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On The Woo-woo Warpath


white_raven23
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Okay, so I'm taking a break with a co-worker last week....and she tells me she is being made miserable by the diet her nutritionist put her on. This nutritionist diagnosed her with candida. And we aren't talking the fun little friends us ladies are usually familiar with (vaginal yeast infections)....my co-worker was diagnosed with candida in the lungs.

 

Now....on this break, we were walking side by side at just under 4 MPH. I'd heard of pneumonic candida infection before...but it struck me odd that someone with a condition like that would be able to breathe normally while walking along like that.

 

I asked her what tests the nutritionist performed.

 

Get this.... my co-worker went on to describe....this: http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/encyclopedia.html

 

Applied kinesiology.

 

Seriously read it. My co-worker was diagnosed with candida pneumonia because she "easily" dropped a pouch of sugar!

 

Happily, I can say that while my co-worker described this "test" I could hear doubt and worry creeping into her voice...like describing the test OUT LOUD was enough to make it clearly ridiculous. The look on my face probably spoke volumes too.

 

I told her she needed to see a real doctor, and get her respiratory issues diagnosed. Sure it costs more, but having your diet stripped down to meat, plain yogurt, and raw veggies....you want to be confident that such a diet change really is necessary, and you don't want you faith to be in a little bag marked "Sugar" you dropped on the floor.

 

I wish I was making this up! Happily, my co-worker won't be going back to this "nutritionist"...but OMG...people really fall for this kind of snake oil pseudoscience (Or as James Randi puts it....Woo Woo). I thought I'd stepped in a Penn and Teller episode of Bullshit!

 

People are really being convinced that Woo Woo is valid! :eek:

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:lmao: I once had a friend that had candida (or so she said) She was cronically sick. I eventually saw through it and realized that she was just lazy and didn't like to work. She also had chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia
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Hypochondriacs are always cured by a dose of "woo" and even real illness sometimes resolves itself,coincidentally, after a shamanic interlude. The only "evidence" for the efficacy of non-medical cures is anecdotal, but there is a ton of it.

 

People in large part want desperately to believe in magic, so they do. It's really that simple.

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I actually had a therapist once named Candida Fink.

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What REALLY disturbing thing about these charlatans is that their customers avoid qualified, legitimate medical help for snake oil, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

 

Then again, just like with religion, and just like with so many other things, if only the sheeple valued critical thinking skills and insisting on solid evidence (which for the current example can be backed up with science and well designed research, etc.), over impassioned claims based on superstition or motivated by power or greed (ala unethical quacks), we'd be pulling ourselves out of the dark ages.

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WR,

 

I have near and dear friends who's "Dr" is a Chiropractor that practices this exact thing. The entire family swears by it. They believe the pharmaceutical company's are in bed with 'real' Doctors who pays them to A) poison people or b ) get them hooked on unhealthy meds. It's also how they measure what vitamins they are lacking and so forth. Not kidding :twitch: It's all the rage, and that "Doctor" is always booked. This "Dr" is also anti-red dye, anything with red dye in it makes kids hyper such as M&Ms (anyone but the red one is acceptable to eat) , Doritos, Fruit punch and the like. These people aren't country bumpkins either, Their college educated business owners, and go to this guy because they believe him. It has zero to do with money in this case.

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GAH!!!

 

I hope it's not contagious! If my gyno comes near me with a dowsing rod doo-hickey and the words... "I want to try a different technique" ... I'll probably forget to grab my clothes in my haste to vacate her office!!

 

I think it's time to re-read Michael Shermer's "green book" again!

