Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine. Cupping is used in more than 60 countries, its usage dates back to as far as 1,550 B. C. There are different forms of cupping. Cups are applied onto the skin and a suction is created, pulling the skin up, it is meant to increase blood flow to certain areas to the body. Cupping has been characterized as a pseudoscience. There is no good evidence it has any health benefits, there are some risks of harm from fire and wet cupping. Cupping is poorly supported by scientific evidence, with a 2014 review of recent evidence finding that "because of the unreasonable design and poor research quality, the clinical evidence of cupping therapy is low." A 2011 review found that "the effectiveness of cupping is not well-documented for most conditions", that systematic reviews showing efficacy for the treatment of pain "were based on poor quality primary studies." The American Cancer Society notes that "available scientific evidence does not support claims that cupping has any health benefits" and that the treatment carries a small risk of burns.
In their 2008 book Trick or Treatment, Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst write that no evidence exists of any beneficial effects of cupping for any medical condition. Critics of alternative medicine such as Harriet Hall and Mark Crislip have characterized cupping as "pseudoscience nonsense", "a celebrity fad", "gibberish", observed that there is no evidence that cupping works any better than a placebo. Pharmacologist David Colquhoun writes that cupping is "laughable... and utterly implausible." Practicing surgeon David Gorski observes, "...it’s all risk for no benefit. It has no place in modern medicine, or at least shouldn’t." While ineffective, cupping is safe when applied by trained professionals on people who are otherwise healthy. Cupping may result in bruising, pain, and/or skin infection, is not recommended for people with health problems due to side effects. In 2016, the Cambodian Ministry of Health warned that cupping could be a health risk and dangerous for people with high blood pressure or heart problems.
Research suggests that cupping is harmful in people who are thin or obese: According to Jack Raso, cupping results in capillary expansion, excessive fluid accumulation in tissues, the rupture of blood vessels. Cupping therapy adverse events can be divided into local and systemic adverse events; the local adverse events were scar formation, skin infection, abscess formation, pain at the cupping site, systemic adverse events including: anemia, vasovagal attack, insomnia and nausea. Fire cupping can sometimes result in minor to severe burns at the cupping site, may lead to hospitalization and may require skin grafting to repair the injury. Other burns can occur due to carelessness with the flammable substances being used, such as spills and over application; some contraindications for cupping may include: pregnancy, dry or cracked skin, open wounds, or thin blood. While details vary between practitioners and cultures, the practice consists of drawing tissue into a cap placed on the targeted area by creating a partial vacuum – either by the heating and subsequent cooling of the air in the cup, or via a mechanical pump.
The cup is left in place for somewhere between five and fifteen minutes. Cupping therapy types can be classified using four distinct methods of categorisation; the first system of categorisation relates to "technical types" including: dry, wet and flash cupping therapy. The second categorisation relates to "the power of suction related types" including: light and strong cupping therapy; the third categorisation relates to "the method of suction related types" including: fire, manual suction, electrical suction cupping therapy. The fourth categorisation relates to "materials inside cups" including: herbal products, ozone, moxa and magnetic cupping therapy. Further categories of cupping were developed later; the fifth relates to area treated including: facial, female and orthopedic cupping therapy. The sixth relates to "other cupping types" that include aquatic cupping; the cupping procedure involves creating a small area of low air pressure next to the skin. However, there are varieties in the tools used, the methods of creating the low pressure, the procedures followed during the treatment.
The cups can be of various shapes including balls or bells, may range in size from 1 to 3 inches across the opening. Plastic and glass are the most common materials used today, replacing the horn, pottery and bamboo cups used in earlier times; the low air pressure required may be created by heating the cup or the air inside it with an open flame or a bath in hot scented oils placing it against the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it contracts and draws the skin inside. More vacuum is created with a mechanical suction pump acting through a valve located at the top of the cup. Rubber cups are available that squeeze the air out and adapt to uneven or bony surfaces. In practice, cups are used only on softer tissue that can form a good seal with the edge of the cup, they may be used singly or with many to cover a larger area. They may be placed over an acupuncture needle. Skin may be lubricated. Cupping is not painful. There might be discomfort due to the tight suction created, pulling the skin up.
