Trick Or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine

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W. W. Norton & Company, Aug 17, 2008 - Medical - 342 pages
5 Reviews

The truth about the potions, lotions, pills and needles, pummelling and energizing that lie beyond the realms of conventional medicine.

Whether you are an ardent believer in alternative medicine, a skeptic, or are simply baffled by the range of services and opinions, this guide lays to rest doubts and contradictions with authority, integrity, and clarity. In this groundbreaking analysis, over thirty of the most popular treatments—acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology, chiropractic, and herbal medicines—are examined for their benefits and potential dangers. Questions answered include: What works and what doesn't? What are the secrets, and what are the lies? Who can you trust, and who is ripping you off? Can science decide what is best, or do the old wives' tales really tap into ancient, superior wisdom?In their scrutiny of alternative and complementary cures, authors Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst also strive to reassert the primacy of the scientific method as a means for determining public health practice and policy.

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Trick or treatment: the undeniable facts about alternative medicine

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Exaggerated claims, misleading advertisements, and false information about complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) make it virtually impossible to protect the public from today's snake oils readily ... Read full review

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On page 326 the authors talk about shiatsu, and they don't seem to know what they are talking about.
They mention Tokujiro Namikoshi as the creator or developer of shiatsu, which is correct, and a
bit later they say that shiatsu is based on yin/yang concepts.
For their information, Mr Namikoshi NEVER mentioned yin/yang in all his life or in his writings.
That was done by one of his students 50 years after he had opened his first shiatsu school, when both men followed very different paths.
They also say that shiatsu might be dangerous for people who are at risk of suffering a stroke.
This is absolutely true. ANY type of massage - or even going for a run - might trigger the stroke.
However, the implication in the book is that Western Massage is not dangerous for those at risk, which is completely unscientific and totally untrue.
They claim that shiatsu can hurt people with osteoporosis.
I wrote to Dr Singh asking where they got that information from.
Any scientific studies? Someone mentioned it? Or did they just make it up?
I didn't get a reply. I didn't expect one either. After all, who am I?
And finally, they also mention that there aren't enough clinical trials of shiatsu.
I agreed, but explained that this is because hospitals and research centres don't let us do them.
I challenged them to set up a clinical trial with shiatsu for people with osteoporosis.
I'd gladly participate in such a trial. Again, no reply.
This is only from one page in the book. I wonder how many other things they have made up and not researched properly.
Scientific book? Hardly.
Who were the reviewers who wrote the following?
Fearless, intelligent and remorselessly rational (rational?)
- Sunday Times
The authors' combined strengths shine through. The examination of the evidence is comprehensive [and] forensic ... (evidence?)
- Nature
A shiatsu practitioner who believes in clinical trials.

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About the author (2008)

Best-selling author and science journalist Simon Singh lives in London. His books include Fermat’s Last Theorem, The Code Book, and Big Bang.

Edzard Ernst, based at the University of Exeter, is the UK’s first professor of complementary medicine.

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