Sunday, April 6, 2008

Combination Therapy

As the description notes, we try to bring you information covering a variety of topics, mainly dealing with the paranormal and Supernatural. But we also inform you of developments in the more traditional fields of science, religion, and related matters - what the mainstream accepts as "real" science.

Lately, there have been several reports dealing with the applications of therapy and treatments largely considered metaphysical in nature - such as meditation, "positive thinking," Native Remedies, and the like. These are not really called "alternative medicine," since that really applies largely to herbal and dietary supplements that are reputed to have certain medical properties, but are not prescribed by doctors and have rarely been tested by science; the mainstream sees these practices as being part of larger structures of religion or philosophy - such as meditation to Buddhism.

For a very long time - sometimes hundreds, even thousands, of years - many of these practices have been regarded as healthful by practitioners and believers, but skeptics always drop their big hammer of "conclusive evidence" to dismiss these claims. And mainstream society often uses the skeptics' straw man "Prove It" nonsense to relegate these ideas to the area of "fringe science" or complete nonsense. It's a real catch-22, because the skeptics demand "scientific proof," but work so hard to damage the credibility of the practices that no "serious scientist" will agree to research these fields, so no scientific data is ever collected that could possibly, one day, "prove" these theories.

Luckily, prevailing attitudes toward a lot of these areas is changing, and more and more scientists and doctors have embraced the study of these fields. And while I applaud their efforts and wish them to continue their work, when dealing with medical issues, I strongly suggest you take the little positive evidence you have and run with it!

When it comes to drugs, doctors embrace the least positive results to move forward with testing; when it comes to things like meditation or transference of feelings, they are extremely conservative as to their findings and applications of them. Why not separate the milder cases and create a control and testing group from them to further the collection of empirical data, but go ahead and use the techniques unabashedly on more severe cases?

For example, A has been diagnosed with cancer, but is in a very early stage and has shown a lot of improvement with traditional medicine and therapy, so place him in the research category. B is in a later stage of cancer and is struggling with his medication, so get him to writing about his condition, meditating daily - the whole nine! Why be so conservative with these treatments when there are absolutely no drawbacks to them - especially when we are so quick to prescribe new drugs that can have deadly side-effects!? And I don't mean here and there, or if the patient consents, and so forth: make it an integral part of the overall treatment and dive into it headlong!

If there is even the slightest amount of evidence that these things can be beneficial, then we owe it to patients to try anything we can to alleviate their suffering and help them get better! Put all this "is it real or not" shit behind us and do what's right!

And, yes, I know that some doctors/centers do this, and some doctors/centers believe this, but why don't they all? Again, they are more than willing to prescribe new drugs and drug-related treatments that were developed only a year ago, but wary to suggest "fringe science" or "New Age" practices that have been around for eons! Why?

Why!?

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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