Respectful Insolence

I take back all those nice things I used to say about Nancy Snyderman.

There’s no doubt that she “gets it” about vaccines and, for the most part, even though she does occasionally go overboard, and her understanding of the issues involved in the use of various vaccines is anything but nuanced. I used to think that she “got it” with respect to SBM, but then I saw her recent segment on “complementary” medicine on NBC News the other night. Here’s part one, which aired Monday night:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The very introduction made me groan, with Tom Brokaw stating that it used to be called “alternative medicine” but, because it’s become so popular, it’s now called “complementary” medicine and—oh, by the way—”a lot of this has simply been demanded by patients of their doctors.”

Right at the beginning of the segment, we’re introduced to a breast cancer survivor named Diane Miller, who is portrayed as having endured the rigors of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation and shown doing exercises in what is presumably her home. We are told that she has lymphedema, which is unfortunately a not-uncommon complication of breast cancer surgery, particularly when the cancer is advanced enough that it requires the removal of all the lymph nodes under the arm on the side of the cancer. It’s a major problem in breast cancer survivorship, because when it is bad it can seriously interfere with a woman’s quality of life. It is a complication of breast cancer surgery that, when it happens, is permanent, and it can happen at any time after surgery for the rest of a woman’s life.

One of the first things you’ll notice about part one of Dr. Snyderman’s report is that she completely falls for the “rebranding” of science-based modalities as being somehow “complementary” or “alternative,” so much so that I’m embarrassed for her. For instance, the very first thing that Ms. Miller discusses is exercise and how it feels so good and helps her so much. No kidding! There’s a large and robust body of research that shows the benefits of exercise in breast cancer patients.It is not “alternative.” It is not “complementary,” at least not in the way that CAM proponents try to represent it. In other words, exercise is SBM.

Not surprisingly, Ms. Miller is also a big fan of acupuncture in addition to exercise, and the next segment shows something that makes me cringe as a breast cancer surgeon, and that’s an acupuncturist sticking needles into her lymphedematous arm. It’s even worse than that, though. The acupuncturist is clearly not wearing any gloves! I kid you not! Yes, I did indeed cringe when I watched that segment. In fact, I more than cringed. I started ranting at the television set. Why was I so upset by this? It’s because lymphedematous limbs, because of the edema, are very susceptible to infection, and acupuncturists are not exactly known for their rigorous adherence to sterile technique. Indeed, in general we try to avoid as much as possible blood draws, IVs, and even blood pressure readings using lymphedematous limbs because they can cause problems; yet here, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, we see an acupuncturist blithely sticking sharp objects into a lymphedematous extremity after just doing a quick wipe with an alcohol swab and not even using gloves!

Most of the rest of the segment consists of an interview with Barrie Cassileth, who happens to head up the CAM program (or, as proponents like to call it these days, the “integrative medicine” program) of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. I was actually surprised, because I don’t recall ever having heard her be as declarative and definite about the benefits of acupuncture. After pointing out that acupuncture doesn’t cure cancer (at least she admits that!), she states that acupuncture is very useful for many cancer symptoms. Indeed, in an online chat, she refers to acupuncture as “a cornerstone of integrative medicine” and goes so far as to claim that some of them are “not even treatable by mainstream medicine.”

I call bullshit on Dr. Cassileth. I’m sorry. I know that since our NatGeo overlords have taken over ScienceBlogs I’m not supposed to use even mild profanity anymore, but sometimes it’s hard for me to hold myself back when I hear a statement this ridiculous. While it’s true that there are symptoms due to cancer that conventional medicine has a hard time treating, it is most definitely not true that there are symptoms due to cancer or cancer treatment that are “not treatable by conventional medicine.”

The rest of the segment spent a lot of verbiage and imagery touting how “complementary medicine has gone mainstream,” which is basically the entire message of the report. Were treated to cliche’s like “East meets West” and “old school meets new school” in a trite and, quite frankly, annoying way. Dr. Snyderman even laments at the end how insurance companies won’t pay for this stuff, even though patients want it. She’s not entirely correct; some insurance companies have started to pay for acupuncture, and many pay for chiropractic, for example. She also says that as though it were a bad thing, even going so far as to say that some insurance companies have some “catching up to do.” It’s not. It’s a good thing. I don’t want my health insurance company paying for quackery, because that expense comes out of my premiums, which are plenty high enough as it is.

In other words, Dr. Snyderman produced a puff piece to promote “alternative” medicine, “complementary medicine,” “CAM,” “integrative medicine,” or whatever you want to call the quackery that has infiltrated modern medicine. It is not a serious piece of journalism. Indeed, we’re even treated to an argument from authority stating that the “oldest cancer center in the world” has embraced woo (the implication being, of course, that it works and therefore other doctors should embrace it too). Then we see Barrie Cassileth setting up a massive strawman about conventional cancer care in which, once the chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation are done patients are abandoned and we don’t care about their symptoms anymore and tell them, “Goodbye, and have a good life.”

Again, I call bullshit.

This is, as I mentioned, a massive straw man. It is not reality. Indeed, in cancer centers like mine, survivorship is a major focus of our activities. Lest you’re tempted to think that I’m in an ivory tower because I work in an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, I will point out that any hospital that wants to have American College of Surgeons Committee on Cancer certification as a cancer center must now have an acceptable survivorship program. Yes, in the past “conventional medicine” might not have paid adequate attention to survivorship issues, but that is changing, and it’s changing fast. Moreover, that change is not driven by the existence of CAM or by some radical, forward-thinking programs based on CAM. Not at all! If anything, CAM is placebo medicine that can get in the way of the real medicine that patients need. It’s SBM rebranded as being somehow “alternative” because it’s exciting and sexy compared to boring old SBM.

Snyderman’s also been doing some promoting of her segment. For instance, she’s made an appearance at the local St. Louis NBC affiliate:

Dr. Snyderman is asked a simple question, “What is integrative medicine?” Surprisingly, she’s aware of the evolution of the word. As I’ve pointed out, alternative medicine became “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) became “integrative medicine.” She even notes that we’re now seeing acupuncture “and even prayer” being “integrated” with “mainstream medicine.” Of course, I’ve discussed the progression of language on several occasions, but I have pointed out that it was not really a natural progression but was rather driven by “branding” imperatives. Quacks did not like their quackery being called what it is (quackery); so they started calling it “alternative.” Then it became apparent to quacks that they would never get anywhere if they portrayed their woo as being outside of mainstream medicine (i.e., “alternative”); so “alternative” medicine became “complementary and alternative” medicine. But that still wasn’t enough, because “complementary” implies a subsidiary position in which mainstream medicine was real medicine and the woo was just “complementary” (i.e., icing on the cake). Thus was “integrative medicine” born, which is falsely presented as being the “best of both worlds,” and, more importantly to quacks, implies that their woo is co-equal with science-based medicine. It is not.

Particularly offensive is what Dr. Snyderman says next:

The idea is that the patient is the central focus. You don’t want to cure the patient and then create a narcotic addict. You don’t want to operate on someone but then leave them in worse pain. So when you combine East and West together, old and new, frankly it’s a patient-driven phenomenon, and I think doctors are increasingly listening.

Well, yes and no. To some extent it’s patient-driven, but to a large extent it’s driven by sectarian doctors who are true believers, people like Andrew Weil, and, yes, even though she isn’t a physician, Barrie Cassileth. Once again, Dr. Snyderman is attacking a massive straw man. As though SBM-practicing doctors don’t care if they cure the patient but create a narcotics addict! As if we don’t care if we operate on someone but leave them in worse pain than before. Dr. Snyderman is pandering to the very worst stereotypes of conventional medicine promoted by—you guessed it!—quacks. It sounds as though she’s been reading Joe Mercola’s website or Mike Adams’ rants and taking them to heart.

Notice one thing that Dr. Snyderman doesn’t discuss, and that’s evidence. That’s because there isn’t any good evidence. It’s nearly all low quality evidence, and the small amount of high quality evidence that is out there for acupuncture (for example) is consistent with the conclusion that acupuncture is nothing more than an elaborate placebo.

Even more offensive is this statement from Dr. Snyderman in response to a question about whether doctors know about integrative medicine:

Quite frankly, if a doctor doesn’t know, I think it’s time to ask for a referral to someone who does. Certainly in my world of cancer treatment, the really good cancer centers know the difference.

And once again she complains that insurance companies don’t cover this quackery!

Then there’s this web-only clip:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

It’s a completely credulous report on acupuncture and contains more canards and talking points about acupuncture, including claims that it’s “natural,” that it “stimulates the flow of qi,” and that there are hundreds of acupuncture points that, you know, are like really, really real! Never mind that, as I’ve pointed out time and time again, acupuncture is indistinguishable from placebo when tested in well-designed, well-controlled clinical trials, so much so that I’ve lost track of how many acupuncture studies I’ve discussed, many of which were misrepresented by acupuncture advocates as supporting the contention that acupuncture can do better than placebo. The bottom line is: It doesn’t matter where you stick the needles (in other words, meridians are prescientific nonsense), and it doesn’t even matter if you stick the needles in. Indeed, twirling toothpicks against the skin works just as well. So what do we call a conventional treatment that is indistinguishable from placebo in well-designed clinical trials? We call it ineffective. So why does Nancy Snyderman give acupuncture a pass because it’s “alternative,” “complementary,” or “integrative”? There’s nary a whiff of skepticism, as the young appealing acupuncturist chirps merrily about just how awesome acupuncture is and how we should be “integrating” it with “Western medicine.” She also seems to share the first acupuncturist’s aversion to using gloves and proper sterile technique while sticking needles into people.

