Well, I’m back.

It’s always a bit weird to try to get back into the swing of things after even just a week off and even when during that week I didn’t actually stop blogging but merely slowed down a lot and succeeded (mostly) in restricting what little blogging I did to brief posts. (Yes, I know there was one exception.) Even so, I did ignore a fair number of things that normally would have been either the subject of one of my scintillating detailed scientific analyses or the target of a heapin’ helpin’ of not-so-Respectful Insolence. Usually when I get back from a vacation I like to ease back into my routine. What that usually means is slumming for a day or two before taking on any sort of heavy-duty study or a heavy topic that takes a lot of work and thought. However, my “slumming” often produces some of my most entertaining posts. After all, no one can say it was hard to take on Rob Schneider or Jim Carrey’s antivaccine nonsense, given how ridiculous and numerous the canards they laid down were. It sure was fun, though. Whether this subject will fall into that category, I don’t yet know. There’s only one way to find out, though.

When I go looking to deconstruct quackery, increasingly as I’ve been in the blogging biz longer and longer it becomes harder and harder to find a quack I haven’t heard of before or to take on pseudoscience I haven’t dealt with before. On the other hand, I see value in repetition sometimes, because the same sorts of “themes” keep popping up again in quackery and pseudoscience. In particular, when naturopaths want to try to convince the unwary that they are real doctors, that they can function as primary care providers, that their “discipline” is not a “one from column A, two from columm B”-style gmish of quackeries taken from virtually all woo known to human beings, all leavened with the occasional sensible advice (such as “exercise more”), I feel it’s instructive to introduce a naturopath, particularly one I’ve never heard before. That almost never fails to disabuse people of the notion that naturopathy is anything other than a cornucopia of pseudoscience and quackery.

Enter Judy Seeger, ND (which, of course, stands for “not a doctor”) and her website Colon Cleanse Camp. In particular, Seeger’s been writing a lot about cancer, which is an extra special bonus, given how much naturopaths appear to want to create their own specialty of “naturopathic oncology.” She’s even been including a lot of videos, because, you know, everything’s more convincing if it has a video to go along with it. YouTube is truth, after all. Everyone knows that, particularly quacks.

So who is Judy Seeger? Well, her bio describes her thusly:

Dr. Judy has been involved in the alternative medicine field for over 33 years. Starting out as a nutritionist, herbalist, consultant, workshop leader.

And:

In 1996 she went back to school to become a traditional naturopathic physician and Natural Health Counselor, then continued learning from world renowned healers like Dr. Bernard Jensen, Dr. John Christopher, Dr. Joel Robbins, and many others.

She even has the chutzpah to call herself a “Natural Cancer Cure Researcher.” It’s a meaningless claim, of course. Real “natural cancer treatment” researchers are natural products pharmacologists, and there’s no evidence that Seeger has any such scientific background. She does, however, have a veritable network of websites and webinars, such as the “ultimate cancer detox secrets,” in which she promises to “eliminate deadly poisons…in less than 30 days.” Then there’s her Complete Health System, and many others. I could spend several posts going over these websites and videos, but I think I’ll concentrate on the cancer-related ones for now. My attention was first drawn to a video and blog post entitled 5 Cancer Cures That Alternative Medicine Can Guarantee. Yes, any time an “alternative” medicine practitioner claims to be able to “guarantee” a cure for cancer, that will catch my attention. Here’s the video:

The first thing I want draw your attention to is something that Seeger writes that I actually almost agree with. Or I could agree with it if she hadn’t screwed it up so much. In fact, it’s the closest thing to a scientifically accurate statement I’ve seen from a naturopath ever. It’s buried in the text but so important that I don’t want to just get to it in due course but rather emblazon a slightly altered version of it on every quack website. No, it’s not a Quack Miranda Warning. Rather, it’s this:

Complementary medicine is based on scientific knowledge whereas alternative medicine is based on clinical or anecdotal evidence.

So close, Ms. Seeger, but yet so far. Actually, “complementary” medicine is alternative medicine and is not really based on scientific knowledge; it’s just alternative medicine “integrated” with real medicine, and you all know what happens when you “integrate” cow pie with apple pie. Here’s a hint: It doesn’t make the apple pie better. In actuality, Seeger’s statement would be better if she had just rephrased it to say:

“Conventional” medicine is based on scientific knowledge whereas alternative medicine is based on clinical or anecdotal evidence.

There. That’s better. It’s true, too. That’s the key difference between quackery and science-based medicine. Quacks rely on anecdotes to “prove” that their quackery “works.” Real medicine relies on science in order to actually demonstrate that its treatments work. In fact, Seeger in essence admits that and then asks a pertinent question. At least, it would be a pertinent question if she actually tried to answer it. She didn’t:

Why use alternative medicine for cancer cures? After all, its not be ‘proven’ by scientists so how do you know it works?

When you’re frustrated with throwing up from the chemo treatments, losing your hair, and feeling incredibly tired all the time…maybe its time to look at a different option.

The advantages of using Alternative Medicine:

  1. guaranteed safe NO side effects – no harm done
  2. guaranteed immune boosters
  3. guaranteed easy to use – comfort of your own home, no doc waits
  4. guaranteed more control of your health – can talk to practioners longer than 10 min
  5. guaranteed less invasive

Here are the alternative therapies I’ve used in my
clinics:

  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
  • Colon Hydrotherapy
  • Ozone Therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Enzyme Therapy
  • Nutrition/juice therapy

Notice how “Dr.” Seeger asks a totally appropriate question about alternative medicine (“After all, its not be ‘proven’ by scientists so how do you know it works?”) but then doesn’t actually provide an answer to the question. In a classic bit of misdirection, she gives reasons why one might want to try her woo, but none of these reasons actually involve explaining the evidence that her methods work. Not one. Rather, she lists off a bunch of non sequiturs. Sure, there’s little doubt that her woo has fewer side effects (although, given that she advocates colon hydrotherapy and “enzyme” and “nutrition/juice” therapy, which when you come right down to it, are basically variants of the Gerson/Gonzalez therapy), even that is arguable. It’s also almost certain that naturopaths can probably see people faster, with fewer waits than real physicians, and most of what they do is probably less invasive.

Who cares, though, if little or none of it actually works? After all, naturopaths love homeopathy, and that’s just water.

Not that that stops Seeger from waxing woo-ish about the various “specialties” of alternative medicine, ranging from the manipulative therapies to “energy healing” to herbs and the like and then bragging about how her “complete healing system” can include all of these. Apparently, she discusses her methods in a radio show with Ty Bollinger, Rashid Buttar, and a number of other “luminaries” of alternative medicine.

Then there’s this video, How to shrink your malignant tumor:

It’s all nonsense, of course. Seeger claims that vitamin B12 will shrink your tumor (but only “natural B12,” not synthetic B12). So, apparently, will vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, and several others. There is, of course, just one problem (well many problems, actually). Vitamin C doesn’t work. It’s no cancer cure. There’s also no convincing evidence that any of these vitamins will actually shrink an existing malignant tumor in humans or impact the natural history fo cancer in any measurable way. True, there is evidence that low vitamin D levels might predispose to cancer, but there’s no convincing evidence yet that adding vitamin D to cancer treatment increases survival. Even if it were to be shown that it can, the effect would likely be small. The same can be said about curcumin.

