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5 medical procedures to avoid

Posted by mandyf on July 26, 2011

Alcor Life Extension Foundation. Original uploader was Brian Wowk

Medical quackery has been around since the earliest days of medicine, and is just as prevalent as it has ever been if not more so. People are always looking for ways to improve their health, feel and look younger and generally rejuvenate themselves. As such,  there are plenty of people willing to provide something to help people meet those desires – for a fee of course. Even though the established and regulated medical community scoffs at the following treatments due to their obvious ethical breaches, there are plenty of scam artists who have no problem making promises they simply cannot deliver on. In most cases they get your money and you walk away with a problem where none previously existed. What follows are the five medical procedures you should avoid at all costs.

Ear candling is one of those weird procedures from the past that is inexplicably making a comeback. The general idea is that a hollow cone shaped candle is inserted into a persons ear and then kit. The pitch is that this will not only remove ear wax as it burns, but act as a vacuum that removes what is described as “debris and toxins.” What that debris or those toxins are nobody seems to know. Supposedly aside from having cleaner ears this is supposed to also improve your hearing, vision, sense of taste and smell, improve brain function, and purify the patients blood.

The reality is that when the candle is removed and the patient is shown the “wax and debris” that collected in the cone, it is just the wax and debris from the candle itself. The usually brownish yellow candles mimic the color most people associate to that of ear wax so who can really tell what is what? An ears, nose and throat (ENT) doctor can and will be the first to tell you that after this procedure you not only haven’t cleaned your ears or improved your senses, you’ve likely made your ears an even bigger mess while lightening your pocket.

Fresh cell therapy which is also referred to as live cell therapy has sucked in some very bright people like Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, and even Fidel Castro. The pitch is that by injecting fresh embryonic animal cells into the corresponding organ or tissue of a human that the health of the organ will improve and at least potentially extend the life of the recipient. Supposedly the fresh animal cells somehow replace damaged human cells and function just as efficiently with no side effects. The American Cancer Society begs to differ saying this not only doesn’t work, it may very likely do more harm to the person injected than they previously had. The common side effects are infections and undesirable immunologic reactions. The worst case scenario is of course death.

While psychic surgery never caught on in the U.S and Europe to the extent it has in many lesser developed nations, this is the ultimate scam and has sucked in many people at the end of their rope desperate for a cure. The pitch is the “surgeon” is endowed with certain psychic healing powers whom can operate without the use of instruments and reach in and magically remove whatever is afflicting a person, commonly cancer. The truth however is that these people are not magical healers but rather common con artists. They go to great lengths to put on a good show, but so far none has ever been credited with an actual healing due to their psychic abilities by any internationally recognized medical organization. The reason this is so isn’t because it is a conspiracy to keep this outside the system healing practice under wraps, the reason is it just does not work.

Colon hydrotherapy is more popular than it has ever been with numerous people espousing the great benefits of having their colon irrigated. The procedure entails passing a rubber tube into the rectum through which water, herbal teas, coffee, or some combination of the above is then cycled in and out of the patient. The claim is that it removes “toxins.” The truth is no toxins have been identified and that the AMA and most national health organizations around the world cite the practice as therapeutically worthless. What they do know colon hydrotherapy can do is cause infection, internal injury, and yes even death due to creating an electrolyte imbalance.

The final medical procedure to avoid is trepanation. Trepanation is the practice of literally drilling holes in your head. If you think this practice ended in the middle ages think again. In ye olden days the practice was usually performed to supposedly allow trapped evil spirits to escape, but these days the pitch has changed. The modern selling point is that it permanently relieves pressure on the brain and therefore increases blood circulation and allows for the patient to achieve a higher level of consciousness. The truth is that trepanation is dangerous and totally unnecessary except under the most sever of medical conditions. Drilling a hole in your head is not going to help you spiritually evolve or get in touch with the universe, but it can lead to serious infections, brain damage, and of course death.

While it may be hard for many people to believe that these practices are going on in this modern day and people are actually paying for them, it is true. They are completely unnecessary (Aside from the small exception noted regarding trepanation) and usually wind up creating either more aggravation, or serious complications up to and including death. Anything you do to your body is serious business and needs to be handled by trained and licensed medical professionals.


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