Forums > Social Discussion > "Alternative medicine" UK documentary 24 jan

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:"Alternative medicine" UK documentary 24 jan

As there's been a good few threads on the issues of alternative vs. conventional medicine, I thought I'd post this.

It's on tonight at 9.00 pm on BBC2.

I've no idea if it's going to be any good, but thought I'd mention it.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Fascinating documentary.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Mr Majestik
Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear
Member Since: 9th Mar 2004
Total posts: 4693
Posted:did it win?

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:I don't believe in "alternative medicine." I believe in evidence-based medicine combined with open-mindedness. Some people call it "complimentary medicine."

Think ginger is a good treatment for nausea? Do a double-blind placebo-controlled study. In fact, it's been done and ginger is superior to several anti-nausea drugs. So is ginger "alternative?" And this is why I carry ginger capsules to work: because the pharmacy doesn't have it, but I do.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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shen shui
shen shui

no excuses. no apologies.
Location: aotearoa
Member Since: 4th Jan 2005
Total posts: 1799
Posted:hugdochug



inserting a filiform needle inbetween the palmaris longus and flexor carpi radialis tendons, 2 inches proximal to the transverse wrist crease is also a good treatment for nausea (i carry needles around with me too) (gotta be careful of that medial nerve; using ones thumb to separate the tendons also helps to push the nerve radially, thus out of harms way).



i think western medicine is a great compliment to traditional medicine, too. i wouldnt say its alternative wink



it all depends on which shore you stand on when you relate various healing modalities.



they are all beneficial in some ways. its like when you have a meal. do you only have peas? or do you have lots of different things on your plate? we all need different things at different times.



its extremely hard to do a double blind randomized control trial for acupuncture, however, as you cannot placebo needle someone. putting a needle in a different location will create a different effect on the body. even pressing down in simulation of a needle insertion will influence the body's qi (chi/energy). but then, i would think that more than 7000 years of treating people for pathologies that range from musculoskeletal conditions to hypertension to the common cold could be considered evidence enough to warrant its inclusion within our biomedical paradigm. after all, if it didnt work, they wouldn't have used it all these years, right?



smile


those that know, dont say. those that say, dont know.

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: shen shui

its extremely hard to do a double blind randomized control trial for acupuncture however, as you cannot placebo needle someone.



Ha! Not anymore, thanks to some pioneering work showcased in last nights show. You're behind the times.
Written by: shen shui

putting a needle in a different location will create a different effect on the body. even pressing down in simulation of a needle insertion will influence the body's qi (chi/energy). but then, i would think that more than 7000 years of treating people for pathologies that range from musculoskeletal conditions to hypertension to the common cold could be considered evidence enough to warrant its inclusion within our biomedical paradigm. after all, if it didnt work, they wouldn't have used it all these years, right?



If the show's findings are verified then we could look forward to the end of the mysticism around acupuncture. No more superstition like qi and no more quacks recommending it for everything. For those who missed it the evidence is conclusive that acupuncture doesn't work as the panacea people often make it out to be. That is that it can't cure the common cold and hypertension or diabeties or anything like that. However there was a tanalising suggustion that it may be possible to control pain with it. Whilst it still need more research it is the begining of the end for the view that acupuncture is somehow 'beyond' modern science.

As for something ineffective being used for 7000 years, that's a very naive view about human psychology. After all people have been praying for far longer than that. wink


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Domino
UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 757
Posted:I was going to say that for thousands of years people believed that the Earth is flat and the Sun orbits it. Apparently some people still do...

Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: Domino

I was going to say that for thousands of years people believed that the Earth is flat and the Sun orbits it. Apparently some people still do...


People have known since thousands of years before the birth of Christ that the Earth was round.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:was the research in this program published anywhere?

surely if a resercher claims that they have produced truly conclusive evidence that acupuncture does not work, there would have been a little more media coverage than just a fairly low-profile documentary...?

jeff, for the benefit of those that did/could not see the programme what is the placebo for an acupuncture needle exactly?


although, on the topic of chi, did anyone watch derren brown's 'the heist' recently?

he presented a very interesting interpretation of a classic exhibition of chi energy that has made me think very hard about it all...


