According to chiropractic belief, vertebral subluxation (VS) is a clinical entity defined as a misalignment of the spine affecting biomechanical and neurological function. The identification and correction of VS is the primary focus of the chiropractic profession. The purpose of this study was to estimate VS prevalence using a sample of individuals presenting for chiropractic care and explore the preventative public health implications of VS through the promotion of overall health and function.
A brief review of the literature was conducted to support an operational definition for VS that incorporated neurologic and kinesiologic exam components. A retrospective, quantitative analysis of a multi-clinic dataset was then performed using this operational definition.
The operational definition used in this study included:
- (1) inflammation of the C2 (second cervical vertebra) DRG,
- (2) leg length inequality,
- (3) tautness of the erector spinae muscles,
- (4) upper extremity muscle weakness,
- (5) Fakuda Step test,
- radiographic analysis based on the (6) frontal atlas cranium line and (7) horizontal atlas cranium line.
Descriptive statistics on patient demographic data included age, gender, and past health history characteristics. In addition to calculating estimates of the overall prevalence of VS, age- and gender-stratified estimates in the different clinics were calculated to allow for potential variations.
A total of 1,851 patient records from seven chiropractic clinics in four states were obtained. The mean age of patients was 43.48 (SD = 16.8, range = 18-91 years). There were more females (n = 927, 64.6%) than males who presented for chiropractic care. Patients reported various reasons for seeking chiropractic care, including, spinal or extremity pain, numbness, or tingling; headaches; ear, nose, and throat-related issues; or visceral issues. Mental health concerns, neurocognitive issues, and concerns about general health were also noted as reasons for care. The overall prevalence of VS was 78.55% (95% CI = 76.68-80.42). Female and male prevalence of VS was 77.17% and 80.15%, respectively; notably, all per-clinic, age, or gender-stratified prevalences were ≥50%.
The authors concluded that the results of this study suggest a high rate of prevalence of VS in a sample of individuals who sought chiropractic care. Concerns about general health and wellness were represented in the sample and suggest chiropractic may serve a primary prevention function in the absence of disease or injury. Further investigation into the epidemiology of VS and its role in health promotion and prevention is recommended.
This is one of the most hilarious pieces of ‘research’ that I have recently encountered. The strategy is siarmingly simple:
- invent a ficticious pathology (VS) that will earn you plently of money;
- develop criteria that allow you to diagnose this pathology in the maximum amount of consumers;
- show gullible consumers that they are afflicted by this pathology;
- use scare mongering tactics to convince consumers that the pathology needs treating;
- offer a treatment that, after a series of expensive sessions, will address the pathology;
- cash in regularly while this goes on;
- when the consumer has paid enough, declare that your fabulous treatment has done the trick and the consumer is again healthy.
The strategy is well known amongst practitioners of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM), e.g.:
- Traditional acupuncturists diagnose a ficticious imbalance of yin and yang only to normalise it with numerous acupuncture sessions.
- Naturopaths diagnose ficticious intoxications and treat it with various detox measures.
- Iridologists diagnose ficticious abnormalities of the iris that allegedly indicate organ disstress and treat it with whatever SCAM they can offer.
As they say:
No disease can be more surely, effectively, and profitably treated than a condition that the unsuspecting customer did not have in the first place!
Sadly, such behavior exists in convertional medicine occasionally too, but SCAM relies almost entirely on it.
Anja Zeidler (born 1993) became known in 2012 as the most successful fitness personality in Switzerland. After joining the bodybuilding scene in Los Angeles, a phase of self-discovery followed. Anja published her development and became what one nowadays calls an ‘INFLUENCER’. As Managing Director and Content Director of her own company, Anja Zeidler GmbH, Anja has made a name for herself as a public figure far beyond the fitness market with her activities as a ‘Selflove Influencer’, blogger, book author, motivational speaker, presenter and expert in the food & health sector. Furthermore, she is completing a degree at the Academy of Naturopathy for Holistic Health.
About a year and a half ago, Anja Zeidler had a desmoid tumor removed from under her left breast – and now it was reported to be back. The conventional treatment methods are clear: another surgical procedure or radiation. But Zeidler said she wants to wait with such interventions. For the time being, she has decided to go her own way. She wants to “balance any imbalances” with her naturopathic doctor and wishes to fight the disease on her own and with a “positive mindset.”
