With all the woo infiltrating hospitals these days, as I’ve lamented about in constructing my Academic Woo Aggregator, it was only a matter of time until these ways of thinking started to infiltrate other lines of work.

Why not “alternative janitorial services” as well? After reading about it, I wonder how long before it spreads any further. How about “alternative” auto repair? Or even “alternative” plumbing? The possibilities are endless.


  1. #1 marcia
    January 27, 2008

    That was seriously funny.

    Maybe next we’ll see alternative alternative medicine. Ya know, where a patient, energetically harmed by a homeopathic remedy is successfully treated at a Reiki Rehabilitation Clinic.

  2. #2 PalMD
    January 27, 2008

    I’ve always preferred alternative car mechanics, particularly a car whisperer or quantum mechanic.

  3. #3 Matt Penfold
    January 27, 2008

    They tried alternative cleaning methods in the NHS when domestic services were put out to tender and won by the lowest bidder. The alternative method tried was not cleaning, or least cleaning without anyone doing any supervision and no one actually taking any responsibility for how clean the wards were.

    It killed people. It still is killing people.

  4. #4 Tegumai Bopsulai, FCD
    January 27, 2008

    The cosmos of mystical forces ain’t what it used to be.

    As Suharto Clings to Life, Mystics See Spirits’ Power
    Published: January 27, 2008
    SOLO, Indonesia — As former President Suharto hovers on the edge of death, some people here say it is not doctors and machines that have kept him alive, but an unseen cosmos of mystical forces…


    Indonesia’s Former President Suharto Dies

  5. #5 MartinM
    January 27, 2008

    Don’t tell me you’ve never read this.

  6. #6 Abel Pharmboy
    January 27, 2008

    They’ve *got* to be kidding – homeopathic ammonia???

    It’s Sunday and instead of battling with my daughter to clean up her stuff, I could use a little healing energy to resolve the cluttering fields around my house.

  7. #7 Zoo Knudsen
    January 27, 2008

    That Novella piece was great. I honestly didn’t see it before writing about alternative janitorial services. I was responding to the fluff piece written recently on the use of irregular medicine in academic hospitals.

  8. #8 Joe
    January 27, 2008

    A few years ago, Scientific American suggested that what we really need are Alternative Illnesses. For example- feldspar deficiency or leaky karma. Past-life bursitis is quite challenging to diagnose.

  9. #9 jim
    January 27, 2008

    This is awesome. I see the future: free-range enemas.

  10. #10 Lucas McCarty
    January 27, 2008
  11. #11 Sastra
    January 27, 2008

    Janitorial Alternate Methods (JAM) are of course being integrated with traditional Western forms of cleaning. Bleach and water is simply being supplemented by re-balancing the energy fields. There is no need to choose one method over the other, both have their uses.

    The unified, complementary form of disinfection is usually referred to as TOtal Janitorial Alternative Method (or TO-JAM.)

  12. #12 Rjaye
    January 27, 2008

    My favorite part of the whole article:
    ‘Back at Children’s Memorial, Timmy is sleeping soundly and Clancy Simmons is going about his work of providing a clean and comfortable environment for children and their families to heal. “I wait until nobody’s in the room and the kid is asleep, then I just clean up real fast. Some people will believe anything.”‘

    Haha. Basically they do the woo cleaning and when everyone’s gone, do the real cleaning. It figures.

    Homeopathic ammonia my butt. I bet this is how many hospitals utilizing this nonsense is doing it–pandering the the woo-meisters, and then covering their back ends with real cleaning services.

    It’s a sham on both ends.

  13. #13 DLC
    January 27, 2008

    Homeopathic Cleaning ?
    you throw a little bit of dirt in a big, big bottle of water, and use that for a cleaning fluid ?

  14. #14 Alan Kellogg
    January 27, 2008

    I can just see alternative driving. Would be a boon to quadruple amputees.

    Cop: Mister, why are you naked, and how did you drive this car?

    Driver: Why do you think I’m naked?

  15. #15 Marcus Ranum
    January 28, 2008

    The tire shop up the street uses accupuncture and accupressure!! They are great! My transmission has been vastly improved by the new feng shui radials they sold me last month!!!

  16. #16 Joseph Hertzlinger
    January 28, 2008

    I noticed the contrast to “evidence-based cleaning techniques.” Has there ever been a randomized double-blind test comparing different cleaning techniques?

  17. #17 Coin
    January 28, 2008

    Alternative Janitorial Services are becoming popular because they clean the entire building, not just the visible surfaces.

  18. #18 isles
    January 28, 2008

    How about alternative restaurants? They fawn over you from the minute you walk in the door, seat you in alignment with feng shui, serve you a homeopathic cocktail (1 mcg gin in a wineglass of distilled spring water), feed you a line of crap, and charge you $300 for the pleasure.

  19. #19 Patrick Caldon
    January 29, 2008

    Alternative plumbing already exists … dowsing.

  20. #20 Calli Arcale
    January 29, 2008

    The piece on alternative engineering made me think of the Monty Python skit about apartment buildings put up by hypnosis. Residents have to believe in them, or the buildings instantly collapse.

  21. #21 Calli Arcale
    January 29, 2008

    The piece on alternative engineering made me think of the Monty Python skit about apartment buildings put up by hypnosis. Residents have to believe in them, or the buildings instantly collapse.

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