Talk:Alternative Medicine

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Note: This article is under review. Its contents, below, will remain on this discussion page until that review is completed. ~~

Overview

Complementary, Alternative & Integretive medicine

Alternative medicine refers to practices used to replace conventional treatments. Complementary medicine refers to practices used in conjunction with conventional treatments. Integrative medicine refers to the optimum or highest quality complementary medicine. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines CAM as:

"a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine". Integrative medicine is defined as "mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness." CAM has also been described as:
"a diverse group of treatments, ranging from symptomatic interventions to be used in conjunction with traditional therapies—therapeutic touch or meditation—to unique treatments meant to replace conventional chemotherapy or surgery. CAM includes complex and longstanding fields of study, such as acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, and homeoopathy, but can also be as straightforward as taking a specific dietary supplement to lower blood pressure or blood lipid concentrations." [1]

Holistic medicine

Holistic medicine refers to a system of health care which integrates physical, mental emotional, social and spiritual aspects of health. It emphasizes the whole person, including physical, nutritional, environmental, emotional, social, spiritual and lifestyle values. Holistic medicine is often related to alternative medicine, but encompasses all stated modalities of diagnosis and treatment. This includes drugs and surgery, if no safe alternative exists. Holistic medicine focuses on education and personal responsibility in order to achieve balance and well being.

Natural medicine

Natural medicine refers to systems that emphasize Vis Medicatrix Naturae or "the healing power of nature". It is often considered synonymous with Naturopathy or Naturopathic medicine. (Most, but not all, complementary and alternative systems are considered natural medicine.) The therapeutic emphasis is on supporting or stimulating the body's ability to self heal, rather than treating symptoms or diseases. It is sometimes called "vitalistic" medicine. [2]

How scientific is modern medicine?

Conventional medicine adherents have consistently ridiculed other methods that are suggested to have therapeutic or curative effects. In fact, conventional physicians have consistently worked to disallow competitors, even viciously attacking those in their own profession who question conventional treatments or provide alternatives. Strangely, what is in vogue in one decade is generally declared to be ineffective, dangerous and even barbaric in ensuing decades. Even so, orthodox practitioners have little humility in asserting that "today's cure" is certainly effective. In fact, one of the most remarkable features of conventional medicine is that it consistently manages to disprove its own treatments; to the point where only a handful of conventional drugs have survived for thirty or more years.[3]

According to IMS Health, a company which provides market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and health care industries; the estimated worldwide sales for prescription pharmaceuticals was about $400 billion in 2002. Americans spent roughly 200 billion dollars on prescription drugs in 2002, accounting for approximately half of all sales world wide. Yet, as of 2006, the U.S. infant mortality rate ranked at 21st in the world (under Greece and South Korea and slightly higher than Poland). U.S. life expectancy ranked at number 17. [4] By 2008, IMS Health reported that sales for U.S. prescription drugs had reached $291 billion dollars a year. [5]

Attacking & marginalizing critics/alternatives

Thanks to brilliant marketing, the public has been led to virtually ignore this bully side of orthodox medicine. Those who do refer to it are usually demoted to "cranks" or "quacks". (Much in the same way that anti-vivisection (AV) supporters are portrayed by the media as 'extremists' and demoted to being ’irrational’, ’oversensitive’, ’people-hating' and even 'terrorists’.)

See also false animal test results & damages caused.

Throughout history, competition to drug based, orthodox medicine has been frequently and soundly attacked. From 1860 to the early twentieth century, the American Medical Association (AMA) had a consultation clause in its code of ethics disallowing members from consulting with medical doctors who practiced homeopathy. In fact, they were not even allowed to treat a homeopath's patients. This was at a time when doctors were killing their patients with blood letting and regularly prescribing mercury and various other caustic agents to the ill. The entire Medical Society of New York was kicked out of the AMA in 1881 after it admitted medical doctors who practiced homeopathy, regardless of other credentials. The society only rejoined twenty five years later. See also AMA.