I fear that there is only one conclusion that we can make from Dr. Snyderman’s report, and I say this even though I haven’t yet seen the second part (which appears not to be online yet): Dr. Snyderman has gone woo. She has embraced the Dark Side. She has decided that quackademic medicine is OK. Completely credulous, she has decided that “integrating” quackery into conventional medicine is the wave of the future. I hope that someone will inform her of Mark Crislip’s immortal words, in which he boiled down “integrative medicine” into its very essence in a mere 34 words:

If you integrate fantasy with reality, you do not instantiate reality. If you mix cow pie with apple pie, it does not make the cow pie taste better; it makes the apple pie worse.

Dr. Snyderman is mixing cow pie into her apple pie, and trying to sell it to her audience as tasting great. I can only hope that she finds her way back to reality someday, but I am not optimistic.

Comments

  1. #1 Militant Agnostic
    October 17, 2012

    Quite frankly, if a doctor doesn’t know share your nonsensical beliefs, I think it’s time to ask for a referral to someone who does pander to you. Certainly in my world of cancer treatment, the really good cancer centers know the difference between science and nonsense, but don’t care.

    Fixed that for ya, Nancy

    it’s a patient-driven phenomenon

    So is prescribing narcotics to drug seeking patients.

  2. #2 Militant Agnostic
    October 17, 2012

    How do you do strike through? I put in the s and /s tags and they disappeared.

  3. #3 Krebiozen
    October 17, 2012

    MA,

    How do you do strike through?

    Having peeked at Orac’s source HTML, I think [strike] and [/strike] work, testing</strike.

  4. #4 Krebiozen
    October 17, 2012

    Yup, probably works even better if you aren’t distracted by a cat on your lap sharpening its claws on you when closing the tag.

  5. #5 Lawrence
    October 17, 2012

    I really hate it when people talk about “East vs. West” when it comes to medicine. A lot of different cultures went about early medicine and medical treatment in different ways (including primitive brain surgery, etc) – it just so happens that Science-Based medicine started in Europe, but it just could have as easily begun in China or the Middle East, if history had worked out a bit differently.

  6. #6 Lawrence
    October 17, 2012

    Oh, and if that had happened, we would have ended up in the same place we are now – with effective and tested real medical treatments, as opposed to this quack stuff….sorry, very early in the AM here.

    Just because something “supposedly” came out of the Far East, doesn’t mean it works or should be considered on-par with real medical science…

  7. #7 DLC
    somplace where there isn't enough water for true homeopathy
    October 17, 2012

    Q: why does being from China or “the East” automatically grant legitimacy to such bullshit as acupuncture ?
    Has Dr Snyderman ever read any of the reports that show acupuncture to be no better than placebo ? Does she even care ? somehow I doubt it. Anything for a Buck.

  8. #8 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    October 17, 2012

    So when you combine East and West together, old and new, frankly it’s a patient-driven phenomenon, and I think doctors are increasingly listening.

    I wonder if Dr. Snyderman would like to extrapolate this thinking to say, anti-vaxxers. It’s patient/parent-driven after all; doctors should be listening and giving them what they want right? And if they don’t, doctor shop.

  9. #9 FilipinoMDstudent
    October 17, 2012

    Apparently, doctors (or medical students) who believe in nonsense of CAM are (sadly) not that uncommon. Today marks a milestone in my life as a skeptic when I unintentionally provoked a classmate in med school when I criticized Patch Adams for offering homeopathy (among other quack medical treatments) in his hospital. Apparently, my classmate’s mother had terminal cancer and sought homeopathy for “palliative care” and she claims that it is effective because it “improved the symptoms” (yet didn’t increase her survival). My proud skeptic moment was when she called me “close-minded” then dismissed my claim that I am open to the possibility that it is effective if good science and evidence say so.

  10. #10 James T. Todd
    October 17, 2012

    Are we just noticing this?

    I thought Dr. Snydeman’s critical judgement has been in question at least since she achieved Sanjay Gupta levels of gullibility in November 2009, falling for the Rom Houben facilitated communication (FC) nonsense. Even the FC people didn’t rise up to defend that, and they think this is credible:

    http://tinyurl.com/cmccksb
    (Facilitated Keynote address at the 2011 Indiana State University Sycamore Days Education Conference.)

    Vaccines are a pre-packaged position for mainstream M.D.s. She need not parse the scientific evidence, but repeat what amount to a set of talking points. Fortunately, they are science-based ones. The rest, “CAM” and the like, is up for grabs.

    There’s a lot of TV play in being “open minded” and embracing “new thinking.” When she brought FC to the U.S. on MSNBC three years ago, the report should have been, “Man in Coma Used as Puppet for Fame-Mongering Belgian Brain Doctor.” Instead, she bought into the single most scientifically discredited communication intervention ever. Her recent report should have been, “New Age Charlatans Undermine Quality of Care in Hospitals.” Unfortunately, to create that show would have required more than pointing a camera at some interesting things while commenting on them, tossing in a skeptic at some point for “balance,” and then moving on as if those concerns didn’t matter. That show would have required bringing science to bear disappointingly on quackery that lots of people want to believe in–and a growing number of hospitals have found they can sell.

    James T. Todd, Ph.D.

  11. #11 lilady
    October 17, 2012

    I found this online *chat* with Dr. Snyderman and then comments afterward…and I “don’t do facebook”, so I am unable to comment:

    ghtly.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/15/14451552-dr-nancy-snyderman-answers-questions-about-complementary-medicine#comments

    Acupuncture needles in a lymphedematous arm?

    Wow, just wow!

    It’s been a while since I worked in a hospital..and a longer while since my nursing school rotations in a hospital, but I was taught that you do not put (traditional) needles, in a lymphdedematous arm; nor do you put a blood pressure cuff.

    On Sloan Kettering’s website for advice/aftercare post breast cancer, they advise you to protect your lymphedematous arm (don’t shave the axilla, any cuts should be thoroughly cleansed, don’t cut cuticles while manicuring your fingernails, etc.- but nothing about avoiding needles or blood pressure cuffs. Why not?

    Nothing has changed since my school rotations and nothing has changed in the intervening years. According to Johns Hopkins website…those aftercare recommendations remain in place:

    http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/avon_foundation_breast_center/breast_cancers_other_conditions/lymphedema.html

    “Is there any way to prevent lymphedema?

    While there is no guarantee about preventing lymphedema, the following guidelines are helpful:

    Do not get needle sticks or blood pressure in the arm where the lymph nodes were removed
    Be vigilant in treating injuries and cuts that happen in that arm
    Learn about preventative measures before your surgery and request that it be part of your preoperative teaching

    Many breast centers teach patients about preventative measures for lymphedema after their surgery. At Johns Hopkins Medicine, we have certified lymphedema specialists in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department to teach patients about prevention and treatment of lymphedema. We find the best time to teach patients is before surgery, so they are vigilant during their initial recovery.

    The risk of developing lymphedema continues for the rest of your life so it is critical to be aware of the risks. Patients having an axillary node dissection will receive this type of instruction. Patients undergoing sentinel node biopsy have a low incidence of developing lymphedema since the procedure was developed to reduce the risk of lymphedema.”

    Feel free to comment there, using my link.

    What an insulting remark Snyderman made about getting a referral to a different physician if (s)he doesn’t know about CAM/Integrative therapies.

  12. #12 lilady
    October 17, 2012
  13. #13 tgobbi
    October 17, 2012

    Snyderman’s final comment concerned her next point: remedies “you’ve never heard of” for back pain. My guess is that most of us who read Respectful Insolence have, indeed, heard of all of them…

  14. #14 BKsea
    October 17, 2012

    Over at Jerry Coyne’s place, I saw the perfect description of diluting science with pseudoscience in the hope of getting something better:

    “intellectual homeopathy”

  15. #15 Beamup
    October 17, 2012

    Yet another problem with the whole “East vs. West” narrative is that it’s just plain wrong. Chiropractic and homeopathy are the classic examples. Unless Germany has somehow been relocated to the “East” when I wasn’t looking…

  16. #16 Bronze Dog
    October 17, 2012

    I really hate it when people talk about “East vs. West” when it comes to medicine…. it just could have as easily begun in China or the Middle East, if history had worked out a bit differently.

    Definitely a point I like. Had “Western” as a Doggerel entry in the original series, and I spoke my mind: It’s racist. You aren’t supposed to judge truth claims based on where they come from, but instead on the evidence. There’s nothing inherently Western about science, just an accident of history. Self-deception, bias, and so on are universal, hence the need for scientific methodology is universal.

  17. #17 kruuth
    October 17, 2012

    My wife is Chinese, and she is really amazed that so many people in this country fall for acupuncture. Last December we were at a party and one of my mom’s friends asked her about it her response was classic:

    Friend: “Well honey, when you get sick, don’t you go to an acupuncturist?”
    Wife: “No, why would I do that?”
    Friend: “Can’t they help you get better?”
    Wife: “They might, just like herbal tea. If I’m sick and I want to get better I go see a real doctor.”

    I think that encapsulates the entire acupuncture movement. Even in the country it originated from, they don’t take it seriously.

  18. #18 kruuth
    October 17, 2012

    Oh, I forgot. Her term for any bullsh*t medicine that comes out of China is “herbal tea” since so much of their folk stuff is in tea form.

