Your Friday Dose of Woo: Naturopathy and "bioresonance"

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It’s been a long and entertaining week. Well, at least part of the week was entertaining. After all, it was hard not to be mightily amused at what happened when Dr. Mehmet Oz, known to the world as America’s Doctor but to skeptics as America’s Quack, asked his Twitter followers to ask him anything under the hashtag #OzsInBox. It was, to put it mildly, a train wreck, but to skeptics it was an enormously entertaining train wreck. It seems fitting to finish it off with yet another example that provides compelling evidence of just how quacky naturopathy is. Why? Because it’s a point that can’t be emphasized too many times, any more than it can be emphasized too many times how dangerous and pseudoscientific antivaccine views are. Besides, the woo in this story is of such a level and quality (if you can call it that), that I think it qualifies for a segment of Your Friday Dose of Woo.

Unfortunately, I frequently see articles and stories about naturopaths in various media outlets that represent naturopathy as though it were evidence-based, just another flavor of medicine, as, for instance, nephrology is one “flavor” of internal medicine or minimally invasive surgery is one “flavor” of surgery. In other words, it’s presented as though it were a legitimate medical specialty, without one whit of skepticism. For example, Anna Murphy wrote an article for The Telegraph entitled Alternative health: what is naturopathy?, which basically consists of an interview with a naturopath named Katrin Hempel, who runs Natural Therapies Clinic in London.

For example, the article starts badly and goes downhill from there:

It is perhaps easier to list what the naturopath Katrin Hempel doesn’t offer her clients than what she does. “Bioresonance and live blood analysis, acupuncture, biopuncture, infusion therapy, oxyvenation…”

In her native Germany, the 37-year-old tells me, it is normal for one individual to offer such a wide range of therapies, normal too that they should be used alongside conventional medical treatment.

“Germany has a long tradition of natural medicine, so it’s more common to find conventional doctors who have also studied natural medicine and use these modalities. Here we are at least 20 years behind.”

If what Hempel says is true, I’d say that it’s good to be 20 years behind. Twenty years ago, quackery of the sort that’s become so popular and, unfortunately, seemingly respected in some quarters, was much less tolerated. Certainly, it wasn’t found in academic medicine, a phenomenon I like to refer to as the infiltration of quackademic medicine, at nearly the frequency it is today. Unfortunately, naturopathy is a big part of this infiltration. the most blatant recent example that comes to mind is the traditional Chinese medicine clinic started at the venerable and once-respectable Cleveland Clinic earlier this year. Elsewhere, although perhaps not with as much enthusiasm as the Cleveland Clinic, medical schools and academic medical centers are cozying up to naturopaths, whose “specialty” consists, as I like to say, of a veritable cornucopia of nearly every kind of quackery imaginable, including The One Quackery To Rule Them All, homeopathy, which is an actual requirement in naturopathy schools and as part of the naturopath licensing examination (NPLEX). Meanwhile, for the second year in a row, Congress has declared a week in October Naturopathic Medicine Week.

I wonder if they know what naturopaths say when they think no one is listening.

It actually rather sounds like what Hempel says in this article:

As diagnosis tools Hempel uses live blood analysis or a bioresonance machine. (“Every cell in the body puts out a certain electromagnetic frequency, that can be measured – a healthy stomach cell sounds different to a healthy brain cell – and the machine can put the right resonance back in, to trigger deep healing.”)

The most common problems she sees are related to the digestive and nervous systems: “These are the two fundamental imbalances in the civilised world.” Their cause? “Stress, mental and emotional – it has such a big impact on every cell in the body.”

Aside from nutritional therapy, acupuncture and biopuncture (in which the needles contain homeopathic injectibles), she uses infusion therapy (“if your digestion isn’t working properly there is a malabsorption of nutrients”).

She says her work is about prevention as much as problem-solving: “Bioresonance can pick up a condition before it manifests as a disease,” she claims.