“On a spiritual level, they say that tumors can be related to trauma. That’s why I’ve tried breathing exercises and cocoa ceremonies. With these methods, I get into my subconscious and get closer to traumas, which I am not aware of, and try to dissolve them. So far, blatant things have come up that I had long forgotten and repressed,” she says enthusiastically. In addition, Zeidler wants to give up refined sugar with immediate effect, keep better control of her diet in general – even in her stressful everyday life – and drink freshly squeezed celery and beetroot juice every morning. In addition, she relies on “natural capsules with and grape seed OPC.” “I’ve read in studies that certain types of fungi and strong antioxidants like OPC are supposed to fight tumor cells.” There I follow the motto: ‘if it doesn’t help, at least it does not harm.'”
Zeidler’s tumor is a desmoid tumor, an abnormal growth that arises from connective tissues. These tumors are generally not considered malignant because they do not spread to other parts of the body; however, they can aggressively invade the surrounding tissue and can be very difficult to remove surgically. These tumors often recur, even after apparently complete removal.
Zeidler commented: “I am convinced that with a positive mindset you can contribute extremely much to the healing process. If the checks reveal rapid growth, I will of course seek medical treatment. Then I would opt for radiation.”
The trouble with ‘influencers’ is that they are gullible and influence the often gullible public to become more gullible. Thus their influence might cost many lives. Personally, I hope that the young woman does well with her erstwhile refusal of evidence-based treatments. Yet, I fear that the ‘Academy of Naturopathy for Holistic Health’ will teach her a lot of BS about the power of natural cancer cures. The sooner she agrees to have her tumor treated based on evidence, the better her prognosis, I’m sure.
Sobrenix (Kudzu, Milk Thistle, B Vitamins & More) is “designed to reduce alcohol cravings and help you detoxify your body so you can successfully manage alcohol consumption. Even better, taken before drinking, Sobrenix’s ingredients help you stop before you’ve had too much. DETOXIFY YOUR BODY with a powerful formula that combines herbs and nutrients that support liver health, curb cravings, and help you wake up without a nasty hangover. Sobrenix kick-starts the detoxification process with essential herbs like Milk Thistle and Chanca Piedra. Additionally, the formula contains the critical B-Vitamins that alcohol washes away so you can wake up happy and healthy again!”
Yes, you suspected correctly: this is pure BS!
Not only that but the Federal Trade Commission is taking action under the FTC Act and the Opioid Addiction Recovery Fraud Prevention Act of 2018 (OARFPA) against the makers of Sobrenix. According to the FTC’s complaint, the makers, a company, Rejuvica, and its owners, Kyle Armstrong and Kyle Dilger, made numerous unsubstantiated and false claims about Sobrenix and used paid endorsers in deceptively formatted advertising. The defendants also used bogus review sites to deceive consumers about their products.
As a result of the FTC’s suit, the defendants have agreed to a proposed court order that would permanently ban them from making any unsubstantiated claims about healthcare products or services, as well as require them to pay $650,000 to the FTC to be used for providing refunds to consumers.
“We will not tire in our pursuit of those who prey on individuals struggling with alcohol or other substance use disorders,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This case evidences the breadth of the FTC’s authority to pursue such wrongdoing under both the FTC Act and OARFPA.”
The FTC charges that the defendants marketed Sobrenix with messages like:
- “STRUGGLING TO CONTROL YOUR ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION? Sobrenix is designed to reduce alcohol cravings and help you detoxify your body so you can successfully manage alcohol consumption. Even better, taken before drinking, Sobrenix’s ingredients help you stop before you’ve had too much.”
The FTC charges that Rejuvica and its owners lacked adequate evidence to support these claims. The complaint charges that Rejuvica, Armstrong, and Dilger violated both the FTC Act and OARFPA. The proposed order contains a total monetary judgment of $3,247,737, which is partially suspended based on the defendants’ inability to pay the full amount. The defendants will be required to pay $650,000 to the FTC to be used to refund consumers. If the defendants are found to have lied to the FTC about their financial status, the full judgment will be immediately due.
A few short comments might be in order:
- Regulators have the duty to protect consumers from false health claims.
- It is commendable that some authorities sometimes do their duty and go after some of the people responsible for making false claims related to dietary supplements.
- Such actions should, however, occur MUCH more often.
