Curiosities and posts of interest across the internet concerning Science-Based Medicine.

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Points of Interest: 2/14/2014

The influence of social norms on the dynamics of vaccinating behavior for paediatric infectious disease. “Social norms can strongly suppress vaccine uptake despite frequent outbreaks, as observed in some small communities. Significant portions of the parameter space also exhibit bistability, meaning long-term outcomes depend on the initial conditions. Depending on the context, social norms can either support or hinder immunization goals.” The acupuncturists won in Oregon, now they move on to Texas: Lawsuit claims getting acupuncture at a chiropractor is a public health threat. “Acupuncturists licensed by the Acupuncture Board must complete at least 1,800 instructional hours and complete at least two terms of a resident course from a reputable school to become licensed, according to the petition. They must study relevant subjects, including bacteriology, meridian and point locations, hygiene and public health.In contrast, the chiropractic board requires chiropractors to complete only 100 hours of acupuncture training to practice the procedure, the petition stated.” Are there health benefits to magnet therapy or is it all hype? Hype. How does magnet therapy work? It doesn’t. As you say “though there appears to be little benefit to magnet therapy ” Are there reasons to avoid magnet therapy? It’s worthless.
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Points of Interest: 2/13/2014

Quality of acupuncture needles is less than perfect and must improve “surface irregularities and bent tips have not been completely eliminated, say the researchers…An estimated 1.4 billion acupuncture needles are used each year worldwide, with China, Japan, and Korea the main suppliers. China provides up to 90% of the world’s needles.” Thats a lot of needles. To bad it is impossible to improve the quality of acupuncture. New - Acupuncture Dragon & Tiger Relieves Menstrual Cramps & Pain. “The dragon and tiger fighting method involves alternately rotating the needle to the left nine times and rotating the acupuncture needle to the right six times. The dragon, Zi, is Yang and the tiger, Wu, is Yin. The dragon stands for the strengthening techniques of rotating to the left and the number 9, a Yang number. The tiger stands for the reducing method of rotating the needle to the right and the number 6, a Yin number. The motion of rotation is generated by rotating the needle by moving the thumb forward for the dragon technique and moving the thumb backwards for the tiger technique. Fighting stands for the alternation of rotating from one direction to the other.” Sounds like every Kung-Fu movie I ever saw, but I it is probably true, but nor the reasons they offer. See: Acupuncture applied as a sensory discrimination training tool decreases movement- in patients with chronic low back pain more than acupuncture alone: a randomised cross-over experiment. Acupuncturists win ‘dry needling’ case at Oregon appeals court. “The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled “dry needling” is acupuncture and not within the scope of practice of chiropractic medicine, the Oregon Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine said in a news release.” Next I hope they decide that acupuncture and not within the scope of practice of acupuncture medicine and chiropractic and not within the scope of practice of chiropractic medicine.
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Points of Interest 2/12/2014

Leaving the Anti-Vaccine Movement. An interesting look into a person who left the dark side. Battle of the pseudo-medicines. Acupuncturists Needle Chiropractic Board in Court “Acupuncturists sued the Texas chiropractic board, claiming it creates a ”significant threat“ to public safety by allow chiropractors to do acupuncture.” I would suspect it is also a “significant threat” to public safety by allow chiropractors to do chiropractic and acupuncturists to do acupuncture. Here’s why we should research alternative therapies. Mostly an argument we should have a better understanding as to why people use pseudo-medicines. Juan Bi Tang. Qualifiers galore: “While Juan Bi Tang has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, clinical trials testing this formula’s health effects are currently lacking. Still, a number of scientific studies indicate that certain herbs found in Juan Bi Tang may be beneficial in relieving pain and improving the health of joints and muscles….It should also be noted that, due to dietary supplements being largely unregulated, the content of some herbal products may differ from what is specified on the product label. While consumers face such risk with any dietary supplement, they may be greater when purchasing Juan Bi Tang and other products with a variety of herbs in varying doses.” And that is from a proponent. I think I would pass. What Does Being Healthy Really Mean? 5 Difference Between Chinese and Western Medicine: “Ancient Chinese physicians went one better. Like the comic book Superman, a number of the famous ones had supernormal X-ray vision. and ”Western medicine considers microbes most important. Finding microbes, isolating microbes, and preventing their spread is key in winning the fight against illnesses." I am skeptical of the former and embrace the latter. There is a War on Integrative Medicine.. It is odd as I see the progressive use of worthless pseudo-medicines. Ah, different perspectives.
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Points of Interest: 2/07/2014