So much nonsense. So little time. Live blood cell analysis, for instance, involves taking a drop of blood from the patient and putting it on a microscope slide under a glass cover to keep it from drying out. The practitioner then looks at the blood under a microscope, usually hooked up to a video camera, and takes pictures. The technique is called a number of things besides live blood cell analysis, such as dark-field video analysis, nutritional blood analysis, and many others. Usually, the cells are observed under dark field, which is a type of microscopy that makes objects appear to stand out against a dark background. Virtually always live cell analysis is performed by chiropractors or naturopaths. Perhaps its quackiest proponent (at least the proponent most regularly featured here on this blog) is Robert O. Young, who, among his acid-base woo, is a big fan of live blood cell analysis.

Of course, doctors do look at blood under the microscope to diagnose problems, but nothing like what quacks who use live blood cell analysis claim, such as the ability to diagnose all sorts of nutritional deficiencies and chronic diseases. Hempel is no different. Just look at what her website says about it:

Live blood analysis can be beneficial for the following conditions:
Arthritis, weakened immune system (recurrent cold - and flu's), gastro-intestinal tract disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory conditions like Chron's disease or ulcerative colitis, leaky gut, as well as allergies, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, anemia and many more!

Live Blood testing can be especially useful in chronic, on-going conditions, that have not responded well to other treatments, as with darkfield microscopy many underlying factors that could be fuelling the condition can be detected, which aren't always evident with other means.

It is an excellent preventative and prophylactic measure as usually changes in the blood can be seen long before the symptoms manifest or progress, so disease may be prevented from developing.

No, no, no, no, no. Diagnoses made from live blood cell analysis and real diagnoses are related only by coincidence, if even then. I do love the part where Hempel proclaims that looking at blood cells on a computer screen with her clients is a “great way to learn more about your own health.” No, it’s more a great way to impress people with insufficient scientific background to recognize that what naturopaths say about those glowing red blood cells on a dark background is complete and utter nonsense.

That nonsense is as nothing compared to the other related nonsense offer, though. I’m referring to dry blood analysis, which Hempel calls an “oxidative stress test.” What this involves is simply letting the blood “dry” (i.e., clot) and then looking at the clot under the microscope to diagnose disease and nutritional problems, such as “bowel health, functionality of the lymphatic system, antioxidant deficiency and much more.” If anything, Dry blood analysis is even less plausible and credible than live blood cell analysis, but they are both, as Mark Crislip so aptly put it, modern auguries, except that they aren’t so modern. They go back a long way. The video camera is simply a new wrinkle to sell the technique to the rubes, and even that’s not that new. It’s just been made easier by inexpensive computer and video technology. I started to watch a video on Hempel’s page, but it was so full of woo-speak, I had to stop for now.

Hempel also touts “bioresonance.” (I wonder if it’s homeopathic bioresonance.) Actually, bioresonance is a fantastically amusing bit of quackery involving a device that is claimed to be able to...well, let’s just let Hempel tell sell it on her website:

Bioresonance works on the principle that every living cell emits a healthy frequency, which can be detected, if disease processes evolve the vibrational output changes, which can be measured.

Bio-resonance is a kind of energy medicine (electro acupuncture or homeopathy are in the same rubric) or form of vibrational healing, which goes back several decades. The scientist Dr. Royal Rife discovered that pathogens (virus/bacteria) emit a certain unique frequency, and can be destroyed by exposure to a specific (inverted) frequency, without any negative effect for the body. He claimed he was able to cure cancer with a similar method, but faced extreme hostility and suppression by a powerful conspiracy headed by the AMA (American Medical Association).

Yes, Royal Rife faced extreme hostility from the conventional medical establishment because he was peddling an pseudoscientific bit of quackery that had no real basis in science. In any case, the specific bioresonance machine that Hempel uses is one of a number of similar machines out there that claim to do the same sorts of things, Sensitiv Imago. It’s an amazing bit of woo! According to the company website, it’s based on a technique known as MORA created by Dr. F. Morrel and E. Rashe, a doctor and an engineer respectively in 1977 in Germany. This is the technique that later came to be known as “bioresonance healing.”

So how is Sensitiv Imago claimed to work? You’ll love this next passage. I did:

MORA (frequency compensation) is an energy informative influence on the cells of the tissue and organs which causes them to change to their ideal condition (energy informative etalons of the healthy organism are registered in the memory of the device).

