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August 09, 2008

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Even if there were the least scintilla that, say, homeopathy were the real deal, what the hell does that have to say about prana, or acupuncture or qigong or any of the other crap?

That's like a pharmacologist sayimg, "Hey, there's no need for clinical trials on new drugs - after all, we know aspirin works."

It seems that all a woo practitioner needs to fervently believe in anything at all is that science has rejected it.

Ahh sure if you don't like what is being said on Wikipedia then run off and create your own special little Wiki. Yup keep actual science and those nasty skeptics with their uncomfortable reasoning far way from raining on their special parade. Typical antics of believers and those that milk them for their money.

Wonder what the CAM folks would be saying if "Big Pharma" went and created their own misinforming Wiki?

And I helped!

http://wiki4cam.org/wiki/Faith_Healing

Heehee. I'm such a shit.

HJ

I am concerned about the term Applied Kinesiology being listed as woo medicine. The reason is that kinesiology itself is a completely legitimate science and its application is very worthwhile. Perhaps real kinesiologists should raise a stink about their vocation being trashed by these woo masters. It seems to me that, before long, the real guys will begin to lose income as a result of people being bilked by the phonies.

Ugh!

Since the entire *point* of Wikipedia is that everyone accessing it weighs in on the entries under evidencial rules, and thus arrive at some kind of margially objective concensus, the 'right choice' is to isolate a particular field from the mainstream?

Dowsing? WTF? It's a totally baseless woo belief, of course, and not unlike reiki, homeopathy, and most of that other claptrap in that respect -- but since when do even the most ardent dowsers claim that it has medical applications?


~David D.G.

I so wish they had the insight to call this the WikiWoo.

Actually they just mis-spelled Wiki4CAM. The "4" should be an "S".

Or they just missed the "S". Take your pick.

The main page list is not very long but even so there are a lot of "therapies" I never heard of before. With so many ways to heal
the human body, it's a wonder there are any sick people left in the world.

So, can anyone just make up anything and add it? Why don't we all invent some new healing methods and fill the wiki up with nonsense? We could even have a competition to see who can get the most mentions of "quantum" and "resonance" and "vibrations" in their articles.

On the registration page:

"Skeptics are requested to stay away."

Oh well, there goes my idea :)

i notice you include shiatsu and yoga on your woo list - i might be wrong, but isn't shiatsu just massage? and while a massage might not have "healing" properties in that it's not going to make that pesky pancreatic cancer go away, it sure is a pleasant way to spend an hour and is going to increase blood flow to muscles and disperse lactic buildup in the same manner of a post-match sports massage given by a physio.

and yoga similarly is not going to cure that nasty case of AIDS, but it leads to increased flexibility and in combination with a balanced diet can help overweight people lose some kilos in a low-impact manner, possibly preventing future myocardial infarctions and strokes.

prevention over cure, anyone?

I also think that shiatsu and yoga are of value. But it's the wiki, not Skeptico who puts them on the same list as magnet therapy and pee drinking.

However, it should also be noted that Shiatsu is based not only on normal anatomy and physiology, but also on traditional chinese medicine. Plenty of room for nonsense there.

Similar with yoga - the philosophy behind it sits uncomformfortably with modern medicine. Craniosacral Therapy also works on a physiological system which actually exists and has palpable effects when worked on, but some aspects are more presumed than proven and some of the diagnostic techniques are really quite silly.

Another thing that make me laugh is that, say, reiki is meant to be the ultimate therapy, capable of curing anything from athlete's foot to liver cancer. Whatever ails you, reiki can fix it. No question. The full Monty. The perfect therapy.

However, just in case, they also do Acupunture here. No? What about Aromatherapy, then? Rolfing? Therapeutic Touch? Cupping? Hopi ear candling?

Basically, they can all cure any ailment known to man, but they've studied all of them so they can choose whatever therapy you're "happiest" with.

If they're so good, why not specialise in just one therapy and get really good at it?

tk:

In regards to yoga there is a lot of baggage that comes with it. I remember a few years ago when I was taking Tai Chi classes I decided to try yoga as well, and quit very quickly because the 'instructor' kept talking about the yoga 'releasing toxins'.

If it's taken just as exercise and instructed by someone who has an understanding of proper physical exercise, limitations and requirements I don't have a problem with it (like my Tai Chi classes were - no mystical mumbo jumbo, no supernatural forces at work), but it very rarely is with yoga.

Until yoga is seperated from the junk, it is woo. Seperated from the woo, it's called stretching.

