Tag Archives: woo

Yet more woo intruding upon my life

I was already working on one blog post about medical woo, then this arrived in the mail yesterday.  I am no photographer, but hopefully you can read what it says on the package.  According to said packaging, this is an EFX Certified (ooh, certified)  Authentic Embedded Wearable Holographic Technology Performance Wristband.  Well ain’t that special.  I’ll do a breakdown of all the interesting tidbits on this package.

It’s designed to stabilize and harmonize the body’s bioelectric current.  Do you ever get the feeling that someone is using words without knowing what they mean?  So, are they assuming that my body’s “bioelectric current” is unstable?  When they use the word harmonize, are the talking about singing?  Perhaps they are referring to the phenomenon in physics concerning even multiples of wave frequencies?  I can’t find any definitions that make sense to me in this context.  And WTF is my body’s “bioelectic current” anyway?  WebMD talks about bioelectric therapy, but nothing about bioelectric current.  Wikipedia has this on bioelectromagnetism, but its references are pretty light.  Ah, Answers.com has something:

(physiology) A self-propagating electric current generated on the surface of nerve and muscle cells by potential differences across excitable cell membranes.

No mention of why I might need to stabilize or harmonize it though.  Anyway, it says the benefits may reduce stress, jet lag, swelling and motion sickness, and may increase balance, strength, flexibility and endurance.  Wow, sounds great.  Dare I say too great? 

The thing is basically a silicone (like lots of cooking utensils use) wristband with a cheesy little hologram picture in it.  You know, like credit cards have been using for decades, several companies use on their currency, and passports have.  It’s useful because they are pretty hard to forge.  Which however has absolutely nothing to do with your “Bioelectric Current”. 

Turns out it’s another scam.  These bracelets do nothing to improve your balance or otherwise.  Wikipedia has a pretty good breakdown of an experiment done with the similar Power Balance wristband.  At least there is some justice in the world.  A lawsuit in Australia against Power Balance forced them to retract all their claims

I should add in closing that this thing arrived in the mail, addressed to a previous occupant of our house.  It kinda looks cool, and I like silicone, but there’s nothing magical about it.  Just a piece of rubber.  Oh, and please don’t go shell out up to $60 for one, with the expectation that it will help you in some way.  Get a wristband that donates the money to some charity, instead of scammers looking to make an easy buck off a few cents worth of silicone.

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Shaken faith in our medical system.

So Chey was looking around for a new doctor.  She went online to her insurance company’s website, and looked for the doctor nearest to us that was associated with her insurance.  She found a guy close to home here in Edgewater, and made an appointment.  So far, so good.

She started feeling a bit uneasy when she entered the office though.  There was a lot of religious stuff around. 
You know, bible quotes on the wall, a bible laying on the table, that kind of thing.  Before you get all up in arms, yes, I know there are plenty of good doctors out there who are also religious.  I’d just prefer that my doctor not rely on miracles to keep me healthy.  But, this was only the tip of the iceberg.

Chey went back into the exam room, waiting for the doctor to show up.  He walks in the room, and with barely a glance at Chey, starts writing a prescription for M2HCG. Ok, never heard of this stuff.  Well, he says that you put three drops of this stuff under your tongue everyday, and you will lose 100 pounds in a month.  One hundred pounds.  In a month.  Oh, and to make this work, the patient must also stick to a diet of less than 500 calories a day of mostly raw vegetables.  Now the bullshit alarms are really going off.  Chey says loosing that much weight that fast sounds unhealthy.  This guy assures her that it works, and offers some testimonials of others who have tried this stuff.  Testimonials, not medical studies.  Red flag number 3.   

Well, he writes Chey a prescription for this M2HCG stuff.  Chey also asked for some sleeping pills, as she’s had a hard time falling asleep lately.  After a speech about how he’s not a drug dealer, he gives Chey a prescription for that as well.  Chey leaves with a form to go get some blood work done at a lab as well.

After we both got home from work that evening, we did some poking around on the ol’ internet.  There are some skeptic sites that I check regularly, including a few concerning medical woo.  It turns out this HCG drops stuff is actually a homeopathic “remedy”.  Wikipedia has a pretty good explanation of what homeopathy is, but basically it’s a belief that extremely dilute concentrations of active substances can cure symptoms caused by those substances.  If arsenic makes you sick, a homeopath will proscribe you arsenic, but diluted so many times with water that there is no remaining arsenic in the “remedy” he gives you.  It’s medical woo of the highest order. 

And it turns out that the FDA regards the use of HCG in homeopathic remedies for weight-loss to be fraudulent, according to this article in USAToday.  Apparently, because no one is actually harmed from taking this stuff (its plain water after all) the FDA hasn’t put much in the way of resources into tracking down these criminals. 

But WTF is an M.D. doing prescribing this shit?  What can you do when you come across something like this?  I mean it’s one thing to read about stories like this on the internet, but this is my wife here.  This quack is just down the road from my house.  How many people rely on this wacko for health advice and treatment, when he’s selling them a load of BS?  Has anyone else come across this kind of stupidity out there? Should we actually try to do something about this?  I mean he hasn’t hurt us in any way, but it just seems wrong.

In happier news, Chey then went instead to the doctor’s office I use.  She had a nice sit down with an RN and a PA, got her questions answered, and was given the help she was looking for.  Like actual medical advice, not superstitious nonsense.

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