The Atlantic is emblematic of the nutty alternative medicine thing

The Atlantic Mag is criticiaed in an essay linked below for it’s committment to promoting alternative medicine.

20 years ago I was asked by the Texas Medical Association to put together a conference within a regular association meeting on alternative medicine. My experience was a mixed one, and I found out there are a lot of nooks and crannies with alternative treatments, some just plain goofy mixed in with the edgy stuff that might have some benefits.

At that point herbals were coming on strong. Some other modalities had obtained a foothold, like acupuncture.

Problem is that alternative medicine distinguishes itself as a place where new ideas can be promoted which opens up the Carney Barker opportunity.

There are suggestible and anxious patients who search for answers. Some people just naturally resent establishment anything and look for alternative anything anytime in preference to establishment institutions and approaches.

Sometimes the energy of alternative medicine is a form of charlatanism, or devotion to magical ideas.

No question pharmacology includes herbals and in a way some forms of alternative therapy have benefits and should be considered mainstream–but there is a lot of magic in healthcare. People who believe in a therapy or therapist benefit.

I always tell people that in medicine the practice is driven by the proof of effectiveness when the profession is working right and not being influenced by hucksters.

However alternative medicine is the safe harbor for all kinds of nonsense. If something proves efficacious after studies eliminate the problems of placebo and nocebo effect, it is no longer “alternative.”

Remember placebo and nocebo effects and the importance of reandomized clinical trials for therapies.

Atlantic Mag is being influenced, to its disadvantage.


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