You can find out all about some people's use of dowsing for nutritional deficiencies, allergies and other big health questions along with a diagram of the 'equipment'. There are also links to discussions of people using 'applied kinesiology' for similar purposes.

Yes, I think I'd agree with the folks who acknowledge that yoga and shiatsu massage have legitimate benefits, but still think they should be lumped in with the rest of the woo. It's very difficult to get into either yoga or shiatsu without hearing a lot of blather about Chi and "energy" (which next to "toxins" must be one of the most common of all woo-medicine buzzwords).

The title of this article confused me, at first, because there is a real "Scampedia" on the internet at http://scams.wikispaces.com/; it's a database of known scams of various kinds.

I didn't know that - thanks for the link.

And guess what, they even have a page on the scam that is Homeopathy. I've added it to my list of "Urban Legends and Hoaxes" links.

I love your new acronym -- adding "supplementary" at the front. :)

I work in an area of "unproven therapy." Last week a patient with a spinal cord injury moved her wrist for the first time in 16 years.

Go ahead, mister expert.

Tell me everything you know about "health freedom."I am sick to death of your pseudo-intellectual posturing.

Ooo, another person who posted the same things they posted before in this thread. As Akusai put it: Anecdotal evidence, jackass.

Dear Rightintheface

The comment does not justify the handle. It would be right in the face if you included some evidence - or do you think that simply saying something happened is acceptable proof? If that is the case, how would you discern a good "alternative" therapy from a poor one? You are really demonstrating exactly how low you think the bar should be set. (i.e. you would have to let in everyone who says they can heal and completely abandon all safety and ethics if you accept the kind of statement that you are asking us to be convinced by.)

Also, how did you reach the conclusion that the wrist movement was really the result of something you did? (And did anyone else see it, has it continued to improve, which other treatments were going on at the time.....and of course, the fact that it happened "last week" means that we can't ask if it's continued to improve!)

Oh, and what was the freaking therapy, how does it work and how did it improve the function of the wrist. If you don't know how it works, then how did you arrive at the conclusion that it was the cause of the improvement?

There is nothing unspiritual or narrow-minded about such questions, but they would make it harder for people like you to earn you cash from the needy, and to show up on sites like this and insult people.

(Sheesh, and people think skeptics are arrogant and impolite!)

Rightintheface:

Yakaru hit the nail on the head exactly but let me re-iterate:

One movement only a week ago - have there been any more?

Have they improved?

Have they grown in frequency?

Has it been just one movement in 16 years?

Have you worked with them the entire 16 years?

Do you know for certain there have never been other movements?

What other therapies/treatments has the patient been recieving over the last 16 years?

Are they still recieving other treatments/ therapies?

How do you know none of these are responsible?

How do you know your unproven therapy is?

What have you done to exclude other possible factors before concluding it is your unproven therapy that is responsible?

By what mechanism do you think your unproven therapy is working?

What is the evidence for this?

What is your unproven therapy?

How many people recieving your unproven therapy over the years have shown no improvement whatsoever?

How do you explain that?

Why don't you include those patients in your anecdotal evidence?

These questions aren't psuedo-intellectual posturing, they are basic thoughts that should have occurred to any health care professional with an ounce of common sense.

Did you think of them? Or did you go straight to 'It's a miracle, take that evidence based medicine.' The answer, it would seem, is obvious. Bravo.

I love it when pseudophiles (yeah i made up that word) come here and think they are presenting some sort of evidence that quashes the scientific method. Creationists do it, CAM practitioners do it, and psychic do it. This guy did it to.

I do have one problem with one of the questions both yakaru and jimmy raised.

By what mechanism do you think your unproven therapy is working?

I dont think you need to explain the mechanism in order to show that something works or not.

I think that once you know something is or is not real, then it makes total sense to understand why it is or is not real.

The problem with almost all CAM is that they never bother with the first part. They do low quality studies and make conclusions based on anecdotes, non blinded studies and things like fMRI which only show how your brain reacts to something, not what is really happening.

For me, to know something works does not require knowing how it works. When I was a kid I knew fire happened when i struck a match. I had no idea about energy or oxidation or anything like that.


Techskeptic, that's a valid point, but this person's story is so vague that I think a list of general questions is in order. In particular I was thinking that if the patient is getting other treatments too, then I would want to know why the success should be attributed to this particular one.

Good article (the link) and "pseudophile" deserves wide usage!

Techskeptic:

I'm not sure that is what Yakaru was getting at, but I know it wasn't what I was getting at.

The point was not that you must understand the mechanism in order to see something has happened.

