Disease vs. Illness The words “disease” and “illness” are often used interchangeably, but their meanings are very different. Diseases are biomedical entities where there is impairment of the normal functioning of the body. Illness refers to the way a patient experiences a sickness. There can be disease without illness and… read more "Illness, Healing, and Other Terms That Can Be Confusing"
Homeopath Quits Homeopathy but Thinks the Homeopathic Approach Has Value
A former homeopath shows that there’s nothing scientific about homeopathy; in fact, it contradicts all known scientific principles. Nevertheless she finds value in the homeopathic approach to the patient and thinks all providers can learn from it. Natalie Grams is a German MD who was an enthusiastic practitioner of classical… read more "Homeopath Quits Homeopathy but Thinks the Homeopathic Approach Has Value"
The Magic Feather Effect: Placebos and the Power of Belief in Alternative Medicine
In her book The Magic Feather Effect, journalist Melanie Warner covers placebo research, shows that alternative medicine is placebo medicine, takes a “try it yourself” approach, and gives belief and anecdotes more credit than they deserve. In the movie Dumbo, a little elephant with large ears can fly by flapping them like… read more "The Magic Feather Effect: Placebos and the Power of Belief in Alternative Medicine"
En el clásico artículo de James. E. Alcock, que se publicó en el Skeptical Inquirer en 1995, The belief engine (La máquina de creencias), el autor escribió: “Nuestros cerebros y sistemas nerviosos constituyen una máquina generadora de creencias, un sistema que evolucionó, no para asegurar la verdad, la lógica y la razón,… read more "Cómo creemos"
How we believe
In James Alcock’s classic 1995 article “The Belief Engine,” he said, “Our brains and nervous systems constitute a belief-generating machine, a system that evolved to assure not truth, logic, and reason, but survival.” Now he has expanded that thesis into a book, Belief: What It Means to Believe and Why… read more "How we believe"
Cowabunga! Can Cow Therapy Cure Cancer?
A hospital in India offers to cure cancer in 11 days with Ayurveda and cow therapy, giving patients a drink of desi cow milk, yogurt, ghee, urine, and dung. It’s very unlikely that cow therapy can cure cancer; but in another sense, the author of the book Holy Cancer says… read more "Cowabunga! Can Cow Therapy Cure Cancer?"
The Living Matrix: A Movie Promoting Energy Medicine Beliefs
It’s boring to try to ferret out reliable health information from dry medical journals. It’s easier and more fun to watch a movie. A new movie promises to change the way you think about your health. To bring you breakthroughs that will transform your understanding of how to get well… read more "The Living Matrix: A Movie Promoting Energy Medicine Beliefs"
Healing But Not Curing
Last week I discussed the book Healing, Hype, or Harm? edited by Edzard Ernst. I was particularly struck by one of the essays in that book: “Healing but not Curing” by Bruce Charlton, MD, a reader in evolutionary psychiatry at the Department of Psychology of the University of Newcastle upon… read more "Healing But Not Curing"
Book review of: Suckers: How Alternative Medicine Makes Fools of Us All, by Rose Shapiro. London: Harvill Secker, 2008. 296 pages. £12.99. ISBN: 978-1-846-55028-7/ Political correctness has emasculated our language. We walk on linguistic tiptoes for fear of offending someone. British journalist Rose Shapiro refuses to be cowed. With refreshing… read more "CAM Scam"