To Seeger, all of these are “natural immune boosters” (my favorite meaningless alt-med catch phrase). But most of all, according to “Dr.” Seeger, you need an “expert”…like Dr. Seeger! After all, she’s been doing this for over 34 years and can create “step by step” plan for you. Of that, I have no doubt. The problem, of course, is creating a plan that actually positively impacts the natural history of cancer in any meaningful way. Here’s a hint: Food ain’t gonna do it, no matter how much our friend waves her hands and claims that getting the “right nutrients” into cancer cells will stop them “dead in their tracks.” Would it were so easy! If it were that easy, scientists would have cured cancer decades ago, and, no, it’s not because scientists are too dogmatically wedded to chemotherapy and surgery as the “only” ways to treat cancer. Let’s just put it this way. What’s more likely? That a naturopath can teach you how to cure cancer in just 21 days using methods that scientists have not been able to discover—and that she can do it way cheaper, to boot, by designing a “personalized nutrition program,” giving “natural therapy recommendations,” and giving “specific supplement recommendations”? Or that what she’s feeding you is pure black hole density crap?

I can’t help but note that “Dr.” Seeger claims to have “worked with thousands of people just like you” but doesn’t provide survival statistics in her practice for specific cancers, which is the minimum data that one should ask of such a practice. Most amusing is that Seeger claims that she only works with those who are “serious” and “ready for their healing.”

Perhaps the most disturbing video by Seeger that I saw (and, let’s face it, most of them are disturbing on some level) is this one, Family Cancer: Is It Really Possible to Convince Them About Alternative Therapies?

Basically, it’s a suggested strategy to convince a family member with cancer to try alternative therapy. She describes a family member calling alternative clinics in Mexico, “gathering information” the way antivaccinationists troll Google looking for “vaccine information,” and giving all the information to the family member, only to be disappointed when the family member decides to stick with “conventional” therapy. Seeger then describes sitting down with “thousands” of cancer patients, looking at “all the options, both conventional and non-conventional,” after which she asks the cancer patient, “Do you want to live?” For those who are tired of fighting, she advocates respecting their wishes. Fair enough. But for those who want to fight, she then asks a few more questions, finishing up by demanding of them whether they are completely committed to her plan. This is, of course, the favorite woo-meister technique that allows plausible deniability. If the patient follows the quack’s treatment and dies anyway, obviously that person wasn’t “dedicated” enough. She doesn’t say it that way, of course. What she does say is that, in essence, it is entirely up to the patient and the family to do everything.

In a way, it’s hard not to stand in awe at how someone like Seeger can believe so much nonsense. It would be amusing if it didn’t endanger cancer patients. Nonetheless, it’s all there, logical fallacies, pseudoscience, appeals to antiquity, relying on anecdotes instead of science, all sold by a naturopath who continually brags about 34 years of experience. Interestingly, Seeger no longer has a clinic, but only operates a consulting business, hence the need for the patient and family to do absolutely everything.

As I’ve said time and time again, science-based medicine has its flaws. It sometimes holds on to old treatments longer than it should based on evidence and sometimes leaps too quickly at new treatments based on insufficient evidence. It’s expensive, and the system that has been built up to administer it is inefficient and unwieldy. Meanwhile pharmaceutical companies can have too much influence. However, the flaws in SBM do not mean that naturopathy or other “alternative” treatments work. If you want to get an idea of the difference between SBM and naturopathy, you need do no more than look at a naturopath like Judy Seeger, realizing that I’ve only dealt with the tip of the iceberg and that there is still at least one of her videos remaining that probably deserves its own post to deconstruct. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Comments

  1. #1 Narad
    August 15, 2012

    I am talking about mental stress and everyone has control over that. If you take the Jamaican attitude of “don’t worry man”, you have less stress!!!

    Have you by any chance ever seen The Harder They Come?

  2. #2 Krebiozen
    August 15, 2012

    jake,
    Lots of things can make us feel better and help us relax, including a walk in the sunshine, listening to music or having a massage. My objection to acupuncture, homeopathy and reiki is that they pretend to work through supernatural processes that large amounts of scientific evidence tells us do not exist. The meridians and chi of acupuncture are imaginary, as are the powers of infinitesimally diluted homeopathic remedies and the healing energy of reiki. I think it is dishonest of people to use treatments that we know are bogus, and I think it is unhealthy to encourage people to believe in things that are not true. By all means destress, but why do it by getting someone to stick needles in you when we know that getting some gentle exercise works just as well? I suggest you read ‘Trick or Treatment’ by Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh which effectively demolishes most of alternative medicine.

  3. #3 Denice Walter
    August 15, 2012

    @ Jake:

    I used to work with people who had a serious illness, I can assure you that you can easily learn efficient methods of calming down and dealing with stress by simply reading a few articles or listening to a few tapes that will do as much ( or more) as reiki: no magic involved and you control it.
    Sometimes just being in the same room as another person or having someone talk to you sympathetically is helpful.

  4. #4 Bronze Dog
    August 15, 2012

    jake, am I correct in saying that your argument amounts to ‘integrative medicine is effective because Sloan-Kettering offers integrative medicine?’

    Sounds to me that’s what he’s trying to say. I suspect he still naively thinks this is a conflict between altie authoritarianism versus the fictional authoritarianism he projects onto science.

  5. #5 Heliantus
    August 15, 2012

    @ jake

    I can take you to many doctors, including oncologists, that never mention a word about diet, sleep, and stress.

    Maybe they don’t trust you to follow their advice on lifestyle changes. Many patients don’t. Starting with my dad, and I guess myself, if you want to go anecdotal.
    Did you only try to bring the topic up?

    Also, if you go see a oncologist for a cancer you have, it’s a bit too late to talk about preventive lifestyle measures – the fox is already in the henhouse.
    There are some more urgent topics to address and it may not look like the best of time to stress/culpabilise the patient by telling him/her it’s his/her fault for eating too much/not sleeping enough.
    Except, of course, when there is a clear and immediate correlation, like lung cancer and smoking.
    Ideally there are topics to address sooner than later, I agree on this.

  6. #6 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    August 15, 2012

    Tim above stated:

    I challenge you to call me out on this and I will list study after study after study that proves without a single doubt that Homeopathics work. And I will only list the studies that meet your scientific criteria.

    Tim, consider yourself called out. If you’ve got that information, I for one would love to see it. So far, the studies I’ve read have been far from supportive.

    Tim also stated:

    BUT because there are quacks out there does not mean that we are all quacks.

    That may very well be true. In my view, you’re not a quack if you stick to claims backed by good solid evidence, and show yourself able to correct your activities in response to new evidence. So, Tim, can you do that?

  7. #7 Mrs Woo
    August 15, 2012

    Reading comments and had a moment of panic – I in no way support Dr Bob Sears suggestions one iota (except maybe in a way to get a parent who would otherwise not vaccinate at all to vaccinate). I realize that Liz said “Ms” Woo… but still worried about some kind of guilt by association. Yikes!

  8. #8 Hinterlander
    In The Shaky Isles, on the couch
    August 15, 2012

    There was what seemed like magical treatments at our local Accident and Emergency hospital last night, where I was taken after eating bad seafood (perhaps not cooked enough, Jake). The nurse pumped some anti-cramping meds into the IV and popped an anti nausea pill under my tongue and within minutes I stopped dwelling on what felt like my impending death. Considering the other patients I saw there, such as a little girl with pneumonia, and a young woman in a wheelchair wearing a neck brace, it’s hard to see a place for woo. Medicine, rest and a bit of empathy (the latter the staff had in spades) are magical enough when you’re unwell.