Double blind & placebo controlled trials

Prescription for Disaster with Gary Null, PhD. - 2006

The double blind and placebo controlled trial is the gold standard for the efficacy of a medical treatment. On the surface, this method seems very reasonable. However, serious problems which are widely acknowledged by academics, remain unknown to the general public. Because a drug treatment eliminates a specific symptom doesn't prove it's efficacy. In fact, eliminating a specific symptom can detrimental in the long term. For example, aspirin lowers a fever, a symptom which is also an important physiological defense against infection. Pain killers eliminate acute pain, but do not influence underlying causes or heal them. Pain killers and other drugs may also lead to dependency, addiction, tolerance and heart disease. Sleep aids do not lead to refreshed sleep and ultimately tend to aggravate the cycle of insomnia and fatigue. So, the bottom line is studies demonstrating a guise of efficacy and drugs which are effective for limited periods, but ultimately lead to various serious side effects. [6] See also pharmaceutical industry, section 9 on brand name drugs.

In order to obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, most studies for psychiatric medications last only six weeks. However, most people take these drugs for many years. Research to date has found that placebos are 80% as effective as the drugs-with fewer side effects. According to physician and author Marcia Angell:

"Trials can be rigged in a dozen ways, and it happens all the time." [7]

Orthodox practitioners and various related and profitable industries, may also spin facts to make the strong and solid features of a minority practice appear strange and eccentric. For example, the very small doses used in homeopathy must be ineffective. Also, the fact that they have employed medicines for over 200 years as evidence that the field has not "progressed". However, another interpretation might be that these 200 year old remedies (along with other non pharmaceutical, toxic and surgical remedies) still work and have not led to serious injuries and deaths. Incredibly, the fact that homeopaths conduct detailed, personal patient interviews has been portrayed as "quirky" because it revels in "inane facts" about a patient.

Short term research & long term side effects

Conventional medicine has consistently insisted that its methods are verified by science. However, medical history has shown a pattern of discovery and application of drug treatments. Initially, there is great excitement over a drug and research has seemingly proven safety and efficacy. However, over time minor concerns about drug side effects emerge, until further research and clinical practice reveal more serious concerns about its side effects. Eventually, it is generally acknowledged that the drug does not work as well as assumed along with recognition of increasing, serious side effects. However, these problems are not really problems as a new drug emerges with short term research indicating that it is superior to the previous one. Like the fashion industry, the drug industry profits on the newer drugs rather than on the older ones. [8]

According to a January 2006 Consumer Reports, twelve types of drugs sold in 140 prescription medications had "rare but serious side effects" that went unnoticed prior to their market approval from the FDA. [9] The report contends that FDA scientists faced tight deadlines and pressure from superiors to approve drugs without thorough review; even when they had reservations about side effects. [10]

See also pharmaceutical industry, sections 4 & 5.

History of pharmaceutical interests

In the early half of the 20th century, petrochemical giants organized a coup on the medical research facilities, hospitals and universities. The Rockefeller family sponsored research and donated sums to universities and medical schools which had drug based research. They further extended this policy to foreign universities and medical schools where research was drug based through their "International Education Board". Establishments and research which were were not drug based were refused funding and soon dissolved in favor of the lucrative pharmaceutical industry. In 1939 a "Drug Trust" alliance was formed by the Rockefeller empire and the German chemical company I.G. Farben (Bayer). After World War II, I.G. Farben was dismantled but later emerged as separate corporations within the alliance. Well known companies included General Mills, Kellogg, Nestle, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Procter and Gamble, Roche and Hoechst (Sanofi-Aventis). The Rockefeller empire, in tandem with Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase), owns over half of the pharmaceutical interests in the United States. It is the largest drug manufacturing combine in the world. Since WWII, the pharmaceutical industry has steadily netted increasing profits to become the world's second largest manufacturing industry; [11], [12] after the arms industry.

The Rockefeller Foundation was originally set up in 1904 as the General Education Fund. The RF was later formed in 1910 and issued a charter on May 14, 1913 with the help of Rockefeller millions. Subsequently, the foundation placed it's own "nominees" in federal health agencies and set the stage for the "reeducation" of the public. A compilation of magazine advertising reveals that as far back as 1948, larger American drug companies spent a total sum of $1,104,224,374 for advertising. Of this sum, Rockefeller-Morgan interests (which went entirely to Rockefeller after Morgan's death) controlled about 80%. [13]

See also pharmaceutical industry.