The level of the improvement can be traced during the MORA session on the screen in real time. Chemical medicines cure the symptoms of the disease, but don’t treat its cause. Sometimes they are necessary, but only nature can make a complete recovery. The human body is a complicated self-regulating biological system which radiates weak electromagnetic oscillations as everything in nature. These oscillations regulate all the levels of the human organism (sub cellular, cellular, organic, systemic) and keeps it in a healthy condition.

When the processes of self-regulation are violated in the organism there form and accumulate “incorrect”, pathological electromagnetic oscillations that lead to the development of different illnesses. Nowadays the method of bioresonance (MORA) is the only single fundamentally new method of non-drug treatment and prophylaxis.

Oscillations. Vibrations. Quacks are obsessed with them. All is vibration, which is sort of true, but definitely not in this way. In any case, according to the company, MORA is based on three principles:

  • Usage of the personal electromagnetic oscillations
  • Separation of a patient’s electromagnetic oscillations into physiological (“healthy”) and pathological (“unhealthy”)
  • Inversion and suppression of the pathological oscillations. Restoring and strengthening of the physiological oscillations

In other words, it’s magic! It’s not just magic, but it’s magic that, if you believe the company, can bring about cures through “the stimulation of the host’s defences, excretion of toxins and toxic metabolic products, deactivation of infections, tissue regeneration, and stimulation of restorative processes in an organism.” Apparently, it’s supposed to be especially good for “chronic skin problems, blackhead eruptions, warts, loss of hair, endocrine, hormonal disorders (frustration), migraines, weakened immunity system, osteoporosis, arthritis, psychosomatic over fatigue and many others.”

“Frustration” is a hormonal disorder?

But, wait! There’s more. So versatile is the Sensitivo Imago system that it give you not just one, but two forms of “bioresonance” healing! It’s not just MORA, but just straight up BRT, which, I assume, stands for “bioresonance therapy.” Particularly amusing is how BRT co-opts the language of homeopathy in hilariously woo-ey ways. For example:

The device uses an original technique of automated production of energy and information preparations – “spectronosodes” (spectronosode is a spectral frequency, characterizing any process or preparation). “Spectronosodes” are used for getting the special energy and information preparations, similar to homeopathic ones having a precise aimed action.

The effect of spectronosodes comes to awaking of hidden reserves of the organism. That explains the wide range of influence of the preparations and absence of side effects and contraindications when application of traditional medicinal means takes place at the same time.

The energy and information preparations – “spectronosodes” are produced with the help of the option “INF transfer” using the bioresonance chamber (a bioresonance can, a little glass) circuited with the hardware-software complex “Sensitiv Imago”.

Thus the information and wave influence of the equipment (combined influence of light, coherent laser beam and of acoustic electrical signal) is directed to a medium placed in the resonance chamber (put into a resonance can); as media can be used: water solution, water- alcohol solution, sugar or paraffin globules. In our case are used: distillation water, 50%-spiritus, homeopathic sugar globules. The bioresonance preparation made in this way will be given to the tested patient to be taken according to the principles of taking the homeopathic preparations and the bioresonance preparations.

That’s right. It’s basically homeopathic nosodes tarted up with a whole lot of woo about “resonance” and a computer program. If you want the full woo effect, there are multiple videos showing how this device works. I didn’t watch all of them, but wow. The first video is boring, just showing how to enter information into the application, but the second one begins to show the true woo that’s in this machine. There are lists of things like “systemic yin filter” and “systemic yang filter” for “detoxification-adaptation.” There’s a section on homotoxicology, which is pure quackery common in autism “biomed” woo. Naturally, it’s a variant of “detoxification” quackery.

Basically, the Sensitivo Imago machine is the EPFX/QXCI Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface, just without the headache-inducing user interface, if you remember that. Actually, the interface is only marginally less headache-inducing.

Then, of course, there’s the other woo that Hempel offers: Naturopathy (including Food intolerance and sensitivity testing, which is done using the Meridian Stress Assessment System, which uses the “latest health screening technology combined with acupuncture principles”), iridology, acupuncture, and, of course, biopuncture. (Remember biopuncture, the bastard offspring of homeopathy and acupuncture?)

