MAR
24
0

Energy: You Keep Using That Word.

Energy You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

My undergraduate degree, back in the dark ages, was in physics. I remember studying all the kinds of energy, the ability to work:

  • Kinetic (≥0), that of the motion of a body
  • Potential, A category comprising many forms in this list
  • Mechanical, The sum of (usually macroscopic) kinetic and potential energies
  • Mechanical wave (≥0), a form of mechanical energy propagated by a material’s oscillations
  • Chemical, that contained in molecules
  • Electric, that from electric fields
  • Magnetic, that from magnetic fields
  • Radiant (≥0), that of electromagnetic radiation including light
  • Nuclear, that of binding nucleons to form the atomic nucleus
  • Ionization, that of binding an electron to its atom or molecule
  • Elastic, that of deformation of a material (or its container) exhibiting a restorative force
  • Gravitational, that from gravitational fields
  • Rest, (≥0) that equivalent to an object’s rest mass
  • Thermal, A microscopic, disordered equivalent of mechanical energy
  • Heat, an amount of thermal energy being transferred (in a given process) in the direction of decreasing temperature
  • Mechanical, work an amount of energy being transferred in a given process due to displacement in the direction of an applied force.

There are a lot of different kinds of energy. What is not on this list? All the unmeasured and unmeasurable energies that define many of the pseudo-medicines. Qi, innate intelligence, reiki, therapeutic touch, etc. All the mystical and magical energies purported to be felt and manipulated by their practitioners.

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11751 Hits
MAR
19
0

Points of Interest 03/14/2015

Family of Perth baby who died of whooping cough hope to raise awareness, prevent further deathsSoc Sci Med. 2015 Mar 5;131:173–180. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.03.003. Traditional acupuncturists and higher education in Britain: The dual, paradoxical impact of biomedical alignment on the holistic view.UCF students look to crystals for healing, energy
2838 Hits
FEB
20
2

Medical Astrology? Who Knew?

Not me. Even Orac hasn't written about medical astrology, and it has written about everything.   I have mentioned in the past that any two pseudo-medicines can be combined to form a third. The variations are endless and I have been unable to come up with a combination of my own that does not have a hit on Google.

Even more curious is the ability to combine real science (usually quantum mechanics) with a pseudo-science and invent a unique explanation as to how, as an example, homeopathy works.

Medicine can be combined with the strangest bedfellows. Little did I know that perhaps the oldest and most debunked of the pseudo-sciences, astrology, has medical applications.

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Recent Comments
Janet Camp
Now that’s a lot of bull! Personally, I’m a Scorpio--which seemed to be all I had to say at the bar to get noticed when I was a yo... Read More
Saturday, 21 February 2015 01:27
Janet Camp
Now that’s a lot of bull! Personally, I’m a Scorpio--which seemed to be all I had to say at the bar to get noticed when I was a yo... Read More
Saturday, 21 February 2015 01:27
9316 Hits
FEB
02
0

Points of Interest 02/01/2015

 

Meet the Latest Driver of the Anti-Vaccine Clown Car (Who Thinks You’re a ‘Bad Mother’). “Vanity doesn’t die; misinformation doesn’t die; arrogance and narcissism and opportunism don’t die. But you know what does die? Children. That’s worth keeping in mind as the latest carnival barker from the anti-vaccine community steps up for his ignoble hour of attention. The new medical reprobate is Dr. Jack Wolfson…”

Anti-Vaccine Movement Causes Worst Measles Epidemic In 20 Years. “These parents are the anti-vaxxers. Thanks to them, we now have large pockets of unvaccinated children through whom epidemics can spread further an faster than we’ve seen in decades.”

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5618 Hits
JAN
31
2

Julia Sweeney was wrong about Deepak Chopra

Boy was Julia Sweeney wrong. I didn’t know it before. But now? She was off by an order of magnitude.

I am, if you did not know, an Infectious Disease doctor. My career started with the HIV epidemic. It has been an amazing course, from the awful days before we knew the cause of AIDS or how best to treat the complications. So many deaths. The discovery of HIV and understanding its pathophysiology. The start of the ART era, initially a disappointment and now I rarely see an AIDS patient in the hospital.

We have converted a rapidly fatal illness into an often chronic illness by understanding the pathogen and how to interfere with it with its life cycle. It has been a triumph of medical science.

