Myth, magic, religion and Complementary Alternative Medicine

Myth, magic, religion and Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) how inescapably entwined.

CAM is by and large, derived from ancient and often far-eastern practices. Included under it's banner it comes in multifarous forms such as naturopathy, chiropractic, herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine, Unani, Ayurveda, faith or spiritual healers, urotherapy, oxygen therapy, Polarity Therapy, Reiki, Gerson Therapy, holistic medicine, hydrogen peroxide, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, hypnosis, homeopathy, acupuncture, diet-based therapies and so on and on and on.

It is a billion dollar industry which is flourishing. And as per religion lo and behold there is a lack evidence-based assessment. The 'safety and efficacy is either not available or has not been performed for many of these practices' from

Dan's discussion posted on July 3, 2009 on TA site relates to this "Parents in faith-healing case never considered calling a doctor."

The following quote is an example of how CAM is hoodwinking us and sapping money out of the system.

The following quote is from

“Spiritual healers” using up scarce NHS resources

The University College London Hospital is to spend £80,000 on testing whether “spiritual healers” can have an effect on cancer.

“Healers” – who wave their hands over the patient and claim to transmit some kind of undefined ‘energy’ – want to find out whether their efforts increase the number of white blood cells in cancer sufferers.

Astonishingly, UCLH has a dedicated team of 10 “healers”, who cost the hospital around £80,000 a year to maintain. They are the idea of department manager Angela Buxton who first became interested in “spiritual healing” after the death of her seven-year-old son from leukaemia. She told the local paper: “Science has not caught up with how it works. Anecdotal evidence shows it works but we need hard evidence.”

The trial will need 50 volunteers who have had chemotherapy. “We want to know if the white blood cells are increasing after we give the patient healing,” Mrs Buxton said.

Dr Michael Irwin, co-ordinator of the Secular Medical Forum commented: “What a ridiculous way to waste £80,000. Surely the ten ‘helpers’ at UCLH could be financed by those, outside the hospital, who believe in this hocus-pocus? £80,000 could pay the salaries of four nurses for a year - a much better use of anyone's precious resources.”

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society said: “This ‘healers’ project is self-indulgent claptrap. There are many scientifically-proven cancer treatments available that health authorities cannot afford to prescribe. This rubbishy pseudo-science should be kicked out of the hospital immediately.”

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"True, most chiropractors aren't M.D.s. Because we're D.C.s."

Actually the term D.C. i.e. 'Doctor of Chiropractic is somewhat misleading.

Generally these people don't have a PhD and they are not medically trained doctors.

Medical trained doctors use the term Dr. or M.D.

I have also seen that D.C's will put a 'Dr.' before their name. I believe this is incorrect.

Is this term 'Doctor of Chiropractic' used to confuse and/or ally people into thinking they are dealing with a medical trained 'Doctor' ( Dr.)?

A medical doctor (Dr.) is a person that has done a scientific medical training degree.

This following quote is taken from the NECK911USA website
Q. My chiropractor has never mentioned the possibility of suffering an injury from neck manipulation. Does this mean that it is safe?
A. This is one of the biggest failings of chiropractic, the absence of informed consent. In mainstream medicine patients are generally advised of all potential benefits as well as the potential risks associated with any procedure or therapy prior to initiation, they are also advised of other options including doing nothing. This is termed informed consent; the patient ultimately determines whether or not to proceed based on an understanding of the risks, benefits, and alternatives. As a general rule, chiropractors do not practice informed consent and therefore the patient is largely unaware of the potential risks that he or she is being subjected to.
Q. If chiropractors are causing so many strokes, why has this procedure not been banned much like Vioxx was recently taken off the market?
A. Chiropractic is a self-regulated profession. There is no FDA equivalent for chiropractic. If upper neck manipulation were a drug, the FDA would have banned it long ago. Unfortunately those responsible for “policing” chiropractic are the chiropractors themselves, and they have to date not been willing to do anything to stop the deaths and injuries of otherwise healthy young people undergoing chiropractic upper neck manipulations.
Dentists call themselves doctors and have similar education to d.c. and m.d. Do you consider that misleading?

Please see my last conversation linked above to Cubiks Rubes' conversation for my stroke info. This is THE most inaccurate claim anti-chiropractic people make.
Dentists are also regulated by the government so that we know they've met or passed some minimum standard for education. Chiropractors are not.

A dentist is a doctor because he has a doctorate. My dad is a doctor because he has a doctorate. It's a title indicating the possession of a PhD, not an understanding of medicine.
It seems that this debate has uncovered a raw nerve so to speak.

Apparently within the chiropractic camp the troops are wrestling with the major hypothesis 'chiropractic subluxation', in order to drag the movement into the 21st century. Many chiropractors believe in this original hypothesis, but there are some disbelievers who have said 'the chiropractic subluxation continues to have as much or more political than scientific meaning" (quote from Shapiro 2007).

Thus the 'chiropractic' umbrella appears to support two fields under its cover.

The 'straights', who espouse the 'spiritulaistic with innate intelligence, vital flow & vital energy.' These guys align with the founder, D.D. Palmer who developed the original hypothesis of 'chiropractic subluxation'. BTW this guy believed that 'chiropractic was a religion' and he was the leader, as he received his ideas and instructions i.e. 'chiropractic subluxation', from 'the other world' (see pp.138-139 in Shapiro 2007).

And secondly the 'mixers' group, who tend to have a bob each way, in that subluxations is just one (but it is still there) of the many causes of disease. I think they are trying to come to grips with the fact that there is no god and maybe some verifiable evidence for their practices would be good.

And though there has been some testing of chiropractic, by and large it's effectiveness is questionable. Some even say myths and manipulation.