What I was getting at was that woos will say it was their therapy that contributed to miracle cure X (the extraordinary outcome), but they never know how. If they don't know by what mechanism it could have contributed to miracle cure X, then how do they know it was their therapy that did and anything else can be ruled out? They aren't claiming simply that something happens, but that something happens because of.

For example:
"Eating candy cures cancer, because I had cancer and I started eating sweets and now I don't have cancer."

Would seem to be a valid assertion in the case you are arguing ("The claim itself doesn't require a mechnism, it simply requires evidence of its truth."). Not knowing how sweets cures cancer does not stop the assertion from being valid if someone now does not have cancer (evidence of the truth).

This is I think very different to the examples of Newton you gave in your article. He observed something (the evidence of the truth), then came up with the explanations and possible mechanisms for it. He did it the right way around.

The woos however start with their pet therapy, and fit it to the observations without even knowing if it can explain the observations. They do it the wrong way around.

Knowing the mechanism is central to figuring out if something worked or not. Without knowing the mechanism, you can't rule out everything else.

So, I don't know exactly how getting sound through my stereo from a CD works, but I know that it does.

If someone claimed that getting sound through my stereo cured cancer, then it is important to know by what mechanism it does this, because only by knowing how my stereo cures cancer can we rule out everything else that may have somehow cured cancer while listening to my stereo.

So in your article you say:

You don't need a mechanism to make a claim that something happens.

And that is not in dispute if the claim is only that something happens. If this patient moved their wrist for the first time in 16 years I do not need the mechanism to see that this happened.

But if you make the claim that something happened because of therapy Y, you do need to understand the mechanism or your claim is baseless, you are just guessing.

I'm not even sure that really we are in disagreement. I agree, you do not need a mechanism to say "Something happens." But, you do need a mechanism to say "Something happens because of X."

See? From guys who supposedly know so much, you know so little. My anecdotal evidence has happened time after time. It's been the product of some of the greatest medical minds of our time. Hey, have you heard of Christopher Reeve?

Tell me again how much you know.

Christopher Reeve? You treated him?

Er, didn't he die?

What a lameass. Leaving the same damn comments on multiple blogs because you don't have anything interesting or mildly sensical to say. This is really getting old.

Stop posting the same stupidity on 2 threads Rightintheface! Anyway, Christopher Reeve wasn't treated with some weird therapy that isn't approved or something; Wikipedia says he got surgery. Surgery is a generally accepted method of treating various illnesses. A broken neck fits in the "surgery is good for this" umbrella just fine.

In particular I was thinking that if the patient is getting other treatments too, then I would want to know why the success should be attributed to this particular one.

What I was getting at was that woos will say it was their therapy that contributed to miracle cure X (the extraordinary outcome), but they never know how

forgive me. I misunderstood both of you then.

My anecdotal evidence has happened time after time.

you know, time after time I step outside and it just starts to rain. I must be causing it, right?

Time after time I get near a streetlight and the light goes out. I must be causing it.

Time after time I look at my gas gauge and it is empty, the act of looking at the gauge must be dumping out my gas.

Time after time you idiots get fooled by your own nonsense.

try to answer the questions here posed to you. I think you will quickly wean out why "time after time" means nothing, just like your "unproven therapy".

Leaving the same damn comments on multiple blogs because you don't have anything interesting or mildly sensical to say.

He's just a troll looking for lulz. Ignore him. He's not here for anything serious.

p.s. sorry about triple posting. my attention span is too short to capture everything I want to say in one.

He's just a troll looking for lulz. Ignore him. He's not here for anything serious.

I thought this at first, but I hesitate to fully commit to that idea because at Bronze Dog's place, in the midst of posting duplicate boilerplate comments, he (or she) also will mount seemingly honest attempts to refute what we are saying.

I think he (or she) is wrong, and I think he (or she) is trying to pass off a mountain of doggerel and nonsense as substantive debate, but I'm not convinced that RITF is a troll.

but I'm not convinced that RITF is a troll.

well its not like I followed my own advice.... lol

"Time after time you idiots get fooled by your own nonsense"

Tell me again how much you know.

How much do we know about your supposed treatments and their efficacy? Nothing! You haven't told us anything. All you have done is flounced in, claiming to have turned base metal into gold, and then acted all pissed off because we asked for some evidence.

For the sake of confidentiality I have to be a bit non-specific in places but I'll give what I can.

First off, no, I didn't treat Christopher Reeve.

And yes, he died from complications of a pressure ulcer.

He ignored the thing when it was small, he sustained significant deep tissue damange, and couldn't recover.

However prior to his death he gained function back that he didn't have prior to his injury.