- They ought to happen also in countries other than the US.
- Similar actions should be initiated against ALL false claims made for healthcare products and services.
- This means that all practitioners of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) would need to review their advertising, websites, etc., and erase therapeutic claims that are not supported by evidence.
- This would unquestionably amount to an enormously valuable service to public health.
- Most countries already have legislation that would make such steps possible; my question, therefore, is this:
WHY ARE CONSUMERS NOT ADEQUATELY PROTECTED BY THEIR NATIONAL REGULATORS FROM CHARLATANS WHO SELL INEFFECTIVE AND OFTEN DANGEROUS SCAMs AT HIGH COSTS?
Like ultra-processed food (UPF) itself, the subject of UPF is everywhere – radio, TV, Twitter, you name it, the topic crops up. I too could not resist writing a post on it a few months ago. And now I am publishing another one but one in a slightly more irritated mood.
Why do these endless discussions on UPF irritate me?
To start with, there is no uniform definition of UPF, and many commentators seem more than a little confused about what UPF actually is. One definition holds that Ultra-processed foods are foods that have been altered to include fats, starches, sugars, salts and hydrogenated oils extracted from other foods. They contain ingredients, additives, and preservatives that are not normally used in home cooking. It seems obvious that discussions on UPF without a clear and understandable definition of the term are merely generating confusion in the general public.
But there are, of course, lists of UPF that might render the subject a bit clearer. The trouble, however, is that these lists reveal disagreement among each other. Thus they are prone to generate even more confusion.
Next, there is the evidence – and there is lots of it. It suggests that the regular consumption of UPF is bad for virtually every aspect of health. And if there is no evidence that it is detrimental for a given condition, it probably is merely because nobody has yet bothered to do the analyses. The trouble is, however, that all the relevant research comes from either basic science or epidemiology. This means that causality is unproven.
A further problem is that even the experts don’t know what the alleged causal factors in UPF are.
- Is it the processing?
- The additives?
- The sugar?
- The fats?
- If so, which fats exactly?
- Is it perhaps a complex inter-play of some of these factors?
If we want to make progress, we need to know! If not, we cannot possibly begin to avoid the health-threatening effects of UPF.
The final and arguably biggest problem is that UPF is everywhere. Nobody living in an industrialized country and earning a regular living can avoid consuming UPF. This means, I fear, that all the current hype about UPF is not just irritating but possibly counter-productive.
Imagine an average person trying to make sense of these discussions. She would soon give up and conclude that all these ‘clever’ experts know nothing at all. Her foremost concern is to make ends meet. In the end, she will carry on as before. Alternatively, she might even conclude that, as the even experts do not make sense, UPF cannot be all that bad after all.
After reading about and listening to the arguments around UPF, I ask myself this: would it not be more productive to apply more common sense and focus on a few nutritional messages that are 1) solidly based on evidence and 2) an average person can actually follow?
We have discussed dental amalgam and its risks to human health before. Finally, there is new legislation in sight. The European Commission has revised the EU Mercury Regulation to protect EU citizens and the environment from toxic mercury. Among other things, this will completely ban the use of dental amalgam, for which 40 tons of mercury are currently consumed annually in the EU. The revised mercury ordinance provides for the following:
– No more use of dental amalgam from January 1, 2025; viable mercury-free alternatives are available.
– Ban on the manufacture and export of dental amalgam from the EU from January 1, 2025;
– Ban on the manufacture and export of six mercury-containing lamps from January 1, 2026 and January 1, 2028 (depending on lamp type).
The delegated act adopted under the Mercury Regulation transposes into EU law the decisions taken at the fourth Conference of the Parties (2022) to the Minamata Convention by introducing a ban on the production, import, and export of eight additional mercury-containing products, including mercury-containing lamps and non-electrical equipment.
The Minamata Convention is the main international legal framework for the protection of human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury to air, water, and soil. Like the Mercury Regulation, it addresses the entire life cycle of mercury, from primary mercury mining to mercury waste management.
The revised Mercury Regulation must now be approved by the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure. The delegated act will be sent to the European Parliament and the Council for consideration.
Mercury is a highly toxic chemical that poses a threat to both human health and the environment. When released into the environment, it enters the food chain where it accumulates (mainly in fish). High mercury exposure can damage the brain, lungs, kidneys, and immune system.
