Respectful Insolence

For some reason, I’ve tended to give Dr. Mehmet Oz a bit of a free pass when it comes to promoting woo. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I just haven’t paid that much attention to him. Perhaps it’s because, even when he was on Oprah’s show, he didn’t delve as deeply into the woo as her other frequent guests, such as Christiane Northrup, Suzanne Sommers, or Jenny McCarthy. The one or two times I saw him with Oprah, usually online because I’m never home to watch Oprah during the day and on those rare days when I am home on a weekeday, trust me, I don’t watch Oprah. Then Dr. Oz got his own show, thanks to the patronage of Oprah Winfrey. Still, I didn’t pay that much attention because, well, if I wasn’t going to watch Oprah on my rare days off I sure as hell wasn’t going to watch The Dr. Oz Show.

In any case, I always knew Dr. Oz was into the woo, but the times I saw him the worst I could say about him was that he pushed diet and exercise, which was fine, and that he seemed a bit prone to pushing acupuncture and other “soft” bits of pseudoscience. On the plus side, unlike so much of the “alt-med” movement, he also appeared not to be anti-vaccine in any way, and, indeed, I saw him stating unequivocally that children should receive their vaccines according to the recommended schedule. Maybe I wasn’t so hard on him because he’s a cardiac surgeon, and it was hard for me to believe that someone who does seriously hard-ass surgery like cardiac surgery could go too far in the woo. On the other hand, I should have learned the lesson from Dr. Michael Egnor and his major crank magnetism. The bottom line is that I gave Dr. Oz too much of a pass and didn’t pay much attention to him. It was my mistake, and one I don’t intent to make again, at least not with Dr. Oz.

What brought this on is an episode of his show that Dr. Oz did last week called Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Alternative Medicine Secrets. I can’t watch the clip I just linked to because it’s region-restricted, but I was made aware of this show by a press release sent out by Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC. This press release announced:

Seattle, WA (PRWEB) January 9, 2010 — Reiki Masters across America and the world had cause for celebration on January 6 when Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed his Ultimate Alternative Medicine Secrets for 2010 during his nationally broadcast afternoon talk show. He ranked Reiki #1. Dr. Oz said, “Reiki is one of my favorites, we’ve been using it for years in the Oz family, and we swear by it.”

Before his popularity as a TV personality through his five-year association with Oprah, Dr. Oz incorporated Reiki into his open-heart surgeries through the assistance of Reiki Master Pamela Miles. On the show, Miles spoke about the benefits of Reiki and offered a demonstration to an audience member who had a headache, which quickly disappeared.

Of course, this press release is highly self-serving (what press release isn’t?) in that it Rose De Dan, the founder of Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing, as far as I could tell, wasn’t on the episode of Dr. Oz’s show discussing reiki and is simply taking advantage of the Dr. Oz’s name in order to promote his reiki practice.

Although I didn’t see the episode, I did come across this recap of the show, and it is clear that the woo is strong in Dr. Oz. True, most of what he recommends is fairly pedestrian. For instance, he recommends mud baths for arthritis, which probably don’t actually help the pathology of arthritis but probably do make people feel better for the same reason that a warm bath makes people with arthritis feel better. He also recommends black cohosh and sage for menopausal symptoms, even though the evidence is weak at best, and infrared saunas for the prevention of colds and flu, even though there is virtually no evidence that they are effective. Worse, he advocates cupping for circulation, which is pretty much pure quackery. All of this, apparently, was demonstrated on audience members in what sounds from the account disturbingly like a session with Benny Hinn or Peter Popoff.

I mention those two old frauds of faith healers because apparently Dr. Oz’s number one favorite “alternative medicine” treatment is reiki. That’s right, reiki, which is at its core nothing more than faith healing without Christianity. It’s the laying on of hands, nothing more, the only difference between reiki masters and Hinn or Popoff being that reiki is based on Eastern mysticism rather than Christian beliefs. Indeed, the founder of reiki, Dr. Usui, even “discovered” reiki after fasting and meditating on a mountain for 21 days in a story a lot like that of Jesus going into the wilderness for 40 days to pray and face temptation before coming back to start his ministry. Reiki is every bit as much quackery as the faith healing of Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff.

And Dr. Oz names it as his favorite alt-med modality. He even uses reiki masters in the operating room for his patients. Of course, I can’t help but wonder where Dr. Oz gets the time to keep his operative skills up doing an hour long show five days a week or where he finds time even to see patients and operate any more. I also can’t help but think he must have the most understanding surgical partners in the world, given that they must have to cover for him almost constantly while he’s away doing shows, public appearances, and such.

Whatever the case, this sealed it for me. Dr. Oz is completely over on the Dark Side. I realize that he went over to the Dark Side a long time ago; I simply hadn’t noticed that his journey to the Dark Side was complete. I thought there was still hope. Another thing that sealed it for me was a little discovery I made while researching this post. That discovery? Dr. Oz is married to a reiki master.

Sleeping with the enemy indeed.

Comments

  1. #1 Anthro
    January 12, 2010

    You jest, but with the TV exposure, people will take all this to be gospel and I’m not going to hear the end of it from my new agey friends.

    On a happier note, Jane Brody of the NY Times had a nice piece yesterday smacking down supplements and fortified food. The comments, sadly, are nothing but a torrent of denial, anecdote, and ignorance. That’s the problem and why Oz has a show instead of Brody or you (not that a show is an achievement that I would admire–just that they reach such a wide and gullible audience).

    Married to a reiki “master”–what a hoot! I wouldn’t let that guy near me with a scalpel.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/12/health/12brod.html?ref=health

  2. #2 DLC
    January 12, 2010

    Remind me not to go to Dr Oz when I have heart problems.
    Why is it these alt-med quacks always call it “secrets” ?
    The health secrets They don’t want you to know!
    The Secret !
    Dr Oz’s health secrets!
    The only secret I can see here is that it doesn’t work.

  3. #3 Tim Tesar
    January 12, 2010

    Re: “Although I didn’t see the episode, I did come across this recap of the show…”. I assume “this recap” is supposed to be a link, but it is not at the moment.

    I have a friend who is a Dr. Oz fan. My attempts to educate him in the past have failed. I’m still debating whether I should suggest he read this post.

    On the ohter hand, I appreciate the post a lot. Thanks.

  4. #4 Romeo Vitelli
    January 12, 2010

    “You jest, but with the TV exposure, people will take all this to be gospel and I’m not going to hear the end of it from my new agey friends.”

    Especially since the good doctor often wears surgical scrubs when he’s making these weighty pronouncements. Ech.

  5. #5 Pablo
    January 12, 2010

    You know, it’s funny how alt-medders like to complain about how doctors are pharma shills, because they get things like free meals, pens, and pads of paper, but when an alt-med supporter is …um…sleeping with the promoter, that’s not a conflict of interest at all!!!!

    (you know how hard it was to write that above without getting crude? I could have easily gone there…)

  6. #6 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 12, 2010

    I would be very surprised if Dr. Oz is still carrying out an active surgical practice. Just think what his present gig offers: fame, big income, no expenses, no malpractice insurance, no threat of lawsuits, hanging out with the rich and famous, adoring fans, essentially no stress, no on-call time.
    Why bother with surgery?

  7. #7 6EQUJ5
    January 12, 2010

    Mehmet Oz publicly endorsed reflexology. Nobody asked him what part of the foot maps to the feet, or what happens when the two feet disagree in their diagnoses.

  8. #8 DrWonderful
    January 12, 2010

    Yes, a helpful media is capable of promoting just about anything even if there is no real evidence behind it. All they want are stories and whomever can manipulate the process the most wins. We see it time and time again, don’t we?

  9. #9 Todd W.
    January 12, 2010

    Interesting that Pamela Miles’ name came up. Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital heartily endorses reiki, even holding annual clinics and training for health care staff. I inquired with them if they could provide me with any science-based research to support using such a quack modality. The very first piece they directed me to was an article by Pamela Miles. It only addressed some of the history of reiki and discussed how to integrate it into practice in the health care setting. No science at all (of course).

    I also worked up the chain to find out how the (now-former) president and CEO of Partners HealthCare (which governs not only Spaulding, but Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, among many others) supported Spaulding’s decision to not only provide reiki to patients, but also to teach it to nurses and other health workers. Not sure how the new pres/CEO feels, but I’ve kinda worn out my welcome at this point and won’t be able to inquire further.

  10. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    January 12, 2010

    “Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital heartily endorses reiki, even holding annual clinics and training for health care staff.”

    Maybe they should change their name to the Captain Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

    Or if that’s not quite the image they’re looking for, they could use this Captain Spaulding (I’m sure Rob Zombie would be happy to endorse reiki if adequately compensated).

