I know this probably belongs in the Skeptics group, but I wanted it open for all replies.

So what do you think? Natural healing bogus? Our health care system actively participating in a conspiracy to silence competition?

Does conventional medicine keep you sick in order to profit from your treatments?

I've got some findings that will help move the discussion along once it's started. So go post. Tell me your thoughts.

Remember to keep it civil!

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A question I like to ask people who fawn over Eastern medicine (chakras, reiki, etc.) is if it's so damn better than modern medicine, why were'nt the average lifespans of people in Asie where it originated from in level with those in modern industrial nations or even longer?
Medicine, effective medicine, was certainly not invented by modern scientist, it has existed for thousands of years. No, of course not for all diseases, but many ills that existed thousands of years ago. And those ills that they could not cure, SO WHAT, death is just something that happens to us. Why this compulsion with saving all lives all the time? I will never understand this compulsion, I see it as a religious compulsion.

Ourselves, as modern intelligent scientists, think of ourselves as very superior to previous generations of medieval ignoramuses. What we must not forget is that before these 2 millenia, there were some really great technical achievements and great levels of knowledge. Take the Mayan mathematicians, the polynesians, the Greeks, the Egyptian mathematicians, architects.

Of course 90% of today's MODERN alternative healing IS quackery, but one must consider how this quackery arose. When religious idiots took over Europe, and later the world, all the knowledge that had been previously acquired by humanity (well Western humanity) was burned and vilified. Eventually, European society fell to such low level of knowledge that it was practically THE MAKING of quackery. These medieval quacks were not practising TRADITIONAL (in the sense of knowledge through trial and error passed down through generations) medicine, they invented pure quackery. And they used religious preaching techniques to sell their wares.

Stuff like aspirin and echinacea and st-johns wort are not dark ages inventions, these natural remedies were known for thousands and thousands of years. JUICE PLUS, yeah, all those promises by and for simply more religious style idiots (of which I count some friends). There is an ocean of difference between true traditional practices involving herbs and those quacks selling their modern snake oils, an ocean of difference.

However, one must not forget, healing is but a secondary purpose for corporate pharmaceuticals, whether conventional or alternative, same difference. The primary function of any company with shareholders is to MAXIMISE PROFITS. THAT is the only reason we don't have cures for our big modern diseases. Companies of course know that there is way more money to be made treating people than healing people.
When I hear that traditional cures have been treating people for thousands of years before modern medicine, I instantly think that lifespans before modern medicines were only forty to fifty years. Hmmm....
Just because it's been around for a long time doesn't mean it's effective.
I need to see double blind case studies on any herb, drug or pill before coming to the conclusion that it works.
It's true that we don't see diseases being cured or eradicated like we used to, but I think that's partially because our understanding of 'what disease is' keeps evolving. Influenza was never eradicated...it was just made less deadly. Polio wasn't 'cured' we just started preventing it. T.B is less deadly, but something around 1/3 of the American prison population has it.
Cancer seems to be a catch-all phrase for when shit goes majorly wrong within the human organism. Obesity linked disorders are self inflicted in some ways, but damn near unavoidable in modern society. We do not have access to the types of foods we need to eat to stay healthy for certain income levels. That is just a fact. I mean, there is a lot of blame to go around, but there is a major difference between "Well, you were thinking negative thoughts, so of course your back hurts." and "You eat junk food every day, so your pancreas is sending out warning signals before it files a restraining order against chocolate milk shakes. "

One of the things I'm still curious about is chiropractics.
I've had really good experiences with one guy, and I know they are seen as mainstream medicine in the U.K..but I've heard some real crazy stuff about them in the U.S.
I vaguely remember a discussion with one here on TA, but I was really, really drunk at the time, so I can't particularly recall where it went.

Anyway, my shoulder/neck/back is very, very messed up, and right now it's worse than usual. I don't have health insurance, and I can't afford to go to the doctor. Paying 60$ to have some guy X-ray me (and let me look at the X-rays myself) sounds well worth it. Especially if I get a free massage out of the deal.
Heh, tell me about it. Trying to eat healthy on a budget is sooo hard. I thought I'd hit the jackpot with PB&J - 17 cents a sandwich! protein, fiber & vitamins in one - served w/skim milk. Sounds good right? Holy shit there is a lot of fat of peanuts, is all I can say. Gained about 10 freaking pounds from PB&J!
Sounds like it was processed PB&J sandwiches, that's the only way it was costing 17c, made by a bunch of slave workers and child labour, can't be cheap any other way.

Make your own bread from your own ground flour, you'll be astonished at the taste difference. Whole grains are much cheaper do buy than flour (which is outrageously expensive) and preserve very well.

Then you grind your own peanut butter, or find a store which sells peanut butter ground in house, with no extras (corn sugar) added into it.