Historically, mercury has been used in a wide range of applications, including gold mining, batteries, fluorescent tubes, thermometers, and barometers. Over the last twenty years, the EU has developed a comprehensive body of legislation, in particular the Mercury Regulation, which protects human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions and releases of mercury, taking into account the entire life cycle of mercury from primary mercury mining to final disposal of mercury waste. It also includes measures on trade in mercury-containing products and mercury pollution.
The Minamata Convention entered into force on August 16, 2017, and has so far been ratified by the European Union and 143 countries, including all EU Member States. The fifth session of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP-5) will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from October 30 to November 3, 2023.
I had come across them so often that I had almost stopped noticing them: the ‘little extras‘ that make ineffective so-called alternative medicines (SCAMs) seem effective. Then, recently, during an interview about detox diets, the interviewer responded to my explanation of the ineffectiveness of these treatments by saying: “but these diets include stopping the consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and other harmful stuff; therefore they must be good.” This seemingly convincing argument reminded me of a phenomenon – I call it here the ‘little extra‘ – that applies to so many (if not most) SCAMs.
Let me schematically summarise it as follows:
- A practitioner applies an ineffective SCAM to a patient.
- Because it is ineffective, it has little effect other than a small placebo response.
- The ineffective SCAM comes with a ‘little extra‘ which is unrelated to the SCAM.
- The ‘little extra‘ is effective.
- The end result is that the ineffective SCAM appears to be effective.
The above example makes it quite clear: the detox diet is utter nonsense but, as it goes hand in hand with effective lifestyle changes, it appears to be effective. A classic case. But SCAM offers no end of similar examples:
- Acupuncture is useless but it involves touch, time, attention, and empathy all of which are effective in making a patient feel better.
- Chiropractic is useless but it involves touch, time, attention, and empathy all of which are effective in making a patient feel better.
- Homeopathy is useless but it involves a long, empathic consultation and attention which are effective in making a patient feel better.
- Osteopathy is useless but it involves touch, time, attention, and empathy all of which are effective in making a patient feel better.
- Reflexology is useless but it involves touch, time, attention, and empathy all of which are effective in making a patient feel better.
Do I need to continue?
The ‘little extras‘ are often forgotten or subsumed under the heading ‘placebo’. Yet, they are not part of the placebo effect. Strictly speaking, they are concomitant treatments comparable to a pain patient using SCAM and also taking a few paracetamols. In the end, she forgets about the painkillers and thinks that her SCAM worked wonders.
Even ardent SCAM proponents have long realized this phenomenon. Here, for example, is a paper entitled ‘Acupuncture as a complex intervention: a holistic model’ by ex-colleagues of mine at Exeter looking at it but coming up with a very different perspective:
Objectives: Our understanding of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is limited by a lack of inquiry into the dynamics of the process. We used a longitudinal research design to investigate how the experience, and the effects, of a course of acupuncture evolved over time.
Design and outcome measures: This was a longitudinal qualitative study, using a constant comparative method, informed by grounded theory. Each person was interviewed three times over 6 months. Semistructured interviews explored people’s experiences of illness and treatment. Across-case and within-case analysis resulted in themes and individual vignettes.
Subjects and settings: Eight (8) professional acupuncturists in seven different settings informed their patients about the study. We interviewed a consecutive sample of 23 people with chronic illness, who were having acupuncture for the first time.
Results: People described their experience of acupuncture in terms of the acupuncturist’s diagnostic and needling skills; the therapeutic relationship; and a new understanding of the body and self as a whole being. All three of these components were imbued with holistic ideology. Treatment effects were perceived as changes in symptoms, changes in energy, and changes in personal and social identity. The vignettes showed the complexity and the individuality of the experience of acupuncture treatment. The process and outcome components were distinct but not divisible, because they were linked by complex connections. The paper depicts these results as a diagrammatic model that illustrates the components and their interconnections and the cyclical reinforcement, both positive and negative, that can occur over time.
Conclusions: The holistic model of acupuncture treatment, in which “the whole being greater than the sum of the parts,” has implications for service provision and for research trial design. Research trials that evaluate the needling technique, isolated from other aspects of process, will interfere with treatment outcomes. The model requires testing in different service and research settings.
