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View Poll Results: Would you use acupuncture/herbal medicine while cruising?
Yes, if I was ill 8 23.53%
Yes, as preventive medicine 13 38.24%
No way 11 32.35%
Don't know 2 5.88%
Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 19-04-2008, 13:39   #16
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Hi,

I'm not a fan of "alternative medicine". If it had any validity, it would be studied, quantified, and distributed as "medicine".

And... the 'placebo' effect doesn't work if you KNOW it's a placebo.
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Old 19-04-2008, 15:28   #17
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My answer is yes, because I trust medicine that's been performed for thousands of years over some molecule that was made and marketed last week. Virtually every "wonder drug" out there has a long list of horrible side effects, and a certain percentage of the general population dies after taking prescription drugs. Traditional medicine that aids the body to heal itself seems more natural to my sensibilities.

There is a placebo effect, but also an anticebo effect. If you think something won't work, then it won't. For me, I have anticebo feelings toward pill medicines and more trust in the old ways. To each their own.
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Old 19-04-2008, 15:42   #18
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My answer is yes, because I trust medicine that's been performed for thousands of years over some molecule that was made and marketed last week.
I'd have to ask if that includes leeching in order to balance your humors?

Lots of things have been done for 'thousands of years'. That doesn't make them any more rational, right?

Maybe if an acupuncturist can explain to me the exact nature of the "chi"? If the body can sense it, then surely I can build an instrument to sense it, right? How does the body sense it? Is it particulate? Electromagentic? Or is it simply "magical"?
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Old 19-04-2008, 16:56   #19
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I'd have to ask if that includes leeching in order to balance your humors?
I recall reading that Leeches are back in vogue in Western Medicine - forget what for......but I take your point.

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Lots of things have been done for 'thousands of years'. That doesn't make them any more rational, right?
Homeopathic Medicine developed a good name simply because it did nothing worse to the patient - the fact it did nothing "Good" did not matter - as the comparison was with the early "modern" treatments that often did a lot of harm.
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Old 19-04-2008, 22:54   #20
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alternative medicine

you can make money with alternative medicine while cruising! Many do it with massage and bone cracking--(I didn't know how to spell chiropractic-- see I knew I didn't)

It isn't just your fellow boaters who would be your customers, locals and tourists are interested too.

I write books to support my cruising habit and it is surprising how many locals will trade what they have for a book!

Medicine wise, I am very fond of tissue salts which are popular in South Africa. Very Alternative!

Oh, yeah, click below for a great read.. even if only the free chapters!

sailingbooks - ¬*¬* Mike Riley's Sailing Books Page¬*

Cap't Mike
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Old 20-04-2008, 02:25   #21
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What makes a treatment "alternative" ?
I suggest, lack of proof.

Once an alternative is proven, it becomes accepted and joins the ranks of conventional medicine.

Of course, if a treatment is not patentable, who is going to to be motivated to prove it's efficacy?
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Old 20-04-2008, 03:33   #22
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I don't think the question can be answered. Or maybe it can with, "it depends". Because it depends on what you deem is alternative medicine. There are certainly some "witches potions" out there that do nothing more than make you swallow things you wouldn't want to know. Then you have some that people that have potions that are made from some seriously poisonous stuff. And then you have the ones like say Silver. That actually do work but are not considered "main stream" I guess. Then you have modern Day Medicines that are derived from the natural product. Like Asprin.
For me, if I need to eat Crushed Dog's Balls to make me pee better, I would rather take it in a prescribed pill and not know what the hell it was. I do hope you all have seen the film "The Worlds Fastest Indian" or you will all wonder what Alternative drug I may be taking. :-)
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Old 20-04-2008, 05:24   #23
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Of course, if a treatment is not patentable, who is going to to be motivated to prove it's efficacy?
Not all medical research is motivated by patents. I work at a research lab (you might have guessed), and while some of our visiting researchers are from Bayer and Pfizer and the like, more are from the likes of academia (like myself), and are doing it for the thrill of adding to general knowledge, and the professional prestige associated with a good journal article.

DOJ is right-on when he says that alternative medicine often does nothing at all, and that is preferable to things like being "leeched". However, I wouldn't classify leeching as scientific any more than I would classify drilling a hole in one's head to let out the demons as science. Both are 'western remedies' but neither is based on scientific methodology (though at least leeching was 'naturalistic' AFAIK).

