Covering topics related to the Society and Science-Based Medicine.

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23

Drunk Naturopath

Medicine is dangerous enough when it is based on reality. A wise and experienced practitioner is aware that everything done for a patient, no matter how trivial, has the potential to cause harm. I learned this lesson as an intern. I had a patient admitted witha cardiac arrest as an outpatient and came in with an iv placed during the resuscitat...
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21

Arthritis Foundation and Pseudo-Medicine

The Arthritis Foundation is is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, control and cure of arthritis in the United States. Part of their mission is to to lead and fund cutting-edge scientific investigation to discover more about arthritis – what causes it, what affects it, what can stop it – and what can keep it from develop...
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18

Massachusetts "Quack Full Employment Act" fails

​ Massachusetts Senate Bill 1136 , "An Act providing for consumer access to and disclosure of complementary and alternative health services," died at the end of July, when the formal legislative session of the 189 th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as it is officially known, ended. SB 1136 is a so-called "health freedom" bill, v...
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17

The 5 Second Rule is a Myth

Everyone knows the 5 second rule : if you drop food on the ground it is safe to eat as long as you pick it up in less than 5 seconds. Is it true? There have been invstigations in the past, the most recent being Is the five-second rule real ? The researchers looked at the transfer of Enterobacter aerogenes  from covered stainless steel, ce...
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16

Lives, Time, Money, Health, and Hope Lost to Nonsense: Damn Right I'm Angry

Occasionally we get emails from people who think that one our articles represents a pro-pseudo-science stance. I suspect they not doing due diligence and actually reading the article. A selective lack of attention to detail  is a characteristic of the pseudo-medical field. For example I received the following: Hello Dr. Crislip, I came across ...
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14

Acupuncture and Constipation: Ignoring Feynman's Adage

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool. Well, you, journal editors and medical journalists.  Richard P. Feynman . Kind of. What can I say about acupuncture that I (and others) haven't said before? Because I am going to say again. Remember, our logo is Sisyphus. Acupuncture theory of qi and...
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11

Medical Board files accusation against "Dr. Bob" for gross negligence: now what?

​ "Dr. Bob" Sears, the California pediatrician beloved by anti-vaccinationists for his baseless "alternative" vaccination schedule , how-to seminars for parents wanting to duck school vaccination requirements, and fee-for-service vaccination exemption letters , has been charged by the Medical Board of California in a three-count Accusation with gro...
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09

Acupuncture, Dry Needling, and the AMA

There is an ongoing battle between physical therapists (PT) and acupuncturists over whether or not dry needling is within the scope of practice of PT or, as is asserted by the acupuncturists, a form of acupuncture and so falls under their regulatory purview. I have written about dry needling at Science-Based Medicine and there is a recent update on...
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07

Points of Interest 09/06/2016

Why that study about alternative therapies relieving pain is worthless . Please can we give up on complementary, alternative and 'integrative therapies' now? Also covered by SBM: "Non-pharmacological treatments for pain" ≠ CAM, no matter how much NCCIH wishes it so Why Does Acupuncture Make Me Cry? ""There's a belief that when you have an emotional...
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04

Naturopathic practice expansion fails in California; opportunity to end practice approaches

​ Senate Bill 538 failed in the California Assembly on the last day of the legislative session, leaving naturopaths under physician supervision when prescribing drugs and without the greatly expanded scope of practice they sought. As originally drafted , "naturopathic doctors" would be able to order and interpret diagnostic studies, such as X-rays ...
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04

An Acupuncturist's Plea: Let Us Keep Fooling Ourselves

I first ran across Betteridge's law of headlines earlier this week, which states "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no." Then I ran across the article Complementary and alternative medical treatments: can they really be evaluated by randomised controlled trials ? The authors answer is, not unsurprisingly, no: How...
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AUG
31

Naturopath of the Year

The American Association of Naturopathic Doctors has a Physician of the Year . What goes into the practice of an ND to warrant such a designation? In choosing the recipients, they consider leadership that boosts or contributes to the profession and development of fellow physicians; ethical standards and how well they model the Oath of Naturopathic ...
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28

Naturopathic Examiners Board admits deficiencies in pharmacology education

A recent announcement from the North American Board of Naturopathic Examiners (NABNE),* which administers the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations (NPLEX), confirms what we've long known: that education and training in pharmacology at naturopathic "medical" schools is insufficient to give naturopaths prescription drug authority in their s...
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26

Invasion of the Chiropractors

Evidently Portland will soon have a problem to rival that of the homeless along the Springwater corridor: an expansion of Chiropractic clinics . The Portland-area market is especially lucrative because of the city's health-focused outdoor culture, such as the biking, hiking and boating communities. And the influx of what are generally health-consci...
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AUG
21

Some physician supervision restored in eighth version of California naturopathic prescribing bill

​ California Senate Bill 538 , which would liberalize naturopathic prescribing privileges, is now in its eighth version, having been amended — once again — in the Assembly just this past week. Since introduction last year, SB 538 has seesawed between substantial expansion of naturopathic scope of practice and near-defeat, indicative of the con...
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19

Leeches vrs TENS: Whose pseudo-medicine will reign supreme?

I came across Comparison of the effectiveness of medicinal leech and TENS therapy in the treatment of primary osteoarthritis of the knee : A randomized controlled trial and did a double take. I have seen leeches used in my hospital after finger reattachment to help decrease blood engorgement in the finger. But osteoarthritis? I would have thought i...
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AUG
17

False Balance: With Pseudo-Medicine “Controversial” is used instead as “Nuts”

The Olympics has seen its share of useless pseudo-medicines. There was Michael Phelps with his cupping and Japanese sprinter Chisato Fukushima  who used skin patches to help draw out the natural healing ability of the body by placing them on the acupuncture points based on Oriental medicine. Perhaps she should have tried cupping as she fi...
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15

Points of Interest 08/14/2016

CUPPING IS AS EFFECTIVE AS HOMEOPATHY . I would agree with that. Calgary man's $2.32 million lawsuit claims chiropractic treatment for a sore back caused strokes, blindness More acupuncture/sham acupuncture studies showing both have the same result Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2016 May;36(5):535–8. Qijie theory of LAI's Tongyuan acupuncture technique Dermato...
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14

Who's supporting the lawsuit attacking California's new vaccination exemption law? The usual suspects.

​ At least three lawsuits have been filed challenging California's new vaccine exemption law, which eliminated "personal belief" exemptions. In one, Whitlow v. California Department of Education   (" Whitlow "), the court heard arguments on the plaintiffs' Motion for a Temporary Injunction on August 12 th . (The suit seeks only injunctive...
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AUG
13

Cupping in Portland

There has been a lot of electrons spilt on the subject of cupping this week, thanks to Michael Phelps. I have written about cupping in the context of use by the Portland Trailblazers and a review of the topic over at Science-Based Medicine . I did not have anything to add over the posts by Orac and Dr. Novella . Then I saw, Why Portland docs think ...
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