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Alt Med v Pseudo-Med?: [1]

Ditto on seems like a "market driven" definition, but more than that, and we will get into that..

As others have suggested from several angles, it would be more accurate to clarify the differences between 'Alternative Medicine' and 'Pseudo-Medicine'(?) The gist of the 'Alt Med' intro seems to describe the latter more than it conveys the distinction between inauthenticated, 'unproven' but effective medicine and pseudo-medicine. It also neglects to include or synthesize in the historical existence of medical practices which were formerly 'scientifically proven' or legitimized common practice; and by extension, recognition that this is a process of adjustment 'on both ends' that will continue. I suggest some combination of points made in the below rough (with supportive documentation), along with a respectively edited inclusion of the introduction published under this heading qualifying a distinction between Alternative Medicine as a recognized form of effective medicine and Pseudo-Medicine, and 'splitting' that off from there.

I'm pretty sure the term in question ('Alternative Medicine') was created by practitioners, not by shock-jock spin-doctors who most likely first used this term in a derogatory sense. A Rationalwikians or two may have picked up the derogatory use and negative perception of its meaning for other reasons, yet probably have been to the chiropractor and ranted at, not on, the radio. The anti-intellectual spin-doctors ranting about imposters have probably been to a chiropractor if not a masseuse; they are practitioners of the 'soft' Art of Communication (an Art generally pseudo-discredited most vociferously by precisely these Masters of said Arts) and take glee in bashing and otherwise attempting to undermine the credibility of anyone (ie 'tree-hugger' pocket-protector global warming boobs and Quasimodo feminazi ivory tower lifers with electrical tape holding their bifocals together) I mean anyone who DOES (relatively speaking) voice real physical world concerns representing good science; anyone whose terminologies constitute obstacles to the continued temporary maintenance of an ignorant cultural 'environment' which is ...lucrative, and satisfying for bullies. These Masters of Deceit emote and promote something other than a genuine interest in truth or facts relevant to topics they ostensibly discuss -such as medicine.

The term 'Alternative Medicine' indicates a hierarchy, much as 'alternative spirituality' does. The affect is conveyed by analogy to another term which belies a similar hierarchy; embedded in the term 'reverse prejudice' are a lot of hierarchical presumptions: that those whose prejudices are the 'reverse' of the 'prejudice' occupying the supreme position in that hierarchy are 'reactive' rather than pro-active; they are subject to prejudice, their prejudice is a response to their position, and those whose prejudices are 'supreme' in that hierarchy are not subject to 'reverse prejudice' so much as the position of those with 'reverse prejudice' is subject to inauthentic' prejudice; those with 'reverse prejudice' are inauthentic and their prejudice is inauthenticated; their prejudice is subject to their position as 'subject to' rather than subject to their independent character and autonomy; they have no character, authenticity, autonomy, or genuine point of view; their prejudice is impure; the prejudice of those in the supreme position is authentic and 'pure prejudice... which leads to ... compound 'reverse' prejudices.

The term 'alternative medicine' follows in that line of 'compound reverse prejudice'. Depending on how you look at it, it legitimizes or de-legitimizes; it 'named' authentic practitioners of medicine into a low status position, but a position, in a hierarchy; for authentic independent practitioners, adopting this title represents genuflection to the relativity of their independence and for many if not most, a genuine frustration with arbitrary and counterproductive barriers of questionable authenticating agencies and institutions, barriers to validation, barriers to the their practice and sound improvements to common medical practices more than anything resembling an anti-science motive or opportunistic inclination toward acquisitiveness.

Surely, there is an aspect or element involved in the practice or pseudo-practice of 'Alternative Medicine' which (as the name may -at a stretch- be construed to imply) might argue and might have a very good point in arguing that the term denotes not merely a place somewhere on the ever-shifting continuum, range or scale of experimental-to-effective medical science (alluded to in the quote under the title here) but also connotes the suggestion of mutual exclusivity in some cases, between a form of 'Alternative Medicine' and some form of 'Mainstream'/ 'status quo'/ 'conventional' or possibly even scientifically validated & legalized medicine.