I think the perspective of viewing SCAMs as complex interventions is needlessly confusing and deeply unhelpful. The truth is that there is no treatment that is not complex. Take a surgical treatment, for instance, it involves dozens of ‘little extras‘ that are known to be effective. Should we, therefore, try to use this fact for justifying useless surgical interventions? Or take a simple prescription of medication from a doctor. It involves time, empathy, attention, explanations, etc. all of which will affect the patient’s symptoms. Should we thus use this to justify a useless drug? Certainly not!
And for the same reason, it is nonsense to use the ‘little extras‘ that come with all the numerous ineffective SCAMs as a smokescreen that makes them look effective.
Homeopathy is touted as a panacea, we all know that. It is thus hardly surprising that it is also claimed to be an effective detox option. Here is a German article on the subject that I translated for you:
It was published on the independent health portal Lifeline. It claims that it “offers comprehensive, high-quality and understandably written information on health topics, diseases, nutrition, and fitness. Our editorial team is supported by doctors and freelance medical authors in the continuous creation and quality assurance of our content. Much of our information is multimedia-based with videos and informative image galleries. Numerous self-tests encourage interaction. In our expert advice and forums on various topics, Lifeline users can discuss topics with experts or exchange information with other users. Our information is in no way intended to be a substitute for a visit to the doctor. Rather, our aim is to qualitatively improve and support the relationship between doctor and patient through the information provided. Therefore, our contents do not serve the purpose of arbitrary diagnosis or treatment.”
And here is the article in question:
Environmental toxins, medications, nicotine, alcohol, unhealthy food – the human body is burdened daily by many substances, waste products and toxins. It is therefore sensible and beneficial to detoxify the liver regularly – preferably naturally. With these homeopathic remedies, this can be done gently.
To stay healthy or to prevent acute diseases from becoming chronic: The reasons to regularly rid the body of accumulated toxins are many. Toxins and waste products weaken the organism or can even cause illness themselves. Especially after drug treatments with antibiotics or cortisone, with frequently recurring colds and flu-like infections, it can be useful to detoxify the body naturally – with homeopathy.
In the body, the liver is the central organ where toxins are broken down. The kidneys, as organs of elimination, also play an important role in detoxification. To support the liver and kidneys in natural detoxification, various medicines are available. In homeopathy, detoxification is also called elimination.
Homeopathic medicines particularly suitable for the detoxification cure:
Sulfur: This classic homeopathic medicine has a strong detoxifying effect on connective tissue and mucous membranes, as well as a cleansing effect on the entire organism. In homeopathy, sulfur is mainly used for natural detoxification after drug treatments with antibiotics and cortisone. If the body is so heavily burdened with waste products that other homeopathic medicines have no effect, Sulfur can be used for natural detoxification.
Nux vomica: A very versatile homeopathic medicine is Nux vomica. It is particularly suitable for detoxifying the body naturally when one has consumed too many stimulants such as coffee or alcohol. It can also be used to eliminate harmful substances caused by medication. Nux vomica has proven particularly useful for the accompanying treatment of side effects after chemotherapy.
Pulsatilla: In homeopathy, Pulsatilla is considered an important natural remedy for detoxification, acting primarily on the mucous membranes and the stomach and intestines. Pulsatilla helps alleviate physical discomfort caused by eating too fatty, unhealthy foods, drinks that irritate the stomach such as coffee and alcohol, and taking medications. Pulsatilla works similarly to the detoxification classic sulfur, only the natural detoxification of liver and kidneys as well as connective tissue proceeds even more gently.
Arsenicum album: Within homeopathy, the remedy Arsenicum album is considered a universal remedy for poisoning, for example by heavy metals. It is mainly used for physical signs of exhaustion and weakness and can compensate for negative consequences of unhealthy nutrition. In addition, Arsenicum album is also said to have an anxiety-relieving effect.
Okoubaka: Okoubaba is also considered a medicine with a strong detoxifying effect, acting mainly on the gastrointestinal tract and used for abdominal cramps, flatulence, constipation, as well as acute diarrhea. Especially after a treatment with antibiotics or after having gone through an illness with norovirus, rotavirus or salmonella, Okoubaba can help to detoxify naturally and restore the intestinal flora.
Magnesium fluoratum: When cold symptoms such as cough and cold flare up again and again after administration of fever-reducing medications and other cold preparations, recovery is protracted and the body is weakened, natural detoxification with magnesium fluoratum can help.
