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I just finished up reading the Weston Kosova and Pat Wingert article from the June 8th edition of Newsweek Magazine.  It is a critique of the pseudoscience that routinely makes it onto broadcasts of the Oprah Winfrey Show.  

The authors go down the list of questionable medical advice that is given out on the show by activists like Suzanne Somers and Jenny McCarthy and proceeds on to criticize "experts" like Dr. Christiane Northrup and dermatologists Karyn Grossman and Brandith Irwin.  

Case by case, the Newsweek duo offers real medical findings that contradict what is offered to viewers of the show on a regular basis.  Many times, Oprah wholeheartedly endorses unproven and medically risky techniques without giving any time to the opposing viewpoint.

First up in the article is a discussion of Suzanne Somers and her practice of administering hormone treatments and taking 60 supplements a day.  She also partakes in some other practices such as:    

she also starts each day by giving herself injections of human growth hormone, vitamin B12 and vitamin B complex. In addition, she wears "nanotechnology patches" to help her sleep, lose weight and promote "overall detoxification." If she drinks wine, she goes to her doctor to rejuvenate her liver with an intravenous drip of vitamin C. If she's exposed to cigarette smoke, she has her blood chemically cleaned with chelation therapy. In the time that's left over, she eats right and exercises, and relieves stress by standing on her head. Somers makes astounding claims about the ability of hormones to treat almost anything that ails the female body. She believes they block disease and will double her life span. "I know I look like some kind of freak and fanatic," she said. "But I want to be there until I'm 110, and I'm going to do what I have to do to get there."

Newsweek article

The authors go on to say that on the Oprah show that featured Somers, doctors who were critical of her practices were not given a fair chance to debate the validity of her practices.  When Newsweek contacted a doctor to address concerns of what Somers and Oprah were advocating for this was the response:

Outside Oprah's world, there isn't a raging debate about replacing hormones. Somers "is simply repackaging the old, discredited idea that menopause is some kind of hormone-deficiency disease, and that restoring them will bring back youth," says Dr. Nanette Santoro, director of reproductive endocrinology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and head of the Reproductive Medicine Clinic at Montefiore Medical Center.

Okay one down, now onto Jenny McCarthy.  I'm sure most of us are aware of her activism on autism and how she cites the onset of her son's autism after an MMR vaccine he was given as a toddler as her evidence of the causal relationship between the two.  She does not specifically blame the vaccine itself, rather she believes that the chemicals used in preserving vaccines are the culprit.  McCarthy's story:

McCarthy is certain that her son contracted autism from the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination he received as a baby. She told Oprah that the morning he went in for his checkup, her instincts told her not to allow the doctor to give him the vaccine. "I said to the doctor, I have a very bad feeling about this shot. This is the autism shot, isn't it? And he said no, that is ridiculous; it is a mother's desperate attempt to blame something on autism. And he swore at me." The nurse gave Evan the shot. "And not soon thereafter," McCarthy said, "boom, soul gone from his eyes."

The problem is, of course, the complete lack of scientific evidence that could back up her assertion:

Studies have found some genetic and environmental links that may increase the risk of autism, but its causes are still unknown. The baffling rise in the number of autism cases has loosely coincided with an increase in the number of childhood immunizations. Yet researchers have not found a link between the vaccines and autism.

Now here's where Oprah becomes a part of the problem:

But back on the Oprah show, McCarthy's charges went virtually unchallenged. Oprah praised McCarthy's bravery and plugged her book, but did not invite a physician or scientist to explain to her audience the many studies that contradict the vaccines-autism link. Instead, Oprah read a brief statement from the Centers for Disease Control saying there was no science to prove a connection and that the government was continuing to study the problem. But McCarthy got the last word.

We're starting to see a trend here.  Now onto Dr. Christiane Northrup, an ob/gyn who:

stresses alternative therapies and unseen connections between the soul and the body that she believes conventional doctors overlook, but that she can see. She has written about how she has used Tarot cards to help diagnose her own illnesses. (On her Web site, she sells her own "Women's Wisdom Healing Cards.") In other words, she gets right to the center of Oprah's search for hidden mystical meanings. Oprah says she reads Northrup's menopause book "just like it's the Bible. It's the book next to my bed. I read the Bible. I read that book."

Tarot cards used to diagnose illness.  Alas, Oprah has turned to Northrup in the past for advice including when she came down with a thyroid condition.  Here's a little exchange from a show with Northrup:

Oprah  : So your body ... is only manifesting what's really going on with your spirit?

Northrup: But your intellect doesn't know it. This is the important part. It's not—you're not causing this deliberately ... It's your soul bringing it to your attention.

Oprah: Right. It's your soul trying to speak to you.

Okaaay...(Backing away slowly)

And here's Northrup giving more bad medical advice, which Oprah provides no challenge to:

Northrup advises that in addition to conventional thyroid medication, women should consider taking iodine supplements.

That is just what they shouldn't do, says Dr. David Cooper, a professor of endocrinology at Johns Hopkins medical school who specializes in thyroid disease. "She is mixing truth with fantasy here," he says. First, "thyroid disease has nothing to do with women being downtrodden. She makes it sound like these women brought it on themselves." Cooper agrees that thyroid patients should seek thyroid hormone treatment to bring the symptoms under control.

The last example from the article concerns new plastic surgery techniques which are often hyped on Oprah's show as the next great discovery, even before the medical community has weighed in on them.  One example of a procedure that was hyped on Oprah's show was the "thread lift", in which Grossman:

poked multiple holes on each side of Sandy's face near her ears, eyes and cheekbones, then pulled through thin threads under the skin. The threads caught in her flesh, hoisting her tissue up and back. "Threads are tied off," Oprah enthused, "and a one-hour lunch-break lift."

And of course, the medical community has to weigh in and rain on the super-fantastic-happy-fun time parade again:

Yet according to Plastic Surgery Practice, an industry magazine, some doctors reported that "over time, the suture tends to act like a 'cheese wire'," cutting through delicate facial tissue. Some patients who underwent another version of the procedure, which used barbed threads, experienced bunching of the skin, dimples and scars. Others complained the left and right sides of their faces no longer matched up due to "migration of the sutures." One of the most common complaints, though, was that they couldn't see any improvement at all.

The article also points out that after this procedure was discredited, she never bothered to go back and do an update for her viewers or warn them about the risks involved.

The other procedure hyped, then later discredited was Thermage, a way of smoothing "wrinkles by using radio waves to tighten skin".  Interesting...of course Oprah failed to mention on her show that Thermage:

hurt, a lot. And it didn't always work. On her own Web site, Irwin acknowledges that in those early days of Thermage, "the treatments were painful without sedation (we sedated everyone in our office), and the results were inconsistent." O magazine recently ranked Thermage as a four on a pain scale of one to five. Five was "agony." There was also no mention on the show about the potential risks, which included burns and scars.

The Newsweek article does give Oprah credit for featuring a few doctors such as Dr. Mehmet Oz, who actually gives great advice on subjects like nutrition and exercise.  I give her credit for that as well, but the other cases still stand as a testament of her willingness to push pseudo scientific cures for contemporary medical problems as well as her inability to provide her viewers with the potential downsides of these practices.

What I see as the point of writing this is that whenever we see pseudoscience being taken seriously or offered as the best or only way of treating a disease or medical problem, we must speak up in order to counteract the people pushing this pseudoscience.  

I think that if you are someone who is willing to believe that vaccines cause autism or that when you get sick it is just your soul talking to you that you'll be more likely to believe that the Earth is 6000 years old or that humans appeared on the planet in their present form.  These views are caustic to the political discourse in this country and should be eradicated.  It is our responsibility as progressives to promote a culture and a civil society that values scientific research and intellectual thought.        

Oprah has 40 million viewers each week tuning in to watch her.  She needs to be taken to task on this and I have provided a link to contact the show in order to express your disapproval of her unwillingness to provide both sides of the story.  

I actually filled it out and sent it in.  I wrote in the message that Oprah should do a show about how a lot of the medical advice and opinion given out by Suzanne Somers, Christiane Northrup, Jenny McCarthy and others is bogus.  It takes a minute and maybe if they get enough of these they'll do a show to expose the bullshite.  We can only hope...

Contact Form for Oprah Show



Update [2009-6-7 22:53:38 by jtb583]: Holy sh*t, guys!  Rec list?  Thank you very much.  

Originally posted to jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:04 PM PDT.

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  •  Tips, flames, recommendations (238+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sorklin, mndean, keirdubois, Chi, itsbenj, Rita in DC, Christin, Rimjob, MrPlow, mem from somerville, madmsf, ScientistMom in NY, Emerson, LynChi, Stein, eeff, moira977, fightcentristbias, freelunch, Matilda, Ahianne, madwayne, nanoboy, Gustogirl, JesterDel, bronte17, Helena Handbag, Porfiry, Ignacio Magaloni, L0kI, Boris Godunov, Timoteo, exiledfromTN, NYFM, mcfly, snakelass, RebeccaG, NapaJulie, SanDiegoDem, cartwrightdale, ganymeade, realalaskan, vcmvo2, ExStr8, historys mysteries, radarlady, Treg, Freakinout daily, ArchTeryx, HudsonValleyMark, pernoclone, Alice Venturi, chancy gardner, kefauver, ChemBob, stitchmd, amRadioHed, EJP in Maine, fireflynw, Kevskos, eru, Arken, Pam from Calif, GreyHawk, ladybug53, Ice Blue, blue jersey mom, Ginny in CO, playtonjr, viscerality, WayBeyondSoccerMom, begone, mariva, ThaliaR, Coherent Viewpoint, my pet rock, BlueInARedState, quotemstr, Kimball Cross, TPain, Triscula, fizziks, MTmofo, play jurist, TalkieToaster, tecampbell, Lashe, nonnie9999, arbiter, SadieSue, tapestry, JVolvo, Translator, plf515, myrealname, MBNYC, zhimbo, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, WI Dem, RantNRaven, kenmarable, Eryk, Nulwee, BentLiberal, tegrat, lams712, out of left field, khereva, Lyme, arodb, possum, milkbone, DAO, moosely2006, 0wn, edsbrooklyn, LillithMc, flumptytail, DragonPup, kwAwk, Unbozo, gatorbot, jayden, ubertar, Uberbah, Moderation, rogereaton, uciguy30, Puffin, trueblueliberal, JoeW, wondering if, mconvente, lisastar, Phil N DeBlanc, skohayes, NogodsnomastersMary, temptxan, Gemina13, luckylizard, mattc129, James Kresnik, dont think, rodentrancher, IntertubeGuy, HoosierDeb, Simply Agrestic, billmosby, maxcat06, csaw, SciMathGuy, in2mixin, artmartin, J Ash Bowie, smellybeast, rsmpdx, beinemac, dinotrac, RandomActsOfReason, Mercuriousss, BDsTrinity, oxfdblue, csquared, ZilV, scotths, allep10, dotalbon, guyeda, dalfireplug, pruple, Lava20, notksanymore, whatnext, PoliticalJunkessa, Super Grover, Lazar, PrincessPinkyPie, henlesloop, possodent, LaughingPlanet, voracious, Indie Tarheel, DrFerbie, BFSkinner, chrome327, MiscastDice, FrankCornish, revwkm, coelomate, Mudderway, sullivanst, pixxer, GayIthacan, scarlet slipper, CrowsSong, ThirtyFiveUp, sharonsz, Caerus, cocinero, okliberal, ciganka, Colorado is the Shiznit, charliehall, dagan68, xgy2, Copernic, penny8611, Linda in Ohio, vintage dem, coquiero, FreeStateDem, Susipsych, AtomikNY, Sand Hill Crane, Blue VA, Nicci August, smallgal, Murdershewrote, Luthe, blue husky, awsdirector, elusive muse, junipercussion, impygirl, Mother Shipper, merrily1000, tardis10, Vtdblue, slouchsock, Aquagranny911, mamkotke, GillesDeleuze, Curiosity, Amaryliss, skeptiq, Book of Hearts, micropenis, blackjackal

    prognostications, and prestidigitation all accepted.

    Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

    by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 06:55:41 PM PDT

  •  Anyone who gets medical advise from the Oprah (28+ / 0-)

    show....might well log-in here and dispense it!  Medicine is a parlour game that one should take seriously, but many don´t.  It is very tempting to accept what you WANT to hear.

    •  Another good quote from the article (31+ / 0-)

      This one is also from Dr. David Cooper:

      "The problem is that this all has the aura of being scientific when a lot of it is wrong, or not proven or just utter hogwash," Cooper says. "No wonder it sounds very credible to the patients, and in my opinion, that's even worse. If it was all complete rubbish, people would be more likely to see it for what it really is."

      That sums it up nicely.  The stuff on Oprah's show is just credible enough to be taken seriously by some of the people who watch the show.

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:20:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It may be the only advice some can afford (42+ / 0-)

      Not just Oprah of course, but with lack of healtchare, more and more people are seeking answers from sources other than a doctor.

      I know I've checked WebMD online to see what it says about different types of medicine.

      People with no access to affordable healthcare are left to their own devices.  And it's not always a happy outcome, to say the least.

      The crooks are leaving have left office, unprosecuted and scot-free.

      by BentLiberal on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:22:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's even more of a reason why she should (37+ / 0-)

        have real medical experts on her show to debunk the bs.  She knows she has millions of people hooked on her every word.  

        Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

        by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:24:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Some of it (17+ / 0-)

        like that The Secret bullshit, yeah. It don't cost money to wish for stuff.

        However, the Suzanne Somers HRT-and-HGH-and-60-supplements-and-whatever plan probably costs a small fortune. That is suckering Rich Middle Aged (mostly) Women to empty out their wallets on junk.

        "I used to have goals. They were *evil* goals, but they were *goals*."--Dr. Doofenschmirtz

        by ChurchofBruce on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:04:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I thought The Secret was BRILLIANT! (15+ / 0-)

          for about 2 hours, and then I came to my senses. The guy I wanted to call never called. Bastard.

        •  Well, there was a book and a DVD I believe. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Colorado is the Shiznit

          You don't have to be an atheist to be moral, but it helps.

          by csquared on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:31:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Is there any proof Somers wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AmericanRiverCanyon

          There are a lot of corporate hired attack dog doctors that have been trying to discredit her for years, and the more they attack, the more I wonder if she's right.

          •  That's a logical fallacy. (13+ / 0-)

            Sorry, but you should get your logic straight.

            Claims require proof.

            A claim advanced without proof can (and should) also be dismissed without proof.

            Somers is making a claim.

            Therefore, the burden is on her to provide proof. Not for others to provide proof that she's wrong.  

            "Lies return." - African proverb

            by Night Train on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:20:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  She's sharing what worked for her (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jsquared, AmericanRiverCanyon

              and people are attacking her rather than doing actual studies to debunk her.  

              •  Again, you don't understand how science works (10+ / 0-)

                And, I suspect you don't care. You are simply reacting emotionally based on your particular bias, rather than addressing the factual information in the Newsweek article, as cited by this diary.

                One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 01:20:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Science works by doing research (8+ / 0-)

                  And scientists have not shown enough interst in female quality of life to bother doing the research needed to verify Somer's claims.  So does that mean women should just shut up and wait for the science to come in or do they not have the right to speak up, demand attention & contribute to the public debate?  And why don't you respond to the substance of Somer's response to the article.  She claims she sent Newsweek science and it was ignored:

                  http://www.suzannesomers.com/...

                  •  Citations needed (11+ / 0-)

                    scientists have not shown enough interst in female quality of life to bother doing the research needed to verify Somer's claims.

                    Interesting claim. Do you have, you know, actual facts to back it up?

                    Clue: rebuttal from a scam artist to exposure of their scam does not constitute evidence, it constitutes argument - no more credible than your argument in your comment.

                    So does that mean women should just shut up and wait for the science to come in or do they not have the right to speak up, demand attention & contribute to the public debate?

                    BS, straw women and red herrings. Science is not conducted by public debate. It is conducted in the laboratory, with reputable research, peer reviewed results, logical analysis and all the other tools of the scientific method.

                    And why don't you respond to the substance of Somer's response to the article.  She claims she sent Newsweek science and it was ignored:

                    It's not incumbent upon me to respond to her unsubstantiated claims about here unsubstantiated claims.

                    Her claims have been reviewed by the medical community, and they have been thoroughly debunked. As the article points out, she isn't claiming anything new, on the contrary, she's reviving old-fashioned notions that actually did not serve women well.

                    Did you even read the Newsweek article? There is a lot more in it about her claims then the short quote in the diary. Did you read the article?

                    Didn't think so.

                    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:26:54 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There actually are quite a few studies listed on (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Babsnc, AmericanRiverCanyon, misreal

                      her blog.  You may want to check them out before you trash her.  Saying she's been debunked is not an argument.  

                    •  i'm not going to read any of this stuff (15+ / 0-)

                      and you shouldn't need citations to know that medical research about women is woefully inadequate.

                      women don't just suffer because medical research ignores us, we die.

                      as far as hormone replacement therapy goes, there is lots of scientific evidence that it helps and lots that it harm.  the evidence is contradictory.  

                      as far as oprah's pseudo science goes: it is a talk show, not a research seminar.  i really don't think she is obligated to 'present the other side' (a rubric that gets us into more trouble than it is worth).  

                      tarot cards at bedtime are probably not all that different from meditation.  some people are literalists, and literalists will always get themselves in trouble.

                      some talk shows do a service to their viewers when they disseminate information not available through mainstream medicine.

                      i've used a lot of alternative medicine in my lifetime.  usually, it worked its way into mainstream medicine over time.  

                      one man's pseudoscience is another man's brilliant insight which is yet to be proven.

                      for all we know aging might be a disease of sorts.

                      the problem with criticisms like the ones collected here is that they do not allow for investigation outside paradigms.

                      mainstream medicine american is locked into lots of paradigms that do not serve us well.  

                      western medicine is great for trauma.  brilliant for trauma, actually, but near useless for chronic illness.  so if you suffer from a chronic illness, you will, if you are smart, go to the edges looking for some relief.

                      in the process, you will run into some really dubious stuff.  you will have to sort through it on your own, but you are better off going there than sitting and suffering with no hope.

                      oprah is a little weird in this area, but i think going overboard and expecting her show to be anything more than a projection of her own personal journey is asking for something that the show will never, ever be.

                      Geithner + Summers = EPIC FAIL

                      by fernan47 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 05:09:44 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Enough with the "paradigms" canard, please. (12+ / 0-)

                        mainstream medicine american is locked into lots of paradigms that do not serve us well.

                        That is one of the favorite classic claims of quacks who want to take your money.

                        The entire history of "mainstream" (i.e. legitimate) medicine, and science, is a history of paradigms questioned, broken, and discarded. Not only is science not "locked" into paradigms - it actually rewards the breaking of paradigms.

                        Young scientists make their reputations by proving their elders wrong. Paradigms that fail to account for newly discovered facts are changed or discarded. That's how science constantly corrects itself. That's how humans slowly, steadily extend their knowledge.

                        Chinese traditional medicine (for example), on the other hand, still clings stubbornly to paradigms from at least three thousand years ago.

                        The thing that frustrates some people about genuine, legitmate science (which is neither "Western" or "Eastern") is that it demands proof, not just anecdote. Emotional claims won't cut it. Sure, it gets corrupted by politics and money, because scientists are human and sometimes they're assholes. But in the long run, it tends to correct itself.

                        But that, of course, is not what some people want to hear. Which is why we live in a golden age of medical quackery.

                        "Lies return." - African proverb

                        by Night Train on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 05:33:40 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  i won't ask you to give (5+ / 0-)

                          me a break because you clearly don't give a damn about the suffering that so many of us are enduring and the lack of options for us.

                          however your claims about paradigms are dead wrong.  Kuhn explained this nearly 50 years ago.  unfortunatley, kuhn has been more revered in the humanities than in science, which is a damn shame.

                          it is absurd to claim that humans don't make paradigms and that disciplines don't get caught inside paradigms.  