Jam's pretty easy to make too. I bet one would not gain weight going this route :)
@TAA That sounds like a great plan for you. I buy products w/very few added ingredients, mostly for my son. I am POOR but I am also incredibly busy. Like, I run a social network, a blog, a youtube channel, a house, and I have a hyperactive special needs 4 year old. Oh, and five mental illnesses. lol, make my own peanut butter.
I don't personally own a grinder, but I've had friends with, and they can grind a litre of PB in minutes. And peanuts in bulk, are chitloads cheaper than commercial peanut butter :)

Personally I can't afford a lot of processed foods, hell, one little box of commercial cereals is 3-6 dollars, whereas one huge bag of non processed non sweetened puffed wheat is is only a couple.

Jam is hugely expensive by the jar, and basically all sugar, which can't be helpful with a hyperactive kid, but even more expensive if you buy the «no added ingredients variety». Even «organic» jams are all sugar. I never buy the stuff myself.

Ideally, I'd like to share these kinds of food items and tools within a group of friends, create a community. I hope to eventually build such a network when I find a new home for myself, as I'm in residence for now. This kind of cooperation is used in the poverty fighting groups in Québec, ACEF. Decreasing poverty through increasing cooperation. It works quite well.

Then there are those foods which are worth getting at Walmart, like wild frozen blueberries, butter, bacon, but otherwise, I stick to the vegetable aisle at the store.

I used to be vegetarian, for 10 years, that's when my food bill was cheapest and I was at my healthiest. I've been considering returning to the lifestyle. :)
It sounds like you've really thought this out. I in no way begrudge people a healthy lifestyle. Taking it to that level may be something I do in the future, but right now I've got enough "crosses to bear". (While writing a book is not the time to add any stress, if you can avoid it, lol.)

Oh, & I don't own a car & the health food stores/coops in my area do not take food stamps, so for me the grocery store actually is cheaper.
I'm allergic to peanuts :(
I have, however.. stopped drinking cow's milk. This was really, really hard for me, by the way. I love all things dairy.
I switched first to soy (that oddly enough, I'm not allergic to, though most people are if they are allergic to peanuts) but I didn't like it.
Then I switched to almond milk and fell in love. I still eat cheese and cultured creams, yogurts, ect...but no more milk. I'm hoping to make the change to only goat cheese and products entirely.
I don't think I could ever give up meat, but I'm doing my best to reduce processed meats and red meats.
I've been seeing chiropractors, only when needed, throughout my life. I've had a few back injuries that literally took me off my feet. As I distinguish between traditional herbal treatments from modern quack, I distinguish between chiropractors who stick to treating backs, and those who claim they can heal ALL.

Out of the 20 something chiropractors I've met in my life, 2 fit the bill of 'heal-all-quacks'. The others took xrays, looked at only the crooked areas, and got me walking again with 2 treatments, then I don't see them again for a year or 5... ;) At 35-50 $ ea, that's not so bad, and a shitload cheaper than longterm medication. In Canada their training is very standardised and scrutinised by the medical corps, and they seem to keep their healing claims to the bare essentials.

This back injury I had this time, nor conventional, nor chiropractic seems to be able to do anything, so I'm taking prescription NSAIDs to alleviate inflammation. That's reducing the pain, but it's not doing anything to heal me. So eventually when I have time at the end of school, I'll need to see some out-of-town specialists. Inflammation seems to be the new buzz word for all our ills and I get quite annoyed with it, and this is the medical profession pushing the perpetual 'inflammation' wheel of fortune. I am not really impressed.

Yes we do live longer, but it's not JUST due to medicine. It's lifestyle. You've heard Bill Maher's rant about husbands living longer than single males. He compared it to indoor cats living longer than outdoor cats. OF COURSE, if we live in bubbles and take no risks, we will live longer!! Duh

But I agree with Bill, I'd rather be outdoors taking risks and who gives a chit if I don't live as long, that is not my priority :)

And that's what it all boils down to right, choices and priorities. I have a limited amount of financial resources, and choose which corps I give my money to. Pharmaceuticals (whether conventional or alternative) are NOT where I want to spend my few dollars. :)
Yeah, I've heard Maher's rants. They're as lacking in rational thought as the religious people he lampoons.

I used a chiropractor for some years a few years ago. At first it was great, just getting my shoulder (which had been badly wrenched) back into shape. But after a while, he started getting more into the woo, including homeopathic remedies, reflexology, and 'all pharmaceuticals are poison and you should just take herbs instead'.
So you disagree that people living a sheltered life, just as animals living in captivity, live longer. Funny, interesting how you choose your facts.

That was an excellent if not perfect comparison of the effect of lifestyle on longevity.

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