Debunking Medical Miracles.

I happened to glance through a supplement (on healthcare) inserted with today’s paper – a respected national newspaper- and it was filled with advertisements touting miracle cures. That got my attention. If these people are taking such big ads out in papers it seems to reason that they have loads of gullible people who fall for these ads and shell out big bucks. Being trained in allopathy makes me obviously biased in favor of it, I agree- but some of these treatments are far too provoking to keep my mouth shut. I am going to take a superficial look at some (a few) of the ads which took my eye:
1)    Faith Healing (including Pranic Healing/Theta Healing/Crystal Healing/Pyramid Healing etc)….I literally burst out laughing seeing these full page ads of people who have obviously watched far too many Hollywood-produced Biblical movies and patterned themselves on Old Testament Prophets…big beard/long gown/bushy eyebrows etal..They promise to heal all ills with just the power of their “touch”… (Ladies beware of touching/touching)…and they justify their treatment by the passage of invisible energy rays through them to the patient….I wouldn’t be surprised if they even say “I am channeling the Higgs Boson through my body to yours”. For your information….our body (nervous system) is run by electro-chemical energy, but the electricity we produce is too minuscule to be broadcast out wirelessly…we don’t produce any other type of energy….we are not fusion/fission generators…to produce high energy particles.
2)    Volcanic Stones: This one is a personal favorite- the idea that placing volcanic stones will absorb toxins from our body through the stones. For your information- that’s what we have kidneys for- to filter out those toxins from our body. For your information- volcanic stones are just solidified lava flow and made of ash and pumice and there is no way a stone (any stone) is going to channel and absorb anything from your blood, through the vessels/capillaries/skin etc..merely by its miraculous properties.
3)    Fish Therapy : this is a hilarious one- the idea that live fish swallowed with a medicine stuffed inside them can reach the lungs and cure asthma…for your basic information when we swallow – the path to our lungs is closed. When the food pathway (oesophagus) is open/the air pathway (trachea)is closed and vice versa. When we swallow a live fish it is going to swim straight to the acid filled stomach pouch and get digested..That’s all…and asthma is a multi-factorial disease (with many suspected causes) with the prime suspect being a disturbed immune (hyper-immune) condition of our own body- where our bodies own defense systems are hyper-sensitive and act against us. No fish is capable of curing that….
4)    The other fish therapy : the one about the fish doing a pedicure..Seriously? our entire skin is being shed/flakes off every single minute….but it’s not a problem because our skin being made of four layers with the outermost three being dead layers (with no blood supply) – is being shed continuously to get rid of the great clouds of bacteria and other micro-organisms which colonize it and try to overwhelm our body defenses and in that sense if the fish really eat those skin cells, they are just going to end up getting our diseases. You would be better off using a loofah or a pumice stone to get rid of those hard cornified areas rather than feed it to those poor fish.
5)    100% Infertility Cures: this is the latest mushrooming specialty- offering treatments for infertility with 100% guaranteed results. The people who advertise this- promise to use the latest scientific treatments (with big sounding acronyms) but end up using unauthorized (unannounced) donor eggs/sperms. To make the premise easier to understand – when a horse wins a race it is not usually due to new shoes, for the glittery, shiny gold shoes which catch our eyes, diverts us from the fact that the one racing with them on is not the horse we bet on….and sometimes “accidents” happen in the lab…enough said? And this is quite a pity, as there are lots of genuine infertility treatments available from qualified doctors with strict treatment protocols – but they cannot guarantee you 100% success like those quacks do. And hence a lot of honest but gullible couples in their anxiety get cheated by those fly-by-night infertility specialists who rarely practice in a single area/city for more than a year at a stretch- any longer and they will be exposed and get a public thrashing. So they make a quick buck from anxious couples and escape before getting caught- giving a bad name to genuine doctors.

There were lots of other advertisements about alternative form of treatments, but as I am running late (to work) here, I will restrict myself to these few. Readers are requested to post their queries about other treatments to the comments column and I will answer them one by one. I leave you with this legal maxim… Caveat Emptor…buyer beware.

8 thoughts on “Debunking Medical Miracles.

  1. a lot of people do believe like you Jaishree….thats the reason i wrote this article..if you still dont believe me- do a simple test- try to swallow ans breath out at the same time…then you can realize what i meant about the two passages….as for pranic healing…i am not convinced about it and i would welcome the chance to learn more…an open mind is always the best mark of a n educated mind in my opinion

  2. it happens Imran…maybe rarely…but it does happen…when there is a fault which can be cured surgically- kinda like a blockage or something the treatment is far easier. but when you have azoospermia or deficient sperms (in motility) and still insist on not-accepting donors..the labs who agree outwards with you just take your sperm sample empty it in the sink/wash it down and taking out a pre-selected healthy donor with approxmitaley same physical characteristics like you and fertilize the egg immediately…even if you realize the child is not yours after a few years, what will do you about it? you might have started to love the child and you accept it as a done deed- which is what those labs count on

  3. thanks Mehul, i tried sending this to the paper in question but it didnt pass editorial review? (all those ad ruppees i guess)…hence i published it here…the power of the net to speak the truth…and feel free to pass the link around

  4. the science behind it is pretty simple Ash but it has not been communicated to the public much. in this i would fault the medical profession too, which has tended to not speak up much or educate people about the damaging and dangerous consequences of various kinds of quack therapy. what is the use of treating a patient for major spinal surgery when the pateint who had first looked for some treatment for a little backpain got into the wrong hands and was massaged/pummelled/needled (acupuncture?) and a simple muscle spasm was converted into a major disc prolapse? (btw this is a true story). and our government and society too could spend more efforts in discovering and punishing these quacks who destroy peoples health without any mercy.

  5. Like Ashwini even I believed that the fish stuffed with medicine cured asthma. Coz,its very popular and I have heard stories that it actually works though I do not know the science behind it. As for things like Pranic Healing etc, I believe those are ancient sciences and may be possible. But I am more than sure that 99% of those out on the streets today proclaiming to practice it are fake men who have no idea what its all about. I dont blame the science. 100% guarantee is a gimmick followed to lure people and fleece them.

  6. To be frank, I was under the impression that Asthma was actually cured by that fish therapy. Since a lot was being said about it. But, thanks for this post Doctor. It busts all the great myths which were accepted without any question. People come with innovative and lucrative ideas, to make the common man believe that everything is possible with them, But if we just took a minute to realize the science involved in all this, we really would not be running behind the fake promises. I really wish you send this article to the paper concerned, or to another paper, it will benefit a lot of people.

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