If a therapy is equal to placebo then usually the therapy is considered to be ineffective. It is why we no longer do mammary artery ligation for angina. Unless it is an acupuncture study. Then being equal to placebo demonstrates efficacy. Real, sham acupuncture improved patient-reported outcomes in breast cancer After an announcement for career in investigative law enforcement, they follow with a class in fraud: Homeopathy class promotes self-healing. I have mentioned continual recombination of pseudo-medicines to come up with new therapies. It continues: Cannabis and Yoga as Complementary Medicines. “Called Ganja Yoga, 420 Remedy Yoga, or Cannabis-enhanced, a growing number of yoga instructors are more than accepting of medical marijuana patients; they are encouraging their students to partake in cannabis before and sometimes during class.”
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Points of Interest: 2/6/2014

I can't tell if tongue in cheek: Bay activist: I made it rain with earth acupuncture. I hope so. Seems like the Canadians (and Austrailans) have more spine: Traditional Chinese medicine is still a divisive issue in B.C. Ask the Doc: Can upper cervical chiropractic help traumatic brain injury?   Well, no. Not even with advanced physics. Now DC's are doing upright MRI's to document, well, "subtle misalignment of the head and neck junction (that) is associated with loss of overall healing potential...The notable fact about the upper cervical procedure we practice for people with trauma is that the adjustment is not felt (NUCCA). The advanced physics render it very soft-touch."  
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Points of Interest: 2/5/2014

Why it’s good to be wary of homeopathic remedies for asthma.  Yes.  Avoid useless medications for potentially fatal problems. “Medical research in clown shoes” Quackademic medicine down under. Homeopathic ophthalmology and chromatotherapy? Keep my eyes away! "Dr. Agrapart and his fellow chromatotherapists seem to conclude, shining colored light into the eyes can improve health and cure all manner of diseases up to and including cancer."
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Points of Interest: 2/4/2014

Chiropractic ranks second on ‘Forbes’ magazine list. "In yet another indication that the profession is poised for continued success, chiropractic offices were recently second on a Forbes magazine list of the “20 most-profitable industries and their pretax margins.”"  Although chiropractors have highest student loan default rate of any first profession health care field, the actual rate is quite small, at about 1.1%.

Public editor: Homeopath’s advice needs to be balanced.  I might suggest that given homeopathy is not reality based, there is no need for balance, any more than you need astrologers in an astronomy report or alchemists in a story on chemistry.

Homeopath develops treatment based on personality.  Given what is in homeopathy, it is only used on people with no personality?

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Points of Interest: 2/1/2014

At least it is not battle field acupuncture, but I feel for the vets none-the-less.  Acupuncturists to offer free clinic for veterans. Chiropractic care comes with mild adverse events. And no efficacy. "The researchers discovered that 33% of the sham group and 42% of the usual group reported at least one adverse event. Events that were commonly reported include headache, muscle stiffness and increased pain."
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Points of Interest: 1/31/2014

Homeopathy healing 80 % leprosy patients, claims Ayush.  "multi-drug allopathic treatment cures leprosy, it often fails to cure the lack of sensation and disability in the affected body parts. "After the year-long homeopathy course, it was found that more than 80% of the patients had recovered the senses in their affected body parts and their wounds had healed."  I would be a wee bit skeptical. And I never thought of antibiotics as a "multi-drug allopathic treatment." American Chiropractic Association to honor Sen. Tom Harkin during NCLC. "a longtime champion of chiropractic who is known on Capitol Hill for his penchant for green ties." and a total lack of understanding of medicine.  And the picture doesn't even have a green tie. I Visited a Chickasaw Healer. See how many cognitive errors you can find in one article.  I think I have my next SBM post. $49.5 plus postage and handling New York Doctor Thrilled Original Copper Heeler Insole Expands US Presence.   I thought the Onion already offered this.
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Points of Interest: 1/30/2014

