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.
“Functional medicine” preaches the “biochemical individuality” of each patient, which is why one of its key features is that its practitioners order reams of useless lab tests and then try to correct every abnormal level without considering (or even knowing) what these abnormalities mean, if anything. So they make up fake diagnoses and profit.
In the days before Orac left the blog in order to rest and recharge his Tarial cell, he got into a little…”discussion”… on Twitter with a naturopath named Paul Theriault. It did not go well…for Not-a-Doctor Theriault. Be careful what you wish for, naturopaths, when you encounter Orac. You might get it.
As results from randomized clinical trials show that alternative medicine is nothing more than placeboe, quacks like to argue that they are “harnessing the power of placebo” with their methods and that placebos have real healing effect. They’ve even gone so far as to make up a genomics-based concept: The placebome. But is there such a thing as the placebome?
Last week, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center issued a press releast touting its integrative oncology program. It’s a perfect example to demonstrate the formulaic nature of such press releases and the distortions behind them used to sell the “integration” of quackery into medicine.