Biological medicine

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Given its name, you would be forgiven for thinking that Biological medicine was a science-based medical system, applying what we know about biology to the treatment of disease. However, it is actually an alternative medicine system based on pseudoscience and quack medical theories. It rejects the germ theory of disease and reality-based medical treatments, instead seeing all disease as curable by "increasing the body's key biochemical reactions and self-regulating abilities."[1] Like many vaguely defined alternative medical paradigms it is difficult to define or to get any specific details from those who practice it. It seems to be a chimera of a half-dozen popular alternative medical systems all thrown together randomly and given a sciencey sounding name. The various alternative medical systems that biological medicine supposedly integrates include: homeopathy, homotoxicology, anthroposophical medicine, and Ayurveda.[2]

Core principles[edit]

Despite being a randomly blended mix of ancient and discredited medical systems, biological medicine claims to have developed a set of core principles that separate it from its components; these principles are:[3]

  • Human beings become ill because of toxic overload
Like most alternative medical madness, biological medicine rejects the true causes of disease such as bacteria and viruses, instead claiming that all disease is caused by the body's magical energies and vibrations being disrupted by 'toxins'. The toxins themselves are considered anything from fast food to voodoo. It is important to note that biological medicine does not attribute the cause of disease directly to toxins, but instead to the body's reaction to said toxins.[3] This is a fairly fundamental rejection of modern medical theory and there is no scientific evidence to support such a claim.
  • Disease is the expression of a reduction in the body’s ability to regulate itself and the result of degenerative development
This idea is derived mostly from homotoxicology which is the proposed mechanism of action of certain homeopathic remedies sold by the company Heel. As mentioned above, biological medicine does not attribute the symptoms or cause of disease directly to actions of the supposed toxins but rather the body's response to those toxins. Essentially if the body's toxin removal system is operational it is impossible to get sick. Sickness is caused by a problem in the toxic removal system of the body. Again, this is a fundamental rejection of all modern medicine and violates thousands of well-established scientific principles in biology, physiology and chemistry. In return for rejecting this massive body of evidence-based medical theory, there are to date no sources of published data or evidence to support this homotoxicologist or biological medical view point.
  • Disturbed foci trigger chronic diseases or make them worse
This idea seems to take its cues from some ancient Chinese views. Certain key "foci" on the body are the primary sources of disruption and they spread this disruption throughout the body along the meridian lines. Popular foci include teeth, lymphatic tissue and the intestines/bowels.[3] This is essentially an appeal to magical, undetectable energy as a source for disruption in toxin elimination; a discredited and ancient medical theory mixed with a more modern pseudoscience of disease causation.
  • All diseases are multi-causal and depend on the constitution of the patient
At face value, the idea that inherent differences in patients causes different susceptibility to various diseases seems reasonable. However, biological medicine still manages to screw up what should be a basic common sense principle by defining constitutions based on invisible magical energies which have been known to be non-existent for hundreds of years.
To the practitioners of biological medicine, people are not categorized based on allergic profiles, age, family histories, or any other accepted criteria. Instead they draw upon a random mix of ideologies to come up with dozens of constitution types. From the Chinese they use meridian lines to label people as "liver-gall bladder" or "heart-small intestine" based. From Ayurvedic medicine they get things like the "mucor type" which are people who "tend towards diseases of the body fluids, of the vascular and circulation system and, problems with the metabolism and glandular system" or the "aspergillus type" who have allergies when young but then will get spinal injuries when older! They also draw heavily on the homeopathic idea of miasms to find people with "syphilitic" or "sycotic" constitutions.[3]
The point is that these divisions are not based on anything that would logically help explain how or why people get sick. They also combine contradictory medical systems together, but because they are all "natural", it has to work out in the wash.
  • Nutrition is an important factor in healing
Again, this seems like something that is common sense and well-accepted in modern medical theory. But biological medicine still manages to turn it into woo. Instead of focusing on things like how a balanced diet with all the nutrients and vitamins can help keep people healthy, biological medicine appeals to anthroposophic theory and the idea that complex illnesses can be cured by just eating the right combination of fruits or vegetables. There is also a strong pressure towards vegetarianism and elimination of animal proteins from the diet.
  • The intestine connects us to the Earth
There is an obsessive focus on the intestine in many alternative medical systems,Freud had something to say about this. The proliferation of cleanses and detox products and procedures all focus on clearing the intestine and bowels. Even completely disparate systems such as curanderos have a strong focus on the intestine. Biological medicine is no different from any of these. Many diseases are viewed as caused by the intestines being full and detox and cleanse procedures are recommended as cures.

