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

satire

Chiropractors may have a bad reputation, but that’s all wrong. They are selfless and dedicated to the extend that some of them even offer their services for free! A UK chiropractor, for instance, proundly claims on his website this:

If your spine is not healthy, you are not healthy. Chiropractic care works to help ensure your spine is aligned so that your central nervous system works properly as it controls every single organ, gland, blood vessel and cell in your body. Over the years, Dr Jason (Chiropractor) has seen how chiropractic care goes far beyond pain relief to find the underlying cause of your problem. “I have seen people simply giving up all hope of a life free from pain and illness, then taking an active role in their health and completely turning their own and their families’ quality of life around.”

He also states that:

When complications during delivery led Dr Jason’s (Chiropractor) son Jake to be born via a ventouse birth, his passion for paediatric care was also born. Seeing his son immediately benefit from care inspired him and has led the O’Connor Chiropractic direction to focus on helping Yorkshire families experience wellness. Now, Dr Jason (Chiropractor) has paired a passion for helping children with specialised paediatrics training so he can help children to live life to their full potential.

Children are being offered free spinal checks in Harrogate this weekend.

O’Connor Chiropractic on Station Parade is welcoming visitors for a Christmas party on Saturday (16th December). Families are being invited to attend the family wellness centre for coffee and treats from 7:30am until 12pm. And children are being offered free spinal checks from chiropractor Jason O’Connor alongside an offer for 50% off full assessments.

_________________

The 16th December has long passed, and we all missed the occasion of free spinal checks for our kids.

What a shame!!!

Think of all the subluxations that will now have to remain undiagnosed!

Think of all the Yorkshire families unable to experience wellness now!

Think of all the children unable to live life to their full potential!

 

 

PS

To those who are not regulars on my blog, I recommend a few previous posts that put the above into context:

TOXIN BUILDUP CAN CAUSE:

  • Brain Fog
  • Irritability
  • Exhaustion
  • Stress Induced Muscle Aches
  • Inability to Concentrate
  • Tiredness
  • Restlessness
  • And Many More Problems

At least this is what we are being told on the Nuunu website which appeared in my emails recently (how did they know that I am full of toxins?). Here is some more of the infinite wisdom promoted by Nuubu:

Improve your body and mind with a natural Asian solution!

  • Traditional Wisdom: Nuubu was inspired by Centuries-old traditional Asian knowledge, passed on by generations. True trust is earned by passing a test of time. Nuubu is made of natural herbs and herbal extracts. Forget about harmful, toxic chemicals and embrace the soothing power of nature!
  • Detox Through Sweat: Nuubu is a revolutionary detox foot patch that can greatly increase your sense of wellbeing. Nuubu supports the body’s natural way of removing toxins through activated sweat glands.
  • Holistic Approach: Tackle the cause, not the symptoms – your body is riddled by toxic elements, which may harm your wellbeing and increase stress. Using sweat detox and vitamin infusion Nuubu helps you to strengthen your mind, body and soul!

Natural Body Toxin Removal:
Amazing
New Way to Improve Your Life

  • A Secret to a Stress-Free Living

    Tired? Stressed? Fatigued? You are not alone – our lifestyles are extremely taxing on our bodies and minds alike. Headaches, bad sleep and stress are the unfortunate hallmarks of fast-moving modern life. Active ingredients that are found in the Nuubu foot patch are known for their ability to remove accumulating harmful elements from your body, which can greatly improve your sense of wellbeing!*

  • Traditional Medicine gets Modern Upgrade

    According to Japanese traditional knowledge, the human body has over 360 acupuncture points, with more than 60 points found on the soles of the foot. Nuubu combines tried-and-true Asian techniques with a sleek and modern approach – attach the herbal-remedy based patches to your feet and wait a few hours for the toxin removal through your sweat glands. It has never been that easy!

  • Natural Approach

    Are you tired of hazardous man-made chemicals being used in every aspect of your life? There is a better way to harmonize your lifestyle! Nuubu foot patches are made using natural herbs similar to ones found in the remote East-Asian mountainsides. Forget the harmful toxicity and side effects!

Traditional Wisdom

Traditional Asian wisdom that has been passed down through the ages is what inspired the Nuubu Patches. The test of time is what allows us to provide you with a product that you can trust. Forget about hazardous, dangerous drugs and enjoy nature’s calming influence instead.

