Posted by: Chris Maloney | September 30, 2011

A Humorous Look At Homeopathy and Alternative Medicine: Well Done, But Incorrect.

Students working with an artificial patient (F...

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I think this was a very well done skit on homeopathy and exactly why I was initially extremely skeptical of the stuff.

But it takes holistic ER to give a really good picture of what it would be like:

The trouble is, I can’t help feeling that perhaps the billions of dollars the television shows receive from pharmaceutical income might be influencing their take on things.

Here, for comparision are some studies from the past few years on alternative medicine in the Emergency Room.  Oops, it looks like it works.  Really well. Patients prefer it and it works long term to prevent future ER visits.

Respir Med. 2011 Aug;105(8):1153-9. Epub  2011 Mar 31.

Breathing retraining – a five-year follow-up of patients with dysfunctional breathing.


Department of Physiotherapy, Falu Hospital, SE-791 82 Falun, Sweden.



The term dysfunctional breathing (DB) has been introduced to describe patients who display divergent breathing patterns and have breathing problems that cannot be attributed to a specific medical diagnosis. Patients with DB are often misdiagnosed as having asthma.


To describe patients with DB, five years after a breathing retraining intervention.


Out of initially 25 patients with DB and 25 age and sex-matched patients with asthma, 22 patients with DB and 23 patients with asthma (ages 25-78 years) were followed up after five years. Data were collected from posted self-report questionnaires. Only patients with DB had received breathing retraining, consisting of information, advice and diaphragmatic breathing. Patients were evaluated regarding quality of life (SF-36), anxiety, depression, sense of coherence, hyperventilation, influence on daily life, emergency room (ER) visits, and symptoms associated with DB.


Quality of life (SF-36), physical component summary scale (PCS), had improved in patients with DB from 43 to 47 (p = 0.03). The number of ER visits had decreased from 18 to 2 in patients with DB (p = 0.02). Symptoms associated with DB had decreased extensively, from a mean score of 6.9 to 2.7, on a DB criterion list (p < 0.001). Patients with DB were less impaired by their breathing problems both in daily life and when exercising (p < 0.001). The only difference found over time in the asthma group concerned quality of health, bodily pain, which had deteriorated, from 77 to 68 (p = 0.049).


This five-year follow-up study indicates that patients with dysfunctional breathing benefit from breathing retraining.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 21454062
Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2008 Jan-Feb;36(1):21-5.

The view of patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on complementary and alternative medicine.


Chest Diseases Dept, Cumhuriyet University, Faculty of Medicine, Sivas, Turkey.



The popularity of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), particularly for chronic diseases such as asthma, is growing rapidly, but little is known about the characteristics of CAM use by patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD). The aim of the present study is to compare the knowledge and preferences of patients with asthma or COPD about CAM, to evaluate the extent, characteristics and possible predictors of CAM use.


A face-to-face interview questionnaire was administered to the patients who attended the Allergic Diseases and Chest Diseases clinics between May 2005-January 2006, and 364 patients answered the questionnaire.


43.1 % (n = 90) of the 209 asthmatic patients, and 43.2 % (n = 67) of the 155 COPD patients had used some type of CAM previously. The asthmatic patients who have been admitted to the Emergency Room(ER) more frequently tend to use CAM methods (p = 0.03), whereas duration of doctor diagnosis, hospitalizations, admissions to ER and to be educated for diseases have a higher impact on CAM use in COPD patients (p = 0.00, p = 0.00, p = 0.00 and p = 0.04, respectively). The most commonly used forms of CAM were herbal medicines (57.8 % vs. 70.1 %) and quail egg (46.7 % vs. 37.3 %) in patients with asthma and COPD, respectively. The reported frequency of the subjective sense of improvement was higher in asthmatic patients than COPD patients but this difference was insignificant (50.0 % vs.39.4 %; p = 0.24).


Most of the patients with asthma or COPD prefer alternative medicine. CAM use by patients with COPD should be asked about by their doctors, strongly advised about continuing their medicines and about side effects of CAM.

PMID: 18261429


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