This is the sort of “medicine” The Telegraph has promoted. There was a time when physicians would dismiss this sort of stuff as the pseudoscience it is, but unfortunately it’s not hard to find examples of acupuncture, homeopathy, and various other similar modalities in academic medical centers. What’s next? Reading entrails?

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The machine that goes "Piiing!"

Bioresonance works on the principle that every living cell emits a healthy frequency, which can be detected, if disease processes evolve the vibrational output changes, which can be measured.

That's so far into Not Even Wrong territory that no map can help Ms. Hempel[1] find her way out.

Cells are made of molecules, and those molecules will absorb and emit certain frequencies. But not just a single frequency--it's so many frequencies that we can actually talk about advanced quantum physics concepts like "density of states". Or at least we could, if this were a physics blog. Needless to say, there is substantial overlap between the frequencies of healthy cells and the frequencies of non-healthy cells, to say nothing of any pathogens that might be present.

Bioresonance might not be as blatant as homeopathy or reiki--at least in this case I can see how the technobabble could fool an intelligent layman--but if you've taken enough physics or chemistry to qualify for medical school admission, you should know better.

[1]I don't know if she claims to have an advanced degree, or if that degree is the Not a Doctor degree.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

We in Germany suffer from the Third Reich with regards to naturopathy. The Nazis decided to get rid of alternative medicine, a good idea they bungled up in the execution, by giving Heilpraktiker the following compromise: they all got licensed, but were forbidden to train anyone in their "art", so the practice would die out eventually. After the war, the Heilpraktiker convinced the new government, that the first part of the compromise was a good idea, but the second part was pure evil. So now we are stuck with licensed Heilpraktiker that can also proliferate.

“Frustration” is a hormonal disorder?

I remember being frequently frustrated when I was a teenager. I expect hormones were somehow involved.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

@sadmar - remember he has a masters degree - in Science!

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

'What's next? Reading entrails?" said Orac.

Soon, there may be claims that 'sensitives' can read the bioresonance/ energy patterns/ vibrations WITHOUT a machine. Actually, there are already a few in the rarified woo-sphere right now. In fact, it's rife with them.

In other news:
*Casa* Walter has been currently involved in a massive hacking episode probably in response to my cyber-activities .
Odd things started occurring on my designated sceptic computer and *Volia!* - big problemo...it must be my enemies

OH wait... I'm not Sharyl Attkisson.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

The most common problems she sees are related to the digestive and nervous systems: “These are the two fundamental imbalances in the civilised world.” Their cause? “Stress, mental and emotional – it has such a big impact on every cell in the body.”

It's amazing how many medical problems in the alt world are all reducible to "stress." You are sick because life and other people have been or are being mean to you. Most patients apparently realize that hey, this profile fits them.

Sastra @9: And the really neat thing about that idea (if you are an alt med practitioner) is that it's non-falsifiable. There will always be some stress in your life as long as you remain sentient. Insert patter about tipping points, and voila: another successful walletectomy.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

"[1]I don’t know if she claims to have an advanced degree"

In this context an advanced degree would be a degree that is awarded in advance of gaining the requisite knowledge and demonstrated competency to qualify for the degree. Like an advanced salary where you are paid before doing the work.

using the bioresonance chamber (a bioresonance can, a little glass)

I most commonly use my bioresonance chamber to contain a small amount of 12 year old single malt.

a medium placed in the resonance chamber (put into a resonance can); as media can be used: water solution, water- alcohol solution, sugar or paraffin globules.

I'm well ahead of you there, pal!

By Rich Woods (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Sastra:

Believe it or not, many of the same prevaricating charla- erm, *alternative medicine folk* who claim that stress is a killer simultaneously ramp up stress on a near daily basis in order to convince their audiences to try their woo and follow their directives.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

"I’m referring to dry blood analysis, which Hempel calls an “oxidative stress test.” What this involves is simply letting the blood “dry” (i.e., clot) and then looking at the clot under the microscope to diagnose disease and nutritional problems, such as “bowel health, functionality of the lymphatic system, antioxidant deficiency and much more.” "

This reminds me of the old practice of reading entrails....