Only the most natural herbs and herbal extracts are used to make the Nuubu Patches. We have blended together ancient herbal therapies to create the ultimate in cleansing wellness.

The soothing herbal aroma of Mother Nature’s finest plants and botanicals allow you to know that the Nuubu Patches are doing their job and providing you with optimal wellness.

______________________

I hope you are as impressed as I am!

So, I searched for the evidence?

Does detox work? Specifically, does the Nuubu reduce my:

  • Brain Fog
  • Irritability
  • Exhaustion
  • Stress Induced Muscle Aches
  • Inability to Concentrate
  • Tiredness
  • Restlessness
  • And Many More Problems

No matter how hard I searched, I did not find any evidence. Eventually, I had to conclude that the patch does not work.

Hold on!

The website might be correct with one claim: it helps you to strengthen your mind

… to such an extend that you will

never fall for the lies of detox entrepreneurs!

He came to my attention via the sad story recently featured here about patients allegedly being harmed or killed in a Swiss hospital for so-called alternative medicine (SCAM). What I then learned about the doctor in charge of this place fascinated me:

Rau states about himself (my translation):

Early on, Dr Rau focused on natural therapies, in particular homeopathy and dietary changes. The healing success of his patients proved him right, so he studied alternative healing methods with leading practitioners. These included orthomolecular medicine, Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and European holistic medicine. With his wealth of knowledge and over 30 years of experience, Dr Rau formed his own holistic theory of healing: Swiss Biological Medicine – Dr Rau’s Biological Medicine. It is based on the principles of detoxification, nutrition, digestion and sustainable strengthening of the immune system.

Career & studies:

  • Medical studies at the University of Bern
  • Final medical examinations in Switzerland and the USA
  • Subsequent work in rheumatology, internal and general medicine
  • Member of the Swiss Medical Association FMH since 1981
  • 1981 to 1992 conventional physician & medical director of a Swiss spa centre for rheumatology and rehabilitation medicine
  • 1983 to 1992 Doctor at a drug rehabilitation centre
  • 1992 to 2019 Establishment of the Paracelsus Clinic Lustmühle as medical director and partner
  • until 2020 Head of the academic network and training organisation “Paracelsus Academy”

Rau also states this:

  • 2019 mit dem Honorarprofessoren-Titel von der Europäischen Universität in Wien ausgezeichnet (2019, he was awarded the title of homorary professor at the European University in Vienna)

This puzzles me because there is no such institution as the ‘Europäische Universität in Wien’. There is a Central European University but this can hadly be it?!

Now, I am intrigued and see what the ‘honorary professor’ might have published. Sadly, there seems to be nothing on Medline except 2 interviews. In one interview, Rau explains (amongst other things) ‘live blood analysis’, a method that we have repeatedly discussed before (for instance, here and here):

Darkfield microscopy shows a lot. We take 1 drop of blood and look at it under a very large-scale magnification. The blood is life under the glass. Once it’s on the glass, there isn’t oxygen or light or heat. This is a giant stress for the blood. So we see how, over a time, the blood reacts to this stress, and how the blood cells tolerate the stress. You can see the changes. So we take a drop of blood that represents the organism and put it under stress and look at how the cells react to the stress, and then we can see the tolerance and the resistiveness of these cells. Do they have a good cell-membrane face? Do they have good energetic behavior? Do they clot together? Is there a chance for degenerative diseases? Is there a cancerous tendency in this blood? We see tendencies. And that’s what we are interested in, tendencies.

Question: If you saw a cancerous tendency, what would that look like?

Rau: Cancerous tendency is a change in the cells. They get rigid, so to say. They don’t react very well.

Question: And how long does blood live outside the body?

Rau: It can live for several days. But after 1 hour, the blood is already seriously changed. For example, a leukemia patient came to my clinic for another disease. But when we did darkfield, I found the leukemia. We saw that his white blood cells were atypical. Look at this slide—the fact that there are so many white blood cells together is absolutely unusual, and the fact that there are atypical white blood cells. This shows me that the patient has myeloid leukemia. The patient had been diagnosed as having rheumatoid lung pain, but it was absolutely not true. The real cause of his pain was an infiltration of the spinal bone by these lymphocytes.

This is, of course, complete nonsense. As I explained in my blog post, live blood analysis (LBA) is not plausible and there is no evidence to support the claims made for it. It also is by no means new; using his lately developed microscope, Antony van Leeuwenhoek observed in 1686 that living blood cells changed shape during circulation. Ever since, doctors, scientists and others have studied blood samples in this and many other ways.