                          The entire history of "mainstream" (i.e. legitimate) medicine, and science, is a history of paradigms questioned, broken, and discarded. Not only is science not "locked" into paradigms - it actually rewards the breaking of paradigms.

                          young scientists who want to break paradigms are more often than not, prevented from doing so by the power inside the knowledge system.  it takes extreme brilliance and courage to break a paradigm, in any discipline.

                          your claim is overstated to the point of falsity.  science claims to want its paradigms broken, but this is expresses an intention.  in practice, those who break the paradigms their teachers create have a hard time getting credentialed and funded.

                          chinese medicine has a lot to teach the west.  acupuncture works for many issues.  the studies on this have been done.  your idea that chinese medicine never changes is ridiculous on its face.  you might want to read joseph needham's series.

                          Just one, but very important example: almost twenty years ago research indicated the connection between the immune system and nervous system is intense and that nerve fibers penetrate immune system cells, something completely outside the paradigm.  

                          one relevant link:  http://www.nytimes.com/...

                          this and work done by david felten, a macarthur fellow:

                          http://www.rochester.edu/...

                          all breaks the mind/body paradigm; however, most doctors (who are not so much scientists as artist/technicians) have yet to change their thinking on treating a host of illnesses which are greatly exacerbated by emotion and stress.  and worse, there are few researchers working on this issue.

                          these discoveries should have caused the medical establishment to place a huge emphasis on tracking down the 'facts' about the immune/nervous system, but damn little has been done for twenty years.

                          i've never seen so many people so concerned about quackery as i see here at dkos.  i've been in all kinds of medical offices.  i've never encountered a true quack.  a lot of bad doctors and most of them inside mainstream medicine.

                          as my newest doctor explained to me last week, "i was astounded that my wife, herself a doctor, wouldn't listen to the things i was discovering, after all it is science and she is a scientist.  but then i realized it violated her culture and she just had to resist it."

                          Geithner + Summers = EPIC FAIL

                          by fernan47 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 06:48:07 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Everyone knows there are stupid stubborn doctors (4+ / 0-)

                            and that's because doctors are human. And we also all know about the corrupting influence of money, Big Pharma, and institutional conservativism. Clearly the claims and methods of alternative therapies should be properly studied, and the results examined with an open mind. I'm all for that.

                            you clearly don't give a damn about the suffering that so many of us are enduring and the lack of options for us.

                            Sorry to dismantle your straw man, but actually, I give a huge damn. I don't like seeing desperate people get fleeced by quacks (as my father was, by some charlatans who claimed they could remove the plaque from his arteries through chelation). And I don't like seeing people die needlessly (years ago, a musician acquaintance of mine refused all "mainstream" medicine in favor of crystals, carrot juice and prayer; he died of a respiratory infection that could have been cured by anitbiotics).

                            i've never encountered a true quack.

                            Your statement speaks for itself.

                            "Lies return." - African proverb

                            by Night Train on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 09:19:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Your post contains some glaring... (3+ / 0-)

                            ... ignorance. However, I'm having a hard time sorting it out through the poor punctuation, sentence structure, and lack of any capitalization.

                            Suffice it to say: anecdote is not evidence.

                            Your emotional appeals will not change reality. Yes, people suffer from medical conditions. Yes, that is sad. However, the scientific method is the only tool that has ever produced reliable results in treating those conditions.

                            We have weapons of mass destruction we have to address here at home. Poverty and homelessness are weapons of mass destruction. - Denny K

                            by Chicagoa on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:04:08 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  excellent post. thank you (0+ / 0-)

                            .... yes, there is a lot of hysteria here, as if any of these nay sayers gave a flying rat's ass about what really goes on in a doctor's office and somebody else didn't get their drugs. Drugs are not always the answer, the interconnectedness of life's systems is.

                            "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

                            by AmericanRiverCanyon on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 11:02:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You're confusing different things together. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            zhimbo

                            Adherence to a rigorous standard of rational, reality-based medicine does not in any way mean that "drugs are always the answer" - nor does it deny "the interconnectedness of life's systems," something which has been known for a long time and deserves more study.

                            Indeed, there is plenty of scientific evidence that (1) drugs have many drawbacks and dangers and often are not appropriate, that (2) lifestyle changes are often far better than a reliance on pharmceuticals and invasive procedures, and that (3) a patient's state of mind can affect their physical well-being.

                            Much of what's wrong with modern medicine is due to the influence of the insurers (of course) and also of Big Pharma, which pushes pills for every fucking thing. Many doctors can tell you about one of their biggest headaches nowadays: patients who arrive in the exam room having already made up their minds what drugs they want, on the basis of some stupid ads they've seen on TV.

                            But don't blame scientific method (which helps protect people from harm, and from being cheated of big bucks) for the evils created by big business.

                            "Lies return." - African proverb

                            by Night Train on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 11:53:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What I'm getting from you and some others (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ChurchofBruce, Night Train, johnva

                            is that you think that Western Medicine promised to make you healthy, make you better and do that now, and that did not happen. All that research, all those doctors with their fancy degrees, all that money spent and you are still sick, still don't feel well, are still looking for something that will help.

                            But it seems that you might expect miracles. TV commercials and those brochures in the doctor's office are advertising. Maybe when your doctor says she can only do so much, it is because that is all that is possible. Very few get perfect health and our genes can't be [at least not yet] tampered with.

                            We get sick. Sometimes we get better; sometimes we don't.

                            I don't see that the seemingly endless quest for alternative cures ever ends. Instead of traipsing from one "regular" doctor to the next, some people go from one alternative practitioner to another. And yet, they are still not well.

                            I can confidently say these things as someone who has a chronic condition that hasn't ruined my life because of a well-trained graduate of medical schools who practices at a well-known institution, who prescribes tested medication that works pretty good. I made a conscious decision to live a decent life given the circumstances and not to spend it feeling sorry for myself.

                          •  You make an excellent point I'd never thought of. (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            ChurchofBruce, susans

                            And you're right - many of those who embrace "alternative" medicine seem to assume that their ailments are automatically due to some malfeasance in the medical profession. In their minds there should be a cure for everything - and if the cure isn't readily available, it's because someone is denying it to them.

                            "Lies return." - African proverb

                            by Night Train on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 06:22:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  asdf (4+ / 0-)

                            you clearly don't give a damn about the suffering that so many of us are enduring and the lack of options for us.

                            You are not suffering due to a lack of alternatives.  If tomorrow the neutraceutical industry invented five thousand new random homeopathic preparations or detoxification treatments, if your insurance provider decide to start paying for magnetic insoles or ear candles, your suffering would not be alleviated.
                             
                            We suffer because human maladies are far too complex and far too numerous for our existing technology to alleviate more than even a small fraction of it.

                      •  Great comment, fernan 47! (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mem, AmericanRiverCanyon

                        Well said and right on target.  I hear the frustration of many who want 'scientific proof' and 'scientific certainty'.  I for one don't think there is much of that in our scientific community.  At best, there is our limited 'best effort' practice, which is limited by culture and the scientific knowledge of the time.  I congratulate the practice of our research industry and yet I wonder about how it too is infected with greed and politics.

                        Over time I've decided that most attacks on Oprah are political against an outspoken and progressive and powerful woman.

                      •  western medicine (0+ / 0-)

                        near useless for chronic illness is very true.

                      •  GREAT POST! (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AmericanRiverCanyon

                        Black or White?

                        DEM or REPUB?

                        STRAIGHT or GAY?

                        Sometimes issues such as health and medicine cannot neatly fit into one perfect little bubble of understanding.  I agree that modern medicine has some tremendous benefits(trauma being ne of them), but it disregards a whole slew of information and time tested remedies that are thousands of years old b/c we value modern science so much and devalue anything old (those uncilivilized people)

                        Do you know how many people die every year b/c of perscription drugs?  

                        Do you know how many people die every year b/c of surgeries gone wrong?  

                        "[People] are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound." - James Allen

                        by gchap33 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 08:51:08 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Do you know how many people died every year (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          quotemstr, Enzo Valenzetti, jtb583

                          before prescription drugs?

                          Do you know how many people died every year before modern surgery was available?

                          In any case, please enlighten us: present us with some actual statistics on both.

                          And, while you're at it, can you present statistics on how many people die because of "alternative" medicine" taken in lieu of conventional medicine?

                          You can't, because alternative medicine is largely unregulated, and its practicioners conveniently insulate themselves from accountability by attacking the merit of such statistics, attacking the very notion of reputably keeping statistics on what works and what does not, because that is "closed minded" and "Western".

                          Put up or shut up. A minority of people here keep making conspiracy-minded posts about "Western" medicine, and making claims about "Eastern" medicine, and then stubbornly refuse to back up any of their claims with any real evidence.

                          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                          by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:14:27 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                            You can't, because alternative medicine is largely unregulated, and its practicioners conveniently insulate themselves from accountability by attacking the merit of such statistics, attacking the very notion of reputably keeping statistics on what works and what does not, because that is "closed minded" and "Western.

                            You don't know what you are talking about.  The many fine alternative practioners(Naturopaths and Chinese Medicine practioners) that I know here in Portland want very much to be accounted for and certainly are if they live Oregon or Washington.  However, there are still way too many states that do not license and try their best to keep them that way.  These unlicensed states then have to put up with "psuedo naturopaths" and "acupuncturist" that received a degree on line or at some weekend crach course.
                            That to me is the bigger problem here.  
                            So don't start making these general claims about alternative medicine practioners that are simply not true for all.  The following website takes you to a site that shows the 6 colleges in the U.S. and Canada that have accredited 4-5 programs for Naturopaths
                            www.aanmc.org/the-schools.php
                            An N.D. or L aC. from one of these colleges is very knowledgable and professional.  From my understanding their first two years are very similar to the M.D. training.

                            The statistics of people dying at the hands or alternative medicine is very low...not b/c we don't have a way of tracking it, but b/c most of the help and healing they provide is non-invasive.  

                            My point for asking the questions about drugs and surgery is that most people willingly accept this imited perspective as the only option available to them without realizing the risks involved.  I promote the same type of precaution when choosing alternative care as well.  But if something works for someone, but not the next, the whole profession should not be written off simply b/c it does not fit into your own paradigm.    
                               
                            Thank you to AmericanRiverCanyon for providing some statistics, I won't bother posting those.

                            I'll just end with this...if you don't like alternative approaches to health, then don't use them.  This approach can be applied to other areas of our lives as well.  If you or anyone else does not like gay people, then don't date one.

                            PEACE!  

                            "[People] are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound." - James Allen

                            by gchap33 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 01:50:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You have not provided evidence (0+ / 0-)

                            where are the research statistics regarding the safety and efficacy of alternative medicines as compared to placebo and conventional medicine?

                            You claim alternative medicine practitioners in Oregon and Washington "want" to be accountable.

                            Where is the data then?

                            No one has posted statistics comparing the safety and efficacy of alternative vs conventional medicines across a whole array of health conditions here. You just continue to assert, and refuse to back up your assertions with data.

                            I love how you reveal the utter intellectual bankruptcy at the heart of your argument when you compare rational skepticism of alternative medicine with homophobia.

                            And then you conclude your hateful ad hominem with "PEACE!"

                            The irony is so deafening, it drowns out the rest of your content-free evasions.

                            Data is data. If you have it, show it. If you don't don't lie about it.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:12:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I need to point out that... (0+ / 0-)

                            you are the one that keeps telling yourself in every arguement you create that YOU need arbitrary statistics to believe anything.  So be it.  You won!

                            Feel better.  

                            The reason there are hardly any statistics available is b/c of what I said above...MOST alternative practices you so strongly dislike have non-invasive means of treating people.  They don't kill people, and when it has happened, you better believe the public heres about it.  People like you would make sure we do.  This link is from a case where a teen's death happened b/c of what a bogus Naturopath did:

                            http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004024299_miracle20m0.html

                            I don't need you or anyone else to tell me something is important or good...I can feel it with my own body and see it in others with my own eyes and ears.  I'm sorry that you are such an absolutist.  The world is so wonderous and beautiful, and you will only be able to see and feel just a small part of it b/c you will always be waiting for the facts and statistics to back you up before you take the plunge and trust a deeper part of yourself.  

                            I'm sure you feel better now that once again I did not give you the "proper" evidence you are asking for.  Have a great night.      

                            "[People] are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound." - James Allen

                            by gchap33 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 04:58:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "feeling it with your own body" is nothing new (0+ / 0-)

                            People were 'feeling' it for thousands of years.

                            It wasn't until the advent of the modern scientific method, that we were able to separate truth from fiction, reality from illusion, emotion from reason.

                            Since then, the average health and physical wellbeing of humans with access to conventional medicine has skyrocketed.

                            Thousands of years of "alternative" or "traditional" medicine did not figure out the germ theory of medicine. It did not lead to proper sanitation. It did not eradicate polio, smallpox or bubonic plague. It did not cure many cancers when found at an early stage - and, it did not develop the technology to detect cancers at an early stage. It did not eradicate mistreatment of the mentally ill. It did not provide effective treatment for measles or mumps, let alone prevent them. And on, and on, and on, and on.

                            The whole "West" vs "East", or "traditional/alternative" vs "conventional/allopathic" dichotomy is a canard.

                            The scientific method helps us distinguish between what works and what does not work. many traditional medicines proved effective, and are part of conventional medicine. Others, as it turned out, were useless, even worse than placebo in many cases. In other cases, one substance hidden in a soup of irrelevant chemicals and some toxins were found to be the effective ingredient, and the scientific method provided us with a means to isolate and purify that single element so that we could produce superior, reliable effects at much lower doses than the adulterated version.

                            The scientific method led to the progressive notion of government regulation and oversight, to protect consumers and ensure reliable dosages and purity of medicines we consume.

                            The scientific method helps to debunk long-standing myths and to expose fakes and frauds.

                            Without recorded evidence, reproducible experiments, and peer review, we would not be where we are today, and we would have no way to determine what is real and what is not. We would be reduced to using ourselves as individual guinea pigs, as humans always used to, and to suffer the consequences, without ever being able to learn from past mistakes.

                            This is not about me or you "feeling better" in a debate. This is about real people actually getting better as a result of real medicine, as opposed to sick people getting sicker, because they avoid effective treatment and opt instead for snake oil shilled by frauds on the Oprah Winfrey Show.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:29:41 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  also (0+ / 0-)

                            where are the research statistics regarding the safety and efficacy of alternative medicines as compared to placebo and conventional medicine?

                            Did you not say this in your first response above???

                            And, while you're at it, can you present statistics on how many people die because of "alternative" medicine" taken in lieu of conventional medicine?

                            You can't, because alternative medicine is largely unregulated, and its practicioners conveniently insulate themselves from accountability by attacking the merit of such statistics, attacking the very notion of reputably keeping statistics on what works and what does not, because that is "closed minded" and "Western".

                            It is regulated in licensed states, therefore, there is no evidence to give you (accept for a few isolated cases that can be found in a quick google search), accept that which you've created in your head which you are certain is just covered up or not recorded purposefully.  Do some research...not just for statistics but actually talking to some legitimate people in the field before making such assumptions.    

                            "[People] are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound." - James Allen

                            by gchap33 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 05:04:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  All conventional medical claims are verifiable (0+ / 0-)

                            When alternative medical claims have been put to empirical scientific scrutiny, some have worked, most have not.

                            However, as you yourself admit - most alternative practitioners are hostile to the notion of submitting their empirical claims to empirical scrutiny - even in states in which some few forms of alternative medicine are licensed and regulated.

                            If a claim is made that doing x produces y result, that is a testable claim. It does not matter one bit if x is 'conventional', 'allopathic' or 'Xenubian'.

                            Treating evidence as an evil, using "statistics" as an epithet, and attacking the messenger are all failed arguments.

                            At least you were honest in your previous comment about your hostility towards evidence:

                            I don't need you or anyone else to tell me something is important or good...I can feel it with my own body and see it in others with my own eyes and ears.

                            Any human could have said that over the entire course of human history prior to the advent of modern science and medicine. The results speak for themselves.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:35:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One last thing... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            liquid

                            The article below will more than likely be pushed aside for coming from a source you feel is also a qwack, but I happen to really respect Deppak Chopra.  I just came across this article and thought that I would use this to better articulate my beliefs on health care.  The article is in direct response to what you have been saying.  
                            We obviously have different ways of thinking and knowing about the world.  I don't see a problem with you believing what you want to believe while I believe in what I want to beleive.  However, I don't understand why you want to rant and spend "energy" trying to convince other people that the way they think is wrong.  Especailly since health and wellness are so subjective and different for everyone.  If stats and observable truths are what you need, then by all means you should go with the health care that gives you that.  
                            Just like I don't want evangelical christians knocking on my door to try and convince me I will be saved by them, I don't think it's your job to tell me the way I should treat my own body.  Oprah, Deepak, and others have a right to bring topics that you do not agree with to the table.  But b/c you can only hear and see with the proper proof, you discount a huge portion of conversations from ever actually existing in the first place.
                            I am just trying to understand why this issue, of all issues, would fire you up so much.  Health care and medicine are very complex subjects... check out some of the statistics that Chopra sites in this article.
                            http://www.alternet.org/rss/4/59824/deepak_chopra:mainstreammedicine_and_the_oprah_factor_/  
                               
                            I hope you live a very long and rewarding life.  I'm just trying to understand more fully why you and others get so defensive with this very persnal issue for others.  Thanks for responding and engaing me, I do believe it helps.  

                            "[People] are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound." - James Allen

                            by gchap33 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:08:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Isn't politics a personal thing? (0+ / 0-)

                            Why do you feel justified arguing in favor of progressive policies? Aren't conservatives free to believe what they please?

                            The obvious answer, in both cases, is that we live together in a society, not on a set of disconnected islands. What you do effects me. Moreover, as a progressive, I also care about what happens to other people who are disadvantaged in terms of education and access to resources.

                            When parents don't immunize their children, because Oprah gave the critical exposure and credibility to the quackery claiming immunizations cause autism, my family suffers, too.

                            I also share the cost of health care for those who ignore available, effective cures in favor of snake oil, and the loss of productivity and the suffering of their families.

                            There is a lot wrong with the conventional medical infrastructure, but the fault does not lie with the scientific, empirical basis of medicine itself. Often, people use justified hostility at corporatized medicine and bureaucracy to feed people's suspicions of modern science and technology and the things that actually have changed human history for the better.

                            Poorly educated people are more likely to be vulnerable to flim flam artists and magical thinkers, so this effects them disproportionately.

                            I happen to think that poor education in critical thinking is as big an injustice and social failure as any other inequality in America. Oprah's guests feed on that ignorant, disempowered community. The decisions they make disproportionately disadvantage them - and the decisions we all make effect all of us.

                            So, this is not a matter of me wanting to impose anything on you in terms of your beliefs, nor any practices that effect you alone.

                            But I'm willing to bet you support national healthcare. If so, you expect me to pay for the consequences of your healthcare choices. I don't want to pay for people who refuse to vaccinate their children, or refuse routine cancer screenings and take the bark of some tree instead - only to incur enormous efforts to sustain their lives when they are finally too sick to ignore illnesses that could be caught and cured early.

                            We're all in this together. Surely you think the costs of "Western" medicine are high, and would like to see other people embrace your alternative lifestyle. Not sure if I'm confusing you with another commenter, but don't you make a living from alternative practices, in part or in whole? You're hardly a disinterested party even if that isn't true. We're all interested parties when it comes to healthcare.

                            Final point: This is part of a greater struggle to thwart a pervasive anti-science, anti-intellectual streak in American culture. Rejection of critical thinking, of skepticism, of demands for evidence, of a reliance on empiricism, are at the root of our political problems and many social problems as well.

                            When people think critical thinking itself is a bad thing, and we should just rely on "how it feels", we end up with Bush for president and hate crimes against Muslims.

                            So, there is a lot at stake here. In the case of this diary, what is at stake is promotion of obvious fraud and con artists on the most influential television program of its kind in the nation.

                            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                            by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:39:27 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  on dailykos, nobody ever dies of a bad drug (0+ / 0-)

                          ... reaction, because everybody knows that there is no such thing as a bad reaction, a cross reaction, an allergy, a mistake in dosage, and no such thing as a misdiagnosis.