By Michael Finfer, MD (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

Speaking of woo, did you know that your colleague, Dr. Joel Kahn, is helping to support “Food Babe’s” upcoming book?

Oooh. I was unaware of this.

I also see that Mark Hyman wrote the foreword.

in her native Germany, the 37-year-old tells me, it is normal for one individual to offer such a wide range of therapies

I fail to see how this trait is limited to specifically Germanic grifters.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

OT but are woo-drenched conferences being presented at real, actual universities EVER truly OT @ RI, I ask you sincerely?
especially on Friday.

According to Health Choice facebook, the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs will host several authors affiliated with AoA and other loons in January.

The flock of squawkers will include:
David Lewis, Louis Conte, Kent Heckenlively and Judy Mikovits, Blaxsted, Ann Dachel, Mary Holland and Kim Mack Rosenberg etc.

I didn't make that up.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

And -btw- they hosted another book event with the same cast of characters at a mall recently.

Don't a few of Orac's minions live in Minnesota?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

According to Health Choice facebook, the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs will host several authors affiliated with AoA and other loons in January.

I'm sure CIDRAP will be fascinated.

Denice:
I believe you have mis-read an intentionally misleading graphic. The HHH School is not hosting the event. It is being held at the Cowles Auditorium, which is available for rent to just about anyone willing to pony up the fee. "Questioning the Vaccine Program" is not listed on the Humphrey School calendar, and if the 'U' was involved in any way, Health Choice would be splashing the logo all over the place.

Doug @1 Oh I laughed so hard at the Monty Python reference. You see she has a fancy machine! It bioresonates! She gets to push the buttons! She is an important science type person! This reminds me a lot of how seriously my three year old takes the task of pushing the correct button in any elevator we encounter. Failure to let him push the button is tantamount to flaying alive by the screams that result.

Yeah, cranks do this sort of thing all the time. They rent publicly rentable halls at universities and then let the location of their crank conference imply that the university is backing it. It frequently fools the rubes. The first time I remember hearing about something like this was something like 8 or 9 years ago when creationists rented a hall at the Smithsonian to show "Expelled!" (if memory serves).

I only skimmed this, but the bit about somehow fixing a bad vibrational frequency with a different (inverted) [sic] frequency jumped out at me, as "this might be plausible if you didn't take high school physics." An inverted frequency is a wavelength, and it's the same wave, with the same frequency. I don't remember a lot of optics, but v=fλ is pretty basic.

I suspect most of the rest of that stuff is so far into gibberish that it's not even wrong.

oxidative stress test

One of the (far too many) projects I am currently on has, as an offshoot, a component of identifying and implementing biomarkers of oxidative stress. We have a number lined up, but one of them is a fairly straightforward machine that measures the redox potential of blood.

They've put out some posters showing increased oxidative stress in the context of realities of modern daily life such as, oh, traumatic head injury. From a correspondence with the company, however, I saw some data showing redox measurements in HV before and after a course of commercial OTC antioxidant supplements, and the data is such a clean 'no effect' result - really, it's like a very nice intra-assay variability assessment. I dearly hope they publish.

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

What have you got against entrails?
The last goat I slaughtered had really unpropitious entrails, so I didn't go to work that day, and, as a result, I didn't get killed in a multi-car pile up on the highway, which didn't even happen because I stayed home.
Proof!

By Neonatalresearch (not verified) on 14 Nov 2014 #permalink

"Apparently, it’s supposed to be especially good for “chronic skin problems . . . hormonal disorders (frustration),"

Wow. Reminds me of the Victorian obsession with "hysteria."

Kiiri @22
It's nice that even a silly comment can resonate for someone.

