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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No, nor did I say that. Nice job putting words into my mouth. Shall I claim that you said that all people live in hypoallergenic bubbles, and if we went outside we'd have a lifespan in the mid-30s now?

I said that Maher's rants on how all we need to remain healthy are good 'natural' foods and a healthy lifestyle are lacking in rational thought.

We do have longer lifespans due to cleaner living. Sanitation, hygiene, medicine, and yes lifestyle have an influence on this. Not having to work for 12-14 hours per day to gather enough food to survive does lower the stress on the human body, for example.
Maher's rant on longevity I was referring to was NOT about natural foods, don't know where you got that from... You must be thinking of something else. Personally I've never even heard him talk about 'natural foods'.

As for work hours, I know tons of people with that schedule, I've done it myself on and off through life.

The rant was not about food and work, it's about behaviour towards risk taking. As for office work, it has increased human stress. You have to look at human history here. For over 99% of human history, humans have been dealing with nature, adapting to it's rythms, it's dangers, it's food, it's life style. This modern religious post dark ages lifestyle we live today the body IS NOT adapted for. WE ARE, in an evolutionary sense, adapted to life in the great outdoors. Our longevity is an artificial concoction based on the religious obsession to extend our lifespans at all costs, increasing the percentage of sick genes perpetuating themselves in our species.

And did you not know that when white colonials arrived in the Americas, they found that vast numbers of "indians" were living as long as Europeans, or more. Unfortunately, the arrival of Europeans put an end to First Nation longevity, as they became a subdued race, humans aren't well adapted at being sub-human, and this drastically inhibits all of life's coping mechanisms, creating an enslaved people.

The more we remedy the plight of sick people with genetically inferior data, the weaker our society gets. We become a high maintenance species, just as trophy wives are to their providers.
Ah, my mistake then. I'm not sure how I got onto natural foods, but that is what I was thinking about.

And I think that the drop in longevity (and population) of the natives was due at least as much to the new diseases being introduced that they had no defenses against as anything else. (Smallpox, for one, particularly when introduced in deliberately infected blankets)
There was never "deliberately infected blankets". You gotta remember, science hadn't really a good grasp on disease back in those days.

Yes European diseases killed (and kill) 'Americans' (in the true sense of all the Americas), but MOST of those who did not die of disease, died younger anyway, First Nation longevity on this continent is much much lesser than Caucasians/Asians (purposely leaving black out of this particular debate), even WITH their access to 'modern medicine'. Living the life of a subhuman makes you not care for yourself, and your family members, and this in turn makes them apt victims of all ills.

Maher's quote is quite explosive, but in oh so many ways touches very close to reality:
I would say that the feminine values are now the values of America; sensitivity is more important than truth; feelings are more important than facts; commitment is more important than individuality; children are more important than people; safety is more important than fun. I always hear women say, "Y'know, married men live longer." Uh, yes, and an indoor cat...also...lives longer. It's a fur-ball with a broken spirit that can only look out on a world it will never enjoy, but it does, technically, live longer.

It's one of my favorites :)
Recently aired on the ABC. "How safe are herbal medicines?"

See Transcript -
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2010/s2829395.htm#

"How safe are herbal medicines?
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 24/02/2010

Reporter: Tracy Bowden

The alternative health industry is booming, but while herbs may be the oldest form of healing, their authenticity and safety continues to be questioned.

Transcript
KERRY O’BRIEN, PRESENTER: Millions of Australians believe alternative medicine can be just as effective, or even more so, than conventional treatments.

But while herbs may be the oldest form of healing, mainstream medicine continues to question the safety and effectiveness of many remedies.

An Adelaide forensic pathologist has sounded a worldwide warning about the dangers of herbal products, especially if taken in large quantities or combined with certain prescription drugs.

Registered Nurse Maree Furler knows only too well that 'natural' does not always mean 'safe'......"

Note - There is good video coverage on the ABC site here (this is recent as of today 25 February 2010, so may change over time),
http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/
Another example of FDA incompetence:

Gabapenten, also known as Neurontin, is the object of yet another lawsuit against Big Pharma. It was proven to have been marketed for purposes NOT based on science, and having too many dangerous side effects...

February 24th, 2010

Neurontin was FDA approved only as a powerful epilepsy drug for adjunctive or supplemental use. Under FDA provisions a company must specify the intended uses of a drug in new drug application to the federal agency. Only if the FDA approves it can a company then market or promote it. Pfizer pleaded guilty to criminal charges that its Warner-Lambert subsidiary, which Pfizer bought in 2000, promoted Neurontin for off-label uses that lacked any type of scientific support.


Read full article here
Undoubtedly lots of shonks out there, both sides of the fence hey. Piles of money to be had, lawyers included.

FYI see also Ben Goldacre's article - "Is the conflict of interest unacceptable when drug companies conduct trials on their own drugs? Yes"
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/339/nov27_1/b4949



BTW what standards and policing does the alternate medicine industry employ?
I think all things in moderation (and with at least some research done). I worked for years in the lab of a vitamin supplement company who employed three naturopathic doctors and truly believed in the products they produced. Now I'm in healthcare and they also truly believe in the cures they attempt to produce. I think the middle path is sometimes the best one. Education and taking things for what they are is important. Eat well, exercise, take a multi-vitamin, drink red wine, don't smoke, and love. It can change the world!
Eat well, exercise, take a multi-vitamin, drink red wine, don't smoke, and love.
Excellent plan ;)

It can change the world!
Nah, I think financial interests rule the world, and always will, unless we get rid of them...
Well, I don't smoke tobacco...I do drink plenty of red wine....I'm on the right path!
Love the new profile pic, Misty!

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