Bill Glasheen wrote:I understand your position on "alternate therapy." However I think you need to be careful here.
Meta:Not at all.
"Alternative Medicine is just not "medicine". Plain and simple.
There's really no argument here. It just isn't medicine.
Perhaps what you are thinking of are new medical techniques in development?
The argument that : What used to be unacceptable medicine but now that science has "seen the light" is an often used as argument by Hucksters who are defending their quackery, and I might add, that any theory which can show proof to explain it is not "alternative science", but a theory.
Legitimate research on up and coming medical technologies is *always* accepted until proven false as long as it is:
1. Based on solid scientific principal.
2. Peer reviewed
3. Is documented that is being pursued using quantifiable and repeatable outcomes or variables thereof, and it helps to pass double blind experiments as well.
4. Stem from or are expansions of existing medical science therapies/practices.
Note: What is NOT seen in the medical field is a sudden, earth shattering "discovery" of ancient medical techniques, or "Sudden revolutionary methodology that changes the very core of the entire human medical paradigm", but rather what is seen has *always* been a progressive shift of medical technology based upon previous, existing, WORKING technologies.
An example is the old saying: "I have only seen so far because I have stood on that shoulders of giants."
Sciences' growth is geometric, not spontaneous.
But I digress.
Are there quacks in the legitimate medical field?
Absolutely! But the system is designed to catch frauds sooner or later.
None of the above can ever be said regarding "Alternative Medicines."
Checks and balances DO exist.
Bill Glasheen wrote:Many treatments or therapies are not prescribed because Western Medicine isn't (yet) trained to do so. Our old traditional model of healthcare was to treat people when they got sick.
This is another bit of often used "alternative medicine-religion" propaganda meme.
I beg you, as a lay person to a Doctorite, to please re-read what you wrote, and perhaps think about what your process was and perhaps reflect on just how silly that sounds.
Do you *honestly* feel that the "Western" Medical science model for healthcare was and is only about treating the body when sick?
I think there would be a lot of people in the medical profession who would find that statement rather insulting, especially researchers and doctors past and present who have dedicated and sacrificed much, including their personal fortune and even lives to just an endeavor.
Question: What is the ultimate goal of medicine why does it exist?
Answer: To prevent, and/or cure ALL human disease and aliments.
Bill Glasheen wrote:Managed Care was brought in allegedly to change the paradigm of healthcare. Initially it was all about healthcare financing, and customers truly got a bum rap on the treatment thing. It's all fine and well to shake the doctors and hospitals down so they get only what they deserve. RBRVS (resource-based relative value scale) had been a godsend, financed by the government for Medicare and advanced into traditional commercial insurance. It established a "worth" for every treatment, and then allowed whatever payer to apply a conversion unit to compute "allowed amount." That would be in dollars per relative value unit, or $/RVU. The battles with the hospitals has been a mixed affair. Both insurer and hospital chains got bigger so each could bargain hard for their share of the pie.
But in the end, we get to the point where we've squeezed all the fat out of the system there is on the finance end. And then guess what happens? Double-digit healthcare inflation returns once again.
Meta: Yes, there is a healthcare crisis in this country.(America)
Yes, it's partly about greedy drug companies, unscrupulous insurance companies, lobbying, political favor, sex, lies, videotape and all the rest of man's evils and yes, even corrupt physicians.
Heck, I've even been witness to a Doctor prescribing whatever "flavor of the month" drug ordered electronically from his wireless P.D.A. given for free by whatever pharmaceutical company happened to dissuade them that week. But this is important: That doesn't mean I should consider drinking psillium husks each day or ear candling or applied kinesiology, or herbs or "Eastern Medicine", or for that matter, sticking a corn-cob in my ear while standing on one leg chanting "Nam-Myoho-renge-kyo".
Our current health care system isn't perfect, and neither is science for that matter. But, just like the American form of government, It is the best and most effective thing we have going right now. Checks and balances, remember?
I fully believe more than anything, that the good doctors outweigh the bad, and logic, maturity, and doing the right thing for the patient's well being will always prevail.
Bill Glasheen wrote:True "manage care" is just now happening. This is where insurers or other entities work to produce information to physicians and hospitals so they understand how closely the treatment for the patients comply with evidence-based guidelines, and how efficient that care is delivered (for example, average cost of an episode of care of a certain disease type). The company I work for produces these various software packages, by the way.
