Alternative Medicines/treatments

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Greg Linscott, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    I have noticed a trend in at least the last two churches we have been in- a hearty enthusiasm for alternative medicine like chiropractors practicing things like "Contact Reflex Analysis" or "Applied Kinesiology," going hand in hand with natural remedies. Our 15 month daughter has a strange rash, so upon recommendations of several church members and ministry friends, we made our first ever visit to such a practioner. It was a...unique experience... :confused:

    I'm interested to read your experiences, both positive and negative. I'll withold the details and results of our visit for now- but some of the articles I'm reading on the have me very concerned from a Christian/Biblical perspective.
     
  2. USN2Pulpit

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    Well, I went to a chiropractor - who was able to accomplish what my neurosurgeon had been unable to do for months. But nothing way off the beaten path like tree bark and chanting.
     
  3. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    The man we went to see practices "Contact Reflex Analysis," also known as Applied Kinesiology- so we discovered after our visit. He diagnosed our 15 month old daughter's rash by asking my wife to extend one arm out parallel to the floor, while placing a finger of the other arm on various pressure points on my daughter, such as her navel, tip of her nose, and so on. He apparently was able to determine from pushing my wife's arm up and down that my daughter had a food allergy of some sort, and told us we needed to buy two natural remedies (from him) to cure the rash.

    Has anyone else ever seen anything like this?
     
  4. AVL1984

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    Yep, and I got up and walked out the door, telling the secretary to send me the bill for the services. The nutjob finally went out of business or moved his practice elsewhere.

    My wife and I have gone to Chiropractors, and they work just fine. I've had them do accupuncture on my legs and back to relieve the pain of arthritis, which I've had since I was a child. It works. Some have tried it, and others are afraid to try it. If it is indeed a food allergy, an accupuncturist can control it.

    AVL1984
     
  5. Greg Linscott

    Greg Linscott
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    Went to our regular pediatrician today- diagnosed our daughter with eczema/psoriasis. The prescription is already taking effect.

    What I found astounding about the man we initially saw was how many Christians I know (many of whom are in my church) endorse this man. He is even a member of the Christian Chriopractors Association (http://www.christianchiropractors.org/). I just don't understand how you can reconcile such practices with a Biblical worldview.
     
  6. Greg Linscott

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    Update: I just phoned the Christian Chriopractors Association, and they are very much against this practice. The man we saw is not an active member of this organization, but has left his membership certificate on the wall anyway.

    Interesting developments...
     
  7. superdave

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    I go to a chriopractor for one reason, to improve the range of motion in my spine. I have been to some who used electronic devices to measure muscle tension, ones who use various pressure point techniques, etc, but no whack jobs like you are describing.

    My chriopractor is a member of our church, and is a member of CCA, he actually is going to the ukrane with several others on a medical missions trip. He believes in the value of chriopractic care for general health, but isn't out there trying to cure everyone's diseases with his technique.

    There are some strange treatments out there, and not all of them are designed to heal, some are merely clever techniques for opening your wallet.
     
  8. Marcia

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    Yes, and I will tell you where I've seen this. This was practiced in the New Age food co-op back in the 80's where I worked part-time and shopped (when I was in the New Age). It is total quackery and also a form of divination. There is nothing medical or logical about it at all, and I can say that I am appalled that Christians are doing this and buying into it. (Good way to get you to buy his products.) I realize you did not know what this was, but I'm talking about Christians that regularly have this done and get "diagnosed" this way.

    Alternative healing is one the areas of my ministry and I deal with it all the time. Chiropractic adjustments can help people but you have to be careful because a lot of chiropractors (even Christians) are doing New Age or Eastern healing along with chiropractic care. That is because chiropractic began on a belief that a mystical vital force runs up the spine and our spine must be adjusted in order to be healthy. I don't know if most chiropractors believe this today, but many of them are open to some energy healing such as polarity and aura cleansing.

    The main concerns I have with alternative healing are:
    1) They are mostly not based on sound physiology, biology or objective data
    2) Energy healing is actually like sorcery -- the access to and manipulation of energy. We see this in Therapeutic Touch which has been taught in nursing schools for quite awhile and is used in hospitals. It is exactly the same as psychic healing, which I used to have done to me. In fact, the woman who introduced TT to nursing learned it from a woman who had been head of the occult Theosophical Society. Reiki, another form of energy healing is also getting more popular. I have an article on it on my website (hit Homepage button above).

