"Alternative" medicine

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jeffrerr
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Post by jeffrerr » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:27 am

Jungledoc wrote:Why did the lady put the teapot in the backyard? Makes no sense to me.
SHe was going to have a tea party with her friend across the street becasue it was a lovely day out, but someone threw a rock at her tea pot even though they coudl have just taken a picture! lol

For the record I I believe we need to leave ourselves a little open minded to the things we do not know! Science has come a long way but it was less than 200 years ago that Doctors didn't was their hands because they didn't believe in bacteria hitchiking to patients on them. Just because science hasn't found the teapot yet doesn't mean it doesn't exist, it can just mean they have bad aim or are using the wrong type of rocks! I do agree though that a lot of it is the power of the brain/mind/internal chemical reactions coupled with the placebo effect and the power of persuasion than the procedure it self, which can often be said about western techniques as well, sometimes when you have two people with the same condition on the same meds and treatment plan one can continue to get sicker when they've metnally given up whilst the other gets better and/or cured because they were mentally prepared for the challenge! But again those scenarios are often hearsay with little data to back them up!

Just have a Fox Mulder attitude "The Truth is Out There!" lol

John


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Post by Ironman » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:36 am

ballophun wrote:Sometimes the diagnosis is wrong. However the secondaries in the right side of my fathers didn't exist at this initial checkup, and two weeks later, when he was diagnosed, the lymph node in the right side of his neck had increased in diameter by about 1cm, and the other was slightly larger too.
He still underwent extensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy, because we obviously didn't want to take the chances of the Chinese medicine not working. But apparently it had already started doing something before the chemo and radio, according to his specialist (who was actually pretty surprised and quite open minded about the whole thing).

I know this is all hearsay as far as you're - and everyone else here - is concerned, but aaaallllls I'm saying is, it's worth a try, because it might help with something Western medicine regards as uncurable (such as Nephrotic Syndrome).
So it was the Chinese "medicine"? The radiation and chemo had nothing to do with it? Sure, after all, who ever got their cancer to go into remission with radiation and chemo?

It is a worth a try. And try we have in many cases. And up short did it come.

Please watch Penn and Teller's "Bull$h!t!". Lots of good stuff. If you don't have HBO (like me) then just learn about bittorrent. Or get the DVD's.

I believe in things that have been proven to work. I don't believe in things with mountains of evidence against them. I also don't believe in things with no evidence.

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Post by Ironman » Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:44 am

How about this, is it true that .1 X 10 to the -9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999th power is more or less ZERO?

If no, then for F*(K sakes, how much more specific does one have to be?!
If yes, then let's round down, the teapot, snake oil and other unproven nonsense to 0.

Because that is about the chance it is true. Crap it is so small it is probably only exists as a probability and isn't exactly real. :lol:

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Post by nygmen » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:18 am

Ironman wrote: It is a worth a try. And try we have in many cases. And up short did it come.
See told ya, Yoda's all over this board...

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Post by ballophun » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:40 am

This teapot analogy is so good... I'm gonna start using it to describe all my opinions.

And no, the radio and chemo didn't start until a good couple of weeks after the Doctor told him the secondaries had reduced in size. And on diagnosis, the Doctors told him that they were progressing extremely quickly and they'd have to start doing something about it quickly.

So appointment 1 - clear. About a month later, dad finds lump. Appointment 2 - cancer (already secondaries). A few days later - dad starts accupuncture and herbs. 2 weeks later appointment 3 to discuss treatment - secondaries had shrunk. About a week later - chemo and radio starts. The specialist said keep seeing the other doctor because we don't know much about it and it appears to be doing something right.

I understand that nothing exists until it is proven to exist, but if something has not been proven to exist, but isn't that unlikely (such as the teapot in the backyard as opposed to the teapot orbiting jupiter), it comes down to personal skepticism. I was skeptical before I tried it. I was open-minded about it, but thought hey if it doesn't work, it doesnt work. I don't have anything to lose. I've heard good things about it. There is no proof that it doesn't work (as far as I know) but are many skeptics who claim that the absence of proof of its existence means it's not worth trying.

Has anyone actually proven that accupuncture and Chinese herbs do NOT work? Seriously, I'm asking. If not, then it's worth trying. That's all I'm saying.