  9. #9 careri
    where summer has finally arrived
    August 15, 2012

    In the realm of anecdata, my husband’s oncologist did mention diet, exercise and sleep. Diet: try to eat a healthy, balanced diet but, as the side effects grow, just make sure you eat. (As he grew thinner, I was more than happy to run out for cheeseburgers and milkshakes. Cholesterol be damned.) Exercise: do exercise but lower the intensity and listen to what your body is telling you. Instead of training for that marathon, maybe just run for fun (um, who does that?). Sleep: get enough. (As parents of 10-week old twins, we assumed that this was a laugh line. It wasn’t.)

    The problem for the woo-ridden is that this is not the “right kind” of advice on diet, exercise and sleep. Simple common sense doesn’t meet the bar and thus we hear that “oncologists don’t talk about diet, exercise, or sleep.”

    When dealing with the terror of a stage 4 diagnosis and the following reality of chemo, I’ll take real world, empathetic advice over eat broccoli (cooked, wait raw, wait cooked) five times per day. I think his oncologist got it just right and, having talked to a number of people now that we are “in the club,” a lot of doctors do.

  10. #10 Mrs Woo
    August 15, 2012

    As someone who deals with the vagaries of chronic illness I can assure anyone that things that help you calm down reduces much of the discomfort associated with illness. When things get “ramped up” in my body, one of the things I try to find most is rest, and if I’m really lucky, a nice, long, nap.

    Strangely, no one considers that especially alternative. I’m sure that “nap therapy” could be really big with some.

    @jake – as a Mrs Woo, my most consistent observation of the mister is that he wants to believe. He loves the feelings of secret knowledge, even hopes to secret power (for him it is prayer and healing, not Reiki, but same thing, really, when boiled down). There is a very human attraction to having special ability – we all sometimes have secret fantasies of being Harry Potter (or someone similar).

    Even I, the ying to Mr Woo’s yang, so to speak, sometimes would give anything to have a special healing touch. Strangely, I don’t care about it for myself (though my family would prefer that) – I just can’t stand to see another person struggle or be in any kind of pain, and would love to have the simplicity of walking over to that person, loving them a moment with all my heart, touching them gently and taking away their hurt forever.

    Integrative medicine is not offered because it does physiological healing. It is offered, in part, because patients increasingly demand it, and because it has been shown to cause some improvement in feelings of well-being, relaxation, etc. It’s more of a “it can’t hurt them, so if it makes them feel better, then let them have it.”

    It’s sad, in a way, because it allows the patients to waste money on unproductive choices (and in cases of insurance or Medicare, etc., then it costs everyone else as well in the form of increased premiums and/or taxes).

    Just because something is offered at a hospital does not necessarily mean it is medically proven. I think they sell candy, flowers and balloons in the gift shop, for starters…

  11. #11 Rose
    firmly ensconced in reality
    August 16, 2012

    I have many times mentioned on a certain breast cancer support website that three doctors had given me advice about diet ( the number is now up to four) but careri is right, this was not the right advices, according to to woo peddlers.
    They could hardly believe that it was doctors and not dieticians who had given me that advice. To them a dietician does not give correct advice, it must be a nutritionist. I know what a registered dietician is but am unclear as to what qualifications make a nutritionist better, except their seeming readiness to absorb woo like a sponge.

  12. #12 flip
    August 16, 2012

    @Steffanie, August 14, 11:55 am

    I didn’t opt for that. Instead I chose to do away with anything (my love of dance and exercise) to support myself without assistance. I went from wanting to be the next Alvin Ailey white dancer to working a swing shift doing tech support to pay the bills.

    I wasn’t aware that tech work payed all that much more than cast. I’m in a different country than you, but I know enough about the arts in the USA to know that that statement is highly improbable. Since when was a low-paying entry-level arts job enough to pay high medical bills? In the USA of all places?

    Jeez, either you lot in the USA make a lot more than my local arts minimum wage (which I highly doubt since my country has twice the minimum wages in general of US people), or you’re full of it.

    …Actually, are you referring to work a tech job, or dancing as a *swing*/chorus performer? I went and looked up the pay rates via Actor’s Equity in the USA. I chose Disney as there was no immediately obvious overview guide… Disney’s rates per hour for swing PERFORMER is $5 as of 2011. This is about 1/5th of what Australians earn doing the same job. As a stage manager, it looked like it was $2717 as of 2010 (dramatic; for musicals it’s a little less). It doesn’t outright say, but I’m guessing this is per week. I couldn’t find any useful info on how many hours an actor/crew must do in order to calculate the per/hour rate of a stage manager. But assume they do the same number of hours – stage manager is usually the first one in and the last one out. From a rough guess it looks like a stage manager earns twice as much as a performer – and a stage manager usually earns more than the lowly technicians anyway.

    If anyone can provide an easy overview of American rates for both performers and crew, let me know.

    By the way, I picked Disney since it is a company that’s more likely to stick to expected/negotiated rates, and is a place most likely to have regular employment available for the foreseeable future. This assumes Steffanie was employed in a similar situation.

    Also, to those not aware: working tech is about as physically demanding as being a dancer. You’re just using different muscles. Also, people tend not to hire dancers as swing techs. Swing tech would require a different kind of training/experience and potentially a licence.

    I find it incredibly unlikely that Steffanie was able to support herself whilst having cancer by working tech in a theatre somewhere. Even part-time hours would be a hell of a lot of stress.

    This is to say nothing of the fact that most artists here in Australia can’t afford medical attention at the best of times, and it’s lucky we have universal health care so we don’t have to worry too much about it.

    I am most concerned about those who suffer from depression.

    Speaking as both an artist and a mentally ill person: please go do some peer-reviewed research before repeating ad nauseum all the usual logical fallacies and selling some bullshit remedy to people who are vulnerable.

    Also, as an atheist, it impresses me not at all that you keep invoking god. Am I ill because I just don’t believe hard enough?

    That is my story.

    And we all know how reliable anecdotes are… *roll eyes*

    @Steffanie, August 14, 12:43 pm

    12 years later, I believe the health issues were due to not eating foods as God made them.

    This is where you go off the rails. Poor people are not buying preservatives from the local supermarket. They’re eating off their farm lands. It’s as ‘organic’ as you can get. And yet somehow, they’re also not eating right?

    Wow, that’s some cognitive dissonance you’ve got there.

  13. #13 flip
    August 16, 2012

    I have a long comment in moderation re: Steffanie. In the meantime…

    @thenewme, August 14, 12:59 pm

    With regard to treating CANCER, she says things like, “Its been proven scientifically that loving, kind, encouraging, motivating words can actually change the cells in the human body!”

    Ugh, I think I threw up a little there.

    @Shay, August 14, 1:40 pm

    It may be too much to ask of someone who is scientifically illiterate to understand some of the statements made here, but if he/she can read history ought to be within his/her grasp.

    I find it odd that woomeisters never point their fingers at Big History. Surely they’re in on it too? But they never get tarred with it for some reason…

  14. #14 al kimmea
    quackademiology.com
    August 16, 2012

    http://www.skepticnorth.com/2010/08/evidence-check-bryce-wylde%E2%80%99s-21-favourite-papers/

    That’s an article aboot a local homeoquack and his list of favourite favourable studies. The poor lass had to wade through all of them and found, quelle surprise, they don’t support homeoquackery.

    the quack also has Shang et al – http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2805%2967177-2/abstract – listed as a near favourite and which concludes:

    “Biases are present in placebo-controlled trials of both homoeopathy and conventional medicine. When account was taken for these biases in the analysis, there was weak evidence for a specific effect of homoeopathic remedies, but strong evidence for specific effects of conventional interventions. This finding is compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects.