New, however, is what today’s SCAM practitioners claim to be able to do with LBA. Proponents believe that the method provides information about the state of the immune system, possible vitamin deficiencies, amount of toxicity, pH and mineral imbalance, areas of concern and weaknesses, fungus and yeast infections, as well as just about everything else you can imagine.

LBA is likely to produce false-positive and false-negative diagnoses. A false-positive diagnosis is a condition which the patient does not truly have. This means she will receive treatments that are not necessary, potentially harmful and financially wasteful. A false-negative diagnosis would mean that the patient is told she is healthy, while in fact she is not. This can cost valuable time to start an effective therapy and, in extreme cases, it would hasten the death of that patient. The conclusion is thus clear: LBA is an ineffective, potentially dangerous diagnostic method for exploiting gullible consumers. My advice is to avoid practitioners who employ this technique.

And what does that say about ‘honorary professor’ Rau?

I think I let you answer that question yourself.

 

Some articles are just too remarkable for me to alter them in any way. This one impresses already by its title: “Ameliorative effects of homeopathic medicines in the management of different cancers“. By way of a ‘Christmas treat’, here its summary:

Homeopathy is a commonly used complementary and alternative system of medicine for the treatment of various sorts of ailments throughout the world. Homeopathic medicines are made up of potential therapeutic natural products that are primarily acknowledged for their low doses as well as extended patient survival results. Homeopathic medicines are derived from plants such as arnica (mountain herb), red onion, poison ivy, stinging nettle, and belladonna (deadly nightshade); minerals including white arsenic as well as from animals such as crushed whole bees. Homeopathic medicines are synthesized as sugar pellets to be placed under the tongue and may also be used in the form of gels, ointments, drops, tablets, and creams. Homeopathic medicines can be used to treat various disorders including migraine, depression, gastrointestinal diseases, joint pain, inflammation, different sorts of injuries, flu, arthritis as well as sciatica.

Cancer is the 2nd major reason behind global mortalities. It is revealed that developing countries around the world shoulder most of the cancer burden. According to a survey conducted in 2020, low- and middle-income countries face 70% of the total mortalities worldwide which accounts for approximately 10 million people of these countries. Homeopathic medicines ensure low-cost cancer treatment with little or no side effects on the bodies of humans and animals. Besides, it is applied as a supportive and palliative therapy in a broad range of cancer patients to enhance the body’s fight against cancer, alleviate discomfort resulting from disease or conventional treatments as well as improve the general well-being of the patients. In this chapter, our primary focus will be on the anti-cancerous effects of homeopathic medicines against different cancerous conditions in the body along with their mechanism of action.

Let me just mention a few fairly obvious points:

My conclusion:

Those who advocate homeopathy don’t know what it is, while those who know what it is, don’t advocate it.

Need to find a last-minute Christmas present?

What about the ‘libido-boosting soft drink G Spot? That surely would make a wonderful holiday season (provided the drink does not get highjacked by your mother-in-law). Here is more info, in case you are interested:

Launched in May 2023, the line of plant-based sparkling drinks include “life-enhancing adaptogens and nootropics that invigorate and boost performance and cognitive functions”.

“I’ve had a serious soft drink habit for the past 20 years, and I don’t drink enough water,” Gillian Anderson (OBE), the firm’s founder and brain behind the drinks, said. “I know sugar and caffeine are not good for me, but I haven’t found an alternative that has the same effect. And although I love the idea of flavoured water, I really don’t like the taste of what’s out there. So, I thought, if what I’m looking for doesn’t exist, why don’t I make it?”

Arouse, specifically, has been designed to “awaken your senses” with Passionfruit, White Peach and Habanero, blended expertly with functional ingredients, including: Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea), a plant species used in traditional medicine as an aphrodisiac; I-Arginine and I-Citrulline, amino acids which increase blood flow to sexual organs to improve libido; and Vitamin B6, a nutrient that regulates sexual hormones.

“At G Spot, we believe wellness is due a fresh take. One that’s less intense and anxiety inducing. One that truly makes you feel good, without guilt or inhibition. Our newest drink, Arouse, embodies our commitment to this philosophy. Arouse isn’t just a flavour; it’s an experience!” says CEO Rebekah Hall.