    Here is a good site on alternative medicine with some articles:
    http://www.cinam.net/Topics.html

    http://www.xenos.org/ministries/crossroads/donal/articles.htm
    (scroll down a bit for the section on alternative medicine)

    Also, Massage Therapy is not just physical massage. Massage Therapy schools usually teach energy healing and a lot of New Age beliefs, yet Christians are attending these schools. Now Massage Therapy schools are teaching Reiki as well.
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    I am only a little prejudiced here. My wife is a Naturopath, Homeopath and Certified Nutritional Consultant.

    We have seen thousands of folks helped with various types of alternative products and methods.

    www.phr.net

    If you're sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, give me an email and we'll be happy to send you info. People from all 50 states and 26 foreign countries come to us. We ship proprietary-strength health products around the world every day.

    [email protected]

    End of sales pitch. [​IMG]
     
  10. Gina B

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    Dr. Bob's not kidding, they've got some great products!
    There are, unfortunately enough, a number of very odd people in the natural remedy's realm. I've seen and heard enough to make me VERY cautious of who I buy from, and I still usually rely on a normal doctor for diagnosis first if I'm not sure of the problem.
    Gina
     
  11. dianetavegia

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    No but this guy should make it to our Clean Humor section!
     
  12. Charles Meadows

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    Natural remedies are not all bad. Most are fairly innocuous - but many are essentially drugs and as such can interact with prescription medications.

    I'm always a little skeptical about the REAL effectiveness of some of these preparations. If the substances were as effective as some want us to believe the the drug companies would have gotten patents to make big money. It always comes back to money!

    The refelxology stuff is 100% quackery.
     
  13. Bob Farnaby

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    A lot of prescription medicines are the chemically refined version of natural remidies. Same stuff, no wonder it works. The good thing about the refined stuff is that the dozes are carefully and accurately measured and the other chenicals left out ...

    Current medicine is essentially the refinement of old medicine, only the truly bigoted reject one or the other.

    Regards
    Bob
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Western medicine is good in its place. I just try to stay out of its place as much as possible! [​IMG]

    There IS a lot of quack stuff, or quasi-scientific. Lots of gimmicks. Weigh them carefully.

    But even the pharmaceutical industry knows natural products are efficacious (and can't be patented so there is little profit for them).

    Two examples
    (1) Out here along the Oregon Trail a precious commodity was white willow bark. Grows along stony creek in the Big Horns 100 miles north. But travelers found chewing some gave relief to pain from injury and disease.

    Pharamceutical industry found that acetylsalicylic acid was in white willow bark. And so they made aspirin from that chemical. Now I would prefer to take the natural rather than the chemical, since in natural items you get synergistic trace minerals, etc, that are not found in the chemical formula.

    Like taking a chemical vitamin C or eating an orange. Which is better?

    (2) Drug makers are now warning about natural products. For instance, if you are taking paxil or prozac or another depressant/relaxer, it will say clearly NOT to take St John's Wort. Why? St John's Wort WORKS and it will add too much of a downer.

    Also, many natural herbs are in varying strength and potency. You do not know how MUCH real St Johns Wort is in the bottle from WallyWorld. (Probably not much). Get some from a natural health care provider - MY WIFE - and you will know exactly!

    Our clinic carries proprietary strength concentrates, usually 6-40 times STRONGER than GNC or health food stores sell. So a bottle of our stuff may be twice as expensive, but well worth it!

    Unless you have stock in WallyWorld, then buy it from them!!

    End of sermon [​IMG]
     
  15. Marcia

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    Appreciate you putting out the warnings, Dr. Bob.

    Alternative medicine is one of the doors through which the New Age is getting into the church. Now we have Christians doing applied kinesiology, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, believing in chi (the universal healing energy of Taoism) and the meridians (also invisible), believing in chakras (the invisible centers of energy from Hinduism through which the kundalini, the serpent power, rises through meditation and various yogic techniques and positions), aromatherapy (based on belief that the essential oils of flowers and plants have a special energy for healing), even believing in auras! I am not talking about "liberal" Christians but those in evangelical churches.

    Most of the above is either based on non-Christian belief systems and/or is actually occultic. The occult and New Age do not come with big labels that say, "Occult," or "New Age." They come with inviting and appealing anecdotal stories and hyped promises.

    End of my sermon. ;)
     
  16. Charles Meadows

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    I certainly won't mock alternative medicine. If one feels more comfortable with "natural" remedies as opposed to pills then fine. I think the idea that something is inherently better because it came from a root and not a factory is a little silly - but if it makes one feel better - hey why not?

