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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  11:51:39  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
CNN posted this article on their web site:

5 alternative medicine treatments that work

So how do you know what works and what doesn't when it comes to alternative medicine? Just a decade ago, there weren't many well-done, independent studies on herbs, acupuncture, massage or hypnosis, so patients didn't have many facts to guide them.

But in 1999, eight academic medical centers, including Harvard, Duke and Stanford, banded together with the purpose of encouraging research and education on alternative medicine. Eight years later, the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine has 38 member universities, and has gathered evidence about what practices have solid science behind them.

Here, from experts at five of those universities, are five alternative medicine practices that are among the most promising because they have solid science behind them.


Here is the list:

1. Acupuncture for pain
2. Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6 for PMS
3. St. John's Wort for depression
4. Guided imagery for pain and anxiety
5. Glucosamine for joint pain

Thought?

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  12:26:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Eight years and 38 universities, and that's all they've come up with?

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  13:10:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Eight years and 38 universities, and that's all they've come up with?
Indeed, indeed.

And there are some serious investigators, such as Randi and Carolle, who would argue the acupunture point.

I myself, would take exception with "Guided imagery for pain and anxiety." There is no "Happy Place" when you are having back spasms or crushed bones. Or a snake bite. Believe me, I've looked for it.

I am all for scientific investigation into all of these things, but let's not go hopscotching off into New Age fantasy. When the New England Journal of Medicine publishes affirmitive findings, then I'll give it a lot more thought, but popular media articles on slow news days don't do all that much for me.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  14:19:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

When the New England Journal of Medicine publishes affirmitive findings...
When the NEJM publishes affirmative findings, it won't be "alternative" medicine anymore. It'll be mainstream. Whatever "it" happens to be, as soon as "it" becomes evidence-based medicine, I'm all for "it."

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  15:43:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The very name, "Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine" indicates to me that these folks have a preconceived goal: Proving the efficacy of "alternative medicine." If you already know what you want to prove, instead of simply trying to discover the truth through science, you tend to get the results you want. (Duke University in particular, with its history of disgraceful and debunked ESP studies, ought to be aware of such dangers.)

That's really quite a short list, and the items on it, especially the acupuncture and the imagery could all be placebo effects. (The acupuncture could also work for pain simply by raising endorphin levels, quite a logical thought, when combined with recent studies showing non-acupuncture-point pin-pricks do equally well.) The PMS treatment compounds, the glucosamine, and the St. John's Wort may actually prove to be useful. But that ain't proved yet. Placebos are powerful, after all.

And just think of the hundreds of types of quackery that didn't even make it that far, not even with a consortium dedicated to proving that these kinds of things work.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  16:04:34   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here's a new one to consider:
While the number one reason patients go to the doctor is to address some form of pain, there has been no breakthrough class of pain drugs for many decades. Currently, there are two major classes of pain therapeutics: opiates, such as morphine, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin. Both of these classes of compounds have been used to treat patients for centuries, originally as plant extracts and more recently in the forms with which we're familiar today.

The Chili Pepper Connection

As part of ongoing efforts to find the next generation of treatments for pain, Abbott researchers started looking at another natural product, capsaicin. Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chili peppers that causes a burning sensation in the mouth. If capsaicin is administered for a longer period of time, that initial burning sensation goes away and one can obtain pain relief. People have been applying capsaicin in topical ointments and patches for some years. The problem is that with repeated topical use, capsaicin overactivates the receptors that modulate it, and may wind up eventually destroying the nerve fibers on which the receptor sits
Now, I am a pepper-belly. I firmly believe that an egg with no generous shot of Tabasco is just another dead chicken, and fresh jalapenos and/or scotch bonnets go just fine in almost everything. It all tastes just dandy, but has never relieved so much as a mild headache for me.

D'ya think maybe I'm not eating enough of them? I await further research....




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  18:27:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It seems that Dr. Andrew Weil was the go to person for that article.
"Anything that sounds too good to be true probably is," says Weil.
Oh really?