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:There were two examples of placebo acupunture in the program. One consisted of telescopic needles and the other was simply jabbing people then selotaping the needles down. Both examples had to be done on people without experience with acupuncture as it was possible for someone who had had it before to tell the difference. It's not a perfect method but it gives a lot more validity to the trials.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
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Posted:cheers jeff.



as far as i can tell though, seeing as shen shui already stated that "even pressing down in simulation of a needle insertion will influence the body", these trials are not very valid at all since the placebos they used for needles could easily affect the outcome of the experiment.



this invalidity is compounded if say accupuncture relies heavily on something resembling 'placebo effect'.



what is placebo effect after all?



and why can scientists not define how it is caused or how they could possibly increase or decrease it?



maybe what scientists should be looking at is something like "is accupuncture a way of increasing the success of a placebo effect?".





of course, one could argue that the "you cannot touch the body without affecting its health" statement is simply too convenient since it pretty much prevents accupuncture ever being tested in a scientific environment and is thus essentially a ploy to keep accupuncture alive and kicking...





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:There seems to be some confusion on the topic of placebos. Here's the wikipedia article (please note it needs a lot of work done). Research is still ongoing in the field.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:Written by: coleman

what is placebo effect after all?

and why can scientists not define how it is caused or how they could possibly increase or decrease it?




placebo effects resulting from within the brain, which has approximately 100 billion neurons each with an average of 10 000 synapses ...... its a bitch of a thing to understand smile

theres a cool book called Phantoms in the Brain by V. S. Ramachandran which looks at the effects of damaging the body/bits of the brain and the perception of reality, phantom limbs are having sensations for a missing limb, one interesting thing was ppl who suffer from lepricy not having a phantom limb then having it amputated and suddenly having a phantom limb. Another being ppl with phantom limbs having a trick with mirrors over riding the phantom image of their arm causing the phantom limb to vanish.

Id hazard a guess that placebos occur in the part of the brain that assimilates new information and simply goes i was told this would work so this is going to happen, in much the same way that the brain goes i have two arms hence im going to be able to feel with my arm that is no longer there.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
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Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)


There seems to be some confusion on the topic of placebos.





where's that then?



sorry, i'm just not sure what aspect of the placebo topic you think there is confusion about...





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Domino
UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK
Member Since: 26th May 2004
Total posts: 757
Posted:Written by: jeff(fake)

People have known since thousands of years before the birth of Christ that the Earth was round.



I know the Greeks did but not evryone worked it out. Besides, how many of the uneducated ancient Greeks would have believed it? Not the famed mathatitions but Stellios Bloggos off the streets? If you only have a limited knowledge of the world (particularly that part of it that falls beyond the horizon) it goes against the evidence of your own eyes.


Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:It seemed that acupuncture came out pretty well- the presenter was obviously sceptical, medically knowledgable and went into the difficulties of eliminating placebo effects- by the end she seemed fairly convinced that some of the studies did show an effect over and above placebo for acupuncture.

(Along the way she visited a university that specialised in looking at the validity of studies claiming to show effects for alternative medicine- and, most such studies they looked at were found to contain flaws in methodology etc).

The most convincing attempt to address the placebo effect was a needle which was 'tapped in' in exactly the same way as a normal acupuncture needle is (and felt exactly the same), but which acted like those fake daggers when the second push-in occurs (ie the needle looked like it was going in, but actually just dissapeared into the handle).

Obviously, there are always going to be issues with eliminating the placebo effect with accupuncture, as it basically involves sticking in needles to a fair depth- simulating that is problematic.

However, it's worth reflecting that the same issue undoubtebly arises with studies of conventional medicine. For example, for a study showing the efficacy of conventional invasive treatments for cancer- is it going to be straightforward (or possible) to find a control group of cancer victims who won't recieve conventional treatments and yet who are, in every other way, living identical lives to the ones who are?

I would imagine that no study is ever 100% perfect- but researchers have to find ways to minimise the effects of imperfections; and this seemed to be what they were doing with the fake acupunture needles.

Personally, one study I'd like to see would be to have two groups, give one conventional accupuncture treatment and, for the second group, give them accupuncture, but use random insertion points (ie stick needles in them, but ignore the conventional accupuncture maps of appropriate insertion points).