  19. #19 dingo199
    October 17, 2012

    “The idea is that the patient is the central focus”

    Another trope that makes my fetid kidneys stink.
    Any decent conventional physician/surgeon/whatever will always make the patient the central focus of care – that is best practice, and usually happens in my experience.

  20. #20 Lawrence
    October 17, 2012

    Allowing this CAM crap into hospitals just allows the patients to believe that the CAM was responsible for their improvement & not conventional / real medicine.

  21. #21 Denice Walter
    October 17, 2012

    OT: but is anything that Mike Adams advises that simultaneously endangers your health and enriches him
    EVER truly OT @ RI?

    Today @ Natural News:
    26 things to get done before the global collapse

    Mikey’s sage recommendations include:
    have a holistic dentist remove your Hg fillings
    buy real books for when the electrical grid fails
    bury your gold and silver/ tell someone else ‘where’ in case you die
    move out of the city; learn ‘country life’ skills
    get right with g-d
    get off rx drugs
    get fit
    stock up on eye glasses/ lenses/ socks
    learn radio operator skills
    raise chickens and small animals
    get quality garden tools
    learn firearms skills
    get a guard dog
    have an emergency seed kit

  22. #22 Rocketman
    October 17, 2012

    “While it’s true that there are symptoms due to cancer that conventional medicine has a hard time treating, it is most definitely not true that there are symptoms due to cancer or cancer treatment that are “not treatable by conventional medicine.”

    These are words from the turf war. Words of a territorial professional!
    Why do so many patients eschew the advice of their doctors & oncologists, often behind their backs? Because of the limitations & often ineffectiveness of orthodox treatments. Why has the success rate of conventional cancer treatments since Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971 been so abysmal when it comes to the major cancers? And this despite trillions of dollars going into supposedly scientific drug research. I think it is not despite, but because of.

    Orac is tilting at windmills. The tidal wave is just beginning. People are acting with their feet & their money, despite doctors’ & drug companies’ protestations. And many doctors are joining the wave, simply because most of modern medicine, despite its claim of being SBM, is simply unscientific.

    No matter what Orac & the other sceptics say, nothing can stop the conversion of the Snydermans & others into non-orthodox areas. And I say bravo!

  23. #23 Liz Ditz
    In the prissy corner
    October 17, 2012

    Orac, for the forbidden b+ll sh1t word, you could try “malignant balderdash” or “mendacious bunkum”.

    I am deeply disappointed by Nancy Snyderman. She should know better.

    From

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/acupuncture-and-history-the-ancient-therapy-thats-been-around-for-several-decades/

    What’s maddening about the acupuncture longevity myth is that it isn’t true, and demonstrably so. In human medicine, “needling” was illustrated in the 17th century by western observers: no points, no “meridians,” just a big awl-like “needle,” driven in with an ivory-handled circular hammer. In addition, the rationale for hammering these little spikes into various spots (of the practitioner’s choosing) was said to be “exactly the same” as Greek humoral medicine (see, Carruba, RW, Bowers, JZ. The Western World’s First Detailed Treatise on Acupuncture: Willem ten Rhijne’s De Acupunctura. J Hist Med Allied Sci (1974) XXIX (4): 371-398).

  24. #24 tgobbi
    October 17, 2012

    Denice Walter

    October 17, 2:39 pm
    OT: but is anything that Mike Adams advises that simultaneously endangers your health and enriches him
    EVER truly OT @ RI?

    Today @ Natural News:
    26 things to get done before the global collapse

    Mikey’s sage recommendations include:
    have a holistic dentist remove your Hg fillings

    ***
    This is an irony I’ve never understood. If holistic practitioners treat the whole person, how can there be such a thing as a holistic dentist???

  25. #25 Denice Walter
    October 17, 2012

    @ tgobbi:

    Well, I’m glad you asked:
    as I understand it, they differ from orthodox (SB) dentists because they remove amalgam fillings ( which contain mercury), don’t do root canals, NEVER advise using fluoride, focus on nutrition and probably get you to chant or pray instead of giving you pain killers ( OK, the last item is facetious- but you never know, stranger things have turned out to be true).

    Some of the radical alt med practitioners advocate removing all Hg fillings whenever a patient is de-toxing for diverse health reasons ( including ASDs). One of the most outlandish views is that of the late Josef Issels who believed that hidden infections in teeth and gums interfered with his immunity-enhancing cancer woo- thus patients often needed to have many teeth pulled while being treated by him.

    Some alt med advocates ( e.g. Mike Adams) don’t use toothpaste but choose tooth “soap” instead- whatever that is. At any rate, you can acquire some through his website.

  26. #26 Spectator
    October 17, 2012

    “get right with g-d
    learn firearms skills
    get a guard dog”

    This brings out what Adams means by hole-istic.

    It would be interesting to email him for advice on ballistics, wound channels and hydrostatic shock.

    Or maybe the infection from the dog’s ripping out portions of one’s flesh is meant to do the job.

  27. #27 Denice Walter
    October 17, 2012

    @ Spectator:

    His website is a treasure trove of bizarre advice produced without the interference of neocortical functioning**:
    he teaches survival skills, accessing your spirituality, how to dig wells, raise chickens, stitch up wounds, shoot rifles, raise organic vegetables, foment revolution..

    I swear, I really don’t make this stuff up, I just report- I’m not THAT creative.

    ** and I’m so glad that I live thousands of miles away from him.

  28. #28 Narad
    October 17, 2012

    learn radio operator skills

    These are going to be of rather limited utility in the predicted absence of electricity.

  29. #29 Narad
    October 17, 2012

    Oh, dear, one also has “Stock up on salt, colloidal silver and other hard-to-get items that you’ll routinely need.” Because, you know, you buried all your silver.

    It’s like these people have never even read Alas, Babylon.

  30. #30 lilady
    October 17, 2012

    I was reading this month’s circular from Costco…for the first time ever, they featured “survival food”, available only through catalog sales.

    http://reviews.costco.com/2070/11487214/shelf-reliance-4-866-total-servings-of-emergency-food-kit-by-shelf-reliance-thrive-reviews/reviews.htm

    Where would I stash 4,866 servings that lasts up to 25 years?

    “Anonymous” review…

    “I got mine yesterday 2/13/12 for 12/21/12. It shipped UPS. I did not have to sign for it. All of the boxes were in perfect shape. I will open them when I have time. I have a big stock of the costly freeze-dried food I bought for Y2K. I bought this for backup. I just tried a can of eggs from the pre Y2K stuff. It was very good.”

  31. #31 Narad
    October 17, 2012

    Somehow, I wouldn’t pick No. 10 cans of dried beans as survival food. That “49 serving” can of black beans contains a whopping ~4600 calories.

  32. #32 lilady
    October 17, 2012

    If I was hunkered down in a bunker…I wouldn’t order any beans.

    “Anonymous” still has a stash of survival food from before Y2K.

  33. #33 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    If I was hunkered down in a bunker…I wouldn’t order any beans.

    If I wanted to toy with these people, I’d start a line of canned, freeze-dried Jerusalem artichokes.

  34. #34 Sid Offit
    Minsk
    October 18, 2012

    I warned you about Snyderman and her insanity years ago.

  35. #35 LC.
    October 18, 2012

    @Narad

    Unfortunatly it is a rather common theme for these “survivalists” – “I have 30 guns, 2 years of canned food, delux BDU’s and gold bars. The NWO pharma ninja commie reptiloids wont get me!”

    Small things like a water source, power, basic first aid, or even being able to light a fire don’t cross their minds.

  36. #36 Militant Agnostic
    Hunkered in my Bunker
    October 18, 2012

    Narad

    These are going to be of rather limited utility in the predicted absence of electricity.

    You could always use that next to new portable generator that you picked up for a very low price in January 2000.

  37. #37 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    You could always use that next to new portable generator that you picked up for a very low price in January 2000.

    I suppose one can do pretty well with a QRP rig, but I doubt that’s the sort of ragchew Ranger Mike had in mind.

  38. #38 herr doktor bimler
    October 18, 2012

    colloidal silver and other hard-to-get items that you’ll routinely need
    I must have missed the explanation of the routine necessity for colloidal silver. Once your skin has turned blue, I thought it stayed that way.

  39. #39 Alia
    October 18, 2012

    Changing the topic a bit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/17/crucell-italy-idUSL5E8LHN7B20121017?type=marketsNews
    For some reason I’m sure that anti-vaxxers will use it as a reason to spread FUD – “You say flu shots are safe? Well, what about Crucell and their flu vaccine?”

  40. #40 lilady
    October 18, 2012

    @ Alia: Every few years, we have a flu vaccine shortage in the United States, because the manufacturer tested batches of the vaccine for contaminants or potency…before the vaccine left the manufacturing facility.

    I remember one flu season, about ten years ago, when we had a major vaccine shortage. All shipments from the other manufacturers of the vaccine to private doctors was stopped and diverted to the State Health Department, thence to each County health department, for distribution first to residents of long-term care facilities, then to physicians. The doctors each requested enough vaccine for their high risk patients and we distributed it at the offices of the County Medical Society.

    When more vaccine became available in mid November, we held two mass immunization clinics at a community college (large parking fields), on a Saturday and Sunday, where dozens of nurses and doctors administered the flu vaccine to ~ 8,000 older people.