After a cupping session, the person might see red circle marks on their body. It is a misconception that these red circle
Christian Science is a set of beliefs and practices belonging to the metaphysical family of new religious movements. It was developed in 19th-century New England by Mary Baker Eddy, who argued in her 1875 book Science and Health that sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone; the book became Christian Science's central text, along with the Bible, by 2001 had sold over nine million copies. Eddy and 26 followers were granted a charter in 1879 to found the Church of Christ, in 1894 the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, was built in Boston, Massachusetts. Christian Science became the fastest growing religion in the United States, with nearly 270,000 members by 1936, a figure that had declined by 1990 to just over 100,000; the church is known for its newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor, which won seven Pulitzer Prizes between 1950 and 2002, for its public Reading Rooms around the world. Eddy described Christian Science as a return to "primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing".
There are key differences between Christian Science theology and that of other branches of Christianity. In particular, adherents subscribe to a radical form of philosophical idealism, believing that reality is purely spiritual and the material world an illusion; this includes the view that disease is a mental error rather than physical disorder, that the sick should be treated not by medicine, but by a form of prayer that seeks to correct the beliefs responsible for the illusion of ill health. The church does not require that Christian Scientists avoid all medical care—adherents use dentists, obstetricians, physicians for broken bones, vaccination when required by law—but maintains that Christian-Science prayer is most effective when not combined with medicine. Between the 1880s and 1990s, the avoidance of medical treatment led to the deaths of several adherents and their children. Parents and others were prosecuted for, in a few cases convicted of, manslaughter or neglect. Several periods of Protestant Christian revival nurtured a proliferation of new religious movements in the United States.
In the latter half of the 19th century these included what came to be known as the metaphysical family: groups such as Christian Science, Divine Science, the Unity School of Christianity and the United Church of Religious Science. From the 1890s the liberal section of the movement became known as New Thought, in part to distinguish it from the more authoritarian Christian Science; the term metaphysical referred to the movement's philosophical idealism, a belief in the primacy of the mental world. Adherents believed that material phenomena were the result of mental states, a view expressed as "life is consciousness" and "God is mind." The supreme cause was referred to as Divine Mind, God, Life, Principle or Father–Mother, reflecting elements of Plato, Berkeley, Hegel and transcendentalism. The metaphysical groups became known as the mind-cure movement because of their strong focus on healing. Medical practice was in its infancy, patients fared better without it; this provided fertile soil for the mind-cure groups, who argued that sickness was an absence of "right thinking" or failure to connect to Divine Mind.
The movement traced its roots in the United States to Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a New England clockmaker turned mental healer, whose motto was "the truth is the cure." Mary Baker Eddy had been a patient of his, leading to debate about how much of Christian Science was based on his ideas. New Thought and Christian Science differed in that Eddy saw her views as a unique and final revelation. Eddy's idea of malicious animal magnetism marked another distinction, introducing an element of fear, absent from the New Thought literature. Most she dismissed the material world as an illusion, rather than as subordinate to Mind, leading her to reject the use of medicine, or materia medica, making Christian Science the most controversial of the metaphysical groups. Reality for Eddy was purely spiritual. Christian Science leaders place their religion within mainstream Christian teaching, according to J. Gordon Melton, reject any identification with the New Thought movement. Eddy was influenced by her Congregationalist upbringing.
According to the church's tenets, adherents accept "the inspired Word of the Bible as sufficient guide to eternal Life... acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God... acknowledge His Son, one Christ. When founding the Church of Christ, Scientist, in April 1879, Eddy wrote that she wanted to "reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing", she suggested that Christian Science was a kind of second coming and that Science and Health was an inspired text. In 1895, in the Manual of the Mother Church, she ordained the Bible and Science and Health as "Pastor over the Mother Church". Christian Science theology differs in several respects from that of traditional Christianity. Eddy's Science and Health reinterprets key Christian concepts, including the Trinity, divinity of Jesus and resurrection. At the core of Eddy's theology is the view that the spiritual world is the only reality and is good, that the material world, with its evil and death, is an illusion. Eddy saw humanity as an "idea of Mind", "perfect, eternal and reflects the divine", according to Bryan Wilson.