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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TheBovrilMonkey
TheBovrilMonkey

Liquid Cow
Location: High Wycombe, England
Member Since: 3rd Sep 2001
Total posts: 2629
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave

Personally, one study I'd like to see would be to have two groups, give one conventional accupuncture treatment and, for the second group, give them accupuncture, but use random insertion points (ie stick needles in them, but ignore the conventional accupuncture maps of appropriate insertion points).



I'd say to go a bit further - have one group of people getting needles stuck into the appropriate points on the maps, then another who are getting them stuck in places that's supposed to aggravate things. You'd tell both groups that they're getting beneficial accupuncture.
I'd be interested to see what happens to the group getting needles in the aggravating places - would they get worse or better?


But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Patriarch917
Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Member Since: 2nd Oct 2005
Total posts: 607
Posted:Written by: Domino

Written by: jeff(fake)

People have known since thousands of years before the birth of Christ that the Earth was round.



I know the Greeks did but not evryone worked it out. Besides, how many of the uneducated ancient Greeks would have believed it? Not the famed mathatitions but Stellios Bloggos off the streets? If you only have a limited knowledge of the world (particularly that part of it that falls beyond the horizon) it goes against the evidence of your own eyes.




And did you know that most mainstream media still believe the sun goes around the earth? I just looked at the weather on Yahoo! and they had a time for "sunrise" and "sunset." Someone needs to explain to them that the sun doesn't "rise" and "set," this is just an illusion created by the rotation of the earth.

On topic: I heard the other day that the old custom of "bloodletting" actually does have a beneficial effect for certain diseases. I'm not going to start using leeches on myself, but it makes me wonder whether we really understand "how" modern medicine works. I know personally that I just do things that seem to work (like asprin) without having a really good explanation for why.


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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

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Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
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Posted:Written by: shen shui

its extremely hard to do a double blind randomized control trial for acupuncture, however, as you cannot placebo needle someone. putting a needle in a different location will create a different effect on the body. even pressing down in simulation of a needle insertion will influence the body's qi (chi/energy). but then, i would think that more than 7000 years of treating people for pathologies that range from musculoskeletal conditions to hypertension to the common cold could be considered evidence enough to warrant its inclusion within our biomedical paradigm. after all, if it didnt work, they wouldn't have used it all these years, right?

smile



Some controlled studies have been done on accupuncture. One was done for cocaine withdrawal and showed no benefit. The placebo was to insert the needles into points that have no significance in accupuncture.

Other studies have shown benefit, but I'm not familiar with the literature in this field to feel confident commenting further.

I think it's important to think about a few things: first, there is no one single correct system. In China, modern medicine uses a mixture of modern and traditional modalities. Germany is like this, too.

Ancient medicine could do a lot of things, and often modern medicine is simply a refinement of traditional medicine. Digoxin, for example, is a drug used for patients with congestive heart failure. It came from an ancient home remedy for dropsy (edema) long ago that included, among many other things, foxglove (Digitalis spp.). It turns that digitoxin, or digoxin, is the active ingredient in the home remedy and it comes from foxglove. Similarly, penicillin is a natural product, and aspirin is a derivative of a natural product from the bark of a certain kind of willow tree, but aspirin is less harsh on the stomach than pure salycilic acid, which is its natural precursor.

There are many things, though, that traditional medicine could never address. Before the advent (and subsequent abuse) of penicillin, there was no cure for bacterial diseases. The treatment for a serious bacterial infection in a limb was amputation. We practically never do that today. (We do do it, but only in patients with poor blood supply to the limb who aren't responding to antibiotics, such as longstanding, poorly-controlled diabetics). Today, such an infection is easily cured with antibiotics.

Insulin-dependent diabetes (Juvenile, or type-1) used to be uniformly fatal within months of onset of symptoms, if not within days. The development of first porcine (pig) insulin and then recombinant human insulin (which has less risk of developing antibodies against insulin) has turned this once-devastating disease into a life-long chronic disease.

30 years ago, the diagnosis of leukemia was "six months to a year." Today children under ten diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia have a better than 90% survival rate.

Modern medicine has done truly amazing things and I'm privileged to be able to practice it.

