Rational precepts - Holistic healing

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Rational precepts - Holistic healing

As a fan of the show, I felt compelled to write something about the content that was featured in the premiere episode.

I agree with everyone of the rational precepts except one. The holistic medicine aspect.

Holistic is not defined as a supernatural form of medicine. It's a concept based on the relationship of parts and wholes.

I am a massage therapist and there is nothing supernatural about massage (massage is considered a holistic approach).

Massage doesn't replace mainstream medicinal therapies, but it is used as a complimentary form of medicine.

Many doctors and chiropractors utilize the use of massage therapists as well as many professional sports teams for the facilitation of treatment of damaged muscle tissue.

Massage can help repair adhesions in muscle tissue, it can help rid the body of toxins by moving tissue around. It also helps bring blood to tissue that is running dry and aids in better circulation overall.

There are some massage therapists that utilize "spiritual" aspects to their work and many work on a totally physical and clinical level.

There is allot of diversity in that profession and I don't want people to cast a blanket judgement over the field of massage therapy. Sure, some practicioners utilize irrational practices and there are also some people who pose themselves off as massage therapists (even though they haven't been formally schooled and tend to sell sexual favors).

There are some holistic practices that do help (in my opinion). Special herbal teas and a diet of natural foods (without dangerous chemical preservatives) seem to have a positive effect on the body and helps prevent an accumulation of many uneccessary toxins.

I am not saying this is supposed to replace or supercede standard medical help. Any massage therapist or holistic healer that tells you to avoid western medicine, then run fifty feet in the other direction.

I just don't think any of it hurts (as long as the particular modality has been proven to be effective upon application)

I just wanted to bring in another aspect when it comes to those precepts.

I love the show and all the other precepts were great. That was the only one I guess I froze up a little bit (being that this is my career.

God bless the squad! (all of that's true except for the god part).


floatingegg
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Re: Rational precepts - Holistic healing

trulybornagain wrote:
Many doctors and chiropractors utilize the use of massage therapists as well as many professional sports teams for the facilitation of treatment of damaged muscle tissue.

I'm probably going to come across as anal, but I think this part of your argument would be stronger if you omitted the reference to chiropractic medicine, which is a pseudoscience.

Quote:

Massage can help repair adhesions in muscle tissue, it can help rid the body of toxins by moving tissue around. It also helps bring blood to tissue that is running dry and aids in better circulation overall.

What toxins? What do you mean by tissue that is running dry?

Quote:
There are some holistic practices that do help (in my opinion). Special herbal teas and a diet of natural foods (without dangerous chemical preservatives) seem to have a positive effect on the body and helps prevent an accumulation of many unnecessary toxins.

Opinion or not, your suggestion that so-called natural foods lack "dangerous chemical preservatives" would benefit from some evidentiary support. It would probably be a good idea if you further clarified your statement regarding the accumulation of unnecessary toxins. Are there necessary toxins?


Sapient
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Re: Rational precepts - Holistic healing

trulybornagain wrote:

I love the show and all the other precepts were great. That was the only one I guess I froze up a little bit (being that this is my career.

That precept was contributed by Yellow#5 so I'll let him defend it, as I am learning from him. However I'm inclined to state that if you give us free massages for life, we'll remove the precept. You in? Sticking out tongue

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MattShizzle
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Rational precepts - Holistic healing

Chiropratic IS a pseudoscience: http://skepdic.com/chiro.html

And holistic medicine: http://skepdic.com/holistic.html

And, at least in some forms, massage therapy: http://skepdic.com/massage.html

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floatingegg
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Anonymous
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Rational precepts - Holistic healing

I didn't know if I made my point clear or not (probably the later).

I wasn't saying that the whole field of massage is reputable. In fact, I mentioned above that if people offer anything beyond the scope of practice (supernatural therapies) should run fifty miles away from that person. I also said that people should avoid a massage therapist that tries to replace mainstream medicine. For example, if a ball player is hurt, this person will see an MD and massage will be a part of the rehabilitation process. Massage would not "replace" the MD.

It's a diverse field where you will see greatness and on the other end of the spectrum you will see svengali-style deceit.

As far as working with atheletes with range of motion stretching exercises, providing theraputic rubs which induce heat to vasodilate the blood vessels or to simply make someone feel good is a part of massage therapy.

I'll quote from one of the links that was provided on the post above:

-------------------------

"Ordinary massage and the legitimate practice of massage therapy should not be categorized as quackery. Massage can help people relax, relieve aching muscles, and temporarily lift a person's mood. However, many therapists make claims that go far beyond what massage can accomplish. And even worse, massage therapy schools, publications, and professional groups are an integral part of the deception."

-----------------------

There is nothing I said that contradicted any of that. If my post lacked clarity, then I apologize.

I'm not trying to cause an argument. I'm a freethinking athiest and I'm on your team. Even like-minded people are going to disagree on some factors here and there.

This was more of a baby with the bathwater point of view.


Sapient
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Rational precepts - Holistic healing

trulybornagain wrote:

"Ordinary massage and the legitimate practice of massage therapy should not be categorized as quackery.

We didn't, and we wouldn't. You seemed to infer that. I have personal experience with massage, it cant cure broken legs, but it can certainly make muscles feel better.

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floatingegg
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Rational precepts - Holistic healing

You made some comments that weakened your defense of legitimate massage therapy, which is why you didn't receive our explicit agreement.

Please don't shy away from argument. It's an important part of effective reasoning, not to mention a learning tool. Just because we don't add smiley faces to all of our posts doesn't mean that we're attacking you.


