I am about to enter into a nursing program and so have been taking an introductory course on it.  For this course we had to attend presentations made by senior nursing majors that were essentially designs for research projects based on peer-reviewed articles but not actually carrying the research out in the real world.  This is the senior project and it places an emphasis on "evidence-based practice," which has been important in elevating nursing as a profession.

While looking at these presentations, I decided to go over to the one that talked about Therapeutic Touch (TT).  I thought at first that it was talking about the effects of a hands on approach to nursing that was examining the effects of touch on patients.

Nope.  It was actually about TT as a way to manipulate some sort of energy field that somehow extends beyond the human body yet isn't one of the fundamental physical forces or anything else that is recognized by science.  I held my tongue since his evaluator was listening at the time and the presenter noted that the evaluator knew all about it.  I was staring at them because it was so odd to see an open display of belief in something with, as far as I know, no evidence to support it (apart from religion).

I remember watching an episode of Penn & Teller Bullshit that dealt with new age medicine and such.  In the episode, they have a girl on who has/had the Guiness world record as the youngest person to have research published in a medical journal.  At age 9 she showed that 21 practitioners of TT did worse than chance at being able to blindly guess whether her hand was over their right or left hand.  They only guessed correctly 4.1/10 times on average.  That happened in '98.  Yet studies continue to be done on the effects of TT while still making the claim that practitioners can sense a universal human energy field or something and then make a patient better by manipulating it.

This seems like a horribly unscientific thing to do for a profession that is trying to back up its practices with evidence-based research.  It's false and gives patients false hope.  If the benefit of it is the placebo effect, then it should be taught in such a way that practitioners know this and understand how to use it without teaching a lie to a patient.  However, it appears that proponents of it are still making miracle claims.

So I suppose I'm nervous that I'm going to have to fight against bullshit like this while learning and while practicing.  I want to be able to call "bullshit" when I see something like this, but I think that it would ruffle to many feathers.

Does anyone here work in nursing (or medicine) and see anything like this?  What are your thoughts on TT or other "alternative" or "new age" "medicines"?  Have you ever dealt with nurses or doctors who insist on wasting your time with these things?

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Well they get paid hundreds of dollars per session, so I see why they do it. They just make me feel icky inside. And sad. Sad and icky. I'd shut that bitch down fa sho.

I think you'll find a lot of pro-legalizating prostitution people here. I also happen to belong (under a different handle) to the Facebook group Feminism is for Everybody which is populated by a lot of sex workers (nude dancers, porn performers, prostitutes, and I'm sure one or two who've given a happy ending in their day).

One has only to go to backpage.com to discover there's a whole different world of massage going on out there. Because there's a market for it, it exists.

BTW, what's your take on the accusation made by a professional masseuse in Portland, Oregon, that Al Gore wanted her to go a bit above and beyond the call of duty?

(I almost wrote "booty"!)

I'm all for legalizing prostitution, but it should be called what it is and not be mixed up in massage. When that happens and it goes unregulated then my reputation can be compromised. Other than that, I couldn't give two fucks how they make their money lol.

As for Al Gore, I don't know nearly enough about the whole deal to have a solid opinion on it. But there doesn't seem to be enough evidence to show that anything actually happened, at least from what I've come across. I think there'd be more of a case if there were multiple massage therapists coming forward with the same complaint, but I'm "eh" about it thus far.

She was referring to Gregg. 

Even YOU, with your prescription shades, are not THAT myopic!

I can pretend, can't I?

If I can pretend I can see you, sure, why not?

You can pretend you can think for all I care.

I wouldn't have any difficulty there, but pretending YOU could think, now THAT would be a stretch --

See what I mean, Steph - normally, when I trounce him, which is often, he simply declines to respond - this is all for you.

Imagine you're six, and two 7-year old boys are vying for your attention --

And she does it again --


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