Re: Alternative Medicine (was Re: Skepticism - its uses and abuses)

From: Clarke Morledge <>
Date: Wed Dec 21 2005 - 13:00:52 EST

On Tue, 20 Dec 2005, Iain Strachan wrote:

> Clarke, I'd be interested to know what resources in traditional medicine
> were used - my friends have given up on traditional methods, after an
> "alternative" doctor diagnosed something wrong with her liver (something to
> do with "detoxification pathways" ) and told them that no-one in the
> National Health Service can detect this problem & that it is a gap in the
> knowledge of the NHS. (The UK public health system)..

My wife was wrongly diagnosed with asthma. She used high dosages of
prednisone over long periods of time to try to combat the "asthma". It
helped somewhat, but it basically got her endocrinological system out of
whack. We were able to make significant progress with specialists at the
University of Virginia Medical School hospital. But this was after
exhausting every conceivable local medical resources and the alternative
ones as well.

A number of alternative treatments were suggested for my wife by different
members of our church. Some were actually suggested by doctors, so this
is where things started to get pretty grey. Various solutions were
suggested (and some were tried) to correct her endocrinological problems,
with varying degrees of scientific support (if any) behind them, such as:

(1) blood-type diet (Peter D'Adamo).
(2) muscle testing (derived from "applied kinesiology").
(3) herbal remedies, with lots of vitamin supplements (homepathic).
(4) staying away from electromagnetic fields (we live about 1/4 mile from
a power line).
(5) healing touch prayer.
(6) Hulda Clark solutions (I finally had to put my foot down against this

The list can go on and on.

The problem I found was that most of the alternative medicine providers
are generally folks with good intentions. But all of them have
experienced some type of disillusionment with traditional Western
medicine. Then you combine that with some curious cultural/biblical
exegesis: e.g. the symbol of modern medicine, Aesculapius's snake and
staff, is viewed as a pagan symbol at best -- Satanic at the worst (note
the connection between the "snake" and the serpent in the Garden of Eden).
I've heard some rather "creative" theories as to why modern medicine is
either excessively narrow or founded on unbiblical presumptions; e.g. the
Hippocratic Oath is a pledge of allegiance to paganism.

I would argue that there is a crucial need for a biblical apologetic
for modern medical science that can help the average evangelical
church-goer to weed out the pseudo-science while promoting a solid,
Scriptural view of promoting health.

Clarke Morledge
College of William and Mary
Network Engineer
Received on Wed Dec 21 13:02:34 2005

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