In handling complimentary and traditional medicine, it's important to remember that modern medicine has gone leaps and bounds in the last 50 years over traditional healing and that it can do fantastic things. Many of us would never have made it past the age of 10 100 years ago. We would have died of scarlet fever or measles or myriad other childhood diseases that either no longer really exist in the modern world or that are easily treated today. There are those who have an agenda to subvert modern medicine to the point that they even believe that vaccines don't work, when any amount of evidence shows clearly that they have saved billions of lives.

Which brings me to my last point: just because it's complimentary or natural doesn't make it safe. Go back to digoxin, our natural product from the foxglove plant. It's ABSURDLY toxic in doses that are roughly twice the therapeutic dose. When compared to, say, ibuprofen, an artificial product, digoxin is a frank poison. Other natural products, such as fish oil or ginger are very safe. But just because it's natural doesn't make it safe. Deadly nightshade is natural. In evaluating any natural therapy it's important to understand that they ALL have risks, side-effects, and potential toxicities. Accupuncture can lead to infection if done improperly, ginger can cause GI upset, fish oil can cause GI upset and diarrhea. It may also make patients with bipolar disorder prone to manial.

I believe that taking any sort of EFFECTIVE healing art and pigeon-holing it as "alternative" doesn't do it justice.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Alternative medicine. I hope that means alternative to the crap systems in most countries wink

If its the other alternative medicine, the I know someone who plans to build a spiritual hospital. I think there is room for both, and Western medicine is fantastic in come areas, but sadly lacking in most. Like I dont see a holistic approach. Umm, there is room for improvement.

Ginger rocks. Perhaps as Lightning suggests "complimentary medicine is the way to go.



smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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shen shui
shen shui

no excuses. no apologies.
Location: aotearoa
Member Since: 4th Jan 2005
Total posts: 1799
Posted:cant do no double blind studies with acupuncutre, unless you get people that dont know anything about it to insert the needles, which im sure you'll all agree is rather silly. if you tell an acupuncturist to needle certain points, they'll be able to deduce the most probable pathology based on the selected points.

one thing that bugs me totally about these researches is their morality. how nice is it to no ttell someone that the treatment they are getting is false and they are unsuspecting guinea pigs for the betterment of humankind? rough.

i think the best way of seeing somethings efficacy as a treatment modality is to relate using it to not using it, not pretending to not use it... but then, maybe im toooo moral.
i think its pathetic how some people will take the word of a documetary over actually studying literature for themselves as to whether certain things work or not work. personally, i have had colds, digestive problems, headaches and muscular strains cured by acupuncture (yes, cured). i have also helped people with these problems, and more. maybe before people start dissing things they should actually find out both sides of the story.

i just dont like people dissing other people. terrorism sucks.


those that know, dont say. those that say, dont know.

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Alright, folks are getting silly again...
Written by: Patriarch917

On topic: I heard the other day that the old custom of "bloodletting" actually does have a beneficial effect for certain diseases. I'm not going to start using leeches on myself, but it makes me wonder whether we really understand "how" modern medicine works. I know personally that I just do things that seem to work (like asprin) without having a really good explanation for why.


Medincal Leeches are pretty well understood. They drain the blood out of places where the veins have become inefective to prevent the stale blood clotting. Asprin too is very well understood, but it wasn't always and I have a point to make on the topic. When aspirin was first synthesised (as a replacement to the natural salicylic acid which caused unpleasant stomache aches) it wasn't well understood. But it is able to preform in randomised double blind tests, thus establishing its efficacy. If something doesn't work in a randomised double blind test then that's very good evidence it doesn't work. That's why advocated of bogus medicines rip into the double blind system so much.
Written by: shen shou

one thing that bugs me totally about these researches is their morality. how nice is it to no ttell someone that the treatment they are getting is false and they are unsuspecting guinea pigs for the betterment of humankind? rough.


They volenteered for the trial.
Written by: doc lightning

I believe that taking any sort of EFFECTIVE healing art and pigeon-holing it as "alternative" doesn't do it justice.


You would all do well to listen to lightning on this. I would not call ginger or honey or willow bark alternative. There is simply that which works (which we now call modern medicine) and that which doesn't (now call alternative).


