How Stupid are Olympic Athletes?

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience' started by spidergoat, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    So that's where you come from!

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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Depends what you mean by "a holistic method". That's pretty vague.


    I have no doubt that people can feel better after using a medical treatment that has not been scientifically shown to have any objective beneficial effects. For example, a person might take a homeopathic remedy and claim to feel better after taking it. However, that does not mean that it was worthwhile to use that remedy, or that it had any actual effect other than producing a feeling of wellbeing in the patient.

    The effect of feeling better even when it's something like homeopathy, which cannot actually produce any objective effects, is called the placebo effect. The same effect can be seen when a patient is given a sugar pill by a general practitioner. The mere fact that they are told "this pill will help you" can produce a psychological benefit.

    The danger in using remedies that either have not been proven to work, or that have actually been proven not to work (like homeopathy, for example) is that some people can choose to forego real, effective, scientific medical treatments that will help their condition, turning instead to things that are at best useless and at worst actually harmful.

    The thing about "alternative" medicines is that if they are scientifically tested and found to be effective then they are no longer "alternative". They are just "medicines".

    If natural remedies make you feel good, by all means feel free to waste your money on them. But don't use them at the expense of ignoring conventional medicine, which has been proven to have useful effects.
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    A friend of my wife went for some ear candling. She was so pleased at how well it worked, based on how much dark yucky wax came out.

    It didn't seem to matter that I showed her images of unused ear candles cut open to show the dark yucky wax already in the candle.
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  7. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    I had to look that one up. It's possibly even more stupid than cupping! It's also not intended to clear out ear wax. It's one of those remove vague "toxins" from your body things.
  8. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    I'm not ready to call these people stupid. Normal, maybe, like pretty much everyone.

    The sad fact is that some people are hurt by cupping, even if only because they use it when they should be doing something else. For things like cupping and acupuncture, the evidence shows that a massage gives all the same benefits and probably more. I'm a huge supporter of massage, because we know how much it works and that it has way less side effects than any alternative treatment. Unless, of course, one is trying to substitute massage for some sort of medical treatment and there tends not to be the same mysticism around massage that leads people to abandon medicine.

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