Cancer industry

The age adjusted total cancer mortality rate climbed steadily for decades until the early 1990s, when the rate started to fall slowly, due largely to reduced smoking. To encourage continued support for cancer research, now exceeding two billion dollars annually in the U.S. alone; researchers and administrators have misled the public. In 1987, theU.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) found that the statistics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) "artificially inflate the amount of 'true' progress", concluding that even simple five-year survival statistics were manipulated. The NCI termed five-year survival a "cure" even if the patient died of the cancer after the five-year period. Also, by ignoring well known statistical biases, the NCI falsely suggested advances had been made in certain cancer therapies. [14]

Failure of toxic "therapies"

In 1971 when the U.S. declared war on cancer, scientists still hadn't identified the immune defense system. Doctors and scientists, along with the American Cancer Society, continue to refer to a non-contagious condition with no incubation period or identifiable foreign invader as a "disease". Scientists have requested and received billions in grants from the federal government, non-profit organizations, corporate and private donors. However, according to critics, like the New England Journal of Medicine, the "war on cancer" is a failure. According to John C. Bailar III, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Dept. of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at McGill University:

"Despite $30 billion spent on research since 1970, cancer remains undefeated, with a death rate not lower but actually higher than when they started. The effect of new treatments for cancer has been largely disappointing. The failure of chemotherapy to control cancer has become apparent even to the oncology establishment." [15]

The late Professor of Medical Physics, H.B. Jones, was a leading U.S. cancer statistician. In a 1969 speech to the American Cancer Society, he stated that studies had not proved that chances of survival were improved by early intervention. In fact, according to his studies, untreated persons with cancer lived up to four times longer and with a better quality of life than treated ones. He was not invited back. According to the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet:

"If one were to believe all the media hype, the triumphalism of the medical profession in published research, and the almost weekly miracle breakthroughs trumpeted by the cancer charities, one might be surprised that women are dying at all from breast cancer." [16]

According to the oncologist, Glen Warner, M.D.:

"We have a multi-billion dollar industry that is killing people, right and left, just for financial gain. Their idea of research is to see whether two doses of this poison is better than three doses of that poison." [17]

See also War on Cancer.

AIDS industry

House of Numbers - Dr. Luc Montagnier - Knowledge Matters - 2009

Since the first hypothesis by Robert Gallo of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at an April 23, 1984 press conference, there has never been any proof that HIV caused AIDS. In fact, Gallo only announced that he had discovered the virus which probably caused AIDS. Others claimed that he had discovered the “AIDS virus” and he never corrected them. Dr. Gallo was joined by Margaret Heckler, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), who promised a “vaccine for AIDS within one year.”

Simultaneously with the press conference was the HHS' denial of grant requests for AIDS research (approving only grant requests for HIV research). This effectively silenced open, objective discourse and peer review. Consequently, there has been no well-funded, empirical research regarding the true cause of AIDS. In spite of this, evidence exists to conclude that HIV is not the cause of AIDS, according to critics of the orthodox HIV/AIDS paradigm. Furthermore, the HIV test is so inaccurate and misleading, it has never made a real connection between HIV and AIDS. [18]

Censoring critics

The leading AIDS dissident scientist since 1987 has been Dr. Peter Duesberg, a tenured professor at Berkeley and member of the National Academies of Science. For over twenty years preceding 1987, he was an esteemed scientist at the NIH. His proposed the “behavior based theory of immune disfunction” in the West; based on recreational and addictive drugs and prescribed AIDS drugs. For the Third World, the factors are starvation and malnutrition; unsanitary living conditions and contaminated drinking water. After his challenge to the the AIDS orthodoxy in 1997, Dr. Duesberg was ridiculed, marginalized and denounced. Years later, other medical practitioners and scientists are realizing the inherent fallacies in the HIV/AIDS paradigm. The most obvious is the lack of scientific documentation. According to Dr. biochemist Kary Mullis, the 1993 Nobel prize for chemistry:

“If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such document.” [19]

In November of 1999, President Thabo Mbeki publicly questioned the HIV/AIDS paradigm, causing intense domestic debate in South Africa. It was the first challenge to the paradigm that the HIV virus caused Aids. Most people in U.S. and global "markets", were healthy and alive prior to their HIV positive death certificates and died within a year of taking prescribed medications. Like most contrary “AIDS” debates, it was largely ignored or censored by U.S. media. [20], [21]

