Traditional Chinese Medicine

Taiji Rebel

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Can you give me their details? I would like to write to the health secretary and complain about this. Paying for alternative therapies which have absolutely no proven efficacy, in an NHS where chemotherapy etc is rationed due to financial constraints, is an absolute scandal!
You are mistaken in thinking these are alternative therapies - they are complementary and work in conjunction with conventional western methods.

There are many approaches to health, wellbeing and healing which benefit people. Traditional thinking is evolving and the world is changing for the better. You seem to be unhappy about and this is a real shame. Life is too short to hold on to negative energy and anger. Open your heart to the love of the world, see the magic and beauty wherever you go, and recognize there are many ways to benefit the health and wellbeing of people which stretch far beyond standard western medicine practices.
 
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Gyakuto

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You might think this is extreme, but my other half is advised by her health authority that certain types of people should be prioritised for treatment. If youre a smoker, obese, engage in risky lifestyles etc, then you may not be given medical treatment.

My brother is a GP and when patients come in with vague symptoms (fatigue, headaches, just not feeling well etc) he does a full blood count and other blood tests. His health authority give him huge grief over this (due to the cost) saying he should be far more targeted in his approach. His response is that if he misses something due to a targeted approach (oh its just your age) the health authority (non-clinical bean counters) will haul him through disciplinary procedures and strike him off (every year, hes in the top three of best GPs in the U.K. by his patients).
 

Darksoul

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You might think this is extreme, but my other half is advised by her health authority that certain types of people should be prioritised for treatment. If youre a smoker, obese, engage in risky lifestyles etc, then you may not be given medical treatment.

My brother is a GP and when patients come in with vague symptoms (fatigue, headaches, just not feeling well etc) he does a full blood count and other blood tests. His health authority give him huge grief over this (due to the cost) saying he should be far more targeted in his approach. His response is that if he misses something due to a targeted approach (oh its just your age) the health authority (non-clinical bean counters) will haul him through disciplinary procedures and strike him off (every year, hes in the top three of best GPs in the U.K. by his patients).
-Correct me if I'm mistaken but this sounds more like you have issues with the system, how its funded and administered, rather then TCM being used in conjunction with Western Medicine.
 
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Gyakuto

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-Correct me if I'm mistaken but this sounds more like you have issues with the system, how its funded and administered, rather then TCM being used in conjunction with Western Medicine.
Yes, thats it exactly (in the U.K/NHS). People can partake in whatever they like as long as they dont expect the someone else to fund their proclivities, especially, in the case of alternative therapies, when the evidence for their efficacy is scant. If definitive evidence emerged that some alternative therapy did unambiguously work and, even better for me, the mechanism for it was elucidated, then I will change my mind. Acupuncture does reduce pain and by making the brain release endogenous opiates (endorphins). A similar effect can be achieved by punching yourself in the face. Acupuncture does not work (above placebo) for weight loss or smoking cessation.

I would be happy if the public took the red (Matrix) pill and saw that a person holding their hands over a another and beaming healing rays into their body is very unlikely to be a real phenomenon or that dangling a piece of quartz over a stomach ache will not cure it and education and critical thinking skills would go a long way to achieving that. But people like to believe in woo, woo夷t gives them comfort in an uncertain, cruel world and if thats their thing, then thats fine.

It was Voltaire who said, Anyone who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
 

Taiji Rebel

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A few more articles of interest:




The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. (By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251.5)
 

O'Malley

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The reasoning seems simple to me. The health system has limited budget to fund therapies, therefore one has to make a choice and it would only make sense to exclude practices whose effectiveness has not been proven. Otherwise, taxpayer's money would be spent for no reason. So, as long as reiki or magnet healing are not harmful, people are free to try them, but as long as there will be no proof that they work, it should not be done on public funds.


The most stunning statistic, however, is that the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the US. (By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251.5)
The first author of that paper (Gary Null) has a vested financial interest in people choosing his products over science-based medicine. He rejects the scientific consensus on about everything and has regularly asserted that all diseases are caused by nutritional deficiencies which can be cured by the nutritional supplements that he just happens to sell.


I wouldn't take him seriously.
 

Taiji Rebel

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The reasoning seems simple to me. The health system has limited budget to fund therapies, therefore one has to make a choice and it would only make sense to exclude practices whose effectiveness has not been proven. Otherwise, taxpayer's money would be spent for no reason. So, as long as reiki or magnet healing are not harmful, people are free to try them, but as long as there will be no proof that they work, it should not be done on public funds.


The first author of that paper (Gary Null) has a vested financial interest in people choosing his products over science-based medicine. He rejects the scientific consensus on about everything and has regularly asserted that all diseases are caused by nutritional deficiencies which can be cured by the nutritional supplements that he just happens to sell.


