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Pseudo-Science New-Age Techno-Babble B.S. written RANT!

We see it in our spam. We hear it on the radio and TV. We listen to it in a variety of New Age topics from Amazing Aspirin effects to Meditation to Yoga. And it’s the same snake-oil in a different package from time immemorial.

I just got spammed with an offer to watch Cholesterol go down without “any prescription!” With the added promise of a $100 refund if it doesn’t go down.

Would that even cover the cost of the before and after blood test? IFyou actually believe they’re going to refund you. Oh, wait, maybe they’ve helped out that Nigerian guy with getting his $200Million dollars out of Nigeria to a safe bank in the U.S. and they’ve now got lots of money to send to you as a “refund.” Puuulllleeeeessssee! Give me a break!

I listened to an exercise in “deep breathing,” talking about a deep breath allowing the individual to get rid of “toxins.” Toxins like Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide.

Just say Interesting.

OK… understand that as a western trained physician, I’m a natural skeptic for anything that claims health benefit without statistically significant results to back up claims. But I’m not against deep breathing. There’s lots of stuff I, and even smarter doctors and scientists, don’t know about the human condition that I’m sure deep breathing will help with. But PLEASE, don’t use pseudosciencenewagetechnobabbleB.S. t0 justify it. I don’t understand acupuncture or yoga… but I’ve seen it help patients. Profoundly! But I’ve got much more respect for folks who say “I have no idea why it works, it just seems to work very well on some people,” than an “expert” in something NOBODY ELSE UNDERSTANDS who simply must have figured it all out on his/her own and is spewing the pseudosciencenewagetechnobabbleB.S. to anyone who’ll listen.

Here’s the real story on “toxins” like CO, (Carbon Monoxide). CO is not something that the human body produces in any significant amount. And carbon dioxide is a by-product, our exhaust so to speak, of our normal physiology. And Carbon Dioxide is what plants breath… and convert back to Oxygen. (And food for us to eat… to convert back to MORE carbon dioxide… for more plants… for more food… ad infinitum.) It’s part of the big design of life.

But CO! Cut me some slack. Here’s the REAL story. When a patient comes into an ER with Carbon Monoxide poisoning, (they’ve been sitting in a garage running the engine of the car with the garage door down… or they’ve got a gas furnace that is not combusting properly), we give ‘em pure Oxygen to breath in an enviroment that does not have carbon monoxide at measurable concentrations. CO binds to hemoglobin molecules in the red blood cells of our body tighter than the Oxygen it usually binds to. So deep breathing air, (with only 20.95% of air being oxygen), where you have CO in the environment WILL NOT get rid of Carbon Monoxide. It will INCREASE the CO because of the binding capacity of CO being greater than oxygen.

A few months ago I had to suffer though a meeting with a chiropractor who was trying to pass off snake oil using pseudosciencenewagetechnobabbleB.S. except here the focus was on quantum physics. Funny, I didn’t see a PhD. after her name with a doctorate in physics. I don’t have a problem with chiropractic medicine. It works on an amazing number of problems… I’ve even been “cracked” to get rid of an acute back problem I got when I was tying my daughters sneakers when she was about three years old, but no legitimate chiropractor, or D.O. or M.D. is going to claim a knowledge of quantum physics unless they have a degree in it. But the charlatan will read a book on it from Barnes and Noble, (preferably one with lots of pictures), write a book report, and then spew items from this “knowledge” to market snake oil.

What disturbs me is that even among educated people, suckers fall for pseudosciencenewagetechnobabbleB.S. in amazing numbers. But I guess what really amazes and leaves me speechless, (almost!), is that the same suckers will take the word of a pseudosciencenewagetechnobabbleB.S. artist over a physician consensus.

Not to say physician consensus is always correct. But at the current time, comparing the knowledge of folks, LIKE REAL DOCTORS, who live medicine, versus a pseudosciencenewagetechnobabbleB.S. spewing baseless commentary while peddling snake oil. I’ve heard people actually believe what they’re saying when they talk about a “conspiracy” of physicians against cures for cancer/heart disease/assorted fatal disorders.

There’s no conspiracy. There are honest physicians, trying their level best with the knowledge that we currently have, (flawed as it may be in retrospect years from now… but nonetheless the best knowledge we have right now proven by statistics, NOT OPINION), to help people. And there are a LOT of snake oil salesmen/women out there ready to tell you anything it takes to get to your wallet.

People… if it sounds too good to be true??????

So when you hear the pseudosciencenewagetechnobabbleB.S. when it talks about “deep breathing” just ignore it because deep breathing won’t hurt you, (as long as you’re not in a room full of carbon monoxide. ) But when it talks about YOUR MONEY, hang on to your wallet! Because pseudosciencenewagetechnobabbleB.S. will take you as far as you can kick a pile of manure up a hill while wearing pointed toe boots.

So tell me… dear readers… by making a comment…. or if you don’t want to post a visible comment, simply email me at, I’m taking a poll. Would you rather READ this rant… or HEAR it in a podcast? Vote now… and vote only once!

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  1. Was counting how many times did you use the word pseudosciencenewagetechnobabbleB.S in your post doctor

    Posted on 25-Aug-07 at 11:31 pm | Permalink
  2. admin wrote:

    I used it… let’s see… A LOT! But when you copy and paste, you fortunately don’t have to type it out every time! Tray

    Posted on 27-Aug-07 at 10:30 am | Permalink

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