  11. #11 amancay
    January 12, 2010

    Dr. Oz performed quadruple bypass surgery on my father a few years ago, just around the time he started appearing on Oprah. At that time, he had a stellar reputation as a surgeon. Soon after he became a fixture on tv, I noticed that local cardiologists were starting to find him repellent, and were no longer referring patients to him. My father started avoiding watching him on tv because the woo-mongering was making him nervous. I often wonder whether he still maintains his surgical practice.
    It’s a shame – I think he really was a gifted surgeon.

  12. #12 marcia
    January 12, 2010

    Here’s a portion of the WOOnderful Dr. Oz reiki promotion.
    A portion of the OZ reiki recommendation:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPj2uuiReds&feature=player_embedded

    Oz:

    “I’ve worked and trained…BUT,”
    “For centuries, people ARRRROUND the world…”
    “…a WHOLE NEW vista of ooportunities..”
    “this alternative medicine energy can CURE what ails you…”

    And, those are just quotes from OZ.

    The Reiki “master’s” statements? Right from the Reiki pamphlet.

  13. #13 Liz
    January 12, 2010

    Dr. Oz also endorses a delayed vaccination schedule and equates the vaccines of yesteryear with those of today. As Dr. Offit has said again and again (this time here: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/publications/news/news-now/clinical-care-research/20090413niiw-offit.html

    Today, children receive 26 inoculations by age 2 and as many as five at one time for protection from 14 diseases. However, said Offit, improved vaccine manufacturing practices have decreased the number of antigens a child receives by age 2 from 3,041 in 1980 to about 150 today.

    From an interview with Oz posted at the online daily newspaper of the infectious disease promotion movement

    OZ: Although, I don`t want to ignore the potential role they have. So what we do with our kids is we spread the vaccine out.

    BEHAR: Right, so why don`t the doctors just do that?

    OZ: It`s a lot more expensive and kids fall through the cracks.

    BEHAR: Yes.

    OZ: It`s hard enough to get in there once a year for the shots and imagine if you have to bring them in every other month. And those two factors are a big issue.

    BEHAR: I see.

    OZ: Plus, we have no evidence at all, Joy, none, that they actually cause autism.

    BEHAR: Right.

    OZ: And a lot of doctors very reasonably say, listen, why you want to spend more money, cause more hardship for the kids and their families, if we don`t think it`s really a problem. But you know if you want to be cautious, you can do what we did.

    BEHAR: Well, I don`t remember getting this many shots when I was a kid. Or my daughter getting as many shots.

    OZ: We did Joy. When you and I were –

    BEHAR: She got the measles on her own. She got chicken pox on her on, so what?

    OZ: We got exposed to ten vaccines when we were kids. Children today are now getting closer to 30. So there`s a big difference between the exposure amounts and, plus, we have a much purer environment that we grew up in and compared to what kids are exposed to today.

    So there you have it — Oz ok on the autism vaccine issue, but STILL doesn’t endorse the recommended schedule (or his wife doesn’t).

  14. #14 KristinMH
    January 12, 2010

    According to Wikipedia Dr Oz’s wife Lisa is a reiki master.

  15. #15 mumkeepingsane
    January 12, 2010

    I caught part of this show. I couldn’t turn it off for several minutes. Kind of like watching a train wreck. I even said to myself “I hope orac posts about this one.” I also used to think Dr. Oz was ok, perhaps a bit woo-y but not too bad. Guess that show just proved me wrong.

  16. #16 BKsea
    January 12, 2010

    I think these two statements really point to a core problem:
    “Maybe I wasn’t so hard on him because he’s a cardiac surgeon”
    “He also recommends black cohosh and sage for menopausal symptoms”
    So, as a cardiac surgeon he is assumed to be an expert on all things medical. I don’t think we would be as tolerant of an endocrinologist giving surgery advice to patients with CVD.

  17. #17 Denise
    January 12, 2010

    Could it be that he chose this as his #1 because he knows it doesn’t work and it is virtually harm free? From my understanding, Reiki is just putting your hands on someone while another actual procedure is used.

    He could be trying to get ratings and covering his ass at the same time.

  18. #18 BCguy
    January 12, 2010

    Long-time fan, first time commenting!

    @Todd: I’m a volunteer at Brigham and Women’s, and yes, they not even offer to provide reiki, but they offered to teach it as a volunteer position. It’s really sad. One time I was discharging a patient, and she was telling me how nice it was that they brought in this reiki healer, and that it worked so nicely. It was all I could do to restrain myself from blurting out that the skill of some of the top doctors in the country might also have had something to do with it. As the conversation continued, she tried to convert me to Scientology. I guess people who believe woo will believe any type of crap that goes in their ears. It’s a shame that people don’t give these hard-working doctors the thanks they deserve.

  19. #19 Wes Dodson
    January 12, 2010

    Maybe you should go fast in the mountains for 20 days and see what is real.

  20. #20 Jon H
    January 12, 2010

    I bet there’s a “Dr. And Mrs. Oz Guide To Reiki Healing” in the pipeline right this minute, and this was part of a marketing ploy to build interest.

  21. #21 Marilyn Mann
    January 12, 2010

    I had at first clicked on the url for this post on twitter, and for some reason bit.ly is classifying it as spam.

  22. #22 Evos
    January 12, 2010

    I love the part ” unproven by western standards”. WTF do you mean western standards. Ony westerners are concerned with the method of experimentation to arrive at truths?

  23. #23 shmedelle
    January 12, 2010

    @Long-time fan,
    “It was all I could do to restrain myself from blurting out that the skill of some of the top doctors in the country might also have had something to do with it.” I have lost my patience with that kind of talk, and now I tell it like it is. My daughter had a two-phased brain surgery several months ago, and because I have met other parents who’s kids have also had neurosurgery; I hear nonsense all the time. Parents love to say “thank god”, “god heard our prayers”. To which, I say, “I think the surgery team is the one to thank.” And, regarding prayers, I ask them, “did god not hear the prayers from the kids who are not surgical candidates and who are not as fortunate as your child?” A Dr. actually told me, while my daughter was in surgery, that she was praying for her. I was stunned! A physician?! It really flabbergasts me when I hear god/prayer talk and woo coming from scientists with advanced degrees. I would think that physicians would be more likely than most other professions, to be atheist.This Dr., coincidently, was a guest on Dr. Oz’s show.

  24. #24 Eicos
    January 12, 2010

    Btw I’ve always hated oz . He reminds me of anakin showing tendencies to the dark side while he was still with the Jedi.We know he’s Gonna turn into Vader! It’s inevitable, the dark side is strong in this one. At least common woomeisters, like emperor palpatine can be spotted from miles away.

  25. #25 stripey_cat
    January 12, 2010

    Cupping? Cupping! You mean the thing where you put hot glasses on the skin to create a partial vacuum? With optional bloodletting? Do people really still do that? Do you think there’s money to be made breeding special woo-ful leeches?

  26. #26 MartinB
    January 12, 2010

    Considering his wife being a reiki master, that’s not a big deal – you need one weekend-course for reiki grade 1 (that gives you healing powers), another for reiki grade 2 (which gives you the ability to heal over large distances, and then a third course (of varying length) to become a master, which then allows you to teach Reiki to others.
    Why am I reminded of role-playing games?

  27. #27 gaiainc
    January 12, 2010

    At least in role-playing games you can count where you get your experience from rather than just accumulate in classes.

    Blah. Oz makes me depressed. B&W, MGH, and Spaulding’s make me even more depressed. What a wanker. Now I get to have more crap I have to debunk with my patients. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

  28. #28 IBY
    January 12, 2010

    @stripey cat
    People indeed still do that. My father does it, although not very often and he does not light a fire. Instead it is attached to this squeezy thingy that creates the vacumn. But still… And he does bloodletting too. So yeah, people still do. At least he does it for free.

  29. #29 Medicine man
    January 12, 2010

    Leave Dr. Oz alone. He’s smart and knows what he’s talking about. I disagree with him on the vaccines though. His show is good and it encourages people to take better care of themsleves. I know I need to lose weight and exercise more and since watching him has made me want to do this more.

    Who cares if he is into alternative medicine or not? Herbal remedies are not quite as danderous as some prescription meds. Take note at all those meds being advertised on TV giving people heart attacks, strokes, death, kidney failure, etc. You chances of this with alternative medicien is significantly slimmer.

    Besides, a recent study has concluded that some high blood pressure medications actually cause diabetes and the drug company who made it k new about this and never said a word. I suppose they figured they could make twice as much money by supplying one drug that causes another disease in which they could make another drug for. I hate these phara bums with a seething passion.

    Want to fix healthcare? First lets fix the pharma companies and the lawyers, the FDA, and then we’ll discuss insurance.

  30. #30 Chris
    January 12, 2010

    Medicine man (an obvious fanboy) whined:

    Herbal remedies are not quite as danderous as some prescription meds.

    R..i..g..h..t, except that you cannot control for dose, and some herbs are actually quite deadly. Many pharmaceuticals actually come from herbs, and other plant sources. The trick is getting the proper amount of the active ingredient without taking in too much of the nasty stuff.

