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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Acupuncture: does it increase the rate of adultery? | Edzard Ernst

Acupuncture, like most other alternative therapies, is particularly popular for indications that are:

  1. chronic, 
  2. associated with a high burden of suffering, 
  3. not easily treatable with conventional therapies, 
  4. are frequently resolved without any intervention. 

Infertility or subfertility tick most of these boxes. It is therefore not surprising that acupuncturists the world over claim that acupuncture can […]

Read on: Acupuncture: does it increase the rate of adultery?

Monday, 30 May 2016

Homeopaths could be hoisted by their own petard | Edzard Ernst

WHAT IS THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN TO HOMEOPATHS? 

This might seem like a strange question, but I think it is quite interesting… bear with me. 

The worse, you might think, is that the we all agree that highly diluted homeopathic remedies are pure placebos. Apart from the fact that this already is a broad […]

Sunday, 29 May 2016

BREAKING NEWS!!! German homeopaths have just found out: HOMEOPATHY WORKS AFTER ALL !!! | Edzard Ernst

The German Association of Homeopaths (Deutscher Zentralverein Homoeopathischer Aerzte) just issued a press-release explaining that they have recently determined that homeopathy works. 

Well, aren’t we relieved! 

Otherwise, we would have had to assume they are all quacks. Their statement is based on what they consider a thorough analysis of the published evidence. As the whole document is […]

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Just(in) the way Andrew Wakefield likes them

Pretend in your mind that you’re a grifter, a con man, a snake oil salesman. What kind of person is your target? Would you use your theatricality and deception on someone who knows better? Of course not. I am yet to hear of an oncologist with cancer who buys into alternative medicine to cure said […]

Aromatherapy: pleasant enough, but what are the risks? | Edzard Ernst

AROMATHERAPY is one of the most popular alternative therapies. The experience is usually pleasant enough, but what are the risks? None!!! At least this is what the therapists would claim. But is this true? Perhaps not. According to a recent press-release, the risks might be considerable.

Officials with the Tennessee Poison Control Center (TPC) are warning that they are seeing an […]

Friday, 27 May 2016

Acupuncture for allergic rhinitis: a case of scientific misconduct? | Edzard Ernst

Yesterday, I wrote about a new acupuncture trial. Amongst other things, I wanted to find out whether the author who had previously insisted I answer his questions about my view on the new NICE guideline would himself answer a few questions when asked politely. To remind you, this is what I wrote: This new study was […]

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Acupuncture for allergic rhinitis? A new study and plenty of old questions | Edzard Ernst

While looking up an acupuncturist who has recently commented on this blog trying to teach me how to do science and understand research methodology, I was impressed that he, Dr John McDonald, PhD, has just published a clinical trial. Not many acupuncturists do that, you know, and I very much applaud this action, which even seems to have […]

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Conflicts of interest?…the recent example of UK acupuncturists | Edzard Ernst

“Conflicts of interest should always be disclosed.” 

This is what I wrote in the ‘RULES’ of this blog when I first started it almost 4 years ago. Sadly, very few people writing comments observe this rule. Perhaps, I just thought, I did not observe it either? So, here are my conflicts of interest: none

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Read how someone becomes anti-vaccine

If you have ever wondered how the process works where someone goes from being an otherwise reasonable person to being anti-vaccine, this description by a prominent podcaster should be a good roadmap to the road to lunacy:
Let me say right up front that my wife and I have a 2-month old daughter, and that […]
Read more at: Read how someone becomes anti-vaccine by Reuben

The ‘ALT MED HALL OF FAME’ continues to expand | Edzard Ernst

The ‘ALT MED HALL OF FAME’ is filling up very nicely. Remember: so far, I have honoured the following individuals for (almost) never publishing anything else but positive results (in brackets are the main alternative therapies of each researcher and the countries where they are currently based):
Peter Fisher (homeopathy, UK)
Simon Mills (herbal medicine, UK) […]

Read on: The ‘ALT MED HALL OF FAME’ continues to expand

Monday, 23 May 2016

Integrative medicine: one of the most colossal deceptions in healthcare today | Edzard Ernst

On this blog, I have repeatedly tried to explain why integrative (or integrated) medicine is such a deceptive nonsense; see for instance here, here and here. Today, I have reason to make another attempt: The International Congress on Integrative Medicine & Health.

