The NIH HEAL Initiative is designed to study "nonpharmacologic treatments for pain." What it will really study will include heaping helpings of "integrative medicine" pseudoscience.
Professor Fabrizio Benedetti is the most famous and almost certainly also the most influential researcher investigating the physiology of placebo effects. In a recent commentary, he asks whether placebo research is fueling quackery, as quacks co-opt its results. The answer to that question is certainly yes. A better question is: How do supporters of science counter the placebo narrative promoted by quacks, in which placebos represent the “power of the mind to heal the body”?
Tad Sztykowski is an acupuncturist who lost his acupuncture license for misrepresenting himself as a physician. His case is a good illustration of why licensing quack specialties like acupuncture is bad policy.
This week, JAMA Internal Medicine published a clinical trial purporting to find that acupuncture helps stable angina. Here's a hint: It doesn't. It's a bait-and-switch study that used "electroacupuncture" instead of acupuncture with poor blinding and lack of consideration of prior plausibility.
"Dr." Anthony Pellagrino is a chiropractor who fancies himself a scientist. Unfortunately, his touting a dubious study of chiropractic for stroke shows that he doesn't know a crappy study when he sees it.
Orac encounters a study of chiropractice manipulation under anesthesia for infant torticollis. Iit takes a lot to horrify Orac any more, but subjecting infants to unnecessary anesthesia and radiation to crack their necks did it.
Quackademic medicine takes a big leap forward at Thomas Jefferson University with its new Department of Integrative Medicine and Nutritional Sciences.
Integrative oncology "integrates" quackery with oncology. Its practitioners, however, frequently delude themselves that their specialty is science-based. A recent review article by two integrative oncologists from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center expresses that delusion perfectly.
There's a whole genre of quack apologia for traditional Chinese medicine that I like to call "traditional Chinese medicine is science, ma-an!" Basically, it tries to convince you that the prescientific, mystical, vitalistic mass of nonsense that is traditional Chinese medicine is "ancient knowledge" that was far ahead of its time and that its wisdom will be rediscovered to become the future of medicine. It's utter nonsense, of course. Unfortunately, in its January issue, National Geographic fell for this myth—hard.