Named after their intended effects, the rest of the line comes in the form of Lift, combining berry, apply and peppercorn flavors with the wellbeing benefits of bacopa, theanine, cordyceps, and lion’s mane (boosting energy levels, stamina, and brain power while also combating stress); Protect, blending meadowsweet, ginger, lemon, turmeric, peppercorn and chaga (offering additional immune system-boosting benefits)’ and Soothe, which combines apples, sage, and cornflower with magnesium, maca, reishi, and ashwagandha (which works to relax the body as it benefits from the brand-wide libido boost).

All G Spot drinks available online in 6- and 12-pack bundles (250ml per can), as well as in Harvey Nichols (in-store and online) in the UK.

Prices range from £3.50 to £29.99 ($4.28 to $36.54).

The drinks are advertised to invigorate and boost performance and cognitive functions.

Any evidence for these medicinal claims?

Sadly not – at least I could not find any.

A case for the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA)?

Possibly!

 

I don’t know why, but it was only recently that I came across RESEARCH.COM!

In case you don’t know what it is: essentially, it is a platform that offers rankings of:

  • Universities,
  • Journals,
  • Conferences,
  • Scientists

Research.com “really cares about the quality and visibility of research and our mission is to offer leading researchers better exposure of their achievements. Our rankings of scientists are based on transparent procedures based on well-established metrics gathered from trusted sources of data.

Our best scholars ranking is a credible list of leading scientists from the discipline of Medicine, established by means of a thorough analysis of 166,880 researchers determined from various bibliometric data sources. For the field of Medicine, as many as 68936 scientists were investigated.”

Like Oscar Wilde, I can resist everything except temptation. So, I typed in my name and found this:

World ranking: 938

National ranking: 103

D-Index: 140

Citations: 71,715

Publications: 1,520

Obviously, I was pleased but also have to admit that I am unsure of what a ‘D-Index’ is and how it is derived (something that can be looked up, I’m sure).

Still tempted, I ventured to find the rankings of other researchers of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM). So, I spent quite some time searching the more well-known names in this field.

And the result? ZERO!

As far as I was able to determine, none of my fellow SCAM researchers have a ranking at all.

Does that mean that I am the only ‘leading’ scientist in my field?

Emboldened by this thought, I tried to find out whether any Exeter researcher is ranked higher than I am. The answer is YES: Andrew Hattersley is on rank 41. I know Andrew; he is a great scientist and person and deserves to be very high up on the list.

[I should add perhaps that I found the research.com site rather difficult to navigate. If I made errors, could someone more gifted than I please put me right?]

____________________

In what way is any of this relevant?

In no way!

Yesterday, somone commented on this blog: “What have any of you so called scientists done for humans, on this site, besides throw your credentials around? Nothing, you are lifelong college students too scared to join real world.”

Now the author of these lines can be happy in the belief that he is correct.

In May this year, I reported that my ex-friend Michael Dixon had been appointed as HEAD OF THE ROYAL MEDICAL HOUSEHOLD. The story was picked up by Gabriel Pogrund, one of the top investigative journalists of THE SUNDAY TIMES, who published a long article about Dixon yesterday which I encourage you to read in full.

In it he revealed many things about Dixon including, for instance, that some of the academic titles he often carries might not be what they seem. On ‘X’. Pogrund commented that “He [Dixon] faces Qs after three unis could not confirm his academic roles”. The article prompted many other newspapers to report on the matter.

The Guardian, for instance, contacted The Good Thinking Society, which promotes scientific scepticism. Michael Marshall, project director at the society, said: “It [promoting homeopathy] isn’t appropriate. I think the role of the monarchy, if it has one in current society, isn’t to be advocating for their own personal projects and their own personal beliefs or using the power and influence they have to further causes that run directly counter to the evidence that we have. “It’s absolutely unequivocal that homeopathic remedies do not work and just because you happen to be in a position of extreme power and privilege, that doesn’t change that.” Marshall said the appointment was also worrying because it suggested the king might still be supporting complementary medicine behind the scenes. He added: “Before Charles became king, he was the patron of homeopathic organisations, he was an outspoken advocate in favour of homeopathy and pushing back the bounds of science towards pseudoscience. And the argument was that he would stop doing that once he became king. This appears to be a sign that he isn’t going to do that, that he isn’t going to stop. What’s worrying is, as we’ve seen from the black spider memos, Charles is someone who also wields his power and influence quietly behind the scenes as well as publicly, so if this is the kind of step he’s willing to make in public, it raises questions about whether he’s willing to make even more steps in private.”