  41. #41 tgobbi
    October 18, 2012

    My question was how can a dentist call himself holistic. Denice Walter responded “… as I understand it, they differ from orthodox (SB) dentists because they remove amalgam fillings ( which contain mercury), don’t do root canals, NEVER advise using fluoride, focus on nutrition and probably get you to chant or pray instead of giving you pain killers ( OK, the last item is facetious- but you never know, stranger things have turned out to be true).

    “Some of the radical alt med practitioners advocate removing all Hg fillings whenever a patient is de-toxing for diverse health reasons ( including ASDs). One of the most outlandish views is that of the late Josef Issels who believed that hidden infections in teeth and gums interfered with his immunity-enhancing cancer woo- thus patients often needed to have many teeth pulled while being treated by him.”

    This is all true, of course, but it only describes what is alternative, unconventional or pseudoscientific about the practice. The way I understand holism is that the practitioner treats the whole person. So I still hope someone can explain how a practitioner who treats only one part of the body (teeth, in this example) can call himself holistic.

  42. #42 Denice Walter
    October 18, 2012

    @ tgobbi:

    Beats me: they say whatever they like and do whatever they like to get customers- it’s advertising.

    ‘Holistic” is their buzz word that implies that SBM doesn’t treat the ‘whole” person- mind, body and spirit- but THEY do.
    Obviously, they believe that SBM is materialistic and soul-less:. spirituality is often a big part of alt med’s advertising campaign.

    That whole mind-spirit concept is intriguing to me as a psychologist: I don’t believe that any of the so-called psychological methods I’ve seen amount to much more than words to placate feelings, distraction and hand-holding rather than methods to treat REAL conditions. They use herbs, supplements, EFT, accupuncture, energy medicine and various forms of meditation- none of which work- while eschewing any pharmaceutical intervention/ or SB therapies like CBT: how can that be ‘holism’? They aren’t addressing the source of the issue.

    Similarly, how can you be treating the whole person if you don’t utilise anti-biotics or ARVs if a person has a bacterial or viral infection? Whole person, my arse.

  43. #43 Lucario
    Sunny SoFla, *not* waiting for the end to come
    October 18, 2012

    Man, those survivalist types are around the bend.

    Just out of curiosity, if you knew society was to collapse in, say, a few months or so, what would be good things to stock up on/skills to learn? Also, what would determine who would survive a societal collapse like the kind Naturalnews and other such survivaloids keep thining is around the corner?

  44. #44 Lucario
    Sunrise, FL, USA
    October 18, 2012

    ^ I meat to say “thinking” there. Darn inability to edit your posts. :(

  45. #45 Lawrence
    October 18, 2012

    An interesting concept in “The Postman” (the book, not Costner’s horrible movie) was that it was the survivalists that were the primary cause for the final collapse of civilization. They were so focused on their own survival, that they actively fought against those that attempted to rebuild.

  46. #46 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    Just out of curiosity, if you knew society was to collapse in, say, a few months or so, what would be good things to stock up on/skills to learn?

    You may find a mule to come in handy.

  47. #47 Lucario
    Urban SoFla, no mules allowed
    October 18, 2012

    ^ I meant stuff that I could fit in the average house and not look conspicuous. People would talk if I had a mule in the backyard.

  48. #48 lilady
    Hunkered down in the bunker
    October 18, 2012

    @ Lucario: You could *learn* a lot by watching survivalist TV shows:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4NOE3GAKAU&feature=related

  49. #49 Sastra
    October 18, 2012

    “Holistic” doesn’t really mean “whole person.” It’s a code word indicating “the spiritual.” A Holistic Dentist will therefore use methods which either emphasize, incorporate, or maybe just mention something which assigns power and primacy to mental or vital forces.

    I have a friend who goes to a Holistic Dentist. She told me how he had her lie down and see that her legs were different lengths. He fiddled around with something — can’t remember if it had to do with her teeth or her spine — and voila! her feet were even!

    This is an old trick, but what got my interest in particular was that she went to her dentist and he looked at her feet. I made her promise that she’d get another dentist if he offered to do a breast exam.

  50. #50 Denice Walter
    October 18, 2012

    @ Lucario:

    Let me fill you in about alt media survivalism:
    first their free media ( articles, internet radio shows, videos) informs you that the end is indeed near- sometimes it is political tumult or an economic catastrophe, sometimes a natural disaster ( sun flares; a tsunami) or a nuclear meltdown *a la* Fukushima- which precipitates the economic crash.** Maybe all of these. Usually the electrical grid will crash too.

    Our woo-meisters then direct you to videos or books for sale that will teach you how to cope ( see Natural News.com/ store; Gary Null.com/ store). They’ll teach you how to get off the grid, learn skills you need- like self-defense and organic farming- where to live when you abandon the cities for country living and what products you should purchase in advance and store for the dire eventuality that is rapidly approaching.

    Both of these creatures sell storable organic, non-GMO emergency meals and/ or grains. Because health is a priority, they also sell supplements, magnets for health, dried vegetable-fruit powders, herbal medicine, water filtration systems, iodine for nuclear acidents, food processors ( you’ve already gone OFF the grid) and heirloom non-GMO seeds. You’ll be totally self-sufficient after you bury your gold and silver in a secret location which you will guard with your trusty rifle and guarddog. Both fear-mongers profess that they are currently prepared in the manner they promulgate.

    Believe it or not, what I’ve outlined here is only scratching the surface. I’d wade through the entire swamp of illogic with you but I don’t want to dirty my lovely, new boots yet.

    ** Gerald Celente and Porter Stansberry are two outstanding loons in the genre of economic crash prognostication. For the latter: see Brian Deer.com; for a glimpse into the former’s brand of lunacy see his Trends website or his appearances on Progressive Radio Network.com. I’m not making this up, honestly.

  51. #51 Lucario
    SoFla, in no danger of collapsing yet
    October 18, 2012

    No, Denice, I’m not talking about what the survivalists say would help you should society collapse, I’m asking what history has shown what is the best things to do or be if and when society collapses. What does history tell us re: who survives a societal collapse or not?

  52. #52 lilady
    October 18, 2012

    ” I’m asking what history has shown what is the best things to do or be if and when society collapses. What does history tell us re: who survives a societal collapse or not?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iesXUFOlWC0&feature=related

    (sigh, no room in the mine shaft/bunker for a post-menopausal nurse)

  53. #53 Lucario
    October 18, 2012

    ^ I was looking for serious answers from the pages of history, not gallows humor. Try again.

  54. #54 herr doktor bimler
    October 18, 2012

    What does history tell us re: who survives a societal collapse or not?

    Collapsing societies stop keeping histories.
    One thing we learn from the existing precedents is that the best survivors are those who collaborate with the invading Spanish / Mongols / giant space ants, welcoming their new overlords and helping to round up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.

  55. #55 Krebiozen
    October 18, 2012

    What does history tell us re: who survives a societal collapse or not?

    Sadly, history tells us that in the chaos of societal collapse, the strongest, nastiest, most ruthless and best armed survive.

    BTW keeping a mule in the backyard in SoFla is definitely a bad idea, from what I’ve heard (from my Floridian sister-in-law) it would likely be eaten by a snake or an alligator.

    On the subject of imminent societal collapse, a friend of my wife’s in Tennessee assures her that martial law is imminent, as is civil war in the US. Black helicopters hover constantly overhead, and FEMA concentration camps are being stocked with tanks, guns and heavy artillery, according to her friend’s brother’s cousin’s uncle who works for the military.

    She tells my ex-pat American wife, darkly, that she doesn’t understand what has happened to America since she left. Oddly she is pro-Obama, which seems a little unusual.

    None of this seems to fit with the news I hear from other Americans, and as far as I recall, this has allegedly been going on for at least 12 years, though back then the camps were being run by the UN. Anyway, how many guns and tanks does a FEMA camp need?

  56. #56 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    What does history tell us re: who survives a societal collapse or not?

    I think you need to sketch out your particular scenario in a bit more detail. One thing I can tell you with relative certainty is that ethanol is going to be far more negotiable than silver and gold, which are ultimately good for nothing.

  57. #57 lilady
    Not Lucario's neighbor in Florida...somewhere else
    October 18, 2012

    I wouldn’t depend on a herd of mules; I might have a herd of nubile cows…with a few young bulls, hopped on Viagra.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mule

    If I really wanted to be part of the “chosen” few in the mine shaft, I’d submit myself to IQ tests…sure to beat out a southern goober.

  58. #58 Denice Walter
    October 18, 2012

    Well, I would guess that being part of a community and being literate helped the Irish monks when the Vikings landed,,

    Perhaps canned goods- if it’s in a Cormac McCarthy novel.

    Antibiotics. Warm clothes. Bleach. A sewing kit. Charcoal.
    Let me think.
    Ability to keep yourself calm.

  59. #59 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    Mine shafts? Please. (Free William Leonard Pickard!)

  60. #60 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 18, 2012

    Lucario:

    I’m asking what history has shown what is the best things to do or be if and when society collapses.

    Read 1491 and 1493 by Charles C. Mann. He gives a pretty good synopsis of the civilizations that existed in the Americas before Columbus bumbled his way there, and what happened afterwards. It was not one, but several civilizations that collapsed due to disease, slavery, etc.

    In other words, you have asked a very complicated question.

    Narad:

    One thing I can tell you with relative certainty is that ethanol is going to be far more negotiable than silver and gold, which are ultimately good for nothing.