  15. #15 Interrobang
    August 16, 2012

    Psst, Flip, a “swing shift” refers to type of hours worked, not type of job done — it refers to rotating hours, where one shift you might work 7AM-3PM, and the next 3PM-11PM, and so on. She’s also apparently working IT technical support, ie. phone monkeying, which probably does pay quite a bit more than working an artistic job, although last I heard, the going rate around here was about $12/hr with no benefits (I’m also not American, but at least have the advantage of being on the same continent).

    Sheesh, talk about people separated by a common language!

    FWIW, I hope I’ll never get her if I call tech support for anything, for reasons I elaborated above. I don’t trust someone who writes like an uneducated person to be able to solve technical problems I can’t solve. Then again, considering that I work in high-end IT and can build computers from the components up, I’m not likely to call tech support any time soon…

  16. #16 Calli Arcale
    August 16, 2012

    flip: I took her statement to mean she left the arts altogether; I read “swing shift doing tech support” as meaning that she was working in a call center providing technical support (possibly for an internet service provider or other such company) on a swing shift, which usually means working the wee hours of the morning.

  17. #17 flip
    August 16, 2012

    @Interrobang

    Yes and no.

    I know what “swing” shift means. However, in the theatre, “swing” often refers to someone who is operating a fly system (ie. when Peter Pan wants to fly, he is attached to a rig/fly system. Someone who bases or holds the safety line for the thing is called a “swing”).

    However, when browsing Disney’s info on the Equity site, I noticed the term “swing”. It implied a regular chorus dancer.
    See actorsequity.org/docs/rulebooks/Disneyworld_RuleBook_08-12.pdf

    Check theatrecrafts.com/glossary.php
    Funnily enough, it could be “swing” as refers to riggers may be a local thing. It’s not listed at the above site (it does refer to understudies and choruses though), and a quick google shows the term referring to stages but not in reference to crew. I’ve heard it used to refer to crew though, so like I said, it could be a local thing.

    Like science and most other things, the arts has its own terminology and I’m very familiar with this one. It has a number of meanings, which is why it would be a good idea for Steffanie to turn up and explain which one she meant.

    IT is similarly better paid here. Like most other areas, we Aussies simply have a higher minimum wage. I’d also point out that most unemployed/employed performers work in a variety of IT roles and customer service: mainly because it’s flexible and doesn’t require a lot of training. The old standard of actors who wait tables is not so true anymore…

  18. #18 flip
    August 16, 2012

    Addendum:

    swing shift doing tech support

    This is why I assumed she meant a tech role. See above comment as to the various meanings of “swing” in regards to theatre.

    But yes, looking at it again, it’s most likely I’ve just confused myself and my hubris over knowing arts terms is getting to me 😉

    Again, it’s up to Steffanie to clear it up, because I for one would like to know if she’s just muddying the waters. Dancing as a swing performer, or working swing tech, is quite different to working a swing shift in IT support… particularly if she’s using it to say that getting through cancer was easy doing either of the first two options.

  19. #19 Tim
    Canada
    August 16, 2012

    I can sit here and list undeniable proof all day long while you skeptics only resort to name calling.

    You are all typical skeptics … when faced with proof you resort to name calling, in order to justify your false beliefs.

    Here are a couple of documented studies and reports but there are thousands if you are brave enough to go to the PubMed and search “Homeopathic”.

    And for the Gal that disputes Health Canada Testing and Certifying the efficacy, are you smoking crack? You are claiming that Health Canada themselves, has weak testing and review methods? It is hilarious that when faced with such proof, you choose to believe that you know more than an entire countries Health Scientists. 🙂

    Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Homeopathic Trial
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22852580

    Scientists Confirm Medicinal Properties in Homeopathic
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22606641

    Proof that Homeopathics can regulate Gene Expression:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22500721

    Homeopathy beats the The Evil Gingival Fibroblasts 🙂
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22487368

    And here is the proof that James Randi and his bogus Million Dollar Challenge was defeated and Law Suits are stacking up against him because every time proof was shown, he changed the criteria.
    http://www.bolenreport.com/feature_articles/Doctor%27s-Data-v-Barrett/milliondollarsuit1.htm

    Want me to list about 1000 more for you? 🙂

    Now, I have people to heal with Homeopathics … sorry, I do not have time to sit here and debate with people who ignore facts and well documented proof, just to fool themselves into believing that they are more intelligent than they really are. 🙂

    I gotta admit folks … I really feel sorry for many of you. Such denial in the face of the undeniable equates to arrogance that will one day likely consume you.

  20. #20 novalox
    August 16, 2012

    @tim

    Is that you, tim bolen?

    Using the bolen report as “evidence”? What a laugh.

  21. #21 Beamup
    August 16, 2012

    Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Homeopathic Trial

    Yawn. Barely achieves significance, with a small patient population. Can’t say more without access to the full text, but even if it was impeccable in all respects (which I doubt, since Boiron was apparently directly involved) it’s far from impressive.

    Scientists Confirm Medicinal Properties in Homeopathic

    This description of the paper is a straight-up lie. Some lines were observed in the emission spectrum. Not even the vaguest attempt was made to determine whether there was any significance whatsoever, and it was completely uncontrolled.

    Proof that Homeopathics can regulate Gene Expression

    In-vitro results don’t even begin to justify the claims of homoepathy.

    Homeopathy beats the The Evil Gingival Fibroblasts

    Not homoepathy.

    And here is the proof that James Randi and his bogus Million Dollar Challenge was defeated and Law Suits are stacking up against him because every time proof was shown, he changed the criteria.

    Boo hoo, they don’t instantly accept my proposed protocol without question. No basis for a lawsuit, much less proof of anything about homeopathy.

  22. #22 Krebiozen
    August 16, 2012

    Tim,
    I looked on PubMed and found this systematic review of systematic reviews of homeopathy which concludes:

    Eleven independent systematic reviews were located. Collectively they failed to provide strong evidence in favour of homeopathy. In particular, there was no condition which responds convincingly better to homeopathic treatment than to placebo or other control interventions. Similarly, there was no homeopathic remedy that was demonstrated to yield clinical effects that are convincingly different from placebo. It is concluded that the best clinical evidence for homeopathy available to date does not warrant positive recommendations for its use in clinical practice.

    So much for “undeniable evidence”.

  23. #23 AdamG
    August 16, 2012

    Proof that Homeopathics can regulate Gene Expression:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22500721

    This study is laughably awful. Behold, their mighty conclusion!

    So the homeopathic remedy by itself did not apparently show its ability to directly repress or inactivate the gene E of the phage responsible for the synthesis of product that helps them in the bacterial lysis. But when the bacteria were exposed to the drug, the plaque numbers were clearly reduced; this would reveal strong circumstantial evidence that some genes of the bacteria, responsible for production of the repressor proteins might have been activated and additional amount of the “repressor” molecules were produced to block the gene E expression of the phage.

    This is far, far from “Proof that Homeopathics can regulate Gene Expression.”

  24. #24 drksky
    August 16, 2012

    @tim: And how’s that lawsuit going? That was back in May, surely you’ve gotten somewhere by now.

  25. #25 Composer99
    August 16, 2012

    Tim:

    Referring to, say, homeopaths as quacks, frauds, and mountebanks is accurate description of their activities first, name-calling second.

    Don’t like it? Tough.

  26. #26 Narad
    August 16, 2012

    Is that you, tim bolen?