    Would you actually prescribe foxglove tea over digitalis? Would you rather have aspirin for your headache, or take the willow bark tea (which is not so nice for your tummy)?

    For more information, wonder over to http://scienceblogs.com/terrasig/ and read what Abel Pharmboy has to say on the subject, since it what he actually researches.

    Also, in the future when you say something like “a recent study has concluded” be prepared to produce the journal, title, author and date of that study (or better yet the PubMed link, but not a news article!).

  31. #31 Maryn
    January 12, 2010

    from the Oprah website –

    Now, if you’re thinking about popping a zit, Dr. Oz says to think twice—especially if it’s in the triangle from the tip of your nose to the edges of your lips. “This is called the triangle of death,” he says. “When you squeeze a pimple in here, that pus doesn’t have to come up. Instead of the pus going [out], it can go back down into those blood vessels. And guess where they go? They go to your brain.”

  32. #32 Enkidu
    January 12, 2010

    @31:

    What the…? “Triangle of death?” Why was I never taught this in high school health class?

    I saw on his website that picking your nose is also dangerous as the nose itself is part of the Triangle of Death. Where is the epidemic of dead toddlers who can’t help picking winners?

  33. #33 Medicine man
    January 12, 2010

    Be prepared to look it up yourself if you don’t like what somebody says. Even if I give you a link, you still will not believe it because you are so indebted to the big pharma companies and the sick twisted trial lawyers and union thugs. I’ll bet you still rely on the FDA and WHO for info? If so, then it is I who is now laughing at you Chris. The FDA is a joke. The WHO is even worse. Ever been prescribed Xanax before? Did it make you gain weight, increase your blood pressure, and drive you crazy all while making you addicted to it s the docto would give you more pills for more symtoms? See my point? I’ll stick with the herbals. I’ll also stick with know the right dosages too. It’s not my fault if someone else overdoses on herbals. That’s their individual problem. They were personally responsible (a term not yet learned by liberals) for their won actions. They should have read the dosage limits and done the research themselves. it is not the job of the nanny state to watch our every move. We have to be responsible for our own selves and what we do.

    Of course you probably like that word “collective good” as much as Obama. If so, that is scary. Many a dictator loved what was in the “collective” (a marxist term) interest of their people.

    Go ahead Chris, name me your ailment, I’ll fix you up with a remedy that will be equal to or better than big pharma can deliver (in most cases). There are exceptions though. There are some diseases that neither can fix. What’s your big quiz for me boy? Cancer, diabetes, clogged arteries? name your quiz. I can probably fix it for you. Don;t tell the FDA (Federal Disease Agency), they’ll probably ban my cures and I’ll end up having a car “accident” as so many others have.

  34. #34 a-non
    January 12, 2010

    Wow, it only took two posts for “Medicine man” to go to the pharma shill gambit. Not quite a record, but close.

    Now to the point I wanted to make…

    @shmedelle: I could care less if my doctor is praying for me, as long as he or she is using science-based medicine to treat me. It is when religious beliefs unduly interere with treatment that we have a problem.

  35. #35 DLC
    January 12, 2010

    This Dr Oz is so full of just plain untruths.
    At least he is appropriately named . . . Although I wonder if L Frank Baum’s heirs would wish Dr Oz were named something else.

  36. #36 Dangerous Bacon
    January 12, 2010

    “Don;t tell the FDA (Federal Disease Agency), they’ll probably ban my cures and I’ll end up having a car “accident” as so many others have.”

    It’s too late – didn’t you know that the IP addresses of everyone whose messages appear here are automatically forwarded to the F.D.A. and their roving enforcement vans?

    If only you hadn’t posted. :(

  37. #37 Militant Agnostic
    January 12, 2010

    Never mind the Pharma shill gambit, Medicine man goes straight for the altie teabagger full mental jacket. He sounds like he’s been overdoing the belladonna or maybe it’s just the magic mushrooms. Somewhere around the back the extreme left meets the extreme right and the results are’t pretty.

  38. #38 Medicine man
    January 12, 2010

    Prayer can be very effective. Remember how Jesus healed the sick, made the blind to see, and even raised the dead. Want me to go over that again?

    1)Healed sick
    2) made blind to see
    3) raised dead

    All together now …

    I see Chris never told me his medical ailment besides liberalism which is a mental disorder according to my favorite radio host, Micheal Savage.

    Come on Chris. I can;t wait all night. Name your ailment.

  39. #39 Medicien man
    January 12, 2010

    “It’s too late – didn’t you know that the IP addresses of everyone whose messages appear here are automatically forwarded to the F.D.A. and their roving enforcement vans? ”

    Of course I knew it. Why do you think conservatives are barracading their houses, seting up booby traps inside out of the house and buying up all the guns, ammo, food, and survival supplies they can?

    I guess I’ll be wounded in the fight and end up at one of Obama’s FEMA detention centers. Tyranny sucks.

    Oaky. Now. Back to the ailment thing again. Chris? Heh HMM!

  40. #40 Chris
    January 12, 2010

    I have a life… and am presently preparing salmon with lemons I grew in the house.

    Here is the ailment that I encountered with my son: seizures, with no known reason (stopped with phenobarbital).

    And here is another one: infection with group A streptococci bacteria, commonly known as strep throat.

    And then there is leprosy, also known as Hanson’s disease. Please tell us how you would cure that (which has been cured quite well during the later half of the twentieth century).

    Oh, and how about diabetes type 1 (not type 2)?

    By the way, if you can come up with actual evidence that Jesus did all that stuff that is not from a book that was written decades after his death, please do. Looking for actual archaeology evidence, not more fairy tales.

  41. #41 Militant Agnostic
    January 12, 2010

    Prayer can be very effective.

    Uh, no it isn’t, in fact a well designed study funded by the Templeton foundation indicated otherwise.

    Remember how Jesus healed the sick, made the blind to see, and even raised the dead.

    No, I don’t remember – must have been before my time. In fact you think we would have independent confirmation of these outstanding feats from contemporary authors. (The bible doesn’t qualify.)

    Want me to go over that again?

    No, once was twice too often.

  42. #42 Medicine Man
    January 12, 2010

    First there is plenty of archaeological evidence, some just refuse to look at it.

    Second, man you are in trouble. The seizures is a major problem. The strep throat not so much. Leaprosy is tricky and is carried by animals such as armadillos. Diabetes? Are you kidding? People have reversed diabetes before. That is in the past. There are hundreds of books about people reversing diabetes.

    Let’s begin :

    Strep throat:

    Zinc

    Powerful immune system stimulant needed to fight infection.

    Coenzyme A

    Supports the immune system’s detoxification of many harmful substances.

    Colloidal Silver

    Acts as a natural antibiotic and disinfectant. Destroys bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

    Garlic

    Acts as a natural antibiotic and stimulates the immune system and contains sulfur, needed for skin tissue repair.

    Vitamin A

    Strengthens cell walls to protect against invasion by bacteria and promotes tissue repair.

    Vitamin B Complex

    For repair and replacement of lost nutrients; aids in healing.

    Vitamin C

    Essential in immune function and tissue repair.

    Vitamin E

    Important in circulation and tissue oxygenation, enhances immune system and promotes healing.

    Bromelain

    Reduces inflammation and swelling; speeds healing.

    Pantothenic Acid (B5)

    Pantothenic Acid in dexpanthenol lotions and creams relieves the pain of burns, cuts, and abrasions; reduces skin inflammation; and speeds wound healing.

    Superoxide dismutase (SOD)

    A high potency free radical scavenger that reduces infection and inflammation.

    Other Products

    LifeSource 4 Life All Natural Antibiotic
    http://www.lifesource4life.com/antibiotic.html

    LifeSource 4 Life Super Anti-Oxidant Formula
    http://www.lifesource4life.com/antioxidants.html

  43. #43 Medicine Man
    January 12, 2010

    Chris:

    Diabetes:

    Diabetes is categorized into three main types. In type 1 diabetes, also known as juvenile or insulin-dependent diabetes, the production and the secretion of insulin by the pancreas are severely deficient. Type 1 diabetes usually develops during childhood or adolescence. Because insulin levels are absent or dramatically low, people with type 1 need to inject themselves with insulin and monitor their blood sugar daily. This condition is also thought to involve an autoimmune reaction, where the immune system attacks and damages its own pancreatic cells that produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes accounts for 5 to 10 percent of U.S. cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, often called adult-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes, is by far the more common of the two: about 90 to 95 percent of the diabetes in the United States is type 2, affecting over 16 million people. It strikes during adulthood, most often in the elderly or in the obese over forty. It is becoming increasingly common with children, due to the lack of exercise, obesity, and poor dietary habits. People with type 2 can produce sufficient insulin, but the insulin and the glucose it transports cannot effectively enter into the cells. This category of diabetes is most often linked to a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber, and it can usually be treated with an effective diet, exercise, and specific nutritional supplements. The third category is known as gestational diabetes, diabetes that occurs during a woman’s pregnancy. All three types of diabetes are very serious medical conditions. When left unmonitored and untreated, blood-sugar levels can swing from dramatically low (hypoglycemia) to dangerously high (hyperglycemia). Hypoglycemia comes on quickly and leaves you feeling dizzy, pale, sweaty, and confused. You may feel uncoordinated or have palpitations. If your glucose levels are not raised, your symptoms could grow worse, and you could lapse into a coma.

