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(Some Rational Guy)   Trying to figure out which pseudoscientific alternative therapy is right for you? This flowchart may help you out   (crispian-jago.blogspot.com) divider line 95
    More: Amusing  
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7702 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Oct 2010 at 7:16 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-10-14 08:25:45 PM  
I misread "Angel Therapy" on the right of the chart as "Anal Therapy." Wasn't I surprised to see it genuinely listed almost directly across from it on the left hand side.
 
2010-10-14 09:02:17 PM  
Wasn't I surprised to see it genuinely listed almost directly across from it on the left hand side.

So it is. That's friggin' hilarious.
 
2010-10-14 09:03:11 PM  
"Do you enjoy a good rub down?"

Yet, Tantric Goddess worship isn't mentioned.
 
2010-10-14 10:10:15 PM  
Arse.
 
2010-10-14 10:12:21 PM  
This is going on my office wall tomorrow.
 
2010-10-14 10:13:42 PM  
Rolfing it is.
 
2010-10-14 10:53:20 PM  
Sun God: Arse.

Apparently it involves dropping your kecks. I'm in.
 
2010-10-14 10:57:40 PM  
"Wibble."
 
2010-10-14 11:03:44 PM  
Obligatory Mitchell & Webb (pops)

I larfted at the "Insanity Level" part of the chart.

/friend is a major activist against alternative medicine and stuff like this
//this is going in his annual presentation on the subject
 
2010-10-14 11:18:46 PM  
So I'm guessing a Brit made that.
 
2010-10-14 11:20:22 PM  
Mobkey: Sun God: Arse.

Apparently it involves dropping your kecks. I'm in.


Nice weather we're having.
 
2010-10-15 12:45:21 AM  
this chart is full of win. now if he had only written it in english instead of retard-slang.

/sigh, so close to perfect.
/ok, REALLY REALLY REALLY close to perfect
 
2010-10-15 01:11:54 AM  
FishyFred: Obligatory Mitchell & Webb (pops)

I larfted at the "Insanity Level" part of the chart.

/friend is a major activist against alternative medicine and stuff like this
//this is going in his annual presentation on the subject


Even more obligatory Dara O'Brien (new window)
 
2010-10-15 03:15:40 AM  
"fark'em--->vaccine denial"

comedy gold
 
2010-10-15 04:44:59 AM  
But hasn't there been studies about placebo affects and all that stuff on how it can help someone? And that M*A*S*H episode!

/on the serious side, Big Pharma stuff doesn't help everyone and isn't the magic wand of "Fix All" that it's assumed to be
//If it helps you, go for it, but don't market that shiat as a cure all for everyone
 
2010-10-15 07:37:50 AM  
This is how I balance my energy.
lh3.googleusercontent.com
 
2010-10-15 07:54:31 AM  
Hilarious and perfectly on-target, but I get the vibe this guy is the kind of douche that uses the word "woo" to belittle people's beliefs...

Fit right in on Fark, actually.
 
2010-10-15 08:06:58 AM  
SpaceyCat: But hasn't there been studies about placebo affects and all that stuff on how it can help someone? And that M*A*S*H episode!

/on the serious side, Big Pharma stuff doesn't help everyone and isn't the magic wand of "Fix All" that it's assumed to be
//If it helps you, go for it, but don't market that shiat as a cure all for everyone


Sure. There's a lot of stuff that medical science has yet to understand. But there's a lot of stuff out there that science will NEVER understand because it's bullsh*t. Like Homeopathy.
 
2010-10-15 08:14:50 AM  
*Follows flow chart out of curiosity*.... ends up at Rolfing (new window)


What the fark......
 
2010-10-15 08:24:50 AM  
shivashakti: SpaceyCat: But hasn't there been studies about placebo affects and all that stuff on how it can help someone? And that M*A*S*H episode!

/on the serious side, Big Pharma stuff doesn't help everyone and isn't the magic wand of "Fix All" that it's assumed to be
//If it helps you, go for it, but don't market that shiat as a cure all for everyone

Sure. There's a lot of stuff that medical science has yet to understand. But there's a lot of stuff out there that science will NEVER understand because it's bullsh*t. Like Homeopathy.


The placebo effect would be better understood by the general public if it were called "the endorphin effect" Much as how global warming should be "Global climate disruption".
 
