What does your alternative medicine provider think?
How does he or she heal what ails you?
In other words, what’s really behind the idea or philosophy behind what makes their techniques ‘work?’
“…there’s no such thing as conventional or alternative or complementary or integrative or holistic medicine. There’s only medicine that works and medicine that doesn’t.”
Paul Offit on Do You Believe in Magic?
Does it matter to you that the concept of innate intelligence of chiropractic “is derived directly from the occult practices of another era?”
Does it matter to you that following their bad advice might have deadly consequences?
A Parent’s Guide to Complementary and Integrative Medicine
You may think that it doesn’t matter how something works, as long as it works, right?
Unfortunately, these treatments have not been proven to work and sometimes do real harm to folks, especially when they have serious illnesses and skip using traditional treatments that could have really helped them.
|Acupuncture – a practitioner of acupuncture “heals” by inserting needles along specific meridians to unblock your child’s qi (chi) or life force. Can also be done without needles (acupressure), with practitioners applying physical pressure to acupuncture points to clear blockages in specific meridians|
|Aromatherapy – invented in 1937 by Rene- Maurice Gattefosse, aromatherapy uses essential oils or “naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.” How do essential oils work? They help to “unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.” Is that what you are doing when you use essential oils?|
|Ayurveda – with origins in ancient India, practitioners believe that imbalances in three elemental substances (which are made up of five classical elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether) can cause disease, as they lead to excess or deficiency in one of three forces – vata, kapha, and pitta.|
|Traditional Chinese medicine – includes the use of herbal medicines, tai chi, and acupuncture, etc., and is rooted in Taoism and based on keeping yin and yang in harmony, the five elements (water, wood, fire, earth, and metal), and qi – a vital energy that flows through your body.|
|Chiropractic – chiropractic subluxations interfere with our innate intelligence that works to keep us healthy and our ability to heal ourselves. Daniel David Palmer, a magnetic healer, discovered this when he adjusted and “healed” a partially deaf janitor in Iowa in 1895. It is important to note that these chiropractic subluxations are usually not visible on xray, unlike true spinal subluxations. Like other alternative providers, chiropractors have vertebral subluxation and nerve charts that they think map to specific areas and parts of our bodies.|
|Craniosacral therapy – has to do with tides, rhythms, and flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which these practitioners think they can feel and manipulate by massaging your head. It was was developed by John Upledger, D.O. in the 1970s.|
|Cryotherapy – no, we aren’t talking about freezing warts, but rather whole body cryotherapy, the new trend that has hit your local strip-mall and many chiropractic offices.|
|Cupping – truly an ancient practice, cupping is supposed to draw toxins out of your body. It was once combined with bloodletting.|
|Dry needling – involves sticking needles into “myofascial trigger points” in your skin to create a local twitch reflex, which is supposed to stop pain. Another ancient practice? Nope. It was invented in the 1940s. Physical therapists often learn how to do dry needling at weekend seminars.|
|Electromagnetic therapy – do you believe that an imbalance of electromagnetic frequencies or fields of energy in your body is making you sick? Have you ever used a TENS unit for pain?|
|Faith healing – while there is certainly nothing wrong with praying when your child is sick, there are way too many stories of tragedies when parents rely on prayer alone.|
|Herbalism – herbalism is a part of many traditional medical traditions, but many practitioners make exaggerated claims about what these herbs can do.|
|Holistic Dentistry – use homeopathy, ozone therapy, essential oils, and other alternative therapies to take care of your whole body, not just your teeth. Many even have their own meridian tooth charts, thinking that you can map each tooth an organ in the body or a disease. And of course, they are often anti-fluoride and will want to replace any mercury fillings that you have.|
|Homeopathy – homeopathic medicine was created in Germany by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796. It is based on the concepts that “like cures like” and the “law of the minimum dose.” Homeopathic medicines are diluted so much, in fact, that they are said to only contain a memory of the original substance.|
|Holistic Pediatricians – likely panders to your fears about vaccines and incorporates many of the alternative therapies on this list, especially acupuncture, the use of essential oils, and homeopathy. Probably doesn’t take insurance, but has found a way to integrate a lot of expensive, non-evidence based testing and treatments into their practice, like meridian testing, Zyto scans, detox testing, and chelation therapy, etc.|
|Hypnotherapy – while maybe hypnotherapy can distract you during a painful procedure, there is less evidence that it helps treat medical and psychological problems|
|Iridology – the “science” of the iris of the eyes, a certified iridologist, by consulting an iridology chart, can diagnose your problems “based on the markings, fibers, structures, pigments and color variations in the iris which are located in specific areas”|