 

http://www.amazon.com/People-Believe-Weird...6371&sr=8-1

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yeah, I know many people who go to chiropractors that practice AK also, and they also swear by it. I am confused, because it really does sound like a bunch of hooey... but one of those people is my ex-boyfriend, and so I am really familiar with his health background and he used to have a TON of digestive issues. He saw many doctors and underwent many conventional treatments, but still wound up laid out on the floor in serious pain (and with SERIOUS gas) after every meal, no matter what he ate. It was so odd. But then he started on this AK allergy elimination thing and honestly, it's night and day. The guy can eat whatever he wants now, he has no pain, no gas, nothing... he says he feels healthier than he's ever been. And he (and his wife) freely acknowledge that it sounds ridiculous, and that he doesn't understand how it works, but he's never felt better. His wife has been treated as well, and so have several of my friends, all with these amazing and unexplainable results. I don't get it.

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The problem here is that the body can heal itself. Even a doctor cannot tell if a drug or set of drugs and treatments cured what ails you or if your body just went ahead and got better by itself. The doctor prescribes drugs that have been statistically shown to produce a significantly better outcome than a placebo. That is not proof that the drug will help you in particular.

 

The quack points to the people that got better under his care and there will likely be some, so to the ordinary person it can look like these things will work.

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Chef, yeah, I understand that logic, but what are the odds of 4 different, unrelated friends' bodies spontaneously healing themselves of very different ailments/allergies all immediately after undergoing the same treatment from 2 different practitioners? And when I say heal, I mean it... Just to give ONE example, Vicky had celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and fructose intolerance, among many other allergies and intolerances (a doctor told her mother, after performing scratch tests for allergies, that Vicky should live in a bubble because she is allergic to so many things). She went for this AK allergy elimination and now has no problems with gluten or fructose, and one by one her allergies are being eliminated. Her allergies to cats and dogs disappeared after the treatments. Like I said, my preference is to be skeptical but it's a little bit much to write off with "well the body does this spontaneously sometimes."

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"well the body does this spontaneously sometimes."

 

 

Scratch the 'sometimes'. Chef didn't say "sometimes".

 

The body heals itself ALL the time. If it didn't, we'd be toast!

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You know, I fail to see the problem of exploiting the placebo effect if, indeed, a person does better from it. Now using a "treatment" to rook a bunch of marks is another thing entirely, and to use it to the exclusion of other treatments is naive to malicious depending, but the person in the anecdote did benefit, even if not for the reason that they thought.

 

Now to jump from we're tricking you into somehow healing yourself to this technique takes all comers, and for the low low price of whatever I can heal what ails you, yeah, there is a big problem with that.

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Chef, yeah, I understand that logic, but what are the odds of 4 different, unrelated friends' bodies spontaneously healing themselves of very different ailments/allergies all immediately after undergoing the same treatment from 2 different practitioners? And when I say heal, I mean it... Just to give ONE example, Vicky had celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and fructose intolerance, among many other allergies and intolerances (a doctor told her mother, after performing scratch tests for allergies, that Vicky should live in a bubble because she is allergic to so many things). She went for this AK allergy elimination and now has no problems with gluten or fructose, and one by one her allergies are being eliminated. Her allergies to cats and dogs disappeared after the treatments. Like I said, my preference is to be skeptical but it's a little bit much to write off with "well the body does this spontaneously sometimes."

 

I know what you're talking about sarahgrace. I also know what everyone else is talking about. I've been caught in the middle. I think everyone has to make their own choices and find what works for them. I don't know why some people only find relief for really strange illnesses via alternative medicine while others like myself respond well to conventional medicine. There's a couple things I could gripe about (but who hasn't?) and there's people in my life who try to capitalize on that. It's people who don't know the history of what I've tried, what works for my body, etc. so I don't consider them qualified to advise me.

 

When I was about thirteen, my parents first learned about health food. This was in abaout 1970. They were really into it and have been ever since. They went to every new and strange doctor in town. One of these doctors tried getting all her patients to try every new remedy she learned about. Things like hair analyses were among them. Mom was always convinced that her doctors were absolutely correct.

