So I was browsing through “The Citizen,” the online local paper from Auburn, NY and stumbled upon an article about reflexology. You know, the “holistic,” alternative mode of treating basically any disease by rubbing your feet? Yeah, I was caught off guard, too.
According to this article, reflexology is a science. Oooh. Sounds scientific… until you get into what reflexology really is.
Reflexology (zone therapy) is an alternative medicine method involving the practice of massaging or applying pressure to parts of the feet, or sometimes the hands and ears, with the goal of encouraging a beneficial effect on other parts of the body, or to improve general health.
Improve general health? Wait a minute. That sounds pretty vague. I think I’ll need some more information before I buy into something like that.
The article says that…
It is a science because it is based on physiological and neurological studies…
Really? I’d be curious to read about those studies. Where will I find them? The New England Journal Of Medicine? The Journal Of The American Medical Association? A quick search on PubMed doesn’t reveal any studies concerning the efficacy of reflexology, or that even address the claims that reflexology makes. So much for that claim.
What I want to direct your attention to is the following statement from this article…
…but the art of reflexology must not be confused with a basic foot massage. It is a pressure technique which works on precise reflex points of the feet. This is based on the premise that reflex areas on the feet correspond with all body parts.
Put simply, this whole “science” of reflexology is based on a false premise. There are no “reflex points” on the feet which correspond to any other body parts. This is simply New Age, woo woo, nonsense.
Dr. Stephen Barrett, M.D. points on in an article on QuackWatch that…
The pathways postulated by reflexologists have not been anatomically demonstrated; and it is safe to assume that they do not exist. Similar rationales are used employed by iridologists (who imagine that eye markings represent disease throughout the body) and auricular acupuncturists who “map” body organs on the ear (a homunculus in the fetal position). The methodology is similar in both of these; and some commentators consider pressing on “acupuncture points” on the ear or elsewhere to be forms of reflexology, but most people refer to that as acupressure (“acupuncture without needles). The Reflexology Research Web site displays charts for foot and hand reflexology. The fees I have seen advertised have ranged from $35 to $100 per session.
Strange. This supposed “science” has not been anatomically demonstrated. Not much of a science, if you ask me.
Now, the author of this article, Diane DelPiano gives a decent, although short, account of the history of reflexology. But, the article is altogether credulous of the claims made. She goes on to say that…
Reflexologist’s believe that granular accumulations of waste matter called uric acid crystals concentrate around reflex points. With training, you can feel these accumulations. The goal is to break these accumulations down to open the energy pathways and improve the blood flow to the reflex organs. It is also intended to open blocked nerve pathways and helps to flush toxins out of the body.
The good ol’ “toxin” gimmick. Nobody wants toxins in their body. But, what toxins? You’ll never hear a reflexology, or any New Age, alternative medicine practitioner mention specific toxins. Just the general term. Even the term “uric acid crystals” is bunk. Here’s some information about uric acid from a Wikipedia article on the subject.
In humans and higher primates, uric acid is the final oxidation (breakdown) product of purine metabolism and is excreted in urine. In most other mammals, the enzyme uricase further oxidizes uric acid to allantoin. The loss of uricase in higher primates parallels the similar loss of the ability to synthesize ascorbic acid. Both uric acid and ascorbic acid are strong reducing agents (electron donors) and potent antioxidants. In humans, over half the antioxidant capacity of blood plasma comes from uric acid.
Don’t alternative medicine practitioners go on and on about how important antioxidants are? This is simply an example of stupid. Or FAIL, if that’s your favorite pejorative term. Not only is uric acid not a toxin, but it’s also necessary for the human body.
The stupid!! It hurts!!
There are no toxins in your feet, or anywhere else in your body. The kidneys, the liver… they’re purpose is to remove those things automatically. And how much more natural can you get than that?
I found an interesting quote from a blogger on the Fighting Spurious Complementary & Alternative Medicine (SCAM) blog that speaks well to the “detox” myth.