    If so, I’m disappointed that he didn’t deploy his trademark adjective “homoskeptical.”

  27. #27 jake
    August 16, 2012

    Here is something regarding these “woo” remedies. Keep your heads in the sand, folks!!! Lol
    http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/100110.htm

  28. #28 AdamG
    August 16, 2012

    from the HHS review:

    However, acupuncture was not different from placebo in post-treatment disability, pain medication intake, or global improvement in chronic nonspecific low back pain. Acupuncture did not differ from sham-acupuncture in reducing chronic non-specific neck pain immediately after treatment (VAS: 0.24, 95 percent CI: -1.20, 0.73).

    Keep your head in the sand, jake!!!

  29. #29 Krebiozen
    August 16, 2012

    I do find it amusing when a homeopath accuses skeptics of ignorance, I always suspect a Poe. In particular I found this accusation of drug abuse amusing:

    And for the Gal that disputes Health Canada Testing and Certifying the efficacy, are you smoking crack? You are claiming that Health Canada themselves, has weak testing and review methods? It is hilarious that when faced with such proof, you choose to believe that you know more than an entire countries Health Scientists.

    It doesn’t take long browsing the Health Canada website to find that their efficacy testing and review methods for honeopathic medicines are essentially non-existent. All that is required for “natural health prodiucts” is evidence that there is traditional use going back 50 years, and even that is not necessary if the homeopathic dilution is high enough and no specific indications are given. It would seem that “an entire countries Health Scientists” [sic] know precisely nothing about the efficacy of the homeopathic medicines they license.

  30. #30 Beamup
    August 16, 2012

    @ jake:

    To summarize those results, acupuncture=placebo. Manipulation=ibuprofen for uncomplicated back pain, placebo otherwise. This latter point makes it utterly hilarious to claim cost-effectiveness as a benefit; a visit to a chiropractor is hundreds of dollars vs. a few cents for an ibuprofen.

    Wow, I’m really impressed.

  31. #31 jake
    August 16, 2012

    I guess I have to post all of:
    http://nccam.nih.gov/research/results/spotlight/100110.htm

    According to a recent review published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the benefits of complementary and alternative therapies for back and neck pain—such as acupuncture, massage, and spinal manipulation—are modest in size but provide more benefit than usual medical care. While these effects are most evident following the end of treatment, the authors of the report noted that very few studies looked at long-term outcomes. Back and neck pain are important health problems that affect millions of Americans, and back pain is the most common medical condition for which people use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

    Researchers at the University of Ottawa Evidence-Based Practice Center reviewed the scientific literature on the efficacy, safety, and cost-effectiveness of acupuncture, spinal manipulation, mobilization, and massage techniques for the management of back, neck, and thoracic pain. The researchers reviewed a total of 270 studies in adults aged 18 years and older. General findings from the analysis include the following:

    CAM therapies tended to reduce pain and/or disability more than usual medical care (such as anti-inflammatory medications and exercise), physical therapy, or no treatment.
    Acupuncture was associated with a significant reduction in chronic low-back pain intensity compared with placebo, but only immediately after treatment.
    For chronic neck pain, acupuncture did not result in any different benefits compared with placebo (simulated acupuncture), pain medication, mobilization or traction, or laser therapy for reducing pain or disability after treatment.
    Spinal manipulation was significantly more effective than placebo, or equivalent to pain medication, for reducing the intensity of low-back pain.
    Mobilization was better than placebo for reducing acute or subacute neck pain, but not for chronic neck pain. Mobilization did not result in any different benefits compared with placebo in reducing low-back pain or flexibility after treatment.
    Massage significantly reduced the intensity of acute or subacute low-back pain, but not chronic pain, compared with placebo.
    Based on the analysis, there is some evidence showing that acupuncture was more cost-effective compared with usual care for patients with chronic back pain. The authors concluded that acupuncture is a viable option for the treatment of acute, subacute, and chronic low-back pain (specific or nonspecific cause). The one study investigating the cost-effectiveness of massage therapy found that the therapy was associated with higher costs for low-back pain compared with usual physician care. While the review found that serious adverse side effects of the three CAM therapies were rarely reported, the authors noted that definitive conclusions cannot be made, as information on side effects was not collected in a systematic manner. They noted that more well-designed studies are needed to draw more definitive conclusions regarding the benefits of CAM therapies for pain.

  32. #32 AdamG
    August 16, 2012

    jake, we read that. Then we went to go read the actual study on which that summary was based

    http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/tp/backcam2tp.htm

    That’s where we’re getting our quotes from, the study authors themselves. Perhaps you should read the study yourself instead of citing someone else’s summary of it.

  33. #33 jake
    August 16, 2012

    Adam: The summary was from the nih…..did they err????

  34. #34 AdamG
    August 16, 2012

    jake, I don’t think that summary accurately reports all of the findings of that study. Why don’t you read the study yourself and then we can discuss whether or not he summary is complete. Otherwise your argument is essentially ‘it’s on a section of the NIH’s website so it must be true!’ which is a blatant argument from authority.

  35. #35 AdamG
    August 16, 2012

    See, look, I can play this game too!

    A large, rigorously designed clinical trial reported in May 2009 found that actual acupuncture and simulated acupuncture were equally effective—and both were more effective than conventional treatment—for relieving chronic low-back pain.
    There is insufficient evidence to draw definite conclusions about the effectiveness of acupuncture for acute low-back pain.

    http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/lowback-science.htm

    did they err????

  36. #36 jake
    August 16, 2012

    @ Beamup:
    To summarize those results, acupuncture=placebo. Manipulation=ibuprofen for uncomplicated back pain, placebo otherwise. This latter point makes it utterly hilarious to claim cost-effectiveness as a benefit; a visit to a chiropractor is hundreds of dollars vs. a few cents for an ibuprofen.

    You are providing a gross distortion.
    It is CLEAR that these therapies helped in several instances. This is fact. Stop spreading lies.

  37. #37 herr doktor bimler
    August 16, 2012

    id they err????

    Jake has a point there. If the authors of a paper say one thing, and a summary of that paper says the opposite on a website tasked with promoting woo, then it must be the authors who erred. We should trust the anonymous publicist to sum up what the authors really meant to say.

  38. #38 AdamG
    August 16, 2012

    It is CLEAR that these therapies helped in several instances. This is fact. Stop spreading lies.

    THIS IS NOT A FACT. The authors themselves state the following:

    Evidence was of poor to moderate grade and most of it pertained to chronic nonspecific pain, making it difficult to draw more definitive conclusions regarding benefits and harms of CAM therapies in subjects with acute/subacute, mixed, or unknown duration of pain.

    You are the one who is distorting the findings jake, unless you want to show me where in the original report they stated unequivocally that these therapies helped.

  39. #39 jake
    August 16, 2012

    From the authors themselves:

    Acupuncture for chronic nonspecific low back pain was associated with significantly lower pain intensity than placebo but only immediately post-treatment (VAS: -0.59, 95 percent CI: -0.93, -0.25).

    For both low back and neck pain, manipulation was significantly better than placebo or no treatment in reducing pain immediately or short-term after the end of treatment.

    Massage was superior to placebo or no treatment in reducing pain and disability only amongst subjects with acute/sub-acute low back pain. Massage was also significantly better than physical therapy in improving back pain (VAS: -2.11, 95 percent CI: -3.15, -1.07) or disability.