    Not to toot the horn of "western medicine" but I think the formal education does help a little. It takes most doctors between 11 and 15 years after high school to even get certified in a specialty - and that's just where the REAL learning starts!

    Take St John's wort for example. The studies regarding efficacy (compared to placebo) are conflicting - more trials are ongoing. St John's wort may work for moderate depression - but not all depression is the same. And SSRI type drugs would not always be the first choice! Would a nonphysician recommending St John's wort know that it could interact with medications for Parkinson's disease? with muscle relaxants? with some pain medications? He/she should! A psychiatrist or internist (that's me [​IMG] ) would!

    "Western medicine", as taught in American and British medical schools (as well as some other European nations and Australia) has good scientific foundations. The drugs, while still possessing some side effects are subjected to rigorous FDA testing. I won't discredit alternative medicine - but if you're sick I'd stick with "western medicine"!
     
  17. Marcia

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    I'm more than ready to discredit some of alternative medicine that I have been through myself, read about, and know about firsthand, especially the ones that are New Age/Eastern/occultic.

    Also, "natural" is not always better. Opium is natural, marijuana is natural, dirt is natural, etc. "Natural" products are not regulated (at the lobbying and request of those who sell it - they're the ones who lobbied for the 1994 law that keeps anyone from regulating these products) and can contain anything. Random tests have shown some to have lead and mercury in them. Sometimes the active ingredient is not even present. You buy at your own risk.

    Also, there is misunderstanding in thinking that alternative always means "natural." The energy healing I discussed in my previous post is not natural at all, unless you want to call it naturally occultic. These methods are the ones I am most seriously concerned with.

    The links I posted earlier are very good info.
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    Interesting how American attitudes have changed.

    The only "doctors" in America 150 years ago were surgeons; sawbones was the term used. The favorite medication during the Civil War (I'm a reenactor) was Blue Mass - made of mercury. Umm.

    Even as late as 1900 one needed NO college or training (other than mentoring under a "doctor") to call oneself a doctor.

    Doctors had such terrible image (and results) that they formed schools and organizations to "approve themselves". They bought bogus theories (like Pasteur's) and proclaimed themselves GOD.

    BTW, my wife has a BA and MA from accredited colleges, and a N.D. from one of the nation's leading natural health institutes. She did her internship in Minnesota.

    Modern doctors are trained in chemistry (hence all the blood tests, etc). She is trained in physics and energy, since ever cell at the atomic level is all about energy.

    I said in an earlier post that "you get what you pay for" with some herbals. Junk. And many practioners. The wife will not recommend ANYONE unless she knows them personally as Christians and not caught up in the New Age.

    But in the midst of our mindless New Age Paranoia, let's not sacrifice 5000 years of traditional medicines/remedies that WORK on the altar of trillion-dollar pharmaceutical companies and their slick advertisements.
     
  19. Charles Meadows

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    Bob,

    I agree completely on the image of doctors a century ago. This didn't apply to every medical school. And thankfully things are much better now!

    "ever cell at the atomic level is all about energy"...

    :rolleyes: OK you lost me on that one.

    I'd maintain that natural practice can be a fine complement to technology and can be fine for those with minor problems.

    But if you're SICK - like I said I'd stay with western medicine!!! ;)
     
  20. Marcia

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    I have several comments to make in response to this.
    1. I don't think New Age paranoia is mindless; it's basically non-existent among most evangelicals. They think the New Age has gone away or is about crystals and Shirley MacLaine. Actually, the New Age is in the mainstream culture and our culture is adopting a lot of New Age practices and beliefs. Many bestsellers promote New Age beliefs.
    2. I wonder what the documentation for 5,000 year old treatments is really like, and haven't we learned more about the body since 5,000 years ago?
    3. The issue is not that we should not throw out 5,000 year old treatments that work, but to examine them to see if they do really work. I've tried white willow bark pills and they did nothing for my headache. In fact, most of the herbs and stuff I tried from the health food co-op did very little. I usually had to resort to the drugstore stuff or see a doctor. The other danger is that some of these herbs are powerful and interfere with other medications (Gingko can interfere with allergy medicines, for example; others, like garlic, affect blood thinning medications).
    4. Even if something works, it is not always good. I am speaking here of energy healing. I don't care how much Reiki or TT seems to help, I would never have them done on me. I had psychic healing done on me and I know what it is and where it comes from. It's occultic. Sometimes things in the occult do work.
    5. The alt. healing industy is now a 20 billion dollar industry. Some people (I am not speaking of Dr. Bob's wife) are making a lot of money off gullible people.

    Okay, end of this sermon. ;)
     

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