Detoxification is a common feature of alternative medicine, but I have yet to find anyone who can name the toxins that need to be removed from the body or explain how each treatment will remove these toxins.
If toxins accumulated in the body as is now suggested by practitioners of “natural medicine” then the human race would have died out centuries ago. There were no detox diets for the knights of the middle ages.
Before this post gets to be too long, I’ll just finish with addressing the final part of this article which deals with the “benefits” of reflexology.
Further benefits of reflexology include: relaxation and stress reduction, improved circulation and oxygenation, improved lymphatic flow and stimulation of the immune system. Additionally, by stimulating the immune system, reflexology helps the body take up more nutrients and helps to revitalize and energize the body.
While these seem to be evidence of an effective modality, a close look reveals something quite different. It’s relaxing. It “improves” circulation and oxygenation, “improved” lymphatic flow, and it “stimulates the immune system.” These claims are so vague and general that you couldn’t even begin to test them. What does “improved lymphatic flow” even mean, in a medical sense? How specifically does it “stimulate” the immune system? Does it inject foreign bodies for it to attack, similar to how immunizations work?
No, there is no mechanism. It’s just New Age, magical energy nonsense. The reason for such vague and non-specific claims is, as I said before, to avoid lawsuits for false medical claims. Reflexology is nothing more than a massage.
But don’t take my word for it. The next time you see your podiatrist, ask him about “energy flow,” “toxins” and “reflex points.” I bet you’ll get a little chuckle before he tells you that alternative medicine is dangerous to your health, simply for the fact that it doesn’t actually do anything.
If you’ve got something seriously wrong with you, and you go see a “naturopath,” or an alternative medicine practitioner before you see a real doctor, you could end up seriously injured, or dead. Just take a look at WhatsTheHarm.net. You can read all about people who have suffered (or died) at the hands of those practicing “alternative medicine.”
It’s not just a “different kind of medicine.” It’s wrong.
Again, here is the link to the article in question.
Recently, The Pirate Bay has featured Scientology on their homepage.
When you click on the image, you get a list of all leaked Scientology documentation, banned videos, indoctrination material, stuff they got taken off YouTube and other sites, as well as books and handwritten notes by L. Ron Hubbard, himself!
Scientologists have been vehement about the public not knowing of the inner workings of the Church. But, as user tomcruise2 says in one of his uploaded torrents…
Since the Church of Scientology keeps pulling this video off of every site it appears on.. TRY TO PULL IT FROM THIS SITE, FUCKERS!!
Another interesting piece of information I found while perusing these torrents…
The complete collection of Scientology’s Operating Thetan levels. It normally costs thousands of dollars to obtain this information.
That’s right folks. Usually it takes someone like Tom Cruise to spend his millions in the Church to get his hands on this type of information. But, for an unlimited time, for $0 down and $0 per month you too can have access to this information.
Just thought I’d let everyone know. If there was any doubt as to whether or not Tom Cruise was a complete nutcase, check this video out. Your eyes shall be opened.
If you’re not familiar with BitTorrent technology and how to download this crap, click here.
Read a book. It’s good for you.
Scientology is a CULT! (They hate it when you say that.)
Astronomy Cast takes a fact based journey through the cosmos as it offers listeners weekly discussions on astronomical topics ranging from planets to cosmology. Hosted by Fraser Cain (Universe Today) and Dr. Pamela L. Gay (SIUE), this show brings the questions of an avid astronomy lover direct to an astronomer. Together Fraser and Pamela explore what is known and being discovered about the universe around us.
Are you a big fan of Astronomy Cast? Ever heard of Astronomy Cast? Well, in either case – have I got something for you!
Astronomy Cast is an awesome Podcast dealing with… wait for it… Astronomy. A great show, in my opinion. I listen to it as much as I do The Skeptics’ Guide To The Universe… that’s as soon as there is a new episode available (once a week).