    Hyperglycemia isn’t much better. It may take hours or days to develop and can result in diabetic ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition. Over the long term, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to heart disease, kidney and nerve disorders, loss of vision, and other problems. The high levels of blood sugar can also leave the body vulnerable to infection. If you have type 1 diabetes, you must work very closely with a good doctor and follow a lifelong treatment plan tat includes medication, diet and exercise. Complementary therapies, while they may not substitute for conventional medical treatment, can provide helpful support to your taxed endocrine and other systems and help decrease the need for medications and reduce the long-term complications of the disease. In very rare cases some people are able to get off insulin therapy when a comprehensive natural approach is followed. This, of course, should never be tried without a doctor’s supervision. People with type 2 diabetes must also take their disease very seriously can consult a doctor on a regular basis; however, they will usually find that a comprehensive dietary, exercise, and supplemental program will reduce or eliminate the need for medication. No matter which kind of diabetes you have, you must always talk to your doctor about any therapies you plan to incorporate into your protocol. And never go off your medication without a doctor’s consent.

    Chromium Picolinate

    Chromium improves glucose tolerance and balances blood-sugar levels. (Chromium GTF is recommended.) Chromium Picolinate is an essential trace mineral that works with insulin to support healthy blood glucose levels and plays an important role in the proper utilization of protein, fat and carbohydrates. It supports healthy blood sugar levels.

    Gymnema sylvestre

    Gymnema improves insulin production in the pancreas, as well as insulin’s ability to lower blood-sugar levels. It supports healthy glucose metabolism by mediation of insulin release and activity and enhancement of healthy pancreatic function. Gymnema Sylvestre extract may help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It happens to be a first-rate warrior against diabetes. Because gymnema sylvestre is known to lower levels of blood sugar, individuals who have diabetes should use it with caution!

    Alpha Lipoic acid

    Alpha Lipoic acid improves insulin sensitivity and reduces the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Treats peripheral nerve damage in diabetics, helps control glucose levels.

    Vanadyl sulfate (Vanadium)

    It improves glucose tolerance in people with type 2 diabetes. Vanadyl sulfate has been shown to help maintain blood-sugar levels already in the normal range by its insulin-like effects in the liver, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue, by activating glucose transport at the cellular level. Aids insulin’s ability to move glucose into cells. Higher dosages should be under the supervision of a doctor (above 200 mg).

    Cinnamon extract

    Cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and utilization. Cinnamon can lower blood sugar by mimicking insulin, activating insulin receptors and working with insulin in the cells to reduce blood sugar by up to 20%.

    Super Omega 3, 6 & 9

    Essential fatty acids are needed for proper insulin function, and they support nerve health.

    Glucomannan

    By creating a thick gel, Glucomannan delays gastric emptying and slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which helps to lower levels of insulin and blood glucose. Glucomannan can greatly benefit individuals with metabolic syndrome or diabetes.

    Garlic

    Decreases and stabilizes blood sugar levels, enhances immunity, and improves circulation.

    Vitamin B12

    It is needed to prevent diabetic neuropathy.

    Coenzyme Q10

    Improves circulation and stabilizes blood sugar.

    Manganese

    Needed for repair of the pancreas. It is a cofactor in key enzymes of glucose metabolism.

    Maitake Extract

    Helps to normalize blood sugar levels.

    Biotin is involved with glucose metabolism and is helpful for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

    B-complex vitamins are involved in blood sugar metabolism and help treat diabetic symptoms such as neuropathy. Vitamin B12 is helpful for the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.

    Vitamin C helps prevent the complications of diabetes.

    Magnesium is involved with insulin production and utilization. Take a daily total of 500 to 750 mg. Reduce dosage if loose stools occur.

    CoQ10 tends to be low in people with diabetes. One study found that it has a blood-sugar-lowering effect. CoQ10 prevents LDL cholesterol oxidation, which is more prevalent in people with diabetes.

    Vitamin E improves glucose regulation and prevents cholesterol oxidation.

    Thymus (Thymus vulgaris) extract balances the immune system, which is important for type 1 diabetes.

    DHEA is often low in people with diabetes. If tests show that you have low levels, take 5 to 25 mg daily under a doctor’s supervision.

    Psyllium has been shown to reduce blood-sugar levels. It is a good source of fiber.

    Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) has been shown in a study to help improve blood-sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

    Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) can help balance blood-sugar levels.

    Garlic (Allium sativum) is an important herb for the diabetic. It stabilizes blood sugar and helps reduce your risk of heart disease and other circulatory disorders by improving blood flow, lowering elevated blood pressure, and reducing levels of “bad” cholesterol.

    Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is another herb that stabilizes blood sugar.

    Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) oil may help prevent and treat diabetic neuropathy.

    Other Products

    LifeSource 4 Life Blood Sugar Control
    http://www.lifesource4life.com/08J-blood-sugar.htm

    Nature’s Way Blood Sugar
    http://www.naturesway.com/?pid=79200

    Botanic Choice Sugar Equilibrium II
    http://www.botanicchoice.com/Blood-Sugar/Sugar-Equilibrium-II-60-Capsules.axd

    Botanic Choice Blood Sugar Complex
    http://www.botanicchoice.com/Blood-Sugar/Blood-Sugar-Complex-60-Capsules.axd

    Olympian Labs Glucostasis
    http://www.olympianlabs.com/products/details/glucostasis.html

    Source Naturals Gluco-Science
    http://www.sourcenaturals.com/products/GP1634/

    Himalaya GlucoCare
    http://www.herbalprovider.com/gluco-care.html

  44. #44 Chris
    January 12, 2010

    Please provide actual evidence for your claims, and spamming your website is not sufficient. Especially for the claim on diabetes type 1 (have your herbs cured the pancreas?).

    And as far as “First there is plenty of archaeological evidence, some just refuse to look at it.”, well since you have not produced it, we cannot look at it.

  45. #45 Antaeus Feldspar
    January 12, 2010

    Be prepared to look it up yourself if you don’t like what somebody says.

    That’s not the way it works. You made the claim; you provide the citations to support it.

  46. #46 Scooter
    January 12, 2010

    Until post #42 I was sure that someone needed to invoke Poe’s.

    But now I just declare you are batshit crazy.

    Either that – or cough up some REAL evidence.

  47. #47 Dangerous Bacon
    January 12, 2010

    “Why do you think conservatives are barracading their houses, seting up booby traps inside out of the house and buying up all the guns, ammo, food, and survival supplies they can?”

    This is probably wise.

    But when you order supplements online, isn’t there a problem getting UPS to deliver to your house?

  48. #48 Mr. Medicine Man
    January 12, 2010

    Bibleplaces.com

    Biblical Archeaology Magazine

    Pancreatitis / Pancreas Support

    Chromium Picolinate

    Important in maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

    Calcium & Magnesium

    Calcium works closely with magnesium to counteract glandular disorders.

    Digestive Enzymes

    Needed for proper digestion and gallbladder function. Especially important if gallbladder has been removed.

    Proteolytic Enzymes

    Aids in reducing inflammation; reduces strain on the pancreas by aiding protein digestion. Not to be given to children!

    Raw Pancreas Glandular

    Contains certain proteins needed to repair the pancreas.

    Choline / Inositol / Lecithin

    Fat emulsifiers that aid in fat digestion.

    Coenzyme Q10 / Coenzyme A

    CoQ10 is a powerful oxygen carrier. Coenzyme A works well with CoQ10 and increases energy, supports adrenal glands, processes fats, removes toxins from the body, and boosts the immune system.

    Vitamin E

    A powerful antioxidant and oxygen carrier, important for tissue repair.

    Zinc

    Facilitates proper enzyme activity for cell division, growth, and repair. Plays a role in the manufacture of insulin.

    Manganese

    Needed for repair of the pancreas. It is a cofactor in key enzymes of glucose metabolism.

    Vanadium

    Vanadyl sulfate has been shown to help maintain blood-sugar levels already in the normal range by its insulin-like effects in the liver, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue, by activating glucose transport at the cellular level. Vanadium is also used to promote a healthy pancreas.

    Other Products

    Biogetica Pancreatitis Cure Kit
    http://www.biogetica.com/cure-pancreatitis.php

    LifeSource 4 Life Pancreas Health
    http://www.lifesource4life.com/pancreas.html

  49. #49 Dr. Med Man
    January 12, 2010

    Actually I try not to order them online. I can get most of what is needed locally and paid for in CASH!

    If I do order them online, my UPS man knows the secret knock. He’s my cuz.

