Alternative medicine is seems to be coming into a golden age at the moment. People who would normally be pragmatic and sensible thinkers are hanging their science hat in a darkened closet and waxing whimsically of the benefits of acupuncture or whatever the balls du jour may be. Not everyone is rushing out to buy huge “healing” pyramids for thousands of pounds but there’s a definite whiff of pseudoscience in the air these days.
Even people with their feet securely placed in the science camp seem to be blinded by the deafening allure of so-called alternative medical procedures.
Down in Brighton where I currently reside, there is a more than adequate hippy population and as such I perhaps see herbal, tribal quackery a bit more than most. So, I thought it would be a good idea to post up some facts to combat the guff.
1) Alternative Vs Traditional
When questioned, people who back, finance or generally support traditional medicine often say something along the lines of “science doesn’t know everything you know”. No one is denying that, that’s why scientists are still employed, if they knew everything they’d have to find a new career.
The alternative vs traditional debate hinges on one thing: evidence. If science and modern medicine find they’ve done something wrong, they tell each other about it and they fix the error. However, with alternative medicine, no one has proved that it works, but practitioners carry on regardless. No properly run experiments have proven the efficacy of alternative therapies, but no one seems to mind for some reason.
2) Chiropractic Nonsense
Chiropractors are probably the most sciencey sounding of the alternative therapies. Most people who attend a chiropractor probably don’t know the dubious beliefs which this ancient and nonsensical art are based upon. They are as follows:
1) Bone displacement is the basis of all illness
2) Displacement interferes with nerve function
3) Removing the interference allows Innate (vitalistic forces) to heal itself
When you see it written down it looks pretty ropy doesn’t it? Here are the actual facts:
1) Chirporactic subluxations (when one or more of the bones of your spine move out of position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves) have never been demonstrated
2) No impairment of nerve function has ever been demonstrated
3) No vitalistic Innate force has ever been measured
So that’s that pooh-poohed then.