Latest post of the previous page:There's a good article in The Sun (yes, I know) by their resident doctor:
Brilliant! You've got to see the OfQuack cartoon!********************************************************************************
Why I'm so sick of alternative therapy | The Sun |Woman|Health|Health|Dr Keith Hopcroft
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/wo ... 157641.ece
I’VE got this tension headache. And I don’t know whether to take some paracetamol, pop some homeopathic pills, try aromatherapy or see a reflexologist.
Actually, I do. Because I know what has caused it. And because, as far as I’m concerned, “alternative treatments” are all nonsense.
So what’s got me rubbing my temples? This week’s headlines about an “alternative therapy crackdown’’, that’s what.
To quote one of the stories: “The head of the UK’s first regulator for complementary medicine has promised to get tough with the industry and drive out cowboy therapists.”
Apparently, the Complementary And Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) is going to do this by setting up a register of alternative practitioners. To get on this register, therapists will have to show they have adequate training and experience, stick to a code of conduct and have proper insurance.
You might think that sounds like a good idea. Maybe. But I have two objections. First, that “Drive out cowboy therapists” line.
Because I reckon they could all be viewed as cowboy therapists. True, many are well-meaning and some genuinely believe their “therapy” works.
But they’re peddling treatments that are either of no proven benefit or are just common sense masquerading as miracle cures.
Nutritional therapists, for example. That’s just “eat a healthy diet” dressed up as something pseudoscientific.
Aromatherapy? I’m happy for the world to smell better but not when it’s sold as a “treatment”.
Reflexology? Frankly, it’s not a foot massage you need, it’s a brain scan.
As for homeopathy, don’t get me started. There’s another word for homeopathy — and that’s “water”. The homeopaths claim that there’s more to it than that, but unbiased boffs who have checked the best research say it doesn’t work.
Which is hardly surprising — the “logic” behind this treatment is just mumbo jumbo.
Still not sure? Try this test. Dilute your pint until it’s got about one molecule of beer in it — that’s a homeopathic dose.
Then neck it to see if it has any effect, as homeopathic theory suggests it should. The only good news is you should still be able to drive home safely and legally.
All of which begs the question, why are these treatments so popular? Partly, it’s because conventional medicine doesn’t have all the answers. So it’s understandable people should look elsewhere — and there’s a huge industry out there happy to oblige.
But why do some people swear by it? That’s the placebo effect. You’d be expecting to feel better when you’ve spent lots of time with — and dosh on — an alternative therapist. So you do.
In fairness to the CNHC, it’s not judging whether or not these treatments actually work. It’s just checking that the therapists are professional and safe.
If they are, then, for the grand sum of £45 per year, they can be signed up — and able to use the “CNHC registered” logo.
And that’s my second problem. This looks like a “stamp of approval”. Which is how it will be viewed by the majority of the public.
But remember. It doesn’t mean the treatment is any good. Many of these “therapists” are, at best, spouting nonsense and, at worst, peddling snake-oil. CNHC approval just means they’re doing it in a “professional” manner.
If that’s a crackdown, it’s a homeopathic one. Anyway, my tension headache’s getting worse. Pass me that paracetamol.
[Retrieved: Tue Feb 24 2009 16:54:02 GMT+0000 (GMT Standard Time)]