I work at a clinic funded by their agency dedicated to the treatment of paralysis. As early as 5 years ago, a person with a spinal cord injury was told "you can expect X recovery at 3, 6, and 12 months and after that you'll never get anything back."

Neuroplasticity was believed to be a myth, neurons weren't thought to be able to regrow and reform connections. Those who said otherwise were supposedly quacks. But do some research on Pat Rummerfeld.

His story is public enough to share.
http://members.tripod.com/rx.magazine/rl_20001018.htm

Today we treat those who have received traditional therapy and washed out of programs. No gains for 16 years, nerve pain, lack of sensation, etc.

However between advancements in stem cell research (Reeve was a big proponent) and increased understanding of neuroplasticity research and treatment are being conducted with great success.

A brief synopsis of the patient (and this is all I feel comfortable giving); injured 17 years ago, therapy for the first year (traditional therapy, teaching to drive the power wheelchair, etc.)

No other therapies, drugs, training, etc. since that time.

No stem cells ever.

No other recovery until starting therapy a few months ago. Since starting therapy including muscle stimulation, repetetive practice of movements aided by e-stim, upper body biking with stim, etc. patient has gained both motor and sensory function below the level of her neurological injury.

No other therapies or interventions during that time.

So unless you believe in spontaneous recovery....http://www.spinalcordrecovery.org/

King of Ferrets

Did you, a supposed smart guy, just cite effing wikipedia as a source? He got surgery as well as intensive rehab. Every spinal cord patient gets surgery. The surgery fuses the neck, most times, to prevent further trauma.

RITF,

do you believe that these 'miracle cures' happened because of prayer?

It was repeatable, it happened to more than one person, and they all happened to the surprise of doctors.

Doesn't this show that praying is as effective a treatment as whatever it is you are doing?

I don't understand what you are claiming your treatment is. I do understand that you are saying it is not accepted by the medical establishment, the people who give us double blind studies.

Every skeptic, and good doctor or academic is completely OK with a claim that something is better than another. You simply have to show evidence. What you have shown here is simply the same as the prayer site I just linked to.

This is why statistics and blinding are important and a series of anecdotes is almost completely irrelevant.

How many people improve from mainstream therapies? You are telling us that this guy didnt have any aside from learning how to use a wheelchair.

How many people have you treated for the same amount of time that have not shown recovery?

Why have people left your practice?

From your link:

"I used to look up at it and pray, 'Dear God, if you'll just give me a second chance to walk, I'll do whatever I can to help those who aren't as fortunate,'" Rummerfield says"

I see, so perhaps it was the praying that saved him, and fixed him. BTW, there is nothing in that article that mentions that he went to some wackadoo alternative healing place and got better. in fact:

"His remarkable recovery is way out of the norm, but varying degrees of recovery occur with most spinal cord injuries and there are factors that may help account for Pat's tremendous improvement."

So, where is the "unproven therapy"?

neurons weren't thought to be able to regrow and reform connections.

complete nonsense.
NGF was known about in the 60s and discovered as one of the factors required for nerve growth in the early 80's and without looking hard here is a regrowth study from 1991, 1994, and 1980

is that what you meant by recently?


Well, yeah. It's suprisingly reliable as a resource, and its good for checking something quickly. It also usually has less bias in each article than just Googling.

Also, while I don't understand half the stuff you said about treatments, you said something about stem cells. Isn't curing things with stem cells kinda something that people are working on right now, and is accepted as something that can probably work? I don't know how far the research has gotten, though.

King of Ferrets, this in yer face person should've provided a link themselves, but didn't bother. -Lazy as well as arrogant.

You provided one very useful link earlier, though - to Bronze Dog's blog where this fool had written exactly the same thing and then just copied and pasted it here. -Stupid as well as lazy and arrogant.

@ Rightintheface:

The case you make is extremely vague and poorly presented. You haven't backed it up. The article is not relevant to the case you were talking about. It's still unclear what exactly you do, and its unclear why you think whatever it is you do invalidates the requirements for evidence.

It's not in anyones face at all. That's the problem. It's too vague and wishy washy.

I support Yakaru in the request to find out exactly what you do and why you think you can prove this stuff without some decent documentation.

Rightintheface:

For the sake of confidentiality I have to be a bit non-specific in places but I'll give what I can.

A 'bit non-specific'. That was putting it mildly.

Does confidentiality prevent you from answering almost all of the questions you were asked as well?

Do you think Rummerfeld's recovery was a miracle, like he does? That it was God and not the constant medical care and treatment?

