Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Your Friday Dose of Woo: The best woo is breast woo

Posted in Respectful Insolence by Skepdude on February 6, 2009

Personally, if I could control the matter that is my body other than in the standard, boring, visible way of having my central nervous system fire off nerve impulses that make my muscles move, I know I’d probably like to bulk up my muscles a bit and perhaps get rid of a bit of fat. Oh, wait. There already is a way of doing that for someone like me, who’s put on about 10 pounds over the last year and is a bit out of shape. It’s called diet and exercise. But that involves work! Some people will risk surgery to get rid of that fat, and some people will risk surgery to get a better-looking body. Wouldn’t it be so much better if “mind over matter” could eliminate that choice? No more having to choose between either diet and exercise or plastic surgery, on the one hand, versus remaining unsatisfied with one’s body on the other, none of which are appealing choices. I’m sure you can see the appeal of using the mind to fix the body this way. After all, haven’t woo-meisters been telling us for years that the mind can fix the body?

In any case, if you’re a woman and unsatisfied with your endowment, why go through all the difficulties and potential risks from surgery if you can simply use Adam Eason’s Hypnotic Breast Enlargement System?

First off, if you want some yucks, you really should listen to the recording of Eason’s comments about his system:

You know what? Your brain knows how to grow your breasts. It knows how to do it. It’s grown them before and it can do so again, all wonderfully naturally. It’s very likely that your breasts enlarge when you menstruate…They’re capable of doing it, and this audio program shows you how to do it once again but even more so…This is one of the most fascinating uses of hypnosis.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE”

Hypnosis and hot flashes: When will they ever learn?

Posted in Respectful Insolence by Skepdude on October 8, 2008

For women undergoing menopause, hot flashes are a real problem. In my specialty, as I’ve pointed out before, women undergoing treatment for breast cancer are often forced into premature menopause by the treatments to which we subject them. It can be chemotherapy, although far more often it’s the estrogen-blocking drugs that we use to treat breast cancers that have the estrogen receptor. Estrogen stimulates such tumors to grow, and blocking estrogen is a very effective treatment for them, be it with tamoxifen or the newer aromatase inhibors like Arimidex. The utterly predictable consequence, unfortunately, is an artificially-induced menopause.

I’ve written at least twice before about this topic in the context of various poorly designed studies of acupuncture for breast cancer-induced hot flashes. There’s a reason for this. Despite studies demonstrating that hormone replacement therapy doesn’t decrease cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women and increased the risk of breast cancer, for severe menopausal symptoms in women without breast cancer, estrogen remains the gold standard, and it’s reasonably safe to use for short periods of time. Consequently, for menopause having nothing to do with breast cancer, estrogen can be used, at least for the short term, if nonhormonal therapies don’t work. Not so in the case of women rendered menopausal by breast cancer therapy. Indeed, it defeats the purpose of antiestrogen drugs to replace the estrogen they are blocking. Not only that, but even after breast cancer therapy when a woman undergos menopause naturally, estrogen replacement increases their risk of a recurrence. Consequently, if nonhormonal methods supported by science don’t work, then there’s nothing else, and, unfortunately, most science-based nonhormonal therapies such as antidepressants do not work very well and have significant side effects.

That’s where the temptation to turn to woo comes in.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “RESPECTFUL INSOLENCE”