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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BansheeCat
veteran
Location: lost
Member Since: 29th Jul 2005
Total posts: 1247
Posted:jeff( fake) , it is incredible and somewhat ridiculous how overly simplistically you apply your definition.

Lots of modern medicine does not work, or works to a degree, or includes a nasty range of side effects... there is a whole range of effects/results within it. There are also a full range of practitioners; skilled to incompetant, yet all of them certified by the medical proffession and our government to practice.

Likewise we see the same range of difficulties within so called alternative medicine. Some works, some does not, some results vary dependant on any number of factors, some we comprehend and some we dont. Some practitioners are skilled and knowledgable, experienced, some are not. There is no black and white!

I agree with Doc, perhaps complementary medicine is a better term to use.If you think wholistically, maintaining ones health can include both mainstream and complementary approaches. For example, mainstream medicine largely overlooks the application of preventative medicine, and complementary medicines can frequently fill this gap. They are not mutually exclusive !

~A


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:If there is some aspect of medicine which is bogus then it is you civic duty to tell us what and present your evidence, rather than making allegation. If what you say is true then this is a very serious allegation and has to be addressed. To do otherwise would be utterly immoral.

Written by: andrealee

For example, mainstream medicine largely overlooks the application of preventative medicine.



What, pray tell, are vacinations if not preventative? umm
Or the sciences of nutrition or cardiovascular excercise? umm
The bushing of teeth? The purification of water?
pwned


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:jeff - the world of pharma is not nearly as polarised as you would like to make out and (i apologise if this is an inappropriate comment but) your statement about 'civic duty' is pompous, overinflated rhetoric.



there are many, many examples of drugs that have made it past clinical trial to then be proved ineffective or unsafe.



if you are unaware of them, i'm afraid it is not at all immoral if we choose to not take the time to educate you.





Written by: jeff


There is simply that which works (which we now call modern medicine) and that which doesn't (now call alternative).







give us one example of a drug that falls into your 'modern medicine' category that has a 0% failure rate.



can't find one?



okay then, instead give us an example of an 'alternative' which has a 100% failure rate.



still having trouble?



so where exactly is the line drawn?





should we rely entirely on evidence from clinical trials - are they that infalliable?



take the alzeheimers drug debate going on in the uk right now:



the drugs have been used on early and late stage patients since they were approved, yet they are now claimed to only work on mid-stage sufferers, despite patients that seem to prove otherwise - do these treatments now go into your 'alternative' box?



do you still stand by the statement "modern medicine is defined by that which works"...?



vaccinations - remember the mmr debacle?

the science of nutrition - you assume this developed in complete isolation and took nothing from the ayurvedic diet and the like?

cardiovascular excercise - come on, hardly modern medicine now is it? what about non-cardio exercise, like yoga - obviously no good?

brushing teeth - how about mouthwash? good or bad/modern or alternative?

the purification of water - what about the additives introduced like flouride? good for your teeth but bad for your health?



i'm afraid you don't 'own' anyone sir.





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:If there is a drug which is ineffective then it should be removed from the system immediately. It is completely immoral to withhold that kind of information. If there is some treatment which is currently accepted but you can prove it is no better than placebo or dangerous then you should immediately announce it to the world as has happened in the past as with Thalidomide.

Sometimes the line isn't clear, that's where research is essential. Sometimes somethings are approved mistakenly. Again research is essentail to establish which. There is a clear distinction between what I define as medicine (stuff which works) and drugs which are currently approved. Some medicine hasn't been discoved yet and ther eare ineffective treatments still in circulation. That's why all right thinking people in the business are trying to find and declare which those are.

The mmr debate was resolved long ago, they are completely safe. pm doc lightning if you want more information. It's utterly discraceful that you would repeat outright lies like those.

The origins of nutrition are irrelevent to the discussion. Just because some Indians stumbled upon a healthy diet doesn't render healthy eating an 'alternative medicine'. Yoga is in no way alternative for the same reasons. Just because it came from the east doesn't mean it's magical.

Fluridation of water and mouth wash are examples of those gray areas. Disputed isn't the same as alternative. If they were proven to be completely ineffective then they would be alternative.

pwnage stands


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:On the question of the impossibility of performing quality double-blind research with acupuncture.