Too bad it makes as much sense as chiropractic:  Tissue depth considerations for laser therapy. "Laser therapy has revolutionized the practice of chiropractic. Lasers may allow chiropractors to treat a whole host of conditions, ranging from chronic pain, to inflammation, to promoting wound healing."  These kind of articles always seem to be in economic websites. Dry needling by physical therapists ignites turf war with acupuncturists.  In a battle of pseudo-medicine practitioners, I'll take the physical therapists.  To judge from the photograph,  least they use gloves. Why do I keep wanting to spit whenever I have to say this Doctor’s name?  For me it is more like Ipecac.
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Points of Interest: 1/29/2014

If that is the reason, shouldn't they all be suspended? Snohomish County naturopathic physician suspended for misleading patients.  "Snohomish County naturopathic physician was immediately suspended for allegedly duping cancer patients into treatment with an unapproved experimental vaccine." Conflict of Interests at the General Chiropractic Council Outcomes of Usual Chiropractic; Harm (OUCH). A randomised controlled trial.  An interesting example of placebo causing adverse reactions. Liberals Finally Cleared of Anti-Vaccine Madness Director of ‘ALLIANCE OF HOMEOPATHS’ recommends homeopathy for measles
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Points of Interest: 1/28/2014

"Acupuncture has gradually increased its acceptability over the last 20 years [because] it has good, double-blind, scientific proof that it is of assistance for pain and other disorders."  As long as you think placebo is effective and ethical.  And look at the picture.  Again with the bare hands.

Regulating Homeopathy "In July 1951, news spread that certain manufacturers of homeopathic remedies in the Stockholm area had skipped part of the potentization process and had sold pure sugar pills under the false claim that they were homeopathic medicines."  As if it made a difference.  An interesting review of some Swedish history.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation warning: "Professor Wand and colleagues concluded: “The potential for catastrophic events and the clear absence of unique benefit lead to the inevitable conclusion that manipulation of the cervical spine should be abandoned as part of conservative care for neck pain."

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Points of Interest 1/27/2014

A Canadian team has conducted a study that fails to support the "Blood type diet" of naturopath Peter D'Adamo. http://www.dietscam.org/research/blood_type.pdf  Emergen-C marketers settled a class action suit for false advertising and are having to reimburse customers. It will cost them $6.45 million, but how much have they already profited? http://www.casewatch.org/civil/alacer/preliminary_approval_order.pdf Quantum holographic sleep discs that calm and sedate the body's energy flow by transferring energy non-transdermally will help you sleep and give you vivid dreams. Yeah, sure! http://www.qhtmedical.com/Prod-18-1-4-1/quantum-sleep.htm
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Points of Interest: 1/26/2014

The Australians are so far ahead of us: Order of Australia to Ms Loretta Josephine Marron. For service to community health. "Inaugural Chief Executive Officer and Secretary, Friends of Science in Medicine, since 2011; Founding Member, 2011; formed to support evidence-based medicine and to raise concerns about 'complementary and alternative' interventions for health conditions." Congratulations.

