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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 10:52 PM   #21
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
I don't think I've ever seen any scientific testing that would prove this to be safe.* *
You may be right, my body does seem to reject it- -eventually
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-26-2006, 11:37 PM   #22
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

We should design an experiment to correct this oversight in the scientific literature. Half our subjects would be given massive amounts of water and the other half given beer as a placebo. See who feels better after a few hours.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 12:36 AM   #23
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Seriously, the statistical "noise" is very high when you are talking about individual anecdotes. Lots of conditions wax and wane. It is fruitless to try and convince folks that their one impressive observation doesn't reflect the "truth."

I am not anti-alternative treatment, just think that to the extent it is anecdotal and of uncertain safety, I'd err on the side of healthy skepticism. Not downright rejection, but more toward the approach that if there is something there, let's test its effectiveness and safety best we can. My dog, getting a little old for a Dobey, has good days/weeks and bad; some days acts like a pup, and other days lies around and moves little. Don't know why.

That's not to doubt your observation but rather to be cautious about attributing it to an unproven remedy. Maybe so, maybe not.* I guess I feel it is consistent to appy the same scrutiny to an alternative treatment as you would to a conventional treatment.
Speaking from the manufacturing side of this issue I offer the following:

Most medicines started out as "alternative" because there were no safe drugs to be had. Snake Oils and formaldehyde were the order of the day before 1906 (Food and Drug Law) so many people died from medicines taken in good faith from many sources including the local doctor who also used leaches and did bleedings in between haircuts. (OK pushed that one a bit far ). Many of todays over drugs came from folklore and trial and error. Aspirin was originally from tree bark. The foxglove plant was used for a number of uses but yeilded a powerful heart drug Digitalis. Nitroglycerine was invented by Albert Nobel as an explosive which he mixed with clay to render it less dangerous and Dynamite was born. Later in life he developed heart problems which he treated with dilute Nitroglycerine to help relieve his heart pain. Most antibiotics came from molds that existed in nature before they were discovered to kill bacteria. There are hundreds of other examples.

FDA regulates all drugs manufactured or imported into the US. Other countries have similar agencies that do the same task. Alternative therapies are not currently as regulated as Rx drugs and can be sold with a variety of claims that unless proven by some amount of clinical data, are not allowed to be marketed. That does not stop them from using a disclaimer. Look at the TV ads for weight loss items or male vigor preparations. They continue to dupe people into forking over tons of cash to these highly questionable companies for "drugs" that make them lose weight or be a superman in bed.

Unfortunately, even the best studied drugs can lead to long term health issues over time. Vioxx, estrogen therapy, antibiotic over/mis use and many others continue to be an issue since no matter how much you study a drug in a population, there will always be outliers that are not seen in the clinical trials. Once the drug is used by the general population these outliers start to show up. The degree of adverse event dictates what actions are to be taken by FDA and the drug company to resolve these.

Alternative medicines are not tested in the same manner. While a new drug may be tested over a 5 year period on ten of thousands of people, the alt. medicines are not. Any contaminantes or unintended components can cause serious harm and may not be tested for prior to being distrubuted. Take this stuff at your own risk.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 06:31 AM   #24
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by Nords
I hear ya-- by day four of our vacation's DC Mall Marathon my left knee was ready to grind its meniscus smooth. 800 mg ibuprofen 3x/day with stronger stuff as needed. I recovered fine once I stayed off it for a couple days.

I don't know what area of the country you're in, but have you tried swimming/surfing?
I am in DC, right on Capitol Hill. I think I knew that you were taking your daughter to Anapolis but if I realized you would be walking around this neck of the woods I would have invited you to stop by for lunch and a and rest from the heat. The Eastern Market, a block from my house, is a great, little known, tourist spot on weekends - did you make it over here?
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 06:35 AM   #25
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by Nords
I don't know what area of the country you're in, but have you tried swimming/surfing?
I forgot to answer this one. I swim a bit and windsurf. My balance sucks so I am not sure I want to deal with the learning curve for surfing at 58. Also, with my flexibility I could never make that little hop up from knees to feet I see on all the surfing movies. When I snowboard I can't get up easily facing downhill like the kids. I turn around, face up hill and stand up - ugh, ow, unnh!
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 07:28 AM   #26
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by Scrooge
But once you have gone past anecdotal evidence and subjected it to rigiorus testing using double blind experiments, control groups and all that good stuff, is it really still "alternative"?*
Well, if the label "alternative" is what's important, probably not. If whether it works is what's important, probably doesn't matter what you call it.

Alternative meds probably include some serious winners that simply haven't been "vetted" by traditional research. Also probably include some seemingly benign "herbals" that are downright dangerous.

My approach is to avoid all medications if possible, and when you do take them make sure that their risks are warranted by the seriousness of the ailment, the likelihood of improvement, and the tolerability of the risks. I find these easier to interpret if I know that a thousand people were tested, 800 responded, 5% had a given side-effect etc. I might not follow that pattern, but the probabilities are known.


