Experts and Alternative Medicine – Should They Co-Exist?

Image Courtesy The Three Tomatoes

Professional organizations

Hopefully people who read The Tentacle understand that any professional organization, including labor unions, leverage the interests of a particular group of professionals against the interests of the rest of the society.

One of the ways professional organizations maintain the value of a particular trade is by ensuring that only a limited amount of people enter the profession. If their monopoly is absolute, standards and restrictions are imposed, generally with the intention of protecting the assumed interests of the standing members of the professional group, usually in the name of quality and safety of the customer.

Municipal worker unions, trade unions, Bar Association, Medical Association: any professional association, guild, etc. work in the same manner; to make a profession into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you watch lectures of Milton Friedman, he mentions the Medical Association a lot in his lectures about economics of organized labor.

Professional organizations can become powerful enough to walk science in circles, ensuring that some options are never considered, and some experiments are never conducted. The “Big Pharma” lobby only ensures that the to-go solution would always be pharmacological, and doctors would be salesmen. How can one explore new options if they must work under a system that is so codified and crystalized yet discounts many side effects and the sheer volume of collateral damage that it produces?

Alternative Practitioners

At the other hand, many people who become naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists and other alternative practitioners in America do not have a medical background.

Many lack the professional knowledge about the functions and processes of the human body. This partially has to do with the cost of the traditional medical education and the amount of time it requires to earn such a degree.

We have medical doctors who know the human body, understand the biochemical processes, yet are only allowed to perceive a patient as a machine that needs to be fixed.

We also have magical warlocks who like to use cliche “Eastern” “spiritual” terminology such as “chakras”, “vibes”, “karma”, etc. Yet for some reason, they cannot agree on how many chakras there are in a human body.

The holistic healer will tell you everything about healing energies, yet they would unlikely tell you what psychological conflicts are keeping you in the ill state of health.

Many prefer comforting over real treatment.

Health insurance is reluctant to cover such feel-good magic performances. In America health practice is either “evidence based” or antithetical to all evidence, in the realm of magic and wishful thinking.

Professional organizations divided turf by drawing hard lines: here are medical doctors with pills and surgeries and over there are the non-traditional sorcerers with their magic crystals and chakras. We pay for this division with our health.

The spiritual healers must avoid liability. They cannot take conscious risks that often lead to recovery. Do you want a person who was not trained in anatomy and physiology to take such risks?

“Healing The Divide”

What America today is lacking are people who have a medical background, yet who are willing to look beyond pills and surgeries.

In the 20th centuries, leeches became a symbol of quackery. It took medical professionals a while to figure out that parasitic, blood sucking organisms produce anticoagulants with interesting qualities. Today leeches help some surgeons operate, as they release their chemicals into the bloodstream of a patient.

Pills, themselves also impose a serious limitation on pharmacology: many safe and useful chemicals cannot pass through the stomach lining into the bloodstream, if ingested. This rules out many useful pharmaceuticals that can only be administered via injection. The price for the convenience of popping pills is paid with our health. I learned this from a Fort Detrick scientist who developed models on how/what chemicals pass into the circulatory system from the digestive tract.

There are many unexplored areas in medicine that lie in the region where traditional and non-traditional medicine overlap. Most Western European countries allow themselves to explore the grey area, Americans continue to pay with their health for the rigidity of the divide between corrupt, crystallized “evidence-based” medicine and the alternative heresy, both good and bad, lumped into one. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly continues to be the American paradigm.

To be continued…

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