Facilitated communication, supported typing or hand over hand, is a discredited technique that attempts to facilitate communication by people with severe educational and communication disabilities. The facilitator holds or touches the disabled person's arm or hand during this process and attempts to help them move to type on a special keyboard. In addition to providing physical support needed for typing or pointing, the facilitator provides verbal prompts and moral support. There is widespread agreement within the scientific community and multiple disability advocacy organizations that FC does not work, that the facilitator is in fact the source of most or all messages obtained through FC, by guiding the arm of the patient towards answers they expect to see or that form intelligible language. Alternatively, the facilitator may hold the alphabet board and move it to the disabled person's finger. Studies asking about things the facilitator cannot know have confirmed this, showing that a facilitator is unable to ‘help’ the patient sign out the answer to a question where they do not know what the answer should be.
In addition, numerous cases have been reported by investigators in which disabled persons were assumed by facilitators to be signing a coherent message while their eyes were closed, or they were looking away from or showing no particular interest in the letter board. Some promoters of the technique have countered that FC cannot be disproven by testing, since a testing environment might feel confrontational and alienating to the subject; because the scientific consensus is that FC is a pseudoscience which causes great risk and emotional distress to people with communication disabilities, their families, their caregivers, the technique is now rejected outside a few fringe groups and organizations, including Syracuse University in the United States. In 2015 Sweden banned the use of FC in special needs schools. Facilitated communication is promoted as a means to assist people with severe communication disabilities in pointing to letters on an alphabet board, keyboard or other device so that they can communicate independently.
It appears in the literature as "supported typing", "progressive kinesthetic feedback", "written output communication enhancement". It is somewhat related to the Rapid Prompting Method known as "informative pointing", which has no evidence of efficacy; the person with disabilities, not able to rely on speech to communicate, is referred to as the communication partner. The caregiver, educator or other provider offering physical support to the person with disabilities is called the facilitator; the facilitator holds or touches the communication partner's elbow, hand, sleeve or other parts of the body while the communication partner points to letters of the alphabet printed on a piece of paper or laminated cardboard, letters on an alphabet board, keyboard or mobile communication device such as an iPad. The Canon Communicator, a small, lightweight device that printed a tape of letters when activated, was popular with early FC users. However, two companies, Crestwood Co. of Glendale and Abovo Co. of Chicopee, would be charged by the Federal Trade Commission for making "false and unsubstantiated claims" that the device could enable people with autism and other disabilities to communicate using FC.
The companies stopped mentioning FC in their advertising campaigns. Proponents of FC claim. Although this claim is unsubstantiated, proponents argue that physical support and touch are necessary components of communicating through FC. Candidates for FC "lack confidence in their abilities" and physical support, helps them overcome this obstacle to communication; the role of the facilitator is depicted by proponents as integral to helping the person with disabilities point to letters, reducing or eliminating uncontrollable arm movements, avoiding mistakes in typing, controlling the initiation of movement, speaking words aloud. As well as physical support in typing, the facilitator provides moral support. Along with human touch, the facilitator's belief in their communication partner's ability to communicate is seen to be a key component of the technique. Former facilitator Janyce Boynton, who came to reject the technique after taking part in double-blind trials reported that she received training from University of Maine that took for granted that the process worked, that the complexity of facilitation made it hard to realise that messages were coming from her expectations and not from her patients: "When you're facilitating, you're so distracted by other things.