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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 11:51 AM   #27
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I am in DC, right on Capitol Hill. I think I knew that you were taking your daughter to Anapolis but if I realized you would be walking around this neck of the woods I would have invited you to stop by for lunch and a and rest from the heat. The Eastern Market, a block from my house, is a great, little known, tourist spot on weekends - did you make it over here?
Thanks, I may take you up on that! (This vacation was the kid's agenda.) In DC we were commuting directly from the B&B at 16th & U to the Cardozo Metro stop to the next museum on the list. If we were even near Eastern Market I never knew it. But we ran out of time for all the museums, friends, & shopping... we'll be back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donheff
I forgot to answer this one.* I swim a bit and windsurf.* My balance sucks so I am not sure I want to deal with the learning curve for surfing at 58.* Also, with my flexibility I could never make that little hop up from knees to feet I see on all the surfing movies.
Well, if you can windsurf then you're ahead of me on the balance category. The popping-up part is Hollywood for surf higher than six feet. 95% of the waves give you plenty of time to decide how fast you're going to get to your feet...
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 12:25 PM   #28
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

I tried windsurfing at a club med about 15 years ago.

Fortunately they had a boat and were able to retrieve me from the middle of the carribean ocean.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 12:52 PM   #29
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

So far I have been able to stay away from prescription drugs and would investigate althernative solutions 1st.
At 58+, I experience very little body aches unless I take a spill on my bike. I have had minor problems with my knee that come and go when I ride my bike which I do a lot. Until any pain becomes a real pain, I just endure it until it subsides. When I began developing a problem with my knees 4 years ago, I tried G/C for several months but it didn't do anything for me.
I hope my ace in the hole, is my inherited genes from my Dad, who's over 95.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 01:53 PM   #30
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
I tried windsurfing at a club med about 15 years ago.

Fortunately they had a boat and were able to retrieve me from the middle of the carribean ocean.
It does have a long learning curve but the new gear makes it easier than ever (as long as you stay in fairly flat water - Nord's style waves are a whole different thing). It is a thrill to get hooked in with a harness, feet in the straps, planning like a water ski at nearly twice the speed of the wind! I didn't learn until I was 38 so it is doable for "mature" folks.

I don't have many photos but this one gives you an idea of a turn (jibe) at speed:
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 02:13 PM   #31
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

I had no problems getting the thing to go, that is after I slipped off the first time and stepped on a sea urchin. (ow)

The problem I had was nobody telling me how to turn before I got the thing going at about 20mph. The shark reports the day before from the folks diving in the area made me decide not to dump myself in the water. Then I just had to hang on and hope someone noticed me before I made it to cuba.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 03:30 PM   #32
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Then I just had to hang on and hope someone noticed me before I made it to cuba.
Dude, you would have made (cuban) headlines!

"American rides board with sail into Havana!" "First refugee to escape American Imperialism lands in Cuba, literally dozens more expected!"
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 05:30 PM   #33
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Yep, thats what I was thinking.

I was just hoping they wouldnt push me 'back to miami'...
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 09:01 PM   #34
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Yep, thats what I was thinking.

I was just hoping they wouldnt push me 'back to miami'...
Rumor has it that miami has more cubans in it than Havana...
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-27-2006, 09:04 PM   #35
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

Not that theres anything wrong with that.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-28-2006, 04:52 PM   #36
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Placebo effect in most studies of subjective outcomes is about 30%, and surprisingly consistent.
I have had health problems since I was 6. I always thought I was too smart to be affected by the placebo effect. When I had kidney failure I was throwing up all the time. My internist gave me some Reglan. I had no idea what it was or how it worked (this was before the Internet). When I used it I would stop puking in about 1 minute. Later I found out that it took a long time to work and was a gastric system stimulator used to move stuff out of the stomach and along its way.

I guess it was all in my head!

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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-28-2006, 05:02 PM   #37
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

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Originally Posted by MikeD
I always thought I was too smart to be affected by the placebo effect. I guess it was all in my head!
It may have been in your head, but not necessarily imaginary.

A strong belief that something will help probably generates certain neurochemicals that actually can make you feel better, quite independent of the medication you are taking. This may be a holdover from the fight-or-flight type behaviors where situations or perceptions that are highly charged (with either fear, relief of pain, or the need to breed, for example) can lead to changes that enhance your preparation to meet the challenge.
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing
Old 07-28-2006, 05:09 PM   #38
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Re: Use of Alternative Healing

The brain has an amazing effect on the body. My wife can trigger allergic reactions if she thinks she's being exposed to something she thinks she's allergic to. I've seen her break out in hives and stuff up when she's aware of an allergen in her vicinity, and on other occasions when she's unaware, she has no trouble.
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