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Electrodermal Testing Is Tantamount To Fooling Patients With A Magic Eight Ball

Remember the Magic Eight Ball toy? You could ask it a question and shake it and a random answer would float up into a window: yes, no, maybe, definitely, etc. There is even a website where you can ask an Eight Ball questions online.

I have been meaning to write about bogus electrodiagnostic machines for a long time. These devices supposedly diagnose diseases and/or energy imbalances, indicate which remedies will correct the problem(s), and sometimes even treat the imbalances by transmitting a balancing frequency to the patient. I knew they were bogus, but I had never really realized the full extent of the deception until I viewed a set of training videos recently sent to me by a correspondent. I had never realized how similar electrodermal testing was to the Magic Eight Ball. I was further amazed at how they managed to combine every kind of alternative medicine into one incoherent package and to bamboozle patients with an appalling display of pseudoscientific babble.

This will be a two-part series. In the first, I will describe what the machines and their operators do. In the second (next week), I will address the legal and regulatory issues.

The History of EAV Devices

The first electrodermal diagnostic device was invented in 1958 by Reinhold Voll, a German medical doctor and acupuncturist. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Integrative Medicine As The Butt Of A Hoax

In 1996, Alan Sokal got a bogus paper published in the journal Social Text. It was a parody full of meaningless statements in the jargon of postmodern philosophy and cultural studies. The editors couldn’t tell the difference between Sokal’s nonsense and the usual articles they publish.

Now a British professor of medical education, Dr. John McLachlan, has perpetrated a similar hoax on supporters of so-called “integrative” medicine. He reports his prank in an article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

After receiving an invitation to submit papers to an International Conference on Integrative Medicine, he invented a ridiculous story about a new form of reflexology and acupuncture with points represented by a homunculus map on the buttocks. He claimed to have done studies showing that

responses are stronger and of more therapeutic value than those of auricular or conventional reflexology. In some cases, the map can be used for diagnostic purposes.

The organizers asked him to submit an abstract. He did. In the abstract he said he would present only case histories, testimonies, and positive outcomes, since his methods did not lend themselves to randomized controlled trials; and he suggested that his “novel paradigm” might lead to automatic rejection by closed minds. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Body Detoxification Is A Hoax

I got this in the mail today.

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The spam filter didn’t work 100%.  I know.

Why even post it?  Just to comment on a society where people ask me “is it safe?” when I prescribe a medication for them and yet value the fact that people in Hollywood do something.  Most of the people in Hollywood are idiots and are surrounded by more idiots.

Let me reassure you:

  1. Your body is not “full of toxins.”  When it is, your liver and kidneys are designed to handle those “toxins” and will do so far better than anything someone tries to sell you.
  2. Diets only work when they restrict calories.
  3. Your colon is fine and does not deserve to be regularly “cleansed.”  Colonics have been around since the early 1900’s (maybe earlier) and the fact that they are still being used is only evidence of the gullibility of humans.
  4. Never trust something that claims to “strengthen the immune system.”  It is an impossible claim to prove or disprove, and so is made with impunity.
  5. Look for the word “supports.”  Phrases such as “supports prostate health” or “supports a healthy immune system” are big signs that you are being BS’d.
  6. I never give patients medicines I would not take myself in the same circumstance.  I know no doctors who do.  It is fine to say “why do I need this medicine?” or “Is this medication really necessary?” but to ask “is it safe?” or “doesn’t this destroy the liver?” is kind of insulting.
  7. I guarantee that any plan like this one will cause significant weight loss…in your wallet.

Sorry.  Had to rant about this.  People believe many dumb things and will until the world’s end.  I feel bad for the people brought in by this and am angered at the hucksters that are fattening their wallets and misleading the uninformed.

End of Rant

*This post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind.*

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Latest Book Reviews

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

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