  40. #40 Krebiozen
    August 16, 2012

    Jake,
    What that study shows is that standard care for neck and back pain isn’t very effective, and that placebos have a significant effect on painful conditions, which is well known. Show us a study on acupuncture that found it performed well for an objectively assessed condition that doesn’t have a variable course and isn’t self-limiting and we might be impressed. Good luck with that.

  41. #41 Krebiozen
    August 16, 2012

    Acupuncture for chronic nonspecific low back pain was associated with significantly lower pain intensity than placebo but only immediately post-treatment

    So sticking needles in people stimulates endorphin release that has a temporary effect on pain perception. So does stomping on someone’s foot. That is really not very impressive.

  42. #42 jake
    August 16, 2012

    Also from the authors:
    “The benefit of CAM treatments was mostly evident immediately or shortly after the end of the treatment and then faded with time.”
    Keep your head in the sand!!!

  43. #43 Denice Walter
    August 16, 2012

    @ jake:

    re your last quote:
    that’s also true for gin, wine, beer et al.

  44. #44 jake
    August 16, 2012

    @ Krebiozen:
    We are not just talking about accupuncture here. The study considers accupuncture, manipulation, and massage and it describes where people benefited from these therapies.

    Define immediately in your last post????

  45. #45 jake
    August 16, 2012

    @ Denice Walter: True statement but we are not talking about those therapies here!!! Lol

  46. #46 Narad
    August 16, 2012

    Jake, compulsively tacking “lol” onto the end of your comments is the rhetorical equivalent of emptying a compost bucket onto your head.

  47. #47 jake
    August 16, 2012

    @Narad: Keep attacking…..with your head in the sand.

  48. #48 Krebiozen
    August 16, 2012

    jake,
    I don’t think anyone would argue against manipulation and massage being beneficial for musculoskeletal disorders, there is good evidence for this which is why they are part of standard care. Acupuncture, on the other hand, appears to be a particularly effective placebo that possibly stimulates endorphin release, as does any painful stimulus, but its theoretical basis of meridians and chi is simply bogus.

  49. #49 Krebiozen
    August 16, 2012

    Also:

    Define immediately in your last post????

    “immediately or short term after the end of treatment” is you quoting the study’s authors in one of your previous comments, and surely doesn’t need to be defined. If something offers only immediate or short term benefits it means its effects don’t last very long.

  50. #50 Lucretius
    August 16, 2012

    Hate to play devils advocate. But gate control theory could provide a scientifically plausible explanation for efficacy of acupuncture. I mean that’s what I was taught in medical school but perhaps our understanding has moved on?

  51. #51 Niche Geek
    August 16, 2012

    Jake,

    I believe Krebiozen was quoting the study. You might want to look at what they meant by immediately. I don’t think it will support your expectations.

  52. #52 Niche Geek
    August 16, 2012

    That will teach me to refresh my browser when reading a long thread.

  53. #53 Krebiozen
    August 16, 2012

    Lucretius,
    I think gate control theory has been superseded by theories that I don’t pretend to understand. However, explanations for how acupuncture works seem to me to be a bit redundant, when well-designed studies comparing it to sham acupuncture seem to indicate it doesn’t actually work better than placebo. My earlier suggestion about stomping on someone’s foot working as well as acupuncture was only partly facetious.

  54. #54 thenewme
    August 16, 2012

    So Judy Seeger has now created web TV show to help spread her mass media advertising for her miraculous cancer cure! Hoo boy, hang onto your hat: http://canceranswers.tv/

    “No matter what type of cancer you have or what stage you are in, I have the answers for you!”

    “I’m Dr. Judy Seeger, trained traditional naturopathic physician, and I have created the FIRST EVER web tv show to support YOU in your search for the truth about cancer cures that work using alternative cancer therapies.

    Thousands of people afflicted with this deadly disease just like you, have followed Dr. Judy’s step-by-step system and detoxed their cancer with natural treatments, and with Dr. Judy’s expert guidance, found their cure for cancer.”

    “….But you can’t get on this web TV show to learn the truth unless you join my elite circle of friends. I’m NOT looking for folks who just want a bunch of supplements or the ‘magic bullet’! You know and I know that there are NO magic bullets!”

    Oh, and be sure to note her “cancer cure experts!” Looks like quite a coalition of quackery to me!

    Bill Henderson
    Ty Bollinger
    Dr. Rashid Buttar, MD
    Cherie Calbom
    Stephanie Buist, ND
    Chris Wark
    Susan Silberstein, PhD
    Ian Jacklin
    Dr. Veronique Desaulniers, DC
    Dr. Thomas Lodi, MD
    Keith Scott Mumby, MD
    Burton Goldberg
    Jeanie Traub
    Brenda Cobb

  55. #55 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    August 16, 2012

    thenewme,

    I see our old friend Ms.Veronique Desaulniers is on the list of “experts”. I call her Ms. because she is not a doctor, but insists on calling herself “doctor”. Check out NaturalNews–“Dr. V” has a cover story there right now about the benefits of regular coffee enemas as a cleanse and to prevent disease.

  56. #56 thenewme
    August 16, 2012

    Nuh-uh! No way, not a chance, MSII! Hehe, I’ll just take your word for it!

    It’s quite a list of woosters, though, isn’t it?

  57. #57 al kimeea
    quackademiology.com
    August 16, 2012

    @Composer99

    May I borrow that? I might add hornswoggler. I asked a question of an editor on a political blog using almost your very turn of phrase. How to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    The editor replied evidence via the scientific method.

    We ended up on this topic because the original post used Fortean evidence to hang the lack of aboriginal authors in the NYT best seller list on the gaps in science and how it silences dissenting voices like Fort’s.

    Anyhoo, the editor opens with ‘dogs hear real good. Therefore it is arrogant to think there aren’t psychics or that people get taken by confidence men all the time.’

    Some even pay for a nice parchmemt from accredited institutions and play doctor.

    The editor had already stated doing a clinical trial couldn’t yield valid reliable results as fact. I’ve been in two, the second worked.

    Later he goes on to state there’s no evidence for relativity, none.

    Turns out, he’s a lawyer. Evidence?

    Then his co-editor writes a front page, at the time, ad hom attack on me. I’m so proud.
    That website Ilinked to had a video of the Coren Show on CTStv. He did a show on alt med. Two skeptics from that site and two naturopaths

  58. #58 al kimeea
    August 16, 2012

    Oh ya, been a long day. One naturoquack is the dean of the 2nd year curriculum at their Ontario Hogwarts. Moxi-bustion, seriously?

    They both throw homeoquackery under the bus with the host, lumping it in with chiropractors and crystal healers. Host had a bad experience with one spinal cracker.

    They all laughed.

  59. #59 al kimeea
    August 16, 2012

    There is little chance Randi is involved in the setting of the protocol, which is always agreed to prior to taking the challenge. He has minions.

    Of course, when the subject inevitably fails, few take it gracefully and the tin foil is unrolled.

  60. #60 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    August 16, 2012

    thenewme,

    Here’s another person who claims she self-cured herself of breast cancer with diet and IV vitamin C. Don’t hate me for linking to Mike Adams’s cesspool, but I know you “collect” these stories.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/036830_breast_cancer_dietary_changes_recovery.html

  61. #61 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    August 16, 2012

    Make sure you read the comments on the Natural News story. Our friend Tamara St. John pops up there, but apparently “a lot of people” have cured themselves by eating right.

  62. #62 thenewme
    August 16, 2012

    @MSII, are you trying to see my head explode ;-D ???

    I looked at Jessica Richard’s story and, of course it’s woo and more woo!

