It’s no secret that my odds of ever landing a job at the Cleveland Clinic are probably slim and none, at least if anyone there ever Googles my name, particularly if they Google it with the words “Cleveland Clinic” added. The reason, of course, is that I’ve been very critical of the Cleveland Clinic’s wholesale embrace of what can only be described as pure quackery. I first noticed this a long time ago when I perused the Cleveland Clinic Foundation’s (CCF) integrative medicine page, in particular its farcical acceptance of the magical mystical reiki master definition of reiki. It got worse when the Cleveland Clinic did something it seemed to view as incredibly innovative, namely when it opened a traditional Chinese medicine herbal medicine clinic in 2-14, staffed by a bona fide naturoquack naturopath. The CCF’s embrace of quackery then reached its zenith later that same year when it hired “functional medicine” guru and antivaccine collaborator with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to open a functional medicine clinic.

Unfortunately, if a recent report is to be believed, this last endeavor has been a swimming success:

The Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine (CFM) will be doubling its physical size and patient care capacities in the coming year, to meet what medical director, Dr. Patrick Hanaway, characterizes as “unbelievable pent up demand for this kind of care.”

Since opening in late 2014, CFM practitioners have handled nearly 5,300 total appointments, quickly reaching maximum capacity. People seeking care at CFM in 2015 came from 36 states, and 12 countries.

The center now has a waiting list of over 1,100 individuals.

“This has grown much faster and much more profoundly than we expected,” says Dr. Hanaway, CFM’s medical director and co-founder. “We have a great number of people who want to receive services from us, and the demand far outstrips our current resources and capacities.”

Hanaway says the center has secured a financial and administrative commitment from Cleveland Clinic to build a new center that would more than double the physical size of the existing clinic, and to extend the functional medicine model into several community-based sites located off the main Cleveland Clinic campus.

In other words, functional medicine at CCF is invading and metastasizing.

Longtime regular readers have seen what I’ve written about functional medicine before and therefore understand why I’m not particularly a fan of it and in particular why I’m not a big fan of Mark Hyman. For one thing, he mangles autism science in so many ways that it’s depressing to read. For another thing, he embraces Alzheimer’s disease quackery. For yet another thing, he willfully misinterprets the scientific literature to justify his woo. He also mangles systems biology in the service of justifying his “functional medicine.” Finally, he seems to value anecdotes above rigorous clinical studies. I could go on, but perhaps I should discuss just what “functional medicine” is first.

The problem with so-called “functional medicine” is that it’s pretty darned hard to define. I suspect that this is not entirely unintentional. Being too specific constrains freedom, of course. Perhaps the most definitive discussion of what “functional medicine” is came from the late great Wally Sampson, who did an entire entire series on it, starting with Functional Medicine (FM) What Is It? It’s a good question. In fact, it’s the best question when it comes to functional medicine, given that its definitions tend to be so vague as to border on being meaningless. If you don’t believe me, check out Wally Sampson’s followup posts, Functional Medicine II, Functional Medicine III, and Functional Medicine IV.

Personally, when I want to look at the ridiculousness that is “functional medicine,” I like to go straight to the source, namely Mark Hyman himself. For example, there is a post entitled Why Diseases Don’t Exist and What Really Makes You Sick!

Check it out:

Functional Medicine is an ecological view of the body where all the networks of our biology intersect and interact in a dynamic process. When out of balance, this process creates disease, and when in balance, it creates health. Functional Medicine takes all the component parts of science, all the puzzle pieces, all the data about how we get sick and what makes us well and reorganizes it in story that makes sense, a story that has the capacity to solve our health care crisis nearly overnight if it was understood and applied widely.

Medicine is the youngest science. There is no theory of medicine, no organizing principles that helps us navigate the territory of chronic disease. Functional medicine is that breakthrough theory, the biggest breakthrough idea in medicine since the discovery of the microbe and antibiotics. It is a cataclysmic shift in our view of biology.

There are moments of awakening in science that are not incremental but transformational: Columbus proving the earth was round, not flat; Galileo showing us the earth was not the center of the universe; Darwin explaining that species evolved and didn’t arise fixed in their current form; Einstein shattering our notions of time and space. Functional medicine is a paradigm shift of equal magnitude and significance.

Whoa.

No, I mean double whoa.

This is some serious stupid. For instance, Columbus didn’t prove the earth was round. It was known that the earth was round at least since the time of the ancient Greeks, and heliocentric models dated back just as far. As for there being no “theory of medicine” and “no organizing principles that help us naviaate the territory of chronic disease,” so what? Hyman assumes that there must be such a principal, but his assuming that doesn’t make it so.