In 2012, I published an analysis of the ‘3rd European Congress of Integrated […]

Sunday, 22 May 2016

A brief history of chiropractic | Edzard Ernst

In 2008, I published a paper entitled ‘CHIROPRACTIC, A CRITICAL EVALUATION’ where I reviewed most aspects of this subject, including the historical context. Here is the passage about the history of chiropractic. I believe it is relevant to much of the current discussions about the value or otherwise of chiropractic. 

The history of chiropractic is […]

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Chiropractic treatments are placebos | Edzard Ernst

It has long been argued that chiropractic spinal manipulations are mere placebo interventions. Yet few controlled trials have assessed the efficacy of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). No high quality trials have been performed to test the efficacy and effectiveness of Graston Technique® (GT), an instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy. 

The objective of this trial was to […]

Friday, 20 May 2016

Acupuncturists defeated by their very own display of unreason | Edzard Ernst

Ad hominem attacks, I have previously pointed out, are victories of reason over unreason. And they are used frequently by supporters of alternative medicine! 

If you doubt it, see for yourself. 

I recently posted a comment on new Nice guidelines. It generated lots of comments, and mostly they were rational discussions of the issues involved. […]

Thursday, 19 May 2016

And this is how homeopaths kill cardiac patients | Edzard Ernst

Anyone who really wants to get an insight into the ‘homeopathic mind-set’ should read the regular newsletter ‘HOMEOPATHY 4 EVERYONE’. Its current issue is focussed on cardiology. An article on coronary heart disease, a condition that kills about 40% of the population, informs us how homeopaths tackle this killer-disease:
If anything permanent is to be accomplished […]
Read on: And this is how homeopaths kill cardiac patients

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

“Acupuncture is effective” – more findings from the realm of pseudoscience | Edzard Ernst

While over on my post about the new NICE GUIDELINES on acupuncture for back pain, the acupuncturists’ assassination attempts of my character, competence, integrity and personality are in full swing, I have decided to employ my time more fruitfully and briefly comment on a new piece of acupuncture research. 

This new Italian study was to determine the […]

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Peter Fisher, the Queen’s homeopath, deserves a place in ‘THE ALT MED HALL OF FAME’ | Edzard Ernst

Yes, I think he does deserve to join this fast-expanding club which, so far, consists of the following people:
Simon Mills
Gustav Dobos
Claudia Witt
George Lewith
John Licciardone

They have been admitted mostly because they have demonstrated that they exclusively or mostly publish positive results about alternative medicine. Therefore, their ‘TRUSTWORTHYNESS INDEX’ is remarkable.

With Peter […]

Read on: Peter Fisher, the Queen’s homeopath, deserves a place in ‘THE ALT MED HALL OF FAME’

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Australian Sex Party - ASXP responds to vaccination skeptics

The Australian Sex Party was contacted by notorious anti-vaccination campaigner and science-denier Meryl Dorey, asking for our position on "both No Jab, No Pay/No Play legislation and the right of Australian citizens to make free and informed health choices for their families without financial penalty or discrimination." Here is our response: 

Dear Ms Dorey,
I am pleased to respond on behalf of the Australian Sex Party, to your request for information on our position on vaccination issues. I’d like to request that my response be published in full, and unedited, on both your website and social media. Please do share it widely.

The Australian Sex Party believes in individual liberty, and the freedom to make choices regarding your own life...

Read the full statement here: The Australian Sex Party - ASXP responds to vaccination skeptics

The shocking confessions of a naturopathic doctor | KevinMD

I was a licensed naturopathic doctor in two states. I quit practicing naturopathic medicine after discovering my former boss, also a licensed ND, had been importing and administering an illegal cancer drug. I trusted my boss, as did his patients, because he was well respected in the naturopathic community and his credentials included “FABNO” (Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology). This FABNO treated any kind of cancer, even in patients who had been discharged by their medical oncologists...