You're carrying on conversations, you're asking and answering questions, you're trying to look at the person to see if they're looking at the keyboard... Your brain is so engaged that you lose sight of what's happening with your hand...that's what makes it feel like it's working because the more you practice it, the more the movements feel fluid.”. The FC movement may be traced back to the 1960s in Denmark where it failed to take hold because of lack of scientific evidence. FC experienced a period of rapid growth and popularity in Australia in the 1970—1980s due to the efforts of special educator Rosemary Crossley. Arthur Schawlow, a Nobel laureate whose son was autistic, Douglas Biklen
The skeptical movement is a modern social movement based on the idea of scientific skepticism. Scientific skepticism involves the application of skeptical philosophy, critical-thinking skills, knowledge of science and its methods to empirical claims, while remaining agnostic or neutral to non-empirical claims; the movement has the goal of investigating claims made on fringe topics and determining whether they are supported by empirical research and are reproducible, as part of a methodological norm pursuing "the extension of certified knowledge". The process followed is sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry. Roots of the movement date at least from the 19th century, when people started publicly raising questions regarding the unquestioned acceptance of claims about spiritism, of various widely-held superstitions, of pseudoscience. Publications such as those of the Dutch Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij targeted medical quackery. Using as a template the Belgian organization founded in 1949, Comité Para, Americans Paul Kurtz and Marcello Truzzi founded the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, in Amherst, New York in 1976.
Now known as the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, this organization has inspired others to form similar groups worldwide. Scientific skepticism or rational skepticism, sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry, is an epistemological position in which one questions the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence. In practice, the term is most applied to the examination of claims and theories that appear to be beyond mainstream science, rather than to the routine discussions and challenges among scientists. Scientific skepticism is different from philosophical skepticism, which questions humans' ability to claim any knowledge about the nature of the world and how they perceive it. Methodological skepticism, a systematic process of being skeptical about the truth of one's beliefs, is similar but distinct; the New Skepticism described by Paul Kurtz is scientific skepticism. For example, Robert K. Merton asserts that all ideas must be tested and are subject to rigorous, structured community scrutiny.
An important difference to classical skepticism, according to religious history professor Olav Hammer, is that it is not directly aligned with classical pyrrhonian scepticism, which would question all sort of orthodox wisdom, as well as the one established by modern science. According to Hammer, "the intellectual forebears of the modern skeptical movement are rather to be found among the many writers throughout history who have argued against beliefs they did not share."The following are quotations related to scientific skepticism: Briefly stated, a skeptic is one, willing to question any claim to truth, asking for clarity in definition, consistency in logic, adequacy of evidence. The use of skepticism is thus an essential part of objective scientific inquiry and the search for reliable knowledge. What skeptical thinking boils down to is the means to construct, to understand, a reasoned argument and important, to recognize a fallacious or fraudulent argument; the question is not whether we like the conclusion that emerges out of a train of reasoning, but whether the conclusion follows from the premises or starting point and whether that premise is true.
Science is a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan, political or religious, who comes ambling along. Scientific skepticism the practice or project of studying paranormal and pseudoscientific claims through the lens of science and critical scholarship, sharing the results with the public. A skeptic is one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient, therefore rigorously and applies the methods of science and reason to all empirical claims their own. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence, studies the pitfalls of human reason and the mechanisms of deception so as to avoid being deceived by others or themselves.
Skepticism values method over any particular conclusion. "Skepticism is a provisional approach to claims. It is the application of reason to any and all ideas—no sacred cows allowed. In other words, skepticism is a method, not a position." The true meaning of the word skepticism has nothing to do with disbelief, or negativity. Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It's the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion. With regard to the skeptical social movement, Loxton refers to other movements promoting "humanism, rationalism, science education and critical thinking" before, he saw the demand for the new movement—a movement of people called "skeptics" — being based on a lack of interest by the scientific community to address paranormal and fringe science claims. In line with Kendrick Frazier, he describes the movement as a surrogate in that area for institutional science; the movement set up a distinct field of study, provided an organizational structure, while long-standing genre of individual skeptical activities lacked such a community and background.