2010-10-15 08:30:16 AM  
Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: Hilarious and perfectly on-target, but I get the vibe this guy is the kind of douche that uses the word "woo" to belittle people's beliefs...

Fit right in on Fark, actually.


People who believe in woo deserve to have those beliefs belittled.
 
2010-10-15 08:52:46 AM  
Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: "woo" to belittle people's beliefs...

If they didn't want to have their beliefs belittled, they wouldn't believe stupid shiat.

I'm opposed to belief, as a general rule. I don't, for example, believe in gravity. I accept the mountain of evidence that the force of gravity exists- saying I "believe" implies that I had a choice in the matter. I don't. All of the evidence supports gravity, and what I think on the subject is utterly irrelevant.

So: if you believe in something, you deserve to have your beliefs belittled, because you shouldn't believe in things to begin with.

SpaceyCat: placebo

The reason we test medicines against placebos is because placebos do work. This is well understood, even if the mechanism is unclear. It's likely a combination of a number of factors, one of which is the expectation of resolution.

If someone were to sell you a magical tiger repelling rock, a rational person would conclude that they're a con artist. Rocks can't repel tigers, unless you have a really strong throwing arm. The fact that there are no tigers in this climate doesn't mean that the con artist is magically honest because they've induced a placebo effect. They sold you something that doesn't actually do anything, and claimed that it does.
 
2010-10-15 09:11:39 AM  
What, you mean magnet therapy isn't real? My world is falling apart! What about all the commercials for that magical wristband? They're lying? I'm shocked!

The "Fire" section had me laughing out loud. People who believe in ear candles kind of deserve their head set on fire.
 
2010-10-15 09:16:34 AM  
t3knomanser: Cthulhu_is_my_homeboy: "woo" to belittle people's beliefs...

If they didn't want to have their beliefs belittled, they wouldn't believe stupid shiat.

I'm opposed to belief, as a general rule. I don't, for example, believe in gravity. I accept the mountain of evidence that the force of gravity exists- saying I "believe" implies that I had a choice in the matter. I don't. All of the evidence supports gravity, and what I think on the subject is utterly irrelevant.

So: if you believe in something, you deserve to have your beliefs belittled, because you shouldn't believe in things to begin with.

SpaceyCat: placebo

The reason we test medicines against placebos is because placebos do work. This is well understood, even if the mechanism is unclear. It's likely a combination of a number of factors, one of which is the expectation of resolution.

If someone were to sell you a magical tiger repelling rock, a rational person would conclude that they're a con artist. Rocks can't repel tigers, unless you have a really strong throwing arm. The fact that there are no tigers in this climate doesn't mean that the con artist is magically honest because they've induced a placebo effect. They sold you something that doesn't actually do anything, and claimed that it does.



/So you are saying, YOU BELEIVE IN NOTHING!!!!
//Nice Marmot
 
2010-10-15 09:34:34 AM  
I tired ear candling once because my ear had so much waxy build up that not even ear drops was clearing it all out (shortly after a cold). Someone suggested I try it so I did, and it worked great for loosening up the ear wax though I was digging wax out of my ear for the rest of the day. The weirdest part was hearing the candle burn since the shape of the candle makes it amplified in your ear. Kind of unnerving.

Then I heard someone say that ear candles are great for helping with depression and anxiety, but I could for the life of me figure out how. I didn't feel less stress afterwards, just happy my ear was finally clearing. I asked if the were blowing smoke in my ear and I haven't heard form them sense.

/csb
 
2010-10-15 09:39:52 AM  
Ah, the most socially acceptable quackery: chiropractic.
 
2010-10-15 09:40:44 AM  
I loled. Based on this flow chart, I should get into either reiki or herbal medicine, depending on my mood. It seems to me that a 90-minute massage session would face either one of those.
 
2010-10-15 09:46:02 AM  
I'm a cynic but I'm in love with a proponent of alternative therapies so I've grown to begrudgingly accept them.

Also, a lot of them involved being touched, so I don't really give a shiate about their scientific validity. I'm getting some skin.
 
2010-10-15 09:56:01 AM  
Rusty Shackleford: "Wibble."

www.automation-drive.com

/hot...
 
2010-10-15 10:00:57 AM  
Epicedion: Ah, the most socially acceptable quackery: chiropractic.

