What’s the harm? That’s the question I’m sometimes asked when I’ve explained why a particular pseudoscience or alternative medicine is nothing but BS. If someone wants to have a few needles stuck in them or to swallow a sugar pill, who cares? They’re happy and they’re not harming anyone. My answer is that belief in… Read More What’s The Harm?
We turn now to one of my favourite whipping boys of complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM): acupuncture. More than 3000 research studies into acupuncture are yet to show any kind of effect other than that of an elaborate placebo. Why would they, of course? What possible rationale could there be for sticking needles into your… Read More Breaking News: Sticking Needles in Babies Does Not Stop Them Crying
I live in Stratford in east London a ten minute walk from what used to be the Olympic village of the London 2012 games. As someone with almost zero interest in sport the games meant little to me other than a miserable commute that August, but there were some interesting points to note. One such… Read More Olympic Silliness: Cupping Harms, Not Enhances, Performance
As I have said before, there is no such thing as complimentary medicine or alternative medicine or traditional medicine; there is evidence based medicine and there is quackery. Any alternative therapy that is proven to work is simply incorporated into the fold and becomes a part of mainstream medicine. I reiterate this now because I… Read More The Plural of Anecdote Is Not Data
I’ve been on holiday in France this past week and didn’t have access to an internet connection but now I’m back. I was there with family and as usual my father provided a logical fallacy hunter’s paradise. Asides from that, as we were returning to the UK on the ferry from Calais, some of our… Read More Traditional Chinese Medicine on the High Seas
It’s my birthday today and so I’m taking a week off. I was going to do a post on a disappointing Cochrane review of acupuncture but whilst I was researching I found that Dr Steven Novella, a personal hero of mine and someone anyone that is interested in sceptical thinking and science based medicine should… Read More Birthday Lethargy
It’s time to tackle a tricky subject. Everyone has heard of the placebo effect but there are a lot of misconceptions out there about what it really is and whether or not it’s ‘real’. Let’s start with a basic description of what it is: when a person is given a fake treatment for an illness,… Read More The Placebo Effect: The Myth and The Reality