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Science Your trust in “Alternative Medicine”

TripSitterNZ

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Depends on the alternative medicine i believe many things can help. Infact i have experimented using LSD to heal physical ailments and got extreme results. I could heal very nasty wounds closed up and accerlated healing while on LSD, my hair always grows ultra fast the more LSD i take aswell compared to when i dont take it.

Just because something is not reported in a medical journey means we can not dismiss it. Infact alot of doctors are into some wacky stuff.

I believe you can heal yourself aswell using your own kundalini energy. wim hof can control his own immune system with meditation. Peyote can cure blindness.
 
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If @The Wizard of the Creek wants to throw witchcraft into the mix of alternative treatments under discussion then I think that is useful. So long as he can explain why he believes in it.
Thank you @Atelier3 for moving us past insults and continuing this thread forward. I hate it when people get so wrapped up in their beliefs when medicine is involved.

Witchcraft isn’t about beliefs and It’s not religious, never has been. It’s a practice, and is quite practical using the elements for your own purposes. It’s all about intention, and intention is very powerful when applied correctly. Science and witchcraft go hand and hand. Science is the practical understanding of our universe, and witchcraft is using that understanding for whatever intention the witch chooses.
 

Atelier3

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If you think a discussion about witch doctors is en par with historical medicine systems like ayurveda and TCM then you're more willfully ignorant than I could have ever possibly imagined, and I no longer wish to participate. It's totally invalidating how you lump everything into the category of "alternative", without nuance, without cultural or historical differentiation. It doesn't seem like you want to really know... you just want to push your own narrative of science vs. anti-science. If you wanted to know for real, then you'd quickly discover how insulting and ignorant it is to just lump them all together.

[MOD-EDIT] Personal attacks removed.
I don’t follow your logic @Foreigner. Which, in my experience, usually happens only when there are logical flaws in what people are telling me. Your arguments for accepting TCM without first obtaining scientific verification are based on them being a ‘different epistemology’ rooted in culture and history. I’m right on that so far aren’t I? Well, how is sorcery or witchcraft as practiced in Africa or Papua New Guinea or Australia for that matter, any different. It is believed intensely by the people who practice it, it is deeply rooted in tradition and culture, and it is unverified by scientific method. Exactly like TCM and Ayurveda.

It looks to me like you are the one placing different values on different cultures and elevating one culture’s traditions over another culture’s. As I’ve been at pains to point out in this thread, I just want to know why people choose to use health treatments that are unverified by science. Given that every treatment I’ve mentioned has in common the fact that it is unverified by science yet still used by members of BL, then it is perfectly logical and relevant to ‘lump them together’.

It would have been interesting to hear why different people choose different methods for their health and maybe see why the methods SHOULDN’t be lumped together. Then this thread would have been educational for everyone. Thus far though you have not provided a single logical reason why TCM should not be put in the same category as witchcraft or sorcery. I have to presume that your anger is a subterfuge to obscure the fact that you do not have a rational argument foundation for arguing that sorcery and witchcraft are a different category of thing to TCM.

I don’t mean to be insulting and I do apologise if anything has come across as insulting in this thread. But I cannot be held responsible for people getting offended when their logic is demonstrated to be flawed.

This thread was not meant to be a debate about alternative medicine versus science. It was meant to be an opportunity for people who believe in things other than science to explain what those things are when it comes to making health decisions. I am eager to learn about making non-scientific judgements about health.
 

Atelier3

Moderator: DC
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Depends on the alternative medicine i believe many things can help. Infact i have experimented using LSD to heal physical ailments and got extreme results. I could heal very nasty wounds closed up and accerlated healing while on LSD, my hair always grows ultra fast the more LSD i take aswell compared to when i dont take it.

Just because something is not reported in a medical journey means we can not dismiss it. Infact alot of doctors are into some wacky stuff.

I believe you can heal yourself aswell using your own kundalini energy. wim hof can control his own immune system with meditation. Peyote can cure blindness.
I think psychedelics are a very useful case study for what we are trying to explore in this thread. Obviously they have a long history in the health practices of many different cultures. Often wrapped up in their religious practices - which is interesting because I think there may be connection between certain kinds of religiosity and health. However, the claims made by Western enthusiasts for the health value of psychedelics were made BEFORE any scientific analysis of those psychedelics. Yet, in the last few years (actually also in the 1960s) we have seen a wealth of quality scientific studies that demonstrate the truth of many claims made for these drugs.

Consequently, there seems to be an increasingly strong case for shifting our categorisation of psychedelics from ‘alternative medicine’ to ‘medicine’.

The same could not be said for Rhino horn, which was first recorded in TCM in 1597 and therefore has a pretty long cultural and historical pedigree. Ditto for Bear bile.
 

