Tag Archives: quackery

Mindfulness Research’s Huge Problem

Mindfulness research’s huge problem with uninformative control groupsby James C Coyne – June 2016

Are enthusiasts protecting cherished beliefs about the power of mindfulness from disconfirmation?

Do any advantages of mindfulness training disappear in a fairly matched cage fight with a treatment of comparable frequency and intensity?

Finally, a more thorough look at the research indicates that mindfulness is more a placebo response than a treatment. It makes no sense that it’s recommended by medical experts in the place of effective medication.  Continue reading

Bait and Switch in Oregon Opioid Policy

Bait and switch in Oregon: Substituting quackery for opioids for Medicaid patients – sciencebasedmedicine.org – Aug 2018

My thinking on this issue first started to gel a couple of years ago, when the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) published its five year strategic plan for 2016-2021.

In this plan, NCCIH prominently featured researching and promoting the “nonpharmacologic treatment of pain” as one of its most pressing goals.

Later that year, it published a really bad review article, one based on horrible studies and huge extrapolations from weak data, that basically claimed all nonpharmacological treatment of pain as part of “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM, now known as “integrative medicine”).  Continue reading

A Brief Quackery Primer

A Brief Quackery Primer | American Council on Science and Health – Feb 2018 – by Josh Bloom

Many well-educated, skeptical people suffer from a failure of logic when it comes to matters of health.  Some studies even suggest that the more educated the person, the more likely they are to fall for some form of quackery.


When a person who believes fervently in some idea is confronted by evidence that they are wrong they may react emotionally and consider the evidence to be a personal attack.  They will then deny the evidence, no matter how strong it might be. 

This is the problem we are having in the “opioid crisis” when charlatans like Kolodny ignite anti-opioid hysteria without data to back up his claims. When presented with contradictory facts, he ignores it or attacks the messenger. Continue reading

Integrative Medicine’s War on Pain and Science

Integrative Medicine’s War on Pain and Science Comes To The Hospital – By Chuck Dinerstein — May 11, 2018

The war against opioids has come to the hospital as a new study suggests that integrative medicine is an effective pain agent and will save money!

The study looked at 2,730 patients referred during their hospitalization to the integrative medicine pain management program; roughly 5% of their admissions during a three year period. The primary outcome was pain reduction at the first IM session; cost savings were a secondary outcome.  Continue reading

‘Pilot studies’ of alt-medicine: unethical and harmful

‘Pilot studies’ of alternative medicine: incompetent, unethical, misleading and harmful – Apr 4 – by Edzard Ernst

During the last 25 years, my research focussed on the critical evaluation of all aspects of alternative medicine. I do not aim to promote this or that therapy or profession, my goal is to provide objective evidence and reliable information

I have noticed a proliferation of so-called pilot studies of alternative therapies.  

In today’s anti-opioid climate, any non-opioid “treatment” for pain, is accepted uncritically, even if it’s only slightly effective for a few people, is promoted as “fighting the opioid crisis” (which is actually an “addiction crisis”)   Continue reading

Meditation for Psychological Stress and Well-being

Meditation for Psychological Stress and Well-being | Complementary and Alternative Medicine | JAMA Internal Medicine – Jan 2014

Importance  Many people meditate to reduce psychological stress and stress-related health problems. To counsel people appropriately, clinicians need to know what the evidence says about the health benefits of meditation.

Objective  To determine the efficacy of meditation programs in improving stress-related outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress/distress, positive mood, mental health–related quality of life, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, pain, and weight) in diverse adult clinical populations.   Continue reading

Growing Concern With Mindfulness Meditation

Psychologists Express Growing Concern With Mindfulness Meditation | Inverse| By Peter Hess on October 10, 2017

Mindfulness, which involves the simple act of paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings, has become something of a buzzword in the past couple of decades, and psychologists are concerned.

More than just a meditation practice, mindfulness is an industry — with some proponents saying it can treat anxiety, cancer, and everything in between.

The problem is, in many cases, those treatments haven’t sufficiently been scrutinized by trained professionals, and psychologists aren’t impressed.   Continue reading

Money Trumps Science at Medical School

A huge gift boosts alternative therapies at a med school, sparking outrage – ByUsha Lee McFarling – September 20, 2017

It’s becoming perfectly clear that money trumps (pun intended) science these days.

When billionaires Susan and Henry Samueli this week announced a $200 million donation to the University of California, Irvine to launch a new health program dedicated to integrative medicine, they drew a standing ovation and glowing coverage.

But for those who have been watching the steady creep of unproven therapies into mainstream medicine, the announcement didn’t go over quite as well.  Continue reading

Evidence Lacking for Current Rx Treatment of Neuropathic Pain

Evidence Lacking for Current Pharmacologic Treatment of Neuropathic Pain – Pain Medicine News – May 19, 2017

Successful management of neuropathic pain remains elusive despite the variety of pharmacologic classes prescribed to treat it, new research suggests.

Furthermore, the actual evidence supporting drugs used on an everyday basis is remarkably deficient, according to Richard W. Rosenquist, MD, the study’s author and chairman of the Department of Pain Management at the Cleveland Clinic, in Ohio

The Cleveland Clinic has become notorious for denying opioid pain medication to patients who desperately need them.  Continue reading

Quackery infiltrating scientific journals like BMJ

Quackery infiltrates The BMJ – Science-Based MedicineDavid Gorski – May 22, 2017  

Is LACK of EVIDENCE the same as/equate to QUAKERY?

We here have long lamented the creeping infiltration of quackery into medical academia in which modalities once considered quackery, such as

  • acupuncture,
  • reiki, naturopathy,
  • homeopathy, and
  • various other dubious treatments,

have found their way into what should be bastions of science-based medicine (SBM).   Continue reading