    That reminds of some of the bits in Niven and Pourelle’s Lucifer’s Hammer. At least one guy gathered up as much liquor and spices as he could, only to see (and smell) his van go up in flames. I read it over thirty years ago.

  61. #61 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    BTW keeping a mule in the backyard in SoFla is definitely a bad idea, from what I’ve heard (from my Floridian sister-in-law) it would likely be eaten by a snake or an alligator.

    Note, however, that a prolonged breakdown in the supply of automobile fuel might be expected to lead to a boom in the population of delicious armadillos.

  62. #62 lilady
    October 18, 2012

    @ Narad: I can assure you that dear hubby’s guys-only-trip to Warrensburg, N.Y. is not to purchase abandoned mine shafts/bunkers. They are staying in a bucolic Adirondack camp, sans electricity, sans indoor plumbing…with a hand-cranked pump in the kitchen for well water.

    Right about now, they are barbecuing Porterhouse steaks, and will be going to Oscar’s tomorrow for smoked meats and yummy cheeses:

    http://www.oscarsadksmokehouse.com/

    The three guys on this “guys-only-trip” are not Southern goobers (two attorneys and one pharmacist/Exec. V.P of a major drug wholesaler).

  63. #63 lilady
    October 18, 2012

    @ Narad:

    “Note, however, that a prolonged breakdown in the supply of automobile fuel might be expected to lead to a boom in the population of delicious armadillos.”

    I never really tried 9- banded armadillos in a recipe. How do you avoid Hansen’s Disease?

    http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnatives/mammals/nine-banded-armadillo/

  64. #64 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    How do you avoid Hansen’s Disease?

    The USDA seems to be under the impression that M. leprae is gone by 160 F. And, really, let’s not get overexcited. It’s social collapse, and you’re going to worry about leprosy?

  65. #65 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    (True, it’s probably going to be dry and stringy if just cooked to that temperature, but you hang that dutch oven over the fire all day, or night, and I’m sure it’ll get tender.)

  66. #66 herr doktor bimler
    October 18, 2012

    I was looking for serious answers from the pages of history, not gallows humor.

    If you get silly answers, what does it tell you about the question?

  67. #67 lilady
    October 18, 2012

    @ Narad: I recall a first year resident in internal medicine, who grew up in the hinterlands of west Texas, who had a huge reaction to the Mantoux TB skin test:

    http://www.bioline.org.br/pdf?mb09022

    “An exaggerated response causing giant reaction to
    tuberculin has been occasionally described in patients
    with lepromatous leprosy. Although the mechanism is
    not clearly understood, it is suggested that a coincidence
    of delayed hypersensitivity to tuberculin and a less
    delayed phenomenon of excessive local edema due to
    systemic features may be responsible for these changes. A
    temporary lack of immune regulation along with changing
    level of antigenic load has been advocated as the cause
    for such giant reaction in lepromatous leprosy.”

    An I.D. doctor from the Indian subcontinent, nailed down the diagnose of leprosy…from exposure to 9-banded armadillos in western Texas:

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs101/en/index.html

    “(True, it’s probably going to be dry and stringy if just cooked to that temperature, but you hang that dutch oven over the fire all day, or night, and I’m sure it’ll get tender.)”

    I would add dill weed to that armadillo stew…not tarragon. :-)

  68. #68 herr doktor bimler
    October 18, 2012

    I would be more interested in learning why some societies *don’t* collapse under stress, and what can be done to promote social cohesion.

  69. #69 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    I would add dill weed to that armadillo stew…not tarragon.

    I would never add either one. Sage, perhaps. I don’t know what’s native to Florida (or Texas)…. Well, crap, I suppose sweet citrus might make some sense, but we’re talking stews and it’s social collapse, so one would only want to add that at the end, and the flavors might not round out. One certainly does not want to anger one’s group of scavenging hobos with misfired last-minute seasoning.

  70. #70 Krebiozen
    October 18, 2012

    I’m not going to ask precisely how one catches leprosy from an armadillo (9-banded or otherwise), but I’ll bet it would make a hell of an anecdote.

  71. #71 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    If you get silly answers, what does it tell you about the question?

    I don’t know that it’s silly so much as vague. I can imagine scenarios in which one would either want to be near population concentrations that have, say, concentration and transshipment points or far away, and when assembling a plan, one needs a scenario. What’s cut off? I understand that Florida has a problem with narcotic “pill mills.” OK, so one might expect that this population is going to loot pharmacies with less than the greatest care. Lay in pharmaceuticals, etc.; one still needs choice points between hole-up and get-out scenarios.

  72. #72 Denice Walter
    October 18, 2012

    @ herr doktor bimler:

    I might guess that whatever is opposite of ‘save your own skin at all costs’ ( i.e.what survivalists like Adams and his ilk seem to exude) might help keep things running along.

  73. #73 lilady
    October 18, 2012

    @ Krebiozen: If you handle “Hillbilly Speed Bumps”, it is possible to contract leprosy…

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?linkname=pubmed_pubmed&from_uid=19952979

  74. #74 lilady
    October 18, 2012
  75. #75 herr doktor bimler
    October 18, 2012

    I might guess that whatever is opposite of ‘save your own skin at all costs’ [...] might help keep things running along.
    I was thinking of episodes like the Vavilov seed bank:

    Hitler’s army had already closed in on St. Petersburg (then Leningrad)—a desperate city that had lost more than 700,000 people to hunger and disease. The Soviets had ordered the evacuation of art from the Hermitage, convinced that Hitler had his sights set on the museum. They had done nothing, however, to safeguard the 250,000 accessions of seeds, roots, and fruits stored in the world’s largest seed bank. So a group of scientists at the Vavilov Institute boxed up a cross section of seeds, moved them to the basement, and took shifts protecting them. [...] Although suffering from hunger, the seeds’ caretakers refused to eat what they saw as their country’s future. Indeed, by the end of the siege in the spring of 1944, nine of the institute’s self-appointed seed guardians had died of starvation.

  76. #76 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    In other survivalist-related news, the latest Jonestown Report from Fielding McGehee came out last Tuesday.

  77. #77 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 18, 2012

    Narad, your link works better without the break:
    http://jonestown.sdsu.edu/AboutJonestown/JonestownReport/jtreport.htm

    Anyway… perhaps Lucario should do more reading of history about the many incidences of displaces peoples around the world over the past several hundred years, or some speculative and science fiction. There is lots of fiction on apocalyptic and dystopic societies, including several movies.

  78. #78 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    Grumble, grumble, watch where you put your XML, grumble.

  79. #79 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    October 18, 2012

    That’d be a 404 Narad.

    Damn lilady; you’re cheeky tonight. Are you hitting the sherry?

  80. #80 Narad
    October 18, 2012

    BTW, did somebody at NG Central delete the timestamps?

  81. #81 lilady
    October 18, 2012

    @ Science Mom: No sherry; my “usual” vodka/tonic and generous twist of lime…with “Malt Shoppe Favorites” blasting (music of the 1950’s).

  82. #82 thenewme
    October 18, 2012

    If popularity and patient demand would drive treatment options, I’d like to nominate hot bubble baths (comfort, warmth), sunbathing (vitamin D therapy) on a sunny beach, and red wine (resveratrol!) to help with the side effects of chemotherapy. Of course, I’ll petition my insurance company to pay for these “treatments” that would be prescribed by my doctors.

    I mean really, where would these quacks draw the line?

    It’s bad enough when patients and members of the general public turn to quackery, but IMHO when MDs do it, it’s just despicable. They should be sued for negligence or malpractice or abuse or something, with especially heavy penalties due to being in a position of power.

  83. #83 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 18, 2012

    Rocketman – are those unorthodox areas of which you speak effective at treating cancer? If so, how do you know?

  84. #84 nz sceptic
    New Zealand
    October 19, 2012

    Yes wine has always been my favourite integrative remedy too: Water with a memory of grape. You can’t beat it!

  85. #85 Tommy Kirchhoff
    Cottonwood Heights, Utah
    October 19, 2012

    After a century of fighting forest fires, we’ve figured out that the forests have become anthropogenically dense; so now when there’s a fire, it’s much more destructive and difficult to extinguish. A hundred years ago in the U.S., it was cool to include cocaine in patent medicine. Now we have built an empire of allopathic medicine that costs more than any other country’s, and yet preventable deaths and other indicators drop the quality rank of our medicine pretty far down the list. At 7% annual increase in costs, Medicare will bankrupt in nine years.
    PBS “Money and Medicine”– http://video.pbs.org/video/2283573727

    The Chinese, specifically, have developed their system of medicine over 5000 years. The other countries in Asia have looked to the Chinese, specifically, for a long time because their system was the most developed. Luckily for me, my specialization and continuing education focuses on Tai Chi and QiGong, which Science-BasedMedicine.com doesn’t find so completely gawd-aweful and wooish because it’s just simply “low-impact exercise.”

    You can go a month without food. You can go several days without water. But you won’t last ten minutes without breathing. Your body loves and craves oxygen– but all day long you breathe in and out with short, panting breaths. In a whole day, you might take one or two deep breaths. Did you ever think there is a better way ? You don’t know anything about real posture. And your hips are stiffening every day, shortening your steps and putting you on an inevitable path to immobility & sickness.

    Tai Chi is not a nice little set of isometric exercises. First and foremost, isometric exercise is strength training, and real Tai Chi forbids the use of strength. The deep, nasal breathing, proper posture, corrective gait, and ever-deepening relaxation FIX THE BODY and put it in its optimal repair mode. Tai Chi is real medicine, and not some placebo fantasy practiced by 500 million people worldwide.