If anyone believes alternative medicine has validity, by all means conduct proper studies, quantify your results, and submit your work for publication in a proper journal. We'll be more than happy to analyze it. If it leads to a revolutionary (or at least very important) understanding, we have Nobel Prizes for that.
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Old 20-04-2008, 10:40   #24
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anothert34C;

The scientific method is great, but so if logic.

A logical non-example is stating that something must be proven (in your example by the western medical establishment) to be correct or effective.

Chris
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Old 20-04-2008, 10:59   #25
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anothert34C;

The scientific method is great, but so is logic.

A logical non-example is stating that something must be proven (in your example by the western medical establishment) to be correct or effective.

Chris
I think he's saying it should be proven to stake your life and health on it (unless you are foolish).

Take St John's Wort as an example .

St John's Wort is *proven* to have anti-depressive compounds in it at low/trace amounts. This is a natural/alternative plant providing an alternative treatment to the standard anti-depressant drugs out there.

The different between something like St John's Wort, and aligning your aura with the electromagnetic field of the blah blah blah is enormous. One is proven, both logically and scientifically, while the other is some kind of tale made up by some "holistic healer" to trick people who know nothing about Physics out of a few bucks.

Often (IMO), dosages in traditional pharmecuticals are over-done and the patient (say, with mild depression) could get by with less of the medication. In these cases, drugs contained in plants in small amounts do the trick. However, if you are clinically depressed and the plants haven't worked, you need to step it up.

Western medicine is superior to anything else once you are already sick. It does nothing to keep you well, however. I mean think about it.

Say you fall and impale yourself on a stanchion. You're bleeding, going into shock, etc... Are you going to bet your life on something that isn't "proven", like rubbing a rabbit's foot on the wound, or are you going to apply Western first aid/cpr and then get yourself sewn up?

I could also drop a lot of stuff about diet and exercise in here, but I think that might be another thread. I'll keep it short by saying, "when in doubt, do what a caveman would" when it comes to diet and exercise. That's what your body is built for, not what we do now.

As far as medicine goes, the poster who works in the lab opened the door and was nice about it... if someone can cure something with a means that works and is outside what is being done at this current time in his research, he did say to bring it in and collect the Nobel Prize. If something out of the ordinary works when a patient is already sick, by all means, somone would step forward and collect the prize, I would think.

Unfortunately, IMO, the trouble with much of this stuff is the "dumening of America." Sure, some things work, but consumers are dumb... very dumb. They can't distinguish the St John's Wort type alternative medicine from aligning your aura with the electromagnetic radation your cat is putting out. Oh man... pet therapy... more dumbening of America. lol

(Sorry... tried to avoid putting my opinion in here, but waiting for the tide to go out.)
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Old 20-04-2008, 11:19   #26
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aligning your aura with the electromagnetic radiation your cat is putting out
As long as everyone is happy (and the cat is unharmed) I don't see the problem, as long as I was cashing the cheque
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Old 20-04-2008, 11:47   #27
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T34,

There is a LOT of evidence to show that Traditional Chinese Medicine is safe and effective. Many (but not all) of the studies are conducted overseas, particularly in Taiwan and China (perhaps racial bias prevents them from being accepted here?). (yea, yea...I know...lead, contaminants, etc. The herbs that are imported into the U.S. are probably the safest thing to come out of China. They are vigorously tested there and here. That's not to say that one cannot find exceptions...the odd aberation. It would take billions of dollars and years to tease out the bio-chemical synergy that comprises herbal medicine and in the end, there would be no patentable product, so... you do the math.

As for the nature of Qi(chi), we can demonstrate that it follows specific paths (meridians) through the body and is stronger at specific sites (acupuncture points) through galvanic response(FACT). It is interesting to note that these were mapped out thousands of years before we had the ability to show this empirically. Perhaps the closest western explanation of what Qi is is that it is a product of the Kreps cycle (that's the adenosine triphosphate function that provides cellular bio-chemical energy).
If one has an open mind and looks, the evidence is there; plus, 5 thousand years of clinical observation has to count for something.
I'm not out to convince the skeptics but one should not disparage that which they do not understand. There are FAR(!!) more adverse events from pharmaceuticals than from herbal medicine or acupuncture. Take 5 years, study the subject (which includes considerable western medicine), pass the rigorous national tests, practice and observe the results for a few more years and then we will talk.
As I said earlier, I am all for allopathic medicine...but it is not the beginning and ending of medical knowledge.

Gord, Alternative means just that...an alternative to the status quo.

Alan, I don't know about crushed dog balls for your difficult urination but you might want to see an allopathic physician and have your prostate checked. (see, I do support allopathic medicine) Then we can see about the dog balls... or dried gecko...or macerated monkey paws

BTW, leeches are not used to "balance the humours", but they are quite effective for treating bruises that will not heal.

