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Analysis and Comment (8)

There is a soft evidence base for spinal manipulations being useful for musculoskeletal problems. There is a soft evidence base for spinal manipulations being useful for musculoskeletal problems. Michael Dorausch

GP de-registration shows double standard for health practitioners

A New South Wales general practitioner, who was de-registered by the NSW Medical Tribunal for claiming he could treat any number of serious conditions by “spinal manipulation”, has lost his appeal to the…
Acupuncture is based on the belief that a vital force (Ch’i) is transmitted along meridians. Acupuncture is based on the belief that a vital force (Ch’i) is transmitted along meridians. Megan Mallen

Turf war over who can claim the title of acupuncturist

Acupuncture is popular and no doubt lucrative for its practitioners. The fact that it doesn’t work seems to be of little relevance, and certainly has not curbed enthusiasm for the application of what is…
Treasurer Wayne Swan delivering the Budget on Tuesday. Treasurer Wayne Swan delivering the Budget on Tuesday. AAP

Budget good news: no taxpayer dollars for a ‘bunch of hooey’

It’s good news indeed that the Federal Budget is providing the chief medical officer with a million dollars to review what works and what doesn’t in the world of “natural” medicine. Professor Chris Baggoley…
The answer is not more rigid insistence on the primacy of biomedicine, in spite of its great contribution to saving lives. The answer is not more rigid insistence on the primacy of biomedicine, in spite of its great contribution to saving lives. CALI.org

Evidence-based medicine v alternative therapies: moving beyond virulence

More heat than light is being generated by the resurgence of the debate on orthodox evidence-based medicine versus the so-called pseudo-science of alternative therapies. Unfortunately the voices of medical…
Treatments should be based on how well they make people feel rather than how scientific or traditional the medicine is. Treatments should be based on how well they make people feel rather than how scientific or traditional the medicine is. By Wikidudeman

No need for an alternative medicine crackdown

Homeopathy is a combination of tradition, art and a science that has been used for centuries. Does it really matter if its effect is placebo if it makes people feel better and regain good health? And why…
Appeals to popularity and ancient traditions are insufficient to establish vocational courses. Appeals to popularity and ancient traditions are insufficient to establish vocational courses. Michael Flick

What CAM courses at universities should look like

While drizzling treacle on your porridge or spreading it on your toast, you might consider the time when the calorie-laden condiment was an antidote for poison. Of course, these days the crushed vipers…
Gawler claims to have cured himself of advanced cancer by a series of unorthodox treatments including herbal remedies, meditation, coffee enemas and diets. Gawler claims to have cured himself of advanced cancer by a series of unorthodox treatments including herbal remedies, meditation, coffee enemas and diets. Nick Olejniczak

Coffee enemas don’t cure cancer: reviewing the remarkable claims of Ian Gawler

It’s not often that a scientific article in a learned medical journal becomes front page news but that was the case recently when a paper I co-authored with Dr Ian Haines of Melbourne’s Cabrini Hospital…
Linking research and teaching, universities are best placed to teach evidence-based CAM. Linking research and teaching, universities are best placed to teach evidence-based CAM. Tulane Publications

Why universities should teach alternative medicine

Most readers would know of the current debate about universities teaching complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). A core question not being addressed in this debate is what other institution is better…