                          Everything is perfect and everything is good !

                          You're immortal !

                          Everything is perfect. Think of it as you've been transported to Second Life.

                          http://www.health-care-reform.net/...

                          • 12,000 deaths per year due to unnecessary surgery
                          • 7000 deaths per year due to medication errors in hospitals

                          • 20,000 deaths per year due to other errors in hospitals

                          • 80,000 deaths per year due to infections in hospitals

                          • 106,000 deaths per year due to negative effects of drugs

                          "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

                          by AmericanRiverCanyon on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:56:40 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  Read her books or shut up (0+ / 0-)

                      .... it's obvious you haven't.

                      "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

                      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 11:03:18 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  fwiw (11+ / 0-)

        the Mayo Clinic has a terrific web site.  I've gotten very useful information from it.

    •  this reminds me (2+ / 0-)

      ...of the people who write to fark.com asking for medical advice.  Probably not the best way to go.  But cheap!

    •  dr. sanjay gupta (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mother Shipper

      was my "personal physician" when i didn't have health insurance

  •  While I loathe pseudoscience and (28+ / 0-)

    medical quackery and agree it shouldn't go unchallenged, I'll be fucked if I'll demand that Oprah commit to providing equal rebuttal time to, you know, people who actually know what they're talking about, until every fucking goddamn program on Fox News does the same.  Oh, and Rush Limbaugh and all the rest of the right wing douchebags, too.

    Opposition to an ideology is not inherently another ideology. When you're at the South Pole, there's no other direction to go but north.

    by sxwarren on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:16:54 PM PDT

  •  Oprah Winfrey is a generous, warmhearted person (35+ / 0-)

    She is also one of the most credulous persons on the planet.  Oprah's particularly susceptible to hard-luck stories (and has been bit in the ass by charlatans on that score), and bogus medical advice peddled by appealing women like Jenny McCarthy.  

    Overall, it's a disaster.  Millions of people tune in to Oprah believing whatever they hear simply because it's her show.

    As an aside, I'm always bemused by people who believe every medical anecdote or ridiculous claim they hear on the Internet, on TV, or from a friend.  But if a government agency debunks the nonsense with facts and figures, the believers suddenly become raging skeptics.   Go figure.

    Randall Terry is an accomplice to murder.

    by dotalbon on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:33:20 PM PDT

  •  PBS is spouting similar nonsense.... (15+ / 0-)

    It's usually snake oil sold by someone with an MD degree, such as Depack Chopra, and similar.   They are given a setting like an infomercial, with an adoring audience nodding their head to their wise recommendations.

    Never a single refutation of something that they have a book to describe further.  Often the book is given as a reward for a contribution.

    I would never give another dime to our local PBS in San Diego.

    Is this happening in other locales.

    •  I occasionally watch PBS in Orange County (5+ / 0-)

      I haven't seen any Deepak Chopra infomercials yet, but now I will be on the lookout.

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:40:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How I hate those shows (5+ / 0-)

      They are without a doubt the worst crap on PBS and its very disappointing to find them there instead of the usually decent stuff they air.

      To the GOP and their ilk... YOU LOST!!! So, STFU.

      by oxfdblue on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:25:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure where you live. (0+ / 0-)

        We get Lawrence Welk every Saturday night here on PBS!

        We get no Yoga shows.

        Here in TN that's considered devil worship.

        Hhere on DKOS it's probably considered pseudoscience.

        My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

        by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 10:03:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  PBS in Chicago dosen't usually show Dyer. (0+ / 0-)

          He only appears on our PBS affiliate at pledge-drive time. That's when the station suddenly starts airing a lot of self-help motivational bullshit. (Suze Orman appears frequently, too.) Apparently it motivates viewers to surrender their money.

          "Lies return." - African proverb

          by Night Train on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:16:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Senator Grassley is holding hearings on scandal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      timewarp

      involving Walter Reed Reasearcher. Junk science is bad, but you can use tell it's junk science.  Here is serious scientists misbehaving.

      http://www.ahrp.org/...

    •  I'm always surprised at how progressives (9+ / 0-)

      such as those on this site are so...non progressive when it comes to medicine.

      There is a mind body connection that allopathic medicine has not caught up with.

      Often times on this site traditional protocals that have been used succesfully for thousands of years are dissed in favor of "laboratory reproduced allopathic medical results".

      The kind that lead to all kinds (and who know what kinds) of dangerous side effects.

      I will take tried and true traditional medicine anyday.

      My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

      by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:04:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not non-progressive to take a scientific... (14+ / 0-)

        view.

        If there is merit to "traditional" treatments, then it should be possible to scientifically validate it. If there isn't, the science will show that, too.

        Also, "traditional medicine" has a lot of side effects, too. And most of it sucked at actually treating disease. You don't think medicine has made tremendous progress in the last 200 years? All of that was delivered by science, not "traditional" practices.

        •  Yet countries that use Traditonal Medicine as (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moiv, aitchdee, wa ma, j b norton, dle2GA

          their basic form of medicine tend to be healthier. They have lower infant mortality rates and longer life expectencies.

          I am far left of progressive but I thought progressive mean open minded, inclusive, and forward thinking.

          Even the AMA accepts the validiity of Traditional Medicine to treat a variety of illness's.

          Therein lies the biggest difference. Western Allopathic Medicine is a response to disease.

          Traditonal medicine is centered around promoting health.

          My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

          by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:44:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can you provide some evidence (7+ / 0-)

            of countries that rely on traditional medicine having lower infant mortality rates and longer life expectancies?  I'm not disputing, but I would like to know.

            Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

            by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:52:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well you can search any list (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              aitchdee, dle2GA

              and see the countries that have the highest life expectencies and lowest infant mortality rates are also the ones that use Traditional Medicine.

              Japan, China and Switzerland come to mind.

              I'm not saying that's the only reason for their good health.

              My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

              by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 10:15:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I figured Japan and China (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                limulus

                would be on the list.  Although, I think it goes beyond whether traditional medicine is used in a country when determining those statistics.  You won't see any West African nations with low infant mortality rates or high life expectancies and many of them practice traditional medicine.  I make that point because I think it has more to do with the availability and quality of health care in a country, not whether its based on western methods or traditional methods.  Japan, Switzerland, and China most likely have great access to health care and countries like Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Nigeria don't.  

                Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

                by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 10:24:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It's not healthcare, it's lifestyle. n/t. (7+ / 0-)
                •  To be fair (5+ / 0-)

                  most African countries don't have access to Traditional medicine either.

                  Sierra Leone and Afghanistan are the worst for life expectency and infant mortatlity and they have no access to any kind of health care really.

                  Or healthy diets or life without war.

                  Japan, China and Switzerland are more comaparible to the US in many ways.

                  There are also genetic and biochemical components to consider. It just seems silly to dismiss a form of medicine that has worked well for thousands of years.

                  My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

                  by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:01:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It also seems silly to believe in it... (5+ / 0-)

                    just because it's old. A lot of stupid crap has been practiced by humans for thousands of years (starting with racism and warfare).

                    Healthcare was far inferior hundreds of years ago. Make no mistake.

                    And again, I'm not dismissing it wholly. I'm sure there is some good cultural knowledge there, that could be used as the basis for scientific research. But I don't believe cultural tradition is nearly as reliable as science, because it's tainted by a lot of factors outside of the evidence.

                    •  It's not just that it's old. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      aitchdee, j b norton

                      I never said it was old. I said it has worked for thousands of years. Even the AMA, when it can get the services of a good proctologist to remove it's collective head from it's butt says that many Traditional therapies work.

                      That's the key: it has worked well for thousands of years.

                      So if you want to do some scientific research on that go ahead.

                      Also see if a square works as good as a wheel to move things about. Just because it's worked well for a long time doesn't mean it's sound practice....

                      My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

                      by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:14:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  But it hasn't. (5+ / 0-)

                        Traditional medicine works well for SOME complaints.

                        It totally, miserably fails at treating or preventing most serious conditions, such as HIV, other deadly infectious diseases, or genetic disease. It can't even begin to address that sort of problem, because it is most often based on a pre-scientific framework that doesn't even incorporate recognition of the real causes of disease.

                        •  That argument doesn't make sense. (0+ / 0-)

                          No type of medicine works for everything.

                          Allopathic medicine works for a lot of things but it doesn't cure Parkinsons or RA or a lot of other stuff.

                          Traditional medicine is much more likely to look into the cause of the disease.

                          My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

                          by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:53:33 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Are you claiming traditional medicine... (7+ / 0-)

                            ...CAN cure Parkinson's or RA? I would like to see ONE thing that traditional medicine can cure in a VERIFIABLE way that scientific medicine cannot. If anything can be verified to work it is then integrated into science. If it can't be verified, then it's not reliable medicine.

                            Traditional medicine uses typically obsolete and discredited theories of biology and disease causation, or quasi-religious or magical concepts. It's not great to "search for the cause" if you just make something up as the possible cause rather than using real evidence.

                            And again, it is totally false to say that "allopathic" medicine doesn't do that. Billions of dollars are currently going into genomic research, which is basically an exercise in finding the causes of disease.

                          •  Don't you fanatics ever get embarrassed? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            AmericanRiverCanyon, MiscastDice

                            Thalidimide? Phen phen? Vioxx? The planet "Pluto"?

                            When allopathic medicine makes a mistake people are deformed or die. (Or their styrofoam models of the universe are now sadly obsolete.)

                            OPEN your mind! Dear God! Even the AMA has a list of things that they believe Acupuncture can cure or treat.

                            When a woman uses Acupuncture to treat a fertility problem and get pregnant, guess how many babies she has? One. Not 6 or 8. One.

                            And if you can't open your mind brush up on your reading skills.

                            The first sentence of my last post said "No type of medicine works for everything".

                            TCM uses herbs to shrink any lumps the size of a marble or smaller. Anything larger and they operate.

                            I want as many options as possible.

                            I totally understand why people would turn away from Allopathic medicine though when confronted by disrepectful close minded people.

                            It is hard to remain patient in the face of such stubbornness.

                            My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

                            by ZenTrainer on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 09:36:17 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'm not being stubborn. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            quotemstr

                            I'm just defending what's correct.

                            No one ever said that scientific medicine doesn't make mistakes. The difference is, it learns from those mistakes. "Traditional" medicine does not.

                            This post really betrays your total lack of understanding of what science is. It's an iterative PROCESS of refinement, not a set of concrete facts.

                            And I'm going to need some citations on acupuncture being effective for infertility.

                          •  Well look them up. (0+ / 0-)

                            Much as I love this site and learn a lot, this need of some to ask me to do their research for them drives me bat shit crazy. Or makes me laugh depending on the day.

                            My editor doesn't ask for this much citation.
                            (Maybe it's trust. Read my few diaries and see if I spout bullshit on a regular basis, or if I back my bullshit up.)

                            Most stuff you can get with a simple search. You can get stuff from medical professional journals but you have to pay.

                            You can get stuff from research studies. (Some of that I am allowed to share some I am not.)

                            You are on your own in your defense of what you think is correct and what I hope will be an attempt to open your mind to the many correct methods of medical treatment.

                            My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

                            by ZenTrainer on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 04:14:45 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I know how to do research, thanks. (0+ / 0-)

                            What I'm saying is that you're pretty much misrepresenting the state of the science on that. It seems to be mixed, and the biggest study on that has been heavily criticized for being poorly controlled and designed (something that you'll find in a lot of "studies" down by "CAM" proponents).

              •  Well, I also bet they have (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Mudderway

                quite a few real doctors for when a patient actually gets sick.

          •  "Tradition" can lead to dogmatism. (8+ / 0-)

            That shouldn't be surprising. Science is perhaps the most progressive system of investigation ever, because it makes NO absolute claims. Instead, it just relies on evidence. Choosing tradition over science dogmatically is not progressive. If there is merit to a traditional practice, science should be able to verify it.

            I'm not saying that there is no merit to any of it. On the contrary, some traditional practices probably survived because they had some merit. I'm saying that science is not incompatible with that.

          •  Really? (5+ / 0-)

            Countries with a traditional medicine base live longer? What a fascinating claim you make.
            Traditional medicine promoted health, but it didn't do a good job at it. How did traditional medicine treat Cholera, or malaria (if you say quinine I'd suggest ou look at a map), or how would it do so with AIDS? Traditional remedies that work are often co-opted.

          •  Citations needed yet again. (4+ / 0-)

            countries that use Traditonal Medicine as their basic form of medicine tend to be healthier. They have lower infant mortality rates and longer life expectencies

            .

            Please provide evidence to back up your claims, or stop making them.

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 01:47:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Whose gona fund the studies? (0+ / 0-)

          Scientists are owned by big pharma. They're not going to fund a study or a university showing you don't need drugs. Wake up.

          •  You have no clue. (8+ / 0-)

            SOME scientists are "owned" by various interests with an agenda. You're right. Not all are, and when these types of conflicts of interest are uncovered, it generally discredits the science. Most academic scientists who work mainly from government grants. would be surprised to hear that they are "owned" by big pharma.

            Government funds a LOT of research, and should fund much more, to lessen the influence of biased science further.

            But fortunately, science doesn't rely on the integrity of every individual science to come to good conclusions. Instead, it is a collective, self-correcting effort that relies on replication by different researchers. Most of the drug recalls and such you see are done BECAUSE some scientist found a problem. How do you think they find out about stuff like unforeseen risks and side effects?

          •  As a Daily Kos thread grows longer (2+ / 0-)

            the probability of someone using the phrase "wake up" approaches 1.

            Howard Dean made me realize I was a Democrat.

            by limulus on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 01:07:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Simply put (9+ / 0-)

        It's because dkos prides itself (hell, I'm pretty sure it was in the FAQ when I joined) on being a 'reality-based' community. No bullshit. And the cranks on Oprah are outside of reality. Jenny McCarthy is fucking killing people.

        Again: Jenny McCarthy is fucking killing people.

        How many children are going to die from preventable diseases like measles in the next decade because of parents buying her bullshit? And what about the kids whose parents did everything right, but whose kids die because of her stupidity catching hold in others? Not all vaccines 'take', some vaccinated children don't develop immunity. And it's not a problem, because all the other kids have, and the virus cant get enough hosts, and can't spread. That wont be so true with this coming generation of kids.

        We don't buy pseudoscience in medicine because the results are fucking lives.

      •  Citations needed (7+ / 0-)

        you keep making these empty claims, just like the phonies exposed in this diary.

        Your assertions are simply factually untrue.

        And you are evidently ignorant of the history of modern medicine, the research methodology that has led to the transformation of the human condition in ways that thousands of years of prayer, wishful thinking and "traditional protocols" failed to do.

        As it turns out, traditional medicine was very hit or miss. The scientific method, when applied to traditional remedies, has showed which ones work and which ones do not.

        Your anti-science propaganda may convince those who don't know better, and who are predisposed to think that "West is bad, East is good", but you are doing violence to the truth in every unsubstantiated statement you make.

        Citations needs.

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 01:45:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  there reason there is a mind body connection (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Night Train

        is because its a linguistic one!

        The mind is nothing but the brain.

        stop inventing new religions...

    •  Wayne Dyer's on ours a lot (0+ / 0-)

      WFYI Indianapolis.  I don't watch, but see his name in the guide.

    •  Gary Null is (not) favorite PBS quack (0+ / 0-)

      he is so smarmy and wears his pants way up above hsi waist. creepy.

    •  İ went through a Deepak Chopra phase (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      limulus, Helena Handbag, Night Train

      İ was completely enthralled until İ found out how much it costs to go to one of his centers.  Then İ realized if you have cancer and you are poor, it's tough shit for you.  Then he started hanging out with Demi Moore and that confirmed that he is just another dude trying to make Money off of other people's fear and desperation.

    •  I don't get that!! (0+ / 0-)

      Lately I've been seeing some tiny bald guy (not the Dwyer dude) with this type of audience taking notes!  I'm like, wha'??  And the skin guy Perricone, what was THAT about on my PBS station.  Whenever I see these men it makes me worry about PBS.

      This is a great point by the way.

      Makes Me Wanna Holler!!!!

      by NYCgrl on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 07:26:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Junk Science always has a big following (31+ / 0-)

    because it seems revolutionary and insightful.  It is all around us and the gullible are easily deceived - "a sucker born every minute."

    But in these cases, Oprah is doing real damage to people's lives and many children will suffer because of her irresponsible propaganda about vaccines.

  •  Oprah (32+ / 0-)

    has often found herself on the losing side of people, most notably authors, who have turned our to be frauds. You would think after awhile she would develop some skepticism.

    I quit watching her when she lost a lot of weight and then proceeded to tell her audience that we could lose it too if we just "wanted to." I remember one show where the audience sort of turned on her and she was shocked. One woman finally stood up and said something to the effect of, "Look, we are happy for you but you have someone to cook all your food, someone to help you exercise, someone to clean your house and plan your schedule for you. We don't have those options and its not fair that you make it sound like we lack initiative."

    She still didn't get it.  I turned it off and have not watched since.

    Politics is like driving...if you want to go backwards, choose R. If you want to move forward, choose D.

    by fireflynw on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:47:18 PM PDT

  •  Not really on-topic (10+ / 0-)

    But has Newsweek ever called out Cheney?

  •  Good diary, even though I don't completely (15+ / 0-)

    agree with you. I live right outside of Boulder, Colorado, fer chrissakes. Alternative medicine is all the rage here, and I think that, overall, it has a lot of benefits to offer human beings. In this diary, the tone sounds like someone who thinks that Western medicine is the end all and be all. I think that a smart merge of the two would be good - mind, body, and soul, baby.

    However, quacks definitely exist. I have never thought that Suzanne Somers plays with a full deck, so I wasn't super-shocked by the stuff she does. That being said, I do agree that Oprah needs to provide time for opposite thought for this kind of shit. America thinks the sun rises and sets out of her ass.

    •  What about those of us who don't believe (7+ / 0-)

      in the existence of a soul?

      (-8.00, -7.18) I have no sense of humor.

      by Arken on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:54:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fine. You guys can have the Western (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Arken, Snarky McAngus, csquared, coquiero

        doctors. :) I'll take some of the quacks, but NOT Suzanne. She can suck it.

      •  It's Very Simple, Arken (11+ / 0-)

        and hopefully not wrong, but thyroid disease is believed to be linked to emotional health... the adrenals certainly are critically linked to stress... a lot of what people describe as part or parcel to having a "spirit" or "soul" is really their emotions. Considering that we have plenty of nerves in our stomach as much as our brains, its not the most unnatural thing to realize part of our awareness is deeper, literally, than the brain.

        That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

        by Nulwee on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:22:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have that and I take the regular meds for it, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ice Blue, Nulwee, mconvente

          but I also have a friend who's a nutritionist, so I'm probably going to be switching to something natural soon. I trust her to tell me what to take and stuff.

          Also, the thyroid isn't the adrenals. :)

          •  No I know (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Colorado is the Shiznit

            I wasn't trying to conflate the glands, just emphasize that stress can be very negative on the body. I either have a thyroid or pituitary imbalance myself...

            Are you talking about Armour?

            We should remember that, historically, almost all peoples ate the glands from the slaughter, consuming sources of iodine and thyroid hormone.

            That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

            by Nulwee on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:55:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, I take Levothyroxine for my (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nulwee

              hypothyroidism (not enough thyroid). My adrenals are also depleted - major depression really messes with my shit.

              Wow about the eating of the glands. Did they at least put salt on, or sprinkle sugar, or something? :P I know some women eat the placenta after giving childbirth (I actually know a few who did that) and, I'm sorry, but my Native Americanism and my not having a strong stomach don't work well together.

              What is Armour? Are you taking something special for the thyroid/pituitary imbalance?

              •  Armour (2+ / 0-)

                is an animal-derived thyroid medication, if I'm remembering correctly. A lot of people turn to it as a "natural" form of thyroid hormone.