 

But I had been raised to be suspicious of quack doctors. All this running after the latest and greatest doctor in town seemed awfully much like quack doctoring to me. But Mom was so convincing that her doctors were different and she was never happy unless all of her daughters who weren't perfectly healthy and happy tried out her newest doctor. When it came to dishing out three hundred dollars for a magnetic mattress overlay to improve sleep, I stood my ground. I didn't have work at the time and I didn't have the money. Another sister dished up the money and I got a magnetic mattress overlay.

 

It took my body about three nights to get used to all that magnetic current or whatever. I had to take it out after several hours the first few nights so I thought maybe it's doing something. I was having serious problems with insomnia. My body adjusted and my insomnia did not change. What I needed was real meds from a qualified medical doctor. My parents had taught me from age 13 on to suspect medical doctors for all kinds of ulterior motives (Dad read it in Organic and Healthfood mags and newspapers), and the first meds I got didn't work, so I didn't know what to do. I dragged on for ten years trying this and that healthfood solution and/or pills for insomnia.

 

I managed to keep myself alive but seldom felt like it. Finally, my health got so bad that someone realized that I needed help. The people who offered help had much experience with meds for problems such as insomnia. I suspect that is how come they noticed that I wasn't well; the man had seen it so often in his own wife. He and his wife were a great support until I was "on my feet."

 

Back to my parents' foray into healthfood. So they were devoted to it from 1970 on. Mom would repeatedly say, "If it weren't for all the stuff I'm taking I wouldn't be any good." By that she meant she couldn't do any housework. I didn't comment. I knew the "stuff" cost a fortune, as did the doctors she was seeing. I knew the bit of housework she managed to do in no way made up for what the "stuff" cost. I also knew that the money meant nothing to Dad (he had none to start with but somehow he always found someone--maybe his father--from whom to loan) and that I had no power whatsoever, so not commenting was the best strategy for me.

 

Since her death two years ago, some of my siblings have commented with amazement how much Mom's stuff had cost. Again, I didn't comment a lot. I could not comprehend that anyone had been oblivious to the astonomical cost of her upkeep. She managed to die of heart disease in her mid-seventies despite everything.

 

I say she "managed" it because it seemed to me she had been trying to do so ever since she was forty. Her own mother had died of heart attack at age forty. So they say. She died at age forty but I'm not sure if the "heart attack diagnosis" was a doctor's diagnosis or just the family's idea. I've been told women don't die of heart attack that young--that it simply doesn't happen. Whatever, no doctor diagnosed a bad heart in my mother until she was seventy or so. She got all kinds of tests done time and again through-out her life, but all to no avail. She was three years old when her mother died and I think the one "test" she refused to take but should have was for a broken heart.

 

She didn't feel good, that much was obvious. But it was also somewhat clear to me that it was not exactly physical. At least, not all of it. For example, she was incapable of being in huge buildings such as the hospital, and traveling in motor vehicles such as cars. She could do a minimum of these things but only a strict minimum. Then her sister next to her in age (with whom she had been very close all her life) got deathly ill with a final bout of cancer. She had been fighting it for years and we all knew this would be the last time. It would be only a matter of days or weeks.

 

I forget how many weeks it was, but my mother went to the hospital so many times to be with her sister. It was totally out of character for her. I mentioned it to her and asked how she could do it when ordinarily she claimed to be unable to be in large buildings or travel in a car so much. She said, in a tone that indicated I should know as much, that "This is the last I can be with my sister. There will be a time when I can be with her at all any more."

 

In my mind, an honest answer would have provided some explanation of what physical accommodations she was making so that she was able to do what she normally could not do. She did not admit that this was even the case. It was as though she hated that I noticed that she was doing stuff she normally couldn't.

 

So far as I am concerned, she did have a problem but it was not exactly physical. I think she got a certain sense of consolation by doctoring her physical body. I think she was a true hypochondriac.