Yellow_Number_Five
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Rational precepts - Holistic healing

Hey, trulybornagain, thanks for your reply.

Let me expain my thinking here. What I am calling irrational is trust in medicine that is not scientifically proven to work - herbal supplements, magnets, faith healing, chiropracty and massage therapy (save for very specific instances where it is applied as proven sports and rehabilitation medicince and similar avenues).

What I'm calling irrational is belief without evidence, without clinical double blind study, without peer review.

I DON'T make the claim that such therapies hold absolutely no promise, I DO claim that it is irrational to trust your well-being to an unproven treatment when other avenues are available.

If you can think of a better way to word the precept that reflects that, let me know and I'll consider it.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Anonymous
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Rational precepts - Holistic healing

You are right. I just left Christianity a couple of years ago and they all turned on me, so i might have natural defenses up.

I want to ask a question to everyone out there. I was hearing so much all my life about people who avoid medicine and go on macro-biotic diets and stick to natural foods cure themselves. What do you think about that? I haven't really examined the evidence (if there is any).

Also, I read online that additives like aspartame and sodium nitrates are poisonous and can contribute to many diseases.

I'm not fluent in that area, so I would like anyone who knows about this stuff to chime in.

I know urban legends can be created about food too. I remember my grandmother telling me when she was younger that people in her small town were convinced licorice was poison (one kid died and happened to have licorice in his mouth at the time or something goofy like that).

Hope everyone has a good weekend.


Yellow_Number_Five
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Rational precepts - Holistic healing

trulybornagain wrote:
You are right. I just left Christianity a couple of years ago and they all turned on me, so i might have natural defenses up.

I want to ask a question to everyone out there. I was hearing so much all my life about people who avoid medicine and go on macro-biotic diets and stick to natural foods cure themselves. What do you think about that? I haven't really examined the evidence (if there is any).

They cure themselves of what, exactly?

Without clinical studies, there is NO specific evidence for anything. It doesn't take a genious to know that diet can and does affect health, but we need to examine SPECIFIC claims and results.

The problem with such diets over the course of a lifetime is that is is difficult to seperate diet from the affects of the lifestyles that often accompany that diet. A person who is health concious enough to only eat such foods is obviously concerned about thier health and diet, which means they probably take care of themselves in other ways as well, such as exercising and not smoking and drinking to excess. A guy who eats a bag of cheese doodles everynight on the other hand probably doesn't spend much time at the gym.

Quote:
Also, I read online that additives like aspartame and sodium nitrates are poisonous and can contribute to many diseases.

Oxygen is poisonous in sufficient quantities as well. I'm not aware of any studies on the deleterious affects of the chemicals you mentioned, but that's really beside the point of holistic medicine being one of the precepts.

Still, to be on the safe side I wouldn't recommend eating more than a pound of sweet'n'low per day.

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I know urban legends can be created about food too.

Tell me about it, I've heard the jokes about my choice of screen names Laughing out loud

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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floatingegg
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Rational precepts - Holistic healing

I started doing my own research when I found out that a relative was taking his five year old son to a naturopath. Quackwatch is an excellent resource for health fraud, and one of its websites, Naturowatch, provides information about naturopathic practices.

I've located some articles that may interest you, and I've included an excerpt from each if you just want the relevant conclusions.

Quote:

A Close Look at Naturopathy

In 1968, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) recommended against Medicare coverage of naturopathy. HEW's report concluded:

Naturopathic theory and practice are not based upon the body of basic knowledge related to health, disease, and health care which has been widely accepted by the scientific community. Moreover, irrespective of its theory, the scope and quality of naturopathic education do not prepare the practitioner to make an adequate diagnosis and provide appropriate treatment. [29]

Although some aspects of naturopathic education have improved in recent years, I believe this conclusion is still valid. I believe that the average naturopath is a muddlehead who combines commonsense health and nutrition measures and rational use of a few herbs with a huge variety of unscientific practices and anti-medical double-talk.

Quote:

Naturopathy: A Critical Analysis

Naturopathy seems to appeal to magical thinking in people with nostalgia for a bygone "Golden Age" of simplicity when things moved at a more leisurely pace -- a halcyon world that probably never existed [28]. Despite the scientific shortcomings of the occupation, there continues to be considerable satisfaction among clients. In addition to benefiting from the placebo effect, many find their sociopolitical outlook nurtured by naturopaths' antiestablishment, antitechnology stance, and others find reinforcement for their faith in a benevolent, human-centered universe. Naturopaths also attract people who, for one reason or another, have been dissatisfied with their contacts with biomedicine. They appeal to people with illnesses with a strong psychosomatic component and those who have chronic conditions for which biomedicine, at present, can offer little. Naturopaths' elaborate history-taking and prolonged "hands-on" interactions provide the human contact and social support that, perhaps unknowingly, many of the so-called worried well are really seeking. They also cater to those with exaggerated fears of side effects of standard medical treatments.

Quote:

"Organic" Foods:
Certification Does Not Protect Consumers

More Nutritious?

Organic foods are certainly not more nutritious [12]. The nutrient content of plants is determined primarily by heredity. Mineral content may be affected by the mineral content of the soil, but this has no significance in the overall diet. If essential nutrients are missing from the soil, the plant will not grow. If plants grow, that means the essential nutrients are present. Experiments conducted for many years have found no difference in the nutrient content of organically grown crops and those grown under standard agricultural conditions.

Safer?
Many "organic" proponents suggest that their foods are safer because they have lower levels of pesticide residues. However, the pesticide levels in our food supply are not high. In some situations, pesticides even reduce health risks by preventing the growth of harmful organisms, including molds that produce toxic substances [12].