                That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

                by Nulwee on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:14:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ah, OK - thanks. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Nulwee

                  I'll ask my friend about it. Depending on hypo- or hyper-, probably.

                  •  its derived from cow thyroid (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RandomActsOfReason

                    and dosing is not consistant. Stick with your levothroxin, take levoxal brand (synthroid faked data saying it was better)

                    and take it consistently, and separate from other vitamins, medicines or food.

                    I say this as someone who's been on thyroid meds for 22 years.

                    •  sorry, not true (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Nulwee, AmericanRiverCanyon

                      Armour is made from pig thyroids, not cow. From Armour's website Q&A:

                      How is Armour Thyroid made?
                      First thyroid glands are collected from USDA-approved grain-fed pigs. The thyroids are processed, dried, powdered, and compounded to produce Armour Thyroid tablets. Since the amount of thyroid hormone present in the thyroid gland may vary from animal to animal, the T4 and T3 are measured in both the raw material and in the actual tablets. This ensures that Armour Thyroid tablets are the same from tablet to tablet.

                      It may have had consistency problems in the past but it's an FDA-regulated medication and this is no longer the case.

                      Some people do better on this instead of synthetics - I'm one of them.

                      •  I stand corrected! thanks (0+ / 0-)

                        thanks, maybe I'll try it. How did you do the switch--was it hard to calibrate? How's the cost?

                        Glad you do better, I think the levothyroxine isn't a completely satisfactory solution.

                        •  no problem (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          slouchsock

                          There are lots of misconceptions about it, even within the medical community (no doubt helped along by the manufacturers of synthetics). Some people just do better with a little T3 added to the mix, although you can do that with synthetics, too.  Cost is about the same for Armour, maybe a little cheaper.

                          Switching wasn't a big deal, but finding a doctor that would prescribe it was an adventure (those misconceptions again). The pill strengths are calculated differently so there's some fine-tuning involved but I felt better within a couple of weeks. I believe there's a conversion chart somewhere on their website.

                          You might find this site helpful, too: http://thyroid.about.com/

                •  You know, it is very irresponsible (3+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ChurchofBruce, Mudderway, johnva
                  Hidden by:
                  Nulwee

                  for you to tell someone to substitute prescribed medicine for your anecdotal, "if I recall correctly" folk treatments. This is not a hangnail we're talking about, this is hyperthyroidism.

                  Think for a moment about the possible consequences to the health of the person you are conversing with over the Internet.

                  It is simply irresponsible.

                  One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                  by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:11:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thyroid drug wars between brands (0+ / 0-)

                    ... the brand derived from animal sources works better than the synthetic crap for a lot of people-  it is you who is being irresponsible in pretending that Armour is not a recognized pharmaceutical product licensed and regulated by the FDA and available by prescription from doctors.

                    "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

                    by AmericanRiverCanyon on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:00:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Citations needed for more unsubstantiated claims (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      zhimbo

                      .. the brand derived from animal sources works better than the synthetic crap for a lot of people

                      Data please.

                      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                      by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:44:36 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Go screw yourself, I'm tired of your laziness (0+ / 0-)

                        ..... and I'm not your babysitter and I'm not going to cite anything for you because you KNOW NOTHING, won't bother to look things up yourself, and are a useless little spambot trained to burp out "cite this."

                        "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

                        by AmericanRiverCanyon on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:36:01 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Wow, misreading much? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AmericanRiverCanyon

                    I didn't know I was telling someone what to take, I asked if someone was taking Armour because of what he/she wrote, and then when he/she questioned where I was coming from, I explained what it was I was asking.

                    You're assuming I'm biased towards Armour, where I never actually made any endorsement or preference.

                    That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

                    by Nulwee on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:35:37 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I wonder how you know about your thyroid (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ChurchofBruce, Mudderway, johnva

                and where you think Levothyroxine came from, since you dis Western medicine and say "you can have the Western doctors, I'll take the quacks".

                I've found that the people who rant against "Western medicine" the most, are the first to turn to it when they are in serious need, and the "traditional medicine" isn't cutting it.

                My sister suffered through decades of symptoms of hypthyroidism until a simple test in a doctor's office got her a prescription and changed her life.

                Just an anecdote, but so is yours.

                One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:07:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  You don't need to believe in the existence of (4+ / 0-)

        a soul to read Dr. Sarno's books about chronic health conditions or to consult a Chinese herbalist or an acupuncturist.  There are many alternative healing methods that do not involve belief in a soul.  I happen to believe consciousness is much larger for all creatures than what we see here, but this belief is not necessary to reject pharmaceuticals that sometimes cause as much or more discomfort than the symptoms they are meant to alleviate.  No self-respecting shaman could have gotten away with what Big Pharma gets away with today.

        •  How do you know that "pharmaceuticals sometimes (3+ / 0-)

          cause as much or more discomfort than the symptoms they are meant to alleviate".

          And don't think the weasel-words go unnoticed. "sometimes"? And that's not true of "traditional medicine"? Can you prove that?

          If you don't believe in scientific trials, double-blind studies, and the other tools of empirical science, then what is the data you rely upon to make such sweeping statements?

          Citations needed for your unsubstantiated assertions.

          One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

          by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:13:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You have a most appropos user name (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RandomActsOfReason

            My BP before those evil pharmaceuticals: 160/105.

            After the evil pharmaceuticals: 125/80.

            Case. Fucking. Closed.

            "I used to have goals. They were *evil* goals, but they were *goals*."--Dr. Doofenschmirtz

            by ChurchofBruce on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 08:40:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Have you not heard, for example, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mem, AmericanRiverCanyon

            the commercial touting the drug Lamisil for treating toenail fungus?  Possible side effects are as long as my arm, including liver failure.

            Hell, I'd rather have toenail fungus than a locked-down liver - ha.  I looked it up:

            Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

            Some people taking Lamisil have developed severe liver damage leading to liver transplant or death. It is not clear whether Lamisil actually caused the liver damage in these patients. In most cases, the patient had a serious medical condition before taking Lamisil.

            Call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of liver damage, such as nausea, stomach pain, loss of appetite, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). These events can occur whether or not you have ever had liver problems before.

            Stop taking Lamisil and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
            joint pain or swelling, swollen glands, patchy skin color, or a butterfly-shaped skin rash over your cheeks and nose;

            fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;

            changes in your vision;

            weight loss due to taste changes;

            scaly, itchy, and flaky skin rash; or

            fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

            Less serious side effects may include:

            stomach pain, heartburn, diarrhea;

            headache;

            tired feeling;

            runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cold symptoms;

            mild skin rash or itching;

            unusual or unpleasant taste in your mouth; or

            decreased taste sensation.

            This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

            http://www.drugs.com/...

            I think this well illustrates that pharmaceuticals can, ahem, "sometimes cause as much or more discomfort than the symptoms they are meant to alleviate", per Fabienne's comment...

            •  Poor understanding of the significance of those (0+ / 0-)

              warnings, their statistical likelihood, and the threshold/balance between benefits and side-effects required to get a drug approved.

              When you go in to surgery to have a broken thigh bone repaired, there is an even longer list of risks associated with the anesthesia. I suppose you refuse anesthesia in surgery as well.

              Of course, as you well know, we're not talking about toe fungus, we're talking about much more serious conditions, which if untreated with proven medical therapies cause much more suffering and fatalities than the side effects.

              And a meaningless comment in any case, as the same could be said about alternative pharmaceuticals.

              This is the kind of meaningless statement that appeals to people who are looking for confirmation of their conspiratorial bias, not for people genuinely exploring and seeking new knowledge and understanding.

              Just look at the history of life before modern pharmaceuticals and modern medicine. Nasty, brutish and short.

              One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

              by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:43:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  does big pharma have a cure for witch? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChurchofBruce

          cuz shamans have been curing females by recommending their death for centuries...

      •  What about it? You don't have to. (0+ / 0-)

        Just because you don't believe in a soul, then "These
        views are caustic to the political discourse in this country and should be eradicated"?  That's a step too far for some people.

        Q: Why does Grover Norquist want to drown the government in a bathtub? A: So he can replace it.

        by Snarky McAngus on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 06:18:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  She's not the news (7+ / 0-)

      And she owns her show.  She doesn't HAVE to do anything.  

    •  I support (16+ / 0-)

      a holistic approach as well.  We should combine things like traditional medicine with meditation, biofeedback, acupuncture, massage, etc.

       

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:04:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The only truly worthwhile part... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ETinKC, praying manatheist

      Of western medicine is the double blind study. And non-western medicine always flunks that one.

      Western medicine can't do alot of things I really wish it could, but it's the only game in town for people who don't want to delude themselves.

    •  This is called integrative medicine... (7+ / 0-)

      and it's becomming more popular... taking time honoured traditional rememdies and combining them with sound western research based medicine.  Basically it is "do what works"... whatever that is...

      -9.13, -7.79 All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.

      by L0kI on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:25:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A lot of "integrative medicine" is a scam. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zulia, RandomActsOfReason

        It's being heavily promoted by less than ethical doctors who see it as a profitable cash-based sideline to supplement their incomes.

        For me anyway, "what works" isn't good enough. I also want there to be at least a plausible scientific mechanism for how something could work. Otherwise, the placebo effect can deceive us.

        •  Who cares how something works if it works..? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          realthinker

          That's an honest question...

          I'm the most curious person I know, I need to break things down and understand them biochemically, BUT, if I see someone who is suffering and something helps them, I don't really care what it is as long as someone isn't harvesting baby souls to produce it.  Figure it out later, but help them in the meantime.  I believe your tune would be different if there was a treatment for a malady that you suffered that was helped by a particular 'natural' medicine that was as yet unexplained.

          I get so caught in the middle between you people... you're on one side saying everything on the other (natural/integrative/alternative) is a scam (it's not), and they're on the other side saying all western medicine is a cash grab business out to maintain control of people through medicine, or it's some conspiracy to eliminate natural remedies.  Both of your positions are bull... there are benefits to both sides...

          And, on a side note, EVERYTHING has scammers who try to manipulate and deceive people, it's certainly not just integrative medicine.

          man I hate purists (on both damn sides).

          -9.13, -7.79 All of this has happened before, and all of it will happen again.

          by L0kI on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:21:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've been very careful not to make... (5+ / 0-)

            ...absolute statements in this thread.

            I don't summarily dismiss all of alternative medicine. I just think that if there's something to it, science will eventually be able to validate it, even if it hasn't yet.

            What I am is anti-irrationality. I don't support irrational reasoning even if it leads to a good outcome, because it's not reliable and reproducible. And I'm speaking for me personally, not everyone. I don't demand a complete molecular-level explanation for how a therapy works, but I do demand that it be based on some theory of health/disease/chemistry that I consider reasonably scientifically plausible. I consider herbs having pharmacological effects reasonably plausible. I consider homeopathy and "qi" not reasonably plausible as theories.

            I have nothing against people using what they want if they think it makes them feel better. Have at it. I do have a problem with the purveyors of these alternative remedies selling them systematically to unsuspecting people as if they were actual medicine. I consider that medical fraud. I especially have a problem with "integrative medicine" because it's practiced by trained health professionals who KNOW what they are selling is a scam, in many cases. I think it's an especially profit-driven branch of alternative medicine.

        •  What's wrong with the placebo effect? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AmericanRiverCanyon, wa ma

          If I had a serious illness and it turned out the herbal tea equivalent of Dumbo's Magic Feather could make me well, and it was cheap and safe to get a hold of it, I'd take it. I can't imagine saying years later, "Damn, turned out it was only the placebo effect that cured me! I wish I'd stayed sick instead!"

          Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

          by Noisy Democrat on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 08:51:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nothing wrong with it. (0+ / 0-)

            Except...

            1. We can't generalize from anyone's experience if there isn't evidence beyond the anecdotal. That means that such stories are useless in advancing the state of medicine.
            1. There is a danger of therapeutic substitution - people are often tempted not to pursue some other course of treatment that has actual evidence behind it because they think the placebo treatment is working. At its extreme, we see this with cancer or AIDS patients who try alternative medicine rather than proven therapies.
            1. The financial fraud angle. Purveyors of alt-med are selling their products and services as MEDICINE. That implies that it should do something, but in many cases there is NO evidence that what they are selling does anything. Making money off of such a thing strikes me as intensely dishonest. I'd be much more okay with it if they were giving their services away for free to each other in informal groups, etc instead of making businesses out of it.
    •  Absolutely agree (6+ / 0-)

      A great "mainstream" book I recently got was The 24-Hour Pharmacist. Nothing quackey about it. Even covers a SANE version of natural hormone replacement. Everything is backed up by pages of cited studies. I'm sure many here who rant and rave about alternative medicine will be "pleased."

      More and more conventional practioners are looking at alternative and/or natural therapies and finding them to be better for their patients (with less side effects AND CHEAPER)...and this is NOT something that Big Pharma wants the American public to know.

      Anyone interested in alternative medicine should never just take something without doing some thorough research on it (with the internet there's no excuse.) You shouldn't take any prescription from your own doctor before googling it either!

      But similiarly, anyone who dismisses all alternative treatments because they believe no studies have been done or that it's somehow illegitimate because there's no pharmaceutical behind it...well, I'd be equally suspicious of their logic, if not their motives. Studies HAVE been done and the news is good...FOR US...for the drug companies, not so much.

    •  The correct term is Traditional Medicine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snarky McAngus, coquiero, dle2GA

      not alternative. Some of it's been around for thousands of years.

      Newer and less proven medicine is what you get most of in the US and is called Allopathic Medicine.

      I don't get picky about grammer or spelling but let's get our terms straight.

      My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

      by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:14:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Science is a better judge than "tradition". (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RandomActsOfReason, Mudderway

        Sorry. Scientific medicine is more proven than "traditional medicine", not less.

        •  Time may tell. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Snarky McAngus

          After all, many of those countries who have used traditional medicine for years are much healthier than we are.

          My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

          by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:37:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But that doesn't mean that the reason is... (5+ / 0-)

            ...that the traditional medicine works better than scientific medicine, even if that is true. It might be that there are larger cultural factors at work, such as the type of lifestyle people lead and the diet they consume.

            That's certainly true, for example, of Japan, where I lived for awhile. A lot of the "medicine" that they have there that is based on TCM is total garbage, and I didn't use it at all. But I still was a lot healthier after I lived there and lived like a Japanese person for awhile, because the diet was better and I was more physically active from not driving around so much, etc. I lost a bunch of weight.

            You can't just make a blanket comparison like that and claim that it's evidence that scientific medicine is inferior. It's actually superior, but our lifestyle is inferior from a health perspective.

            •  In Traditional Medicine (0+ / 0-)

              lifestyle, culture and diet are all integral parts.

              Allopathic Medicine tends to ignore these very important components.

              My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

              by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 10:35:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't accept the term "allopathic medicine". (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KMc, Flit, RandomActsOfReason, Mudderway

                That is a term made up by alt-med purveyors to discredit scientific medicine.

                But I don't believe that culture or lifestyle are a part of medicine. They are entities in and of themselves. As I said, I was able to benefit from the lifestyle in Japan WITHOUT ANY reliance on their pseudoscientific medical beliefs, or even ever talking to any type of doctor there.

                And it's false that mainstream medicine ignores those things. Most good doctors I've ever gone to DO talk about lifestyle and diet, anyway.

                •  You don't have to accept it. (0+ / 0-)

                  In the 1800's it was coined to sort of mock newer medicine and I still get a kick out of that meaning but allopathic is a fairly widely accepted term.

                  Allopathic medicine: The system of medical practice which treats disease by the use of remedies which produce effects different from those produced by the disease under treatment. MDs practice allopathic medicine. Also called conventional medicine. [From MedicineNet.com ]

                  Generally, allopathic medicine refers to "the broad category of medical practice that is sometimes called Western medicine, biomedicine, scientific medicine, or modern medicine.[From Wiki]

                  Relating to or being a system of medicine that aims to combat disease by using remedies (as drugs or surgery) which produce effects that are different from or incompatible with those of the disease being treated. [From Webster’s]

                  My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

                  by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 10:55:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I realize it's fairly widely used. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    play jurist, Mudderway

                    I don't accept the "framing" that it creates, which is that scientific medicine is only focused on treating disease. I don't believe that to be true, and I think that this term is often used by people to claim that "mainstream" medicine doesn't take a "holistic" approach, whereas (insert their favorite pet non-scientific approach here) does. In reality, science knows no boundaries, other than evidence.

                    •  What about DO's? (0+ / 0-)

                      That's what I grew up with. A  bit of a balance that focus's on health. (Wiki has info on that.)

                      My town growing up had a hospital that was DO's only (as opposed to MD's).

                      I was much more likely to get a presciption that said:

                      ~spend time outside
                      ~exercise
                      ~drink lots of water
                      ~laugh

                      than a prescription for an antibiotic.

                      They firmly believe that the MD model is based on and relies on disease not health.

                      DO's do eveything an MD does, including surgery, their focus is just on preventaive medicine, something you can not say about the allopathic community.

                      My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

                      by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:07:33 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There are respectable DOs out there. (5+ / 0-)

                        But I think you're misinformed to make a blanket condemnation of all MDs in this way. There are many responsible MDs who care deeply about preventative medicine and not overusing antibiotics and other drugs. I got many similar recommendations from my MDs when I came in with something minor.

                        That being said, you really don't need a doctor to tell you to exercise, drink lots of water, and spend time outside when you have a minor problem. People complain to their doctors too often about stupid non-problems.

                        I only go to the doctor for something actually serious, such as the genetic neurological disease that I have that causes progressive muscle atrophy in my legs. I don't need any breezy lifestyle recommendations for that; there are better resources for that than my neurologist.

                        •  I love my MD. The AMA? Not so much. (0+ / 0-)

                          And it's a bit condescending to say that there are some respectable DO's out there.

                          My point was not that I need a doctor to tell me to exercise (though every exercise program will tell you to consult with your physician first).

                          My point was that a DO will look for lifestyle and diet changes first to prevent disease. (even though they know there is more money in waiting and treating your disease)

                          Yes, there are responsible MD's out there who practice preventative medicine, but they aren't taught that in med school the way DO's are.

                          My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

                          by ZenTrainer on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:00:12 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  It was coined by the founder or homeopathy (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    KMc, milkbone, Flit, johnva

                    It is not by any means a widely accepted term.

                    Your intellectual dishonesty has peaked with this comment.

                    You deliberately leave out significant parts of the definitions you cite - which is why you also leave out the links to the actual sources.

                    Medicine.net:

                    You left out the very next sentence, which reads:

                    The term "allopathy" was coined in 1842 by C.F.S. Hahnemann to designate the usual practice of medicine (allopathy) as opposed to homeopathy, the system of therapy that he founded based on the concept that disease can be treated with drugs (in minute doses) thought capable of producing the same symptoms in healthy people as the disease itself.
                    http://www.medterms.com/...

                    Wikipedia (which is not "Wiki", that's like calling DailyKos, "The Web". Wikipedia is an example of a wiki):

                    Here you left you the entire initial section of the definition, and jumped to the very end. Here is what you left out:

                    Allopathic medicine and allopathy (from Greek ἄλλος, állos, other, different + πάϑος, páthos, suffering) are terms coined by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy.[1]

                    It meant "other than the disease" and it was intended, among other things, to point out how traditional doctors used methods that had nothing to do with the symptoms created with the disease, which meant that these methods were harmful to the patients.[1]

                    Originally intended as a characterization of standard medicine in the early 19th century, these terms were rejected by mainstream physicians and quickly acquired negative overtones. During the 19th century it was used widely among irregular doctors as a pejorative term for regular doctors.[1]

                    In the United States the term "allopathic" has been used by persons not related to homeopathy,[2] but it has never been accepted by the medical establishment, and is not a label that such individuals apply to themselves.[3][4]

                    In the United States, allopathic medicine can sometimes refer to the medical training that leads to the degree Doctor of Medicine rather than the degree Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, although this is uncommon. See comparison of MD and DO in the United States.[5][6]

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                    Not sure which "Webster's" you used, but Dictionary.com uses a definition suspiciously similar to the one you cited, with a significant addition in parentheses:.