Skeptical organizations tend to have science education and promotion among
Magnet therapy, magnetic therapy is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine practice involving a weak static magnetic fields produced by a permanent magnet. It is similar to the alternative medicine practice of electromagnetic therapy, which uses a magnetic field generated by an electrically powered device. Practitioners claim that subjecting certain parts of the body to weak electric or magnetic fields has beneficial health effects; these physical and biological claims are unproven and no effects on health or healing have been established. Although hemoglobin, the blood protein that carries oxygen, is weakly diamagnetic or paramagnetic, the magnets used in magnetic therapy are many orders of magnitude too weak to have any measurable effect on blood flow; this is not to be confused with trans-cranial magnetic stimulation, a scientifically valid form of therapy Magnet therapy involves applying the weak magnetic field of permanent magnets to the body, for purported health benefits. Different effects are assigned to different orientations of the magnet.
Products include jewelry. Application is performed by the patient, it is similar to the alternative medicine practice of electromagnetic therapy, which uses the weak electric or magnetic fields as well, but generated by electrically powered devices. The most common suggested mechanism is that magnets might improve blood flow in underlying tissues; the field surrounding magnet therapy devices is far too weak and falls off with distance far too to appreciably affect hemoglobin, other blood components, muscle tissue, blood vessels, or organs. A 1991 study on humans of static field strengths up to 1 T found no effect on local blood flow. Tissue oxygenation is unaffected; some practitioners claim that the magnets can restore the body's hypothetical "electromagnetic energy balance", but no such balance is medically recognized. In the magnetic fields used in magnetic resonance imaging, which are many times stronger, none of the claimed effects are observed. If the body were meaningfully affected by the weak magnets used in magnet therapy, MRI would be impractical.
Several studies have been conducted in recent years to investigate what role, if any, static magnetic fields may play in health and healing. Unbiased studies of magnetic therapy are problematic, since magnetisation can be detected, for instance, by the attraction forces on ferrous objects. Incomplete or insufficient blinding tends to exaggerate treatment effects where any such effects are small. Health claims regarding longevity and cancer treatment are implausible and unsupported by any research. More mundane health claims, most about anecdotal pain relief lack any credible proposed mechanism and clinical research is not promising; the American Cancer Society states that "available scientific evidence does not support these claims". According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, studies of magnetic jewelry haven't shown demonstrable effects on pain, nerve function, cell growth or blood flow. A 2008 systematic review of magnet therapy for all indications found insufficient evidence to determine whether magnet therapy is effective for pain relief, as did a 2012 review focused on osteoarthritis.
Both reviews reported that small sample sizes, inadequate randomization, difficulty with allocation concealment all tend to bias studies positively and limit the strength of any conclusions. These devices are considered safe in themselves, though there can be significant financial and opportunity costs to magnet therapy when treatment or diagnosis are avoided or delayed; the worldwide magnet therapy industry totals sales of over a billion dollars per year, including $300 million per year in the United States alone. A 2002 U. S. National Science Foundation report on public attitudes and understanding of science noted that magnet therapy is "not at all scientific." A number of vendors make unsupported claims about magnet therapy by using pseudoscientific and new-age language. Such claims are unsupported by the results of clinical studies. Marketing of any therapy as effective treatment for any condition is restricted by law in many jurisdictions unless all such claims are scientifically validated.
In the United States, for example, U. S. Food and Drug Administration regulations prohibit marketing any magnet therapy product using medical claims, as such claims are unfounded. Magnetic Therapy: Can magnets alleviate pain? by Cecil Adams — The Straight Dope Magnetic Therapy: Plausible Attraction? by James D. Livingston — Skeptical Inquirer Magnet therapy in the Skeptic's Dictionary by Robert Todd Carroll Magnet therapy — editorial in the British Medical Journal Magnet Therapy: A Skeptical View by Stephen Barrett — Quackwatch
Anthroposophic medicine is a form of alternative medicine. Devised in the 1920s by Rudolf Steiner in conjunction with Ita Wegman, anthroposophical medicine is based on occult notions and draws on Steiner's spiritual philosophy, which he called anthroposophy. Practitioners employ a variety of treatment techniques based upon anthroposophic precepts, including massage, exercise and substances. Many drug preparations used in anthroposophic medicine are ultra-diluted substances, similar to those used in homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies are not medically effective and are considered harmless, except when used as a substitute for a scientifically proven and effective cure. In certain European countries, people with cancer are sometimes prescribed remedies made from specially harvested mistletoe, but research has found no convincing evidence of clinical benefit; some anthroposophic doctors oppose childhood vaccination, this has led to preventable outbreaks of disease. Anthroposophic medicine departs from fundamental biological principles in several respects.