The Guardian also asked me three questions and I provided my answers in writing:

Q: Do you think it’s appropriate that the king has appointed Dr Michael Dixon to such a prestigious role? If not, why?
A; Surely, the King can appoint who he wants. In the realm of health care, he often seemed to favour people wo promote dubious therapies [Charles, The Alternative King: An… by Ernst, Edzard (amazon.co.uk)
Q: Do you think the king’s public position on homeopathy is problematic? and if so, why?
A: Anyone who promotes homeopathy is undermining evidence based medicine and rational thinking. The former weakens the NHS, the latter will cause harm to society.
Q: Do you think homeopathy has a place in medicine and if not, why? What has your research shown on its efficacy?
A: We and others have shown that homeopathy is not an effective therapy, which has today become the accepted consensus. To me, this means its only legitimate place is in the history books of medicine.

Within hours, the story became an international isse. For example a short article in DER SPIEGEL informed Germany as follows (my translation):

He works with Christian healers and prescribes goat weed for impotence: Dr Michael Dixon looks after the health of the British royal family. Scientists are appalled.

King Charles has appointed a homeopathy advocate as head of the royal medical household and has been heavily criticised by scientists. They call the decision worrying and inappropriate, as reported by the Guardian, among others. Dr Michael Dixon, who promotes faith healing and herbalism in his work as a general practitioner, has quietly held the senior position for a year, writes the Sunday Times. Although 71-year-old Dixon is head of the royal medical household, this is the first time that this role has not been combined with that of a doctor to the monarch. His duties include taking overall responsibility for the health of the King and the entire royal family – and also representing them in discussions with the government. He once invited a Christian healer into his practice to treat chronically ill patients. He also experimented with prescribing devil’s claw for shoulder pain and goat’s weed for impotence, reports the Sunday Times.

Will all this have consequences? Will the King reflect and reconsider his affiliations with those who promote quackery? Will Dixon change?

Personally, I will not hold my breath.

Every now and then, I come across a paper that is so remarkable that I feel like copying it for you in its full and untouched beauty. The recent article entitled “Revisiting the therapeutic potential of homeopathic medicine Rhus Tox for herpes simplex virus and inflammatory conditions” falls in this category. Let me present to you its unchanged abstract as recently published in the ‘J Ayurveda Integr Med’:

Background: Herpes simplex virus type-1 and type-2 cause a viral disease named Herpes. Genital herpes is mainly caused by HSV-2 with symptoms of painful and itchy blisters on the vagina, cervix, buttocks, anus, penis, or inner thighs with blisters that rupture and convert into sores. The homeopathic remedy Rhus Tox has been widely used to treat herpes and has shown invitro anti-inflammatory effects in previous studies.

Purpose: The presented review focuses on relapses and harmful effects caused by acyclovir in modern medicine and the probable antiherpetic activity of Rhus Tox on HSV infection based on its pathophysiology, preclinical findings, on primary cultured mouse chondrocytes, mouse cell line MC3T3e1 and a comparative study of Natrum Mur with Rhus Tox on HSV infection.

Study design: The design of the study focuses mainly on the descriptive data available in various literature articles.

Method: Databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, Medline and ScienceDirect were used to search the articles. Articles are selected from 1994 to 2022 focusing solely on the competence of Rhus Tox against herpes. Keywords used for the study are antiviral, Herpes, Rhus Tox, in vitro and homeopathy.

Results: The review includes fifteen articles, including 4 full-text articles on HSV, 6 in vitro studies of homeopathic compounds performed on the herpes virus, and 5 articles based on the pathophysiology and effects of Rhus tox. The review article proposes the anti-inflammatory and antiviral action of the homeopathic remedy Rhus Tox which can be used in crisis conditions when the physician doubts the simillimum, as it prevents further outbreaks of HSV infection.

Conclusion: The homeopathic medicine Rhus Tox has no cytotoxicity observed under in vitro conditions and can be used to treat herpes infection. Further studies are needed to confirm the results under in vitro and in vivo conditions as well as in clinical trials.

Considering that the paper was based on ‘descriptive data available in various literature articles’, the conclusion that “Rhus Tox … can be used to treat herpes infection” is surprising, to say the least.