I’d heard on one of their episodes that they thought it would be a good idea if their show was available in BitTorrent form. So, I’ve taken the liberty of doing just that.
I’m breaking them up into nice, neat chapters (chunks of 25 episodes each – as suggested by host Frazer Cain). They are available (I submitted them) on The Pirate Bay. Each torrent has a list of episodes and titles. Here are the links…
- Astronomy Cast Chapter 1 [Episodes 1 – 25] – Here or here.
- Astronomy Cast Chapter 2 [Episodes 26 – 50] – Here or here.
- Astronomy Cast Chapter 3 [Episodes 51 – 75] – Here or here.
- Astronomy Cast Chapter 4 [Episodes 76 – 100] – Here or here.
- Astronomy Cast Chapter 5 [Episodes 101 – 125] – Here or here.
- Astronomy Cast Chapter 6 [Episodes 126 – 150] – Here.
If you’re interested in some of the series they’ve done, they’re here… more to come soon.
Just click “Download This Torrent” under each link.
If you don’t know how to use BitTorrent technology, learn here.
I’ll be updating this post as I create more chapters. Until next time, enjoy!
Read a book. It’s good for you.
IMPORTANT: After you finish downloading, don’t just close out your BitTorrent client. Be sure to share. Make sure you get a share ratio of at least 2.0. Don’t be a leech!
As you could probably tell from my previous post regarding the Foo Fighters and HIV Denial, I was pretty upset to hear about what I thought was going on with the band.
In keeping with honesty and integrity, I have to suspend my suspended “fan-ship” of the Foo Fighters. You could say that I’m in limbo as of right now. This could possibly be some very good news as far as the band’s stance on HIV Denial.
I’d posted an inquiry on the Foo Fighters’ message board concerning this issue. I’d found out that the page I referenced in my previous post was actually an “old” page from their site design a few years ago. If you actually follow the links on their Official site, the Community page does not list Alive & Well as one of their “Causes.”
One person I exchanged messages with on the message board said…
…that is an old page that hasn’t been removed from the site for some reason. If you notice it’s the old style of the website, the rest of the site here doesn’t look anything like that – www.foofighters.com and the community page no longer has that link.
It just seems to be an error on the part of the webmaster not removing that page when the site was redesigned, and you are still seeing it on Google searches.
So in short, yes the link was there up to around September 2007, but now it isn’t unless you find that page you linked through Google.
So, this looks like it could be good news.
I’ve written an email to the webmaster of FooFighters.com today…
From what I’ve been hearing, the band no longer supports this group. This is strange because on your (supposedly old) Official Causes page, the group is still listed.
If possible, could you send me some additional information as to whether the band actually supports the denial of HIV causing AIDS, or if this page just happened to not get deleted by some accidental oversight? This is very important as I would choose not to support the band any longer if they do actually agree with the nonsense that Alive & Well propagates.
This page is actually the first to show up on a Google search. So if it is not the band’s official stance, this page should definitely be deleted.
Thank you for your time.
So, as with all the other Foo Fans out there, I hope very much that the band has actually changed their stance on this issue. It would be sad if they really believed in this nonsense. Hopefully I get a response soon.
On a lighter note… this is officially my 200th post!! Awesome.
Read a book.
In case you missed my previous entry concerning why I believe music should be free, just click here to get up to date.
Now to those who say, “How do you expect me to produce my music for free? It costs money for production costs, software, ect.”
Well, let me tell you that is not true. Aside from the fact that you can use BitTorrent technology to upload your music to the world for absolutely no cost at all (for you or your listeners), there is also a host of FREE software (open source) for recording multi-track audio! One of the best available is called Audacity. Completely free and loaded with features! Another completely free program, which some people believe is better than Audacity, is called KRISTAL.