|Naturopathy – in addition to licensed naturopathic physicians that have to complete four years of schooling, there are also unlicensed, traditional naturopaths with much less formal education, which is why you see many using a lot of non-evidence based treatments. Naturopaths combine herbalism, homeopathy, acupuncture, IV therapy, and other alternative therapies.|
|Phrenology – developed at about the same time as homeopathy, phrenologists thought that they could tell things about a person’s personality by feeling their skull.|
|Reflexology – although it may have its origins in ancient Egypt, modern reflexology traces itself to Dr. William H. Fitzgerald and Eunice D. Ingham in the early 20th century. Reflexologists believe that they can diagnose and cure diseases by feeling a persons feet or hands, as, the International Institute of Reflexology claims, “there are reflex areas in the feet and hands which correspond to all of the glands, organs and parts of the body.”|
|Reiki – rei (universal) and ki (life energy) was introduced to Western Cultures from Japan by Hawayo Takata in the 1930s. Reiki practitioners, trained by a Reiki Master, can, according to the The International Center for Reiki Training, get “miraculous results” and Reiki is reportedly “effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect.” How? Reiki is “a non-physical healing energy made up of life force energy that is guided by the Higher Intelligence, or spiritually guided life force energy. This is a functional definition as it closely parallels the experience of those who practice Reiki in that Reiki energy seems to have an intelligence of its own flowing where it is needed in the client and creating the healing conditions necessary for the individuals needs.”|
|Rolfing – invented in the 1920s by Dr. Ida P. Rolf, rolfing is like deep tissue massage, except that it also “aimed at improving body alignment and functioning,” to keep your body’s energy field in alignment with the gravitational field of the Earth.|
|Sclerology – the belief that a practitioner can diagnose your medical problems by looking at the veins (the red lines) on the sclera (the white part of your eyes), as a sclerology chart shows you that each part of our body is represented in a different part of the sclera.|
|Shamanism – ancient practices, typically of indigenous people, who invoke spirits and travel to the spirit world to heal people and the community.|
|Shiatsu – accupressure from Japan|
|Shonishin – this is pediatric acupuncture, so acupuncture for little kids, but don’t worry, they don’t actually use needles…|
When you go to one of these practitioners, do you really think you need help unblocking your qi, an adjustment to help your “Innate Intelligence” get unblocked, or to have your life force energy moved around?
Do their charts and maps really make any sense to you?
But these are ancient treatments, so doesn’t that mean that they must work? Many of these treatments aren’t so ancient, but were invented fairly recently. Even those that are ancient, they have often been replaced by modern medicine in the places where they were discovered.
But many modern medicines are derived from natural substances, so doesn’t that mean herbal therapies and natural treatments can work? Sure and when they do, they become conventional medicines. It doesn’t mean that everything that is natural is a good medicine.
And it certainly does’t mean that you should try the latest fad holistic therapy on your child.
More on Complementary and Integrative Medicine for Kids
- What’s The Harm?
- what’s the harm
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has an Integrative Medicine Problem
- NDs for Vaccines
- What is naturopathic medicine?
- An Inside View of a Chiropractic Office
- Stem Cells and Chiropractic
- Fallen followers: Investigation finds 10 more dead children of faith healers
- Here be Dragons: Caring for Children in a Dangerous Sea of sCAM
- Beware of Non-Evidence-Based Treatments
- Quackery for Kids
- Six signs you are being treated by a quack
- No matter how often I read about treatments like this, I still can’t believe parents actually subject their children to them
- No, torturing colicky infants by sticking them with acupuncture needles won’t calm them
- Cranio-sacral therapy: misleading? dishonest? unethical?
- A Brief Look at Homeopathy for the Children
- Caring for Sick Kids: Know the Difference Between “Natural Remedy” Facts and Fallacies
- 10 Best Alternative Therapies of All Times
- Don’t just stand there, do nothing! The difference between science-based medicine and quackery
- Mindfulness No Better Than Watching TV
- What’s the harm? Cupping edition
- Hypnotherapy For Pain and Other Conditions
- An aromatherapist versus science
- Aromatherapy: Making Dollars out of Scents
- Cranio-sacral therapy: misleading? dishonest? unethical?
- Researching the Magic of Homeopathy
- Reiki is Nonsense
- Reflexology: A Close Look
- Reflexology for Babies?
- Acupuncture for Infant Colic Part 2: Acupuncture Boogaloo
- Reflexology for Babies?
- “Magic Socks?” Alternative Medicine’s Obsession With Your Feet.
- How Pseudoscientific Quacks Defend Child Abuse
- Be Wary of Acupuncture, Qigong, and “Chinese Medicine”
- Research Casts Doubt on the Value of Acupuncture
- Innate intelligence: its origins and problems
- Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC): A “Cool” Trend that Lacks Evidence, Poses Risks
- Study – A close look at therapeutic touch.
- Study – Lead, mercury, and arsenic in US- and Indian-manufactured Ayurvedic medicines sold via the Internet.
- Book – Do You Believe in Magic?
- Book – Bad Faith
Last Updated on August 11, 2018 by Vincent Iannelli, MD