Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mixed Feelings

I met with Ugga Mugga (the Witch Doctor) today for two hours. Her practice involves using acupuncture "pathways" to diagnose health conditions in conjunction with a computer that beeps a lot and makes pretty graphs on the screen.

A lot of my graphs were not where they were supposed to be.

Through her readings (I'll get into the digital readings in a bit) she was able to tell me that my liver still contains chemotherapy from ten years ago, and that she suspects the bacterial meningitis I had during chemo is still lingering in my large intestine.


She prescribed a combination of nutritional supplements and holistic medicines to get me going again. I took the lengthy list of supplements and decided that it was time for the Google-ator to ride again.

After almost 3 hours of research, I discovered that most of what she prescribed is perfectly healthy for me to take. There are a couple of exceptions, though, and I'll be consulting my regular doctor before I try those two things. Fortunately, I have an appointment with my regular doctor tomorrow.

Exception #1: A compound in one of the serums she prescribed is estrogenic, and I have aural migraines. This could be a problem, since aural migraines are directly affected by estrogens, and increased estrogen can (if I'm not mistaken, but don't quote me on this) increase the risk of stroke in patients with aural migraines. That's a problem.

Exception #2: Several of the compounds in one of the tablets she prescribed for liver health contain chemicals that inhibit the function of certain liver enzymes (I won't go into the details of the scientific name, but they're found in milk thistle, schisandra chinensis, and their ilk). This could drastically change the levels of my migraine preventive medicine, leading to... seizures. Whoop whoop whoop! Red Alert!

So I will not be diving in head first to her prescriptions.

I'm not 100% sure I buy her methodology for testing, either. It involved my holding what looked like a brass mini-ShakeWeight (after my hand had been spritzed with water) and having her press an electrified node (also dampened) onto various acupuncture points on my hands and feet. When the readings she was getting on her computer screen didn't look like they'd reach the "Green Zone" (where they're supposed to be), I would feel her increase the pressure of the node on my hand or foot. A couple of times, she took 3 readings in the same spot, and two were positive, but one was bad, so the reading was bad.


I'm trying to keep an open mind and all that, but then she launched into homeopathy.

A lot of people think homeopathy is simply natural medicine and overall well-being.

It's not. That's holistic medicine.

Homeopathy works on the belief (because there is no scientific evidence supporting it) that if you take a substance, dissolve it in water, and shake the container (I'm not making this up. Wiki it if you don't believe me) then the properties of the substance transfer to the water. Or, rather, their "energy" transfers to the water. It doesn't matter how much you dilute the mixture, the properties are supposedly still there, even if there is no physical evidence of any molecules in the mixture after dilution. This super-diluted solution is then sprinkled on sugar crystals that are ingested by willing patients, just like you and me (but don't touch them with your hands before you ingest them, or they lose their magic unicorn powers).

Scientific studies pitting homeopathic remedies against placebos by and large turn up with the result that there is no difference between homeopathic remedies and the placebo. Because it's a bunch of bunkum.

The nutrients I can buy. The homeopathy I can't. Fortunately, my mom is paying for that, because as she said, "What can it hurt?" So I will, after receiving my shipment of homeopathic remedy, be ingesting $15 work of useless sugar crystals because neither of us wanted to tell the nutritionist that homeopathy is a hopper of hooey.

I hope those $15 sugar crystals taste good, or I'll be pissed.

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