How do you answer the claims that Rummerfeld was misdiagnosed at the time of the accident, as the article points out some have claimed?

What specifically is your unproven therapy?

No other therapies, drugs, training, etc. since that time.

No other medical treatent for 15 years? Really? And you know this how?

I mean, you really believe that a person with a serious, debilitating, spinal injury just recieved no further treatment of any kind after the first year? For 16 years.

Then, the therapy you describe sounds like advanced forms of therapy that I thought were already used on patients with spinal injuries. There's nothing decidely unproven in muscle stimulation, physical therapy and repetition. So what, exactly, is your unproven therapy?

So far you have not really answered anything in any depth and apparently even been wrong about what people thought about neuroplasticity and neuron growth and when. Not very impressive for someone who obviously thinks themselves much more knowledgeable on the subject at hand.

Look at your first post here, you make it seem like this patient suddenly out of the blue moved her wrist. Now we find out she has been gradually improving for a few months. What else are you misleading us over?

Has it been just one movement in 16 years?

Have you worked with them the entire 16 years?

Do you know for certain there have never been other movements?

What other therapies/treatments has the patient been recieving over the last 16 years?

Are they still recieving other treatments/ therapies?

How do you know they are not, and have not been, recieving other treatments?

How do you know none of these are responsible?

How do you know your unproven therapy is?

What have you done to exclude other possible factors before concluding it is your unproven therapy that is responsible?

By what mechanism do you think your unproven therapy is working?

What is the evidence for this?

What is your unproven therapy?

How many people recieving your unproven therapy over the years have shown no improvement whatsoever?

How do you explain that?

Why don't you include those patients in your anecdotal evidence?

Y'know, I'm a little tired of the aggressiveness.

Go to ANY traditional spinal cord center, acute care or rehab, in the nation, and you are NOT going to find people doing what we do.

We fight hard to get funding and often are not accepted by insurance because what we do is not substantiated by sufficient evidence. However, it is very clear that what we do is effective.

Every competent medical professional is taught to value research but also what our own eyes tell us. There isn't hardly ever a research study that pertains exactly to the specific case that we're treating. We take what general trends the research gives us (it's important to note that nobody has ever found 100% effectiveness) and apply it to patient populations.

Now, you either buy that or you don't. You're not a medical professional, you're not even a halfway smart guy from the arguments you make.

This thread started because you wanted to pick a fight about religion. Now you're picking fights about other stuff too. I gave you a link to the clinic I work in.

We are doing things nobody ever did and getting results nobody ever did.

You can buy it or not.

That's what you will NEVER understand; you're not an authority on anything.

Your opinion isn't worth beans.

I don't care if you believe in God or not. I'm not out to convince you.

I don't even care if you think I'm stupid because of my faith.

I just don't want to have some arrogant jerk beat me over the head with it all the time.

I don't care what you think about the work I do. You don't know a darn thing about it, and that's very clear. But you want to have an opinion, fine.

I just don't want to be beaten over the head by some pseudo-intellectual that thinks he can hang in a conversation on any topic.

Someone referred to religion as an "Ivory tower" earlier. You think your knowledge is applicable in real life?

Come on down here and do better. Treat these patients better than I can. Then talk your smack.

I'm probably the most aggressive guy here, and even I'm not very aggressive.

Now for the "arguments", such as they are.
1) One problem. You still haven't told us what the hell you do! We can't go and check and see if other people do the same thing. You did provide a link to a guy's case, kinda, but based on that, he didn't get any help at all with trying to move again before he managed to. That doesn't sound like therapy. Not only that, he just got better after that by himself. Not good enough evidence to accept anything you say.

2) If you don't have enough evidence, get funding for a study! Never assume the positive. Without a well designed study, there's gonna be a whole lot of confirmation bias and such. Just because it seems to work doesn't mean it does.

3) Then a lot of insults and such. Specific things to note: Argument from authority, used against us. He's provided no evidence he's any sort of authority, and neither have we. Authority-wise, we're on equal ground, and not only that, but it wouldn't matter if we weren't. A non authority can have important insights on something; see Eistein, the patent clerk. A couple baseless assertions, an "I don't care what you think", a "Try doing this better!", a bit of Doggerel 99, some 88, 91, 99, maybe 90 as it refers to your faith, 95, 61, a slightly different version of 53, in that you're saying the research data doesn't apply to you, so there isn't enough research, 11, 103, 105, 107. Oh, and yeah, science does apply to real life. Case in point: You're typing on a goddamn computer right now, talking about the science of medicine.