Meta: Funny you should mention that you work for a medical software company. So do I.
Bill Glasheen wrote:And this is where it gets interesting, Meta. You see, guidelines from medical societies now endorse certain "nontraditional care" such as chiropractic for the palliative treatment of certain conditions such as acute low back pain.
They do so under state and government pressure I am certain: And why? Lobbyists. Nice huh!?
But on the other issue, are'nt you perhaps confusing the quack practice of Chiropractics with SMT?
Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT)
An estimated 80% of adults will experience a severe bout with back pain and dysfunction at some time in their life. There is substantial evidence that spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) has value in relieving back pain and improving the range of impaired spinal motion at least temporarily. Although SMT is probably no more effective than other modalities in the long term, it appears to offer faster relief in about one third of patients [2-4] Further, because SMT involves the laying on of hands, a technique widely employed throughout history by folk and faith healers, it enhances suggestibility and the placebo effect [5,6]. Many people like SMT because of the direct contact it involves and the subjective relief it brings. Charles DuVall, Sr., D.C., reports that SMT can become addictive .
Chiropractic is commonly thought to be synonymous with SMT. In reality, SMT's history goes back at least to Hippocrates (400 B.C.), while chiropractic's roots go back less than 100 years. Folk healers ("bonesetters") and early osteopaths used SMT as a panacea. Today SMT is employed by medical specialists (physiatrists, orthopedists, sports medicine practitioners), osteopathic physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers, as well as by chiropractors.
A survey of back-pain sufferers revealed that physiatrists are the most effective at treating back problems . Physiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in rehabilitation. Formerly they were called doctors of physical medicine. But physiatrists are few in number and can be difficult to find. (They often practice in connection with Veterans Administration hospitals.) Some hospitals now have back treatment centers that emphasize strengthening weak stomach musculature (a major cause of back problems) and improving the flexibility of the back. Many of these centers offer SMT either by a physical therapist or a chiropractor.
Bill Glasheen wrote:
Take yours truly. Dad and brother are going the traditional medical route of getting pharmaceutical treatment (one of two different types) to keep the plumbing running downstairs. Yours truly has chosen to take saw palmetto from early on. So far so good...
I'm fifty-one and I take no medication. But I do take supplements (such as glucosamine for joints, omega 3, 6, an 9 fatty acids for joints and heart, saw palmetto for the prostate, etc.) to maintain my good health rather than treat poor health. Whether or not these supplements make it into "traditional" practice depends. You will now get cardiologists and primary care physicians for example telling patients to take fish oil (a source of omega 3 fatty acids) for the heart. But they don't necessarily buy into the rest of it.
Meta: On Saw Palmetto Taken from:http://www.priory.com/med/saw.htm
"No "well done" long-term, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of saw palmetto have been done to date."
Note: My Dad had prostate cancer and opted to have it removed, which had left him incontinent as the risks involved depending on the cancer location, the surgery can also remove the muscles controlling the bladder. (Not good for a super active athletic guy like my dad. Luckily, he underwent a new procedure which literally gave him "robotic" control over his bladder. (The various jokes will continue forever)
But most surprising was, that every doctor we talked to, and everything we read about men's prostate health pointed to an amazing fact: Prostate cancer is very slow to grow, and in fact, most men will die with at least some tiny portions of prostate cancer tumors.
So it's not too high on my list. I still get checked, but THAT's no "fun day at the beach" either.
Bill Glasheen wrote:Yea, a physician sure could tell you to take saw palmetto instead of getting on finasteride (Proscar). But there's no profit in it for the major drug companies.
Meta: It honestly frightens me that a Physician would advocate an unproven, unregulated supplement such as that.
Whatever happened to "First, do no harm???"
Are you CERTAIN your physician "recommended" it? Not just said something like: "It couldn't hurt.." or something like that? Scary stuff. (But just to be fair, so are half the new drugs that come out these days)
Besides, indeed there IS money in it. From supplement suppliers, makers and distributors. It's a billion dollar a year business.
Bill Glasheen wrote:But to the extent that you can lower stress through massage therapy or gym memberships, why not? And if it makes them more productive at work, why wouldn't the employer buy into it? Some do, but usually through alternative routes. Again, they use their bargaining power to negotiate discounts for services and memberships.
You are right, they SHOULD pay for these things. But the difference is that working out and massage are scientifically proven to increase health benefit. "Alternative medicine" is not.
There's a bit of Metablade in all of us.