  50. #50 Med man
    January 12, 2010

    Man, always, and I mean ALWAYS pay for things like herb meds, ammo, guns, etc. in CASH ONLY. We don’t need the feds sniffing up our ass in every area of our life.

    If you have an herbal medical project going, the best way is cash only.

  51. #51 Chris
    January 12, 2010

    Provide the evidence for your claims, please.

    I noticed the website said they were selling supplements. Even the “antibiotic” was called a supplement. Obviously this is taking advantage of DSHEA.

    I noticed how they do not sell colloidal silver, but have formulas to take it for specific conditions, in list of “super prescriptions.” They must have been been warned about that.

    I also noticed that all the stuff they sell is processed and turned into powders, liquids and pills. Just like most pharmaceuticals. You will have to argue very hard to tell me this company is not just a Holy Roller Baby Pharma.

  52. #52 Med man
    January 12, 2010

    The FDA is picky and so silly, that some manufacturers have to label things in ways that the FDA can live with. It doesn;t mean they changed the product, it just means they labeled it to comply with the fartheads at the FDA.

    Instead of picking on herbal supplements, the FDA should be looking into the deaths of all those girls who took Gardasil and the deaths of all thos people who tragically ended their life trying to save it when they took the dangerous vaccine for H1N1.

    Besides, Lifesource for Life is a Christian comapany anyway. They make good quality supplements and they donate 10% to a Christian charity.

    Have you ever looked Biogetica?

    Face it. As long as big pharma and the FDA run the show, there will never be a cure for cancer. Every time someone says they found a significant treamtment and possible cure, they end up dead and we never know where their studies went.

    There is no money in a cure. What was the last disease cured? Polio! After that, cures stopped happenening becuase the companies can make more money treating a disease than curing it.

  53. #53 Calli Arcale
    January 12, 2010

    stripey_cat:

    Do you think there’s money to be made breeding special woo-ful leeches?

    Don’t know about the woo-ful kind, but there are FDA-approved leech farms. They grow leeches in sterile environments, which can then be used for purposes such as restoring blood flow following limb reattachment surgeries. Not quite the same way they were used 500 years ago, of course. Also maggots, though the evidence of efficacy is a little more equivocal (early studies showed they were very picky eaters, preferring dead flesh, but more recent studies have shown this may not always be the case).

    As far as “the power of prayer”, I don’t think there is anything wrong, per se, with a surgeon praying. If he did this *instead* of actually treating the patient, that would be a problem. But there is one power of prayer that is generally not studied, because it is so obvious: it is the power to help the person doing the praying calm down and focus their attention on the task at hand. Some people prefer cussing to achieve the same goal. I’ve known people who like to recite poetry when they’re stressed. Others like calming music. The principle is the same.

    Med man — what was the last disease cured? Depends on how you define cured. People still die of polio, in regions where the vaccine is not available in sufficient quantities to extirpate it. By that standard, probably HiB. Haemophilus influenzae type B used to kill a lot of kids every year. Now, there is a real risk of cases being misdiagnosed because doctors are unlikely to ever see a case. That’s a *good* problem, IMHO, when a once-common disease becomes so rare people don’t recognize it anymore. There’s definitely money in cures. Why else does Airborne make so much money, just by *hinting* that it helps protect you from influenza and colds? Can you imagine how much more money a real cure would make?

  54. #54 Linda Rosa
    January 12, 2010

    Before Oz was having a Reiki Master work in his surgical theatre, he had a TT practitioner waving her hands over any exposed part of the patients’ bodies. The press was aware of this, so when my daughter Emily’s TT study came out in 1998, the media went to Oz for comment. I recall he said the study was okay, but he still thought there was something to TT.

    I just ran across a fascinating and revealing article from that time about Oz and the CAM center he co-founded with Jery Whitworth at Columbia-Presbyterian.

    http://nymag.com/nymetro/health/features/2664/
    “Recite Your Mantra and Call Me in the Morning”

    Here’s just a taste of what’s in the article:

    “…Oz was operating; Whitworth was acting as profusionist, the technician who keeps the patient alive while the operation is ongoing. At one point, recalls Whitworth, ‘Oz jumped up on a standing stool, peered into the patient’s chest, and said, “I knew we should have used subliminal tapes on this patient.”‘

    Oz was forced to drop TT, apparently because of the JAMA TT study, but a $10M donation to his CAM center soon got TT reinstated and the center expanded.

  55. #55 Johnny
    January 12, 2010

    Medicien man –

    I’m not Chris, but I have many maladies.

    I have pizza butt, legume bloating, hat hair, a terrible swelling in my neither region, and I’m much too acute. You’re my only hope.

    My IP is 127.0.0.1, please FTP your best advise. I’ll leave a port open for you.

  56. #56 Chris
    January 12, 2010

    Still waiting for Medicine Man’s magic herbs that replace insulin for diabetes type 1. You understand why I am very specific on the type of diabetes?

    Actually, the deaths attributed to Gardisil have been looked into: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/Vaccines/HPV/jama.html

    The 32 death reports were reviewed and there as no common patter to the deaths that would suggest they were caused by the vaccine. In cases where there was an autopsy, death certificate, or medical records, the cause of death could be explained by factors other than the vaccine. Some causes of death determined to date include diabetes, viral illness, illicit drug use, and heart failure.

    Now stop spouting conspiracy nonsense and produce some actual data.

  57. #57 Medicien man
    January 12, 2010

    My version is:

    http://www.bumperart.com/Bad+Attitudes.htm

    I tried to post diabetes treatment but it would not let me post. One good one is Biogetica.

    Never fear. Obama’s healthcare plane will save you.

    I like the sticker that says:

    “If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait till it’s free!”

  58. #58 Kathy
    January 12, 2010

    Thanks for making the distinction, Chris. Being a 27-year veteran of type 1 diabetes myself, I grow tired of the Medicine Men of the world who insist they can “cure” me. Even the most courageous and complicated attempts at transplantation have failed, what makes them think herbs will regrow my broken pancreas?

  59. #59 Chris
    January 12, 2010

    Kathy, thanks, but I really need to give credit where credit is due. I actually read Cheri’s story posted on this blog a couple of days ago. I can certainly see where folks like Medicine Man can be very annoying.

  60. #60 Lone Wolf
    January 13, 2010

    Doctor Oz? Isn’t that the guy looks like he had botox in his face to kill a horse?
    What do you expect from daytime TV? Its full of shit.

  61. #61 Chris
    January 13, 2010

    Medicine man:

    I tried to post diabetes treatment but it would not let me post. One good one is Biogetica.

    That is a lame excuse. Orac barely moderates the comments. The only real limit is two URL links per post (and to not make him really mad, only three people have been banned). Also the Biogetica* only listed a testimonies of those who had diabetes type 2, not type 1 (which is completely different). Also it was just a sales site for a company that sells crap. It has nothing to do with scientific evidence.

    You really need to try harder.

    Let me repeat so you can fully understand: What is the herbal treatment for type 1 diabetes that completely replaces the use of insulin?

    Answer with the actual treatment. That means you list the herbs with the appropriate dosage, and the actual scientific study that shows its efficacy. Do not post a random web sales link to a supplement company like you did before. You must answer with the treatment, and (if possible) the PubMed link of the study showing it was effective.

    *Oh, my word! The stupidity I found on clicking the Bogetica diabetes link! First it shows a picture of a man, then it is followed by these words:

    I have type II diabetes and was taking 30 units of insulin a day. After 3 months of taking of your kit I am down to only 10 units of insulin a day. I am continuing treatment in the hopes that it will cure my diabetes and take me off insulin forever.

    Um, did you know that type II is completely different than type I? And that the guy only cut it in half?

    Now answer the question: What herbal remedy do you have that cures diabetes type 1? And I mean something that completely eliminates the need for the evil Big Pharma insulin!

  62. #62 Chris
    January 13, 2010

    Hey, Medicine man, did you notice the big disclaimer on Biogetica’s diabetes site? It says:

    It is important to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. Along with this, you should take the prescribed insulin and eat a proper diet while on these complementary protocols. These products are not a substitute for any drugs that your doctor may have prescribed.

    Oh, wow! Even they say that they are not a substitute for the evil Big Pharma drugs!

    Really, dude… you are just clueless git, who has been sucked into the huge business of “Big Supplement.” They own you, and you bought into their lies. Hook, line and sinker… Do you have the word “gullible” tattooed on your forehead?

  63. #63 WMDKitty
    January 13, 2010

    @shmedelle — I don’t know about you, but I’d be praying if I were up to my wrists in somebody else’s freakin’ brain. *shudders* Ugh, one wrong move there, and it’s all over, man.

  64. #64 uriel1972
    January 13, 2010

    @medicineman In Australia we have free health care and spend less of our GDP per capite doing so.

    Let me restate that: Free health care for LESS than you in the USA spend.