When the muscles in my back are all screwed up, nothing feels better than a massage followed by a good crack and then some TENS.

Don't believe in all the subluxation junk though.
 
2010-10-15 10:02:13 AM  
PersistantRash: shivashakti: SpaceyCat: But hasn't there been studies about placebo affects and all that stuff on how it can help someone? And that M*A*S*H episode!

/on the serious side, Big Pharma stuff doesn't help everyone and isn't the magic wand of "Fix All" that it's assumed to be
//If it helps you, go for it, but don't market that shiat as a cure all for everyone

Sure. There's a lot of stuff that medical science has yet to understand. But there's a lot of stuff out there that science will NEVER understand because it's bullsh*t. Like Homeopathy.

The placebo effect would be better understood by the general public if it were called "the endorphin effect" Much as how global warming should be "Global climate disruption".


Migration Period.

or

Get the Fark away from the Shores Period.
 
2010-10-15 10:05:29 AM  
I've had a few patients decide to treat their breast cancer with alternative medicine, they all died. Most realised too late that alternative medicine is a sham. It's distressing to see them come back with extensive metastatic disease and knowing that they missed their window for a cure or at least long term regression.
 
2010-10-15 10:10:20 AM  
spigi: I've had a few patients decide to treat their breast cancer with alternative medicine, they all died. Most realised too late that alternative medicine is a sham. It's distressing to see them come back with extensive metastatic disease and knowing that they missed their window for a cure or at least long term regression.

You just described exactly the (recently deceased) wife of a good friend of mine. She was 45.

When people ask, "Where's the harm?" I tell them about this woman.
 
2010-10-15 10:12:11 AM  
Hagbardr: Epicedion: Ah, the most socially acceptable quackery: chiropractic.

When the muscles in my back are all screwed up, nothing feels better than a massage followed by a good crack and then some TENS.

Don't believe in all the subluxation junk though.


An actual subluxated rib can really hurt.

Getting acupuncture to release a trigger point in the muscle is less painful that getting massage to release the knot in the muscle. Instead of pressing down really hard with fingers, just insert a tiny needle into the same spot and *zing* the whole muscle relaxes.
 
2010-10-15 10:17:29 AM  
I once read an article discussing the growing popularity of alternative medicine which argued that people turn to alternative therapies simply to find the kind of care that's disappearing in the modern medical system.

Regardless of who foots the bill for medical care, patients are too often shunted through a horribly cold, uncaring bureaucracy with too little human interaction. The old family doctor who'd sit and talk to you about your troubles is pretty much a dinosaur.

So people shell out money - which is certainly their right - to practitioners who will give them an hour of undivided attention and care.

Which is fine. What bothers me is the intellectual laziness of the process. It's not "I'll go to aromatherapy because I like having a quiet hour in a dim room with a kind person who puts nice-smelling oils on me" it's a "cure."

Personally, now that I've got the money for it, I'm perfectly happy to shell out for a professional massage (JUST a massage, you perverts). It feels great, and it's a nice treat, but it's not a cure for anything.

I think cancer patients should have carte blanche to do anything that alleviates their suffering. If going to reiki or what have you helps mitigate the effects of chemo or even forget about fighting a horrible disease for half an hour or so, that's a victory. But it's not a cure.
 
2010-10-15 10:18:33 AM  
spigi: I've had a few patients decide to treat their breast cancer with alternative medicine, they all died. Most realised too late that alternative medicine is a sham. It's distressing to see them come back with extensive metastatic disease and knowing that they missed their window for a cure or at least long term regression.

Uh, yeah. I know of many who have died from breast cancer with Western medicine as well; actually nearly every person that I know who has had it. This is probably the weakest example that one could use to show any type of significant difference.
 
2010-10-15 10:22:36 AM  
pkellmey: spigi: I've had a few patients decide to treat their breast cancer with alternative medicine, they all died. Most realised too late that alternative medicine is a sham. It's distressing to see them come back with extensive metastatic disease and knowing that they missed their window for a cure or at least long term regression.

Uh, yeah. I know of many who have died from breast cancer with Western medicine as well; actually nearly every person that I know who has had it. This is probably the weakest example that one could use to show any type of significant difference.


So, you're advocating homeopathy, massage, etc to cure breast cancer?