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Recent Comments
Janet Camp
Thanks for the link to the musings of Ms Sweeney; it seems her course of discovery and thinking somewhat parallels my own. It is s... Read More
Saturday, 31 January 2015 16:40
Janet Camp
Thanks for the link to the musings of Ms Sweeney; it seems her course of discovery and thinking somewhat parallels my own. It is s... Read More
Saturday, 31 January 2015 16:40
11397 Hits
JAN
23
0

Points of Interest 01/22/2105

Measles Cases Linked to Disneyland Rise, and Debate Over Vaccinations Intensifies. “A handful of doctors seem sympathetic to these views. Dr. Jay Gordon, a Santa Monica pediatrician who has cautioned against the way vaccines are used, said he had “given more measles vaccines” than ever before but did not like giving the shot to younger children.” Quoting Jay Gordon is like asking an astrologer about Hubble.

Treating the Sequelae of Postoperative Meningioma and Traumatic Brain Injury: A Case of Implementation of Craniosacral Therapy in Integrative Inpatient Care. Treating brain injury with hand waving.

Wien Med Wochenschr. 2015 Jan 22. Severe cyanide poisoning from an alternative medicine treatment with amygdalin and apricot kernels in a 4-year-old child.. “Cyanide poisoning can be the cause of severe encephalopathy in children receiving CAM treatment with substances containing cyanogenic glycosides.”

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6367 Hits
DEC
19
0

Points of Interest 12/18/2014

 

Televised medical talk shows—what they recommend and the evidence to support their recommendations: a prospective observational study. “Recommendations made on medical talk shows often lack adequate information on specific benefits or the magnitude of the effects of these benefits. Approximately half of the recommendations have either no evidence or are contradicted by the best available evidence. Potential conflicts of interest are rarely addressed.” I never know if the Christmas BMJ articles are legit.Vaccine Alternatives Offered by HomeopathsHealing with the touch of a hand. “Even Dr. Oz says this is the future of medicine, energy medicine.” LOL.US: Anti-vaccine group claims vaccines can turn children gay
3550 Hits
JUL
06
0

Hold the Mayo

I did my residency in Minneapolis at the county hospital. Occasionally a patient would go the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for a second opinion, get all their tests repeated and more, then came back with the same diagnosis and treatment plan. We would say if you want a Rochester Sandwich, hold the mayo.

That started my skepticism about big name clinics and famous hospitals. There are good and bad doctors everywhere. Judging from the metastasis of pseudo-medicine into many of the prominent medical institutions in the US, I suspect my bias that these institutions are more interested in income than science-based medicine.

Which brings me to Complementary and alternative medicine from the Mayo Clinic, with the subtitle

You've heard the hype about complementary and alternative medicine. Now get the facts.

Given that they have an Integrative Medicine Department, I was wondering how they would spin 'the facts.' As always in a CAM article, they start with the disingenuous:

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4555 Hits
JAN
26
0

Reiki for Pigs

There is a new show on the cable channel NatGeo Wild called "We Move Animals." In one episode, the animal-movers are asked to take 2 pot-bellied pigs from a New York apartment for a visit to a pig spa in Pennsylvania and bring them back home afterwards. The pigs are treated to reiki, essential oils, massage, and a bath. It shows the spa lady waving her hands over a pig and explaining that she is transmitting beneficial energies to them. I don't know which bothered me more: the waste of money to treat pigs to a spa experience, or the pseudoscientific treatments. The only appropriate comment is "Hogwash."

4234 Hits
JAN
24
0

Science For Science Based Medicine

Guest Post by Eugenie V. Mielczarek

Science-Based Medicine continually informs about the scientific  knowledge and  controls  required to provide successful medical protocols.  The need for a joint effort  with major scientific  societies  is crucial.  Neither the the American Physical Society  nor the American Chemical Society   have  lent their expertise  communicating ‘science for the general public’ to dispel  claims for   homeopathy and  ‘energy  healing’  obvious violations of the laws of science.  The founding of  Society for Science Based Medicine came as I was reviewing  my failed four year  effort to have the American Physical Society, APS, recognize this  healing  protocol as a medical misconception.Some background:learning that healing claims for an undefined  field  emitted by certain human practitioners, was being taught in nursing schools  medical schools, used as a source of revenue by hospitals, and had  been funded by NIH’ s NCCAM,  I with Derek Araujo  and Brian Engler, exposed the claim, practices  and NIH’s funding,  with articles in  the Skeptical Inquirer. The ‘healing’ protocol appears under several  pseudonyms: Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, Jorei, and Qigong.  NCCAM  grants for these protocols total  about  11 million dollars.  A popular Reiki center close to my home  is located at the Winchester Medical Center,  Winchester Virginia.

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