Read the rest of The shocking confessions of a naturopathic doctor by Britt Marie Hermes.

You can also read MS Hermes's own blog, Naturopathic Diaries, here.

“Lyn” the antivax troll astounds the world

The post “Lyn” the antivax troll astounds the world by Anarchic Teapot first appeared on Plague of Mice.


OK, this yet another post on antivax dingalings. Before the Paranoid Pragmatophobes start screaming “bullying”, please note:
  • the comments refer to a pseudonymous account, and 
  • it is representative of the anti-vax lunacy stalking social media and trying to infect all who come into contact with it. 
Today’s Specimen goes by the handle of “Lyn”. “Lyn” is, to put it delicately, a raging fruitcake who was recently spotted yelling at autism advocate Liz Ditz and vaccine advocate Dorit Reiss. Among much other dangerous fuckwittery, she is fond of spouting the tired old lie that vaccines cause autism. A swift glance at her – I assume it’s a her, but you never know with pseudonymous accounts – timeline reveals extreme conspiralunacy: Natural News, Mercola, plus Troofer/Prepper sites like Last Great Stand. It may come as a shock to you, but Natural News and Mercola seem to be the sanest of the three… Continue reading

Gwyneth Paltrow’s toxic lube advice | Dr. Jen Gunter

Today’s episode of Gunter v. GOOP involves the post on lube, written of course by a naturopathic doctor, for Gwyneth Paltrow’s tepidly awaited first sex issue. After all, why ask a board certified OB/GYN when you can ask someone with infinitely less training in both medicine and science. Want to know about naturopathic training, read this fantastic piece by a naturopathic doctor who became disenchanted when she realized her training was clearly insufficient to provide safe medical care.

The piece on lube starts with the typical heart wrenching plea about chemicals and focuses on the mantra that basically everything else except a food oil is potentially unsafe for the vagina. It’s a mixture of the most superficial knowledge...

Read the full post here: Gwyneth Paltrow’s toxic lube advice | Dr. Jen Gunter

New review of acupuncture: a breath of fresh air in a morass of dodgy research | Edzard Ernst

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition characterised by oligo-amenorrhoea, infertility and hirsutism. Conventional treatment of PCOS includes a range of oral pharmacological agents, lifestyle changes and surgical modalities. Some studies have suggested that acupuncture might be helpful but the evidence is often flawed and the results are mixed. What is needed in such a […]

Read on: New review of acupuncture: a breath of fresh air in a morass of dodgy research

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Homeopathy, a method for turning truths into untruths? | Edzard Ernst

Edzard Ernst – why he changed his mind! This is the title of a blog which I just found. It is such fun to read that I must show it to you in full [I added a few numbered footnotes in square brackets]:
BBC Radio 4 gave Professor Edzard Ernst a 15 minute slot to […]
Read on: Homeopathy, a method for turning truths into untruths?

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Charles, our considerate prince* | Edzard Ernst

It has been reported in most newspapers that Prince Charles has proposed a solution to the problem of antibiotic over-use in animals and humans. He told an international gathering of scientists and government officials in London that he treats his own cows and sheep with homeopathy. Many people reacted with dismay. I, however, plead for more understanding […]

Read on: Charles, our considerate prince*

Friday, 13 May 2016

Alternative medicine: where strong beliefs and scientific facts clash | Edzard Ernst

In a previous post, I asked this important question: how can research into alternative medicine ever save a single life?

The answer I suggested was as follows:

Since about 20 years, I am regularly pointing out that the most important research questions in my field relate to the risks of alternative medicine. I have continually published articles about these […]

Read on: Alternative medicine: where strong beliefs and scientific facts clash

Thursday, 12 May 2016

The list of remarkable alternative medicine researchers is extending: THE ALT MED HALL OF FAME | Edzard Ernst

I am pleased to report that my ‘ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE HALL OF FAME’ is growing steadily. So far, this elite club includes:
  • Gustav Dobos 
  • Claudia Witt 
  • George Lewith 
  • John Licciardone 
Time, I think, to elect another member. I was fascinated to read what the COLLEGE OF MEDICINE (I have published about this organisation before, for instance, […]

Read on: The list of remarkable alternative medicine researchers is extending: THE ALT MED HALL OF FAME

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Chiropractic treatment of childhood ear infections – and the inability of a profession to reform | Edzard Ernst

In 2010, we published an investigation of 200 chiropractor websites and 9 chiropractic associations’ World Wide Web claims in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The outcome measure was claims (either direct or indirect) regarding the eight reviewed conditions, made in the context of chiropractic treatment.