Deru

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I’m curious about how people who regularly use these “Alternative Medicine” treatments rationalise the fact that there is no evidence for their use.
I think this is such an interesting subject. To begin with, humans haven’t been able to study every single aspect of “x“ treatments for “y“ condition. There are large gaps in traditional medicine, we as a species have advanced so far, but we still have quite a way to go. This became blatantly obvious to me after my heart issues and just how little nuanced care medical professionals can really offer. I think certain alternative medicines can compliment traditional medicine, and for that reason, I agree 100% with @The Wizard of the Creek ’s post in that regard.

I have found supplements of insane benefit to healing my heart and body, and there is little to no scientific evidence to suggest it’s effective. But, I am living proof it is. Traditional medicine failed in that aspect, and it’s honestly mind blowing how efficient alternative medicine can be. But, as stated, I use it to supplement the medical professional‘s treatment, not as a standalone be all, end all cure.

Also, milk thistle has helped reverse my liver disease. That one was actually recommended to me by my primary doctor and within three months my ALS and ALT enzyme blood levels are looking significantly better.
 

JessFR

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I don't believe in the idea of alternative medicine.

I believe there is medicine that has a rational, evidence based and consistent mechanism by which it should work, and recorded scientific observations to indicate that it does. Which I would call "medicine"

And I believe there is everything that doesn't fall into the above, which I would call "bullshit".

:D
 

Atelier3

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The interesting thing about Chinese “Medicine” in particular is that as a system it is really just a 20th century invention packaged up by the Communist Party and sold to both uneducated local peasants and gullible and romantic Westerners.

Although individual healing practices certainly did exist there was no official unified system until Mao mandated that one be constructed from all the disparate local practices. Thus Chinese medicine should be seen partly as a political project as much as a cultural artefact. It very much matches the kind of processes Foucault outlined in his analysis of Western medicine.

The article below is an enlightening discussion of how TCM came to be a thing both in modern China and the West. Basically, the Chinese could not afford or access the scientifically validated medicine they really wanted (but which Mao got plenty of) so they bodgied up a discourse about the validity of traditional chinese approaches while removing the obviously supernatural elements.



“For thousands of years, healing practices in China had been highly idiosyncratic. Attempts at institutionalizing medical education were largely unsuccessful, and most practitioners drew at will on a mixture of demonology, astrology, yin-yang five phases theory, classic texts, folk wisdom, and personal experience“

The article is fascinating.

 

JessFR

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The worst is probably homeopathy. It could honestly be a parody of alternative medicine.

Way I see it, what it comes down to is that if you have little to no education, all ideas become pretty much as plausible as each other.
 
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Atelier3

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The worst is probably homeopathy. It could honestly be a parody of alternative medicine.

Way I see it, what it comes down to is that if you have little to no education, all ideas become pretty much as plausible as each other.

Or too much education. Anti-science scepticism wrapped up with claims about Western hegemony and liberally sauced with cultural relativism is the main course in the Humanities departments of many Australian universities. I suspect it’s the same in other English speaking countries. I see it all the time on my campus, young people really lack the ability to construct logical and plausible arguments. Then, when you unpack the lack of logic in what they say for them, they double down with claims you are traumatising them. Feeling trumps facts all the time.
 

Alex_1991

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This has been an interesting read. @Atelier3 knocks it out of the park. Holy shit is that guy ever educated and smart.

In high school just before I started grade 12, I had broke my ankle while I was drinking. Starting school, one of my teachers ordered an homeopathic medicine for me. It consisted of these little beads which were sweetened with sugar and dissolved.

I was to take a few of these beads a day to promote faster healing of my ankle. I took them cause why the hell not they don’t actually contain anything, maybe 1ppm or something of something benign. It was nice of her to do that, but definitely did not help my ankle.

When I was called to the office to pick up these homeopathic meds the secretary made it very clear to me that I can’t abuse them. Yes, I was a known user already that young. Didn’t think to tell her I couldn’t even abuse crystal meth at 1ppm, but maybe I’ll call her 12 years later with my comeback now.

I’ve felt a delay in my mental acuity and responses ever since I took this med, or even just saw it. It doesn’t work for anything good. These homeopathic medications are stupid!
 

Atelier3

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Thanks Alex. Homeopathy is still a multibillion dollar industry around the world. I’d love to hear from someone who believes in it about why they do.

However, generally homeopathy is thought pretty benign. The minuscule concentrations of active ingredients are so small you could probably take homeopathic cyanide and survive.

That’s not the case with Traditional Chinese Medicine. The more I’ve been reading the more I’ve understood how unethical and dangerous it is. It would probably not be a bad thing for it to be banned completely - even though some individual therapies it recommends are harmless.

As a system of healing, TCM seems morally, ethically, and intellectually bankrupt. The flowing article shows that university testing found heavy metals, the DNA of endangered animals, and even Rx medicines in popular TCM “medicines”.

 

JessFR

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Thanks Alex. Homeopathy is still a multibillion dollar industry around the world. I’d love to hear from someone who believes in it about why they do.