    My teacher, Victor ShengLong Fu, says, “90 percent of all Tai Chi is bad.” In my decade of private study, I agree with him. But for you disbelievers of TCM, I want to say that 90 percent of all acupuncture might also be bad. My 80-year old Chinese acupuncture doctor is both an M.D. and an O.M.D.– not just an L.Ac. She is a master pharmacologist. Plants are the real alchemists, and few people understand the power of plants like Dr. Delu Liu. Not long ago, I saw her fix heart arrhythmia in an 84-year old woman in three days with– yes, I’m afraid so–TEA.

    Science-basedMedicine.com and Orac make many excellent points about quack medicine, especially chiropractic. But our medical system is in real crisis. I call to charge your effort to find real solutions to the crisis, not to just point your finger and quack. Tai Chi is a powerful, inexpensive general remedy. I understand that the research studies do not support acupuncture, but my first inclination is that the studies were not conducted on master O.M.D.s like Dr. Liu.

  86. #86 Chris
    In a medical building waiting room...
    October 19, 2012

    Tommy Kirchhoff:

    The Chinese, specifically, have developed their system of medicine over 5000 years. The other countries in Asia have looked to the Chinese, specifically, for a long time because their system was the most developed.

    Classic argument from antiquity. So what was their treatment for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy? Regale me in all the wonders of your treatments for HCM as I wait for my son while he is in post-surgical cardiac rehab.

  87. #87 Chris
    In a medical building waiting room...
    October 19, 2012

    And should I mention, skip the anecdotes, they are not data. Post real scientific evidence that your teacher’s tea would prevent the obstruction in my son’s heart (now removed) from blocking the aortic valve when he exerted himself. They stopped the stress test last year when his blood pressure dropped because blood flow out of the heart was being restricted.

    Playing doctor is a dangerous game, so you better have something better than fairy tales.

  88. #88 lilady
    October 19, 2012

    “My 80-year old Chinese acupuncture doctor is both an M.D. and an O.M.D.– not just an L.Ac. She is a master pharmacologist. Plants are the real alchemists, and few people understand the power of plants like
    Delu Lui. Not long ago, I saw her fix heart arrhythmia in an 84-year old woman in three days with– yes, I’m afraid so–TEA.”

    You actually saw that miraculous cure of heart arrhythmia with your own eyes, eh?

    Is your doctor licensed as an M.D. in Utah?

  89. #89 Tommy Kirchhoff
    Unagravated
    October 19, 2012

    Chris,

    Very sorry about your situation. You are clearly too embroiled in personal matters to comprehend my point, which is financial in nature. I’ll isolate it so that perhaps later, when you’re not in such a huff, you can digest my point and perhaps even act on it:

    “I call to charge your effort to find real solutions to the (financial) crisis (of medicine), not to just point your finger and quack.”

    I represent Tai Chi, which is well-documented as healing exercise in Dr. Linda Larkey’s peer-reviewed metanalysis. Tai Chi is one solution to the financial crisis.

    What was the obstruction, materially ? I believe Dr. Liu, who is both an M.D., and an O.M.D., has fixed this kind of problem before and can do it again. Yes, with tea.

  90. #90 Beamup
    October 19, 2012

    I’m still noting a complete lack of anything resembling actual evidence.

  91. #91 Narad
    October 19, 2012

    The Chinese, specifically, have developed their system of medicine over 5000 years.

    I do so love blithe categorical assertions that rely upon the lack of existence of any written history.

  92. #92 herr doktor bimler
    October 19, 2012

    I represent Tai Chi, which is well-documented as healing exercise in Dr. Linda Larkey’s peer-reviewed metanalysis.

    Ah. So this is advertising spam. That explains the string of extravagant and unconnected lies.

  93. #93 lilady
    October 19, 2012

    @ Tommy Kirchhoff…You didn’t answer my question about Dr. Liu, whom you claim healed a patient in heart arrhythmia with “Tea”.

    Is she licensed as an M.D. in Utah?

    You wouldn’t be the same Tommy Kerchhoff who is hocking a five DVD Tai Chi package for $79, on the internet, would you?

    “Stop hocking my chinik (pronounced chy-nick)” comes from the Yiddish “hoch mir kein chinik” which literally means “stop hitting me with a tea pot”. The idiom means “stop nagging me” as if one’s tormenter is banging on a tea pot with a spoon.”

  94. #94 herr doktor bimler
    October 19, 2012

    I am shocked, shocked!! that an internet huckster with a veritable empire of spam-sites would resort to bullsh1t and fabrication.

  95. #95 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 19, 2012

    One could reasonably say that non-Chinese medicine has been developed over 5,000 years as well, including the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Hittites, etc. In most measurable ways, it has improved greatly in that time, notably in the last 100 years or so.

  96. #96 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 19, 2012

    Tommy Kirchhoff – does exercise and proper posture help improve general health and fitness? Sure.

    Do plants contain chemicals that may be beneficial and effective treatments for disease? Sure.

    Does acupuncture actually provide any benefit beyond sham acupuncture (or a suitably impressive placebo)? So far, the evidence suggests otherwise.

    TCM contains some good stuff, a whole lot of ineffective stuff, and a bunch of stuff that’s outright irresponsible or dangerous. For those things where the claims of effectiveness are proven – hey, that’s great. Those things based on pre-scientific vitalism and magic need to be exposed and avoided. Those things that cause the wanton destruction of endangered species for the sake of ineffective balderdash need to be punished.

  97. #97 Narad
    October 19, 2012

    You wouldn’t be the same Tommy Kerchhoff who is hocking a five DVD Tai Chi package for $79, on the internet, would you?

    It gets more amusing.

    On Nov. 1, 2011, we produced two 5-minute segments for American Health Journal, a highly-credible medical TV show.

  98. #98 Narad
    October 19, 2012

    does exercise and proper posture help improve general health and fitness? Sure.

    You don’t know anything about real posture! And breathing was invented in China, so there.

  99. #99 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    October 19, 2012

    Tommy Kirchhoff,

    Several suggestions. Point by point since I seem to be in that sort of mood :-)

    1. Don’t conflate exercise with medical remedies. Yes, fit people generally do better with respect to minor aliments and there are general well-being benefits of exercise as is well-known, but people here are referring to medical conditions.

    2. As others have already pointed out you don’t just “represent” Tai Chi, you sell merchandise about it – you’re not disclosing a conflict of interest.

    3. If you want to discuss on a science forum, you will have to put up evidence or be considered to be talking empty-handed. (Anecdotes mean little.)

    4. Larkey’s review does not support Tai Chi as some sort of medical intervention. All she appears to be reporting is that Tai Chi is a reasonable form of exercise. She is reported as saying this herself – e.g. she is paraphrased as saying “The authors say that the review provides a “stronger evidence base” for bone health, cardio-respiratory fitness, physical function, balance, quality of life, fall prevention and psychological benefits.” – i.e. the routine things that most forms of reasonable exercise provide, but nothing about it serving as a medical intervention as you have proposed in writing “Tai Chi is a powerful, inexpensive general remedy.”

    (I suppose we could ask a remedy for what – if limited to a remedy for a lack of exercise (lack of basic fitness), then, yes and why not. Extending this is “real medicine” (your words), etc. is going beyond evidence to hearsay.)

  100. #100 Krebiozen
    October 19, 2012

    Tai Chi is one solution to the financial crisis.

    Of course it is, and Tai Chi (or was it chai tea?) can cure hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. Of course it can.

  101. #101 herr doktor bimler
    October 19, 2012

    Tai Chi is one solution to the financial crisis.
    It was a solution to Tommy Kirchhoff’s financial crisis, certainly.

  102. #102 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 19, 2012

    I see, Mr. Kirchhoff, that you did not bother answering my question with any data. You have a claim where a heart condition was cured with tea, yet when challenged with another heart condition you decided to patronize me. Minimizing my question by a virtual pat on the head by saying ” You are clearly too embroiled in personal matters to comprehend my point, which is financial in nature.”

    Just like any other scam artist. I comprehend it much more than you know. It is you who is playing doctor and making claims, without any training.

    When you promote pretend doctors, real people get hurt:
    http://www.whatstheharm.net/acupuncture.html

  103. #103 Tommy Kirchhoff
    October 19, 2012

    Wow, I am shocked– shocked!– to be heckled here on this site. Not one of you half-wits has anything valuable or informed to write in response, but you can all point your finger at me and quack, quack, quack. I thought I might get an intelligent conversation, but clearly there is nothing but ignorance here.

  104. #104 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 19, 2012

    You get intelligent conversation when you present actual evidence and don’t belittle people dealing with real medical issues.

    Now answer my question on your teacher’s cure for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. Explain exactly how the tea would have prevented the $80,000 of surgery. Then we will be much less ignorant.

  105. #105 Narad
    October 19, 2012

    Not one of you half-wits has anything valuable or informed to write in response

    Perhaps you should ask Grandmaster Fu whether popping in to barf up some ad copy is likely to result in the audience rising as a single man to express appreciation for your Calgon-like insight.

  106. #106 Krebiozen
    October 19, 2012

    I thought I might get an intelligent conversation, but clearly there is nothing but ignorance here.

    Said the man who claims that a “placebo fantasy practiced by 500 million people worldwide” is a substitute for real medical care. See how far you get with tai chi and tea in an intensive care or trauma unit, then come back and lecture us about ignorance.