We found evidence that […]

Read on: Chiropractic treatment of childhood ear infections – and the inability of a profession to reform

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Shiatsu: do the benefits outweigh the risks? | Edzard Ernst

Shiatsu is a popular alternative therapy with a remarkable void of research. According to one of the rare reviews on the subject,
Shiatsu is a form of Japanese massage, working on the meridian system of the body; the energetic pathways along which the acupuncture points are placed. The theory for shiatsu is based in the system of […]
 Read on: Shiatsu: do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Sunday, 8 May 2016

11 Hard (and 4 very hard) Questions About Chiropractic Physicians | Edzard Ernst

I just came across this website entitled 11 HARD QUESTIONS ABOUT CHIROPRACTIC PHYSICIANS. The title fascinated me; I am always in favour of addressing hard questions. I therefore read the 11 questions with interest; and I quite liked them. However, the answers provided by the author, a chiropractor of course, struck me as being more than […]

Read on: 11 Hard (and 4 very hard) Questions About Chiropractic Physicians

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Reiki healing: SLOPPY RESEARCH OR SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT? | Edzard Ernst

Reiki is one of the most popular types of ‘energy healing’. Reiki healers believe to be able to channel ‘healing energy’ into patients’ body thus enabling them to get healthy. If Reiki were not such a popular treatment, one could brush such claims aside and think “let the lunatic fringe believe what they want”. But as Reiki so effectively undermines […]

Read on: Reiki healing: SLOPPY RESEARCH OR SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT?

Andrew Jeremy Wakefield wants rabies back

Known fraud and former physician, Andrew Jeremy Wakefield, recently had a picture taken of himself with a dog and a sign. Here it is: Tip of the hat to Ren, who found the picture on Facebook. Andrew Wakefield seems to be the kind of person who has gone so far off the deep end in […]

Read more at: Andrew Jeremy Wakefield wants rabies back by Reuben

Friday, 6 May 2016

Conspiracy theories, assumptions, opinions, evidence and scientific facts | Edzard Ernst

A recent comment to a blog-post about alternative treatments for cancer inspired me to ponder a bit. I think it is noteworthy because it exemplifies so many of the comments I hear in the realm of alternative medicine on an almost daily basis. Here is the comment in question:
 “Yes…it appears that the medical establishment have known for […]

Read on: Conspiracy theories, assumptions, opinions, evidence and scientific facts

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Another remarkable researcher of alternative medicine | Edzard Ernst

My last post was about a researcher who manages to produce nothing but positive findings with the least promising alternative therapy, homeopathy. Some might think that this is an isolated case or an anomaly – but they would be wrong. I have previously published about researchers who have done very similar things with homeopathy or other […]

Read on: Another remarkable researcher of alternative medicine

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Hurray! I found a genius amongst researchers of homeopathy | Edzard Ernst

Homeopathy is not blessed with many geniuses, it seems. Therefore, it is all the more noteworthy that there is one who seems to be so extraordinarily gifted that everything she touches turns to gold.

Her new and remarkable study intended to measure the efficacy of individualized homeopathic treatment for binge eating in adult males.

This case study […] 

Read on: Hurray! I found a genius amongst researchers of homeopathy

Sunday, 1 May 2016

EBCAM: an alt med journal that puzzles me a great deal | Edzard Ernst

I have written about ‘EVIDENCE BASED COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE’ (EBCAM), on of the leading alt med journals before (for instance here and here). To my embarrassment, I must admit to having been a member of its founding editorial-board; but I left when things started looking suspicious. In the latter post, I pointed out that:
The peer-review system of […]
Read on: EBCAM: an alt med journal that puzzles me a great deal