Category: Alternative Healing

Ayurvedic medicines often contaminated by toxic metals, study says

Alternative healing A fifth of the nearly 200 concoctions tested contained levels of the toxic metals that, if taken at the maximum recommended doses, would surpass California’s safety guidelines.

Also: a review of Trick or Treatment, in which Simon Singh and Dr. Edzard Ernst report the results of hundreds of studies on the purported benefits of various alternative-medicine treatments.

Alternative medicine must face scientific scrutiny, conference hears

More than 600 practitioners and scientists from 19 countries are meeting in Edmonton to talk about how to assess the benefits and risks of alternative therapies. Complementary medical treatments such as acupuncture, massage or herbal remedies are often dismissed by conventional health experts, but that hasn’t deterred people from seeking the remedies. An estimated 70 per cent of Canadians use alternative health products and services, said Dr. Sunita Vohra, a pediatrician in charge of a new alternative medicine service at Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital. “It’s not reasonable to dismiss all these therapies with the back of one hand,” said Vohra,

Alternative Medicine Provider Is Sentenced

Golden, Colo. (AP) — An alternative medicine practitioner was sentenced Monday to 13 years in prison in the death of a 19-year-old cancer victim who underwent a procedure in which his blood was exposed to ultraviolet light. Brian O’Connell pleaded guilty last month to criminally negligent homicide in the death of Sean Flanagan. He also pleaded guilty to illegally practicing medicine and other charges. O’Connell practiced naturopathy, which relies on natural remedies. He treated Flanagan and others by removing blood, exposing it to light and returning it to the body with hydrogen peroxide. Prosecutors said he lied about his education

A groundbreaking experiment … or a sensationalised TV stunt?

A major BBC series claimed to show new evidence of the power of alternative medicine. Now scientists who worked on it say it was flawed and hyped The BBC series Alternative Medicine was widely regarded as a great success: its first episode, broadcast in January, attracted 3.8 million viewers, making it BBC2’s second most watched programme of the week. There were glowing reviews and high profile news stories about it. But this week scientists involved in the series have complained that elements of the programmes were misleading, the production team was uninformed, and scientists were used as “marionettes”. Last month

Science accuses BBC of medical quackery

Some of Britain’s leading scientists have accused the BBC of “quackery” by misleading viewers in an attempt to exaggerate the power of alternative medicine. The criticisms centre on Alternative Medicine, a series broadcast on BBC2 in January, in which some of the most memorable scenes included open-heart surgery apparently carried out using acupuncture as an anaesthetic. In another episode, brain images of patients undergoing acupuncture were claimed to show that the procedure had an effect on the parts of the brain that experience pain. This weekend scientists turned on the programme’s producers, accusing them of distorting science in an attempt

Mind Medicine: What Proof?

A research review published in 2002 in an Australian medical journal linked transcendental meditation (TM) to decreased hypertension. The authors concluded that the technique was promising for prevention and treatment of heart disease. A similar review published last year in the Journal of Hypertension found insufficient evidence to conclude whether TM lowers blood pressure. Inconsistent results like these leave people understandably baffled about the value of so-called mind-body treatments, a branch of alternative and complementary therapy that includes meditation, hypnosis, imagery and mindfulness-based stress reduction. Each of these techniques assumes that altering one’s mental state can affect bodily health. Enthusiastic

Alternative treatment—even when fake—as effective as medical drugs

Acupuncture shown to relieve migraines LONDON – Acupuncture, one of the most popular complementary treatments, works as well as standard drugs for migraines, German researchers said on Thursday. They compared the effects of real and fake acupuncture with drug treatments for migraine and found all equally effective. “The main finding is that Chinese acupuncture is as effective as drug treatment for the prophylaxis of migraine,” said Hans-Christoph Diener, a neurologist at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. Story continues below ? advertisement “Secondly, sham acupuncture is as effective as traditional Chinese acupuncture,” he told Reuters. All of the more than

May the force be with you

The family room in Rita Oldani’s south St. Louis County basement was perfect for unblocking some chakras one rainy evening. Several massage tables were lined up on one side of the room, harp music and incense permeated the air and candles twinkled from every nook and corner. Oldani, 42, of St. Louis, is a reiki master. She believes we all have a life energy force that emanates from centers in our bodies called chakras. The life force energy (often called chi and pronounced kee) nourishes the organs and cells of the body. When that flow of chi is disrupted, it

Alternative medicine prescribed a bitter pill

The world may be beating a path to the doors of homeopathic practitioners as an alternative to conventional medicines, but a study has concluded they may just as well be taking nothing. The study, published in yesterday’s edition of the medical journal The Lancet, is likely to anger the growing number of followers of alternative therapies that include homeopathy. “There was weak evidence for a specific effect of homeopathic remedies, but strong evidence for specific effects of conventional interventions,” the study found. “This finding is compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homeopathy are placebo effects,” it added

Fatal mumbo-jumbo

The government is dealing in deceit when it allows public money to be wasted on alternative remedies According to his supporters, our next sovereign and his first wife couldn’t have been a greater mismatch. Prince Charles was the upholder of the old values of restraint and sober thinking. He may have been buttoned-up, but his dullness was a sign of the sturdiness of his character. By contrast, Diana was a flibbertigibbet dazzled by bright lights and shifting fads. Wayne Sleep, Elton John … she was ready to try everything once, except incest and folk dancing. It was undeniable that the