                    The method of treating disease by the use of agents that produce effects different from those of the disease treated (opposed to HOMEOPATHY).
                    http://dictionary.reference.com/...

                    (emphasis added in quotations)

                    You are revealed as just as much of a fraud as the folks debunked in the Newsweek article. Lying and deceiving in the interest of who knows what personal gain.

                    One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                    by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:49:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Citations still needed. Repetition isn't truth. (0+ / 0-)

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:28:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't need to cite anything to you. (0+ / 0-)

              You wouldn't read it anyway.

              My first sentence summed up what you blathered on and on about so.

              "In the 1800's it was coined to sort of mock newer medicine and I still get a kick out of that meaning but allopathic is a fairly widely accepted term."

              Websters would be the Websters New World Dictionary that sits here on my floor.

              I have noticed you in other threads acting as the relevency police.

              I have a different medical philosphy than you so I am lying and deceiving? I don't think that's nice and probably deserves an HR for name calling but I very rarely give those out.

              From your number you may be a little bit new to Kos but it's kind of a centrist site. Pretty mainstream when it comes to politicians and medicine.

              The political part is ok with me, that's it's stated purpose.

              I'm not even sure why a diary about Oprah is on here. Is she running as a Democrat for something?

              My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

              by ZenTrainer on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 04:28:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Win for most logical fallacies in single comment (0+ / 0-)
                1. you left out the relevant part of the definition in all three cites.
                1. Calling me "the relevancy police" does not excuse the need for honest cites.
                1. I didn't say you were lying and deceiving because you have a different medical philosophy, as you well know - I said you were lying and deceiving because you left out specific portions of the quotes you cited which support my rebuttal to your claim about the term "allopathic medicine".
                1. Attempting to discredit another member by attacking their UID # is a particularly lame tactic.
                1. Misrepresenting Daily Kos as "centric" would be hilarious in a political context - suggesting that it implies tolerance for pseudo-science is absurd - as is the implication that science is a matter of popularity contests, and that the "reasonable", "moderate" approach is not to reject anything anyone claims.
                1. Please point to anywhere in the FAQ or anything Markos has ever written that would describe this as a "centrist" site.
                1. The diary is about the promotion of crank medicine by the most influential public figure on these topics in the US, it is about exposing the fraud and pseudo-science behind the claims of her guests, and it is about exercising our collective influence to promote change in the public sphere.

                That is as clearly within the bounds of this website, as calling for a boycott on Fox News advertisers is.

                As you surely know, given your awesomely kinda a bit lower UID, (legitimate) science and (legitimate) medicine have always been an integral part of this site - as have been the kooks and cranks, going way back to the guy who tried to shill his online homeopathy store way back in the pre-Scoop days and was beaten back with logic-sticks.

                Verdict: Substance, 0 Fale, 7

                One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:15:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  This is a rosily optimistic view that needs a (0+ / 0-)

          couple more centuries of marinating.  I'm likely with you on "science" and "reason" most of the time, but let's hold off on the apotheosis of both of these constructs until there's more results in.  Remember, at the end of the 19th century, "science" claimed to have solved all the possible "mysteries".

          Q: Why does Grover Norquist want to drown the government in a bathtub? A: So he can replace it.

          by Snarky McAngus on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 06:26:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "Allopathic" is a term used by homeopaths (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        milkbone, johnva

        and picked up by others in the alternative community. It was coined, in fact, by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of the lucrative scam called homeopathy.

        It is NOT a recognized term in the medical establishment - in fact, it has traditionally been used pejoratively, which is clearly your intent.

        Let's get our facts straight, indeed.

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:27:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, the correct term (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Flit, cbyoung, johnva

        is "pseudoscience."

        This notion that because something is old means it works is absurd.  Leeches and blood-letting, anyone?

        By an overwhelming margin, ancient medical techniques caused more harm than good.  

        I finally put in a signature!

        by Boris Godunov on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 07:16:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dr. Mojo's Snake Oil - Get it Here! (8+ / 0-)

    keep in mind the alternative medicine business ("doctors", herbs, vitamins, meds, books, etc.) is a multi billion per year industry-- add in the distrust millions of people have for doctors in general -- even someone as clean as Oprah can't overlook the potential there.

    BTW, I'm sure most of you know Oprah's Harpo Productions is putting some sort of Jenny McCarthy show on that will provide an even larger platform for her pseudo-science.

    The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

    by Superpole on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:57:38 PM PDT

  •  Both Oprah and Degeneres (7+ / 0-)

    pushed this crap.

    I expected as much from Oprah, I guess. Degeneres surprised me.

    Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you. -- Fry, Futurama

    by LithiumCola on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 07:58:27 PM PDT

  •  We needed evidence after Dr. Phil? (9+ / 0-)

    There's plenty of sources for good medical advise, but Oprah has never been one of them. Sure, some of it is good, but the crap that makes it on undoes whatever good she brought in.

    Good advise is always good. Crap advise is sometimes good.

    Leave it to Republicans to set the house on fire and then rant that the fire department is socialist.

    by johnsonwax on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:01:14 PM PDT

  •  lost interest when she had Bill O'Reilly on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fiddlingnero, Remain calm

    Dennis Kucinich was right.

    by lisastar on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:13:18 PM PDT

  •  WOW...the MSM doing their job (0+ / 0-)

    What have you done in the last 100 days that has changed the world for the better?

    by in2mixin on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:14:09 PM PDT

  •  Grilled cheese sandwiches flown in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader

    by her assistant from a restuarant to prove they were the best grilled cheese sandwiches in the nation.

    Hasn't she heard of the 100 mile diet?

    But there I some things I am in agreement with, like adopting shelter dogs.

    She is a remarkable woman but so naive. For example, she believed the Mayor of New Orleans when he told her those false stories about what happened in the stadium. She just began to weep when he mentioned the rapes. But she never asked for corroboration.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:17:36 PM PDT

    •  She's not as naive as she acts (0+ / 0-)

      She's an oscar nominated actress

      •  Oscar nominations have nothing to do (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kefauver, milkbone

        with naivete or lack thereof.

        (-8.00, -7.18) I have no sense of humor.

        by Arken on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:12:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think the point is that the Oprah you see on TV (4+ / 0-)

          is just a character she's playing.  She acts like a naive goody goody school girl when in reality she's a very shrewd business woman.

          •  Those fake memoirs she backed didn't help her... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Agathena, flumptytail

            that's for sure. Oprah has a big heart, but she's a sucker for a sensational comeback story. The more over-the-top it is, the better she likes it; she has a nose for the miraculous, whether that involves health cures, dietary advice or fast and cheap beauty procedures. It's hard to believe that someone so successful and savvy could be so credulous, but when you think about it, her naivete and perpetual optimism have probably helped her in the long run. She believes she can do anything so she doesn't stumble over as many self-created blocks as most of us, and her particular brand of belief is appealing to so many people who want just that kind of the-world-is-my-oyster feeling for themselves. That it isn't particularly realistic doesn't matter.

            "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." - John Conyers

            by Remain calm on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 01:34:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  She knows what sells (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              number

              She's a marketing genius.  I doubt she believes everything she endorses, her primary calculation is whether her audience will like it, and no one is better at reading their audience than Oprah.  I thought the fake memoir scandal did help her because she brilliantly fooled the author into coming back on her show for a face to face hour long public flogging that made the front page of every paper and the evening news.  She was widely praised for that in the New York Times and the Washington Post and sent the message that no one lies to Oprah and gets away with it.  It made her a mythical figure and really made her legend grow. It was genius the way she took a negative and turned it around.

              •  When did we start calling frauds... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                awsdirector

                "marketing geniuses".  Snake oil sales has been around a long time.  It doesn't take a genius, just a complete lack of ethics.

                Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

                by play jurist on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 08:10:17 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  He didn't imply she was a fraud (0+ / 0-)

                  only that she probably doesn't believe every last thing she puts on TV.  Must a talk show host agree and believe all their thousands of guests to be ethical? That's a pretty high standard. Besides a lack of ethics might make you a millionaire, but billionaire status requires smarts.

                •  My limited exposure suggests that most of what (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  WI Dem

                  Oprah promotes is positive or harmless. Self esteem, taking care of yourself, healthy diet and exercise, facing your problems and imagining new possibilties, taking control of your life, a lot of popular level psychology maybe, but mostly approaches that are encouraging, inclusive, and good for people.

                  Hey, she got a lot of people reading books. They aren't all great books, but many of them have value; and what other daytime shows are encouraging people to read and talk about books?

                  When she promotes things that can actually cause harm, like the autism/vaccine myth, that is really the exception, as far as I've seen. THat doesn't mean she shouldn't get called on it -- she should -- especially in that case. But I don't think there's a basis for calling her a fraud, and I don't think she comes anywhere near being "completely lacking in ethics."

                  She just needs to be challenged to be more cautious in endorsing unconventional health approaches.

  •  there was an AP article about this subject (6+ / 0-)

    A quote:

    At one of the nation's top trauma hospitals, a nurse circles a patient's bed, humming and waving her arms as if shooing evil spirits. Another woman rubs a quartz bowl with a wand, making tunes that mix with the beeping monitors and hissing respirator keeping the man alive.

    They are doing Reiki therapy, which claims to heal through invisible energy fields. The anesthesia chief, Dr. Richard Dutton, calls it "mystical mumbo jumbo." Still, he's a fan.

    "It's self-hypnosis" that can help patients relax, he said. "If you tell yourself you have less pain, you actually do have less pain."

  •  Eh, it's her show (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, ZenTrainer, liquid

    I don't watch it, so I can't say definitively, but I highly doubt she claims everything and everyone on her show are free from from bias. If it were claiming to be fair and balanced it would be different. I don't think people need protecting from the show, and I think she has the right to do it the way she wants.

  •  The Onion's take on Oprah-ology (7+ / 0-)

    Kinda surprised not to see a link for their Oprah piece from April yet. Scary how they're always ahead of the curve. (Would love to take that course in Winfranometry.)

  •  Alternative medicine interest: a symptom of... (18+ / 0-)

    a diseased society.

    A large part of the reason we're seeing such mass interest in pseudoscience is that we're seeing a fundamental distrust of institutions and cynicism on the part of our population. A lot of this is because of people's distrust of corporations, the government, etc, both of which have let us down a lot lately. So people are losing faith in many traditional authorities in our society (such as the government, doctors, reporters, and scientists).

    Furthermore, many people feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting information that is getting thrown at them every day. It often takes serious research and education to actually know how to judge the credibility of information, especially on complex topics such as medicine and science. Lots of people just aren't equipped to do that, so they instead use intuition, personal experience, or emotional reasoning to make decisions about the credibility of sources of information.

    The alternative medicine industry has noticed this trend and very successfully seized on it in order to market itself. Alternative medicine naturally lends itself to this sort of thinking because its practitioners emphasize things like talking to patients, showing empathy for them, etc. They provide the emotional feedback that a lot of people who feel lost in a sea of information want/need, and so they earn people's confidence and trust. Real doctors aren't trained to do that as well, because their training is more focused on the substantive treatments and diagnostics. They have more important things to focus on, unfortunately.

    Moreover, due to the tough economic environment created by our failing healthcare system, many doctors just don't have the time to spend hours with each patient getting to know them anymore. They have to see a lot of patients just to cover their costs and stay profitable, thanks to the massive overhead costs they have to pay (large staff for insurance filing, malpractice insurance, etc).

    •  Insightful comment, thank you. n/t (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ganymeade, flumptytail, slouchsock, johnva

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:28:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Vast Oversimplification (10+ / 0-)

      Yes, alternative medicine is very much a profit-driven industry... but the mainstream health-industry is, too. It's no coincidence that soy went from "unfit for human consumption" to a cancer-fighting, heart-healthy staple in relatively few years.

      Yes, there is mistrust of allopathic medicine, for the reason that there are abuses, doctors who fail the fine points of treating their patients, the insurance industry. And CW in medicine and nutrition is still bought and paid for by those with interests in pushing cheap or lucrative products.

      You write eloquently, but demonizing alternative medicine isn't made right by eloquence. Central parts of AM, like consuming chamomile, lychee, et cetera, are introducing vitamins that are often lacking, that is very much real. You seem to be unaware that much of AM is based in real foods which are consumed as teas, supplements, or eaten regularly. I'm not sure what you think AM is in totality, but ginger, garlic, and the offal of fish and animals actually do have significant effects on the human body. If anything that isn't WM is AM, it's very easy to paint the entirety of that which isn't known to the Western community as bunk. However, if even a minority of AM is relatively accurate, those products are worth it. There is no central database of AM, so it seems that generalities about it are insufficient.

      That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

      by Nulwee on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:38:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't mean to discount all of alt med... (7+ / 0-)

        ...which would be a very broad brush to paint with. Certainly, some things that are considered "alternative" do have actual physiological or pharmaceutical effects.

        And I don't necessarily put stock in all of "conventional medicine", some of which is still used because it's "conventional" rather than because it's rigorously supported by science. What I do come down on the side of, consistently, is scientific evidence, where it's available. I have a real problem with pseudoscience, or "fake science", in other words. So while I can accept that there are likely some herbs and such that have real medicinal effects, I can't accept things like homeopathy, which contradict the known laws of conventional chemistry. And I can't accept when people refuse to accept scientific consensus because it contradicts their beliefs (such as is the case with the anti-MMR crowd, or the autism-vaccine crowd generally).

        And yes, sometimes distrust is warranted. But not always. That's the problem - most people don't really know how to tell when you SHOULD trust your doctor, or a scientist, and when you shouldn't. Most people don't even know how to evaluate the credentials of someone making a medical or scientific claim, especially out of context in the media. Much less their claims. So we have a crisis of confidence in our society, and people respond by latching onto what "seems right" to them. The problem is that that's not really always what's correct, in reality.

        (Side point: I don't like the use of "Western medicine" when you mean "scientific medicine". Science is not "Western" or "Eastern", and non-scientific medicine is not either. I don't think most people that use it the way you used it mean any harm by it, but it reflects a general cultural bias to believe that "Eastern" things are more likely to contain some mysterious knowledge that has eluded science somehow. In reality, I think the appeal is just that to many Americans, Asia seems exotic and appealing.)

        •  Right (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brein, realthinker, coquiero

          (Side point: I don't like the use of "Western medicine" when you mean "scientific medicine". Science is not "Western" or "Eastern", and non-scientific medicine is not either. I don't think most people that use it the way you used it mean any harm by it, but it reflects a general cultural bias to believe that "Eastern" things are more likely to contain some mysterious knowledge that has eluded science somehow. In reality, I think the appeal is just that to many Americans, Asia seems exotic and appealing.)

          I wasn't trying to wage a semantics battle there. I'm just talking about the gulf between what we know through science and what is unknown. As someone who's into ethnobotany as an amateur, I'm continually astounded by the impact of fungi and plants in medicine, unknown to most people. Just from my small plant community in the Northwest came taxol and other drugs, very recently. These plants were all ingested as food or medicine among tribal peoples (among them willow-->which we've converted to aspirin, though I know that willow's long been used, worldwide). Some of the other folk medicines--using alum root for a hair tonic, oregon grape root for liver ailment--may not be real medicines, but milk thistle is used to treat liver disease. There's a world of research waiting.

          That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

          by Nulwee on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:12:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  How do you know what is true and what is not? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChurchofBruce, Fabian, Mudderway, johnva

        Central parts of AM, like consuming chamomile, lychee, et cetera, are introducing vitamins that are often lacking, that is very much real.

        What is the basis for this belief? How do you know which vitamins are lacking?

        If not on the basis of scientific testing, which is the basis for conventional medicine, then how?

        However, if even a minority of AM is relatively accurate, those products are worth it.

        No, they are not. You ignore the health cost of using an ineffective alternative medicine instead of a conventional medicine of proven efficacy.

        This is what is behind the vaccine scare - people reject evidence and science and research, and go with what appeals to their emotion.

        If an alternative treatment works, consistently and reliably, then it becomes conventional medicine.

        Where do you think aspirin came from? Or any of the other myriad of medicines from natural sources?

        You seem to be unaware that much of AM is based in real foods which are consumed as teas, supplements, or eaten regularly

        Since they have been consumed for a very long time, it is interesting that it wasn't until the advent of modern conventional medicine that major diseases were eradicated, infant mortality rates plummeted, life expectancy skyrocketed, and pain and suffering were consistently and significantly alleviated.

        Most of the people railing here against conventional medicine would not be alive today if not for it, in particular the childhood vaccines that kept their parents alive long enough to have them, and kept them healthy enough to grow up to be anti-science rubes.

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:02:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's Convenient For You (0+ / 0-)

          to pigeonhole everyone you disagree with as Jenna McCarthy.

          Except I never wrote anything anywhere against vaccines.

          Lychee is a vitamin C rich food. That is a fact.

          Where do I know that vitamins are lacking? It's called the internet. Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D... many Americans do not consume enough. I didn't get that information from a fellow hippie at the co-op as we smoked his bong, thank you very much. If you're such a defender of science and I'm the scourge, you'd be critical enough to realize that I'm using public information, researched and peer-reviewed.

          That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

          by Nulwee on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:43:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Shifting assertions, another rhetorical tactic (0+ / 0-)

            favored by Creationists, climate change denialists, conspiracy theorists, and other magical thinkers.

            If you had simply posted a comment stating, "Lychee is a vitamin C rich food", who would have challenged you? I certainly did not challenge that assertion - because that is not what you wrote.

            Instead, you make a series of vague, shifting, broad blanket claims about the efficacy of "alternative medicine" - and, when challenged on the specifics, you shift the claims.

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:15:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Broad Blanket Claims? (0+ / 0-)

              From the guy casting every aspersion and mixing every opinion together in the hope that something sticks?

              I didn't shift anything. There's medical articles stating Americans are not consuming enough specific vitamins. That's not a broad blanket claim.

              That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

              by Nulwee on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 09:46:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Once again (0+ / 0-)

                There's medical articles stating Americans are not consuming enough specific vitamins.

                That was not your original argument, any more than "Lychees contain Vitamin C" was.

                You were arguing the efficacy of alternative medicines/treatments, as an alternative to conventional medicines/treatments.

                When challenged, you retreat to general statements that no one could object to - and then try to link them back to your unsubstantiated broad assertions about the efficacy of alternative medicine.

                Ironically, it is the "alternative" industry that shills tons upon tons of unregulated vitamin overdoses, when in reality, as conventional health experts advise, one can consume all one needs with a balanced diet, and excess vitamins are not only unhelpful, in some cases they can be harmful.

                "Eat a balanced diet" is not alternative medicine. If it were, few of us cold, soulless rationalists would have a problem with is.

                One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                by RandomActsOfReason on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:54:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Are you suggesting that alternative med (4+ / 0-)

      is pseudoscience??

      I tell you, one of the reasons that people are so distrustful of western medicine these days is that so many doctors are close minded, arrogant, and frequently wrong due to overworking/slaves to insurance/whatever.

      Considering medicine that has been practiced successfully in China and surrounding areas for thousands of years pseudoscience is symptomatic of how closed off western medicine is.

      I know that doctors have an important job to do, and there are many dedicated, engaged doc practicing medicine, but I never seem to run into them.  The doctors I see are overworked/uninterested/calling it in.

      No offense to the many good doctors out there.

      •  See my clarifying discussion above. (3+ / 0-)

        I think there is a lot with potential in some "traditional" medicines like TCM. There's also a lot of bullshit that is based on unfounded and primitive beliefs that we now know to be false. We won't know which is which until it's all studied by real researchers.

        •  Eh-- (5+ / 0-)

          Real research said the intense pain in my foot should respond to X,Y and Z, including cortisone shots.  Helped only temporarily.

          Two visits to a Chinese acupuncturist, and I haven't had pain in two years.

          Placebo?  Wishful thinking?

          Maybe.  I'm not going to wait around for "real researchers" (what does that even mean??) to tell me my pain is gone.

