Saturday, March 12, 2011

Alternative Medicine That Actually Works

Due to the rising costs of health-care, many people are looking into "alternative medicine". With an unemployment rate of 9% (closer to 16% if you include the people who have given up looking for work and the under-employed)it's no wonder many are looking for home remedies. I've heard stories of people using pet medicine because it's cheaper. I wouldn't recommend that course of action unless you've had some college level chemistry, although I suppose you could call it "alternative".
Health care costs are still rising and thanks to free trade any new jobs we do create are likely to be low-wage service industry jobs resulting in fewer trips to the doctor, thus raising costs again. If the Republicans are able to bust the unions like they want there will be even fewer patients for the doctors so they will have to raise the prices even more. Not that the Doctors give a shit anyway; higher prices plus fewer patients equals more golf. When I was a young idealist I thought that doctors and teachers were the most noble professions because they help people. I still think teachers are noble because they do it for a LOT less money than doctors. Now I think Doctors are for the most part spoiled rich kids who disguise their greed with patriotism. Being patriotic implies concern for your fellow country-men; I wish I knew how greed became a virtue.
Enough ranting; here is the list of Alternative Medicine That Actually Works. Anything not on this list has either not been proved to work or been proved not to work.
1. Herbal medicine
Some herbs actually do have pharmacological properties, but they can be variable in quality. Most of the good ones are well known and available over the counter. Before you try herbs you should do research first, but be careful. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Also remember that anything you ingest is changed by the digestion process. That's why things like rhino horn and bear bile could never work even if they had the claimed properties. In other words, eating dolphin brains won't make you smarter.
2. Maggots
If you get a massive infection and have no money for the doctor you could get gangrene. If you do, don't kill the maggots. They will eat the dead flesh and may keep the infection from spreading. Letting them live will actually increase your chances of survival. Kill the maggots and without medical science you could die too.
3. Helminth therapy
If you have an obesity problem, infecting yourself with tapeworms is a cheap solution
Well, that's about it. Accupuncture works as well as a placebo; chiropractic is glorified massage. If you can't get to a doctor you are fucked. Tough luck Charlie, that's the American Way. What are you, unpatriotic?
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