So while I did not intend this thread to be a discussion of the pros and cons of alternative (complementary) medicine, I am intrigued by the responses...and since GordMay and Alan have weighed in, I am content to let the conversation continue.
Once again I thank EVERYONE for their opinion and views... even T34


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Old 20-04-2008, 11:57   #28
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As for the nature of Qi(chi), we can demonstrate that it follows specific paths (meridians) through the body and is stronger at specific sites (acupuncture points) through galvanic response(FACT). It is interesting to note that these were mapped out thousands of years before we had the ability to show this empirically. Perhaps the closest western explanation of what Qi is is that it is a product of the Kreps cycle (that's the adenosine triphosphate function that provides cellular bio-chemical energy).
If one has an open mind and looks, the evidence is there; plus, 5 thousand years of clinical observation has to count for something.

Good response. It's a tough subject, but you are getting vauable market research, right?

One thing I wanted to mention in regards to the quote above is that maybe... just maybe... both systems can indeed be reconciled.

For instance:

Take macrobiotic diets. They use a lot of Eastern terminology and theory that is mostly gobbldeegook to Westerners. However, in the end, a macrobiotic diet ends up (for the most part) being the same diet Western medicine suggests you eat.

My point being... that often, it is just 2 different ways to arrive at the same result.
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Old 20-04-2008, 17:46   #29
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It's all about semantics

BTW... I've decided that I really like Catalacs!!

mm
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Old 20-04-2008, 19:36   #30
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My goal here is to encourage proper scientific study and evaluation of a subject(s) that claims to have medical benefit.

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T34,

There is a LOT of evidence to show that Traditional Chinese Medicine is safe and effective. Many (but not all) of the studies are conducted overseas, particularly in Taiwan and China (perhaps racial bias prevents them from being accepted here?).
Racial bias is a non-issue in the scientific community. Many of my colleagues are Chinese, and there is no such thing as 'Chinese Science' or 'Indian Science' or 'Western Science'. There is simply science. Proper journals know no nationality.

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It would take billions of dollars and years to tease out the bio-chemical synergy that comprises herbal medicine and in the end, there would be no patentable product, so... you do the math.
Why would there be no patentable product? And even if there weren't what is stopping the academic community, whose 'payment' is in prestige? Isn't it probably more likely that in most cases there just isn't any statistically significant demonstrable effect to warrant serious attention?

And if there is, then please by all means conduct proper studies and submit them for scientific scrutiny and publication. Doesn't it just make sense to do so? Why not?

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As for the nature of Qi(chi), we can demonstrate that it follows specific paths (meridians) through the body and is stronger at specific sites (acupuncture points) through galvanic response(FACT). It is interesting to note that these were mapped out thousands of years before we had the ability to show this empirically. Perhaps the closest western explanation of what Qi is is that it is a product of the Kreps cycle (that's the adenosine triphosphate function that provides cellular bio-chemical energy).
Are there any reviewed published articles (in a recognized scientific journal) relating to the Qi or meridians? I don't know of any, and I'd be interested to see one. AFAIK there is no scientific basis for Qi or meridians.

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BTW, leeches are not used to "balance the humours", but they are quite effective for treating bruises that will not heal.
Leeches were indeed used since before the time of Hippocrates (~400BC) until the late 19th century to balance the 'humors' (via bloodletting) in the body. Can a two thousand (plus) year old practice really be just... wrong? Yes.

But... I'm really glad you mentioned bruising, because it makes my point. Why are they (leeches) effective? Because they make teeny little punctures and a proper amount of suction for the purposes of getting blood flowing. They also secrete hirudin, an anti-clotting agent as well as an anesthetic. In other words, they are well evolved into their biological niche. I have no doubt that actual leeches will soon be replaced by an (patented!) instrument that does the same, only better. This however, does not validate in any way humor theory or bloodletting, the primary use for leeches throughout history. It does validate scientific scrutiny.

I'm NOT claiming that there are NO POSSIBLE benefits to any 'alternative' treatments. I would however strongly caution people to only trust (and even then with a healthy skeptical eye) medicine that has withstood the tests of proper scientific scrutiny (study, peer-review, publication, testing, FDA approval). You only get one body.

BTW chiropractic is another alternative treatment that I'd suggest you avoid. Run, do not walk, away from a practitioner who talks about 'subluxations'. Or better yet, see a pretty masseuse. Same benefits, much less danger.
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