Tag Archives: alternative-med

Spinal Manipulation Therapy – A Sham Procedure?

Spinal Manipulation Therapy – A Sham Procedure? | Medpage Today | Apr 2017

Proponents have proclaimed a slew of benefits of spinal manipulation therapy, but most data is anecdotal. Spinal manipulation therapy is one of those treatments that just thrives on anecdote.

If you’re like me, you’re skeptical about some of the claims certain providers make about spinal manipulation. Mostly because a lot of these claims lack biologic plausibility

So I was intrigued to see this meta-analysis appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association: Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.   Continue reading

The common ground of mind-body therapies

Body Awareness: a phenomenological inquiry into the common ground of mind-body therapies | Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine | Full Text

Enhancing body awareness has been described as a key element or a mechanism of action for therapeutic approaches often categorized as mind-body approaches… with reported benefits for a variety of health conditions.

To better understand the conceptualization of body awareness in mind-body therapies, leading practitioners and teaching faculty of these approaches were invited as well as their patients to participate in focus groups.

The qualitative analysis of these focus groups with representative practitioners of body awareness practices, and the perspectives of their patients, elucidated the common ground of their understanding of body awareness.  Continue reading

Top US hospitals aggressively promoting Alt-Med

Top US hospitals aggressively promoting alternative medicine offerings – Should prestigious hospitals promote unproven alternative medicine? – Stat News – Mar 2017

They’re among the nation’s premier medical centers, at the leading edge of scientific research. Yet hospitals affiliated with Yale, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and other top medical research centers also aggressively promote alternative therapies with little or no scientific backing.

They offer

  • “energy healing” to help treat multiple sclerosis,
  • acupuncture for infertility, and
  • homeopathic bee venom for fibromyalgia.
  • A public forum hosted by the University of Florida’s hospital even promises to explain how herbal therapy can reverse Alzheimer’s. (It can’t.)   Continue reading

Naturopathy supported by AAPM

Since I discovered that the president of AAPM, Bob Twillman, will be speaking at a conference of Naturopaths, I became curious about this “alternative medicine”, especially since such therapies are now recommended by the CDC for pain,

For any other medical condition, naturopathy is still regarded as quackery by the medical field.  This hypocritical endorsement by the CDC and AAPM endangers pain patients by exposing them to a therapy that is not used, trusted, or proven scientifically.

Naturopathy lacks an adequate scientific basis, and it is rejected by the medical community.

their literature reveals that it is replete with pseudoscientific, ineffective, unethical, and potentially dangerous practices
Continue reading

Studies show CDC-recommended pain Tx ineffective

There are many studies proving that the CDC recommendations for “alternative medicine” therapies are ineffective, and this was pointed out in a Twitter sequence, started by an article about how opioids are now the very last treatment to be considered for pain.

Sumathi Reddy @rddysum
Skip the meds, say docs on treating lower back pain. My column: https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-drugs-for-back-pain-new-guidelines-say-1487024168 … via @WSJ

John @JohnTuckerPhD
All “therapies” for which there is little evidence, no evidence, or solid evidence against the effectiveness of. Sad to see collapse of EBM https://twitter.com/rddysum/status/831503280983404544 Continue reading

Curing Versus Managing Pain

Deciding when to say when: pain cure? or pain managed? | HealthSkills Blog – 7/27/2015

I don’t agree with the idea that all chronic pain can be managed without opioids, but there are some interesting ideas in this article.

Cures for pain that persists are not easily found.

In the case of much chronic pain, pharmacological approaches simply do not work

That’s just silly – here I am writing this while using purely “pharmacological approaches” to control my 20-year chronic pain. For me, they work better than anything else I’ve tried. (See My Three-Decades-Long Journey Through Non-Opioid Pain Treatments, Therapies, and Medications Continue reading

No Clear Benefit of Yoga for Back Problems

Yoga Turns in So-So Results for Back Problems | Medpage Today –  January 11, 2017 by Ryan Basen

Yoga is one of the alternative medicine pain treatments now recommended by the CDC, though there is little evidence of its benefit over any other kind of exercise.

Most studies compare yoga to no exercise at all so the benefits could be just from getting some exercise, not the specific moves of yoga.

However, the stress placed on joints by this practice can be dangerous for anyone with EDS or another connective tissue disorder. When I was practicing, I further stretched my lax ligaments and frequently subluxated joints.

Doing yoga became so painful I had to stop this “pain treatment”.   Continue reading

The Power of Yogic Breathing

Yogic breathing when compared to attention control reduces the levels of pro-inflammatory biomarkers in saliva: a pilot randomized controlled trialBMC Complement Altern Med. 2016 – free full-text PMC article

Self-report measures indicate that Yoga practices are perceived to reduce stress; however, molecular mechanisms through which YB affects stress are just beginning to be understood.

As Yoga practice stimulates salivary secretion, and saliva is considered a source of biomarkers, changes in salivary cytokines before and after Yogic breathing exercise as specified in an ancient Tamil script, Thirumanthiram, were examined using a Cytokine Multiplex to compare to Attention Control (AC) group.   Continue reading

Alt-Medicine Harming Science-Based Medicine

How the ‘alt’ is polarizing, and harming, medicine By Benjamin Mazer – December 29, 2016

Alternative medicine is an innocuous, even attractive, term, framed as a healthy, natural option other than conventional medicine. What could possibly be bad about alternatives and nature?

The truth is, there’s little unconventional or natural about the factory production lines and multibillion-dollar industry behind most of the so-called alternative products used by millions of Americans.

Instead, much of alt-med is based on a deep distrust of for-profit medicine and science.

Yet this is the direction we are being pushed by the CDC, with its edict not to use conventional and effective opioids.   Continue reading

Hospitals’ dangerous embrace of alt-medicine

Anti-vaccine rant exposes conflict over hospitals’ embrace of alternative medicine


In the span of a few days, the anti-vaccine screed of a Cleveland Clinic doctor prompted a social media firestorm, an apparent retraction from the physician, and promises of disciplinary action by administrators of his prestigious hospital system.

But those reactions will not entirely contain the damage caused by the rant, which has already been picked up by anti-vaccine organizations1, or address a more fundamental question:

Why do hospitals that espouse evidence-based medical care operate alternative medicine institutes that offer treatments with little foundation in science?

This is exactly what has happened to pain care when the CDC promoted “integrated care”, which is actually a collection of unproven alternative medicine treatments, in its 2016 Opioid Prescribing Guideline.  Continue reading