Actually, upon further investigation, I think KRISTAL is much better than Audacity. But this is beside the point. What I mean to point out here is the fact that you don’t need thousands of dollars to produce and distribute music. All you need is a decent sound card capable of multi-track recording. Personally, I use SoundBlaster’s X-Fi XtremeMusic. Searching on Google Products (formerly “Froogle”), you can find this sound card for around $100.
So yeah, that’s about all I have to say to all the nay-sayers who think that “music can’t be free.” And if you really need money that badly, do a concert or two. I’m sure that if you’re music is good enough, people will pay to see you perform live.
I suppose that is the key issue. When people stop having to pay for recorded music, the wheat is separated from the chaff. The people who are only in it for the money no longer are making that money. Only the people who love music for what it is will still be hanging around. And I think that’s the way it should be.
For more free, open source audio programs and tools, click this link.
If you have any comments, questions or are looking for my music, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read a book!
The end of an era? I hope so. Jerry Falwell. The man who epitomized religious zealotry. The televangelist who preached hatred under the guise of Christianity.
He had this to say following 9/11:
“The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way — all of them who have tried to secularize America — I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.”
This is the guy who claimed that one of the “Teletubbies” is homosexual.
“He is purple — the gay-pride color, and his antenna is shaped like a triangle — the gay pride symbol.”
And then his tirade about AIDS:
“AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh’s charioteers … AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”
This man was filled with bigotry and hatred for anyone who was apparently not a white evangelical Christian.
He’s one of those fevered egos that this world is better off without. He represents an attitude in this country that the world is better off without. The Fundamentalist attitude that they are right, and everyone else is wrong because we (the people who aren’t them) don’t take everything the Bible says without questioning it.
As I’ve said many times before, most wars are over who has the better imaginary friend. I, on the other hand, worship the True God, the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
Now, before I get to the “Noah’s Ark” portion of this post, here’s a link to my favorite article about Falwell’s death, and here’s a video interview with the author of that article on Fox News’ “Hannity & Colmes” show. How can these guys consider themselves “Fair & Balanced?”
Now, on to what I think is some important info to go along with the passing of Falwell. What I might call the passing of a false idea. A ridiculous fairytale. This whole idea of “Noah’s Ark.” People actually take this story as truth, as fact, and as something that had actually occurred at some point in history.
I’m not going to go into very much detail about the story, because I think most everyone is at least familiar with it. If you want to refresh your memory, the story can be found in Genesis 6:1 – 9:17.
The part of the story I want you to notice is where “God” describes what size the Ark is to be. Three hundred (300) cubits by fifty (50) cubits – three stories tall. A cubit is approximately 18 inches. It was the measure from the tip of the fingers to the tip of the elbow.
With these measurements, the Ark would have been 101,250 square feet of surface area where two (2) of each animal on Earth were to roam for 40 days and nights – without killing and eating each other.
Here’s the point I want to make. Our planet has over 4 million land animal species. 101,250 square feet calculates out to only 1,250,000 square inches. Even if you were to cut out a single 1” square to represent each species of land animal on Earth, you’d still have to stack those paper squares at least 3 high just to fit them on this Ark, if you were to lay them out edge to edge, covering the entire floor surface. And you still have to take into account that God told Noah to take 2 of each animal on board! That’s 8 million animals.
Just taking into account surface area, each animal would have to be .15625 of an inch just to fit on the Ark. This isn’t accounting for room to actually move around! Just to exist on the Ark, each animal would have to be a fraction of an inch.
It’s just absurd to believe something like that. So many people just take the story at face value and don’t even think about it. “Oh yeah, Noah had an Ark and he took 2 of every animal on board. That’s why we’re here. Because Noah was good in the eyes of God.” No. It’s a story. There’s no actual truth to it. Just like the fact that snakes can’t talk. They have never talked. The Devil didn’t “trick” anyone into eating some fruit.
Try thinking about it. Can you seriously look in your backyard and imagine two naked people standing there, listening to a snake talk about apples? I mean, honestly. It’s ridiculous.
And this is why, my loyal readers, I say it is so important to read a book!