‘Alternative’ Medicine idiocy
Like many things in life that aren’t very logical, the ‘alternative medicine’ movement is one that is often driven by ideology rather than fact and science. The alternative medicine ideology says that big corporates are bad, conventional medicine is poisoning you, things like vaccines should be avoided, but on the other hand some base element mixed with some water or scraped of a tree in the Himalaya’s is going to do all sorts of wonderful things for you. This ignores the fact that conventional medicine has allowed people to have life expectancies almost double what they were a few hundred years ago. But why let the facts get in the way of making some money out of the gullible?
I’m not saying that some alternative medicines don’t work, clearly some do have a positive affect on the ill, whether it is a placebo effect, or a real tangible effect is open to debate – scientific research is ongoing.
The problem with the ideological approach of some ‘believers’ and practitioners is the “science and conventional medicine is bad” vs the supposedly ‘natural’ nature based focus of alternative medicine is that it allows people who are either deliberately taking advantage of the gullible and naive, or are just plan nuts, to lead desperate people up the garden path sometimes with devastating consequences.
The anti establishment ideologues seem to conveniently overlook that in fact most conventional medicine is plant/biological based. Historically many medicines have their base in formally ‘tradional’ medicines that actually worked – a really simple example being Willow Bark – now commonly available in your local supermarket under the label of Aspirin. Aspirin is just a conveniently packaged and safe version of stripping some willow bark of a tree and chewing it. There are plenty more examples, and right now scientists are looking at all sorts of naturally occurring chemicals in the hope that they will offer treatments for disease.
Curiously, if an ‘alternative medicine’ treatment is found to be effective, it is adopted by conventional medicine, does that mean it’s still alternative? or does it becoming mainstream mean it’s no longer acceptable to alternative medicine advocates?
The latest example highlights something that goes on every day with altnernative medicine – but without such dire consequences is a women who was influenced by her ‘light therapist‘ into relying entirely on treatment with ‘Bioptron’ light treatment for Breast Cancer. Light therapy does in fact have its place in conventional medicine for treating things like acne, it does not, however, treat cancer. Even if you manage to wade through the hundreds of hits on Google trying to sell Bioptron Light Therapy, you’ll be hard pressed to find any mention of curing cancer. The problem happens when people who have an ideological belief in something coerce other into believing thier view. In this case the woman had breast cancer but was sucked into believing her Bioptron practitioner was going to treat her cancer. She rejected conventional medicine and now sthe cancer has spread and she’s going to die from something that was treatable.
Unfortunately the woman has now claimed she was miss-led. No kidding! Wouldn’t you have thought that if Bioptron could cure cancer we’d all know about it? You’d have to say anyone who just accepts any form of medical treatment, alternative or conventional without asking questions is a bit naive.
If an alternative medicine claiming to preform miracles, such as curing cancer etc, then you have to be sceptical – simply because if it did do this, then the medical profession and pharmaceutical industry would be onto it like a shot wouldn’t they?!!