    And it’s pretty damn good too

  65. #65 JohnV
    January 13, 2010

    “Vitamin A

    Strengthens cell walls to protect against invasion by bacteria and promotes tissue repair. ”

    Honestly?

  66. #66 Katharine
    January 13, 2010

    Guys, ‘Medicien Man’ is probably a Poe. Ignore him.

  67. #67 Todd W.
    January 13, 2010

    @JohnV

    “Vitamin A

    Strengthens cell walls to protect against invasion by bacteria and promotes tissue repair. ”

    Honestly?

    Yep. Didn’t you know that humans are plants, not animals?

  68. #68 Johnny
    January 13, 2010

    Vitamin E
    A powerful antioxidant and oxygen carrier,…

    Wait…. what?

  69. #69 Martin
    January 13, 2010

    @31, 32
    “Now, if you’re thinking about popping a zit, Dr. Oz says to think twice—especially if it’s in the triangle from the tip of your nose to the edges of your lips. “This is called the triangle of death,” he says. “When you squeeze a pimple in here, that pus doesn’t have to come up. Instead of the pus going [out], it can go back down into those blood vessels. And guess where they go? They go to your brain.””

    Facial vein has connections with cavernous sinuses and pterygoid plexus (i.e. in the brain). It drains the blood from medial angle of nose eyes and lips (called by some danger area of the face). Infection of sinuses, face, nose, tonsils, soft palate, teeth etc. can result in septic thrombosis of the cavernous sinuses, a potentially lethal condition – in the pre-antibiotic era the mortality from it was near 100%. Squeezing of pimples in the area is traditionally considered a risk factor for thrombosis of the cavernous sinuses, although I am not sure if there are any studies showing the incidence of intracranial complications of pimple squeezing. I could not find any by a very superficial PubMed search. So Dr.Oz is right that an infection in the area has some potentially very dangerous (but probably rare) complications.

    Martin

  70. #70 Pablo
    January 13, 2010

    Wow, what a blog. Linda Rosa even shows up. Man, Orac, you are making the big time.

    Thanks for your input, Linda. What’s Emily up to these days?

  71. #71 Michael C. Joseph, MD
    January 13, 2010

    In his new role, Dr. Oz is a public entertainer, and his pronouncements should be evaluated on that basis – difficult and important medical topics presented in pap form for the widest audience – without any critical review.

    I regret if cardiac surgery has really lost his focus, since heart disease is still the number one cause of death, but he can give his imprimatur to serious public health topics like obesity (especially in childhood), the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, and practical lay strategies like exercise, diet, and stress reduction for avoiding the services of a cardiac surgeon and drug therapy (from a drug safety consultant/analyst).

    Michael C. Joseph, MD

  72. #72 Dacks
    January 13, 2010

    Raw Pancreas Glandular – I don’t even want to think about what this might be, or where it comes from!

  73. #73 Calli Arcale
    January 13, 2010

    Johnny:

    Vitamin E
    A powerful antioxidant and oxygen carrier,…

    Wait…. what?

    *blinks*

    That is astounding. Reminds me of the ad I got in the mail offering to sell me a device that would produce deionized water which was high in minerals and antioxidants.

    It’s sad that their customers apparently don’t notice the inherent contradiction. If I were evil, I could follow that up by selling them dehydrated water.

  74. #74 Joe
    January 13, 2010

    This is disappointing.

    The Oz/Roizen book on weight loss was probably the least woo-inspired popular book on that topic. It had its oddities, but the core of “eat healthy for two weeks so that you’re used to craving good food,” measuring waist size over poundage and taking daily walks was good and practical.

  75. #75 oderb
    January 13, 2010

    It is truly horrible!!!! that patients are offered an opportunity for someone to touch them in a soothing and caring way in the midst of the stress of being in a hospital. The horror being that the evidence is not there that touching someone can help alleviate stress and pain. (By the way where is the evidence that it doesn’t help people?)

    But of course it’s fine to inject people with platelets to cure tendonitis and other such maladies as hundreds of hospitals and doctors are doing, without a bloody shred of evidence that it does anything except make millions for the high priests of medicine.

    Every time I read this blog the double standard jumps off the ‘page’ to me. Focus on the sins of conventional medicine that kill or maim tens of thousands of people due to greed, fraud and groupthink and then I will have a modicum of respect for those who inhabit this myopic corner of cyperspace.

    See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/health/13tendon.html?ref=health for the story on the utter ineffectiveness of platelet injections. And can anyone explain why these treatments were given without prior conclusive evidence other than greed and business as usual in the medical industrial complex? And why is there a similar story published most every month or so on the latest example of the institutional scandals that are endemic to big medicine.

    So yes keep on blogging on Reiki. Maybe you can find even one unhappy person who has received Reiki. You guys are masters at bait and switch – focus on practices that may or may not work but that hurt no one, and ignore the slaughter – and I use that word deliberately – of thousands who trust orthodox medicine to base their treatments on evidence- and ‘ to do no harm’.

  76. #76 Orac
    January 13, 2010

    oderb seems to be laboring under the delusion that I don’t also criticize conventional medical practices that don’t have a firm evidence base. Shall I educate him?

  77. #77 BLueMaxx
    January 13, 2010

    ORAC:

    seems unlikely he/she will listen to your efforts, but perhaps if you were to select 3-4 archived blog postings reflecting your even-handled distain for “conventional” poor medicine or poor science as well. Lead him to water, see if he will drink, … or perhaps just perform serial dilutions with vigorous shaking?

    Maxx

  78. #78 Dangerous Bacon
    January 13, 2010

    Peculiarly enough, in the link oderb provides, it is the minions of the “medical industrial complex” who are questioning whether platelet therapy helps soft tissue injuries heal.

    Here we have yet another case in mainstream medicine where the efficacy of a therapy is being debated and the issue heading toward resolution on the basis of quality research. By contrast, woo-based therapies are virtually never discarded because they don’t work, the need for evidence is ignored, and practitioners continue to make money off ineffective treatments indefinitely.

    Yes, the double standard does leap off the page.

  79. #79 Nico
    January 13, 2010

    Maybe it’s me, but if I’m in a hospital for any reason, I don’t want to be touched, soothed or patted by a woo practitioner, especially during surgery, or trauma or procedures.

    I can’t really articulate how creepy and intrusive that sort of thing is, it makes my skin crawl to think of it.

  80. #80 Calli Arcale
    January 13, 2010

    When I’m in the hospital, I would appreciate being touched and soothed. Backrubs are particularly nice.

    What I would NOT appreciate is some yo-yo telling me that by doing so, they are “adjusting my energy fields” or other crap. Tell me you’re giving me a relaxing hand massage — I’ll appreciate that. Telling me you’re performing reflexology or reiki, and you’ll be very glad that I’d be too ill to physically shove you out the door.

    (Note: reiki and Therapeutic Touch actually wouldn’t qualify as being touched and soothed, because they actually don’t involve physical contact. That would irritate the hell out of me. You’re intruding on my personal space for no reason! Get out of my room, or I’m calling security!)

  81. #81 Todd W.
    January 13, 2010

    @Calli Arcale

    Your very appropriate comment about reiki and TT not actually involving touching brought to mind the elder sibling waving their fingers in front of your face, going, “I’m not touching you. I’m not touching you.” Annoying as hell.

  82. #82 Scott
    January 13, 2010

    Telling me you’re performing reflexology or reiki, and you’ll be very glad that I’d be too ill to physically shove you out the door.

    For my part, I’d be seriously tempted to engage in some constructive defenestration, assuming my room were on a suitably high floor.

    Well, not really. I just like using that word for some reason.

  83. #83 Jim
    January 13, 2010

    When I was five, I started pulling the Time/Life books down off the shelves. They had one picture of gestures being made, one primate to another, and what they meant. There was a picture of a chimp reaching out to touch another one on the shoulder. This was labelled, “comfort.”

    The window dressing applied to reiki is just that – window dressing, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Ritual is a powerful thing.

    What is a bad thing is pretending that the ritual has actually healing properties, and charging up the nose for it.

  84. #84 Johnny
    January 13, 2010

    @ Calli Arcale in 73 –

    Thanks for the validation. My chosen profession doesn’t deal with medicine, or even the biological sciences. Everything I know about biology above basic classes I took back in the 70s is only what I’ve managed to put together based recreational research over the years. While I *think* I have a fairly clear understanding of antioxidants, and why you’d want them, the apparent contradiction had me wondering if I’d missed something.

    Ref Reiki and Therapeutic Touch – I’d recommend
    http://www.quackcast.com/spodcasts/files/podcast_28.mp3
    to the group – because the world needs more Mark Crislip.

  85. #85 Medicine Man
    January 13, 2010

    “In Australia we have free health care and spend less of our GDP per capite doing so.

    Let me restate that: Free health care for LESS than you in the USA spend.