I wouldn't take him seriously.
I am not taking anything in this thread too seriously :D
 

Taiji Rebel

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The reasoning seems simple to me. The health system has limited budget to fund therapies, therefore one has to make a choice and it would only make sense to exclude practices whose effectiveness has not been proven. Otherwise, taxpayer's money would be spent for no reason. So, as long as reiki or magnet healing are not harmful, people are free to try them, but as long as there will be no proof that they work, it should not be done on public funds.
This is something I am in full agreement with. If you return to the post in which I mentioned knowing people who offer their services to the NHS, you will clearly see that it was Gyakuto who jumped to the conclusion they charged the NHS for these offerings. It just goes to show why asking for clarification is important before pulling the trigger - if not, you may just end shooting yourself in the foot instead ;)
 

MetalBoar

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I'm all for only funding things that are proven to work, and all for funding fully independent research to make these determinations. Let's apply that standard across the board. The question I have in all this, and it's not easy to answer for a variety of reasons, is what does actually work? Conventional medicine is great when it comes to dealing with trauma, but its track record is less impressive in dealing with things like chronic pain. It's no wonder to me that people with these kinds of issues look for alternatives, I myself have no interest in opioid addiction.

When it comes to surgery, how much of it undergoes any kind of clinical trials? When it does, how well does it really perform?

My father had a back injury about 10-15 years ago and everyone (he got several opinions) wanted to do surgery. He passed on that and got chiropractic treatment instead because the surgery was fairly high risk. In short order his back was fine and has been ever since (he's now almost 90). Whether chiropractic worked for him or not isn't my point, his results may very well have been regression to the mean and unrelated to the chiropractic adjustments he received or they may have been influenced (via the placebo effect) by those adjustments, but not because the adjustments were effective as advertised. My point is that if he'd undergone a risky surgery, and had the same outcome, the surgery would have been completely unnecessary for, and unrelated (aside from possible placebo) to his recovery, but everyone involved would have called the surgery a success, even though he would have recovered (and did) without intervention (assuming chiropractic was not an element of his recovery). If we don't study the efficacy of these procedures, how do we know they're actually effective?

I know that sham surgery studies are controversial (and therefor not commonly performed), but they can be enlightening.


 
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Gyakuto

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but its track record is less impressive in dealing with things like chronic pain. It's no wonder to me that people with these kinds of issues look for alternatives, I myself have no interest in opioid addiction.
I suspect this is probably an anecdotal statement rather than being based upon statistical data. Pain clinics have many patients whos chronic pain is well managed, although not necessarily removed completely - that is, currently, difficult.

When it comes to surgery, how much of it undergoes any kind of clinical trials? When it does, how well does it really perform?
Yes it does and unlike TCM (which has been around, unmodified for thousands of years) undergoes modification and refinement. If you had gall stones a few decades ago, theyd cut you in half to get to the issue and youd have to stay in hospital for 7-10 days. Now its sorted through three small holes (laparoscopically) and youre home in 3 days! Laparoscopic surgery underwent clinical trials. Shoulder endoscopy/surgery was once de rigueur, now, following extensive clinical trials/research, its a last resort procedure. After clinical trials, it was found that in dental surgery, chipping bone away with an osteotome was found to cause less post-operative pain than drilling it away.

My father had a back injury about 10-15 years ago and everyone (he got several opinions) wanted to do surgery. He passed on that and got chiropractic treatment instead because the surgery was fairly high risk. In short order his back was fine and has been ever since (he's now almost 90). Whether chiropractic worked for him or not isn't my point, his results may very well have been regression to the mean and unrelated to the chiropractic adjustments he received or they may have been influenced (via the placebo effect) by those adjustments, but not because the adjustments were effective as advertised. My point is that if he'd undergone a risky surgery, and had the same outcome, the surgery would have been completely unnecessary for, and unrelated (aside from possible placebo) to his recovery, but everyone involved would have called the surgery a success, even though he would have recovered (and did) without intervention (assuming chiropractic was not an element of his recovery). If we don't study the efficacy of these procedures, how do we know they're actually effective?
Surgeons are not clever people (especially orthopods). They like to operate夷ts their job. When I had a herniate lumbar disc I was offered risky surgery by excited surgeons but on reading the research I decided to explore other avenues such as physiotherapy. 8 months later, after much painful rehabilitation, I was pain free. Would this be the outcome if Id done nothing? Who knows, but as a relatively proactive person, that wasnt an option for me.

I know that sham surgery studies are controversial (and therefor not commonly performed), but they can be enlightening.


We have to remember that many medical doctors are not scientists steeped in double blind controlled trials. The quality of their research is often wanting (look at Andrew Wakefields hugely flawed research on the link between MMR vaccination and autism, peer reviewed and published in The Lancet - a prestigious medically-led journal) which is why medical research should be under the directorship of competent scientists.

戊 Happy 75th Anniversary, NHS - Medical care free at the point of delivery 戊
 

Taiji Rebel

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I suspect this is probably an anecdotal statement rather than being based upon statistical data. Pain clinics have many patients whos chronic pain is well managed, although not necessarily removed completely - that is, currently, difficult.