    The source for the NN article is “The Sun,” which appears to be an online UK version of The National Enquirer! The page is full of celebrity gossip and cheesy bikini photos, haha – a real legitimate medical information source, right?

    Anyway, Ms. Richards was evidently treated by a Dr. Andre Young Snell from http://www.visionofhopeclinic.com, where they use “Metabolic Protocols, we can therefore offer Nutrition, Ozone, Hyperthermia, Life Coaching, NLP, Hypnotherapy and more.” Give me a break.

    Just like so many of these “miraculous cancer cure” stories, there are so many gaps in her information and basically no medical terms that indicate that she really even HAD breast cancer, much less cured herself of it.

    I have to admit though, I did end up laughing out loud about her accounts of adventures with self-treatment of various other disorders:

    “To combat the arthritis which incapacitated Jessica from the neck down, she cut out all processed foods, anything acidic such as pickles, tomatoes and all fruits,” and used a “low sugar and pulse-based diet (???)

    Then, after she “contracted an eye infection..the eye swelled so much the pupil stuck to the lens which made me go blind. There was a risk surgery might not work.

    “So I put myself in a dark room with a torch and flicked it up at my eye over and over again for five minutes.

    I’m still chuckling thinking of her sitting in the dark flicking a torch up at her eye over and over!!! What a NUTJOB!

  63. […] pretty outrageous so-called cures. I’d love it if you took the time to read her post, and some of the ones on other blogs she linked to, as she pointed out the difference between evidence-based […]

  64. #64 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    August 16, 2012

    In England a “torch” is a flashlight. She was probably trying to trigger some reaction in her eye with light. Apart from making her pupil dilate and then contract over and over, I don’t see the point. But those last five words apply to a lot of the stuff I read on quackpot blogs.

    I never understood what NLP had to do with healing, but it pops up on many of these quack wellness sites. I know about NLP as a form of “hypnosis”: taught to men to help them seduce women. I guess in the healing context it involves some sort of positive thinking, or self-hypnosis. Because we all know we can “think” disease away.

  65. #65 Christine
    Australia
    August 16, 2012

    @Palindrom:

    I have fibromyalgia, which is close enough to CFS and about as well understood. The “allopathic” (that is real) doctor who diagnosed me and is managing my treatment, suggested yoga, meditation, massage and dietary methods as part of my treatment – as well as the superstrong pain killers to allow me to function, and anti-depressants to equalise the serotonin.
    I also have Crohn’s Disease, and the “allopathic” (that is real) doctor who is currently overseeing my treatment is currently working with me to figure out what foods set the Crohn’s off… as well as prescribing medications to help manage the symptoms because diet alone so often isn’t enough. The “allopathic” (that is real) doctor who diagnosed me with the Crohn’s, and performed the 2 bowel resections, was also a strong advocate of diet, so long as it was used in conjunction with medication where necessary.

  66. #66 Heliantus
    August 16, 2012

    short term after the end of treatment

    Actually, that something is working after the end of the treatment is reason for suspicion. It could be a delayed effect, or as likely it could be the feelings of relief at knowing the ordeal is over triggering a big placebo effect.
    Especially if the treatment is tasting bad.

  67. #67 Christine
    Australia
    August 16, 2012

    @Jake:
    When my mother was being treated for cancer last year, no, the oncologist didn’t talk to her about diet and exercise. The oncologist was focussed on getting rid of the cancerous cells, because that was her area of expertise.
    She left the talk about the diet and exercise plans to the dietitian and physical therapist in the cancer management team, because that was THEIR area of expertise.

  68. #68 Mrs Woo
    August 17, 2012

    Went to state fair with Mr Woo yesterday and was absolutely shocked at the stuff they were selling there (I really should have taken more pictures). It included special foot massagers that can cure diabetic neuropathy and other diseases, “Himalayan salt crystal” lamps, special portable massagers, etc., etc.

    It was a woo-lover’s paradise. I think the only thing that kept him from buying the foot massager was that I might have insisted on the steam mop for equal treatment.

    @thenewme – seriously? I find it ironic that the most adamant “I cured myself” people are usually also never diagnosed. Currently in a support group I run there is a woman like that – she has severe health anxiety issues. I often wonder if many of the “I cured myself” people are the same ones who feel an ache and are convinced it is bone cancer, develop allergies and are sure it is pink eye, etc.

  69. #69 Agashem
    East of Napanee
    August 17, 2012

    To go back to the immediacy of relief provided by scam treatment, I believe this is what keeps patients going back over and over again to these quackmasters. If you are living with chronic pain, some relief may seem better than no relief. However, what irritates me is that most quackmasters do not try and teach people how to take care of themselves (no money in that) so they engender reliance on the quackmaster. This is how you get people to come and see you for years, convince them you are the only one who can provide relief, even if it is only for a couple of hours.

  70. #70 thenewme
    August 17, 2012

    Surprise, surprise (NOT!) Judy Seeger is an affiliate marketing scammer in addition to being a fraud! It seems a very popular way to get other quacks to recommend your woo! She makes it so easy to get rich by sharing her miraculous cure, and even provides you the canned text to plaster the internet with! Ack.

    PROMOTE “The Ultimate Natural Cancer Cure Secrets – Foods That Heal” And Get Paid!

    This Guide shows people with cancer how to detox their body using food and natural therapies.
    Affiliates Earn 50% Commissions on every sale!
    (http://www.naturalcancercurefoods.com)

  71. #71 Krebiozen
    August 17, 2012

    This is how you get people to come and see you for years, convince them you are the only one who can provide relief, even if it is only for a couple of hours.

    Teach a man to fish, and he’ll never buy fish from you again. Rule one of those sort of healing cons: never let the mark realize they can do it just as well themselves.

  72. #72 JGC
    August 17, 2012

    Jake, I don’t believe you’ve actualy read the Feng paper you cited re: accupuncture for depression. Here’s their methods section:

    Methods of Treatment
    Patients in the control group received Fluoxetine
    Hydrochloride Capsule (trade name: Prozac, produced by
    Patheon in France) 20 mg per day. In Treatment group,
    the patients were treated with acupuncture on the
    acupoints of Fenglong (ST 40), Yinlingquan (SP 9),
    Xuehai (SP 10), Sanyinjiao (SP 6), Yintang (EX-HN3),
    Baihui (DU 20), Sishencong (EX-HN1), Neiguan (PC 6)
    and Shenmen (TF 4). When needling, use the method of
    neutral supplementation and drainage. The patients were
    treated one time per day for 20–30 min, and the
    acupuncturist did needling manipulation at the interval of
    5–10 min. One course of treatment was 30 days.

    I’m sure you can see the glaring error in their methods section: absolutely no attempt is made to control for placebo effects by including a faux accupuncture group, or for confounders like regression to the mean, etc., by including a group receiving no treatment whatsoever. They simply compared a group receiving ‘genuine’ accunpuncture to a group receiving of a serontonin re-uptake inhibitor.

    Also note they don’t tell us when the Prozac group began receiving the drug (it can take weeks for SRI’s to begin affecting) and state that all of members of the Prozac group received the same dose (20 mgs/day) : 20 mgs/day is the recomended initial dose for SRI therapy but SRI’s need to be individually titrated over a period or weeks, increasing the dosage gradually over a period of weeks, until an effective tolerated dose is identified (it can be as high as 80 mgs/day).

    If the ‘control’ group started receiving prozac at the same time as the accunpuncture began receiving treatment, and if no attempt was made to titrate each control subjects’ effective tolerated dose, even if accupuncture did work other than as a placebo treatment comparison to this control group won’t generate any rmeaningful conclusions.

