Over the years, the claims for health benefits of magnets have provided me with much amusement. Here are just a few examples: A skeptic pointed out that if magnets in health products really attracted red blood cells as claimed, an MRI scan with magnets many orders of magnitude stronger would… read more "Magnets Provide Amusement, But Not Health Benefits"
When tested, therapeutic touch (TT) practitioners failed to detect the human energy field they thought they could feel. Experimental setup from Rosa et al., from JAMA, 1998, 279 (13) A study out of Iran titled “Therapeutic touch for nausea in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: Composing a treatment” was recently published… read more "Therapeutic Touch Pseudoscience: The Tooth Fairy Strikes Again"
I got an e-mail from a woman who had read my article on ASEA, a multilevel marketing diet supplement that I characterized as an expensive way to buy water. She had not tried ASEA products but was applying for a position as an accountant with the company, and she chastised me… read more "ASEA, ORMUS, and Alchemy"
You will need flat shoes and a bottle of vitamins, herbal formula, or prescription medicine. Step 1: Hold the bottle with both hands, touching your chest Step 2: Stand up straight and get your balance Step 3: Close your eyes and feel what is happening to your body. Results: If… read more "How To Listen to Chi"
Pictured: A book that you should not buy. Alex Loyd’s concept of “Healing Codes” is one of the most bizarre, ridiculous offshoots of so-called energy medicine. Loyd is a naturopath who has been criticized by “Dr. Joe” Schwarcz for recycling old bunk for profit. He claims that illness is due to disturbances… read more "The “Healing Codes” of Alex Loyd: Energy Healing with Words and Finger Exercises"
Evidence means different things to different people. Even quacks and their victims claim to have evidence that their treatments work. Sometimes that evidence consists only of testimonials from satisfied customers or from personal experience. “I tried X and I got better.” “I know Y works because it cured my Aunt… read more "Evidence: “It Worked for My Aunt Tillie” Is Not Enough"
Tooth Fairy Science is science that studies a phenomenon that doesn’t exist. You can do studies on the Tooth Fairy; for instance, comparing how much money she leaves to kids in different socioeconomic groups. You can do studies on the memory of homeopathic water. You can do studies on the… read more "Cranial Manipulation and Tooth Fairy Science"
Ever heard of George Augustus Scott? Probably not. Although he was once touted as “Man of the Century,” he was actually a charlatan who sold electric hairbrushes. (No, an electric hairbrush isn’t a device that will brush your hair for you; it’s a hairbrush that supposedly produces a “permanent electric… read more "Visiting a Victorian Duckpond"
Electrodermal testing is a bogus procedure where measurements of skin conductance with a biofeedback device are entered into a computer to diagnose nonexistent health problems and “energy imbalances” and to recommend treatments for them, often involving the sale of homeopathic remedies and other useless products. It falls under the general… read more "Bogus Electrodermal Testing Devices and the Failure of Regulators to Act"
For many years I have been using Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs offered by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The FP Essentials program consists of a monthly monograph with a post-test that can be submitted electronically for 5 hours of CME credit. Over a 9-year cycle, a complete… read more "AAFP CME Program Succumbs to “Integrative Medicine”"