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

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 your site on Google when I was searching for "What is Moxibustion Traditional Therapy" and I wanted to reach out. I liked the page ( and I wanted to know of you would be willing to add my video to it ( The video explains Moxibustion Therapy and I think it would go great with your page.


The video is, in my opinion, the usual nonsense about moxibustion and the fantastical theories that underlie traditional Chinese Pseudo-Medicine (TCPM). But very nicely done. I wish we had those kind of resources.

I responded

You do realize that the thrust of my article is moxibustion is garbage and your video is more of the same?

you might consider actually reading the articles first

And he actually took affront at my response, suggesting that my anger would best be treated with moxibustion.

Not an atypical response. Whenever I reply to these kinds of missives my anger is noted and it is suggested they have the cure for that anger with whatever pseudo-medicine they are promulgating.

But angry?

I have told my origin story before (nothing to do with radioactive spiders or being hit by lightning in a chemistry lab):

I became interested in SCAMs early in my practice when I was called to see a "leg infection". What it was a dead leg, wet gangrene, with the horrible smell only rotting human flesh can produce. It was a 24-year-old girl who had an osteosarcoma of her leg and rather than be cured with amputation she went to a naturopath who said she could be cured by, among other things, drinking alkaline water and herbs. It didn't. She refused surgery by us. She had been brought in by her mother when she became unresponsive but perked up with fluids, letting us know her naturopath still assured her that he could cure the tumor, that the rotten leg was her body 'rejecting' the tumor. That night the tumor, or the infection, eroded into a major artery and she bled to death.

That is why I am mad: lives, time, money, health and hope lost to nonsense. And it continues:

Actress dies from cancer aged 26 after choosing acupuncture and cupping instead of chemotherapy

She had lymphoma. Like the sarcoma, potentially curable. And sadly, tragically, she opted for

traditional Chinese medicine, and in particular a "healing master" who promised to oversee her daily sessions, including cupping and scraping therapy, as well as acupuncture and bloodletting.

She was worried about lymphoma treatment:

"I don't want chemotherapy to torture me until I have no beauty or talent left in me."

But the pictures in the article document the real and likely worse torture from TCPM.

It is a shame she did not read SBM.

Do the TCPM providers worry that they are killing people? Of course not

Prominent traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have said that Xu's death cannot be blamed on the millennia-old methods, as she could have just as easily died while receiving chemotherapy.

False equivalency much? Instead of a high chance of cure with a low chance of death she received no chance of cure with 100% chance of death. Not a good trade-off.

Another life lost to useless pseudo-medicine.

Angry? Damn right I am angry and it is nothing that moxibustion will cure.

Points of Interest 09/17/2016
Points of Interest 09/15/2016

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