Alison:
Yes, a sad case, but it has nothing to do with "political correcteness" vs. science.. It's a constitutional question about the sovereign rights of First Nations people, and that was the basis of the judge's decision. The Canadian Constitution apparently grants "aboriginals" certain exemptions from laws that would apply to other Canadian citizens, in the name of a certain degree of self-determination. The weird angle is that the tribal groups in question are not practicing a traditional Native religion and medicine, but appear to be fundamentalist Christians who have been specifically targeted and duped by a SCAM cancer quack from Florida. The 11 year old girl

sought treatment at an American alternative health centre that is registered as a massage establishment and run by a nutrition counsellor. The Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida believes in curing cancer with a positive attitude as well as eating a raw plant-based organic diet and clearing your life of contaminants. The institute’s co-director, Brian Clement, has come to Ontario — including the Six Nations reserve — at least twice in the past six months. “Eat a raw plant-based organic diet,” Clement tells cancer patients in a promotional video. “This is how we’ve seen thousands and thousands of people reverse stage-four ‘catastrophic’ cancer.”

The judge upheld the law. Clement is the villain du jour, perhaps standing on the shoulders of 18th and 19th century Christian missionaries.

I'm not Canadian, and the politics surrounding the specific case seem pretty complicated. The Star article notes the judge was ruling on an application by the hospital "to have the girl apprehended" by the government chartered Family and Children’s Services Agency in the area "and forced into treatment." However, the agency had refused to intervene, and it's executive director supported the family in the trial.

It's not clear to me whether the ruling just blocks the hospital from forcing the FCS agency into a decision, and that agency would still have the authority to do so if it chose, or whether the ruling removes the girl from the jurisdiction of the Canadian FCS system altogether.

It's also not clear whether the First Nations communities in question actually support the families' decisions to withdraw their daughters from chemo, or just oppose government intervention. There's no indication of how typical the level of woo embraced by these families is among the tribes. Rather than appeal the decision, the hospital is trying to "reach out" to the family. I'd guess they figure that's the best way to get the girls back into chemo, which suggests they have reason to believe the parents might be persuadable, perhaps by working through the Chiefs. ???

Reading this post, I was thinking "cargo cult science," but "modern augeries" might be even better. Also, not a bad band name.

By Jeff Rubinoff (not verified) on 15 Nov 2014 #permalink

“modern augeries”
A gimlet-eyed reader might have something pedantic to say about this.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 15 Nov 2014 #permalink

Why do the "alternative" vibrations never exhibit the interference patterns that are the hallmark of reality-based vibrations?

By justthestats (not verified) on 15 Nov 2014 #permalink

@sadmar (31),

Actually, we have similar legal restrictions in the US that at least block application of state laws in tribal lands. It's why, for instance, it was eventually established that the state could not ban gaming on tribal lands. A deal was worked out so most of the casinos in New Mexico (and many other states) are located on reservations.

The reservations have their own police forces and you can see some of the legal effects in the novels of Tony Hillerman, for instance.

I don't recall it being involved in any specifically medical issues, though.

At least here in New Mexico, the overwhelming majority of Native Americans prefer modern science-based medicine. But, actually providing it, especially given the remoteness and poverty of the reservations, is the real problem.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 15 Nov 2014 #permalink

Did you hear about the faith healer who lived in the Louisiana swamps?

He cured his patients using "bayou resonance"!

I dunno, I just really like stupid jokes.

By palindrom (not verified) on 15 Nov 2014 #permalink

@palindrom,

Since we're into making jokes, I thought I'd add my version of an old song by Tom Lehrer.

I started working on it for Naturopathic Medicine Week, but hadn't really finished the lyrics.
You inspired me to complete the task!

Oh, the homeos hate the nutrios,
And the nutrios hate the homeos.
To hate all but the right foods
Is an old established rule.

But during naturopathic medicine week, naturopathic medicine week,
Dana Ullman and Vana Hari are dancing cheek to cheek.
It's fun to eulogize
The people you despise,
As long as you don't let 'em in your school.

Oh, the Reikis hate the Accupo’s,
And the Accupo’s hate the Reikis.
The four humours hate the five elements,
It's American as apple pie.

But during naturopathic medicine week, naturopathic medicine week,
Westerners love the Orientals 'cause it's very chic.
Step up and shake the hand
Of someone you can't stand.
You can tolerate him if you try.

