Quackery synonymous with health fraud, is the promotion of fraudulent or ignorant medical practices. A quack is a "fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill" or "a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, qualification or credentials they do not possess; the term quack is a clipped form of the archaic term quacksalver, from Dutch: kwakzalver a "hawker of salve". In the Middle Ages the term quack meant "shouting"; the quacksalvers sold their wares on the market shouting in a loud voice. Common elements of general quackery include questionable diagnoses using questionable diagnostic tests, as well as untested or refuted treatments for serious diseases such as cancer. Quackery is described as "health fraud" with the salient characteristic of aggressive promotion. Since it is difficult to distinguish between those who knowingly promote unproven medical therapies and those who are mistaken as to their effectiveness, United States courts have ruled in defamation cases that accusing someone of quackery or calling a practitioner a quack is not equivalent to accusing that person of committing medical fraud.
To be both quackery and fraud, the quack must know they are misrepresenting the benefits and risks of the medical services offered. In addition to the ethical problems of promising benefits that can not reasonably be expected to occur, quackery includes the risk that patients may choose to forego treatments that are more to help them, in favor of ineffective treatments given by the "quack". Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch defines quackery "as the promotion of unsubstantiated methods that lack a scientifically plausible rationale" and more broadly as: "anything involving overpromotion in the field of health." This definition would include questionable ideas as well as questionable products and services, regardless of the sincerity of their promoters. In line with this definition, the word "fraud" would be reserved only for situations in which deliberate deception is involved. Paul Offit has proposed four ways in which alternative medicine "becomes quackery": "...by recommending against conventional therapies that are helpful."
"...by promoting harmful therapies without adequate warning." "...by draining patients' bank accounts..." "...by promoting magical thinking..." Unproven ineffective, sometimes dangerous medicines and treatments have been peddled throughout human history. Theatrical performances were sometimes given to enhance the credibility of purported medicines. Grandiose claims were made for what could be humble materials indeed: for example, in the mid-19th century revalenta arabica was advertised as having extraordinary restorative virtues as an empirical diet for invalids. Where no fraud was intended, quack remedies contained no effective ingredients whatsoever; some remedies contained substances such as opium and honey, which would have given symptomatic relief but had no curative properties. Some would have addictive qualities to entice the buyer to return; the few effective remedies sold by quacks included emetics and diuretics. Some ingredients did have medicinal effects: mercury and arsenic compounds may have helped some infections and infestations.
However, knowledge of appropriate uses and dosages was limited. The science-based medicine community has criticized the infiltration of alternative medicine into mainstream academic medicine and publications, accusing institutions of "diverting research time and other resources from more fruitful lines of investigation in order to pursue a theory that has no basis in biology." R. W. Donnell coined the phrase "quackademic medicine" to describe this attention given to alternative medicine by academia. Referring to the Flexner Report, he said that medical education "needs a good Flexnerian housecleaning."For example, David Gorski criticized Brian M. Berman, founder of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine, for writing that "There evidence that both real acupuncture and sham acupuncture more effective than no treatment and that acupuncture can be a useful supplement to other forms of conventional therapy for low back pain." He castigated editors and peer reviewers at the New England Journal of Medicine for allowing it to be published, since it recommended deliberately misleading patients in order to achieve a known placebo effect.
With little understanding of the causes and mechanisms of illnesses marketed "cures" referred to as patent medicines, first came to prominence during the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain and the British colonies, including those in North America. Daffy's Elixir and Turlington's Balsam were among the first products that used branding and mass marketing to create and maintain markets. A similar process occurred in other countries of Europe around the same time, for example with the marketing of Eau de Cologne as a cure-all medicine by Johann Maria Farina and his imitators. Patent medicines contained alcohol or opium, while not curing the diseases for which they were sold as a remedy, did make the imbibers feel better and confusedly appreciative of the product; the number of internationally marketed quack medicines
Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is a form of alternative medicine that employs an array of pseudoscientific practices branded as "natural", "non-invasive", as promoting "self-healing". The ideology and methods of naturopathy are based on vitalism and folk medicine, rather than evidence-based medicine. Naturopathic practitioners recommend against following modern medical practices, including but not limited to medical testing, drugs and surgery. Instead, naturopathic study and practice rely on unscientific notions leading naturopaths to diagnoses and treatments that have no factual merit. Naturopathy is considered by the medical profession to be ineffective and harmful, raising ethical issues about its practice. In addition to accusations from the medical community, such as the American Cancer Society, naturopaths have been accused of being charlatans and practicing quackery. Over the years, many practitioners of naturopathy have been found criminally liable in the courts of law around the world.