    Are the other papers you’ve cited of teh same quality? For taht matter, have you actually read them? I’m wondering if it’s worth my time tracking them down.

  73. #73 Krebiozen
    August 17, 2012

    I never understood what NLP had to do with healing, but it pops up on many of these quack wellness sites.I have found some useful ideas in NLP, especially the early stuff, but it appears to have been largely appropriated by narcissists and nutjobs. If you accept the idea that all illness is caused or prevented from healing by inner conflict, it makes a sort of sense that you could use psychological approaches to cure it.

  74. #74 Krebiozen
    August 17, 2012

    Damn, I don’t know how that happened. That first sentence was a quote from Marc Stephens Is Insane.

  75. #75 Delurked Lurker
    The Land of Oz
    August 17, 2012

    LOL Ms England is a hoot. People like her make me angry as a rule but this little gem is the exception. Hard not to call POE on this one, she invoked god early on in the thread

    Preying on the sick and vulnerable when you have nothing to offer except BS and magical thinking should be a crime and you Ms England should pay the price with a jail term.

    You keep posting Ms England. you are in the company of intelligent people and the laughs keep coming 🙂

    Anyway its off to our cancer forum where we show people like Ms England the door, followed by a not so gentle push.

  76. #76 Liz Ditz
    East of the sun, west of the moon
    August 17, 2012

    Hey! Orac got BoingBoinged by Xeni Jardin (who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer):

    I loved Science Blogs contributor Orac before I was diagnosed with cancer. I love him a whole lot more now…..

    Let me be blunt: I think people who sell fake cancer cures are murderers.

    BoingBoing is a daily read for me. Highly recommended.

  77. #77 thenewme
    August 17, 2012

    I guess the bullies won again. Somebody (!) over at BCO really, really didn’t like me posting about “Dr.” Judy Seeger’s nonsense, since they managed to delete a bunch of posts and have the thread locked and me put on restriction (again). It’s really sad that they feel so threatened by evidence and information that they resort to silly censoring games, and it’s tragic that the mods there allow it.

    Re: Xeni Jardin’s assessment of snake oil salesmen, I couldn’t agree more! Nice article on BoingBoing, and best of luck with your breast cancer treatment. I hope you’re doing well!

  78. #78 thenewme
    August 17, 2012

    With all their post deleting, I have to say I’m shocked that the BCO mods left my post up quack sites breastcancerchoices.org (aka breastcanceralternatives.org) and http://www.annieappleseedproject.org ! Talk about Woo Extraordinaire! I’d love to read Orac’s take on these someday!

  79. #79 AlisonM
    August 21, 2012

    I tell you, when people say right off the bat that they “had cancer” but never mention how it was diagnosed, that should raise dozens of red flags. Unfortunately, it doesn’t for most people.

    I found a couple of large lumps in my breast. I got a mammogram. They were cysts. Doctor said I needed to cut back on the soy products and get more protein from animal products. They shrank. If I had found them and diagnosed them myself as “cancer” and kept on eating my healthy vegan diet, they would have gotten bigger.

    Years later, when all the lumps in my body were expanding from fibroids and cysts in my uterus and ovaries, those same cysts got really large. After the complete hysterectomy, the various lipomas and cysts didn’t shrink, so I had the biggest lipomas surgically removed, and the cysts aspirated. It was unquestionably a faster and more effective resolution to the problem than any kind of “alternative” treatment would have been.

    And now it turns out that I have an intraosseous meningioma that explains perfectly why I’m having some issues with expressive aphasia. I could pick a nice, side-effect-free “natural” treatment and wait until the pressure completely destroyed the language processing areas of my brain, or I could go see a neurosurgeon. Thinking it over, well, I’m off to the neurosurgeon next week.

    It’s a lot better to be diagnosed by a professional and treated by a professional specialist. We let professionals design our roads and buildings and power plants and water supply systems, and we let licensed, professional contractors build and repair them. If we can’t do all that by ourselves with information we find on Google, what makes anyone think we can practice medicine using the same level of knowledge?

  80. #80 lilady
    August 21, 2012

    @ AlisonM: Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Look at this I found a new website, Neuro Wiki:

    http://wiki.cns.org/wiki/index.php/Intraosseous_Meningioma

  81. #81 Mrs Woo
    August 21, 2012

    @Alison M – seconding what lilady said sending best wishes for your recovery and imagining what a bridge built by Mr Woo might look like (and how long it would stand up to traffic before collapse).

  82. #82 flip
    August 21, 2012

    @Alison M

    If we can’t do all that by ourselves with information we find on Google, what makes anyone think we can practice medicine using the same level of knowledge?

    I think the answer to that in most people’s minds would be that a road isn’t your body. Add in some special snowflakes to the recipe and “medicine for you” makes more sense than “medicine produced for statistically average people”.

    PS. I also wish you good health!

  83. #83 Niche Geek
    August 21, 2012

    Alison M: “We let professionals design our roads and buildings and power plants and water supply systems, and we let licensed, professional contractors build and repair them.”

    Sometimes we forget that lots of people don’t do these things. They think they can do it themselves and they are burnt, crushed, electrocuted and poisoned every year. Not every single person but enough to be notable.

    and I too wish you good health

  84. #84 Militant Agnostic
    Still in Deep Cover in a Wasabi terrorist cell
    August 21, 2012

    I liked this from Xeni Jardin

    Friends don’t let friends believe in bullshit science.

  85. […] the moral bankruptcy that is Stanislaw Burzynski, or my take on the sheer quackery that is “naturopathic oncology.” The first rule of blogging is that you don’t talk about blogging. Oh, wait. […]

  86. #86 taylormattd
    August 23, 2012

    You guys are WAY too nice to this lady. Seriously. A few comments in and it’s clear she is nothing more than a religious nutjob who can’t reason or read, and believes her insane anti-science woo as if it is divine.

    After the posts providing links demonstrating her kitchen sink of Woo is bullshit, she should simply be called a moron and then banned.

    Letting her continue just makes the thread too long, and permits her to spout off continued non-sequiturs. It reminds me of those horrible HIV bbs message boards back in the early and mid 1990s that were taken over by Deusberg-fueled wackos who believed HIV did not exist.

  87. […] Naturopathic cancer treatments versus reality [Respectful Insolence] […]

  88. #88 johnny
    November 7, 2012

    I personally know two people who, only after deciding chemo-therapy was killing them, they decided to try the natural route. They have been cancer free for over the bullshit standard five year mark the medical doctors refer to as success. there is no money in the cure and that is why there isn’t one. welcome to america where money is god.

  89. #89 Antaeus Feldspar
    November 7, 2012

    Hi, Johnny. I’m glad your two friends are okay.

    I will note that your logic “they did this, and they came out okay, and that proves that’s the way to do it” is the same logic numerous drunk drivers use to justify their DUI. “I drive home drunk a lot and I haven’t crashed yet, so that proves driving drunk isn’t dangerous and the authorities who say it is are lying! In fact, since they’re lying, the truth is probably that drunk driving is *better* driving!”

    It doesn’t work that way. Personal anecdote doesn’t outweigh science.

  90. #90 Krebiozen
    November 7, 2012

    I personally know two people who, only after deciding chemo-therapy was killing them, they decided to try the natural route. They have been cancer free for over the bullshit standard five year mark the medical doctors refer to as success.

    The most likely explanation is that conventional treatment cured them, but the “natural route” got the credit. The “natural route” never cured anyone.

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