If you want to get an idea of just how quacky “functional medicine” can be, take a look at this article by Hyman, entitled Why Diseases Don’t Exist and What Really Makes You Sick!:

The true cause of depression may be a leaky gut caused by gluten that activates the immune system, producing antibodies against the thyroid leading to low thyroid function and depression. It may 10 years of an acid-blocking drug for reflux that led to vitamin B12 deficiency, or a gene called MTFHR that leads to folate deficiency, or inadequate sunlight caused vitamin D deficiency. It may be a diet high in tuna that has caused mercury toxicity, or a diet low in fish that has caused an omega-3 deficiency, or a high-sugar diet that has caused pre-diabetes. It may be the use of antibiotics that have altered the gut flora, which have in turn altered brain chemistry. It may be a life trauma or stress.

Each of these factors – dietary, environmental, lifestyle — creates a different imbalance, yet all cause depression. Thus knowing the name of a disease tells us nothing about the true cause, not does it leads us the right treatment.

Notice how evidence-free Hyman’s assertions are. Mercury “toxicity” causing depression? Where’s the evidence? “Leaky gut caused by gluten” causing toxicity? Again, where’s the evidence? MTFHR leads to a folate deficiency that leads to depression? Again, where’s the evidence? Alterations in gut flora due to antibiotics have altered your brain chemistry? Again, where’s the evidence? There is none, at least no convincing evidence.

Basically, in this particular article, Hyman is praising a book by another functional medicine guru, Jeffrey Bland, whom he praises as the “father of functional medicine,” and laying down howlers like:

Disease appears real and fixed, just as the earth seems flat, and time and space seem linear and solid.

You got that, you unimaginative old doctors, you? You’re the past! Functional medicine is the future! At least, so Hyman is arguing in his not-so-subtle and grandiose fashion. Of course, during Columbus’ time the earth didn’t even really seem that flat, as it was widely accepted that the earth was a sphere dating back to the ancient Greeks (as I’ve mentioned before). As for his invocations of Einstein and Darwin, there’s a difference there between Einstein and Darwin compared to Hyman’s “functional medicine.” They convinced the scientific community the old-fashioned scientific way: With data and evidence. Then their theories were found to have a great deal of predictive power, with evidence accumulating in the decades after the theory of evolution and the theory of relativity were first published. Heck, Einstein’s theory just received another boost last month with the report describing gravitational waves.

Hyman bemoans the lack of a general “theory” of medicine equivalent to these, but there is no real reason why one would expect such a theory to exist. There does exist the germ theory of disease, but that only really describes infectious diseases, diseases for which the cause is more easily identifiable. It might be that one day there is some sort of theory of chronic disease, but if such a theory is developed it will come from scientists and physician-scientists, not self-promoting “visionaries” like Mark Hyman, who can’t even really describe what “functional medicine” is. Get a load of his attempt:

Functional Medicine is not simply about improving diet, or getting more exercise or managing stress or even reducing exposure to environmental toxins, all of which are critical foundations for creating a healthy human. It is a personalized method of getting to the roots of symptoms and restoring balance. Above all, this is the science of creating health. When we do that, disease goes away a side effect.

How the “personalized medicine” of “functional medicine” is any different from what homeopaths do when they “personalize” your homeopathic treatment is unclear. How the “personalized method” of “functional medicine” is any different from what naturopaths do when they make it up as they go along and come up with a plan to “detoxify” you and give you various supplements is any different is not determinable. What is determinable is that Hyman practices anecdote-based, not science-based medicine. He proudly recounts the anecdote of a girl with psoriasis that had been refractory to conventional treatment that he supposedly cured by putting on a gluten-free diet. (Of course! What else?)

Basically, there is what Grant Ritchie once called a “major unstated premise” to functional medicine, namely:

When it is claimed that FM “…addresses the underlying causes of disease,” or “Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease,” the unstated premise is that “regular” doctors don’t do any of these things; they must be only symptom-oriented, not preventive in their outlook, and don’t take all of a patient’s personal, medical, and social factors into consideration before arriving at an invidualized course of action. This, of course, is false, and is what any good physician will do. I know mine does, and he does not identify as a Functional Medicine physician. This dubious technique is employed by most if not all CAM providers in an attempt to set themselves apart from the crowd.

Basically, functional medicine is a lovely new buzzword to describe a form of “integrative medicine” (i.e., “integrating” quackery into medicine) that sounds progressive and cutting edge, and that’s the way it’s sold, as you can tell from Hyman’s own words and countless other examples of him and other functional medicine mavens hyping their woo on their websites, in books, and in videos. If you believe the hype, functional medicine is a “new paradigm” that “empowers” the patient. It’s very big on “biochemical individuality,” which in the hands of functional medicine doctors means lots and lots of lab tests (e.g., hormone level panels0 in which “imbalance” can be found to be corrected. How does one know what tests to order or how to correct these “biochemical imbalances”? It’s not always clear. Indeed, that’s the very issue that lead Wally Sampson back in the day to ask just what the hell functional medicine is. Sadly, he went to his grave without an answer, and certainly I still don’t have one.

Meanwhile, apparently although the CCF administration has bought into functional medicine completely, there is still resistance:

Not everyone in Cleveland is a fan of the functional medicine paradigm. Curran says there is still considerable resistance toward functional medicine in many sectors of the Cleveland Clinic system. She attributes that to “a lack of understanding among certain physician specialists.”