Skeptico replies to Rightintheface

If you think that “This thread started because [we] wanted to pick a fight about religion” then you have some serious reading comprehension difficulties. The opening post was nothing about religion. Religion was not even mentioned. It was about alternative so-called medicine – and the need altie proponents have for a criticism-free place they can promote it.

Regarding your vague assertions about whatever therapies you claim to practice – as far as I can tell, Christopher Reeve wasn’t treated by any of the altie therapies I listed in my opening post. Rather, Reeve endured years of operations and physical therapy. Hardly “alternative”. Likewise with Pat Rummerfeld – there is nothing in your link to suggest he got better through any “alternative” therapy. Only “constant therapy” (not “alternative”) is quoted.

So what’s your point? Because I don’t see it, and I’m getting tired of your “aggressiveness”, not to mention your whiny victim-playing and your (to coin a phrase) pseudo-intellectual posturing.

As noted, he copy-pasted from a thread of mine where I got more than a bit irritated with a fundie poster who went off-topic.

RIYF, we have asked what exactly you do, and you have answered:

"Go to ANY traditional spinal cord center....and you are NOT going to find people doing what we do...We are doing things nobody ever did....I don't care what you think about the work I do. You don't know a darn thing about it, and that's very clear."

-- Very clear indeed. I know absolutely nothing about what you do. No one else here does either. Hmmm...maybe you could consider telling us?

Your institute's site says "anecdotal and clinical case study evidence already provides strong support" for "restoration therapies (RT)".

-- So there IS evidence! Why don't you give a few specific details? Your institute thinks it's already good enough to talk about. Why don't you? (Not the anecdotal stuff again though, please.)

You can clear all this up a bit by answering these questions:

Is your therapy included as part of RT? (yes or no)

Is your therapy being included in the studies? (yes or no)

Oh, and what exactly IS your therapy?

......................................
Sidenote:
I note the institute has this slogan: "Where Hope and Opportunity Meet Science", which sounds to me like it's a Christian institute. So while they may be researching new surgical and therapeutic procedures and (more or less) critically evaluating them, SOME people would like to claim that the faith aspects are decisive.

Hence the strange combination of provocation and avoidance. He/she wants to claim the success as a success for the faith, but knows he/she can't do this too openly because the evidence for that isn't there. But there is some kind of evidence there, so he/she tries to blur the boundaries an blur what exactly is being studied and refuses to say what exactly he/she does.

....Hence, no one knows WTF he/she is talking about, despite all his/her provocations and "inyerface" behavior.

I made my last concessions to you. Your paranoia and lunacy aren't worth it anymore.

I even apologized to you for being defensive and tried to refocus the discussion.

You're too busy being angry to be intelligent. In your utter paranoia you've invented the idea that I work at a Christian institute, when no such thing is true.

Yes, I'm a part of ART. Yes, there's SOME research out now. No, that research isn't enough to convince everyone, including many insurance providers.

Jesus, man, I feel sorry for you. To go through life all bitter, constantly looking for someone to battle and belittle to make you feel better....I'll say a prayer for you.

1) So you're using the same doggerel as the thread at BD's place you're posting at? Epic lulz!
2) You apologized? I don't remember that. By the way, refocusing the discussion is generally a way to avoid the topic; not something to be proud of.
3)They're trying to figure out what the hell you do, because you haven't told us enough of this important part of the debate for us to know.
4) That's why you try to get funding for studies. If there's not enough evidence, you go make some with a good clinical study. Otherwise, you shouldn't be using it to cure people.
5) Copypasta from BD's place.

Rightinyourface:

Y'know, I'm a little tired of the aggressiveness.

That's ok, we're getting tired of you not bothering to edit your cut and paste jobs for context when you post them on blogs where they did not originate.

And if you think this is agressive, boy have you led a sheltered life.

Go to ANY traditional spinal cord center, acute care or rehab, in the nation, and you are NOT going to find people doing what we do.

Since you have repeatedly refused to elaborate on what it is you do. Since you have not bothered to explain what your unproven therapy is then I guess this is an unsupported assertion with no evidence to back it up.

As I have already said, the basic comments you made about your therapy sound very similar to the physiotherapy that a friend of mine recieved after a serious head injury resulting from a car crash. Since you haven't bothered to elaborate, I see no reason to change my opinion.

I conclude from what little you have said that your unproven therapy looks like advanced physiotherapy.

We fight hard to get funding and often are not accepted by insurance because what we do is not substantiated by sufficient evidence. However, it is very clear that what we do is effective.

In your opinion, based on anecdotal evidence. Where are your facts and figures?