Check the NECK911USA website.
'What Chiropractors are Saying...
One of the main problems with this issue, is that the chiropractic profession has attempted to ignore, or minimize the realities of this devastating consequence. They often state that it occurs in only one out of a million cervical manipulations, or that a person is more likely to be struck by lightning. Recently an administrator at a prominent chiropractic college in the midwest was asked about stroke following chiropractic upper cervical manipulation. He responded that this phenomenon has NEVER happened. Of course this is totally false as prestigious medical journals from around the world have documented these cases for the past sixty years.

The real concern should not focus on the frequency of this occurence but rather on risk/benefit ratio. No matter how infreqent the complication, if there is little or no benefit to the procedure, then a complication as severe as death can not be risked. This is the case with regard to chiropractic manipulation of the highest part of the neck. It is a procedure that is used to treat everything from ear infections in babies to high blood pressure and epilepsy in adults. There is no evidence of any benefit for the majority of the ailments that this procedure is utilized for.'

Further references:-
Again the wikipedia link is good with all round background info.

And Rose Shapiro's book 'Suckers How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All' is a must read.
Wait wait wait...
Then how was it that I was referred to one from a general practitioner doctor?
How was it my chiropractor was able to write me a prescription?

Basically what I want to know is... who the hell was that guy twisting my neck around??
Why was I sent there in the first place?
What did the techniques actually do for me or to me?
I think CarolAnn is probably right in that he may have been an MD as well. Afterall I wouldn't believe that a chiropractor could dispense drugs.

Misty if Ihad neck problems I wouldn't go to a chiropractor, or anyone else for that matter who was going to twist my neck around.

Not sure why you were sent there ?? All I can think of at present is that this CAM thingo is being manipulated and pushed as "scientific" by people with money and/or a lot riding on it. It is big business now. All without any verifiable scientific evidence to back it up. This is scary. As is religion.
I was in America at the time.. Nevada, actually.
I was also sent to one as a child in California for scoliosis problems, too. I just remembered that, though. It was a long time ago. Also something to do with my hand being numb, but I don't really remember enough to recall any specific details. It was something to do with medical insurance, I think. I was probably 8 or 9.

The one i do remember was in Nevada about seven years ago. My problems were a broken C4 about five years before my first visit.. a broken L2 three years before. A broken clavicle multiple times, multiple dislocations on the right shoulder. Never any neck stiffness, but very, very painful in the area between my shoulder blade and spine.
The chiropractor said that there was a rib either dislocated or improperly positioned due to years and years of swelling, slings and bad posture from the injuries. The first time he 'adjusted' it it made this horribly loud sound and hurt like hell.. but immediately after I felt so much better. Pain I didn't even know I HAD was relieved. A few days later, it came creeping back, though, and I had to go through all the treatment again. To this day, nothing has ever felt that good. Even Thai massages don't quite seem to relieve that particular area of discomfort. I can't for the life of me remember the chiropractors name, but I can get in touch with my ex boyfriend because he went there for a while.
He prescribed you medication? That's illegal. Chiropractors are not authorized to write prescriptions for anything other than over-the-counter medication.
Unless, of course, the chiropractor also has a MD.
I'm pretty sure that's the case of it, actually.
While I am perfectly aware that anecdotes are not data, and certainly not a single one like mine, I feel compelled to relate my chiropractic experience.

Several years ago (about 12 now), I went to see a chiropractor as my shoulder was in a bad way. Regular pain, constantly having to 'pop' the shoulder, the unpleasant feel of what I took to be my muscles sliding across my shoulder blade in a decidedly unnatural way. I was poor, and without medical insurance, and a chiropractor was not only cheaper than a hospital stay, but more convenient as well, as the office was across the street from my apartment complex.

At first, things went fairly well. my shoulder was x-rayed, and the chiropractor pointed out how the tendons were out of place, and so forth. For the next several months, I came in for adjustments, starting with once a week and petering out to about once a month after a year or so had passed. My shoulder felt better, and my hip felt better as well after he said I should stop carrying my wallet in my back pocket, as it was causing me to sit lopsided.

However, after a while, my chiropractor started to drift towards the woo side of the force. Where previously his actions seemed to be fairly well grounded in anatomy, medicine and science, changes started to creep in. It began with his nutrition classes, which while seeming rational enough, started to promote 'supplements'. Then the reflexology charts appeared on the walls, diagramming how every point in your body was related to specific points on your feet and hands. Then the homeopathic remedies started to crop up. And while all of this happened, the usual 10-15 minute sessions, where he would examine my back, shoulder, and so forth, before doing any adjustments that might be needed, dwindled until the 15 minutes was closer to 5. He'd walk in, not even do an examination, pop 'the regular spots', and that would be it.

I've stopped going there, but I have checked up to see what he's offering now.
Nutrition Response Testing to maintain the body's energy flow, holistic allergy techniques used to remove blockages in the chi flow at energy meridians, using acupressure to 'rewire the brain' to stop allergic reactions, ionic foot baths to purge toxins (via bioenergetic fields), and so on.

Chiropractic to adjust the spine, un-pinch nerves, re-seat out-of-position bones and the like seems rational to me. And if that were all that fell under the banner of chiropractic, I don't think many people would have a problem with it. It's all the irrational, unproven, disproved and wild-eyed nonsense that gets lumped in as well that causes chiropractic to be lumped in with reiki healing, Attractive Force Therapy, and other pseudoscience claptrap.
Dave...I think this will shock many people, but I tend to agree with you.

I think those other treatments are kind of interesting because of their anecdotal results. They may even hold some potential (I doubt it). But they are way far away from studied or supported.

Chiropractic on it's own should not be compared to reiki, reflexology, etc. I think that's what gets me riled up - because I'm aware of the differences....and they are big differences.


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