          •  You misunderstand what research says. (7+ / 0-)

            Real research does NOT say that the pain in YOUR foot should respond to cortisone shots. It says something much more qualified, such as that in most patients with a certain type of pain, that a treatment will give relief. It doesn't ever generally provide proof that a treatment will work in EVERY patient. There are simply too many confounding factors to consider.

            Medicine is science-BASED, not science. It combines art and guesswork with good science, ideally.

            And I'm happy that you've found something that works for you. It might be placebo effect, or it might be something real. The danger is generalizing from personal experience to saying that you have something that works generally.

            •  studies are done in aggregate (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fabian, milkbone

              and don't necessarily apply to every patient at the bedside. They are about probability.

              Individual experience is something that we cannot discount, but at the same time one person's individual experience cannot be applied to all people.

              That's what people don't seem to get about the scientific basis of medicine.

              Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

              by stitchmd on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 05:07:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  You need to read some history (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Giles Goat Boy, Mudderway

            specifically, what life was like before modern medicine.

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:04:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  well, the methods of alternative (0+ / 0-)

      medicine have actually been the norm throughout most of human history. It's not a symptom of a diseased society, it's actually the sort of medicine with which we humans evolved.

      We may have found largely better ways of doing all these things, but the old, more familiar traditional style of treatment - which I reallyt hink is more about bedside manner and symbolism than the treatment itself - will always be compelling to many people.

      •  Not so sure about that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        decembersue

        I think it will be more and more ridiculous for people to choose medicine that doesn't work the better and more effective scientific medicine becomes.

        What I mean by the "diseased society" remark is that this distrust and cynicism people have is the reason we seem to be sliding backwards from trust in science.

        And you're right - a lot of it stems from things like bedside manner and symbolism more than it stems from the actual efficacy of the treatments. It would be great if regular doctors could provide that while still using medicine that actually works. The problem actually isn't really solely doctors' fault - the insurance industry is pressuring them so much that many can't afford to spend so much time with each patient.

        But none of that changes the fact that treatments are either scientifically valid, or they aren't.

  •  Dr. Oz Isn't Exaclty A Freaking Pope (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christin, wader, Fabian, brein

    in terms of infallible advice. But I was proud of the day where he refuted the poster child of the detox movement... and said there was no proof that detox diets effectively "work" on the terms they're supposed to... the detox girl was in fact picture of poor health... her face was extremely narrow, her eyes were huge and her focus was shifty/neurotic, and with manic affect she went on about how great detox diets made her feel... fasting has that effect on people... it's not detox.

    But Oz is very much rooted in CW, and CW is frequently wrong.

    I think the fact that he's a doctor and he plays up his schtick with the hokey habit of wearing scrubs on the set, despite the fact that he's a millionaire, makes him seem more credible. But Ron Paul is a doctor, and so is Dr. Mercola, who runs a mailing list/pseudoscience website which includes sprays for health.

    That is all. Individually, I wish you the best, but collectively, my dearest hope is to outlive you - groovetronica

    by Nulwee on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:27:57 PM PDT

  •  Jenny McCarthy: 1993 Playboy Playmate of the Year (9+ / 0-)

    Why does our society give credence to the opinions of a woman simply because she had breast implants and was willing to pose with her clothes off and her legs spread? Jenny McCarthy cheated on her first husband, John Asher (father of Evan, the autistic child), by having sex with both men and women, including porn star Jenna Jameson. This is a woman whose opinion is worthy to be televised on national television? I think not. The only reason she was invited on Oprah is that she has become "a celebrity", for primarily for her work as a model for Playboy.  Do we want Playboy Playmates making vaccine policy? I think not.

  •  a show I'd like to see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silent Spring

    Kevin Trudeau calling out the pharma companies.

    Dennis Kucinich was right.

    by lisastar on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:37:42 PM PDT

    •  No, you don't (6+ / 0-)

      Kevin Mark Trudeau (born February 6, 1963) is an American author, pocket billiards promoter (founder of the International Pool Tour), salesman, self-proclaimed alternative medicine advocate, convicted felon and unsuccessful defendant in several Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuits. He is known for a number of television infomercials promoting his products, and for several books, including Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:39:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's WHY I'd like to see it!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChurchofBruce, zhimbo

        Dennis Kucinich was right.

        by lisastar on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:40:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, okay. Ha ha n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChurchofBruce, Night Train

          Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

          by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:42:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for writing this diary. (7+ / 0-)

            I am so sick and tired of people not understanding why I despise Oprah. She is full of shit from the word go. When she's not pushing medical quackery, she's pushing pop-psychology quackery or pop-culture bullshit. Plus she aggressively encourages the worst impulses of her audience: indulgence of emotionalism, and denigration of rational thought. A very, very bad thing for this society.

            Plus her obvious narcsissitic egocentrism sets a very bad example for young women. But what else can you expect from someone who receives a mindless, mechanical standing ovation from her zombie audience every day? And who appears on the cover of every issue of her own magazine?

            "Lies return." - African proverb

            by Night Train on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:35:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, the whole thing about (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moiv, Silent Spring, Night Train

              being on the cover of every issue of her magazine is very narcissistic.  

              Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

              by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:38:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  FUCKING AGREED (0+ / 0-)

              The promotion of "The Secret" and the "Law of Attraction" as the ultimate cure to poverty and debt pisses me the fuck off. The major problem with the Law of Attraction is you have to have some sort of starting point for it (given, and this is questionable, that it it even works at all).

              In practice, the "Law of Attraction" often works out to  "the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and it's all because everyone involved deserves it."

              It also pisses me off as a pagan who does follow a chaotic path (and who has to deal with the bullshit most people who think "left-hand path" = "satanist cult member" or "left-hand path" = "unbridled selfishness") because in my belief, one of the very WORST things you can do is harm/look down on/exclude someone else, since you've basically thrown that person into the position so many mythological archetypes that have later become maligned have been put into, that of being forced to hurt and fight in return to survive from the place they've gone.

              IMO, the "Law of Attraction" pisses me off when practiced by anyone calling themselves "pagan" since it shows a severe lack of knowledge of two much more important laws, e.g. the Threefold Law and harming none, since to treat someone like shit because they aren't "manifesting" or write off someone because they're feeling bad or "have negative energy that they express too much of" is very harmful.

              And hey, "Night Train." Another Guns 'n' Roses fan!!!

              And I fuck the impossible.

              by MiscastDice on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 01:40:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Are you shitting me? (0+ / 0-)

      comparing Pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson and Johnson that created life saving cancer drugs, aids drugs that saved millions of lives,  and heart stents that saved my Dad's life?
      With that utter stinking slimebag Kevin what's his damn name the memory guy?
      Holy shit. I mean holy shit.

      "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

      by Christin on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:47:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am still skeptical of this author's intent (6+ / 0-)

    Newsweek has lied before, its credibility is gone. Who is this author, is this author paid by the drug companies to write this stuff? This has the look of a drug company campaign here on DailyKOS.

    •  Seriously? (19+ / 0-)

      Read my other diaries.  Please...I'm a 26 year old college student.  I wish I could get paid to write Dkos diaries!

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:43:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I work in a major Peds Hospital and (19+ / 0-)

        although I admire a great deal about Oprah,  I really cannot stand her show because of the issues this diarist is raising.

        Vaccines have saved billions of lives-- billions people.  There truly is no evidence that autism is caused by them and even if-- more lives have been saved than harmed.   Do we really want to go back to the 19th century and before where people died on a second by second basis from diseases that we had gotten under control  now.  I fear what will happen if the anti vaccine nuts get their way.  Really fear it.  The Pediatricians and Neos I work with are dedicated and compassionate and give and recommend vaccination because they care not because they are brainwashed or get some kickback.  

        I am a product of modern medical science.  I went to a naturo path as a teenager for what I had and he said go to an allopath what you have we cannot fix.  If I had met a charletan practitioner I may not have made it.  What I had was very potentially fatal; I am alive after millions of dollars and weeks of hospital stays due to conventional medical science.  If you are in a wreck you do not need vitamin C you need a trauma surgeon.

        I see a dermatologist who is very ethical and does great honest work and she hates thermage and other fads like the 1/2 hour facelift.  The results are uneven and even criminally  bad.  Oprah does not do anything for her reputation with these tacit endorsements.  Thanks for posting this coz I have been often dismayed as well.  The new age stuff is irritating as well and if it helps people OK but the bad medical advice is over the top and irresponsible.

        Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice won't get fooled again. George Bush

        by ganymeade on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:06:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I practice both allopathic and naturopathic (3+ / 0-)

          medicine.  I appreciate a discerning eye for the truth in medicine, politics, and all arenas in life.  However let us not throw the baby out with the bath water.  After practicing several years, I became dismayed by the lack of efficacy of our allopathic treatments for chronic progressive diseases.  However, I was fortunate to see patients who had pursued alternative care, acupuncture, homeopathy and some who had just switched to natural hormones from synthetic.  Amazing.  Everybody reads journals in our profession, but I did not need a statistical test to tell me what I had witnessed was significant.  There is 3-5000 yrs of data in eastern medicine that we cannot neglect here. By the way, who can deny that stress and emotions are connected to our physical health.  In fact the Emotional, spiritual disease usually precedes the physical disease.  

          •  I did not say they were not valuable this was (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RebeccaG, charliehall

            about vaccination.  Oprah does not cover both sides.  There are uses for yoga, healthy diets and some herbal treatments but if you have a heart defect that needs to be fixed; if you have sepsis you need antibiotics.  I advocate for reality and balance.

            Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice won't get fooled again. George Bush

            by ganymeade on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:38:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have seen individuals with UTIs and Bronchitis (3+ / 0-)

              on several courses of antibiotics that I or a colleague put the patient on with little change, only to improve within 24 hours of getting a homeopathic remedy.  I advocate reality based medicine too, but we need to use every tool at our disposal.  I would give the patient, who is in crisis, both conventional and alternative treatment.  It maybe that the acupuncture stopped the panic attack or the homeopathic ended a seizure better than the pharmaceutical.  

              •  Definite connection between UTI's, kidney (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                orapaho, wa ma

                .... problems from some forms of gluten intolerance.
                Gut lining damage.
                Less calcium being able to be digested.
                Low blood levels of calcium
                Kidneys trying to go bonkers regulating blood levels
                Calcium bone loss
                Kidney stones, calcium crystals in urine
                Uti's

                I have no idea what is going on in the homeopathy department, but I've told all my doctors that mysterious "recovery" from chronic kidney infections for me (and some others I know) was diet related, and part of the auto immune malfunction, they look at you bemused like here's another whackadoodle but it's harmless....

                "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

                by AmericanRiverCanyon on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 09:33:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  "Allopathic" is a term invented by homeopaths (5+ / 0-)

            By the inventer of homeopathy, in fact - as a bit of rhetorical trickery to gain credibility for his flim flam by presenting it as "the" alternative.

            I became dismayed by the lack of efficacy of our allopathic treatments for chronic progressive diseases.

            Lack of efficacy? Evidence, please.

            I did not need a statistical test to tell me what I had witnessed was significant.

            Ah, you don't need evidence, you assert, believe, and rely on anecdote.

            In fact, you don't practice conventional medicine at all.

            There is 3-5000 yrs of data in eastern medicine that we cannot neglect here.

            "Data"? Interesting that you use that term here, as if "Eastern" medicine was documenting double-blind studies, replicable experiments and publicly publishing, peer-reviewed results and analysis.

            Homeopathy is the ultimate scam. Selling bottled water at premium prices, claiming the molecules "remember" what was allegedly added to them by the homeopathic manufacturer, even though not a single molecule of the subtance is present  - but mysteriously not remembering anything else the water molecules would have encountered during the entire history of the Earth.

            Anyone pushing homeopathy is complicit in a scam. Which, when it is substituted for essential life-saving and suffering-alleviating medicine, is no joke at all.

            One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

            by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:13:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  well, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RennieMac, RandomActsOfReason, johnva

              there are limits to what allopathic medicine can do. We do a lousy job, for example, with treating pain and non-surgical structural conditions of the body.

              I am an 'allopathic' doc - if you don't like the term, I am an M.D. trained in a regular internal medicine residency. I am very attuned to issues of evidence based medicine and try to practice according to good scientific principles.

              But there are some things that our training doesn't address. I do work closely with people in the 'alternative' medicine world. I have a friend who is an outstanding massage therapist and send people to her frequently. I have also consulted her for other things. When the spouse blew a disk (badly) we talked to her about ways to approach treatment. She made a recommendation for a physical therapy group that combines non-traditional with traditional methods and the spouse was able to avoid surgery.

              I don't disagree with you regarding homeopathy, frankly, but I have to say that some people do swear by it.

              And here's the thing about evidence based medicine: studies are done on people in the aggregate, but people do have individual experiences that can't be replicated in studies. That does mean that their experience cannot be applied to others; what people don't understand is, as DemfromCT keeps saying, the plural of anecdote is not data. But I'm also not about to tell someone who swears by their alternative practice not to do it for themselves.

              Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

              by stitchmd on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 04:59:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I missed DemfromCT's comment (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ganymeade, Fabian

                as DemfromCT keeps saying, the plural of anecdote is not data.

                Not sure what this means.  What then would you call the absence of data?  

                An anecdote is usually someone else's assumption.  In the the engineering world we call an assumption something that makes an ass out of you and an ass out of me, i.e. something to be avoided.

                •  an anecdote is a story (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ganymeade, RandomActsOfReason, xgy2

                  in medicine, it generally refers to a report of a case and how it is/was treated. That can be according to standard practice; it can be according to alternative or non-standard practices.

                  There are lots of such anecdotes in this diary, as there are in lots of health diaries here: I didn't improve from this injection so I went to the acupuncturist and got better. I took antibiotics for a year and my Lyme was finally cured. Etc. etc.

                  The problem occurs when people don't understand that their individual stories, even when collected, do not a scientific study make. That's what the quote means: the plural of anecdote is not data.

                  Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

                  by stitchmd on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 05:47:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sorry , I guess we agree (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    DemFromCT, stitchmd

                    I misunderstood you.

                    The problem occurs when people don't understand that their individual stories, even when collected, do not a scientific study make. That's what the quote means: the plural of anecdote is not data.

                    The danger comes when the conclusions, or the assumptions are built into the anecdote.  

                    e.g. I took X and got better.  Would you have gotten better without X?

                    •  exactly so (6+ / 0-)

                      If it's not a placebo controlled double blind study, it's not a definitive argument for proof.  Just because three people you know (and two online) swear by X, that doesn't mean it's definitive, even if you find two more testimonials at "seller of X"'s web site.

                      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 06:57:21 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  and even if RFK jr (5+ / 0-)

                        writes it up in Rolling Stone.

                        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                        by Greg Dworkin on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 06:58:10 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Your thinking is Black and White, and makes (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        AmericanRiverCanyon

                        no allowances for the gray.  In fact all of us use information that came to us without scientific proof.  An experienced mechanic does not need to consult journals to gather an opinion that a certain brand of car has problems with its fuel systems.  Label it what you want, my point is this is valuable information, especially if he/she is your mechanic. So it is in medicine.  We can see trends such as medication A seems to have greater efficacy than medication B.... and it governs our decisions.  It would be nice to have the double blind randomized controlled study to show this, but how likely is it that big pharma will do this.  right. When a cancer doc sees a trend with a chemotherapeutic that is potentially harmful, does he need to wait until a study comes out and proves this is the case.  Hopefully not. There is alot of gray zone in medicine and as medicine evolves (no, its not perfect) it will be those clinicians who come armed with studies AND with an appreciation for clinical trends, and those prepared to individualize treatments that will push the field further.
                            In the practice of homeopathy and in acupuncture, the treatment is highly individualized.  In other words, 100 different people with seasonal allergies will receive 100 different treatments.  It does not lend itself to one treatment fits all, as we see with zyrtec or claritin.That said, there are studies for acute homeopathic prescribing.  Oscillococcinum reduces severity and duration of flu symptoms- Vickers AJ:  Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2004:(1): CD001957

                        Also Homeopathy more effective than placebo in  Linde K Lancet 1997;350:834  

                        Also Cucherat M et all: Evidence of clinical efficacy of homeopathy: a meta-analysis of clinical trials.  Eur J Clin Pahrmacol 2000;56:27

                        For acupuncture  Melchart D et al: Acupuncture for recurrent headaches: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.  Cephalgia 1999;19:779.
                             

              •  I disagree with nothing in your comment (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                stitchmd

                Unfortunately, here is what magical thinkers will read:

                "There are limits to what allopathic medicine can do. I am an 'allopathic doc'. We do a lousy job."

                One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

                by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:36:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yeah, I know (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RandomActsOfReason

                  but there's not much I can do to change that, nor can you. There are none so blind as those who will not see, and you can't make them see. It becomes a matter of faith, not of rationality.

                  Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

                  by stitchmd on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:46:59 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  ASDF (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ChurchofBruce, ganymeade, Fabian

            In fact the Emotional, spiritual disease usually precedes the physical disease.

            Statements like this make me bleed out my ears.

            So cancer only affects those of us who are emotionally/spiritually ill?  

            Stress/overall speed of your life (and all the trappings thereof, like eating crappier fast food, less sleep, etc. has more to do with disease than any sort of "spirit".

            •  They make me want to slap someone around, frankly (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ganymeade, Fabian, cbyoung

              Before my brother got the cancer that killed him, he was happy as a clam, loved his job, loved his wife, loved his kids. In fact, after a career change following a very fallow period, it was only in the five years before his death that he found his career "calling". He was as happy as humans get. And then he got cancer.

              Yeah, anyone spouting that "emotional/spritual" bullshit can shove it right up their asses.

              "I used to have goals. They were *evil* goals, but they were *goals*."--Dr. Doofenschmirtz

              by ChurchofBruce on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 08:59:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you are exposed to plutonium all the (0+ / 0-)

                meditation, yoga and whole grains you can eat and happy thoughts will not stop the plutonium to do you in.  If you fall out of a plane happy thoughts will not help you land safely.   There are limits.  High blood pressure type II diabetes and weight gain are helped by those things but Type I is not and neither is congenital kidney disease.  There  are strong limits on natural medicine to fix major problems.

                Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice won't get fooled again. George Bush

                by ganymeade on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:53:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Vaccines do not cause autism. (14+ / 0-)

      Vaccines prevent serious diseases and save lives.

    •  Snark, right? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZenTrainer, Night Train, jtb583

      Let the circular firing begin!

      by Grass on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:55:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Any factual rebuttals? Or just (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Boris Godunov, jtb583

      attacking the messenger?

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:05:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to see Newsweek (8+ / 0-)

    doing an enterprise piece on all the hate talk in America, and to my mind one is at least responsible for the death of one health care provider in this country.

    They want to do a story, how about tackling that instead of going after Oprah. At least we don't know yet if anyone has died from the advice they might have taken from her show.

    Big whoop. We all need to be informed patients and should be responsible for ourselves. Even when we go to doctors who are supposed to be trained, we should ask the pertinent questions and don't take their word as gospel.

    When I was having palpatations a couple of years ago, I asked my primary care doctor to get my heart checked. He kept telling me I was stressed out because my mom had just I had a stroke. I pushed him and nagged him until he finally said ok. After an echo cadiogram, they found out that I had aorta insuffieicney (leaky valve of the aorta). Although it had zero to do with my palpatitions, this condition was discovered thanks to my push.

    People need to be informed. And don't tell me that Oprah is a powerful force and people will listen to her.

    I don't think not a single person is going to jump off a bridge if Oprah says it is going to give them longevity.

    So there. People should empower themselves. Newsweek should try looking into why the right to life group is terrorizing women in this country and killing off health care providers.

    Now that would be something I would be interested in reading. Some of these same people have appeared on Larry King Show. I don't hear anyone making any noise about it.

    •  I think it's long overdue. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ganymeade, flumptytail, brein

      This probably isn't the most important story ever, but so what? Oprah has been getting progressively worse about pushing totally discredited information. And like it or not, she has a lot of influence.

      She's earned it, and "The Secret" and Jenny McCarthy pushed her into full-blown crazy territory.

      •  That's just it. I don't care how (4+ / 0-)

        much influence she has. Why can't people think for themselves. As much as I am an avid supporter of president Obama, I see people do the same thing.