Oh, the TCM’s hate the Ayurveds,
And the Ayurveds hate the TCM’s,
And the Chaldees hate the Voodoos,
And everybody hates the Jews.

But during naturopathic medicine week, naturopathic medicine week,
It's national everyone-smile-at-one-another-hood week.
Be nice to people who
Are inferior to you.
It's only for a week, so have no fear.
Be grateful that it doesn't last all year!

In case you'd like to sing along, here's the original:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIlJ8ZCs4jY

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 16 Nov 2014 #permalink

@palindrom - I'm going to ignore that, if it's OK bayou.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 16 Nov 2014 #permalink

"This medicine you gave me is just swamp water!!"

"Well, I told you I was prescribing bayou-identical hormones!"

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 16 Nov 2014 #permalink

"…is directed to a medium placed in the resonance chamber…"

As I read that, I took the word "medium" to mean "a person claiming to be in contact with the spirits of the dead" :-)

@ sadmar:

That's not the first time they've done that as our host notes
I expected it NOT to be legit but was in a rush so I didn't go further, assuming someone else would.

@ squirrelelite:

You need something about the food fetishists- vegans vs macrobioticists vs Weston Price vs GFCF faddists vs Paleos etc etc etc .

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Nov 2014 #permalink

In other news..

it appears that Jake Crosby's sublimely solipsistic 'journalism' has been picked up by
the Epoch Times

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Nov 2014 #permalink

Squirrelelite #37 wrote:

Since we’re into making jokes, I thought I’d add my version of an old song by Tom Lehrer.

That was clever, punchy, and funny. Unfortunately, I think it's making a point against hypocrisy which is really the opposite of the problem: the proponents of differing alt med modalities do NOT ordinarily "hate" each other (making a truce only during 'Naturopathy Week."

Instead, they've more or less permanently linked their arms together in love and fellowship as comrades on the same side -- even when their claims directly contradict each other. There's no criticism; it's all good, all the time. Find what's right for you! The only thing you must be against is the scientific mainstream.

Yeah. This is not science.

Sastra is correct:
although there are certainly rivalries and disagreements amongst them, they tend to see their cohorts as allies against the Big Meanies and Spoilsports, i.e. the reality-based community.

Another underlying factor that unites them is a focus on 'spirituality', religiosity, vitalism and faith as the underpinnings of Reality. Yes, Unseen Movers of the Universe rule.

OBVIOUSLY this opens the door to acceptance of all manner of flimsy nonsense that is accepted without question.

Oh and they may often be bad at mathematics.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Denice Walter: I think the other Skyhorse book symposium scheduled at a mall, was cancelled.

Why is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., scheduled to appear at the symposium at the University?

I think the other Skyhorse book symposium scheduled at a mall, was cancelled.

On pretty short notice, as well. The G—le cache from October 21 still has the original (November 1) event.

There doesn't appear to have been any sort of prominent announcement on the HealthChoice FB page.

I'm new here -- how did this tradition of not referring to the non-Chinese speaking world's favorite search engine start?

By justthestats (not verified) on 16 Nov 2014 #permalink

@Denice Walter(41),
That's probably true. I sort of lumped them all together as the "nutrios" since naturopathy is big on nutrition.

There's also the little bit about "to hate all but the right foods", which all of those fad diets and many pop nutritionists seem to be big on even if they disagree on what are the right foods.

@Sastra and Denice Walter (44),

That's true of course!

Naturopathy (and the whole CAM/Integrative medicine thing too) has this attitude of "we'll push anything as long as it's not standard of practice, but we want in on that too".

Of course, if they really believed the underlying principles of any one of these many methods they espouse, they'd want to get rid of the opposing method(s).

Like homeopathy (less is better) disagrees with the nutritional supplement pushers (the more the better even if it goes right through your body).

But who said they knew what they were doing or had any intellectual integrity?

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 16 Nov 2014 #permalink

Memo to self @#45

Why ^ isn't Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., scheduled to appear at the symposium at the University?

how did this tradition of not referring to the non-Chinese speaking world’s favorite search engine start?

I don't think it is any sort of tradition. I happen to do it out of sheer cussedness.

