Integrating Health Modalities
Choosing between competing claims
Sean S. Subas Ph.D.
East is East, and West is West, …….
We have Western Mainstream Medicine & Complementary Eastern Medicine
……. And then there is Integrative Medicine (hint: OASISforHEALTH belongs to this part of the spectrum) Advocates at either extreme, often ignore the evidence favoring the other side (isn’t this familiar in politics and religion?).
Let’s look at some oft-asserted claims and counter-claims:
Western Medicine is “evidence-based”, while Complementary Medicine is not.
While foods, and lifestyle changes, are cheaper (and safer) than drugs or surgery; there’s no credible/effective way for consumers to choose between competing claims. This problem has been compounded by “mainstream medicine” advocates who ignore the low potential toxicity of foods/supplements, and demand the same scale for clinical trials as for pharmaceuticals; as well as “alternative medicine” advocates who ignore the potential dangers of food substances, at very large amounts/doses (where they can potentially be as dangerous as pharmaceuticals) – and where the evidence of effectiveness is anecdotal. The “evidence” touted by those favoring Western Medicine is often tainted by the biases of those who conduct the clinical trials. Authorities often accept the results of trials, conducted by the manufacturers of the pharmaceutical drugs!
OfH will enable the many, small clinical studies; that are needed to substantiate the claims of various supplements and health foods – thereby creating a viable path for the consumer to optimize health. The clinical studies can be small, because OfH will start with test substances, that have been used for hundreds of years as foods (therefore constituting little risk of toxicity); and with statistical designs that will minimize the variance of effectiveness measures.
Supplements are “un-regulated”.
Untrue. In the USA, supplements are regulated by the FDA – including manufacturing quality, and health claims. It’s true that supplements are not required to go through the clinical trials that are required of pharmaceuticals (but see discussion above, on clinical trials).
Vaccination: Is there a Middle Way?
Dr. Bernadine Healy, former head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), at an interview with CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson , said that the question (of the Link Between Vaccines and Autism) is still open. "I think that the public health officials have been too quick to dismiss the hypothesis as irrational," Healy said. ……….Healy goes on to say public health officials have intentionally avoided researching whether subsets of children are 'susceptible" to vaccine side effects - afraid the answer will scare the public. Healy said, "I think the public's smarter than that.”
OfH believes that all vaccines are NOT created equal, and each person considering a particular vaccination, should have the benefit of its cost-benefit analysis. The cost-benefit ratio for a polio vaccine; is vastly different from that of a flu vaccine. We suggest you visit the National Vaccine Information Center at http://www.nvic.org/.
There are many more areas of controversy: fluoridation, raw foods, vegetarian diets, etc. Future OfH Insights, will be addressing them.
About the Author
Dr. Subas is the founder of OASISforHEALTH. He has a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence. He has conducted over 30 years of research into various holistic health modalities: Naturopathy; Traditional Chinese Medicine; Ayurveda; Psychotherapy; Yoga; Chi Gong; Homeopathy; Meditation; and Allopathy (mainly from a Functional Medicine viewpoint). For more information on his background, see the “About” selection from the Home Page menu.
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