Homeopathic Medicine by Andrew Weil
Homeopathy (homeopathic medicine) is a system of medicine founded in the early 19th century by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Christian Hahnemann (1775-1843). Classical homeopathy rests on three principles: the law of similars, the single medicine, and the minimum dose. The law of similars states that a disease is cured by a medicine that creates symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing. Hence, an important part of the prescription of a homeopathic medicine is a lengthy interview to determine all the symptoms. The homeopathic physician then prescribes the medicine that best matches the symptoms. The principle of the single remedy states that a single medicine should cover all the symptoms the patient is experiencing: mental, emotional and physical. The principle of the minimum dose has two parts. First, the homeopathic physician prescribes only a small number of doses of the homeopathic medicine and waits to see what effect the medicine has. Second, the medicine is given in an infinitesimal dose. There are many training programs and courses in homeopathy in both the U.S. and abroad. However, no diploma or certificate from any school or program is recognized as a license to practice homeopathy in the U.S. Even so, look for qualified homeopaths to use the titles DHt, DHANP and CCH.

"Alternative Medicine":
Views of a Concerned Layperson


If indeed "alternative" practitioners did have the answers, it would be very easy for them to prove it and clear up any doubts. But they don't want to do that. When Andrew Weil was asked during a "60 Minutes" interview why he doesn't perform clinical trials, he replied that he was not a clinical researcher. But without well-designed studies, how can he know that his methods actually work? To him, apparently, belief is far more important than scientific evidence. Virtually all the advocates of "alternative" medicine share this view.


And then there is this:
A Trip to Stonesville:
Some Notes on Andrew Weil (1998)
Weil's writings are ambiguous about the conflict between science and alternative medicine, as they are about many other issues in alternative medicine. Yes, he thinks that all healing methods ought to be tested; and yes, modern science can make useful contributions to our understanding of health and disease. Yet the scientific method is not, for Weil, the only way, or even the best way, to learn about nature and the human body. Many important truths are intuitively evident and do not need scientific support, even when they seem to contradict logic. Conventional science-based medicine has its uses, but they are limited. Like so many of the other gurus of alternative medicine, Weil is not bothered by logical contradictions in his argument, or encumbered by a need to search for objective evidence.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2007 :  23:14:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Classical homeopathy rests on three principles: the law of similars, the single medicine, and the minimum dose. The law of similars states that a disease is cured by a medicine that creates symptoms similar to those the patient is experiencing.
Well, yes, the "Law of Similars" (or Law of Similarity) is indeed an ancient "law." Of magic. Ask any attentive Anthro 101 student. The other main "law" of magic is the law of contagion. At least that one was sort of adaptable to medicine, once the germ theory was established. But both laws are, in themselves, pure woo.




Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2007 :  07:27:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is Andrew Weils suggested therapy page. I wonder of CNN took a look at this?

Wellness Therapies

There are many paths to activating healing. Use the information here to learn about nature-based therapies that support optimum health, wellness, and recovery. Remember that integrative medicine often means the prudent use of several healing modalities.
Andrew Weil, MD


And they are:

Ayurvedic Medicine
Biofeedback
Chiropractic
Feldenkrais Work
Guided Imagery Therapy
Herbal Medicine
Homeopathic Medicine
Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy
Naturopathic Medicine
Reflexology
Rolfing
Trager Work

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2007 :  08:02:10   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

This is Andrew Weils suggested therapy page. I wonder of CNN took a look at this?

Wellness Therapies

There are many paths to activating healing. Use the information here to learn about nature-based therapies that support optimum health, wellness, and recovery. Remember that integrative medicine often means the prudent use of several healing modalities.
Andrew Weil, MD


And they are:

Ayurvedic Medicine
Biofeedback
Chiropractic
Feldenkrais Work
Guided Imagery Therapy
Herbal Medicine
Homeopathic Medicine
Hypnosis and Hypnotherapy
Naturopathic Medicine
Reflexology
Rolfing
Trager Work

Praise the Spagetti Monster, the world is saved! Duck vocalizations will show us the way! We may now look forewa.... Oh ye gods, not even I can phrase my thoughts on this.

Well anyway, I've learned what Rolfing is. All this time, I thought it had something to do with 'coon hounds, but whaddya know? The only canines involved in it are the mangy curs dogging us for our dollars and there's no raccoons at all. Imagine my disappointment.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2007 :  08:26:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From Kil's list:

Rolfing


Rolling on the floor laughing is pretty therapeutic, I must say.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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chaloobi
SFN Regular

1620 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2007 :  09:00:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send chaloobi a Yahoo! Message Send chaloobi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Eight years and 38 universities, and that's all they've come up with?
But keep in mind this is only 1 side of the coin - the exciting side. How many therapies did they look at and find no evidence they work? Though it doesn't make a good headline, that research is equally important and it ought to be vocally advertised to warn people away from all the snake oil out there.

-Chaloobi

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