This may represent nefarious agendas in the case of pseudo-med masqueraders, but more importantly for those concerned with accuracy and genuine practitioners of effective medicine falling under the umbrella of 'Alt-Med', the suggestion of mutual exclusivity conveys recognition of the fact that a form of Alt-Med may and sometimes does represent not just complimentary but more effective medicine/science than some form or corresponding form of the 'other' that it calls into question. This legitimized 'other' form does sometimes not represent effective r the best medicine regardless of whether it has been 'scientifically proven' or legally legitimized; it may be relatively ineffectual, its practices may become obsolete due to recognition, advancement, scientific verification and legal legitimization of 'alternative' medicine; it possibly should be or in fact has been Lobotomized from the current body of 'Independently' Verified, Acceptable, Legal practice in Medicine; whatever.

A case in point somewhere on the continuum between the aforementioned continuum and the dead end of dead science non-science nonsense is represented by omission as well as commission in the September 30, 2013 special issue of Harvard's Journal of Law Medicine and Ethics, which is dedicated to 'Institutional Corruption and the Pharmaceutical Industry'.[1]

The omission relevant to 'Alternative Medicine' I refer to is notable upon quick review of all titles in that issue's table of contents; not one article delves directly into a 'validating' academic or scientific inquiry into what is neglected or quite effectively 'left out' when the pharmaceutical industry has an overwhelming influence on medical practitioners: 'alternatives' to pharmaceuticals (never-mind 'supplements'), such as an overwhelming academic focus on how, aside from pharmaceutical intervention or prevention, medical practitioners do or might effectively and more powerfully focus their practices on therapeutic and 'prescriptive' prevention and treatment of physical and mental illness.

This could refer to doctors composing seethingly polite letters to politicians and governmental agency representatives about re-funding public education -which might explain the waiting room waits, but would definitely address key variables of health which are rarely given more than lip service in patient experiences of the more lengthily credentialed non-alternative medical practitioners' doctors' office visits.

In contrast, genuine, self-respecting 'Alternative Medicine' practitioners are by definition if not constitutionally more apt to focus on and prioritize these 'coincidentally' least monopolized variables: namely, food and physical activity. These involve touch, manipulation and exercise and nutrition, include but are not limited to midwifery, massage, yoga, soccer, chiropractors, dandelions and masonry (not necessarily in that order). Dangerous activities like the corrupt influence of insurance companies and fear-mongering TV news stations advocating (whether by suggestion or default) that we protect ourselves and our children from real -and more importantly, imagined dangers, such as playing, and jumping fences and running through the backyards of our neighborhoods, specifically, the backyards of our well-armed neighbors -which is especially good for growing bones, might also be taken into consideration here.

This list of health variables that 'Alternative Meds' practitioners necessarily and by design tend to prioritize over pharmaceuticals (and to an extent, dangerous invasive and oft palliative(?) 'cosmetic' procedures) in market -excuse me, marked contrast to credentialed medical practitioners, might reasonably be extended to include social and environmental conditions; things like 'nurture'; productive 'talk therapy'; and the sin of soda pop and cheese doodles qualifying for payment with food stamps, but not joint-juice, food-based multi-vitamins, agricultural crop seeds, giant trampolines, baby chicks, non-psychotropic edible mushroom spores, guano or goose poop fertilizer.

Part of the problem in taking 'Alternative Medicine' seriously has to do with the empirical difficulty and capital barriers to quantifying, measuring and accessibly 'statisticalizing' many real or potential aspects of its effectiveness. The importance of this understatement is evident in the relative ease with which, for example, the relatively well-established manufacturers of theoretically nutritious and apparently medically sound food products like 'food' that intelligent cats, insects and even the dumbest microbes won't touch for decades, manage to legalize and institutionalize the exchange of such items for food stamps on a nationwide basis. This is to say nothing of one logical extension of such insanity; the institution of that '50 cents on the dollar' exchange of food stamps for 'legal' pharmaceuticals, which is even more lucrative for 'legitimate' medical practitioners, pharmacists, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and more so than for street peddlers.

  1. Link text, additional text.

--Greeneggs (talk) 20:30, 23 June 2014 (UTC)