No, I rather suspect that the resistance to functional medicine comes from physicians who, as I do, understand all too well that the emperor has no clothes. Still, that’s just a problem for functional medicine evangelists to overcome with propaganda “education”:

In response, CFM is embarking on an ambitious education program aimed at introducing the core concepts of functional medicine to the widest possible spectrum of specialists.

“One idea is to have an open forum, so that other doctors can meet with our functional medicine doctors, and have open discussions. We will try to get the naysayers to show up, and let them know they can come with their concerns and questions.”

Curran says the CFM team is collaborating with the Lerner College of Medicine—the medical school established in 2002 by the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve—to weave a nutrition education thread into the school’s core curriculum. Students at Lerner will now get nutrition-focused didactics as well as case studies throughout the 5 years of their training.

And that, my friends, is how quackademic medicine co-opts the valid science of nutrition and turns it into woo.

Interestingly, despite its massive growth, the functional medicine clinic at the CCF is not yet profitable, although it is cost-neutral. The main reason, it would appear, is that because functional medicine is not its own specialty and its visits can only be billed to insurance companies as internal medicine office visits. Indeed, I tend to view functional medicine as basically “integrative internal medicine,” where a whole lot of quackery is “integrated” into standard internal medicine practices.

Sadly, if you believe the CCF experience, the “bait and switch” that is functional medicine is the wave of the future. Given how thoroughly quackademic medicine has infiltrated many medical schools, i can’t even necessarily say categorically that this isn’t correct.

Comments

  1. #1 Graham
    March 2, 2016

    Or you can come to Australia where you can get a Naturopathic consultation at just about every major pharmacy.

  2. #2 Yvette
    March 2, 2016

    What I want to know is why don’t these functional medicine doctors work in hospitals. Where are they when the patients are really sick? Why aren’t the there on the weekends or late at night? Why are there no functional medicine docs in ICUs?

    If only they were as good at treating sick people as they were at patting themselves on the back for their ability to treat people.

    For example:
    http://functionalforum.com/march-2016-functional-forum/

    And finally, why do docs like Hyman criticize pills and Big Pharma while simultaneously selling really expensive pills in their own Little Pharmas.

    For example:
    http://store.drhyman.com/supplements/targeted-kits.html

  3. #3 Chris Hickie
    March 2, 2016

    “Wildly successful” must mean it’s generating a lot of revenue, not getting dissed on social media, and not creating any liability exposure. That’s all that matters to the bean counters who run medical centers today. Who cares if a few old-fashioned doctors don’t like it?

    That last sentence is what worries me most. Too few doctors either understand and/or care about what’s happening concerning quackademic medicine. Are physicians simply too overloaded with patient care duties to have time to speak out? Were physicians not taught the ability to see through this bunk during their undergraduate and medical school years? Do more physicians than I’d like to think actually believe this woo?

  4. #4 palindrom
    March 2, 2016

    This isn’t central to the discussion, but one rather reliable “tell” that you’re dealing with an ignorant, intellectually lazy person is if they uncritically repeat the falsehood that Columbus proved the earth is round.

    This had been known to all educated people since antiquity, and Eratosthenes even measured the circumference by noting how the sun’s maximum elevation varies with latitude.

  5. #5 Dangerous Bacon
    March 2, 2016

    Chris Hickie asked: “Do more physicians than I’d like to think actually believe this woo?”

    Some do. More are willing to go with the flow to keep a proportion of their patients happy. And some see $$$ in that there functional medicine.

    The opportunities exist, especially if you sell yourself as a leader in the field training others. Take Ron Grisanti, Chiropractic Physician, who reportedly began hauling in more than $1 million a year after starting Functional Medicine University.

    http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/health/2015/10/21/bout-illness-leads-new-company/74001460/

    (for fun, check out this thread on another message board where Dr. Grisanti’s interventions did not end well):

    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=596520

  6. #6 Denice Walter
    March 2, 2016

    Right, there are no diseases..
    according to Hyman, people suffer from conditions like rust and sludge**.

    ** and three more, described in just as cavalier terms, in one of his books which I seem to have misplaced or discarded.
    People bring me stuff like this. The title was something like “Ultra- Health” or related balderdash.

  7. #7 Denice Walter
    March 2, 2016

    Also, isn’t “balance” often an important code word for mystical concepts like soul, spirit, personal choice and other woo-friendliness?

  8. #8 BKsea
    March 2, 2016

    How is functional medicine different from naturopathy? You could go through all of these statements and replace “functional medicine” with “naturopathic medicine” and never know the difference. Seems like the same woo in different wrapping.

  9. #9 Eric Lund
    March 2, 2016

    As for there being no “theory of medicine” and “no organizing principles that help us naviaate the territory of chronic disease,” so what? Hyman assumes that there must be such a principal, but his assuming that doesn’t make it so.