Yes it does and unlike TCM (which has been around, unmodified for thousands of years) undergoes modification and refinement. If you had gall stones a few decades ago, theyd cut you in half to get to the issue and youd have to stay in hospital for 7-10 days. Now its sorted through three small holes (laparoscopically) and youre home in 3 days! Laparoscopic surgery underwent clinical trials. Shoulder endoscopy/surgery was once de rigueur, now, following extensive clinical trials/research, its a last resort procedure. After clinical trials, it was found that in dental surgery, chipping bone away with an osteotome was found to cause less post-operative pain than drilling it away.


Surgeons are not clever people (especially orthopods). They like to operate夷ts their job. When I had a herniate lumbar disc I was offered risky surgery by excited surgeons but on reading the research I decided to explore other avenues such as physiotherapy. 8 months later, after much painful rehabilitation, I was pain free. Would this be the outcome if Id done nothing? Who knows, but as a relatively proactive person, that wasnt an option for me.


We have to remember that many medical doctors are not scientists steeped in double blind controlled trials. The quality of their research is often wanting (look at Andrew Wakefields hugely flawed research on the link between MMR vaccination and autism, peer reviewed and published in The Lancet - a prestigious medically-led journal) which is why medical research should be under the directorship of competent scientists.

戊 Happy 75th Anniversary, NHS - Medical care free at the point of delivery 戊
This whole thread from beginning to end is an illustration of confirmation bias. Gyakuto has engineered a binary argument to support his chosen belief system - we have a TCM vs Western Medicine argument with elitist and racist undertones.

Lumping everything under umbrella terms such as Western Medicine, TCM, and Science is not at all balanced :confused:

Western Medicine is not one thing, it is a convenient label for a complex series of practices and procedures. Within these practices we have a variety of people offering and receiving many different treatments and drugs. Not every practitioner is a good one and not every drug, or procedure is safe.

But, if it does not fit the biased narrative then it can be ignored, or explained away.

It is interesting to note the attack on TCM from the outset, even though there have been many studies which support the effectiveness of complementary practices.

All of the complementary practitioners I know are open-minded and work in conjunction with open-minded GPs and medical staff. They have never felt the need to attack conventional medicine in such an aggressive manner, and each of them are happy to investigate new areas of interest and study to assist their growth and learning.

Martial artists often surprise me when they fail to embrace the beginner's mind aka Shoshin.

Happy 75th Anniversary, NHS
 
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Gyakuto

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Sometimes a persons mind can be so open their brains fall out.
 

MetalBoar

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I suspect this is probably an anecdotal statement rather than being based upon statistical data. Pain clinics have many patients whos chronic pain is well managed, although not necessarily removed completely - that is, currently, difficult.
This may be true in the UK, I have no insight into how things are over there, but in the US pain management isn't working very well, or at least not by my definitions.

This article is from 2012, but my understanding is the only thing that's really changed is we now limit access to opioids much more strictly:

From the article, "At the same time, fewer than half of the 100 million Americans living with chronic pain are able to get adequate relief, even from strong opioid drugs like Oxycontin."


A more recent study puts the number of those in the US living with "high impact chronic pain" at ~17 million.


Another article from May of this year:

It puts the number of people in the US suffering from "debilitating pain" at > 20 million. It also says that, "There are over 100 million people in the United States who would meet the criteria for chronic pain syndrome". I'm not sure how many of these 100 million people have "well managed" chronic pain, but from my experience (anecdotal), even those making good money (but not millions) and good insurance in the tech industry often don't have well managed pain. If we compare it to the 2012 article, it seems likely that only about 50 million of them might qualify as having "well managed" chronic pain (assuming that the number hasn't dropped with the increased opioid restrictions).

It also states, "As a country, the United States spends well over 100 billion dollars a year on healthcare costs related to pain management and opioid dependence.[2] Pain-related expenses exceed those for the costs of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined.[3]" I don't know about you, but for >$100 billion annually that sounds like pretty poor results.
 

HighKick

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This may be true in the UK, I have no insight into how things are over there, but in the US pain management isn't working very well, or at least not by my definitions.

This article is from 2012, but my understanding is the only thing that's really changed is we now limit access to opioids much more strictly:

From the article, "At the same time, fewer than half of the 100 million Americans living with chronic pain are able to get adequate relief, even from strong opioid drugs like Oxycontin."


A more recent study puts the number of those in the US living with "high impact chronic pain" at ~17 million.


Another article from May of this year:

It puts the number of people in the US suffering from "debilitating pain" at > 20 million. It also says that, "There are over 100 million people in the United States who would meet the criteria for chronic pain syndrome". I'm not sure how many of these 100 million people have "well managed" chronic pain, but from my experience (anecdotal), even those making good money (but not millions) and good insurance in the tech industry often don't have well managed pain. If we compare it to the 2012 article, it seems likely that only about 50 million of them might qualify as having "well managed" chronic pain (assuming that the number hasn't dropped with the increased opioid restrictions).

It also states, "As a country, the United States spends well over 100 billion dollars a year on healthcare costs related to pain management and opioid dependence.[2] Pain-related expenses exceed those for the costs of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined.[3]" I don't know about you, but for >$100 billion annually that sounds like pretty poor results.
Simply by population growth, I do not doubt these statistics. But there is way too much influence from the pharmaceutical industry driving increased 'legal' drug usage.
 
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