/I really hope you're not because if you are you're killing people
//We need to work on treating the person and not just the disease but you still have to treat the farking disease first
 
2010-10-15 10:25:56 AM  
Hagbardr: When the muscles in my back are all screwed up, nothing feels better than a massage followed by a good crack and then some TENS.

Don't believe in all the subluxation junk though.


Yeah, but what your chiropractor believes is what's important, considering he's the one manually manipulating your spine. They're made up of a large proportion of unscientific quacks. For people who are charged with improving your health, that's unacceptable.

From the wiki.

On subluxation:
A 2003 survey of North American chiropractors found that 88% wanted to retain the term vertebral subluxation complex, and that when asked to estimate the percent of disorders of internal organs (such as the heart, the lungs, or the stomach) that subluxation significantly contributes to, the mean response was 62%.

You can also get a general sense of chiropractors' acceptance of science-based medicine by looking at their views on vaccination:
The American Chiropractic Association and the International Chiropractors Association support individual exemptions to compulsory vaccination laws, and a 1995 survey of U.S. chiropractors found that about a third believed there was no scientific proof that immunization prevents disease.

The Canadian Chiropractic Association supports vaccination;[15] a survey in Alberta in 2002 found that 25% of chiropractors advised patients for, and 27% against, vaccinating themselves or their children.


Some appear to be anti-fluoridation, as well.
 
2010-10-15 10:26:33 AM  
Epicedion: Ah, the most socially acceptable quackery: chiropractic.

Yes, always go to doctor who will prescribe drugs followed by surgery first.
 
2010-10-15 10:28:41 AM  
spigi: I've had a few patients decide to treat their breast cancer with alternative medicine, they all died. Most realised too late that alternative medicine is a sham. It's distressing to see them come back with extensive metastatic disease and knowing that they missed their window for a cure or at least long term regression.

We had a patient (I do radiation medicine as a physicist) who decided to go to Mexico for coffee enemas and prayer. Her stage II went to stage IV, so she did the logical thing and sued every American doctor who told her to get traditional treatment.
 
2010-10-15 10:32:29 AM  
Epicedion: Ah, the most socially acceptable quackery: chiropractic.

That one's weird for me, because my wife had 3 separate doctors recommend chiropractic for her back.

I always thought chiropractors were quacks, but I also trust the advice of doctors.
 
2010-10-15 10:34:02 AM  
stuhayes2010: Yes, always go to doctor who will prescribe drugs followed by surgery first.

For back pain, go to a doctor who'll give you a Tylenol and tell you to lie down and take it easy for a few days. I'm not hunting for the citation, but about the best treatment for back pain (not back injury) is time and rest.

Note that having some guy move your spine around with his hands does not qualify as "time" or "rest."
 
2010-10-15 10:36:23 AM  
Fail in Human Form: So, you're advocating homeopathy, massage, etc to cure breast cancer?

Why assume that? I don't advocate alt therapies, however if it works by placebo for some, it's no different than many of our Western treated problems (like many cancers) that seem to have similar affects. My father's cancer doctor pretty much said, "From my experience with the hundreds of patients I've tried to save with my medicine from lung cancer, it appears to have similar results to prayer." Personally, my work with breast cancer patients appear to have similar stories from their doctors.
 
2010-10-15 10:37:58 AM  
lexnaturalis: Epicedion: Ah, the most socially acceptable quackery: chiropractic.

That one's weird for me, because my wife had 3 separate doctors recommend chiropractic for her back.

I always thought chiropractors were quacks, but I also trust the advice of doctors.


Seems to be two groups of chiropractors, ones that think spinal adjustment will fix everything and ones that work primarily to correct people's posture and will tell people when their problem isn't actually related to their spine.
 
2010-10-15 10:39:04 AM  
lexnaturalis: That one's weird for me, because my wife had 3 separate doctors recommend chiropractic for her back.

I always thought chiropractors were quacks, but I also trust the advice of doctors.


In general, doctors aren't all that scientific, themselves, and now that the AMA is legally obligated to stop calling chiropractic an "unscientific cult" due to an antitrust ruling, some are of course going to recommend it. Doctors have a weird relationship with science, in that most doctors don't get anywhere near it. But they do use guidelines and procedures that are developed by actual researchers who do science, in the way that mechanics probably don't really understand the science of combustion engines, but know how to use the work of those who do in order to fix them.
 