    And even if such principles did exist, there is no reason to think that Hyman is anywhere near the right track to find them. Just as there have been many attempts to come up with a self-consistent theory of quantum gravity, none of which have been successful. The difference is that in the case of quantum gravity we know that there is something to find, because quantum mechanics and general relativity as we understand them are mutually incompatible. As Orac notes, there is no guarantee that such a thing exists in medicine.

    @palindrom: The Columbus thing is a tell, almost as much as the Galileo gambit he tries in the very same sentence. What Galileo did was provide evidence from a new kind of instrument, the telescope, that Ptolemy’s geocentric model could not explain how the universe works; heliocentrism was hardly original with Galileo, as Orac mentions.

  10. #10 Denice Walter
    March 2, 2016

    addendum:
    the book is called ” Ultra Prevention”

  11. #11 sadmar
    March 2, 2016

    Mark Hyman never ceases to make make me SMH. As most of y’all know, I think IM, if done ‘right’, could be at least benign, but Hyman is far to quacky. I thank Orac for posting Hyman’s definition of Functional Medicine, as I had no idea what that meant, and now I know it’s utter nonsense and I should run in the opposite direction.

    The tell for me isn’t the pop-culture-mythology false attributions of Columbus and Galileo, but his bonzo misunderstanding/misuse of Kuhn, complete with WTF religious overtones. It seems he expects HIS name to be added to the list of ‘paradigm shift’ messiahs. Let’s just say I have a gut feeling that won’t happen.

    FM might well become an empty buzzword, much as IM is already — a marketing term applied to widely divergent programs of varying value and/or promise. What’s in a name? Not much. My takeaway for the day: Whatever Mark Hyman calls what he advocates – ‘IM’, ‘FM’ ‘Arthur’ — it still stinks like a BM.

  12. #12 Militant Agnostic
    March 2, 2016

    Palindrome

    The Columbus thing is a tell

    I am fine with Hyman claiming the mantle of Columbus since the real reason Columbus had hard time getting someone to finance him was because he was wrong. Columbus thought the circumference of the world was a third of what it actually was. If he hadn’t blundered into the new world he and his crew would have died at sea. Columbus is an example how history is made by stupid people.

  13. #13 palindrom
    March 2, 2016

    On Kuhn, I’m fond of a sight gag in which I pantomime the birth of quantum mechanics, or the Copernican revolution, or other Kuhnian revolutions, by taking two ten-cent coins, placing them on a table next to each other, and pausing a moment dramatically; I then place a finger on each coin and emphatically move the two coins to a new position.

    What this is called, is left as an exercise for the student.

  14. #14 palindrom
    March 2, 2016

    Militant – precisely right. They woulda died long before they got to, say, Hawaii.

    Incidentally, there’s a very interesting book by Charles Mann called 1493 which details the incredible cascade of historical and ecological consequences of the Columbian exchange, in which he devotes quite a bit of time to the trans-Pacific trade in the 17th century, which I’d been completely unaware of. Spices, fabrics and so on from China were shipped to Spain by way of Mexico!

  15. #15 TBruce
    March 2, 2016

    Darwin explaining that species evolved and didn’t arise fixed in their current form

    Yep, Hyman is clueless about Charles Darwin as well.

    http://www.aboutdarwin.com/literature/Pre_Dar.html

  16. #16 TBruce
    March 2, 2016

    The gobbledegook that defines Functional Medicine could serve nicely as a definition of Holistic (or Wholistic – make up your mind already) Medicine, which was hot stuff when I was graduating from med school in the mid-seventies.

    Same old shiat, different bucket.

  17. #17 palindrom
    March 2, 2016

    Holistic?

    As the Holy Book says in the Book of Holes, “And they knew not their holes, from an ass on the ground”.

    — Firesign Theater

  18. #18 rs
    March 2, 2016

    “Darwin explaining that species evolved and didn’t arise fixed in their current form”

    Even that is imprecise. By Darwin’s time scientists had enough of the fossil record to (mostly) agree on the “mutability” of species. The how and the why were where Darwin came in with his theory of natural selection. That and genetics.

  19. #19 Jazzlet
    March 2, 2016

    “Functional Medicine is an ecological view of the body where all the networks of our biology intersect and interact in a dynamic process.”

    I don’t think ‘ecological view’ means what he thinks it does. It is a fundamental misunderstanding of ecology to try to apply it to any single species, let alone individuals of that species.

  20. #20 Takiar
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    March 2, 2016

    The Columbus is a big tell, as he did not prove the Earth was round (though he thought he did). It was known much prior to that in Classical science. They could at least name Magellan’s expedition (his slave, acquired in Malaysia, Enrique, who could speak with the yet unknown (for Europeans) Filipino tribes in their native tongue, and may have been the first man to circumnavigate the globe…in fact he deserted there), which was the first to go around the planet.

  21. #21 Eric Lund
    March 2, 2016

    Spices, fabrics and so on from China were shipped to Spain by way of Mexico!

    It was a two-way trade, as well. The hot peppers we associate with the cuisines of southern and eastern Asia only became part of those cuisines about 300 years ago–peppers are native to the Americas.