For example, Steiner said that blood propels itself along. Anthroposophic medicine proposes that patients' past lives may influence their illness and that the course of an illness is subject to karmic destiny. Professor of complementary medicine Edzard Ernst and other physicians and scientists including Simon Singh and David Gorski have characterized anthroposophic medicine as pseudoscientific quackery with no basis in reason or logic; the first steps towards an anthroposophic approach to medicine were made before 1920, when homeopathic physicians and pharmacists began working with Rudolf Steiner, who recommended new medicinal substances as well as specific methods for preparation along with an anthroposophic concept of man. In 1921, Ita Wegman opened the first anthroposophic medical clinic, now known as the Klinik Arlesheim, in Arlesheim, Switzerland. Wegman was soon joined by a number of other doctors, they began to train the first anthroposophic nurses for the clinic. At Wegman's request, Steiner visited the clinic and suggested treatment regimes for particular patients.
Between 1920 and 1925, he gave several series of lectures on medicine. In 1925, Wegman and Steiner wrote the first book on the anthroposophic approach to medicine, Fundamentals of Therapy. Wegman opened a separate clinic and curative home in Ascona. Wegman lectured visiting the Netherlands and England frequently, an increasing number of doctors began to include the anthroposophic approach in their practices. A cancer clinic, the Lukas Clinic, opened in Arlesheim in 1963. In 1976 anthroposophic medicine in Germany got regulated by law as a specific therapeutic system by the Medicines Act-Arzneimittelgesetz and by the Code of Social Law In the 1990s the Witten/Herdecke University in Germany established a chair in anthroposophical medicine; the press described the appointment as a "death sentence" and the perception that pseudoscience was being taught damaged the university's reputation, bringing it close to financial collapse. It was saved by a cash injection from Software AG, a technology corporation with a history of funding anthroposophic projects.
In 2006, anthroposophical medicine was practised in 80 countries. In 2012 the University of Aberdeen considered establishing a chair in holistic health jointly funded by Software AG, by the Anthroposophic Health and Social Care Movement, each of which would provide £1.5 million of endowment. Edzard Ernst commented "that any decent university should consider an anthroposophical medicine unit seems incomprehensible; the fact that it would be backed by people who have a financial interest in this bogus approach makes it worse." The University's governance and nominations committee decided not to proceed with the appointment. The categorization of anthroposophical medicine is complex since in part it complements conventional medicine, in part it substitutes for it. In 2008, Ernst wrote that it was being promoted as an "extension to conventional medicine". Ernst writes that Steiner used imagination and insight as a basis for his ideas, drawing mystical knowledge from the occult Akashic Records, a work, situated on the astral plane, which Steiner said was accessible to him via his intuitive powers.
On this basis, Steiner proposed "associations between four postulated dimensions of the human body, plants and the cosmos". Steiner proposed a connection betweens planets and organs so that, for example, the planet Mercury, the element mercury and the lung were all somehow associated; these propositions form the basis of anthroposophical medicine. Ernst has said that anthroposophical medicine "includes some of the least plausible theories one could imagine", categorized it as "pure quackery", said that it "has no basis in science". According to Quackwatch, anthroposophical medicine practitioners regard illness as a "rite of passage" necessary to purge spiritual impurities carried over from past lives, according to the precepts of "karmic destiny". In anthroposophic pharmacy drugs are prepared according to ancient notions of alchemy and homeopathy which are not related to the science underlying modern pharmacology. During the preparation process, patterns formed by crystallization are interpreted to see which "etheric force" they most resemble.
Most anthroposophic preparations are diluted, like homeopathic remedies. This means that, while they are harmless in themselves, using them in place of conventional medicine to treat serio