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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 20-04-2008, 20:10   #31
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T34C: While I would agree with you, the scientific community is not without bias.

How many so called "experimental treatments" get held back from being used, even on terminal patients who really would be willing to try anything?

I've heard of several instances where treatments were all but forgotten if the actual science behind the treatment was unknown.

people have often been afraid of what they don't understand, but sometimes, occasionally, ignorance really is bliss.
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Old 20-04-2008, 22:22   #32
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T34C: While I would agree with you, the scientific community is not without bias.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by bias, but I would claim that science has a very strong error correcting mechanism, where mistakes and potential biases are systematically rooted out by requirements of review and reproducibility.

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How many so called "experimental treatments" get held back from being used, even on terminal patients who really would be willing to try anything?
Unfortunately, in order to have proper studies, you must have proper controls and analysis. It seems tragic on an individual basis when someone dies (possibly) because they are denied an experimental drug, but in the long run many MORE lives are in fact saved because we don't waste time with prescribing treatments that don't work, or that we don't know will work, or how well (or possibly harmfully). Once a treatment passes the rigor of FDA approval, one should have greatly increased confidence in its efficacy.

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people have often been afraid of what they don't understand, but sometimes, occasionally, ignorance really is bliss.
More than occasionally, I think. I made it a rule to not lie to myself to be happy (it's amazing how easy it is to do).

Back to the original question of whether you would use AHC while cruising, I'm answering a "no" and a "why not".
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Old 20-04-2008, 23:11   #33
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Not as a substitute for proven medicine. To me, alternative medicine, homeopathy, holistic healing and witch doctors are all pretty much on the same level.

I just love it when people argue with science. Science is the use of logic to prove things..or disprove things. To not use science because science is "biased" is one of the most illogical things one can say. Its the same as proving something by using illogic to prove it. It makes absolutely no sense.
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Old 21-04-2008, 01:37   #34
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Science doesn't have a bias, the scientific community does though, just as all human beings have biases.
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Old 21-04-2008, 05:49   #35
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Until there is strict reporting of all trials, both the ones that show no effect and the ones that show a positive effect, then I take a lot of modern medicines with a grain of salt (not literally). There is a high correlation between positive results and the source of funding for the trial. Also, for instance, there is a lot of controversy about taking antidepressents. Because they have particular side effects they are very hard to have a double blind trial and avoid placebo effects. There is also the wide variation to response to various treatments. Until the DNA profiling is carefully matched, there will be plenty of variation. From my own experience; I have had some pretty nasty infections (severe orchitis, 10.5cm-look that up ) that did not respond well to antibiotics given but responded fairly quickly to loading myself up with garlic, and in the last 30 years, since I have been using honey as a dressing, I have never had a cut get infected- including being dragged over barnacles while surfing and a 7cm fish spine embedded in my hand. I have also had very good response to back problems from both Osteopathy and acupuncture. I was quite sceptical that acupuncture could help my back, but after it I was free of problems for a longer time than I had for years.
What ever works for you,
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Old 21-04-2008, 06:03   #36
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Originally Posted by Robertcateran View Post
… From my own experience; I have had some pretty nasty infections (severe orchitis, 10.5cm-look that up ) that did not respond well to antibiotics given but responded fairly quickly to loading myself up with garlic…
How can you be certain that the orchitus was actually responding to the garlic treatment, and not to the previously administered antibiotic, or merely to the self-healing function of time (or some other variable) ?

Your anecdote sounds, to me, much like a “subjective validation”, which is one of the foundations of popular support for pseudoscience.


Perhaps, one of the most important discoveries of modern medicine is not vaccines or antibiotics, it is the randomized double-blind test, by means of which we know what works and what doesn't*.


* Medical/Health treatments should be classified into one of three groups:
(1) those that work
(2) those that don't work
(3) those we are not sure about (some of which may be plausible, but most of which are not)
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Old 21-04-2008, 07:29   #37
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I agree with GordMay here 100%.

On the (peripheral) subject of scientists with individual bias' sluissa has a point. It is true that we're only human. Einstein himself inserted his personal bias into the original form of general relativity when he added an unnecessary term (the cosmological constant) to reflect his personal bias towards a non-expanding universe. The error correcting mechanism worked however, when shortly after, Hubble observed that the universe was indeed expanding. Out went the constant. My point is that although individuals may make errors of all types, the system of science is inherently self-correcting.