  107. #107 Narad
    October 19, 2012

    My 80-year old Chinese acupuncture doctor is both an M.D. and an O.M.D.– not just an L.Ac. She is a master pharmacologist.

    Ah, yes, triangulation.

    Domain ID:D159976351-LROR
    Domain Name:HEALINGEXERCISE.ORG
    Created On:24-Aug-2010 18:02:39 UTC
    Last Updated On:22-Aug-2012 12:00:07 UTC
    Expiration Date:24-Aug-2013 18:02:39 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:DNC Holdings, Inc. (R48-LROR)
    Status:CLIENT DELETE PROHIBITED
    Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
    Status:CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED
    Registrant ID:ODN-23292
    Registrant Name:Tommy Kirchhoff
    Registrant Organization:Transcending Mundane II, LLC
    Registrant Street1:3434 E. 7800 South
    Registrant Street2:
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City:Salt Lake City
    Registrant State/Province:UT
    Registrant Postal Code:84121
    Registrant Country:US
    [Etc.]

  108. #108 Narad
    October 19, 2012

    (Please, please, see the next personality.)

  109. #109 Krebiozen
    October 19, 2012

    I find Fluffy far more therapeutic than Dr. Liu.

  110. #110 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 19, 2012

    Oopsy, Dr Lui!

    Acupuncture clinic sued by man who suffered burns might be sent to the What’s the Harm website.

  111. #111 lilady
    October 19, 2012

    Help me out here. I cannot find Dr. Liu on this Utah Physician Licensing site:

    https://secure.utah.gov/llv/search/index.html

    @ Chris…moxibustion, eh?

  112. #112 Narad
    October 19, 2012

    Help me out here. I cannot find Dr. Liu on this Utah Physician Licensing site

    The acupuncture license is still active. The wisdom of making other advertising claims, particularly without specific qualification as to, say, granting institution, I would consider to be in doubt.

  113. #113 Krebiozen
    October 19, 2012

    Whoever would think that sticking needles in people and then setting fire to them was somehow therapeutic? It’s almost as crazy as bleach enemas.

  114. #114 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    October 19, 2012

    Tommy Kirchhoff,

    “Wow, I am shocked– shocked!– to be heckled here on this site. Not one of you half-wits has anything valuable or informed to write in response, but you can all point your finger at me and quack, quack, quack. I thought I might get an intelligent conversation, but clearly there is nothing but ignorance here.”

    You seem to want to ‘conveniently’ overlook that people have noted your COI and absence of evidence. In my case, in particular, I pointed out the one report you offered as ‘evidence’ doesn’t say what you made it out to say – something that was straight-forward to check, something you should have done yourself (were you intending to present it’s claim accurately).

    It seems instead you’d rather call people names (“halfwits”, etc) and play troll than deal with issues with what you’ve written. Your call, of course, but it does suggest you don’t have an answer.

  115. #115 Grant
    http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/
    October 19, 2012

    herr doktor bimler: “It was a solution to Tommy Kirchhoff’s financial crisis, certainly.”

    :-) (Clever, that.)

  116. #116 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 19, 2012

    Mr. Kirchhoff made this claim:

    My 80-year old Chinese acupuncture doctor is both an M.D. and an O.M.D.– not just an L.Ac. She is a master pharmacologist. Plants are the real alchemists, and few people understand the power of plants like Dr. Delu Liu.

    It seems that he made up the letters behind her name. According to this insurance brochure the only letters after her name are “MAO.” I have no idea what that means.

    If he is going to call us half-wits and ignorant, he should make sure the Googles don’t contradict his “facts.”

  117. #117 Denice Walter
    October 19, 2012

    @ Chris:

    Is it a tribute to the guy who made accupuncture popular?

  118. #118 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 19, 2012

    ?

  119. #119 Narad
    October 19, 2012

    According to this insurance brochure the only letters after her name are “MAO.” I have no idea what that means.

    Looks to be Aetna code for M.Ac.O.M.

  120. #120 Denice Walter
    October 19, 2012

    @ Chris:

    Mao Tse Tung: who promoted the ‘ancient’ and arcane art of accupuncture in the 20th Centuryin the Peoples’ Republic

  121. #121 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 19, 2012

    So not a doctor of anything.

  122. #122 Narad
    October 19, 2012

    So not a doctor of anything.

    I’m seeing nothing to suggest that Tommy Kirchhoff has not made a borderline-illegal marketing claim.

  123. #123 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 19, 2012

    Yeah, the fact that Mao is a common name made it impossible to see what MAO the initials were for.

    Ah, yes… that Mao who promoted barefoot doctors after putting real doctors in labor camps during the Cultural Revolution.

  124. #124 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 19, 2012

    Narad:

    I’m seeing nothing to suggest that Tommy Kirchhoff has not made a borderline-illegal marketing claim.

    I also see that he is telling us she is practicing medicine without a license. He might be exaggerating, or she might be actually be pretending to actually do some cardiology.

  125. #125 Narad
    October 19, 2012

    I also see that he is telling us she is practicing medicine without a license. He might be exaggerating, or she might be actually be pretending to actually do some cardiology.

    He certainly appears to be holding himself out as her agent of some sort. Whether she is fully apprised of the implications of his statements is unclear, and one should note that the son, Kewei Li, principal of Clinixoft LLC, which has a certain… vibrational affinity with Mr. Kirchhoff’s budding business enterprise, is also in the advertising mix.

    Somebody totally needs to hook up with Marc Stephens.

  126. #126 herr doktor bimler
    October 20, 2012

    I thought I might get an intelligent conversation, but clearly there is nothing but ignorance here.

    So business is so bad in the “Mysterious-Wisdom-of-the-East” business that a snake-oil dragon-bone peddler is reduced to trolling a science-based medicine blog? This makes me very sad.

    I would be even sadder if it were not for my Prajnya vedic breath-control practice*. I choose to trace this back to the Harappa / Mohenjo-Daro culture — i.e. 8000 years of medical-system development, three millennia more than those Chinese johnny-come-latelies.

    * Any resemblance to diaphragmatic breathing exercises — the preferred way of controlling asthma back in the days — is accidental.

  127. #127 Dangerous Bacon
    October 20, 2012

    T. Kirchoff is down on “allopathic” medicine and thinks the West should look to China as a model of healthcare. Reality has a different view.

    “…while the country has amassed tremendous wealth, China still trails the developed world in its ability to provide even basic health care for its people.”

    “With its massive 1.3 billion population, China’s health care expenditures are miniscule compared to Western nations…much of the Chinese population doesn’t even receive basic medical care…”

    “They’re still paying largely out of pocket, which causes them to delay going to the doctor,” Thompson said. “People don’t go to the hospital until they’re really sick. There’s no preventative services.”…”The quality of education, experience and technology, by and large, is not up to world standards,” Thompson said.”

    ht_p://abcnews.go.com/International/China/health-care-china-trails-developed-countries-world-news/story?id=12171915#.UILSNme6TTp

    So we’re supposed to be in awe of the wonderful medical system the Chinese have built up over 5000 years?

    I’ll stick with that evil We$tern allopathic medicine, thanks.

  128. #128 TBruce
    October 20, 2012

    Mr. Kirchoff:

    This miracle anti-arrhythmia tea wasn’t made from foxglove, by any chance?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digitalis

  129. #129 Jon
    October 20, 2012

    I can’t be the only one thinking “a lot of it has been demanded by patients…” doesn’t help its case. I know, that’s being condescending, but the truth is, the human body is complex, and even after you get your MD, you have to keep learning. It would be wonderful if we all had MDs. It would also be wonderful if we all had five PhDs and spoke ten languages.

    @Bacon:
    Another problem is, it’s the Maoists. IIRC, the main reason they use TCM (and when any despotic regime talks about “tradition”, it should raise red flags) is because they didn’t have enough medicine for 1.3 billion people.

  130. #130 adelady
    city of wine and roses
    October 21, 2012

    Anyone can reduce America’s health costs. There are a dozen or more off the shelf options available in the OECD display.

    Choose your preferred mix of government/private provision and finance. Hey presto! You can have Netherlands, Australian or Canadian costs and their health statistics along with it.

    And you don’t have to think it up for yourself. This is not a primary school spelling test. You are allowed to copy others’ work.

  131. #131 adelady
    city of wine and roses
    October 21, 2012

    Sorry. that was meant as a reply to Tommy’s tantrum.

    I call to charge your effort to find real solutions to the crisis, not to just point your finger and quack.

  132. #132 Rocketman
    October 22, 2012

    Meph OBrien:

    Are any modalities effective at treating cancer? No. But orthodox oncology has a terrible track record but hey, we won’t question that because it’s not politically correct.

    When oncologists start advising their patients to change their diets & improve their life-styles, to remove the causes of poor health in other words, then we’ll see real improvements in cancer prognosis. But no, all we get is diet has nothing to do with it, just eat normally. Oncologists generally are the worst offenders, at least where I live. They have the Lance Armstrong D & D Syndrome: Drugs & Denialism. Imagine if alt med treatments killed as many as chemo & radio does. You guys would be electric. I repeat, most of the daily practice of modern medicine is not scientific & does not improve health.It is a religious pseudo-science, in bed with big pharma.