  22. #22 Delphine
    tsetse fly
    March 2, 2016

    Chris Hickie asked: “Do more physicians than I’d like to think actually believe this woo?”

    Some do. More are willing to go with the flow to keep a proportion of their patients happy. And some see $$$ in that there functional medicine.

    The highly regarded fertility clinic we used to conceive recommends/refers out to TCM/acu in conjunction with ART, if the patient desires. Why? Because, when I asked, “some patients want it.” Shiny brochures at reception, in the waiting rooms, right beside the leaflets on IVF, success rates…

    I wanted a smoking area, and I asked for it. I didn’t get it.

    But seriously…it rankled that you have a patient population who on average spends thousands out of their own pockets…yeah, let’s let them bleed a little more, regardless of the fact that the evidence on acu/IVF success is…underwhelming. But hey, we’re desperate for a baby, and there’s nothing quite like preying on desperation.

  23. #23 SelenaWolf
    Ontario, Canada
    March 2, 2016

    “Functional Medicine takes all the component parts of science, all the puzzle pieces, all the data about how we get sick and what makes us well and reorganizes it in story that makes sense, …”

    In my day, this was called lying.

  24. #24 Andrew
    Cleveland
    March 2, 2016

    CCF anesthesiologist here. I can tell you there are a good many of us here that don’t buy this nonsense. I won’t be practicing any reiki or acupuncture based anesthetics in my practice. Just saw my first patient that actually receives herbal conditions from the Chinese bs clinic. No talking her down from the brainwashing they did in a ten minute pre-op evaluation!

  25. #25 Gregor Samsa
    Chapel Hill, NC
    March 2, 2016

    Duke University now is selling “integrative medicine”. They tout the WHO report, “Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials”. Can anyone point to an evaluation of that report? It shows up all over the place.

  26. #26 Leigh Jackson
    United Kingdom
    March 2, 2016

    Gregor, since that review, from the outset, dismissed and excluded sham controlled trials with negative results as irrelevant, you might like to make your own valuation of it.

  27. #27 But I Play One on TV
    March 2, 2016

    How does this go so far without meticulous records of presented symptoms leading to diagnosis and treatment path, cost, and outcomes per patient? Especially as a pilot program.
    The claims he makes aren’t a paradigm shift, they’re hundred plus year old proven bullshit.

  28. #28 herr doktor bimler
    March 2, 2016

    I suppose it’s theoretically possible to go on about a “personalized method of getting to the roots of symptoms” and stroke one’s clients’ special-snowflake sense of uniqueness without being a shameless grifter.
    Are there any cases of this?

  29. #29 herr doktor bimler
    March 2, 2016

    There are moments of awakening in science that are not incremental but transformational: Columbus proving the earth was round, not flat; Galileo showing us the earth was not the center of the universe; Darwin explaining that species evolved and didn’t arise fixed in their current form; Einstein shattering our notions of time and space. Functional medicine is a paradigm shift of equal magnitude and significance.

    That’s some serious self-aggrandisement. The sort of grandiosity I expect from a mad-scientist super-villain just before he explains his plan to extinguish the sun and reawaken Cthulhu.

  30. #30 Daniel Corcos
    France
    March 3, 2016

    @HDB
    Actually, the earth was round before Columbus, revolved around the sun before Galileo; species evolved before Darwin and time and space existed before Einstein. Only functional medicine is new to me. The guy is modest.

  31. #31 Amethyst
    The Crystal Temple
    March 3, 2016

    @#8
    Functional Medicine seems to me to be to Naturopathy what Intelligent Design is to Creationism; a rebranding and reboot to avoid the (rightful) criticism of the former.

  32. #32 palindrom
    March 3, 2016

    Amethyst @31 — That’s pretty much a perfect parallel, I think.

  33. #33 JerryA
    March 3, 2016

    Hyman says the “leaky gut” (*not* a real medical term) is connected to the thyroid, which is connected to the brain, but I fail to see one tiny thing: proof. Assertion is not proof. I’ve taken and lectured in biochemistry classes, and none of what Hyman claims has ever shown up in that body of work. New claims require new proof, not hand-waving and stories.
    Secondly, Hyman wants to ‘tell me a story’. What? If it was fiction, sure, I’d be willing to sit back and enjoy it. When it’s being sold as reality, then my suspension of disbelief is turned *off*. Show me hard proof or shut up, and deserve to be called a snake oil salesman and quack.
    Finally, when someone uses words with entirely new meanings, that’s a sure sign that you’re being baffled with bullshit.
    The problem is that medicine and biology are complicated, and most people don’t understand any of it. They naturally assume that a physician, or someone who calls her/his self a doctor like naturopath quacks, will tell them the truth. This is why snake oil salespeople have always called themselves “doctor” in their sales pitches, right before they fleece their victims / clients.