2010-10-15 10:39:34 AM  
stuhayes2010: Yes, always go to doctor who will prescribe drugs followed by surgery first

Well, going to someone who's actually a doctor is a good first step.

lexnaturalis: That one's weird for me, because my wife had 3 separate doctors recommend chiropractic for her back

Manipulation of the muscles and bones of the back can help back issues. The problem is that chiropractic holds that misalignments of the spine are causes of disease and that these manipulations can cure other things. Which is patently false.

Also, massage therapy is just as good as chiropractic, and doesn't carry the same risks (chiropractic adjustments can cause damage to your spine). Of course, massage therapy has been invaded by much the same sort of woo about chakras and energy, etc.
 
2010-10-15 10:40:24 AM  
pkellmey: Fail in Human Form: So, you're advocating homeopathy, massage, etc to cure breast cancer?

Why assume that? I don't advocate alt therapies, however if it works by placebo for some, it's no different than many of our Western treated problems (like many cancers) that seem to have similar affects. My father's cancer doctor pretty much said, "From my experience with the hundreds of patients I've tried to save with my medicine from lung cancer, it appears to have similar results to prayer." Personally, my work with breast cancer patients appear to have similar stories from their doctors.


Then find a different doctor. That's utterly appalling. He's essentially saying to go straight to palliative care.
 
2010-10-15 10:41:45 AM  
pkellmey: spigi: I've had a few patients decide to treat their breast cancer with alternative medicine, they all died. Most realised too late that alternative medicine is a sham. It's distressing to see them come back with extensive metastatic disease and knowing that they missed their window for a cure or at least long term regression.

Uh, yeah. I know of many who have died from breast cancer with Western medicine as well; actually nearly every person that I know who has had it. This is probably the weakest example that one could use to show any type of significant difference.


I see, on average, about 10-20 patients a day (I'm a breast imager, so I see a lot) who have been treated for breast cancer and are many years out, in some cases decades. While it is certainly not true that every person diagnosed with breast cancer makes it past the five year mark, the overwhelming majority do. The key to long term survival is early detection and appropriate treatment.

I sincerely hope, for the sake of your acquaintances, you do not discourage them from seeking care from qualified medical professionals.
 
2010-10-15 10:43:03 AM  
pkellmey: spigi: I've had a few patients decide to treat their breast cancer with alternative medicine, they all died. Most realised too late that alternative medicine is a sham. It's distressing to see them come back with extensive metastatic disease and knowing that they missed their window for a cure or at least long term regression.

Uh, yeah. I know of many who have died from breast cancer with Western medicine as well; actually nearly every person that I know who has had it. This is probably the weakest example that one could use to show any type of significant difference.


Breast cancer median life expectancy without treatment is 2.5 years.

With treatment, 5 year survivability is 85%, 10 year survivability is 76%.

So yeah, if my wife is diagnosed with breast cancer, guess which option I'll be advocating?
 
2010-10-15 10:47:40 AM  
FunkOut: Seems to be two groups of chiropractors, ones that think spinal adjustment will fix everything and ones that work primarily to correct people's posture and will tell people when their problem isn't actually related to their spine.

Pretty much. The problem is that sorting them out is actually difficult, because as a group they have weird and potentially harmful beliefs mixed in with what actually might be useful, and employ very little in the way of research to separate the two.

If your GP told you to drink a pint of chicken blood to cure your headache, you'd probably ask him to produce some sort of evidence that this would actually work, and want to know what the risks are and so forth. You can do the same with Tylenol, and there are in fact studies to show that it works -- the benefits, the risks, et cetera.

If your chiropractor tells you he needs to manipulate your spine, in the same way you should probably ask him to produce some sort of evidence that this would actually work. The two problems inherent with this is that everyone, because chiropractic is so common, assumes that, like Tylenol, the evidence is cut and dry and easily available, even though it isn't. There's evidence that spinal manipulation works roughly as well as any other treatment (which in and of itself shows that treatment isn't all that useful for back pain), and is pretty useless for anything else. Add to that the inherent risks of spinal manipulation and you have a field that is high risk with low benefit, and so should be discounted automatically as acceptable.

But people love their quackery.
 
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