A list of some of the alternative medicine practices you’re likely to encounter in the United States. Some of these are considered border-line acceptable even in the professional medical field, and many understand that this is unfortunate. Mostly these are just scams, quackery, and nonsense, which unfortunately gullible people believe in if they are desperate and grasping at false hope. Keep your eyes peeled for any of these, and be prepared to stamp out the harmful ones.
“Reverend” George M. Malkmus claims to have eliminated his colon cancer and other serious health problems more than twenty-five years ago by “following biblical principles for a natural diet and healthy lifestyle.” He and his wife Rhonda Jean operate ‘Hallelujah Acres’, where they hold seminars, sell products, and advocate a diet that consists of raw fruits and vegetables.
Malkmus and his followers claim that his methods have helped people with obesity, cancer, arthritis, and more than a hundred other health problems. He is a very eloquent speaker who is capable of inspiring people who trust in what he says. It has been speculated that he is in fact running a cult, with an unknown number of followers at the ‘Hallelujah Acres’ site.
Nicholas Bachynsky, a medical doctor whose license was revoked in the early 1990s, is largely responsible for the persistence of intracellular hyperthermia as a treatment. In April of 2004, he was imprisoned in a Floria jail to await trial on fraud charges related to sale of phony stock in a business founded on the alleged treatment.
The claim is that it is effective against cancer and Lyme disease by way of the intravenous administration of 2-4- dinitrophenol (DNP), which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned more than sixty years ago.
Americans are now spending billions of dollars per year for herbal capsules and tablets, bulk herbs, and herbal teas. Although the teas are consumed for their flavor, most of these products are probably used for supposed medicinal qualities. Sales by multilevel distributors and pharmacies amount to hundreds of millions more for products that are obviously intended for harmful self-medication.
Herbs are also marketed by naturopaths, acupuncturists, iridologists, chiropractors, and unlicensed herbalists, many of whom prescribe them for the entire gamut of health problems of every description. Many such practitioners are not qualified to make appropriate medical diagnoses or to determine how the products they prescribe compare to proven drugs, and are not licensed to do anything at all, for that matter.
Touted as a nonsurgical alternative to liposuction, mesotherapy involves the injecting of medications and plant extracts into the layers of fat and connective tissue under the skin.
The injected ingredients may include agents that are used to open blood vessels, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, enzymes, nutrients, antibiotics, herbal cures, and hormones. Mesotherapy is said to be used in conjunction with dietary modification, hormone replacement therapy, exercise and nutritional supplements. No drug is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in mesotherapy, and none will.
Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique
Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (B.E.S.T.), came out during the mid-1970s by chiropractor MiltonTed Morter, Jr., of Rogers, Arkansas. It is claimed to be “a holistic program that coordinates and balances the workings of all the systems of the body.” Morter defines B.E.S.T. as “a nonforceful chiropractic technique for the 21st century that removed interference from the nervous system by the use of the hands.” Morter claims that such interferences occur when subtle pulses in different parts of the body are not synchronized.
Between April 1997 and June 2000, Beverly and Thomas Vigil of Meridian, Idaho, touted a product called Neuralyn on the Internet and elsewhere as a highly effective treatment for spinal cord injuries and other ailments. The couple claimed that Neuralyn was an all-natural substance made up of B vitamins, amino acids, and extracts of plants from the Yucatan Peninsula region. According to Thomas Vigil, the idea for Neuralyn came from a dream.
In fact, the Vigils teamed up with pharmacist David Taylor and concocted Neuralyn using a number of homeopathic ingredients as well as a couple of topical anesthetics. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson, more than 100 people, most of them paraplegics or quadriplegics, paid up to $10,000 per person to come to clinics in Idaho, Utah and Colorado for Neuralyn treatment.
These people were told that Neuralyn treatments had been 85% to 95% successful, and that the product would enable spinal cord injury patients to move, stand on their own, or walk again by regrowing new nerve cells. The Vigils are now in custody facing charges.
Optometric Visual Training
This approach is based on an idea that learning can be improved by exercises that stimulate coordination of the eye muscles or improve hand-eye coordination. Its proponents assume that the basic problem that leads to reading disability is some deficit in the muscles of the visual system.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Ophthalmology have spoken out against this approach and cautioned that no eye-muscle defects can produce the learning disabilities associated with dyslexia. Dyslexia is actually a reading disorder characterized by omissions, faulty word substitutions, and impaired comprehension. It isn’t due to mental retardation, lack of schooling, or brain damage.
Thought Field Therapy
Abbreviated as TFT, its founder, psychologist Roger J. Callahan, Ph.D., claims that TFT “provides a code to nature’s healing system and addresses their fundamental causes, balancing the body’s energy system and allowing you to eliminate negative emotions within minutes and promote the body’s own healing ability.”
The Callahan Techniques site also recommends dietary supplementation for the persons who “suffer from multiple environmental sensitivities and even allergies which aggravate psychological problems.” During the TFT sessions, the therapist uses sequences of finger taps on “acupressure points” of the hands, face, and upper body. The patient at the same time does repetitive activities, such as repeats statements, counts, rolls the eyes, or hums a tune while visualizing a distressing situation.