  34. #34 Clayton Bigsby
    March 3, 2016

    Oy Vey….its always about the shekels…..
    I wonder if they’re giving out team member tee shirts with Larry Ellisons 80’s mantra…”G.T.M…. G.T.F.M
    “Get the Money!” “Get the Fu$&!ng Money!”
    if you can “Do no Harm” in the process…. even better…..if we dont take it someone else will.

  35. #35 sadmar
    March 3, 2016

    @ palindrome:

    I’d assume whether or not the students were familiar with Firesign was predictive of their ability to recognize the pair o’ dimes shift.

  36. #36 Gray Squirrel
    March 4, 2016

    I figured it out, it’s all about this quote:

    “Above all, this is the science of creating health. When we do that, disease goes away as a side effect. ”

    The ultimate disclaimer! Disease goes away as a side effect, not as the main effect. We always get our main effect because creating health means whatever we want it to mean!. (Because we’re Galileo and Einstein, that’s why!)

    “We’re not claiming to cure disease. We’re only claiming to create health. Health means physical wholeness, body/mind integration, and spiritual wellbeing. If you walk out of here with all your limbs and appendages intact, and you’re not having out-of-body experiences such as by temporarily flatlining on us, and our woomaster tells us that your spirit and being are well (BTW don’t ask us to define what your “being” is), then don’t complain if you still have a high fever or chronic pain or a tumor that’s still growing. OK?”

  37. #37 Jennifer Klein
    March 5, 2016

    These comments are so woefully behind the most current understanding of disease/illness. Functional medicine is not hard to define – it is looking for the root cause of illness as opposed to treating illness with symptom blocking medicine – the current pharmaceutical driven model. Your commentary is stuck in a Newtonian model way of thinking that elevates rational thought, scientific method above all else. (the scientific method by the way is constantly manipulated and frequently does not represent truth) We have failed to incorporate the understandings of quantum physics into our collective and individual psyches yet – although the awareness has been around over 100 years. Your ignorant comments reflect a what I don’t see cant be true paradigm – but guess what – it is an energy world more than a material world. Someday the manipulation of energy (e.g. reiki etc) will be common wisdom. It is arrogant to be so dismissive of something that you do not understand. Check out the studies of the microbiome and physical and mental health. Be willing to search for the hundreds of stories of those who have cured themselves of supposedly incurable diseases (according to our current allopathic model) using a functional medicine or naturopathic medicine approach to healing

  38. #38 Pickwick
    March 5, 2016

    Jennifer Klein,

    Rational thought and the scientific method are very effective tools that we’ve developed to help us figure out how the world around us actually works, including quantum theory and the various forms that energy can take. By jettisoning them, you’re dooming yourself to perpetual exploration of ideas that aren’t true, such as reiki and the various brands of “energy medicine” BS. Good luck with that (not really), but don’t expect anyone with a science background to take you seriously.

  39. #39 Dangerous Bacon
    March 5, 2016

    Quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quis custodiet ipsos custodes?…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…quantum…mmmmmmm

    I feel better now.

  40. #40 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    March 5, 2016

    @Jennifer Klein – What’s the current success rate of reiki (or other “manipulation of energy”) for, say, anthrax compared to the success rate of antibiotics and atitoxin? How about compared to antivenin for coral snake bites?

    Thanks.

  41. #41 capnkrunch
    March 5, 2016

    The scientific method is whack … check the studies
    -Jennifer “Internal Consistency” Klein

    I guess with quantum thinking it can be both good and bad and the state isn’t determined until you observe whether or not you agree with a study’s conclusion.

  42. #42 herr doktor bimler
    March 5, 2016

    These comments are so woefully behind the most current understanding of disease/illness.

    Oh noes, all this time I’ve been using the 2014 current understanding of disease / illness, rather than the most current 2016 fashions. No wonder my more fashion-aware friends have been laughing at me.
    Stupidity is the new black, or something.

  43. #43 herr doktor bimler
    March 5, 2016

    We have failed to incorporate the understandings of quantum physics into our collective and individual psyches yet

    “Understandings”, plural? Does Jennifer Klein expect us to incorporate the matrix formulation of quantum physics into our individual psyche, as well as Dirac’s Bra-ket notation? Heisenberg’s time-dependent operators picture as well as Schroedinger’s time-dependent-state picture?
    This seems unreasonable.

  44. #44 Leigh Jackson
    March 6, 2016

    Jennifer, you say “it is an energy world more than a material world”. According to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity E=mc^2. According to you E>mc^2. Relativistic Quantum Mechanics has provided us with an unparalleled understanding of the atomic world. On what basis do you claim that yours is the correct equation and not Einstein’s?

  45. #45 Pete cuack
    Mid south
    March 6, 2016

    Were columbus einstein darwing and so on MD?
    In the name of science. Iatrogenic illness

  46. #46 Mitzi Dupree
    Hot in Hanoi
    March 6, 2016

    Assuming that the standard model of cosmology is correct, the best current measurements indicate that dark energy contributes 68.3% of the total energy in the present-day observable universe. The mass–energy of dark matter and ordinary (baryonic) matter contribute 26.8% and 4.9%, respectively, and other components such as neutrinos and photons contribute a very small amount.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy
    Ahh so, Leigh Jackson #44. Perhaps it is so that Jennifer Klein #37 is an Energy Girl; A spirit in the material world.