In some countries, it is a criminal offense for naturopaths to label themselves as medical professionals. Naturopaths are campaigning for more recognition in the United States; the term "naturopathy" originates from "natura" and "pathos" to suggest "natural healing". Naturopaths claim the ancient Greek "Father of Medicine", Hippocrates, as the first advocate of naturopathic medicine, before the term existed. Naturopathy has its roots in the 19th-century Natural Cure movement of Europe. In Scotland, Thomas Allinson started advocating his "Hygienic Medicine" in the 1880s, promoting a natural diet and exercise with avoidance of tobacco and overwork; the term naturopathy was coined in 1895 by John Scheel, purchased by Benedict Lust, whom naturopaths consider to be the "Father of U. S. Naturopathy". Lust had been schooled in hydrotherapy and other natural health practices in Germany by Father Sebastian Kneipp. Lust defined naturopathy as a broad discipline rather than a particular method, included such techniques as hydrotherapy, herbal medicine, homeopathy, as well as eliminating overeating, tea and alcohol.
He described the body in spiritual and vitalistic terms with "absolute reliance upon the cosmic forces of man's nature". According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the first known use of "naturopathy" in print is from 1901. From 1901, Lust founded the American School of Naturopathy in New York. In 1902, the original North American Kneipp Societies were discontinued and renamed "Naturopathic Societies". In September 1919, the Naturopathic Society of America was dissolved and Benedict Lust founded the American Naturopathic Association to supplant it. Naturopaths became licensed under naturopathic or drugless practitioner laws in 25 states in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Naturopathy was adopted by many chiropractors, several schools offered both Doctor of Naturopathy and Doctor of Chiropractic degrees. Estimates of the number of naturopathic schools active in the United States during this period vary from about one to two dozen. After a period of rapid growth, naturopathy went into decline for several decades after the 1930s.
In 1910, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching published the Flexner Report, which criticized many aspects of medical education quality and lack of scientific rigour. The advent of penicillin and other "miracle drugs" and the consequent popularity of modern medicine contributed to naturopathy's decline. In the 1940s and 1950s, a broadening in scope of practice laws led many chiropractic schools to drop their ND degrees, though many chiropractors continued to practice naturopathy. From 1940 to 1963, the American Medical Association campaigned against heterodox medical systems. By 1958, practice of naturopathy was licensed in only five states. In 1968, the United States Department of Health and Welfare issued a report on naturopathy concluding that naturopathy was not grounded in medical science and that naturopathic education was inadequate to prepare graduates to make appropriate diagnosis and provide treatment. In 1977 an Australian committee of inquiry reached similar conclusions.
Beginning in the 1970s, there was a revival of interest in the United States and Canada, in conjunction with the "holistic health" movement. As of 2009, fifteen U. S. states, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia licensed naturopathic doctors, the State of Washington requires insurance companies to offer reimbursement for services provided by naturopathic physicians. On the other hand, some states such as South Carolina and Tennessee prohibit the practice of naturopathy. In 2015, a former naturopathic doctor, Britt Marie Hermes, began writing critically about her experience being trained in and practicing naturopathic medicine; the practice of naturopathy is based on a belief in the body's ability to heal itself through a special vital energy or force guiding bodily processes internally. Diagnosis and treatment concern alternative therapies and "natural" methods that naturopaths claim promote the body's natural ability to heal. Naturopaths focus on a holistic approach avoiding the use of surgery and conventional medicines.