The layers of pseudoscience are very thick in biological medicine. Their core beliefs reject sound science and they build on top of these with other quack and discredited medical ideas till the whole system of biological medicine looks like a a horrible disfigured chimera of just about everything wrong with the alternative medical system. To top it all off they apply a name that sounds like science and call it a job well done.

There is a lot of pressure to get biological medicine into colleges and universities as some sort of medical or health program. By including just about every alternative medicine it can into its framework, it could in one stroke legitimize a dozen discredited ideas. Most of the focus has been in Europe where the rules and regulations are more lax. Heel, a major international producer of homeopathic products, is leading the charge even going so far as to endow a professorship in Germany.[4]

What it claims to treat[edit]

None of the techniques in biological medicine are approved by any major regulatory body as valid. This leads to the standard quack Miranda warning disclaiming that any of the descriptions, diagnoses, or treatments are for medical purposes.[5] Once past the standard warnings biological medicine is claimed to be able to diagnose and treat pretty much every possible disease ever imagined, real or not.

It is basic therapy that can be used as the primary form of treatment in all types of illness. Therefore it is incorrect to call it "complementary medicine" as it is used not merely as a supplement to orthodox medicine but as a form of treatment in its own right.[3]

Like many ideologies that play on false hope biological medicine also has a particular focus on diseases that in some cases have limited legitimate treatments such as:[6]

Diagnosis and treatment[edit]

Since biological medicine attributes all disease as being caused by toxin buildup and an inability of the body to expel toxins, diagnosis of disease focuses exclusively on finding "toxin levels" and "blockages" that prevent the elimination of toxins. Sometime there are attempts to find the "foci" that are disrupting the body.[6]

Where things start to get really weird is when you look at the procedures used to find toxin levels or blockages. One of the first weird things they use are electrodiagnostic devices. These are essentially fancy voltmeters that attach to places on the body, with a particular obsession with the tongue, and the dial readings somehow reveal toxins, blockages, or psychological damage.[7] Electrodiagnostic devices have a long strange history, including in Scientology with their much mocked E-Meter, but all of their claims have been thoroughly debunked.[8]

Other strange procedures include something called Biological Terrain Assessment. Essentially a bunch of fluids are taken from the patient (saliva, blood, urine) and put through a series of electrical resistance and pH tests. Somehow slight differences in the electrical resistivity of patient urine can be used to diagnosis everything from allergies to nervous system disorders.[9]

A lot of diagnostic procedures also involve blood. Drawing strongly from discredited ideas such as the blood type diet, blood type is assessed as well as dietary history.[6] While darkfield microscopy has been a quite legitimate method for microscopic analysis, there is no evidence to support its accuracy in evaluating the variations of blood cell shapes. In certain blood disorders, conventional transmitted light microscopy is quite adequate to identify pathological shapes. In addition, there are legitimate automated measurements of things such as red cell width distribution, but again this information is used, for very different purposes, by qualified hematologists.

Treatments pull randomly from the hodge-podge of alternative medicine systems embraced, but most heavily upon homotoxicology. That means most treatments are homeopathic in origin, though there are sometimes dietary recommendations. Biomedical medicine also pushes standard pseudoscience procedures like acupuncture and chiropractic treatments.[6] Treatments are tailor-made based on the "constitutions" described above.

So just like the core beliefs, biomedical medicines' diagnostic procedures and treatments are built upon layers of pseudoscience both new and old. Practitioners are claiming to be able to treat things like neurological disorders or cancer by finding intestinal blockages using a voltmeter. It is dangerous quack medicine through and through.

References[edit]