    And Denice Walter, you are so wrong when you hold up modmed as the pinnacle when it comes to mental health. The results are poor to say the least. And deadly at worst. Meditation is wonderfully effective, as is CBT, EFT, ACT, life-style improvements etc. None of the aforementioned are stand alone therapies, however.

  133. #133 herr doktor bimler
    October 22, 2012

    Rocketman:
    Are any modalities effective at treating cancer? No.
    Meditation is wonderfully effective, as is CBT, EFT, ACT, life-style improvements etc.
    Tempting though it is to disagree, you appear to be contradicting yourself perfectly well already.

  134. #134 TBruce
    October 22, 2012

    They have the Lance Armstrong D & D Syndrome: Drugs & Denialism.

    – and why do you think metastatic cancer survivor Lance Armstrong is alive and well today, genius?

  135. #135 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 22, 2012

    Rocketman,

    The survival rates of various cancers with and without conventional treatment are published. They’re typically better with treatment, so I don’t understand your statement that “orthodox oncology has a terrible track record”.

    You state that these alternate “treatments” don’t, in fact, work. Why then would someone bother with them if their goal is to survive cancer?

  136. #136 herr doktor bimler
    October 22, 2012

    - and why do you think metastatic cancer survivor Lance Armstrong is alive and well today, genius?

    That’s the ‘denialism’ part — Rocketman believes that Lance Armstrong is dead but not admitting it.

  137. #137 TBruce
    October 22, 2012

    That’s the ‘denialism’ part — Rocketman believes that Lance Armstrong is dead but not admitting it.

    He probably thinks that’s why Armstrong lost his Tour de France titles – only the living are eligible.

  138. #138 herr doktor bimler
    October 22, 2012

    only the living are eligible.
    Show me that in the rules!!!

  139. #139 herr doktor bimler
    October 22, 2012
  140. #140 Shay
    October 22, 2012

    Hey, if they can vote in Illinois….

  141. #141 Lucario
    SoFla, way down south of Dixie
    October 23, 2012

    herr doktor bimler:

    “Collapsing societies stop keeping histories.”

    Or sometimes they keep a *lot* of history, but they turn it on its head. Big time. “Lost Cause” of the Confederacy, anyone?

    (ducks and covers)

  142. #142 Rocketman
    October 23, 2012

    Meph O’brien:

    Firstly where are these published data? Love to see breast cancer studies comparing the haves & have nots. Doubt there are such studies, due to ethics issues.
    In any case, such studies would not carry much weight because comparing the treated group with another who continues on with their current habits & lifestyle proves nothing. I want to see the treated group compared to the group who proactively make major changes to their lives- their diets, their rest/sleep patterns, appropriate exercise, their sun exposure, intermittent fasting when appropriate, meditation. Show me these studies & we’ll see the truth, & that is what the cancer industry does not want to hear. Dr Ian Gawler wrote You Can Conquer Cancer after he beat metastaic osteogenic sarcoma, & he credits his recovery more to those factors mentioned above than to the conventional treatment he received, & subsequently stopped. Same with Petrea King, who was told she was incurable, only to beat the disease through the same means.

    Dr Dean Ornish is douing great work in this area with prostate cancer. Dr Neal Barnard the same with diabetes. Dr Esselstyn the same with c/v problems.

    But still we have the old guard defending their turf- just like Orac & the rest of the medical sceptics.

    I repeat: most of the daily practice of modmed is unscientific. Not all, but most. The great parts of modmed, especially in crisis situations, we are eternally thankful for.

    TBruce:

    Lance Liestrong survived cancer due to many things, including his attitude, his change of diet & I admit, conventional treatment. I did not say oncology treatment never has a place- it does. Just not on the pedestal it is put on today.

    And besides, if you claim kudos to modmed for his survivel, do you also then blame modmed for the millions of tragic failures? The millions of poor victims who are told by their specialists that their diet or personal choices in life have nothing to do with their cancer causation or prognosis, just trust us, we’ve got it covered.

    Oncology is still in the dark ages & people are dying because of it.

  143. #143 Krebiozen
    October 23, 2012

    Rocketman,

    I want to see the treated group compared to the group who proactively make major changes to their lives- their diets, their rest/sleep patterns, appropriate exercise, their sun exposure, intermittent fasting when appropriate, meditation. Show me these studies & we’ll see the truth, & that is what the cancer industry does not want to hear.

    You mean like those treated in alternative health clinics? Gerson, Livingston-Wheeler etc? Even by their own published datathey don’t work. Gonzalez claimed he could cure pancreatic cancer using juicing, diet and lifestyle changes, but his patients died 3 times faster than those on chemo. Diet and lifestyle changes, like those my doctor recommends and that I follow, can prevent some but not all cancer, I don’t doubt it, as it makes sense and is supported by plenty of evidence. Crank diets, raw foods, fasting, supplements and and meditation? The evidence strongly suggests otherwise.

    Oncology is still in the dark ages & people are dying because of it.

    And your alternative is superstitious disproven nonsense? Don’t believe everything you read.

    BTW, Dr. Ian Gawler probably did not have the cancer he was allegedly cured of at all PMID: 22188466. The rest of the people you refer to are similarly dubious and many have been discussed here at length – try the search box at the top of the blog.

  144. #144 Rocketman
    October 24, 2012

    Krebiozen:

    You seem to be assuming quite a lot. Which is of course the sceptics’ way. Did I mention any of your named “treatments” for cancer?.
    Anyway, almost every altmed treatment is tried by a desperate patient after being cut, burnt or poisoned the “scientific” way, with no lifestyle advice given whatsoever, & then told their cancer, while incurable, is still treatable. So please don’t villify methods which have been evaluated in a very unfair playing field.

    What do we hear in the media of the very occasional patient who eschews conventional treatment in favour of some altmed method & dies? Altmed killed him & “deprived” him of a “scientific” cure. Good one! You can’t have it both ways.

    The atrocious success rate of cut/burn/poison conventional treatments for the major killers since Nixon foolishly & naively declared war on cancer in 1971 should be cause for community backlash. I’m talking here about the major killers, not the few cancers like childhooh leukemia & non-melanoma skin cancer, which have been more successfully treated conventionally. These lopsided outcomes give the overall impression the war is being won, which is untrue. But with complicit media lackeys & modmed’s slick PR machines, backed by huge bigpharma
    dollars & brain-dead governments, what do we see? Billions of dollars raised from the gullible public, whose hard-earned public money goes towards the “coming cure, just around the corner”; albeit from the same methods which have so abjectly failed for 40 years for said cancers ( breast, bowel, lung etc). What would you say if altmed had a monoploly on treating a certain disease, by law, & had dished up such a pathetic return after 40 years. I could hear the sceptics scream from here.

    BTW, I was actually talking to Dr Gawler for 3 days over last weekend, & if your claims are true, then it makes a mockery of his oncology team, as they were the ones who diagnosed him. He didn’t diagnose himself, nor did any altmed woo merchandiser. The specialist oncologists did. But that’s how you guys operate. When someone survives after trying the alt methods, they were either misdiagnosed or undergoing spontaneuos remission. It was the latter “miracle” which the oncologists applied to Dr Gawler. He laughed when he recounted the tale.

    BTW 2: I don’t believe everything I read. Especially not most modmed studies which are mostly funded by fraudulent companies who “doctor” the clinical trials’ outcomes & then, when caught, after many people are killed, get a “slap-on-the-wrist” fine by the Fedgov. No real accountability, no severing of government contracts, no imprisonment. No wonder there is a crisis in modmed. Go Snyderman, go! You’re doing fine.

  145. #145 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 25, 2012

    Okay, analogy time.

    Two people go out into a dangerous environment where bullets are flying around. Both people are wearing protective gear… at least in theory.

    One is wearing actual Kevlar body armor. He purchased that armor after consulting with an expert who said “this is the best armor developed so far, and if you get hit, the armor’s very good at spreading out the impact, but there’s always a chance that you’ll get hit in a location where even the reduced impact will prove fatal, such as directly on the spinal cord, or directly over the heart causing hydrostatic shock.”

    One is wearing a suit of paper plates glued together. This is supposed to be protective gear because a Reiki Master claims to have imbued each plate with the intent of turning away bullets.

    Both people go out. They are both unlucky.

    The person wearing actual body armor gets hit in a bad spot and the impact that makes it through the armor proves fatal.

    The person wearing paper plates gets shot right through a paper plate which didn’t slow it down one bit.

    Now, if we reasoned like Rocketman, we’d conclude that the body armor, which could have prevented death if the shot had been perhaps an inch to either side, is actually responsible for the death of its wearer, just as responsible as the suit of paper plates which could never in a million years have stopped a bullet. Or, Rocketman would say, if you don’t agree that the body armor is responsible for the death, you must view some asshole who gives you paper plates and pretends to you that it’s protection against bullets as equally blameless.

  146. #146 Shirley Lucas
    Vienna, VA
    November 27, 2012

    Today, 27 Nov 2012, Dr. Snyderman did a piece on consequences related to taking certain medicines with grapefruit juice. Our family lost a family member several years ago and for years she took all of her medicine with grapefruit juice. How can we work with the pharmacies around the world to put the warning on medicine bottles?

  147. #147 Linda
    Texas
    December 12, 2012

    Nancy Snyderman said recently to Star Jones on a news show that she hates the religion part of Christmas, because that’s what makes it stressful, and that’s what mucks up the holiday!!!!! Wow that’s about as twisted thinking as you can get. ROFL. She may be a medical doctor, but she sure does need a shrink!

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