In the paper itself we find many more baffling statements, e.g.:

  • Modern medicines target only specific organs at a time, but there is a risk of widespread infection which influence complications such as meningitis or HSV-2 radiculopathy which are not observed after the use of homeopathy as the disease progression does not involve vital organs and the disease level stays on the skin layer itself.
  • Homeopathy treats patients holistically taking into consideration all the physical, mental and characteristic ailments of the patient. Rhus tox can effectively relieve all the symptoms of herpes infection, including pain, blisters, redness, restlessness, etc. Rhus Tox can effectively penetrate the capsid structure of the infected cells and cure the patient. Rhus tox in different potencies is currently being used to treat inflammatory and viral diseases
  • In homeopathy, many treatments have been clinically proven to have some impact, and in individual cases a solution for herpes viruses. Homeopathy can prevent further outbreaks of herpes simplex infection.
  • Homeopathy strengthens immunity to fight infections and contributes to mental, physical, and social well-being, hence complementary therapies should be used along with the traditional antiviral drugs to give maximum comfort to the patient.

I am sure that some readers of the paper are impressed. These statments leave little doubt about the notion that homeopathy is the best thing since sliced bread. What a pity though that, for none of them, the authors (who incedently are affiliated with prestigeous sounding institutions: Homeopathic Materia Medica Department, Bharti Vidyapeeth, Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Dept. of Postgraduate & Research Centre, Pune-Satara Road, Dhankawadi, Pune, 411043, India, ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, 73 G MIDC Bhosari, Pune, India, ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute, 73 G MIDC Bhosari, Pune, India) provide any evidence whatsoever.

Homeopathy, it seems to me, is a cult characterised not just by a total lack of active ingredients but also by an equally total void of proper evidence supporting the delusions of its proponents.

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!

 

PS

Sadly, such behavior exists in convertional medicine occasionally too, but SCAM relies almost entirely on it.

I was alerted to a new book entitled “Handbook of Space Pharmaceuticals“. It contains a chapter on “Homeopathy as a Therapeutic Option in Space” (yes, I am not kidding!). Here is its abstract (the numbers were inserted by me and refer to the short comments below):

Homeopathy is one of the largest used unorthodox medicinal systems having a wide number of principles and logic to treat and cure various diseases [1]. Many successful concepts like severe dilution to high agitation have been applied in the homeopathic system [2]. Though many concepts like different treatment for same diseases and many more are contradictory to the allopathic system [3], homeopathy has proved its worth in decreasing drug-related side effects in many arenas [4]. Various treatments and researches are carried out on various diseases; mostly homeopathic treatment is used in joint diseases, respiratory diseases, cancer, and gastrointestinal tract diseases [5]. In this chapter, readers will have a brief idea about many meta-analysis results of most common respiratory diseases, i.e., asthma, incurable hypertension condition, rheumatoid arthritis, and diarrhea and a megareview of all the diseases to see their unwanted effects, uses of drugs, concepts, and issues related to homeopathy [6]. Various limitations of homeopathic treatments are also highlighted which can give a clear idea about the future scope of research [7]. Overall, it can be concluded that placebo and homeopathic treatments give almost the same effect [8], but the less severe side effects of homeopathic drugs in comparison to all other treatment groups catch great attention [9].

Apart from the very poor English of the text and the fact that it has as good as nothing to do with the subject of ‘Homeopathy as a Therapeutic Option in Space’, I have the following brief comments:

  1. I did not know that homeopathy has ‘a wide number of logic’ and had alwas assumed that there is only one logic.
  2. Successful concepts? Really?
  3. So, homeopaths believe that the ‘allopathic system’ treats the same diseases uniformly? In this case, they should perhaps read up what conventional medicine really does.
  4. I am not aware of good evidence showing that homeopathy reduces drug related adverse effects.
  5. No, homeopathy is used for all symptoms – Hahnemann did not believe in treating disease entities – and mostly for those that are self-limiting.
  6. I love the term ‘incurable hypertension condition’; can somebody please explain what it is?
  7. The main limitation is that homeopathy is nonsense and, as such, does not really require further research.
  8. Not ‘almost’ but ‘exactly’! But thanks for pointing it out.
  9. Wishful thinking and not true. Firstly, the author forgot about ‘homeopathic aggravations’ in which homeopaths so strongly believe. Secondly, I know of many non-homeopathic treatments that are free of adverse effects when done properly.

Altogether, I am as disappointed by this article as you must be: we were probably all hoping to hear about the discovery showing that homeopathy works splendidly in space – not least because we have known for a while that homeopaths seem to be from a different planet.

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