Echinacea: Echinacea is known to increase the body’s defenses. As a homeopathic medicine, it can also help to naturally detoxify underlying conditions that have not been cured.
Detoxify naturally: Typical potencies and their dosage
Low potencies from D3 to D12 are commonly used for self-treatment in natural detoxification. However, choosing the right homeopathic remedy is not always easy. If there are uncertainties, an experienced homeopath should be asked for advice, if possible, in order to determine the drug, potency and dosage on the basis of a detailed anamnesis.
But I am – though not in a positive sense.
The article contains far too many unsubstantiated statements to mention. In fact, they are not just unsubstantiated, they are false! As the author does not even attempt to provide evidence for them, one cannot even dispute it. Suffice to say that ‘detox’ is BS and homeopathy too. And in healthcare ‘minus X minus’ does sadly not give ‘plus’.
What renders this otherwise trivial article rather important, in my view, is this: such web-based information is not the exception; quite the opposite: German consumers are bombarded with BS of this type.
Ever wondered why Germany is such a huge market for health fraud?
Now you know the answer!
The UK medical doctor, Sarah Myhill, has a website where she tells us:
Everyone should follow the general approach to maintaining and restoring good health, which involves eating a paleo ketogenic diet, taking a basic package of nutritional supplements, ensuring a good night’s sleep on a regular basis and getting the right balance between work, exercise and rest. Because we live in an increasingly polluted world, we should probably all be doing some sort of detox regime.
She also happens to sell dietary supplements of all kinds which must surely be handy for all who want to follow her advice. Dr. Myhill boosted her income even further by putting false claims about Covid-19 treatments online. And that got her banned from practicing for nine months after a medical tribunal.
She posted videos and articles advocating taking vitamins and other substances in high doses, without evidence they worked. The General Medical Council (GMC) found her recommendations “undermined public health” and found some of her recommendations had the potential to cause “serious harm” and “potentially fatal toxicity”. The tribunal was told she uploaded a series of videos and articles between March and May 2020, describing substances as “safe nutritional interventions” which she said meant vaccinations were “rendered irrelevant”. But the substances she promoted were not universally safe and have potentially serious health risks associated with them, the panel was told. The tribunal found Dr. Myhill “does not practice evidence-based medicine and may encourage false reassurance in her patients who may believe that they will not catch Covid-19 or other infections if they follow her advice”.
Dr. Myhill previously had a year-long ban lifted after a General Medical Council investigation into her claims of being a “pioneer” in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. In fact, the hearing was told there had been 30 previous GMC investigations into Dr. Myhill, but none had resulted in findings of misconduct.
Dr. Myhill is also a vocal critic of the PACE trial and biopsychosocial model of ME/CFS. Dr. Myhill’s GMC complaint regarding a number of PACE trial authors was first rejected without investigation by the GMC, after Dr. Myhill appealed the GMC stated they would reconsider. Dr. Myhill’s action against the GMC for failing to provide reasoning for not investigating the PACE trial authors is still continuing and began a number of months before the most recent GMC instigation of her practice started.
The recent tribunal concluded: “Given the circumstances of this case, it is necessary to protect members of the public and in the public interest to make an order suspending Dr. Myhill’s registration with immediate effect, to uphold and maintain professional standards and maintain public confidence in the profession.”
Every now and then, I like to look at what our good friend and SCAM entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow is offering via her extraordinary ripoff called GOOP. When I recently browsed through her goodies, I find lots of items that made me blush (common decency does not permit me to go into details here). But I also found something that I am sure many of us might need after the over-indulgence of recent weeks:Preview Changes (opens in a new tab)
The product is described as follows:
This body-and-spirit-centering bath soak, infused with Himalayan pink salt, helps take the edge off during turbulent times (or after a crazy day). Called “The Martini” after the traditional name for the last take of the day in filmmaking, the soak is made with pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salts, chia-seed oil, passionflower, valerian root, myrrh, Australian sandalwood, and wild-crafted frankincense.