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Post by Ryan A » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:01 am

That is all well and good, but then you should not claim to act on logic. Logic would say you need proof it works in order to try it. Then again, maybe you are the pioneer that will prove to others something does work.

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Post by anandsr21 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:44 am

Time for another anecdote ;-). These things are more common in the East.

My wife used to have rheumatoid arthritis. It is an auto-immune disorder. The local doctors had no cure for it. The Wikipedia says that there is still no cure for it. Actually in general almost all auto-immune disorders have no cure in the modern system of medicine.

Lots of different medicines were tried over a period of 6 months. Then her parents found out about a Homeopath doctor who specializes in rheumatoid arthritis. He mixes a few homeopathy medicines and makes darkish brown medicine. How a homeopathy medicine can be brown is not known to me. I only know that some salt is diluted to limits where even a single molecule may not be present in general homeopathy medicines. I would have thought that it is not a real homeopathy medicine if we didn't know the composition. My wife was one of his early patients, and had given us the composition. Nowadays he keeps it proprietary.

Now this medicine did cure her. It has been over 13 years now. There had been a few of relapses over the first 5 years (including two after our marriage). But it would disappear almost immediately, after the medicine is taken. For the last 8 years there have been no relapses.

There were a lot of food restrictions also during the course. That could also be the reason. But for the last 8 years she has been taking all the restricted stuff.

I know that arthritis symptoms can disappear as quickly as they come. But the coincidence is very interesting. I am convinced that the medicine is correct. But its not necessary that all homeopathy doctors know anything.

I do tend to avoid modern medicine, because they tend to have a lot of side effects. Homeopathy on the other hand is good, if you find a good doctor. The doctor is important, because if you don't believe in him, placebo's don't affect ;-).

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Post by Ironman » Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:17 am

Yes there is proof acupuncture and many herbs don't work. Not everything has been tested.

There is proof homeopathy does not work. It is just water. They say the more you dilute some type of poison, the more power it has. Then the claim says it is diluted to such an extent that even if they used only one molecule of the substance, they would have to dilute it with more water than exists on the entire planet. Then there is the whole thing about the water having "memory" of what was in it. It is a major load of rubbish.

Richard Dawkins did a documentary on this subject. I have it on DVD, it is very interesting.

Here is a link to it.
http://richarddawkins.net/store/index.p ... ucts_id=63

Here it is on youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... ns+enemies

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Post by anandsr21 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:34 am

Ironman, You may be correct that these are bunk.

But it is also true that Modern Medicine does not have all cure. Particularly were the body is turning against itself. In these cases you have only prayer and placebos. Sometimes there are some herbs that the western scientists have not yet discovered. Sometimes there are things that work only on some people.

Anyway once modern medicine lets you down there is no where to turn to except for the gods and belief in magic ;-).

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Post by Ironman » Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:14 pm

If medical science has not discovered something, it is going to be a lot more complex then an unprocessed herb.

All you can do is push for funding research and not letting religion interfere like with stem cell research for example.

By the way, there is treatment for autoimmune. It involves weakening immune response though, which makes one vulnerable to infection. Turning off the response is the cure, and this will likely involve experimenting with genes to find how to turn it on or off. So the cure will be manipulating proteins involved with it. That will not be accomplished with an herb.

Many things that have no cure will be fixed in the same way. Thanks to the human genome project, there is a lot of research in the works, and there have been many advances already because of it. We know so much more about the brain now because of it for example.

The problem is the general public is so dreadfully ignorant of science, they have no idea what is going on.

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Post by anandsr21 » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:54 am

I would not want to waste away if modern science has no cure. I would like to try anything that gives me a hope. Without that hope death will come sooner.

I know its not perfect, but it has worked for my wife, without getting her into forever illness mode. The fact is that you will only appreciate alternative medicine if somebody near you has an illness that cannot be cured by the best available modern medicine. Then you will search for whatever may work, without regards to its safety. Because there is no safety.

I am not recommending it for problems for which there is a proper cure. I don't consider killing off your immune response as a cure. It is actually worse than the illness. It is bartering one problem with a host of others.

