alt med’s profitable medical symbiosis

The real reason so many alt med practitioners want to work alongside real doctors isn't to help them. It's to profitably ride their coattails.


While Orac was fuming about the direction of Dr. Oz’s show, and rightfully so I might add, he brought up the golden mean fallacy used by alt med promoters. Instead of going completely woo and trying to treat cancers with berries, garlic, and carrot juice ala Mike Adams, or settling for all that science-based therapy which could kill the tumors but has serious side effects by virtue of actually doing something serious to your body to treat the underlying condition, why not choose both? To the alt med crowd, the doctor’s happy, the quack is happy, and you get the best of both worlds and it certainly seems to be the approach Dr. Oz advocates. But you need to keep in mind that when you use “integrative” medicine, you’re paying for both treatment and a placebo and only one is actually helping you fight a disease while the other just makes you feel better by using your mind’s ability to mute pain and discomfort. Really, there are cheaper ways to give yourself peace of mind, like asking your doctor questions about the safety and efficacy of the treatment you’re about to receive.

And when you’re done, you’ve been treated by real medicine so you really do get better, and the quack took no risks because when his or her woo fails, medical science is right there to make up for the shortfall while you pay more for the same results you’d get without the quack, and your payments were probably higher for all the woo than they were for the medicine since alt med is either rarely or highly selectively covered in most states. This is what “integrating your treatment plans” gets you. A bigger bill. And if you’re that kind of alt med fan, the right to brag about how you got stuck with that higher bill by “trying both modalities” by which you really mean that you were treated by science while a quack gave you sugar pills or herbal drops along with a scientifically proven and doctor recommended regimen of exercise, fruit, and vegetables, which were sold to you as cutting edge alternative modalities that “Western medicine” supposedly still can’t grasp despite recommending them as the de facto treatment to virtually every patient with heart disease and high cholesterol…

# health // alternative medicine / business / medicine / woo

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