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Thursday, January 13, 2011

A FAQ From the Bureau of International Guidance on Spiritual, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine

Spiritual, complimentary and alternative medicine (SCAM) has been growing in popularity in the US and abroad for a number of years and the plethora of contradictory information on the subject has left many medical consumers in need of clear answers.  It is with this in mind that we present the following answers to question frequently asked about SCAM treatments.

What are Spiritual, Complimentary and Alternative Medicines?

The term SCAM is a broad umbrella that covers a number of modalities including herbalism, faith healing, reiki, acupuncture, straight chiropractic, therapeutic touch, homeopathy, magnetic therapies and other types of treatment that fall outside the traditional narrow view of science.

How does SCAM differ from traditional science based medicine?

Science based medicine hinges on very narrowly defining terms like “wellness”, “health” and “treatment”.  In SCAM treatments, we accept a far broader definition and thus things need not “work empirically” before they can be utilized by SCAM practitioners.

This allows SCAM doctors to use treatments far earlier instead of waiting for all the data to come in and neglecting the health of our patients while a scientific consensus on efficacy slowly forms.  Science takes time and the needs of our patients are too great to sacrifice their vital time on things like continuing research or well designed trials.

Do Regular Doctors use SCAM Treatments?

In a time of lower revenues and morals, more and more doctors have turned to SCAM treatments.  To this day, the entrenched medical community ridicules them when they open their minds to these treatments that have been known the world over for thousands of years.

Where do SCAM Treatments Come From?

They’ve been known the world over for thousands of years.  Try to keep up here.

SCAM treatments come from a variety of sources including ancient Eastern medicine, pagan philosophy, traditional Druidic notions of herbal magick, early Christian practices and the knowledge of aboriginals that have lived with Mother Nature as their only pharmacy for generations.

But Didn’t Those People Have Substantially Shorter Lives Than People Treated With Science Based Medicine?

While it is true that many of the modalities used by SCAM artists today have their roots in nations and cultures that lacked our current state of physical fitness and longevity, they were also cultures that lacked the numerous conveniences we now have.  We are not healthier now because of evidence based medicine, but rather because all of our modern conveniences have saved us the wear and tear on our bodies that people from more traditional cultures take for granted.

So We Shouldn’t Use Their Technology But We Should Use Their Medicine?

Science doesn’t know everything about the human body.  There is a spiritual force that animates the human form that some call the soul (others might refer to it as Chi, Ki, Prana or Innate Intelligence) and the balance of this life force is essential to proper health.  Many SCAM treatments rely heavily on detoxifying the body to bring this force into proper alignment.

Science, on the other hand, does not even recognize the existence of this fundamental force just because they can’t measure it with their instruments.  This means that by necessity anything the scientists say about medicine will be limited by the fundamental limitations of their models about human health.

But If Scientists Can’t Detect It, How Can SCAM Doctors Detect It?

They can’t.  It’s undetectable.

Then How Can They Tell If It’s Out of Alignment?

They determine this from any number of SCAM methods.  The actual method of determining it will vary depending on which SCAM you use.  While no physiological test exists to “rate” the spiritual force, the results of the SCAM treatments are plenty of indication that these modalities work.

Are There Valid Studies That Show That SCAM Treatments Work?

Well, there is an answer to that question and it’s a very good question and thus it deserves a very good answer.  I will here upon answer that question.  Right here in this very next sentence.  Unless… is there maybe a “pass” option?


Okay, so I admit that no well designed scientific study has ever shown any of these SCAM treatments to be even remedially effective and the current understanding of science doesn’t even consider them remotely plausible.  But in many ways, this lack of evidence is proof that SCAM treatments are worthwhile.

Why Are You Sweating?

It’s not warm in here to you?  Anyway, like I way saying, no well designed study has shown these treatments to be effective which is why they’re not “science based” medicines.  But many of the modalities like faith healing cannot be adequately tested in a laboratory setting.

You see, there are so many variables in things like faith healing, therapeutic touch, acupuncture and the like that it is almost impossible to remove all the variables to conduct a proper and useful test.  In other words, you can’t make sure that every person gets the same amount of prayer.

But If They Can’t Be Controlled In a Lab, How Can They Be Controlled by a SCAM Doctor?

Skilled Spiritual, Complimentary and Alternative Medical practitioners are very good at measuring the results of treatments and adjusting them on the fly as your treatment progresses.

You Just Said The Life-Force Thing Can’t Be Measured.

Please frame that in the form of a question.

Didn’t You Just Say That The Life Force Thing Can’t Be Measured?

The “innate energy” or “chi” in your body can’t be directly measured, but it can be measured by the actual changes in your physical health.  They use... you know, techniques and stuff.  And it definitely works.  We can't exactly "prove" that, like I said, but look at how innocent I look in these glasses.

Besides, the problem with trying these types of measurements in a lab is that when you do they show that the SCAM treatments are ineffective so there must be something wrong with the lab measurements.

Couldn’t That Just Mean That Aboriginals Didn’t Have Good Medicine?

No.  Sufficient anecdotal evidence exists to convince a large portion of the populace that such treatments are effective.  These people have money and they really want to give it to us whether or not the treatment can be shown to work.

How Is That Even Legal?

Freedom of choice, baby.  Get used to it.  Who are you to tell people that they can’t spend their money on treatments that are ineffective and potentially dangerous?  Who are you to shut down places where people go to put off getting meaningful medical intervention?  These people have a right to make up their own minds about what does and doesn’t work in their own quest to achieve spiritual and physical wellness.

How Is That Different Than Saying Mugging Victims Have The Right To Get Stabbed?

It’s way different, that’s how.  Why are you all up in my face like that?

How Do You Even Sleep At Night?

What do you mean?

You Take Money From Sick People and Offer Nothing in Return Except False Hope and Cobwebs in the Wallet.  Do You Drink Puppy Blood as well?

You can actually drink puppy blood without hurting the dog all that bad, but that’s beside the point.  The point is that the medical industry is a rampaging monopoly that continues to thrive by getting you sick and keeping you there.  The community of Spiritual, Complimentary and Alternative Medical practitioners are stepping outside of the mold and offering something new.

But Aren’t You the Ones Selling Cures That Don’t Work?

Cures not proven to work.  Being effective and being proven effective are different things.

Is That Really Your Answer?

It’s the best I can come up with on the spot.  Listen, I just remembered that I have a thing.  Can we do this some other time?

This is a FAQ, you Jackass.  You Can’t Leave in the Middle of a FAQ!

I know, but I didn't know you were gonna be asking such tough questions.  And also I’ve got this thing.  I forgot about it until just now.  But seriously, it’s been fun.  Take care.  Hope to see you around.


Aaron Davies


  1. Your blog is getting weird -still good- just weird

  2. Everything I do has a tendency to "get weird" after a while but thanks for the feedback. Always much appreciated.

    I admit with apology that an excessive workload has left me unable to spend as much time with my beloved blog as I had over the preceding months. The workload shows no sign of slowing but I'm finding new ways to carve out time. Long live prosperity at the expense of free time!