    And it’s pretty damn good too”

    ______________________________________________

    Really? Guess what? We are NOT Australia! By the way how much of your paycheck goes towards this “free” healthcare. That’s my point. I don;t care if someone else gets “free” healthcare or not so long as not one penney of it comes out of my paycheck that I work for and I earn with my labor. Get it? If I could opt out of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, I would. However that cannot happen becuase the government won’t allow anyone to opt out. They lose power when they lose control of their subjects. Now e can;t have that now, can we?

    Keep your socialism, I’ll keep what freedoms I have left.

  86. #86 Chris
    January 13, 2010

    So, “Medicine Man”, any chance you are going to answer my questions about type 1 diabetes on how your herbal treatments remove the need for insulin with some real evidence?

    You told me to list conditions, which I did. But you have failed to provide real evidence for your claims, and absolutely nothing on type 1 diabetes (it is not the same as type 2 diabetes).

  87. #87 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 13, 2010

    Medicine Man:
    No doubt you will avoid driving your car or walking on government-funded streets and sidewalks. If your house catches on fire, you’ll call 911 and cancel the fire engines. Likewise if you get broken into or assaulted, you’ll call a rent-a-cop. I’m sure you’ll never go to a pro football game. After all, they play in government-subsidized stadiums.
    And about that war in Iraq…

  88. #88 David N. Brown
    January 14, 2010

    “Reiki is every bit as much quackery as the faith healing of Benny Hinn and Peter Popoff.”
    As a seminary student, I’ve done a few papers on faith healing, and I think a distinction is in order. Benny Hinn is a serious minister, and I expect that any involvement in faith healing has been sincere. Popoff, on the other hand, was clearly a knowing fraud; he’s the one who was caught with a concealed radio receiver.

  89. #89 mconlonRN
    January 14, 2010

    “Maybe you can find even one unhappy person who has received Reiki” – oderb
    I’ve had reiki and I was disapointed. I wanted a nice massage and this crazy chick starts waving her hands around over me, not even touching me. It was useless and stupid. Give me a massage and call it a day wierdo!
    Oh, and my friend who’s daughter has type I diabetes will be so excited to find out that you can just sprinkle some cinnamon on her food and cure her disease! Fantastic.
    BTW Med Man (sic)…polio was not “cured”. We discovered a…here it comes…VACCINE! And it (almost) went away. Except in coutnries without vaccine. They still have it. Just to let you in on the big secret!

  90. #90 BlueMaxx
    January 14, 2010

    ATTN “Med Man”

    your statement jan 12th: Instead of picking on herbal supplements, the FDA should be looking into the deaths of all those girls who took Gardasil and the deaths of all thos people who tragically ended their life trying to save it when they took the dangerous vaccine for H1N1.

    JUST wondering here… you have any facts for these claims of “all those girls” that died from Gardisil or “all thos(e) people..ended their life..” taking the ‘dangerous” H1N1 vaccine? Have any actual facts or data for the group? And quoting from wikipedia or Bill Maher or the autistic-extreme blogs are not acceptable.

    CHECKING the CDC VAERS database for actual info would be a suggestion:

    found: GARDISIL data (26 million doses)
    As of September 1, 2009, there have been 44 U.S. reports of death among females who have received the vaccine. Twenty seven of these reports have been confirmed and 17 remain unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report such as a name and contact information to confirm the report. Confirmed reports are those that scientists have followed up on and have verified the claim. In the 27 reports confirmed, there was no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths that would suggest that they were caused by the vaccine.

    for H1N1 (shipped 110 million doses, not established number actually given) there were 33 reports of death.
     As with all reports of serious adverse events and deaths, the 33 VAERS reports that involve deaths are under review by CDC, FDA and the states where the reported deaths occurred. Preliminary findings do not indicate a common cause or pattern (such as similarities in age, gender, geographic location, illness surrounding death, or underlying medical conditions) to suggest that these deaths were associated with the vaccine.

    TWO sets of data, low numbers of coincident death events, not able to demonstrate any association with the vaccine.

  91. #91 Iced Borscht
    January 15, 2010

    Orac, I don’t think you gave him a free pass. He never overtly flew the woo flag when he appeared on Oprah (if I recall correctly). Though I always assumed he might be a more subtle version of a Kevin Trudeau-type huckster, I didn’t do any digging until my wife got into a brief habit of inundating me with his Oprah-hour advice.

    The Reiki thing, of course, immediately made me cringe, but I really started to find Oz difficult-to-stomach when I began contemplating the notion of him wearing his surgical scrubs on TV. Does he have the same uniform fetish that C. Everett Koop had? Why is wearing that on a TV show? Whiskey tango fuck??

  92. #92 Lorinda
    January 19, 2010

    If you would like to read some Quantum science that can help explain how it works follow the links:
    http://www.reiki.org/Download/OschmanReprint2.pdf
    http://www.reiki.org/reikinews/ScienceMeasures.htm

  93. #93 Chris
    January 19, 2010

    Lorinda, answer this question to show us how much you understand: What was being counted when the term “quantum” was employed in physics?

  94. #94 tl
    January 19, 2010

    Lorinda, I’ve read your links and found the science lacking. There’s plenty of handwaving and unsupported jumps of logic, but no actual quantum physics. It would be nice to see the woo-meisters of the world at least attempt to formulate a Hamiltonian for their system and attempt some calculations before invoking the term “quantum” like some sort of magical incantation.

  95. #95 OleanderTea
    January 19, 2010

    Well, Dr. Oz certainly hit the woo trifecta today. His show is about Hidden Toxins In Your Home.

    Let me summarize so you don’t have to watch the dreck:

    O noes! There are toxinzzz in manufactured cleaning stuff and pans and granite countertops and kitteh litter! We’re all gunna dieeeee!!! from teh toxzinnzzz!!!1!1!!!eleventy!

    But be fair about the doc’s Botox. Botulinum toxin is natural, you know.

  96. #96 Medicien Man
    January 19, 2010

    No doubt you will avoid driving your car or walking on government-funded streets and sidewalks. If your house catches on fire, you’ll call 911 and cancel the fire engines. Likewise if you get broken into or assaulted, you’ll call a rent-a-cop. I’m sure you’ll never go to a pro football game. After all, they play in government-subsidized stadiums.
    And about that war in Iraq…

    ____________________________

    Streets and sidewalks are not government property. They are citizen funded. Private citizens are the government.

    If I get broken into, I have plenty in my arsenal to pump lead into the bum. I don;t care for ball games – a waste of time to me.

    Iraq? Is that what’s bugging you? I’m surprised you still aren;t pissed off over Vietnam. Have you spit on a soldier today? If so I hope he knocks you teeth out. People who spit on soldiers deserves a fist to the face. Face it. We had a chance to kill communism and the hippy drug lords loved the communists more than their won country. Now it’s still the same today. The libs just replaced Vietnam with Iraq, and communism with Islamic terrorism. Same fight. Same stupid drugged up marxists. Twittle dee. Twittle dum.

  97. #97 Chris
    January 19, 2010

    So “Medicien Man”, have you found the magic herbal remedy so that a person with Type 1 Diabetes no longer needs to take insulin yet? You told me to come up with some conditions, I did, and you still have not adequately answered.

  98. #98 T. Bruce McNeely
    January 20, 2010

    Whooaaah!!!
    Guess I lit off a bomb!

    Fine, you go ahead and pay for the Iraq war. I don’t have to. And no, I respect our soldiers, and yours also.

    But not you. You are a loony.

  99. #99 Medicine Man
    January 20, 2010

    Chris, have your tried Glymetrol?

    ————

    @Bruce:

    Fine you go ahead and pay for socialism and the crap and trade scam, I don’t have to.

  100. #100 Chris
    January 20, 2010

    non-Medicine Man:

    Chris, have your tried Glymetrol?

    What kind of an answer is that?

    Since I am not diabetic, I do not have to “try” anything. You told me to tell you a condition and that you could tell me the herbal remedy. I cannot accept an answer without the the supporting evidence.

    I am looking at my 1974 edition of Dr. John Lust’s The Herb Book, and no where does it show “glymetrol.” Though while it does have a good list of herbs, and their side effects, I know better to think it has cure alls. Indeed, the mixtur for diabetes (which does not state which one) just says it “improves sugar tolerance.”

    You have failed again.

  101. #101 Medicine Man
    January 20, 2010

    Well, there you have it. Glymetrol will help. It may not specifically “cure” your ailment, but it and so many other things will significantly help decrease your insulin usage. 1974? Man, throw that thing away.

    http://www.ayurvediccure.com/diabetes.htm

    alternative treatment for diabetes type 1
    http://www.buydominica.com/naturalhealth/diabetes_medicines.htm

  102. #102 Medicien man
    January 20, 2010
  103. #103 Kristen
    January 20, 2010

    Interesting coincidence: Medicien Man just posted the same web address as someone calling him/herself Dr. I.M. Smart on a newer post. I wonder why.

  104. #104 Chris
    January 20, 2010

    Because he is a sockpuppet. Sockpuppet troll, I told you the last time that a commercial sales site was not an adequate answer.