For me I tend to use homeopathy, because of its placebo like effects. Research has shown that placebo effects are quite powerful. If the problem can be cured with a placebo, then why take a medicine with its associated side effects. If the problem does not fix itself, then I take the real medicine ;-).

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Post by jeffrerr » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:22 am

anandsr21 wrote:For me I tend to use homeopathy, because of its placebo like effects. Research has shown that placebo effects are quite powerful. If the problem can be cured with a placebo, then why take a medicine with its associated side effects. If the problem does not fix itself, then I take the real medicine ;-).
Because those who want to sell things that only have a placebo effect charge a lot of money for false claims and trickery! Also if something has it's intended outcome, as you say you are receiving from homeopathy, then it's not a placebo effect! A placebo effect is when one doesn't know what they are getting yet they get better, feel better, get high etc. on something with no active ingredient, if you are using Homeopathy for the placebo effect then it' is, by definition, not a placebo effect at all! If you're mind's power of perssuasion is that strong you should just head off down the shops, grab some paracetamol and tell yourself it will make you better and save yourself a lot of money!

As for alternative medicine, has anyone watched 'Man on the Moon' about Andy Kaufman? He believed he would get healed by the magic healer but saw the meat in the guys hands before he started, who knows if he didn't see the slight of hand he may have been cured, but either way it was a fraud! The problem with alternative medicine is they can never garuntee results for everyone and when something doesn't work they blame the patient's faith or perception and there is no way for that patient to prove the Homeopath, Accupuncturist, Herbalist etc. has fraudulently taken their money by making false claims! At least with western medicines everything in meticulously documented and any fraudulent behaviour or malpractice is protected against to garuntee the patient is treated fairly!

John

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Post by ballophun » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:00 pm

I'm in the same category as anandsr21's wife. When I started accupuncture and herbs, I thought it was pretty crazy. Laughably so. I'd lie there with pins in me after being told to 'meditate' thinking "what am I doing... I could be watching reruns of Happy Days..." The herbs were worse actually. Boiling water and leaves and bark and seeds down into the foulest thick potent mixture. Like some sort of witchcraft.
So I was extremely skepitcal about it, but then all Western medicine could offer was immune depressants which made me sick.

I don't even understand what my Chinese doctor did but he explained it as balancing the immune system and the kidney... or something...
It still sounds pretty crazy, and the method is even crazier, but it worked for me. And if it did work, it couldnt have been a placebo effect because I didn't believe in it.

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Post by anandsr21 » Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:55 am

Actually there are two benefits of taking homeopathy, even when you know that it is just plain water. First if you are being forced by your family to do something about it, and you think the problem will be resolved by itself, homeopathy is a great way out. Other is that sometimes it does work ;-).

I tend to take homeopathy for anything that is a long term case, where long term modern medicine causes more problems than it solves. Case in point is digestive maladies. Actually there are a lot of restrictions with Homeopathy. The Modern practitioner will not tell you to refrain from anything while on a medicine for curing ulcers, while Homeopathy one will restrict those things that cause the ulcers. So end result is that even when homeopathy does not work directly the restrictions does cause the ulcers to get fixed. Otherwise it is difficult to convince the patient to avoid certain things. Somehow doctors are loath to restricting a diet, at least in India. It could be that they get more money the longer the patient visits them ;-).

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Post by jeffrerr » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:11 am

As a western medicine nurse, if a doctor of a patient in my care did not restrict their diet when treating ulcers I would advise the patient to proceed with a malpractice suit! No doctor I have ever been to or worked with would be that dumb, maybe it's India or maybe it's Australian docs being on top of the issue as I don't know what happens in the US and UK or other developed countries!

And I do agree with the first part of your statement about homeopathy, that it can sometimes relieve stress from outside factors and therefore create a better healing environment in the body due to the decrease stress! Especially with stomach ulcers, as there has been anecdotal links between emotional and physical stress and over production of stomach enzymes which inflame stomach ulcers, however I've not seen any scientific evidence on it yet, not that I'm suggesting it's not out there, but that I just haven't read it if it is!

Anyway I see this like religion and my opinion of religion is that I don't believe in it for myself but I have no issue with those that choose religion! As long as they don't try to force it on me of course, but I don't think there are Accupunturist Witnesses who knock on the door and try to give you printed material on the topic, is there? :)


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