"AIDS proposal" censured by leading medical journals

The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis was originally a group of signatories of an open letter to the scientific community.[22] When the June 6, 1991 letter was submitted to the editors of Nature, Science, and the New England Journal of Medicine, all refused to publish it. However, the following letter was published in Science on February 17, 1995:

"In 1991, we, the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis, became dissatisfied with the state of the evidence that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) did, in fact, cause AIDS.
Specifically, we have proposed that researchers independent of the HIV establishment should audit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) records of AIDS cases, bearing in mind that the correlation of HIV with AIDS, upon which the case for HIV causation rests, is itself an artifact of the definition of AIDS. Since 1985, exactly the same diseases or conditions have been defined as "AIDS" when antibodies are present, and as "non-AIDS" when HIV and antibodies are absent. Independent professional groups such as the Society of Actuaries should be invited to nominate members for an independent commission to investigate the following question: How frequently do AIDS-defining diseases (or low T cell counts) occur in the absence of HIV? Until we have a definition of AIDS that is independent of HIV, the supposed correlation of HIV and AIDS is mere tautology.
Other independent researchers should examine the validity of the so-called "AIDS tests," especially when these tests are used in Africa and Southern Asia, to see if they reliably record the presence of antibodies, let alone live and replicating virus. The bottom line is this: the skeptics are eager to see the results of independent scientific testing. Those who uphold the HIV "party line" have so far refused. We object. [23]

See also AIDS industry.

Animal products & health issues

The China Study

The China Study culminated a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. The survey of diseases and lifestyle factors in rural China and Taiwan is widely thought to be the most comprehensive study on nutrition and related diseases to date. The project produced over 8,000 statistically significant associations between diet and disease. The findings indicated that the consumers of the most animal-based foods suffered the most chronic diseases while those with the most plant based diets avoided these diseases and were the healthiest. Chronic diseases included heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Also studied were the effects of diet in reducing or reversing the risks of chronic disease. The study also examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities and irresponsible scientists. [24] According to Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell, "we're basically a vegetarian species, should be eating a wide variety of plant foods and minimizing animal foods." [25], [26]

Dairy products

On the question of osteoporosis, Dr. Campbell replied: "The Chinese study found an average daily calcium intake of 544 mg. (almost none from animal products) and there was basically no osteoporosis in China." In the US there is an average calcium intake of 1,143 mg per day (mostly from dairy) and osteoporosis is a major health issue. Calves have fours stomachs and double their body weight in 47 days as opposed to the 180 days it takes for a human baby to double it's weight. Cows' milk is also 15% protein (as opposed to the 5% protein content of mother's breast milk). Much of the rationale for the belief in milk as an ideal food was based on turn of the 20th century research done on rats. However, the mother's milk of rats is 49% protein and baby rats double their weight in four days. Yet, another example of erroneous data derived from animal testing. [27]

The focus of published reports on dairy consumption are infections, colic, intestinal bleeding, anemia, allergies and more serious issues of diabetes and viral infections of bovine leukemia, an AIDS like virus. Common childrens issues include ear infections, tonsil infections, bed wetting and asthma. Adult issues include heart disease, arthritis, respiratory distress, osteoporosis, leukemia, lymphoma and cancer. Overall health issues include milk contamination by pus cells and chemicals such as pesticides. [28] Most cows' milk contains toxins such as herbicides, pesticides and dioxins and up to 52 powerful antibiotics; blood, pus, feces, bacteria and viruses. Both organic and non-organic milk contain fat, cholesteral and various allergens as well as 59 active hormones. This includes the powerful Growth Factor One (IGF-1) which has been identified in the rapid growth cancer. [29] It has been positively documented and affirmed that dairy consumption leads to clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes and exposure to contaminants. [30], [31] Research has demonstrated a calcium wash or a loss of calcium and other critical minerals like potassium, magnesium and iron from the blood stream as a direct result of dairy consumption starting at 24 ounces per day. [32] Low animal protein diets create a positive calcium balance, whereas high animal protein diets create a negative balance resulting in bone density loss. While many have turned to low fat dairy products, these products contain higher concentrations of protein. Low fat and particularly non-fat dairy products have actually been shown to increase osteoporosis, kidney problems and some cancers. [33]

Nutrition & orthodox medicine in the U.S.

