June 2011 Entries

"Alternative" Medicine

“Alternative medicine” indeed is a perplexing term. What does it mean? Medicine either works, or it doesn’t. If it works, it isn’t “alternative.” If it doesn’t work, it isn’t medicine. So what then is “alternative medicine?” The best definition seems to be “those practices which are not taught in conventional medical schools.” And why not? Because medical schools are sticklers for a little detail called “evidence.” After all, patients have a right to [To read more click on Title.]

Sweating Like a Pig

I do get some interesting questions. This one came from a graduate student at the University of California who was having a little dispute with his girlfriend. It seems she had started massage school and came home with some newly acquired information from a classmate. She was told that she should stop eating pork because pigs have no sweat glands and thus don’t sweat out toxins. Presumably then pork is unsafe to eat because of the toxins in harbours. [To read more click on Title.]

Worms and the Immune System

Maybe we need a greater exposure to worms. Yup, worms. As well as other assorted parasites. At least that’s what some researchers are thinking as they look into the increasing incidence of allergies. An allergy is basically a mistake made by the immune system. Instead of targeting disease-causing microbes, immune cells unleash their chemical weaponry against a substance they mistakenly perceive to be harmful. That innocent bystander may be found in pollen... [To read more click on Title.]