    Does Jennifer Klein expect us to incorporate the matrix formulation of quantum physics into our individual psyche, as well as Dirac’s Bra-ket notation? Heisenberg’s time-dependent operators picture as well as Schroedinger’s time-dependent-state picture?

    Why not so, herr doctor bimler #42? Is it that there are not ‘dimensions’ enough to accommodate such all-inclusive unshallowness?

  47. #47 Mitzi Dupree
    hot in hanoi
    March 6, 2016

    Assuming that the standard model of cosmology is correct, the best current measurements indicate that dark energy contributes 68.3% of the total energy in the present-day observable universe. The mass–energy of dark matter and ordinary (baryonic) matter contribute 26.8% and 4.9%, respectively, and other components such as neutrinos and photons contribute a very small amount.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy
    Ahh so, Leigh Jackson #44. Perhaps it is so that Jennifer Klein #37 is an Energy Girl; A spirit in the material world.

    Does Jennifer Klein expect us to incorporate the matrix formulation of quantum physics into our individual psyche, as well as Dirac’s Bra-ket notation? Heisenberg’s time-dependent operators picture as well as Schroedinger’s time-dependent-state picture?

    Why not so, herr doctor bimler #42? Is it that there are not ‘dimensions’ enough to accommodate such all-inclusive unshallowness cheep cheep?

  48. #48 herr doktor bimler
    March 6, 2016

    Check out the studies of the microbiome and physical and mental health

    Now I am wondering whether the microbiome belongs to Jennifer’s realm of matter, or of energy.

  49. #49 Denice Walter
    March 6, 2016

    @ herr doktor bimler:

    Welllllllll…
    I’m not sure about Jennifer but according to TMR, kids with ASDs have intestinal ‘bugs’ that go wack-o whenever there is a full moon which sounds like energy f@cking with matter.

    It’s the opposite of energy MEDICINE- which fixes things up.

  50. #50 Narad
    March 6, 2016

    Does Jennifer Klein expect us to incorporate the matrix formulation of quantum physics into our individual psyche, as well as Dirac’s Bra-ket notation? Heisenberg’s time-dependent operators picture as well as Schroedinger’s time-dependent-state picture?

    Don’t forget von Neumann, Wigner, and Weyl and all the pesky group theory they tossed into the mix.

  51. #51 Mitzi Dupree
    March 6, 2016

    Don’t forget von Neumann, Wigner, and Weyl and all the pesky group theory they tossed into the mix.

    So; You are like a crazy person??

  52. #52 herr doktor bimler
    March 6, 2016

    Don’t forget von Neumann, Wigner, and Weyl and all the pesky group theory they tossed into the mix.

    Those are Lie algebras so it’s not to be trusted.
    I remember studying all this a lifetime ago as part of my first degree. Imagine my glee every time some shabby intellectual purse-snatcher like Jennifer tries to appropriate quantum theory for the cause of the Higher Irrationality.

  53. #53 Leigh Jackson
    March 8, 2016

    @ Mitzi.
    Perhaps dark energy is what Jennifer has in mind. Granted mass-energy equivalence then what? Supposing that hitherto undiscovered homeopathic and reiki energies do exist, then those energies are equivalent to mass. There’s no alter-ego Jekyll and Hyde scenario involved when one converts into the other. Mass-energy does not equate to evil-good. I don’t get the impression that Jennifer would agree with that.

  54. #54 Mitzi Dupree
    poking leaky holes in the cliffsides of singularities since negative 1966
    March 8, 2016

    “”Mass-energy does not equate to evil-good

    But could it equate to gamma-chocolate?

    Breit and Wheeler suggested that it should be possible to turn light into matter by smashing together only two particles of light (photons), to create an electron and a positron …

    … This ‘photon-photon collider’, which would convert light directly into matter using technology that is already available, would be a new type of high-energy physics experiment.

    http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_16-5-2014-15-32-44

    ^^That sounds perfect for the 3-d matter printer** should highly tuned OLEDS be used for something other than space heaters, Netflix, spelunking, and growing pot.

    ** And really. Star Trek predicted food replicators some 47 years ago. Whatsamatter, science dudes? Carbon credit hokey sticks got ya down?

  55. #55 Connie
    March 11, 2016

    I beg to disagree with this article. Functional medicine is the future for treating chronic disorders because they focus on PREVENTING disease.

    The reason we are all walking around with fat hanging off every part of our body, lack of energy, digestive issues, skin conditions, etc etc is because we are not taking care of our bodies. We eat low or zero nutrient foods, we sit around all day, we ladder our skins with chemicals, we drink, smoke, breath polluted air and we expect our bodies to take care of it all without supporting it.

    Traditional doctors send you home with a few pills and that’s about it but that’s not the solution.