Naturopaths aim to prevent illness through stress reduction and changes to diet and lifestyle rejecting the methods of evidence-based medicine. A consultation begins with a lengthy patient interview focusing on lifestyle, medical history, emotional tone, physical features, as well as physical e
Black salve known by the brand name Cansema, is a dangerous and controversial alternative cancer treatment. The product is classified as an escharotic—a topical paste which burns and destroys skin tissue and leaves behind a thick, black scar called an eschar. Escharotics were used to treat skin lesions in the early 1900s, but have since been replaced by safer and more effective treatments. Escharotics, such as black salves, are advertised by some alternative medicine marketers as treatments for skin cancer with unsubstantiated testimonials and unproven claims of effectiveness; the U. S. Food and Drug Administration has listed Cansema as a "fake cancer cure" and warns consumers to avoid it. Cancer salves were first documented as a form of quackery in a 1955 Time article: "A 37-year-old housewife had a skin condition that proved not to be a cancer. Convinced that it was, she had gone to a backwoods healer. Soon a quarter-sized hole disfigured her nose, opened up the nasal cavity. Duke's plastic surgeons had to build her a new nose."
Although more recent reports document that some alternative medicine practitioners use the internet to market escharotics as purported "cures" for skin cancer, they are not recommended as treatments for skin lesions or skin cancer by medical authorities. The effectiveness of escharotics is unproven, while safer and more effective conventional treatments exist for skin cancers, such as: cryotherapy. Escharotics can cause serious damage to normal skin, their manufacture is unregulated, so the strength and purity of marketed products are unknown and unverified. Numerous reports in the medical literature describe serious consequences of using escharotics in place of standard treatments for skin cancer, ranging from disfigurement to preventable cancer recurrences; the website Quackwatch posted a warning against the use of escharotics in 2008, with a collection of sourced documents compiling issues of patient injury from their use. A more recent study revealed that many individuals who have used black salve were unaware of its potential dangers.
In a 2016 news release titled "Beware of black salve," the American Academy of Dermatology urged patients to consult a dermatologist before using home remedies for skin cancers. Furthermore, individuals increase their risk of further complications or death if they choose to delay conventional medical treatment to attempt treatment with black salve. In 2017, a patient with breast cancer posted photos and updates to a black salve research group as she progressed through her black salve applications. Despite her worsening condition, she believed that the black salve was going to cure her cancer. “And please no comments to see a doctor. I’ve been there; this is my path and I trust in it and my God, healing me”, she wrote. She sought conventional treatment, but died of a prolonged infection some months later, it was reported in 2018. In a similar black salve discussion group, people described the use of black salve on their cats and horses. Over the course of eight months, one member posted photos of the black salve's ongoing effects on her dog's nasal cancer, whilst another documented and questioned its use on her horse.
In 2018 in Australia black salve has been linked to the death of Helen Lawson who decided to use "natural remedies" under the direction of Dennis Wayne Jensen. Jensen advocated covering Lawson's abdomen in black salve claiming it would draw out the ovarian cancer, leaving Lawson with a mass of wounds on her abdomen: “You have never seen anything like what happened to Helen, it is so confronting,” she said. “Literally above her pubic bone, all across her abdomen up to her rib cage, she was raw, mutilated bubbling flesh.”Belinda said that within a few weeks of Helen applying the black salve the wound was so large that surgeons could not have operated if they had wanted to. Lawson died in April 2018. Subsequently, Jensen was issued an interim prohibition order, by the Health Complaints Commissioner, forbidding practicing any health services whilst the death of Lawson is being investigated; this was pursuant to section 90 of the Health Complaints Act 2016 Common ingredients of black salves include zinc chloride and bloodroot, a plant used in herbal medicine.
The extract of bloodroot is called sanguinarine, a quaternary alkaloid which attacks and destroys living tissue and is classified as an escharotic. Other formulations include the four ingredients: Red Clover, Sheep Sorrel, Blood Root, crushed into a paste using mortar and pestle; this is applied sparingly to the affected area, kept covered for 2-3 days. The Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia is advising consumers against purchasing or using black salve, red salve or cansema products; the TGA has found the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network in breach of advertising regulations, in a separate finding the AVN's former president Meryl Dorey together with Leon Pittard of Fair Dinkum Radio were found to be in breach. Cansema is listed by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration as one of 187 fake cancer cures. Cansema continues to be marketed by numerous individuals, as evidenced by recent FDA Warning Letters; the FDA has taken enforcement action against illegal marketing of Cansema as a cancer cure, as in the 2004 arrest and conviction of Greg Caton.