        He goes to one restaurant, and all of a sudden, people start flocking to the restaurant. He says he reads a certain book, it goes to the top of the list.

        What gives?

        Why can't people just think for themselves?

        Just because someone makes a lot of money, has a talk show and says the sky is red, when it is blue, is not going to make me believe her.

        People need to educate and empower themselves.

        They need to stop it already. I will watch Oprah show but I am not going to go out there and buy Suzanne Sommers book or start using bioidentical therapy just because she says it works for her.

        Whether she is gone "full-blown crazy" or not, the joke is on the people who don't think for themselves.

        Newsweek is also being disingenuous. Just as they are screaming about Oprah selling this so-called snake oil, they are making money off her. It is the same silliness. People see her picture on the cover of Newsweek, whether the story is positive or negative, they are going to buy it.

        Newsweek is going to make a good bit change from that edition, thanks to Oprah, and they darn well know it.

        In the meantime the people who wo love Oprah will call the article rubbish, the people who despise her, will hail Newsweek.

        Funny thing though, if Oprah goes on her show tomorrow and tell her audience not to buy Newsweek, guess what?

        That's just the problem. Again, I say people should used the spongy thing between their ears that God gave them and stop being led around.

    •  Why "Instead" of this? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChurchofBruce, KMc, flumptytail

      Isn't people getting misinformation by shills who profit from false cures something that concerns you?

      You claim to care about people's well-being. It is curious that, in this particular case, you don't seem to want the facts to come out.

      If Newsweek did an expose on the coal industry, would you say they should focus on foreclosures instead of going after coal spokesmen? What does one have to do with the other, and why would the need to expose one issue mean one shouldn't expose other problems?

      Your comment is illogical.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:16:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To be fair, I never looked to Oprah as a (5+ / 0-)

    journalist.

    She gets people on the show, asks them questions, attracts viewers and moves on.

    It's a daytime talk an image show.  That is all.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:50:59 PM PDT

    •  You may not, (6+ / 0-)

      But she has a devoted following that will act upon the poor advice given on the show.

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 08:53:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So do many celebrities (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fabian, ZenTrainer, wa ma, MKSinSA, jtb583

        and talk-show hosts.  People are allowed to take their bad advice and do what they want with it.  Such as, check it out for themselves.

        She also has a book club, displays various fashions and hair styles, talks about her personal diets, etc.  None of these are offered as having results which are verifiable by double-blind, random testing regimens.

        There's plenty of avenues for that type of information, of course.

        Sure, it's positive and responsible to offer a more scrupulous reporting of issues and claims people happen to bring to her shows - and, beyond the scope of just her show, to any other popular media which consumers find interesting out there.

        But, she's never displayed much of a bent to do anything but gain ratings by having provocative people on her program.  Nor have other television shows or fashion, health and lifestyle magazines.

        It's an endemic problem with our society, not an Oprah-unique problem, is my point.  She is an entertainer, nothing more.

        Frankly, so is the nightly news in most locales.

        Which is why we have organizations like Media Matters, FAIR, etc.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:11:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is fabulous. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leonard145b, thestructureguy, jtb583

    I know she fully supported Barack.  I enjoy her magazine from time to time.  Other than that, she kind of scares me.

    I would imagine she's surrounded by people who are afraid to tell her "no".

    Hard core Christian and hard core liberal...not an illogical combination at all.

    by penny8611 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:09:38 PM PDT

  •  Anyone who who thinks that mainstream doctors and (6+ / 0-)

    mainstrem media are not owned by the pharmaceutical industry is out of touch with reality. I find it ironic that a diarist on Daily Kos where our strength is questioning authority would buy this spin.  I find it embarrasing that Suzanne Somers and Oprah have to look at these issues instead of physicians. In fact hormones are vitally important and as they decline we decline. Look me up when you are getting old and sick and feel like shit. I cured myself with bioidentical hormones when mainstram medicine didn't have a clue. They hate it when a 67 year old like me who trades clothes and works our with my 18 year old ice hockey champion son, takes a testosterone shot, a little DHEA and thyroid instead of the average 12 presciptions a year. Cheers, Doc Allen  

    I am pro-life. Bring our troops home ALIVE!

    by Doc Allen on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:12:58 PM PDT

    •  I am questioning authority (8+ / 0-)

      Oprah's authority.  And her decision to give people bad medical advice without providing an alternative viewpoint on her show.

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:19:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She did provide alternative viewpoints (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        liquid

        on that show with Suzanne Somers. She had several medical doctors on. Dr. Christiane Northrup was one of them and Dr. Lauren Streicher, Dr. Wulf Utian, and Dr. Prudence Hall were also interviewed. The doctors showed varying degrees of skepticism. Dr. Oz was on and he visited a pharmacy that creates and sells bioidenticals. Oprah read a statement sent to the show by the FDA. And she interviewed at least a couple of menopausal women who began taking bioidenticals and reported feeling better.

        Much of the info from that particular episode -- including a 15-page written/illustrated recap and some video clips -- can be found here at Oprah.com.

        •  The point that was brought up (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fabian

          in the Newsweek article was that the doctors expressing the opposing viewpoints were seated in the audience and not on stage.  They were only heard from when called upon by Oprah, and Suzanne Somers was given the last word and the Oprah was clearly on the side of Somers during the debate.

          Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

          by jtb583 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:27:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Somers is a celebrity (0+ / 0-)

            Of course she's going to be seated on stage.  And there was more than one doctor to counter her.  Did you actually see the show or do you believe everything you read in Newsweek?  Please read Somers response to the article to see how biased it was:

            http://www.suzannesomers.com/...

            •  And Somers will of course defend herself (0+ / 0-)

              who could fault her for that.  I did not see the show in question, so I am taking Newsweek's word for it because on Oprah's website they don't post the shows.  Also, as far as where the injecting estriol vaginally claim came from, well:

              Suzanne also injects 2 milligrams of estriol vaginally every day and takes 60 oral dietary supplements—40 in the morning and 20 at night.

              Oprah's website

              If she has a problem with Newsweek pointing that out, she should first take it up with Oprah's people, because that's where Newsweek probably got it from.

              Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

              by jtb583 on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 11:01:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I saw the show (0+ / 0-)

            Somers said multiple times during the show (I'm paraphrasing) "I'm not a doctor or a medical professional. This is what worked for me. You must work with your doctor to figure out what works for you." And Oprah said the same thing more than once if I recall correctly.

    •  Anyone who think that's true of ALL "mainstream" (14+ / 0-)

      doctors and media is out of touch with reality.

      Is there undue corporate influence? Yes. Does that discredit scientific medicine? No. I hate this conflation of corporatism with science. They aren't the same thing.

    •  1000 recs! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quotemstr, AmericanRiverCanyon

      I just went to my Doc because my arms ached after a few hours of yard work.

      I thought it was old age and was thrilled when she told me it was arthritis.

      My joy puzzled her a bit but hey, I can do something about arthritis, not sure I can treat old age.

      She told me to take Glucosomine/MSM/Chondroitin and avoid night shade vegetables. (gasp! no tomatoes!)

      She is a regular MD Family Practitioner but always pleases me with her insights and treatments.

      I was even more please when I saw an ad on TV that night for some new arthritis drug. She never even metnioned it. She went with the tried and true and harmless.

      My dryer has the option of "more dry" or "less dry". Personally, I like to wear my clothes "more dry".

      by ZenTrainer on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:34:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What is MSM in this reference (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AmericanRiverCanyon

        and why no tomatoes/night shade veggies?

        Taxation without justification is an obamanation! - Lamar Smith, alleged Texas (R) legislator (and, sadly, my Congresscritter)

        by MKSinSA on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:52:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Avoiding "mainstream media" cures all. (0+ / 0-)

          Darn good medical advice!

          There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who fit into one of two mutually exclusive categories, and those who don't.

          by zhimbo on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 08:22:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's a sulfer compound, methylsulfonylmethane (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quotemstr, MKSinSA, stanjz

          ... and an essential nutrient, sold over the counter as a supplement, but don't take it if you are sensitive to sulfites or have asthma triggered by sulfites because you can cross react if the compound is not pure enough.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          It was originally used in a liquid form by veterinarians called DMSO, (MSM is a metabolite of it, but safer, see the wiki link ) which is a fascinating liquid which can be quickly absorbed thru the skin and it works to knock down inflammation. For example, in cases of sudden trauma, a vet might use DMSO on a horse to see if they can reduce brain swelling.  The liquid also acts as a carrier of other substances that can go thru the skin, so once has to be careful of what other chemicals are on the skin at the time.

          DMSO was (is) also mixed with other anti inflammatory substances to then be applied to things like horses with very sore feet, to try to help prevent abscesses forming after sole bruising, or heal things like abscesses in the hooves.

          Hopefully Oprah will not do a show about  mixing some stuff into DMSO and slathering onto a bruised, sore hoof and then wrapping it in saran wrap and vet wrap, and then 24 hours later the horse is not limping, or then there will be another 600 comment dailykos diary about the evils of alternative medicine and animals, and you are going to all get your butts slapped by the equine world.  Hard.    

          Anyway, then MSM, which is a sulfer compound of white powder derived from DMSO, was used as a nutritional supplement by the veterinary profession, then the vets started thinking, hmm, what happens if I start taking this, because it's working so well on this horse, who can't be faking the reaction, it's just sulfer, after all... so the people in the horse industry started using it on themselves and the word spread.  it's very good for some people with joint inflammation.

          I can't take it but I have used it on some pets that needed it.  

          Some people with a tendency to arthritic inflammation react to the lectins, a plant protein found in the nightshade family of fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc.   Some people with gluten intolerance/celiac, an autoimmune reaction to the proteins in the wheat family, also react to the nightshade family, but it's not universal.  

          "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

          by AmericanRiverCanyon on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 09:20:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The most informative and helpful (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            quotemstr, AmericanRiverCanyon

            response to a question I've asked here. Thank you so much.

            My sweetie's starting to feel arthritis-like pain from working in the garden, etc. I will pass this information along to her because she's ready to consider anything that might be helpful and reasonable. Docs don't always seem to get very in-depth on this issue and seem to have a ready answer (usually involving Tylenol or Alleve). We've long held there's likely underlying principles worth exploring.

            Thank you so very much. Printed and ready for her consumption!

            Taxation without justification is an obamanation! - Lamar Smith, alleged Texas (R) legislator (and, sadly, my Congresscritter)

            by MKSinSA on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:47:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Don't you contradict the comment you're (0+ / 0-)

        giving 1000 recs to? The one about "mainstream doctors" being "owned by the pharmaceutical industry"?

        There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who fit into one of two mutually exclusive categories, and those who don't.

        by zhimbo on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 08:21:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Don't have a single rebuttal to any of the points (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChurchofBruce, milkbone, Flit, xgy2

      in the actual diary or the actual Newsweek article, do you.

      So, you wave around red herrings to distract people.

      One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

      by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 03:18:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you want to experiment on yourself fine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      furi kuri, Fabian, Night Train

      If you want to try it on others, then let me see what happens with a few hundred patients and and at least a one year follow up.   Publish your data, let it stand up to peer review.  One anecdotal data point is neither science nor medicine.

    •  You are wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, quotemstr, Night Train

      My wife is a mainstream doctor.

      She has never accepted any gift from a drug company.

      And I teach medical students -- future doctors. You would not believe how sceptical they are regarding drug companies.

      Facts are facts. Vaccines don't cause autism. But they do prevent serious diseases.

      All my IP addresses have been banned from Redstate.com.

      by charliehall on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 09:34:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oprah's Biggest Fail: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mudderway, jtb583

    The 9,000 Penises incident.

  •  Just as bad as when O'Reilly does the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jtb583, johnva

    same thing.  Lies are lies, unfounded facts are unfounded facts, and, now this is the important part, ratings are ratings.

    To hell with these "scientists" who spew their products at the expense of health.  Suzanne Summers a scientist?  Pardon me, I need to find my hat.  I suddenly feel hungry.

    Nice post, and well done.

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    "We can not figure out everything, but we can figure out some things." Wow, I just made that up today.

    by Translator on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:38:27 PM PDT

    •  By the way, I take a multivitamin (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian

      and some C because I do not eat well enough.  I do not in any way think that will keep me young, but it might keep me from having a vitamin deficiency.

      Warmest regards,

      Doc

      "We can not figure out everything, but we can figure out some things." Wow, I just made that up today.

      by Translator on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:43:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  seems like... (9+ / 0-)

    A sure way to get a diary to the rec list these days is to bash alternative medicine in general. Fine, there's plenty of charlatans out there, but does anyone else get creeped out by drug marketing on TV? These commercials create drug seeking behavior by encouraging self diagnosis in people. Sure you have to go to an MD for the actual prescription, but if the doctor is going to offer a "science based" diagnosis, why do the drug companies need to spend so much to market to patients? Because the patients are encouraged to "ask their doctor" about this snazzy new medicine where the side effects are longer than the commercial. That's not science folks, it's marketing. Also, if all these medicines are science based, how come there are so many recalls and liability lawsuits? Because some studies are flawed, some are biased by the profit motive, some side effects happen over the long term, etc. People who have a well earned skepticism of mainstream medicine are not the same as creationists, many of these same people have a healthy skepticism about alt. medicine as well. When whole grains were touted as healthier several decades ago, they were mocked by the mainstream establishment. When vitamin supplements began to rise in popularity they were also mocked. You now have mainstream doctors recommending whole grains and certain vitamin supplements. I'm not defending Oprah here, just pointing out that it's easy to get self righteous in one direction without looking at the fact that alt medicine doesn't have a monopoly on snake oil.

    •  I support alternative medicine (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poe, Fabian, quotemstr, zhimbo, johnva

      when it comes in the form of meditation, massage, acupuncture, etc.  But that isn't what is being talked about on Oprah's show.  They are pushing bogus memes about autism and not providing an opposing viewpoint or giving viewers updates about how the plastic surgery techniques that were hyped on the show really don't work after all.  

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 09:45:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't confuse science and corporatism. (8+ / 0-)

      That's a common mistake. Lots of people dismiss medical science because they see how it gets abused by corporations. But they aren't the same thing.

      I strongly support science, but I strongly oppose direct-to-consumer marketing of prescription drugs. I think it's bad public policy, but I don't think it's an indictment of medical science. Criticize Big Pharma's practices all you want - I'm right there with you. Don't make the unfounded leap to believing that makes scientific medicine, doctors, scientists, etc untrustworthy in general, or to believing that alt-med is inherently more trustworthy (alt-med is also "corporate", and in some cases, it is pushed by subsidiaries of the SAME Big Pharma corporations).

      There is also corporate greed pushing alt-med heavily in the insurance industry. Insurance companies love when people use alternative medicine because it keeps them away from more expensive MDs for minor complaints.

  •  Is it really that bad (0+ / 0-)

    to select against people who take medical advice from a TV show, rather than from a doctor? If people want to take Oprah's advice without considering their own individual situation, let them. It doesn't do me any harm.

    More trained doctors left for me!

    (snark, but only sorta)

  •  Robert Kennedy agrees with Jenny McCarthy (4+ / 0-)

    Check out this article he wrote in Huffington Post:

    http://statismwatch.ca/...

    I don't know of any evidence showing a link between autism and vaccines, although no study confirming such a link would ever be published because it would result in billions of dollars in law suits against the medical establishment.  Most universities are corporate funded.

    Same with the attacks on Suzanne Somers. She could be nuts but its worth billions to make her look nuts because her ideas are a huge threat to big pharma.

    •  The anti-vaccine stuff... (10+ / 0-)

      has made me lose a lot of respect for RFK, Jr. He should confine himself to writing about subjects he is actually knowledgeable about.

      And you're actually very wrong about peer reviewed science. It's not the same thing as corporatism. While there certainly is some corporate influence on science, a lot of it is funded by government institutions, etc. There are plenty of researchers who would LOVE to prove such a link, if it were real, as it would make their careers. But the evidence has shown that there is not even an association of autism with vaccination, much less any evidence of causation.

      •  Someone did try to prove such a link & he was (4+ / 0-)

        completely discredited.  How many want to follow in his foot steps?  I'm not saying everyone in science is owned, but the number of completely independent scientists with enough funding to do a large sample study and enough courage to endure the attacks and enough interest and training in the topic is probably quite small.  Of course I'm not arguing that there is a link.  But if there is one, don't assume we would know.

        •  We would know. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KMc, zhimbo

          There's fame and money and reputations to be made by proving something that's commonly used causes disease.  What newly minted epidemiologist or toxicologist wouldn't want to prove the mercury=autism link if it was there and make their reputation for life?

          In the medical world reputation=grants=freedom to research whatever you want.  There's a huge incentive to show a connection exists, and studies still fail to do so.

          I hads a 401K but the economy ated it.

          by nightsweat on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 07:07:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh I don't think so (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AmericanRiverCanyon, AJsBodBlog

            If the link is small it will be hard to prove so very few scientists would put their reputations on the line to prove it, opening themselves up to attack, ridicule, public shaming, career restrictions in corporate funded universities, be blamed for creating anti-vacine hysteria, loss of funding.  Few scientists would be willing to endure all that unless they were 100% positive of a link, and in science you're never 100% positive.  

            I agree that if there were millions of scientists, odds are someone would find a link (if there was one) but there's only a small number of scientists with the skills, interests, and independent funding to prove such a link, and odds are none of them are willing to take that big a risk.  

            •  That's nuts. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ChurchofBruce, dianem, KMc, johnva

              Seriously.  That's not how science works. I have family and friends who do this stuff for a living.

              100% is NEVER the standard or the expectation and being the first to make a link is a huge deal and a reputation MAKER, not breaker.

              I hads a 401K but the economy ated it.

              by nightsweat on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 08:16:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They wouldn't be the first (0+ / 0-)

                they would be accused of bringing back long discredited and dangerous research.  They'd become an academic pariah.  And keep in mind if the link is small (which it would be if it exists), you'd need a huge sample of autistic kids (who are rare) to prove it with 95% confidence (the usual standard).  What are the odds of one person having the funding, and the courage, and the interest, and the knowledge to pull off such a study?  I'd say the odds are small.  And even if they did, there's a good chance they'd still miss the link because of methodological problems (how is autism diagnosed, dosage levels of vaccines etc)

                •  You set up studies to test for a link (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Enzo Valenzetti

                  Finding NO correlation is a fine result.  Studies are done all the time just to confirm the results of previously done studies.

                  Unless they jimmy the numbers or skew the results, a study that disproves the causality is just as publishable as one that shows the causality.

                  You might HOPE for a result that shows a link because it would be a feather in your cap, but you don't lose as a scientist if you come up with a publishable paper.  Academically, your career goes on just fine.

                  Hell, you could do a literature review or a case review (a type of study done by reviewing medical records and not by direct observation) and come to the conclusion one way or the other.

                  There's no "courage" required.

                  But apparently, if we take your world view, there's a huge conspiracy to make kids sick because no one in the entire medical field has any interest in doing a study that wouldn't hurt their rep but make them a star in the field and open up questions that WILL BE OPENED UP EVENTUALLY if there is a link.

                  I'd say you're reading too many conspiracy diaries and you certainly don't know many pediatricians, who are among the least financially motivated professionals I know.

                  I hads a 401K but the economy ated it.

                  by nightsweat on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 09:27:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Of course finding no correlation is a fine result (0+ / 0-)

                    my point was would you want to be the scientist to prove that there IS a link between autism and vaccines?  You'd be accused of incompetence, told that your killing children because you're creating needless anti-vaccine hysteria, you'd probably be totally marginalized at your university if it has ties to big pharma, you'd be hated by doctors who've given vaccines for years because you've accused THEM of doing harm & putting them at risk for law suits, you'd face an army of corporate funded studies debunking your research and attack dogs calling you a quack, and then what if your study is wrong?  To endure all that backlash only to later be disproved is not a risk most people would want to take. Thus if there were a link (and I'm not saying there is) I think you underestimate how long it would take to become accepted by mainstream science.  