Here at goop we believe in making every choice count, which is why we’ve always been outspoken about the toxic ingredients used in personal-care and beauty products (all are effectively unregulated in this country). We’re also passionate about the idea that beauty comes from the inside out. So we use clinically proven and best-in-class ingredients at active levels to create skin care, skin-boosting ingestibles, and body essentials that are luxurious, deliver high-performance results, and enliven the senses with exquisite textures and beautiful scents. We don’t rest until we think our products are perfect—safe enough and powerful enough for noticeable results. (All our products are formulated without parabens, petroleum, phthalates, SLS, SLES, PEGs, TEA, DEA, silicones, or artificial dyes or fragrances. And our formulas are not tested on animals.) We hope you love them as much as we do.
- emotional detox
- pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salts
- clinically proven and best-in-class ingredients
- skin-boosting ingestibles
- body essentials
- high-performance results
By now, I am sure, you are dying to learn what the Emotional Detox Bath Soak contains:
Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Passiflora Incarnata Extract, Valeriana Officinalis Root Extract, Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), Leaf Extract, Maltodextrin, Boswellia Carterii Oil, Commiphora Myrrha Oil, Fusanus Spicatus Wood Oil, Cyperus Scariosus (Nagarmotha) Oil, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol.
Clinically proven, you ask?
Well, perhaps not in the sense that sad, retired academics tend to understand the term, but you have to realize, this is a different world where words have different meanings, the meaning entretreneurs want them to have. What is proven though is this: at $40 a tiny jar, the detox bath will eliminate some cash from your pocket – after all, that’s what detox is all about, isn’t it?
Max Gerson is well-known to experts in so-called alternative medicine (SCAM). After all, he invented the famous alternative cancer regimen, the Gerson therapy (previously discussed here, here, and here). Not that this treatment works – in fact, it is not just ineffective but also dangerous – but it has prominent promoters, not least King Charles III. As I say, Gerson is well known for his cancer quackery. What hardly anyone knows is that, before he dabbled in cancer, he invented an entirely different medicine.
Max was born as the 3rd of 9 siblings into a Jewish family on October 18, 1881. They lived in Wongrowitz, a part of Poland that at the time belonged to Germany. Max went to school in his hometown and studied medicine in Breslau (Wrocław, now Poland), Wuerzburg, Berlin, and Freiburg. In 1909, he graduated from the University of Freiburg and began practicing medicine at age 28 in Breslau. During WWI, Gerson worked as a surgeon in a military hospital in Breslau and was awarded the ’Iron Cross’ for his service. In 1916, he married Gretchen Hope; the two had three daughters and stayed together until his death.
In 1918, the Gerson family moved to Bielefeld (Germany), and Max specialized in internal medicine as well as neurology. During this period, Gerson developed an anti-inflammatory drug combination and made contact with a local pharmaceutical firm, ‘ASTA Medica’. On the occasion of the firm’s recent 100th jubilee, a German newspaper reported: “The company did business with the well-known Bielefeld physician and inventor Dr. Max Gerson. At the time, he owned the prescription and trademark for a painkiller called Quadronal. Dr. Gerson became a silent partner.” Remarkably, Gerson who published >50 papers (most in German) seems to have no publication on Quadronal.
In his biography of Gerson, Howard Straus (Max’s grandson), explained that Max Gerson did, in fact, develop not just Quadronal for ASTA but also another drug, Quadronox, which however was not as successful as Quadronal. Crucially, Straus makes it very clear that the drug company defrauded Gerson and “never paid a penny to him or his family, nor honored his early ownership of the shares in the company”.
When I was a young clinician in Germany, Quadronal was still quite popular, and I prescribed it regularly. It had been unquestionably the main success for the multi-million firm, ASTA. Today, it is less in use or even no longer available (I am not sure, perhaps someone can fill me in). Gerson’s second drug, Quadronox, seems to have disappeared a long time ago.
I find this story interesting and potentially relevant to the history of Max Gerson. His time in Bielefeld ended when he fled the Nazis (many of his family were killed during the Holocaust). Eventually, Max, his wife, and their three daughters ended up in New York where Gerson tried to establish his anti-cancer regimen. He became fiercely anti-pharma, and many of his followers even claim that he died by being poisoned by the medico-pharmaceutical establishment which allegedly was afraid that his ‘highly successful’ cancer therapy would put them out of business. It is hard to resist the temptation of suspecting a connection between Gerson’s pharma-phobia and the unfair treatment Max received from ASTA in Bielefeld.
Obviously, my knowledge about all this is incomplete, and I would love to hear from people who know more about it.