The FDA has taken an active role in the banning of these chemicals for
Animal magnetism known as mesmerism, was the name given by German doctor Franz Mesmer in the 18th century to what he believed to be an invisible natural force possessed by all living things, including humans and vegetables. He believed that the force could have physical effects, including healing, he tried persistently but without success to achieve scientific recognition of his ideas; the vitalist theory attracted numerous followers in Europe and the United States and was popular into the 19th century. Practitioners were known as magnetizers rather than mesmerists, it was an important specialty in medicine for about 75 years from its beginnings in 1779, continued to have some influence for another 50 years. Hundreds of books were written on the subject between 1766 and 1925, but it is entirely forgotten today. Mesmerism is still practised as a form of alternative medicine in some countries, but magnetic practices are not recognized as part of medical science; the terms "magnetizer" and "mesmerizer" have been applied to people who study and practice animal magnetism.
These terms have been distinguished from "mesmerist" and "magnetist", which are regarded as denoting those who study animal magnetism without being practitioners. The etymology of the word magnetizer comes from the French "magnetiseur", which in turn is derived from the French verb magnetiser; the term refers to an individual who has the power to manipulate the "magnetic fluid" with effects upon other people present that were regarded as analogous to magnetic effects. This sense of the term is found, for example, in the expression of Antoine Joseph Gorsas: "The magnetizer is the imam of vital energy". A tendency emerged amongst British magnetizers to call their clinical techniques "mesmerism". At the time, some magnetizers attempted to channel what they thought was a magnetic "fluid", sometimes they attempted this with a "laying on of hands". Reported effects included various feelings: intense heat, trembling and seizures. Many practitioners took a scientific approach, such as Joseph Philippe François Deleuze, a French physician, anatomist and physicist.
One of his pupils was Théodore Léger, who wrote that the label "mesmerism" was "most improper".. Noting that, by 1846, the term "galvanism" had been replaced by "electricity", Léger wrote that year: Mesmerism, of all the names proposed, is decidedly the most improper, he is not the inventor of the practical part of the science, since we can trace the practice of it through the most remote ages. He proposed for it a theory, now exploded, which, on account of his errors, has been fatal to our progress, he never spoke of the phenomena. In 1784 a French Royal Commission appointed by Louis XVI studied Mesmer's magnetic fluid theory to try to establish it by scientific evidence; the commission included Majault, Benjamin Franklin, Jean Sylvain Bailly, Jean-Baptiste Le Roy, Jean Darcet, de Borey, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, Antoine Lavoisier, Caille, Mauduyt de la Varenne, de Jussieu. Whilst the commission agreed that the cures claimed by Mesmer were indeed cures, it concluded there was no evidence of the existence of his "magnetic fluid", that its effects derived from either the imaginations of its subjects or charlatanry.
A second investigating committee, appointed by a majority vote in 1826 in The Royal Academy of Medicine in Paris, studied the effects and clinical potentials of the mesmeric procedure - without trying to establish the physical nature of any magnetic fluidum. The report says: what we have seen in the course of our experiments bears no sort of resemblance to what the Report of 1784 relates with regard to the magnetizers of that period. We neither reject the existence of the fluid, because we have not verified the fact. We do not speak of... the crisis Among the conclusions were: Magnetism has taken effect upon persons of different sexes and ages.... In general, magnetism does not act upon persons in a sound state of health.... Neither does it act upon all sick persons.... We may conclude with certainty that this state exists, when it gives rise to the development of new faculties, which have been designated by the names of clairvoyance. We can not only act upon the magnetized person, but place him in a complete state of somnambulism, bring him out of it without his knowledge, out of his sight, at a certain distance, with doors intervening....
The greater number of the somnambu
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.