    You posted it again? Do you have severe memory problems?

    Total fail. Time to ignore the off-topic troll sock puppet.

  105. #105 Medicien man new and improved
    January 20, 2010

    No I do not have memeory problems. I take Ginko for that.

    Commercial sales site? Okay, maybe I should direct you to a mercury laced preservative induced FDA approved big pharma vaccine site instead. Oooops. Those are also commercial sales sites overseen by a commercial overlord (FDA).

    You fail also. Off topic? Don’t think so buddy. You can ignore me, but you can’t ignore the truth and by ignore I mean censor. Tah tah unbelievers.

    It’s amazing to me how some people have believe in absolutely nothing at all, yet survive for long long. I guess miracles come in all packages and flavors – especially kool-aid.

  106. #106 João Pedro Veiga
    August 28, 2010

    I just saw Dr. Oz debunking Colon Cleansing on his show, saying people to instead rely on “exercise and water”.

    It’s a show where they talk about Colon Cancer.

  107. #107 doctor oz website
    October 22, 2010

    Yes, a helpful media is capable of promoting just about anything even if there is no real evidence behind it. All they want are stories and whomever can manipulate the process the most wins. We see it time and time again, don’t we?

  108. #108 LC
    January 18, 2011

    Oprah has now managed to destroy two doctors. On her show, Dr. Phil was a breath of fresh air. On his own, he turned into Jerry Springer.

    On her show, Dr. Oz was a serious-minded physician able to communicate with an audience about often embarrassing subjects. On his own show, he routinely touts alternative medicines that usually have no scientifically proven value, beauty treatments (ditto), and, this year, Deepak Chopra who asserts that one can reprogram one’s genes with meditation to prevent aging (!) and tomorrow will give a respectful interview (sounding just like Oprah) to Joe Mercola – like Weill, a shill for generally useless “alternative” medicine.

    It should almost be considered malpractice because an audience that respects his solid medical information are being conned into accepting the equivalent of junk food on the grounds that a real doctor wouldn’t lie to them.

    Some time in the distant future, I hope, historians will wonder why people living in the 21st century rejected science and sought comfort in the dark ages of superstition & folk medicine.

  109. #109 Susan Talbott
    March 15, 2011

    @Todd: I’m a volunteer at Brigham and Women’s, and yes, they not even offer to provide reiki, but they offered to teach it as a volunteer position. It’s really sad. One time I was discharging a patient, and she was telling me how nice it was that they brought in this reiki healer, and that it worked so nicely. It was all I could do to restrain myself from blurting out that the skill of some of the top doctors in the country might also have had something to do with it. As the conversation continued, she tried to convert me to Scientology. I guess people who believe woo will believe any type of crap that goes in their ears. It’s a shame that people don’t give these hard-working doctors the thanks they deserve.

    Really? What a boat load of CRAP!! Don’t you worry about those “hard working doctors” They give themselves PLENTY of CREDIT!! Take it from an Operating Room Nurse who has worked these ass-holes for years. They think they are GOD incarnate, most of them, and don’t have an issue with anybody not giving them credit.

  110. #110 michigan concrete
    April 22, 2011

    Alternative medicine is preventative medicine. If all you Allopathic doctors are doing such a fantastic job why are people getting sicker and sicker. why are the rates of all serious diseases going up (and don’t say because the population is rising) most outpace population rise easily. Only about 5% of people are born with genetic issues that cause disease the rest acquire them because of the environment they expose their bodies to. Poor diet, and no exercise, hydrogenated fats, MSG, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides all contribute to our diseased nation. This is all preventable. Dr. Oz promotes prevention. like the old saying goes an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
    whether reiki or acupuncture or chiropractic medicine work the way they say they do or not is not the issue. The bottom line is that people who practice it feel better and get sick less. If you have already screwed your body up so badly that you own cells don’t want to be a part of the system anymore and they go rouge (cancer) then reiki probably is not going to save you. If you practice a spiritual healthy life that includes reiki (or whatever) then you won’t get cancer to begin with.

  111. #111 MARVIN
    September 23, 2011

    As a LEGITIMATE MD Surgeon (Trauma) with 7 post-graduate years training in a legitimate
    number of training programs I became dubious of an Oprah sponsored disciple to not buy
    into the wealth offered. I think some of your advice is excellent in the fields of correct
    diet, excercise, good habits,etc. I KNOW for sure you cannot carry out a reasonable practice
    in open heart surgery with good results and adequate hospital visits and rounds and carry
    on a TV schedule you are keeping—IMPOSSIBLE.! I have been a surgical full-time Assistant
    in one of the most prestigious medical schools and surgical departments in the country. I have mentored personally several students for their final year for the American Board of
    Surgery & they all passed the written and oral exams on the first try (unusual). I have been on the Clinical Professor Clinical Teaching staff at several universities and on the founding staff of one. While I do not question your qualifications in cardiac surgery, I am
    disappointed that you left your first love and descended into the “money scheme”.
    Personally, I suggest that you go back to your dedicated profession, return to a teaching
    program & refresh your skills and again work in that field where men of your talent are sorely needed. That would be serving humanity. Of course, I entered my field to serve humanity, not worship the greed for money and fame and did much of my practice to
    serve those less fortunate. I am now retired but at age 92 am delighted and satisfied with
    a life of service which makes retirement great. Incidentally I still have an active license and
    do consultations in a senior community (and do house calls) with no charge. I am privileged to have good health all of my life. Except for childhood diseases and an
    appendectomy in 1946 I have never been sick. Incidentally, I followed a basic routine
    much like you advise with exercise, correct diet,never having smoked or used nicotine
    products and did not drink alcohol to excess. I still weigh the same as I did in high school and college as a 3-sport athlete on scholarship. I do not buy into quackery of any
    sort. I would love to meet you for a conversation sometime to discuss a variety of things,
    only not on TV and NOT for money. I still keep up my medical education and have a
    wealth of experiences and patient stories to share. I was following much of your legitmate
    routine for longevity Long before you were born.
    signed MARV

  112. #112 lilady
    September 23, 2011

    @ Dr. MARVIN: Thank you so much for your post and I’m hoping you will become a “regular” here. We have some doctors who regularly post here as well as some nurses (yours truly). Other regulars here are “sciency” types who understand what science-based health care is…and what it isn’t.

    What we need in this world are more doctors like you who continue to care for their patients…even in retirement. We can certainly do without celebrity TV doctors.

  113. #113 Mamy
    April 23, 2012

    I’ve read most of the comments on this thread and I’d like to say this…I was strongly skeptical at first too, but I had a Reiki treatment before I took the classes to see what it entailed. For me, it was convincing enough to explore further and I took all three levels over an 8 year period. I volunteer at a local clinic that serves anyone who wants to try Reiki and we practioners have had many repeat clients. I still receive treatments from other practioners from time to time and I’ve had some that were amazing(improved health conditions) and some that just reduced stress. I’ve never had one that had no effect at all.

    I do agree with the fact that more studies need to be done to verify the effectiveness of the treatments. I have read through some of the “studies” granted through NCCAM and found them lacking in thoroughness.

    Just curious…has anyone on this thread actually tried a Reiki treatment?

  114. #114 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    April 23, 2012

    Mamy,

    I think you’re barking up the wrong tree if you think anyone here is going to agree with you that “more studies need to be done to verify the effectiveness” of reiki. There IS no effectiveness, so no need to waste time and money proving that. Reiki is even more ludicrous than the already ludicrous acupuncture. Just wave a magic wand over me or sprinkle some fairy dust and it’ll be just as effective.

    I do however believe that YOU believe it works. After all, you’ve invested eight years of your life and you make money from it. It’s a big pyramid scheme, isn’t it–how many others have you “trained”?

    And I also doubt if anyone on this board would waste time or money on a reiki “treatment” either.

  115. #115 Antaeus Feldspar
    April 23, 2012

    Mamy, it’s unusual that you should think that the studies performed through NCCAM are insufficiently thorough, when it seems that your own personal “studies” of reiki make no attempt whatsoever to eliminate the placebo effect. If I’m wrong about that, please do let me know, but I suspect that every time you had an “effectful” reiki session, you knew you were having reiki, knew it was supposed to have an effect, and attributed whatever effect you then experienced (like a feeling of relief that comes from anticipating a reduction of stress) to the reiki.

    Asking if anyone here has ever personally experienced a reiki treatment is rather like asking whether we’ve been in the front row when David Copperfield makes the Statue of Liberty disappear: it assumes, incorrectly, that the route to the most reality-based evaluation of the experience is to be as close and immersed as one can possibly be.

  116. #116 Calli Arcale
    April 23, 2012

    Mamy:

    Just curious…has anyone on this thread actually tried a Reiki treatment?

    There was one offered in a health fair at my employer. It was absurd, and achieved absolutely nothing but to sadden me that whoever vetted the people at the booths clearly asked no questions beyond “are you interested in being in our health fair?”

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