.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


Home of the Barking Moonbat


Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Via Majikthise, a subject of interest to me at Respectful Insolence entitled You Might Be An Altie.

quote: [P]lease remember that the following traits (and the term "altie") are NOT meant to describe all (or even most) users of alternative medicine or people who think certain alternative medicine modalities are useful treatments. They describe a strident, anti-intellectual, and anti-science subset of alt-med users, who tend to make impossibly grandiose claims for their favorite remedy and usually also express a strong distrust (or even hatred) of conventional medicine. The problem is, rational users of alt-med, who have a more realistic concept of where it might and might not be useful, tend to be reluctant to criticize alties, at least on Usenet and web discussion groups. /end of quote

Respectful Insolence goes on to outline a number of traits by which "alties" can be recognized.

My reaction: oh yea, I know these people.

Now, I'm actually a faithful adherent of certain alternative remedies and treatments. For example, I just purchased even more elderberry plants (from Forest Farm) because I believe in elderberry wine and elderberry cobbler as two of the great, unheralded remedies of all time. I also put in a blueberry patch last year for the same reasons --- not to mention, grapes. I eat a lot of curry and onions, and studiously avoid doctors --- I mean, there's a reason they're called Sawbones.

I'm pretty much an anti-pill, the-way-to-stay-healthy-is-to-stay-away-from-doctors kind of person.

However ... and it's a big however ...

I'm also a great believer in medical science. And I certainly believe more in conventional medicine than alternative, at least for some things.

My gripe with pills and doctors, I suppose, is that too many people use them as a replacement for common sense and good practices. Got heart problems? Get some pills and a bypass so you can keep eating that crap at McDonalds. Got diabetes? Get some pills so you can keep right on chowing down on the Little Debbies and cheese Danish. Joints feeling a little creaky? Get some pills so you can keep on sitting on your duff day in and day out, but no longer feel the consequences of those frozen, calcified, cranky, out of practice old joints.

People like that upset me, especially when they're people I care about but am powerless to persuade.

But they're not nearly as bad as the True Believers in alternative treatments. The worst I've encountered are the CureZone Junkies and Reiki Healers.

It's my opinion cults have formed around the various alternative medicines and treatments, and membership in The Cult requires a certain rigidity of mind and intolerance of difference. Alties also seem to have any number of ailments and disorders which --- oddly enough --- can't be detected by normal medical practice.

My first major exposure to this phenomenon was in the form of a couple who suffered competing undiagnosable, vague, debilitating disorders and ailments. Their lives revolved around their chelation treatments and colon cleansings and coffee enemas and horrid looking concoctions and whatnot which would alleviate the distress of their disorders for a few days, or until their next trip to The Witch Doctor.

When I violated the sanctity of their disorders by suggesting perhaps a little sunshine and a walk might be good for them, I was cast like a demon from the bowels of their misery.

My next encounter was with a psychic therapist --- yes, that's right --- who claimed my work was actually her work that she was channeling to me.

I realized then there might be a problem with these people.

What I'd like to see are full psychological evaluations of The True Believer types in alternative medicine, published for all the world to see. They're really causing problems, especially for the people like me who believe there is some efficacy to many of these treatments, but who don't want to become involved with flaming, stark raving mad and delusional people in order to learn about these thing.

Maybe if we could get some of these lunatics out of the way, we could proceed with research proving what we all know: that nothing will cure you faster than a nice big piece of homemade blueberry pie (made with homegrown blueberries and encased in a nice lattice-topped cinnamon crust) with a bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home