Of the 125 medical schools in the U.S., only 30 require their students to take a course in nutrition. The average amount of hours spent on nutrition education for the average U.S. physician during four years of school is 2.5 hours. Physicians are therefore ill equipped to give nutritional advice and/or implement programs; even though most modern illnesses are life style related. Heart attacks are the most common cause of death in the U.S and arguably, the most preventable. The male consumer of meat in the U.S. has a 50% risk of a heart attack in his life time as opposed to 15% for the male non-meat eater. Reducing intake of animal products greatly reduces this risk and eliminating animal products reduces this risk by 90%. [34]

See also animal products & health issues.

SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Encyclopedia, accessed September 2011
  2. Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Encyclopedia, accessed September 2011
  3. Dana Ullman How Scientific is Modern Medicine?, FountainofLight.net, December 2007
  4. Marcia Angell The Truth About Drug Companies, New York Review of Books, Volume 51, Number 12, August 2005
  5. Gary Gatyas IMS Health Reports U.S. Prescription Sales Grew 1.3 Percent in 2008 to $291 Billion, IMS Health, News Releases, March 2009
  6. Dana Ullman How Scientific is Modern Medicine?, FountainofLight.net, December 2007
  7. Marcia Angell, MD The Truth about Drug Companies, 2004, pages, 95, 112, 113
  8. Dana Ullman How Scientific is Modern Medicine?, FountainofLight.net, December 2007
  9. Prescription for trouble: Common drugs, hidden dangers. Tens of millions of people at risk, Consumer Reports, January 2006
  10. Consumer Reports Questions FDA Prescription Drug Approval Process, Kaiser Family Foundation, December 2005
  11. Ivan Fraser, Mark Beeston The Pharmaceutical Racket, Biblioteca Plaeyades, accessed April 2010
  12. A Short Curriculum Vitae of I.G. Farben, Biblioteca Plaeyades, accessed October 2009
  13. Hans Reusch of Dollars Free Publicity The Truth About the Rockefeller Drug Empire: The Drug Story, CIVIS Foundation Report number 15, Fall-Winter 1993
  14. A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation: A. Selected Diseases: 1. Cancer, Medical Research Modernization Committee, 2006
  15. Cancer, Information for Transformation, accessed February 2009
  16. Cancer, Information for Transformation, accessed February 2009
  17. Dr. Glenn A. Warner, M.D. (1919-2000), Whale, accessed February 2009
  18. Steven James The Tide of Truth: Dissident Opposition in the Era Called “AIDS”, virusmyth.com, July 2000
  19. Kary Mullis, Sunday Times (London), November 28, 1993
  20. John Strausbaugh The New Yorker to South Africa: Shut Up and Take It, You Bet Your Life, March 12, 2007
  21. Steven James The Tide of Truth: Dissident Opposition in the Era Called “AIDS”, virusmyth.com, July 2000
  22. The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis, virusmyth.com, accessed March 2010
  23. AIDS Proposal, The Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS, Science, vol. 267 pp 945-946
  24. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell II About, The China Study, 2005
  25. Jane Brody, Grand Prix of Epidemiology, New York Times, May 1990
  26. T. Colin Campbell, PhD Correcting Nutritional Fictions from the New York Times, Vegsource.com, 2003
  27. Gene Franks Milk Sucks, or Bossie's Revenge Pure Water Gazette, Sept 1991
  28. Robert M. Kradjian, MD The Milk Letter: A Message to My Patients, American Fitness Professionals Association, accessed September 2009
  29. Dave Rietz Dangers of Milk and Dairy Products: The Facts, Rense.com, July 2002
  30. E. Koop Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health, National Library of Medicine, 88-50210, 1988
  31. Melvyn R. Werbach Nutritional Influences on Illness: A Source book of Clinical Research, December 1990, ISBN 0879835311
  32. Report of the Task Force on the Assessment of the Scientific Evidence Relating to Infant-Feeding Practices and Infant Health. Pediatrics, 74:579; 1984.
  33. Mark J. Occhipinti, MS, PhD Does Milk Really Do The Body Good? Calcium and Protein: A Mixture For Disaster, American Fitness Professionals & Associates, accessed January 2009
  34. The Meat Free Life: How to Win an Argument With a Meat-Eater, Hinduism Today, Essay #2, July 1993

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