                    •  Scientists are human beings (0+ / 0-)

                      They WANT to heal, to make a difference. If a scientist found a way to reduce levels of autism in children they would be hailed as heroes, not denigrated. If they found vaccine related autism then research could find out what parts of the vaccine were causing the autism and they could change that vaccine, or change the schedule, or research which children were susceptible so that they could not vaccinate them. But they haven't found a connection, so none of that can happen. Autism is a tragedy that any scientist would love to be credited with preventing.

                      A link would take a while to become accepted by mainstream science, but only because there is a strong body of research that does not support this link already. It's hard to prove something that has been disproven many times. The study would be scrutinized, though, and if it was valid then other scientists would pick up on details and conduct further research, trying to cure autism. That is how science works.

                      •  I agree they would love to cure autism & the (0+ / 0-)

                        potential upside is huge, but I think you underestimate how much opposition they would face

                        •  So did Pasteur (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Night Train

                          and Jonas Salk. They faced a lot of opposition. Scientists tend to be a contrary lot. They LIKE breaking new ground. It gives them a name. They get to be famous. Science that just proves something that already is known doesn't make history, and every scientist in the world wants to make history.

                        •  And I think you vastly overestimate it (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          dianem, Night Train

                          The science takes you where the science takes you. If you have the numbers, people will get behind you no matter what your conclusion is.

                          I'd point to the debunking of hormone replacement therapy (which was gospel) as a prime example of doctors and scientists doing exactly what you'd be talking about.  If the science is sound, the conclusions are accepted.

                          I hads a 401K but the economy ated it.

                          by nightsweat on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 11:17:36 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  FUCK YEAH. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      GillesDeleuze

                      would you want to be the scientist to prove that there IS a link between autism and vaccines?

                      And save countless people from being injured, and countless families from heartache?

                      Fuck yeah!

                      And get famous, perhaps rich, and maybe even win a Nobel?

                      FUCK YEAH!

                      "Lies return." - African proverb

                      by Night Train on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:24:17 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  They did this in Denmark (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  KMc, Night Train

                  They keep detailled records on vaccinations and diseases and did a massive statistical analysis statistical analysison autism and vaccinations. They found no correlation. There are no methodological problems with the study. There simply isn't a link.

                  There have been many other smaller studies. It isn't that difficult to compare hospital records of vaccinations and autism diagnoses. There has never been a correlation found. That is why the autism/vaccination theorists keep changing their ideas - first it was thimerisol, then thimerisol was dropped from vaccines and it was the frequency of vaccinations, then when there was no causastion found with that it became that certain children are more susceptible to autism as a result of vaccinations, but that doesn't work because studies would still show increased autism as a result of vaccination if only a subgroup was susceptible.

                  This theory is simply not supported scientifically, even though many have tried to find a link. The reality is that autism shows up around the time that vaccinations are normally given whether a child receives vaccinations or not. It's a coincidence, not a connection.

                  •  Well obviously a child has to be old enough to (0+ / 0-)

                    talk before you can see that speech is delayed (a sign of autism) but what about all the mothers who claim their children stopped talking after the vaccine, suggesting normal development was suddenly reversed.  That's different from only noticing your child was autistic after the vaccine; these mothers claim a normal talking child BECAME autistic.  Of course it could all be BS.  I'm no scientist nor do I have a family member with autism; I'm just trying to make sense of the debate.

        •  Are you talking about Dr. Wakefield? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChurchofBruce, dianem

          Yeah, he was discredited because he was likely a fraud (on the payroll of lawyers who wanted to sue over vaccines) and his "study" was terribly poor in size and design even if he wasn't. That's why most of his co-authors withdrew their names from it.

          Repeat, there is not even an ASSOCIATION between vaccines and autism that has been credibly demonstrated. This has been shown by large epidemiological studies. If there isn't even a correlation, it's not really possible that there is any statistically significant causation.

  •  Oh, for gawd's sake, who wants to live to 110 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, Shaviv, coquiero

    years old?!  If you haven't gotten it figured out by 90 or so, it's time to move on and let the young'uns use the resources. By then, it's long past time to say: good night Gracie!  

    "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen

    by Amaryliss on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 10:44:09 PM PDT

  •  I read the same article and I wondered at this: (8+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dianem, KMc, moiv, poe, zhimbo, terryhallinan, dle2GA, johnva

    The baffling rise in the number of autism cases has loosely coincided with an increase in the number of childhood immunizations.

    My understanding is that if you graph the number of cases of autism over time, and number of vaccinations over time (both in California, where the data I saw came from), they both increase.

    However, if you graph the proportion of the population being vaccinated and the proportion of the population diagnosed with autism, the vaccination is a flat line while the autism is still going up.

    Possibility: broadening of the diagnostic criteria for autism to include not only the most disabled persons but also people who in previous years would have been regarded merely as odd? There are some financial incentives that could work to promote that phenomenon, consciously or otherwise.

    Respect your past. Don't live it. -- Philip Zimbardo

    by Shaviv on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 10:49:50 PM PDT

    •  I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dianem

      It makes $en$e to diagnose more autism cases.

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 10:54:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dianem, zhimbo, dle2GA

      Much of the supposed "increase" can be attributed to broadened diagnostic criteria and diagnostic substitution (ie, people being diagnosed as autistic who would in the past have been labeled "ADD" or something). From what I've read, the evidence is still out on whether there's been any real increase at all.

      But that being said, children are actually being exposed to FEWER antigens via vaccination than in the past, because modern vaccines are more narrowly focused and don't contain as many extraneous things.

    •  Yea! Bravo! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dianem, Fabian, zhimbo

      Possibility: broadening of the diagnostic criteria for autism

      One of the worst abuses is the kooky autism spectra.  It makes less sense to confuse Asperger's syndrome with autism than pneumonia with TB.  Both are terrible diseases but quite different.

      Best,  Terry

  •  DKos Promotes Junk Science Daily As Well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xgy2, bluecar

    The frankenfood freaks and sun worshipers may do at least  as much as Exxon to roast nearly all life on the planet into extinction.

    The bones of the imbibers of Radium Water tonic are still hot to this day.  The "medicine" resulted from the sensation caused by Madame Curie's discovery of radioactivity.  Radiation is today a key element in medicine but Radium Water just didn't work out somehow.

    A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing.

    Best,  Terry

  •  Mmm, I've never seriously relied upon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Babsnc, leonard145b

    Oprah for medical advice.  Same for Jerry Springer.

    If the liar were only as honest as he is creative, he'd be a great role model.

    by ZedMont on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:16:19 PM PDT

  •  northrup != the others (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon, wa ma

    Oprah  : So your body ... is only manifesting what's really going on with your spirit?

    Northrup: But your intellect doesn't know it. This is the important part. It's not—you're not causing this deliberately ... It's your soul bringing it to your attention.

    Oprah: Right. It's your soul trying to speak to you.

    This isn't the claptrap it's made to sound like - not as bad as the other stuff.  There's a lot of reason to believe that emotional difficulties create physical realities in the body, and referring to it as the soul is no material difference.  The body bringing this imbalance to a person's attention (such as, stress increasing immune susceptibility to a cold, leading to a person needing to rest) is not some bizarre kind of woo-woo anti-science.

    Now, Tarot cards as treatment on the other hand... uhh...

    •  She's got some credibility (0+ / 0-)

      I will give you that.  But the tarot card thing is out there.

      Is it a crime to like Hall and Oates?

      by jtb583 on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:30:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When Oprah... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, milkbone

      and most of her guests refer to the "soul" what they're referring to is emotions.

      This concept that emotions are "true" while intellect is "false" gets a lot of widespread acceptance...I was going to say "unthinking" but I'll avoid the irony of that...in our culture.

      Its Romantic era nonsense.

      Yes, emotions are important, but they are not perfect in all ways and just as often hurt us as help us.

      And emotions themselves are just another thought process, centered in a different part of the brain than is what we call reason or intellect.

      Emotions are no more true than reason or any other process that goes on in your brain.

  •  What makes me crazy (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dianem, Fabian, zhimbo, Flit, jtb583, Remain calm

    is her endorsement of "The Secret."  What horse-shit that book is.  İt essentially blames people for misfortune such as poverty.  You are poor? You are just not THİNKİNG right.  Geeze.  Also, İ am a psychologist and it makes me crazy to watch her "pet" Dr. Phil spew his judgmental advice.  Those poor people are being humiliated on TV and humiliation does not tend to be a good way to heal mental distress!

  •  I've never taken much stock in Oprah's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flumptytail, Flit, TominGA

    "healing" advice. Her pushing the "vaccins cause autism" BS is irresponsibile.

    i can't watch [Obama] speak on tv for more than 5 minutes or else what he's saying starts to make sense to me. It's very scary.

    by Kimball Cross on Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:32:37 PM PDT

  •  I chose poll option # 3, because its a power # (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zhimbo, flumptytail, Grass

    3 is powerful, and so is 5.

    But what's really powerful is 5 - 3 =2, so 2 = 3 = 23.

    And 23 is EVERYWHERE! Even when it's conspicously close to 23, like 22 or 24! And then there's the number 17, which I KNOW has some connection to this!

    Read the Illuminatus! Wake up sheeple!

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton

    by jbeach on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:29:16 AM PDT

  •  The Cult of Oprah has troubled me for some time (4+ / 0-)

    I stopped listening to anything from her show a long time ago. I've never approved of her manipulation of the best sellers list. Just because she reads a book does not make it deserving of being a best seller.

    •  The cult of Oprah put Obama in the white house (0+ / 0-)

      http://www.suzannesomers.com/...

      To complain about her book club seems petty.

      •  Disagree... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        milkbone

        yes, her endorsement helped I'm sure, but thousands and thousands of (mostly) younger people getting out, organizing, registering to vote...and the candidate himself and his positions and personality...

        That's what put Obama in the White House. Don't give Oprah a staring role when she only had a bit part.

        •  Much more than a bit part (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AmericanRiverCanyon

          She put his book on the best seller list.  She campaigned for him Iowa. Drew record crowds in South Carolina (at a time when he couldn't win black support).  

          Hillary had been declared the winner of every debate and everyone thought she was inevitable.  It was only once Oprah started campaigning that he began to have a chance.

          Everything Oprah endorses turns to gold and Obama was no exception.  I believe her support was crucial because the only thing more powerful than the Clinton machine was the Oprah machine, and Oprah cut deep into Hillary's support among blacks and women.

          •  He always could get black support (0+ / 0-)

            But a lot of African-Americans weren't convinced he could win until enough whites voted for him.

            As soon as he won Iowa, that cemented the A-A vote for him.

            And again, he won because of his organization.

            Yes, her endorsement helped...so did the Kennedy's, so I'm sure did Colin Powell's at the end.

            And, of course, that has nothing to do with her pushing nonsense on her show.

            She deserves to be called out for it the same as anyone else.

            •  But Oprah's was the FIRST big endorsement (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AmericanRiverCanyon, liquid

              None of the others would have come had it not been for her getting the ball rolling and helping him get over the crucial hump in Iowa (where she gets her second highest ratings in the country)  Also, his popularity among blacks in South Carolina spiked after Oprah attracted his biggest rally of 2007 and gave what Howard Fineman called the best speech of the campaign.

              Oprah's endorsement was especially important because a 2007 gallup poll showed Oprah was the one woman more admired than Hillary among American women.

              Obama was always popular with young Americans and the educated, but Oprah made him palitable to middle America and helped with black America.  She Americanized for those who thought he was too Muslim and educated because nothing symbolizes downhome American culture & U.S. popculture better than Oprah.

              Powell's last minute endorsement might have helped, but once he had the nomination he was home free.  No democrat could have lost in 2008.

              Even the Kennedy endorsement is partly Oprah related, as Oprah is super good friends with the Kennedy's (especially Maria Shriver who endorsed Obama and has known Oprah since their 20s)

          •  Million little pieces? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            milkbone

            Golden?

          •  Real world limitations (0+ / 0-)

            http://www.wired.com/...

            She endorsed the Kindle...it got a boost on Amazon right away...then flat-lined and is still sagging.

            Oprah's endorsement doesn't automatically equate to success.

            •  I'm not saying Oprah could have made ANYONE (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AmericanRiverCanyon, liquid

              president.  She picked Obama because she knew he was brilliant enough to take the initial boost she gave him & take it all the way.  Oprah is brilliant at reading & predicting the mood of the country and she knew they were ready for Obama, all they needed was a big push, and she brilliantly provided it, at a very crucial time.

              I'm not trying to take credit from Obama.  On the contrary, a brilliant politician is one who knows how to inspire the king makers, and Obama inspired the biggest king maker of all.

              •  But that's what you are saying... (0+ / 0-)

                when you say things like "She won him Iowa."

                I understand that some endorsements help. I'm sure her's helped. Again, so did the Kennedy's etc etc

                But she didn't "win" him anything. He won it. Let's be clear...to use one of Obama's favorite expressions.

                •  Yes he won (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AmericanRiverCanyon, liquid

                  But he won largely be securing the endorsement of the most influential woman in the world, as Time magazine calls her.  This wasn't just any endorsement.  Dick Morris called it the most important endorsement of the year.  But it was his brilliant 2004 convention speech that inspired her to endorse him, and he brilliantly used her endorsement to maximum effect, so ultimately all the credit goes to him.

        •  She got him over a million votes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AmericanRiverCanyon, liquid

          especially in places like Iowa that gave him momentum:

          http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.co...

          He would have lost the nomination in a land slide had it not been for her.  The Democratic nomination was the key to the white house after the republicans messed up so badly.

          •  He won Iowa (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MKSinSA

            before her endorsement.

            Don't inflate the woman's ego anymore than it already is.

            The key was the organization he ran. That's what won him Iowa. He simply out-organized the other campaigns. They maximized their vote and won.

            •  She endorsed him in 2006 (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AmericanRiverCanyon, MKSinSA, liquid

              On Larry King and then had him on her show and put his book on the best seller list.  Then she campaigned for him in Iowa in December 2007 generating massive massive publicity & visibility leading into the Iowa caucus which he won.  The Oprah campaigning generated THOUSANDS of new volunteers.  The offices were flooded with Oprah fans looking for seats.  It was one of the few places he beat Hillary among white women.

              Of course ultimately all the credit goes to Obama since he's the one who inspired Oprah to support him and his team made maximum use of her appearances, using it to recruit volunteers, getting everyone's phone number etc.  And it's not like Hillary didn't have star power too (her husband)

            •  Why didn't it work in New Hampshire? n/t (0+ / 0-)
              •  It did (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                liquid

                He initially got a huge boost from Oprah's endorsement, unfortunately he messed up in the debate by telling Hillary she was likable enough and Hillary brilliantly pulled an Oprah moment of her own by crying.

                •  You're making an awful lot of assumptions (0+ / 0-)

                  There's no way any of us can point to one or two isolated events and place the kind of casuality on them that you are here.

                  The polling apparently was wrong in NH that showed him in the lead in the first place. That's from analysis done after the primary was over and polling agencies themselves admitted mistakes in calculating vote totals were made and they corrected for them afterward.

                  So, he never was really in the lead there.

                  •  I don't want to argue all the specifics (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AmericanRiverCanyon, soms, liquid

                    Bottom line is that she got him about a million votes (especially in key places like Iowa) which decided the primary.  That was brilliantly proven by two University of Maryland economists who did a county by county analysis.  But all the credit goes to him, because Oprah's support alone could not make him president & it was he who inspired Oprah's support and made the most of it.  Millions of people contributed to his victory.  Oprah was especially influential, but still one of many.

      •  John McCain put Obama in the White House /snark (0+ / 0-)

        N/t

      •  I don't agree (0+ / 0-)

        I have found it annoying for some time.

        Lots of the books she makes best sellers are not deserving of being the number one book in the country.

        It's manipulative.

        I'm happy she MIGHT have helped Obama get elected, but so did I. So did millions of Americans.

        She has way too much influence in other things.

  •  Open your minds (6+ / 0-)

    Sometimes science doesn't address the nuance that is health. There is absolutely nothing wrong with announcing methods that have worked for you.

    The criticisms displayed here of people who found relief in ways that may not have been scientifically "approved" is nonsense.

    I am offended by those who think that they can judge another looking for ways to save their own life or the life of a loved one.

    Shameful, we're free - remember?

    World News/2059...Barack Obama day, a presidency that transformed the world in ways that no one could have seen at the time...

    by New Earth on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 02:03:36 AM PDT

  •  Its all about....feeeellinnggss (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leonard145b, Greek Goddess

    Its your feelings that matter...doesn't it feeelll good to nod your head and cry occasionally while someone gives an empassioned story about something in their life?

    Or specifically, its all about Oprah's feelings, and all the female groupies she has are along for the ride.

    She's done this sort of thing for years. Rarely does anyone call her on it, but congrats to Newsweek for trying.

    As with any other cult or group exhibiting cult-like behavior, it won't drill through the thick skulls of the people who need to hear it most.

  •  Wow. (7+ / 0-)

    I can't believe some of the comments here.  I thought liberals were able to hear things and think for themselves, and that it was the Christian right that hears and believes without thinking a whole lot.

    Oprah constantly tells her viewers to think for themselves and to do the research for themselves before buying into anything on her show.  Not to mention the good works this woman has done for humanity.  

    Can't you see what Newsweek is doing with this? And it's rather brilliant of them.  They're going to attempt to dismantle Oprah's influence because it's liberal, and spiritual, and they need to get rid of her. If Kossacks are buying into this so readily, I'm really concerned for our future.

  •  So now we heart medical profession? (4+ / 0-)

    Well, okay, I'm sorry I said that. The medical profession would never tell us anything if it wasn't true. Especially in this country. Never ever ever. Especially on TV. Is there a radio show I can go on and apologize?

    •  Wow (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian, HudsonValleyMark, zhimbo

      talk about completely missing the point.

      Let me make sure that I am understanding this:

      Diarist criticizes unscientific basis of non trad medical advice therefore you assume, with no evidence, said diarist supports everything that trad med says or does.

      Logic fail.

    •  yes we ♥ tradmedicine & tradmedia & trad (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soms

      .... drug advertising in magazines now, we do, we do, we do.

      We have seen the light.  

      Now go call your doctor and tell him about:

      your need for something to make you stop watching afternoon television because you can't control your self and you might eat chicken soup the next time you have a cold, destroying your health and forcing a drug rep into poverty.

      "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

      by AmericanRiverCanyon on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 07:51:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our very local (0+ / 0-)

    (Gary and Merriville, NW Indiana) has charlatans on all the time saying that trad med doesn't work and hawking all sorts of crap. This gets really offensive when said PBS station then tries to raise donations by helping to sell books written by these cheats.

  •  Thanks for pointing this out! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leonard145b, jtb583, Greek Goddess

    I'm glad to hear that people are discussing this issue because I'm a strong believer that we need to have better medical advice in the Mainstream Media. As of now, I feel like we're somewhat lacking in this area. Hopefully, this will spark more critical conversations, which could lead to better practices. ~ peace

    Please support equality in California: http://www.couragecampaign.org

    by Curiosity on Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 04:55:23 AM PDT

  •  I quit watching Oprah - she has gotten to cocky (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liquid

    and gossipy for me.  I watched her Elizabeth Edwards interview awhile back and I found her way to nosey.

    I don't know about the Sommers issue, but I am one of those that believe the MMR immunization has something to do with the autism issue.  I remember along time ago 20/20 did a story about some bad batches that got out of the MMR shot, allot of children were affected by this shot.  They warned Mothers of the batch numbers that were effected and to check this if you were taking your child for this immunization.  This is when the autism first became a problem.  

    I have a friend that experienced this with her son, during the time the 20/20 show came out.  He was completely normal up until 2 years old, he went to the Doctor had this shot and within 3 months, he stopped talking.  It progressed and got worse, and worse, and worse.  He is now 14 years old and was so bad, she couldn't handle him anymore, he is now in an institution.  

    This may not be the case in all situations, but I think some children have reactions to this particular immunization.  

  •  I haven't read the article (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AmericanRiverCanyon,