However, generally homeopathy is thought pretty benign. The minuscule concentrations of active ingredients are so small you could probably take homeopathic cyanide and survive.
Actually I've repeatedly read that the level of dilution in most homeopathic remedies is such that there's likely not a single molecule of the original substance left.

So.. Yeah

As for why people believe it. Same reason people believe anything like this. They're totally ignorant of science, soo there's no especially compelling reason for them to think homeopathy wouldn't work.

It feeds into their worldview to believe in much easier simpler solutions to problems that are being obscured by big business in order to sell their own versions. This is ironic given alternative medicine is all about money anyway.

And finally. Placebo effect and psychological bias ensures that you can try almost anything and come to believe you've seen it work.

Basically, the human mind is generally not able to effectively evaluate probabilities and causes based on observation. Which is of course why even scientists don't trust their observations alone. So without education it tends to come to believe in all sorts of unsupported ideas.
 

Deru

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I believe there is medicine that has a rational, evidence based and consistent mechanism by which it should work, and recorded scientific observations to indicate that it does. Which I would call "medicine"
What about the medicine that hasn't had time to be scientifically studied and tested, yet?

If I take something now that works but has no solid scientific evidence yet, but in five years it's able to be further studied and those studies prove, in fact, the medicine has proven efficacy, was the medicine I took not medicine at the time simply because it was unable to be studied?

I think it's a bit more nuanced than something has been proven to work. At one point, everything was unproven.

There are some alternative medicines that (probably) will never be proven to work, and for those, if someone convinces itself it does (placebo), is it any less efficient (depending on the root cause)?
 

Yourbaker

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Modern western medicine isn't all sparkle and polish either. You really need to take time to learn what you're being given and how it will affect your body, brain, digestive system etc.

One pill does not work for everyone and western medicine tends to try to treat all similar symptoms with the same medication. If we were paying little for these medications I could understand we were producing the best of a few options that had the widest range of positive results across the widest spectrum of people. However, we pay through the nose for medication that may have as little as 7% better results over the sugar pill placebo.

Science follows money, if real medication can't be monetized it is overlooked. Marijuana is the biggest game changer for a substantial percentage of our population, medically it was used until it was banned in the early 1900's now it's back with minimal studies and mostly experiential claims, science can do a catch up but big pharma can't make money off marijuana so it will be slow in arriving.

If you put faith in any medical system good luck, if you take time to learn what's wrong with you and what the various parts of your body need to deal with the problems you are facing it will be daunting. We have monetized everything now and it's getting harder to push through the cash grabs to find reality.

Personally I've spent 15 years suffering from bowel problems, cramps so painful I was doubled over or even missed work. Doctors gave me multiple type of medications, I had ultra sounds done looking for blockages, doctors prescribed diets to me restricting various foods and one doctor even did a double hernia surgery on me saying perhaps these small hernias were somehow causing my pains.

I met a first nation medicine woman at work, it was a day I was in pain but working through it. She looked at my eye squeezed my hand and laughed and told me to drink more water. I was dehydrating myself for years and so many trips to western doctors never once suggested I just needed more water.

Western medicine is at risk of neglecting the human part of medicine. There is no perfect system and neglecting any of them out of hand without proper consideration could prolong an illness, it took me 15 years to get good medical advice on a simple problem. My mother had cancer and found marijuana but again not through western medicine. Science and the scientific method are great but learn to read those peer reviews before you commit your only body over to their medications. Specifically check if they had omitted data that fell outside of expected ranges and how their subjects were selected including rejection criteria. My mother was given nausea medication during one of her first cancer treatments (she had cancer 3 times), the selection criteria for the study specifically left out kemo patients to boost a higher success rate. The only positive I can give western medicine is the paper work is there for you to read but once you're done understanding it other traditional medicines may seem a lot more enticing.
 

MaCherie

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This is a great thread. I think people often try alternative medicines because they have not had any success with other medicines they’ve tried. I know personally I’ve tried some things that absolutely did not work, and some that help. It’s a personal choice. I’ve found that if multiple people I know personally, recommend a herb or supplement to me, 50/50 I would try it if I thought it would help. But, since I have not have much luck with alternative medicines, I wouldn’t have much hope for it to work, and would be surprised if it did have an effect on me. Pretty sure that was your original question.
 

G_Chem

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I personally have used treatments considered “alternative” and I’ve also suffered the consequences of not pursuing “western” medicine sooner... I’m someone that has never had much trust in the medical community around me, and started with alternatives which to some extent helped but also left me to sit with my problems longer than I should have...

I think there’s a few hidden gems, and definite benefits from some alternative treatments, but nowadays I gotta put my trust in what “science” has best proven to work even if that science was capitalism motivated.

-GC
 

Deru

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Agreed. Science should be the first line, and then if you're unfortunate enough to ever meet the limitations of it and are told there is nothing that can be done, then it's at that point you can accept defeat or use your intelligence to realize that there are valid treatments available to compliment and/or supplement the limitations within the current medical system :)
 
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