Personally, I believe that it probably is possible and that the study shown on the documentary was one such attempt. I believe that it is certainly possible to create such a study for acupunture that is as valid as many of the studies that have been used to establish conventional medicines.

(as I've pointed out on most of these conventional vs, alternative threads- a critisism of alternative medicines is only really valid if the same critisism can't be applied to conventional medicines).

But, let's just assume that there is a real problem with conducting studies on acupuncture- that being the case we could conclude that acupuncture can't be scientifically grounded; but that does not mean that acupuncture doesn't work.

The fact that acupuncture can't be scientifically validated,also means that it can't be scientifically invalidated either.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:I would be inclined to disagree. I think it may be possible to run a perfect double-blind trial on acupuncture but that the technology is still some way away. I'm still skeptical about the whole thing but the CAT scan evidence need to be examaned very thoroughly. I think we may soon be able to answer the key question over it's effiacacy and then acept the rational aspects of it with open arms into medicine or be able to finaly dismiss it as quackery.

According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
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Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:Written by: jeff
It's utterly discraceful that you would repeat outright lies like those.





please clarify and quote what you consider to be the 'disgraceful lie' i have repeated - i do not take kindly to being called a liar.



bringing attention to the fact that clinical trials are not infallible is not perpetuating a lie - if the trials were infallable, the mmr debate would have never happened since the approval would have already proved its safety beyond doubt.



yet it did happen precisely because we know clinical trials *are* fallable - you said yourself "sometimes somethings are approved mistakenly".



so how about the other side of the coin then: "sometimes somethings are dismissed mistakenly" - or would you rather ignore that possibility?





Written by: jeff
If they were proven to be completely ineffective then they would be alternative.





so what is the definitive test for a treatment's validity jeff?



how do you prove something is ineffective in every scenario ever?





this goes back to my original point about the placebo effect - if alternative medicines operate on a similar basis to placebo's (i.e. positive thought), yet produce better results (even if it is only marginal), it could mean the treatment is a kind of amplified placebo effect.



is there not a case for investigating that possibility?





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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jeff(fake)
jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 15th Apr 2005
Total posts: 1189
Posted:Written by: coleman

Written by: jeff
It's utterly discraceful that you would repeat outright lies like those.


please clarify and quote what you consider to be the 'disgraceful lie' i have repeated - i do not take kindly to being called a liar.


I meant to say falsehoods rather than lies but I was in a rush frown . But it appeared that you were intimating that there was some kind of validity to the conjecture that mmr causes autism. Since that has been thourghally and conclusively disproven (but still supported by some people, as things like this tend to be) then suggesting it is a falsehood. If I misunderstood you're post then I retract the remark, otherwise it remains.
Written by: jeff
If they were proven to be completely ineffective then they would be alternative.


Written by: coleman

so what is the definitive test for a treatment's validity jeff?

how do you prove something is ineffective in every scenario ever?

this goes back to my original point about the placebo effect - if alternative medicines operate on a similar basis to placebo's (i.e. positive thought), yet produce better results (even if it is only marginal), it could mean the treatment is a kind of amplified placebo effect.

is there not a case for investigating that possibility?


The randomised double-blind trail covers it pretty effectively. It does need to be repeated in each scenario where it could be expected to change (eg. proving acupucture can't be used to treat diabetes is of no relevence to the question of whether acupuncture can or can't be used to treat pain). It is true that the placebo effect experiences variation. Large blue sugar pills produce a larger effect than small white sugar pills for example. That is why in trails the placebo and the treatment tested need to be identicle as for a possible, so that an amplified placebo effect can be ruled out having any influence.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:actually modern medicine is what I consider "alternative" to the "conventional" naturopathic methods...

The latter has been here first and therefore would have the right to claim this definition.

This might have been stated before, but modern medicine is dominatly dealing with the symptoms of a root-cause that remains untreated.

Also it should be taken into account that - despite the similarities - many individuals show a differing reaction to a treatment and where one is completely immune to a medication, another goes with it just fine.

Modern medicine (usually) fails to regard the individual patient as a whole (as one can notice in the 5 minute interrogation with the doctor, before he prescribes), not diagnosing the underlaying and accompanying circumstances of the des-ease.

The only reasonable way for the future is to combine efforts.

*ducks from incoming shells and runs for cover*


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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