In other news..

it appears that Jake Crosby’s sublimely solipsistic ‘journalism’ has been picked up by the Epoch Times

Well, given ET's ties to Falun Gong, perhaps he'll make some interesting new friends.

Well I feel like an idiot...

All those blood smears not properly stained or with too much drying artifact that I've made lab techs do over...

and then to see: "It is an excellent preventative and prophylactic measure as usually changes in the blood can be seen long before the symptoms manifest or progress, so disease may be prevented from developing."

I don't even have a video camera!

By No Death Panels (not verified) on 16 Nov 2014 #permalink

@justthestats

The Feedback column in New Scientist still refers to Google as 'A Famous Web Search Engine' because Google once sent out a press release asking people not to use google as a verb. I don't know if other people's avoidance stems from the same time.

By The Grouchybeast (not verified) on 17 Nov 2014 #permalink

No Death Panels,
I have a suspicion you might enjoy this explanation of live blood analysis by the inimitable Robert O. Young. I have posted it here before, but the sheer level of incandescent ignorance Young displays, while sounding so calmly confident, never fails to leave me open-mouthed.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 17 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ lilady:

The mall *symposium* was priced at 149 USD. No wonder it was cancelled. The January event seems to be selling books 99 USD for all of them and other 'bargains'.

Skyhorse is now working with AoA helping sponsor various dreck.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Nov 2014 #permalink

@ Narad:

Oh, I know!
His revelation about the ET certainly brought me some levity on a rather dreary, grey day.

I'm sure he'll make more 'interesting friends'- as if he doesn't already have enough of them.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Nov 2014 #permalink

and whilst I'm here, AoA is soliciting donations that an anonymous sponsor will match and again says that they are *tax deductible*.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Nov 2014 #permalink

There will always be some stress in your life as long as you remain sentient exhale CO2. Insert patter about tipping points, and voila: another successful walletectomy.

fixed.

I first read this as "Bro-Resonance". Dude, your aura is sick. Do you even lift?

Serious woo from the CBC Marketplace story on homeopaths:
My favorite:

BruceVoigt
"Autism may be caused by things like Vaccines and Nutrition influencing the slowing of brain cell
nuclei orbit speed but I suspect magnetism to be the culprit.

The Earth force magnetism has been weakening and magnetism is another component that
prods the orbiting nuclei of cells (including the brain) to maintain the speed that keeps us high
up on the food chain.

We have this in premonition, invention, like when the hair on the back of your neck stands or something staring, you know what I... » more...."

Full dose here: http://www.cbc.ca/1.2852408#vf-8538700000680

The Feedback column in New Scientist still refers to Google as ‘A Famous Web Search Engine’ because Google once sent out a press release asking people not to use google as a verb.

"Sir Chengine" is now my official Steampunk title.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 29 Nov 2014 #permalink

Tom: you should submit that in the nonsense contest thread.

By justthestats (not verified) on 30 Nov 2014 #permalink

Be sure to click on Bruce Voigt's name in his comment Tom linked to. You are assured of multitudinous guffaws and groans. He is a very broad spectrum kook.

Sastra wrote:
"It’s amazing how many medical problems in the alt world are all reducible to “stress.” You are sick because life and other people have been or are being mean to you. Most patients apparently realize that hey, this profile fits them.'

I'm thinking there are likely good correlations between the modern rise of belief in alternative "medicine" - with its emphasis on external stressors - and the development of our current "victim" society. Everyone is a "victim" now. If you aren't a victim of someone or something else, you are a victim of yourself.

It's amusing also how many people pine for a return to a "simpler life" like in the olden days. Frequently those who think this way weren't actually around in the days they long for, but are basing their view of how "simple" or good life was in those times on fictional books and films. I suspect in the good old days there was plenty of stress ... stress that would make our modern day stress pale in comparison, as there really is no comparison between the modern stresses of, for example, being busy (often our own creation) or credit card debt (for things we didn't really need), and the stresses of an older time such as the stress of relatives dying from polio, tuberculosis or malnutrition, the stress of crop failure that might see me and my family die this coming winter, the stress of 16 hour days of manual labor to farm.