 

 

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JAN
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Points of Interest: 1/25/2014

Is Going For Acupuncture Treatments For Infertility Problems a Good Idea? I'll answer that.  No.  Acupuncture does not and cannot do anything. The American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine (ABIHM) Announces Its Expansion to Larger International Academy Driven By Six Major Shifts in Healthcare.  Bold added. "In addition to medical and osteopathic physicians, the academy will support licensed and credentialed healthcare providers such as naturopathic physicians, chiropractors, acupuncturists, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, nutritionists, and dieticians." This is an example of why the Society for Science-Based Medicine is needed.  Expandind the role of pseudo-medical providers.
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Points of Interest: 1/24/2014

HOMEOPATHY, does it really work in animals? ...The short answer to this question is NO. Despite the above, reality not a priority for vets: Judging merits of veterinary homeopathy not an AVMA objective. "Delegates quietly and overwhelming rejected a resolution that called on the AVMA to publicly discourage and identify homeopathy as an “ineffective practice.”  What creationists and anti-vaxxers have in common: "They are, though, different manifestations of the same thing: people’s misplaced and misinformed insistence that their personal beliefs exempt them from the scientific evidence to the contrary, even if that means consequences for people who don’t share their beliefs."
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Points of Interest: 1/23/2014

Influenza kills pregnant women, leads to miscarriage, smaller babies, less intelligent babies  and is spread from mother to newborn.  The vaccine can prevent all of that with no risks to the baby or mom.  This shouldn't happen: More misinformation on flu shots, more tragedy. Big Data Crushes Anti-Vaccination Movement More on the unsavory history of the vaccine-autism 'link' Despite the above, people still want to spread infection. Miss. parents rally for vaccine rights bill. Medical Child Abuse? "Families of children suffering from pain, anxiety, nausea and vomiting, may take part in the study and choose from alternative medicine  therapies like massage therapy, acupuncture, acupressure and Reiki, a form of energy therapy."  And they are being paid  $750,000 to see if worthless therapies can ease the suffering of children.
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Points of Interest: 1/22/2014

Acupuncture: A Natural Treatment For Glaucoma?  "Because of the poor quality of the study and the high risk of bias the authors of the review concluded that, “On the basis of currently available evidence, the benefit and harm of acupuncture as a therapeutic modality for glaucoma cannot be established."  Do not rely on pseudo-medicine when failure could lead to blindness. An under-recognized effect of using Chinese Medicine, contributing to animal extinction.  "Poaching is primarily done to satisfy the alternative and complementary medicine markets, which are a quirky shadow business in America (the U.S. government's $120 million annual National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine - NCCAM - boondoggle aside) but in Asia, alternative medicine is popular...A long-term strategy is not to demonize hunting, even the illegal kind, or even goofy pseudo-medical practices, but rather to tackle the growing wealth gap between African areas of supply and Asian centers of demand, which remains a central dynamic to the problem. "   It is nice to see this outside the SBM site. Stanislaw Burzynski’s counteroffensive against FDA, Texas Medical Board continues

 

 

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Points of Interest: 1/21/2014

Here are 15 home remedies taken from the Ayurvedic tradition that you can try the next time you have the opportunity. Of course if these don’t work for you, or your symptoms get worse, make sure to consult with your health practitioner of choice (whether that’s a medical doctor or a shaman). And for the skeptics who think these types of treatments aren’t real I have to ask, why wouldn’t you try them when there’s no real downside? Er, because I do not to waste time and money of pseudo-medical treatments that have no basis in reality? Fevers are usually good. Treating fevers usually bad. I have discussed the fact that you should let the fever burn. More fuel for the fire: Fighting flu fever with pills making death toll worse, study says The toll of the anti-vaccination movement, in one devastating graphic. I like the way the graphic looks like a infectious rash on the world.
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Points of Interest: 1/20/2014

  • When the facts do not support you, go for misogyny: Life as a Female Journalist: Hot or Not? "J. B. Handley, a critic of childhood vaccination and the founder of the autism group Generation Rescue, affiliated with the actress Jenny McCarthy, sent me an essay titled, “Paul Offit Rapes (intellectually) Amy Wallace and Wired Magazine.” In it, he implied that my subject had slipped me a date-rape drug. Later, an anti-vaccine website Photoshopped my head onto the body of a woman in a strapless dress who sat next to Dr. Offit at a festive dinner table. The main course? A human baby...This kind of vitriol is not designed to hold reporters accountable for the fairness and accuracy of their work. Instead, it seeks to intimidate and, ultimately, to silence female journalists who write about controversial topics. "
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