How many patients does the clinic treat a year?

How many of them show improvement?

What do you characterise as improvement?

How many of them show no improvement?

How do you know your therapy is specifically responsible for the improvement?

How do you rule out physical improvement over the years that the patients have never had the will, encouragement or environment to realise?

What the hell is your unproven therapy?

Every competent medical professional is taught to value research but also what our own eyes tell us.

No doubt, but you are certainly not told to take anecdotal evidence and assign it the same status as reliable and carefully designed and controlled clinical trials. Which you are doing.

There isn't hardly ever a research study that pertains exactly to the specific case that we're treating. We take what general trends the research gives us (it's important to note that nobody has ever found 100% effectiveness) and apply it to patient populations.

This is just nonsense. Of course there are no research studies done into 45 year old soccer moms called Marrianne paralyzed from the neck down by a car crash in downtown Buffalo caused by a cat running into the road, and who haven't had treatment for 10 years since the accident but now are. Who ever said that was the case. The answer is no-one - you are attacking a strawman of your own invention.

However, a general study of the effects of any of these would apply to any of your cases: paralysis, spinal trauma, head trauma, muscle and neuron regeneration/ recovery/ regrowth etc etc.

That's how science and medicine work. If your unproven therapy directly contradicts the findings of these types of studies there are at least three possibilities:

1. You're wrong.
2. You're right, and you are criminally negligent and failing in your role as a health care worker for not publishing your findings and making them available to all.
3. Your unproven therapy is not as unproven as you think it is.

Of course, since you won't tell anybody what your unproven therapy is, only you know which of these is applicable.

You're not a medical professional, you're not even a halfway smart guy from the arguments you make.

Well, it had to happen eventually. An argument from Authority with some Ad Hominem thrown in. Bravo. Very professional of you. We don't know if you are a medical professional either, all we have is your say on it. And how do you know that none of us are or are not?

Even if you are a medical professional, guess what, you can still be wrong. It seems that old stereotype of the medical professional with the God complex is not so stereotypical after all.

But hey, if you want a medical professional to argue with, try Dr. Steven Novella. I think everyone else will agree when I say, this I want to see.

We are doing things nobody ever did and getting results nobody ever did.

You can buy it or not.

No. What I can buy is the evidence. You have provided none.

That's what you will NEVER understand; you're not an authority on anything.

And yet apparently you are an authority on everything, since you can make a claim like that.

Your opinion isn't worth beans.

Quite right. It's the evidence that counts.

I made my last concessions to you. Your paranoia and lunacy aren't worth it anymore.

Oh come come. For one who makes pretensions to be a medical professional, how professional do you think that makes you look? Is that a medical opinion?

You're too busy being angry to be intelligent.

Very professional. And I thought we were supposed to be the angry, rude, jerks.

Jesus, man, I feel sorry for you.

Wow, blasphemy. Guess you are not a very good christian either.

To go through life all bitter, constantly looking for someone to battle and belittle to make you feel better....I'll say a prayer for you.

Oh that's original. Yes, because we prefer evidence, logic and reason over guesswork, anecdotes and religion we must all be soulless individuals. Get a grip you big baby.

Has it been just one movement in 16 years? Have you worked with them the entire 16 years?

Do you know for certain there have never been other movements?

What other therapies/treatments has the patient been recieving over the last 16 years?

Are they still recieving other treatments/ therapies?

How do you know they are not, and have not been, recieving other treatments?

How do you know none of these are responsible?

How do you know your unproven therapy is?

What have you done to exclude other possible factors before concluding it is your unproven therapy that is responsible?

By what mechanism do you think your unproven therapy is working?

What is the evidence for this?

What is your unproven therapy?

How many people recieving your unproven therapy over the years have shown no improvement whatsoever?

How do you explain that?

Why don't you include those patients in your anecdotal evidence?

How many patients does the clinic treat a year?

How many of them show improvement?

What do you characterise as improvement?

How many of them show no improvement?

How do you know your therapy is specifically responsible for the improvement?

How do you rule out physical improvement over the years that the patients have never had the will, encouragement or environment to realise?

Now, allow me to dabble in a little of the ad hominem, since I've restrained my rabid self until now.

You keep throwing around the fact that you think none of us are medical professionals, and I confess that I am not. My wife however is about to be one, once her externship is over. Allow me to highlight just some of the idiocy she has seen over the last 8 months, from other soon to be medical professionals.

