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Complementary and alternative medicine Humor Medicine Quackery

Alternative medicine and “alternative” methods of payment?

I don’t know where EoR finds this stuff, but I like the way Deborah Ross thinks when she discusses offering alternative medical practitioners alternative methods of payment. Not surprisingly, they aren’t interested:

There has been much fuss this week about the ‘scientific status’ of homeopathy, just as there is always a fuss about ‘alternative’ treatments generally. Personally, I have no patience with the dismissive and often contemptuous attitude these therapies can attract, as there are many useful treatments and products on offer out there. These include:

THE ALTERNATIVE CREDIT CARD (Guaranteed APR – Actual Patient Rip-off – of not less than 100 per cent)

THIS is an absolutely essential item for anyone considering any kind of alternative treatment. Indeed, as alternative as any therapist might be, he or she is not, I have discovered, generally keen on accepting any alternative kind of payment.

For example, I once tried to pay an aromatherapist alternatively with an old shoe, and she wasn’t having any of it.

In particular, though, I like this proposed “alternative method of payment” for homeopathy practitioners:

It’s the same, alas, with homeopaths. As homeopathy attempts to treat the sick with extremely diluted agents – sometimes so diluted that the water has only a ‘memory’ of the original agent – I thought I could pay with some pocket fluff which, surely, would remember having rubbed against money at various times in its life.

And what did I receive for my trouble? A punch on the nose that, alas, did not appear diluted at all!

Not very homeopathic of that practitioner, was it? Personally, I’d propose paying a homeopath with my expired AAA card. After all, it resided for a couple of years in my wallet, and thus came into contact with the leather of the wallet, which was in near-constant contact with money. Thus it’s “diluted” at least a couple of times. Surely there’s left an energetic imprint from all the money that passed in and out of my wallet during those years that the card was there!

If anyone out there has other suggestions for alternative methods of payment for alt-med practitioners, here’s your chance. Leave ’em in the comments below.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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