 

I also think she could still be alive if life had been worth living for her. But life was so utterly not worth living that over the course of seventy years her broken heart simply wore her body out. Also, she had strictly specified that no heroic measures should be taken. She was bitterly disappointed that my siblings took her to the hospital to die. The hospital would have done more if it had been authorized but my siblings insisted that no, her quality of life is not worth it. I know it was her wish. But sometimes I ask myself some hard questions. I do not think that she is in heaven or anywhere else.

 

So that's one non-expert case study of the long-term effects of the healthfood craze. She was about 38 years old in 1970, and the mother of ten children when she started. She lived to be about 75.

 

On the other hand, my one brother's children had a lot of allergies when they were little and had restricted diets, but this changed as they got older. My brother and his wife dealt successfully with alternative medicine and practitioners from the time the children were infants. So that's another side of the story. This is why I think everyone needs to find what works for them. Our bodies are not all the same and do not all respond the same way to the same thing. I think this is obvious for anyone who works in substance abuse.

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Woo-woo works in some cases. I've seen it happen too often to dismiss it.

 

The magic is not in the particular brand of woo, but in the mind of the believer. Belief does work. Placebo pills, copper bracelets, hypnosis, faith healing and magnetic mattresses are among the things that can spur the unconscious into healing the body or relieving pain and symptoms. You may have seen yogis or other mentalists with the ability to alter their heart rate or blood pressure at will. Most of us have seen a hypnotized subject endure needle punctures without noticing any pain. Brain magic.

 

However, with modern scientific techniques available to most civilized societies it is foolish to rely on magic to diagnose illness. As an adjunct therapy, it can't hurt.

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As an adjunct therapy, it can't hurt.

 

 

Actually.... depends on who you go to, and how much trust you want to put in specialists of the woo. And as you mentioned, using it as a supplement as opposed to alternative care.... brain magic is a powerful force and a wonderful thing.

 

But caution...because it really CAN hurt if you go too far with the woo, or trust a flakey woo-er.

 

http://whatstheharm.net/

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Of course, if Dr. Woo says to stop chemo, drink tea and the cancer will go away . . . RUN!

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Ok, now it is beginning to make more sense... sort of. The mind is a very powerful thing. It all still really makes me shake my head and go, "Huh?!"

:shrug:

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I never shop in health food stores and i'm not a believer in the overwhelming majority of alternative medicine. But i think it can only do a body good to give up Doritos, fruit punch and the like as long as the alternative is more fruits, veggies and real food. BTW, legitimate studies have shown that drinking tea is beneficial to one's health, although i would never try as a cure for cancer and i'm a confirmed coffee drinker myself.

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Guest QuidEstCaritas?
Of course, if Dr. Woo says to stop chemo, drink tea and the cancer will go away . . . RUN!

 

 

Or a naturopath tells a client to stop chemo and take homeopathic remedies for cancer.

 

I had a friend who was once advised to do this, she was so convinced that there was no way to reason with her.

 

She is probably fucking dead by now.

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People are really being convinced that Woo Woo is valid! :eek:

 

Yeah, the American public in general is strongly convinced in Woo Woo of all kinds.

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Woo-woo works in some cases. I've seen it happen too often to dismiss it.

 

The magic is not in the particular brand of woo, but in the mind of the believer. Belief does work. Placebo pills, copper bracelets, hypnosis, faith healing and magnetic mattresses are among the things that can spur the unconscious into healing the body or relieving pain and symptoms. You may have seen yogis or other mentalists with the ability to alter their heart rate or blood pressure at will. Most of us have seen a hypnotized subject endure needle punctures without noticing any pain. Brain magic.

 

However, with modern scientific techniques available to most civilized societies it is foolish to rely on magic to diagnose illness. As an adjunct therapy, it can't hurt.

 

I think more studies need to be done on the power of Placebos and the human mind. I think if we could figure out the human mind's connection to healing the human body, we might discover some really cool stuff that has nothing to do with Woo Woo.

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