1. Someone asking if genital herpes could be passed on via breast feeding.
2. Someone being unable to count to 30 whilst practising CPR.
3. Someone about to give an injection who did not know what a syringe was.
4. The same person not knowing the difference between 0.2ml and 2.0ml when determining the amount to inject (hint: the difference would have been lethal.)
5. The same person holding the electrodes on someones chest rather than sticking them on when performing an EKG.
6. Making up blood pressure results rather than actually reading them.
7. Giving blood pressure readings of 95, when there are no odd numbers on the guage.

Shall we go into the malpractise of medical professionals too?

How about the surgeons who burst the bowel of a friend of mine whilst performing a routine operation? Or the doctors that told her she was fine even though she gained 20 pounds in less than a week as her bowel leaked into her body?

So, colour me unimpressed with your 'I'm a medical professional and you're not' arrogance. Medical professionals can be useless lying asshats too.

We're in luck - one of my wife's classmates has a wife who works with paraplegics. So, we can find out the proven therapy for working with spinal injuries, and see just where whatsisface is right or wrong.

I'll ask some questions of this medical professional and get back to you all when I get some answers.

Considering the copy-paste trend here and the continued bloviations over at my place, I'm beginning to wonder if I'm getting blind copy-paste jobs from some other unfortunate skeptic's blog which then get copy-pasted here, too.

That is a typical woo reaction, Rightintheface, whether you mean it to be or not.

If someone questions my electronics engineering expertise, I'm only too happy to prove it.

However, whenever I am harangued by an altie over scores of posts for not believing, whenever it gets down to a demand for proof, the stock reply is, "Ah, I've had enough of your closed-minded belligerence. You're too stupid to understand the proof anyway."

Do you not see that this attitute does absolutely nothing to advance your position?

What is the harm in posting proof if you have any?

Rightintheface, ignore all these meanies and just listen to me.

I'm not going to ask about evidence or point out glaring rhetorical fallacies. I just have one question about your unproven treatment:

WHAT THE HELL IS IT?!?!

JC,

I can save you some trouble. There is already a partial and vague answer to that question implied in RIYF's last post.

On the first page, RIYF included the web address for the institute they work in. There, you can find mention of RT, or advanced rehabilitation therapy.

When RIYF mentioned "ART" in their last post, they were refering to what that site calls "RT" - I guess it's the same thing.

So that seems to mean they are indeed part of the RT program at this insitute, meaning they do some kind physical training. Exactly WHAT they do in this vaguely mentioned program is still anyones guess.

It also seems unlikely that this program is really CAM. It is "unproven" because they haven't finished the studies yet.

RIYF thinks s/he has the right to get in peoples faces because the studies still haven't been completed. That's what this is all about. The studies haven't been finished, but RIYF wants to go around shouting at people for not already accepting the incomplete evidence.

The fact that s/he isn't going to share any of the evidence either, will come as no surprise to anyone.

I further smell a rat, I haven't had a complete answer yet, but it seems that it is widely known in the medical community that paraplegics unfortunately do not survive much longer than about 15 years from their paraylsis, because their muscles and organs become so atrophied they suffer system failures, such as renal failure.

So after 16 years this woman miraculously moves a wrist with atrophied muscles and no treatment whatsoever between her accident and this ART business.

Really? My woodar is starting to give off signals.

A new phenomenon: movement without muscles! Quick! Call the Nobel committee!

Rightintheface

Not sure why you think minimal movement of a hand 16 years after a spinal cord injury is outside of the realm of possibilities. Was the spinal cord completely transected? If not a complete transection, then it is certainly possible to have some remote improvement. Did the movement of the hand result in functional improvement?

I tell my patients (I am a neurologist) that the problem with alternative therapies (especially medications) is that sometimes they might work! And if they work, then (unless you believe in magic), they work because there is a drug in them. And that drug may have interactions with other conventional medications and also adverse effects in general. Physicians should not prescribe medications unless they are aware of potential interactions.

This thread reminded me of a Parkinson's patient of mine who used to come to the office every few weeks to pick up samples because he could not afford his medications. It turned out he had a few hundred dollars worth of magnets in his shoes which someone sold him telling him he would walk better. He didn't.

I do find it highly amusing, and very telling, that as soon as rightintheface was presented with A) a medical professional they could talk with and B) the chance to have their claims evaluated by someone who works with paraplegics they disappeared.

All this despite harping on about none of us being medical professionals and therefore not able to comment, whilst they were.

It amounted to this:

1. I'm a medical professional so you can't say I am wrong.
2. You aren't medical professionals so you can't say I'm wrong.
3. But if you do come up with actual medical professionals to talk to, I'm outta here.

I think that says all we really needed to know about their claims.

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