A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

From Abracadabra to Zombies

(For an alternative version of theses entries, see the Short and Irreverent E-dition, part 1,  sCAM [so-called Complementary & Alternative Medicine])

topical index: "alternative" medicine

A
acupuncture
alkaline diet
allopathy
alphabiotics
"alternative" health practice
angel therapy
animal quacker
anthroposophic medicine
applied kinesiology
aromatherapy
astrotherapy
aura therapy
Ayurvedic medicine
B
Bach's flower therapy
Jon Barron
bio-ching
bioharmonics
Blaylock, Russell
Body Code of Bradley Nelson
Rashid Buttar, D.O.
C
chelation therapy
chiropractic
Hulda Clark
complementary medicine
complex homeopathy
coning (ear candling)
Consegrity
craniosacral therapy
D
Day, Phillip
detoxification therapies
DHEA
dolphin-assisted therapy
Dr. Dragon Dabic
E
Emotional Freedom Technique
Emotion Code of Bradley Nelson
Dr. Fritz - "energy healing"
Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
F
facilitated communication
faith healing
frontier medicine
G
Gerson therapy
Jay Gordon
H
healing touch
holistic medicine
homeopathy
Leonard Horowitz
hypnosis
I
integrative medicine
intuitive (intuitionist)
intuitive healer
iridology
isopathy
J
joy touch
K
Rauni Kilde
kinergetics
Kirlian photography
L
Lightning ProcessTM
M
macrobiotics
magical thinking
magnet therapy
massage therapy
Joseph Mercola
microacupuncture
N
naturopathy
Bradley Nelson
neuro-linguistic programming
New Age psychotherapies
nosode
O
osteopathy
P
prayer
psychic surgery
Q
quackery
R
Reams, Carey
reflexology
Rader, William C., M.D.
reiki
Rolfing
S
shark cartilage as a cancer cure
T
therapeutic touch
thought field therapy
trepanation
U
urine therapy
V
vibrational medicine
vitamin and mineral supplements
W
Andrew Wakefield
Joel D. Wallach, "The Mineral Doctor"
Y
Robert O. Young
Z
zenreiki

Last updated 12-Sep-2014

Medical Suburban Myths (from the Suburban Myths Page)

Myth 2. Prescription drugs are one of the leading causes of death.

Myth 3. Most medical treatments have never been clinically tested.

Myth 19. Medical doctors typically know nothing about nutrition.

Myth 21. Faith healing works.*

Myth 22. Dr. Randolph Byrd scientifically proved that prayer can heal.

Myth 23. Even if Dr. Byrd failed, others have succeeded in proving scientifically that prayer heals.

Myth 25. Transplant organs carry personality traits which are transferred from donors to receivers.

Myth 31. Crimes, mental illness, suicides, and emergency room visits increase when there is a full moon.

Myth 43. Suicide increases over the holidays.

Myth 46. Switching to a low-tar cigarette will reduce one's chances of being exposed to the carcinogens in cigarette smoke.

Myth 47. Vaccination*of children with the (MMR) vaccine to prevent measles, mumps and rubella causes autism.*

Myth 53. Sugar causes hyperactivity in children.

Myth 54. Alcohol, especially red wine, is good for your health.*(read this one carefully and to the end) and *

Myth 55. A migraine is a bad headache.

Myth 58. The moon can trigger ovulation and bring on fertility  depending on what phase the moon was at when you were born.

Myth 59. The mercury in dental amalgam is poisoning people.*

Myth 60. You should drink eight glasses of water a day for good health.* One study, however, does seem to have good evidence that drinking five glasses a day is better than drinking two or fewer with respect to fatal coronary heart disease.

Myth 71. A diet low in animal fat will prevent high cholesterol which will prevent atherosclerosis which will make you immune to having a heart attack.

Myth 72. Pasteur renounced all his works on his death bed.

Myth 73. Laetrile is an effective cancer treatment whose humanitarian discoverer has been persecuted, depriving millions of people of the benefits of this wonder drug.

Myth 74. Peptic ulcers are caused by stress and eating spicy food.*

Myth 83. A study was published in the Western Journal of Medicine that showed changing the letters EPHO (each letter representing a drug being used to treat small-cell lung cancer) to HOPE led to a spectacular increase in positive response to the treatment.

Myths 86-89, thanks to the British Medical Journal:

Myth 86. There are several effective cures for a hangover.

Myth 87. People who eat late at night gain more weight than those who eat the same amount of food earlier in the day.

Myth 88. More heat escapes from the head than any other part of the body.

Myth 89. Poinsettias are poisonous.

Myth 92. Fruit must be eaten on an empty stomach in order for the body to absorb it properly.

Myth 93. Drinking cold water after meals causes cancer.

Other Sources

DC's Improbable Science page - Professor David Colquhoun, FRS

Edzard Ernst's blog on alternative medicine

Social and judgmental biases that make inert treatments seem to work by Barry L. Beyerstein

"Why Bogus Therapies Often Seem to Work" by Barry L. Beyerstein, Ph.D.

Quack Watch - Dr. Stephen Barrett

A Special Message for Cancer Patients Seeking "Alternative" Treatments by Dr. Stephen Barrett

How Quackery Harms Cancer Patients by William T. Jarvis, Ph.D.

The Expanded Dictionary of Metaphysical Healthcare: Alternative Medicine, Paranormal Healing, and Related Methods by Jack Raso, M.S., R.D. 

The American Council on Science and Health 

ChiroBase and ChiroWatch Skeptical Guides to Chiropractic

Top 10 Chiropractic Studies of 2013 by Harriet Hall, M.D. (This is what passes for good science among chiropractors.)

HealthWatch UK

The Quackometer

Recommended Reading

Barrett, Stephen and William T. Jarvis. eds. The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1993).

Barrett, Stephen and Kurt Butler (eds.) A Consumers Guide to Alternative Medicine : A Close Look at Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Faith-Healing, and Other Unconventional Treatments; edited by (Buffalo, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 1992).

Bausell, R. Barker. (2007). Snake Oil Science: The Truth about Complementary and Alternative Medicine Oxford. (review)

Ernst, Edzard MD PhD, Max H. Pittler MD PHD , Barbara Wider MA. 2006. The Desktop Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine: An Evidence-Based Approach. 2nd ed. Mosby.

Randi, James. The Faith Healers (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1989).

Raso, Jack. "Alternative" Healthcare: A Comprehensive Guide (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1994).

Sampson, Wallace and Lewis Vaughn, editors. Science Meets Alternative Medicine: What the Evidence Says About Unconventional Treatments  (Prometheus Books, 2000).

Visit the Stephen Barrett room of the Skeptic's Bookstore for more books on "alternative" medicine.

 
This page was designed by Cristian Popa.