of the exact incidence figures. Why? Because there is no monitoring system that would reliably record such incidences.

I would argue that every single case of acupuncture-induced pneumothorax tells us that the acupuncturist was not adequately trained. With proper knowledge of anatomy, such complications should not happen. Therefore, such instances are a rude reminder that so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) is far too often in the hands of “specialists” who are a danger to the public.

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