Acupuncture is in fact, applied Taoism. Taoism is a mythology, and mythologies are not self-correcting (nor should they attempt to be, IMO). The concept of yin and yang has about as much scientific validity as the concept of the four humors.
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Old 21-04-2008, 08:37   #38
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This thread has become a debate about Science as an institution vs All other forms of medicine. People die using both forms. People took Paxil hoping to cure their depression, and were driven to suicide by it. Oops! But science corrects its own mistakes, the earth isn't flat afterall, nor does Paxil cure depression in all human subjects, we discovered. I don't think people who are the victims of Western science are happy that even though they were thinned out of the herd, the error will correct itself in time. That is looking back at it with rose colored sunglasses. Your personal health is your own personal choice and its very subjective.

Science has let down a lot of people in the arena of preventative measures. Here's a recent example: Airborne was proven to NOT boost the human immune system AT ALL. Science proved this, great! In the mean time some company has made millions by selling its false product and they continue to do that. They just add a patronizing letter onto their website (Airborne Health | Medical Questions). People still use it. It's not a scientific cure any more, it's now alternative medicine. Does it work? Apparently people swear by it. It's that placebo affect again. How do sugar pills heal people during a double-blind test? The brain is an amazing thing and there are many ways to unlock it healing powers. Maybe for SOME people they just need to have faith (oh yeah, people who believe in god and pray regularly for some UNscientific reason live longer, and healthier lives).

So I applaud anyone doing alternative medicine because as much as I love Western science and consider myself a modernist, I see the bigger picture that we as a species know only a small fraction of what the body is capable of and only by experimenting and trying everything can an individual find what might be right for him or her.
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Old 21-04-2008, 13:31   #39
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I truly believe that to stay healthy is all about Balance. Eat healthy and balanced. Drink with moderation. We can get all the Vitamins we need from our food. We are not intended to take Vitamins in a pill. The results from a major study of 200,000 people over many years have shown that those taking Vitamin suppliments ended up dieing prematurely.
Of course, statistics can also be screwed around with. Often the two different sides can take the same static and use it to provide whatever answer they want. So for me, I just come back to my own personal thought that, my Creator created me to get what I need from the Food I eat as long as I eat a balanced healthy diet. I don't need anything else and screw the Statistics.
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Old 21-04-2008, 15:07   #40
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Alan, throughout most of our species' existence, we didn't live much past 40. Personally, I'll take what we can do over what we were meant to do any day.

p.s. although we're likely using the word 'meant' slightly differently I suspect... that's okay.

liberty16, if you prefer mythology based 'medicine' over reason based medicine, I can't really help you. "Airborne" was never FDA tested or approved. It was never part of real medicine. A sincere good luck to you and cheers.
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Old 21-04-2008, 16:18   #41
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T34,
As I said, the proof is out there; you just have to look. I'll try to find the time to compile a list of links for you.

start with this...

What Conditions Does Acupuncture Treat (According to the World Health Organization)? | acupuncturetoday.com

"The World Health Organization (WHO), whose authority concerning health-related matters internationally cannot be challenged, has compiled a list of symptoms, syndromes, disease processes, pathologies, traumas and conditions that have definitely been proven as effectively treated by acupuncture. ..."
In an official report, Acupuncture: Review and Analysis of Reports on Controlled Clinical Trials, the WHO (World Health Organization) has listed the following symptoms, diseases and conditions that have been shown through controlled trials to be treated effectively by acupuncture:

low back pain
neck pain
sciatica
tennis elbow
knee pain
periarthritis of the shoulder
sprains
facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
headache
dental pain
tempromandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
rheumatoid arthritis
induction of labor
correction of malposition of fetus (breech presentation)
morning sickness
nausea and vomiting
postoperative pain
stroke
essential hypertension
primary hypotension
renal colic
leucopenia
adverse reactions to radiation or chemotherapy
allergic rhinitis, including hay fever
biliary colic
depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
acute bacillary dysentery
primary dysmenorrhea
acute epigastralgia
peptic ulcer
acute and chronic gastritis
The foregoing list is absolute concerning acupuncture's effectiveness; however the report continues with three more categories:

Diseases, symptoms and conditions for which the therapeutic effect of acupuncture has been shown, but further proof is needed (68 specific conditions). These conditions are effectively treated as in the first category; it’s just that more trials are necessary to establish the proof scientifically.
Diseases, symptoms and conditions reporting some therapeutic effects for which acupuncture is worth trying (nine conditions).
Diseases, symptoms and conditions in which acupuncture may be tried, provided the practitioner has special modern medical knowledge and adequate monitoring equipment (eight conditions).

mm
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Old 21-04-2008, 16:55   #42
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mm,

You state that the World Health Organization's "...authority concerning health-related matters internationally cannot be challenged". On what authority can you make that statement?
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Old 21-04-2008, 17:55   #43
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mm,

You state that the World Health Organization's "...authority concerning health-related matters internationally cannot be challenged". On what authority can you make that statement?
It's a cut and paste from the link he provided.

mm,

I'm not really interested in following a 'list of links'. Myself, I'm not a medical doctor, so I'm not qualified to judge the efficacy of medical claims. This is why I insist that you provide references to recognized scientific journals. I have no confidence in anything posted on acupuncturetoday.com, but I do have confidence in analysis published in a recognized reviewed scientific journal.

I work in a US government national lab. I have access to every legitimate scientific journal in the world. If you give me a reference, I'll look at it.
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Old 21-04-2008, 18:09   #44
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From the link you provided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by acupuncturetoday.com
One of these concepts is qi (pronounced "chi"), which is considered a vital force or energy responsible for controlling the workings of the human mind and body. Qi flows through the body via channels, or pathways, which are called meridians. There are a total of 20 meridians: 12 primary meridians, which correspond to specific organs, organ systems or functions, and eight secondary meridians. Imbalances in the flow of qi cause illness; correction of this flow restores the body to balance.
Pure bunk. Nothing like "qi" or "meridians" described is ever detected in any sophisticated instrumentation. If the body can somehow detect this "energy" why can't any instrumentation known to man? And again, what IS this "energy"? Is it electrical? Magnetic? A flow of (presumably undetectable) particles? What?

Isn't it just more likely that this is another pre-science mythology that is persisting?
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Old 21-04-2008, 21:49   #45
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How can you be certain that the orchitus was actually responding to the garlic treatment, and not to the previously administered antibiotic, or merely to the self-healing function of time (or some other variable) ?

Your anecdote sounds, to me, much like a “subjective validation”, which is one of the foundations of popular support for pseudoscience.


Perhaps, one of the most important discoveries of modern medicine is not vaccines or antibiotics, it is the randomized double-blind test, by means of which we know what works and what doesn't*.


* Medical/Health treatments should be classified into one of three groups:
(1) those that work
(2) those that don't work
(3) those we are not sure about (some of which may be plausible, but most of which are not)
About the garlic treatment. I was prepared to bet my balls on it. Hopefully I will never have to repeat the experiment, but from the time relationships and change in conditions, I regard it as high probability that it was useful. Different bugs respond to different treatments. In this case, the standard treatments were not working and the staff were getting worried -and so was I. There has been plenty of trials done on garlic and it works against some bugs.
I touched on the double blind trials and some of the problems. One needs to find a placebo with similar undesirable side affects, but how can you be sure than that the drug you use as a placebo is not as efficacious.
Part of my research as plant physiologist is studying the effects of various chemicals put out by plants to reduce bacterial and fungal infection and also to avoid competition and herbivory. The choice of garlic was an educated guess.
I have also done some work on antibacterial properties of the Myrtaceae such as ti trees and eucalypts, and have come across plenty of peer reviewed papers giving evidence for the phenolic compounds in the oils having clinical value against persistent infections. The only trouble is they are fairly toxic. There is plenty of evidence for the use of honey against surface infections and for decreasing healing rates and scarring. Again, there are some people who are allergic to some of the proteins found in some honeys, and one needs to make sure your tetanus shots are up to date. Honey is OK for me. Penicillin gives me anaphylaxis.

I like your quote
Robert
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