    I am not a fan of supplements, a major scam but I am a fan of taking care of your body and staying away from pharmaceuticals that just mask symptoms and don’t cure them.

    There is a place for traditional medicine. If I break a bone trust me I am rushing to the hospital and not a functional doctor but if I have irritable bowl disease, even autoimmune disorders or cancer I will go to a functional doctor. My mom is dying of cancer. Docotors KNOW tumors feed on sugar do you think any doctor has talked to her about her diet? Of course not.

    Listen the microbiome will soon change the way we practice medicine whether you believe in functional medicine or not it will be a part of it period.

  56. #56 Chris
    March 11, 2016

    Connie: “Functional medicine is the future for treating chronic disorders because they focus on PREVENTING disease.”

    So what is the functional medicine prevention for measles, Type 1 Diabetes, and obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?

    “Traditional doctors send you home with a few pills and that’s about it but that’s not the solution.”

    Except that is not true. A balanced diet and exercise have been part of real medicine longer than “functional medicine” has existed.

    “Docotors KNOW tumors feed on sugar …”

    Citation needed in the form of a PubMed indexed study by reputable qualified researchers.

  57. #57 Dangerous Bacon
    March 11, 2016

    “(Doctors) know tumors feed on sugar”

    Physicians know that the sugar-feeds-cancer meme is a fallacy.

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/cancer-causes/art-20044714?pg=2

    “…many cancer patients are led to believe they must follow a restricted sugar diet for fear of causing cancer growth in themselves if they do not adhere. This fear and rigidity often promotes a very stressful experience. The stress will actually lead to an increase in blood sugar as well as compromised immunity. These negative health effects are actually the exact opposite of the purported benefit of such a plan.”

    http://www.dana-farber.org/Health-Library/Sugar-and-Cancer-Cells.aspx

    Is it a principle of “functional medicine” to spread false information about diets for cancer patients and deprive them of healthy, enjoyable foods? If so, count me out.

  58. #58 Justin
    March 14, 2016

    I would love to see how many who have so eloquently commented here actually work in healthcare. And by work I mean, see patients regularly and manage their care.

  59. #59 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    March 14, 2016

    I would love to see how many who have so eloquently commented here actually work in healthcare. And by work I mean, see patients regularly and manage their care.

    I don’t, but why would you love that?

  60. #60 Gilbert
    March 14, 2016

    @Connie #55

    “Five years ago, if you had asked me about bacteria in your gut playing an important role in your systemic immune response, I probably would have laughed it off,” Daniel Chen, head of cancer immunotherapy research at Roche’s Genentech division, said in a phone interview. “Most of us immunologists now believe that there really is an important interaction there.” …

    Efforts are under way to turn bacteria into regulated pharmaceutical products to treat illnesses of the gut, where the microbes reside.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-14/how-gut-bacteria-are-shaking-up-cancer-research

    ^^Naturally. There goes legal homemade kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, natto, …, yogurt, federweisser, and dirt.

  61. #61 Gilbert
    March 14, 2016

    Ohh. And cow chip tea.

    The day is coming when telling someone to *eat shit* would be incitement toward violation of DEA edicts regulating use of schedule II substances.

  62. #62 Chris
    March 14, 2016

    justin: “And by work I mean, see patients regularly and manage their care.”

    I spend quite a bit of time in medical facility waiting rooms, including times when my son was hospitalized, and done three trip in the ambulance with him. One of the conditions that I asked Connie about the effectiveness is the cause of two of the ambulance trips and two out of the eight hospital stays.

    Any reason why my question to Connie was a problem?

  63. […] Foundation hired him to create an institute dedicated to FM, an effort that has apparently been wildly successful in terms of patient growth. Never mind that around the same time Dr. Hyman teamed up with rabid antivaccine activist Robert F. […]

  64. […] Clinic Basis hired him to create an institute devoted to FM, an effort that has apparently been wildly successful in terms of patient growth. By no means thoughts that across the similar time Dr. Hyman teamed up with rabid antivaccine […]

  65. […] It wasn’t enough, though. After all the word “complementary” implies a subsidiary status for the woo. It implies that science-based medicine is the real medicine and all that other stuff, such as acupuncture, naturopathy, and the like, were just “icing on the cake.” In other words, it implies that they can be discarded, that they aren’t, strictly speaking, necessary. Of course, these modalities aren’t necessary because they aren’t real medicine, but that didn’t stop CAM advocates from coining a term that implies that quackery is co-equal with real medicine. Thus was born the term “integrative medicine.” I’ve bemoaned for years the way that academic medical centers, seemingly under thrall of an ideology that has convinced too many otherwise sensible doctors that to be more “humanistic” or “holistic,” one must embrace nonsenses. I’ve frequently criticized examples of “quackademic medicine,” such as anthroposophic medicine at my old alma mater and traditional Chinese medicine and “functional” medicine at once fully science-based institutions. Unfortunately, in some institutions this degradation of scientific medicine has paid off. […]

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