Category Archives: Naturopathic Medicine Research

Thought for the Day: Defining Bullshit

The Chronicle of Higher Education has just made my day, or rather two professors at The University of Washington. It’s a crying shame they aren’t located in D.C. and/or that they haven’t YET exported their wit to every State in the Union.

Here is the opening line from The Chronicle’s current Post Truth issue:

“Facts and figures are like cow pastures. Unless you squint, you can’t always tell how full of bullshit they are.”

That’s correct readers. It seems AT LEAST TWO tenured (?) academics have struck marketing gold! At my Alma Matter, the class was titled Borderlands of Science and Religion and you can view the wit who created it, under this blog’s About tab.

The current Chronicle article has a Q & A with the academics in question and I recommend giving it a read.

Apothecanna: Cannibis infused Spa products

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Where there’s smoke there is fire and the cannabis cloud over Colorado appears to be lingering like smog on a otherwise clear day. Cannabis proponent Apothecanna has positioned itself beyond the pale, as an adjunct measure in pain management and only time will tell if they can remain straight enough to keep their wellness branding intact.

I wrote this piece originally in June of 2015 and removed it from this blog over a reservation about logical reasoning summed up simply by “begging the question.” But let’s talk products for now.

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Apothecanna does offer a variety of scents that leave the 1960’s behind.

The statement on their website detailing the benefits of their “natural” products Topical Cannabis, Hemp Lotion, & THC Spray (located under the tab “learn” and “apothecanna massage”) is simple and basic:

Revitalizing botanicals like arnica and capsaicin combine with topical marijuana to provide natural herbal pain relief .

The Marketing is both Spartan and clever.

“Here at Apothecanna, we’re committed to providing innovative topical pain relievers that combine topical cannabis with other healing and soothing botanicals for a more natural option for topical pain relief. Unlike conventional topical pain relief cream products, our cannabis calming cream offer pain relief without unpleasant “medicine” scents, instead incorporating sense-soothing botanicals like lavender, chamomile, and frankincense. These botanicals make using our topical marijuana products more enjoyable, contributing to a sense of well being that can aid the healing process. In addition to our full line of cannabis cream and THC spray products for pain relief, which are available at over 200 Colorado medical marijuana centers, we also offer several invigorating, calming, and pain relieving cream products made with hemp and arnica cream, as well as other botanicals to soothe your skin as well as your senses.”

Rejuvenate your skin and senses with topical cannabis cream and botanical skin therapies from Apothecanna.

Under the “About” tab are three discreet paragraphs that provide a brief nod to both legality and their position on the role of natural philosophy in society at large.

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By reordering the brands statements, it may be a bit more obvious to educated consumers and those who question the politics involved, how the advent of Apothecanna will impact the Spa and Wellness Industry. And in particular, the Professional Massage Community which may utilize such products IN TANDEM with mainstream pain management professionals.

Let’s break it down like any syllogism, but let’s do it backwards and examine the logic of the marketing.

“Our mission at Apothecanna is to spread the wisdom of traditional plant medicine. We believe in the fundamental right of access to the healing powers of nature and promote sustainable interaction with the world around us.”

Preceeding this ‘tidbit’ is the following ‘tidbit.”

“We do not use artificial ingredients, fillers, parabens and only test on humans. We believe that natural treatments are the best treatments, and strive to create products with uncompromised purity, quality, and functionality.”

And the page begins with this introduction:

“Apothecanna is a natural apothecary featuring cannabis extract as the primary active ingredient due to its potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Our formulations combine cannabis with other organic and wild crafted essential oils to create highly functional topical treatments for pain and stress relief, while delivering a host of skin nurturing benefits.”

Viewed and analyzed from last statement to first, Apothecanna’s marketing strategy seems to be suffering from marijuana induced paranoia if not ordinary anxiety. Remember this assessment proceeds in reverse order from their official website circa 2015!

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The first (last) CLAIM Apothecanna puts forward, is that their products have scientifically proven value. (This is TRUE of Cannabis- as science has admitted.)

The second or (middle) premise Apothecanna offers is that their products are 100% “Natural” and that they TEST only on humans.

In the third (first) STATEMENT that in traditional logic would be called a premise, Apothecanna DOES INDEED draw a CONCLUSION predicated on the two preceding premises! Want some pseudoscience wellness professionals or just a side of religion to go with your own and your clients health investments?

Consumers are informed of Apothecannas “rights” and significantly there is an appeal to nature for sovereign status as if this is an innate right, protected by the United States constitution and by the State of Colorado. Don’t choke on Abraham Lincoln’s comment that The Bill of rights “Is a REBUKE” or the fact that it’s not A LAW in or of itself. 4th amendment is mere Axiology? Taste? Genre? 

Oh my! Isn’t this Gnosticism Mitt Romney’s and John McCain’s territory? Colorado did have a FEMALE TEA PARTY INCUMBENT BATTLE DIDN’T THEY…

Since when does any government, at the national or state level have an ability to regulate “unalienable” rights? Gnosticism, gender and Lawd at all the LEGAL PROSTITUTION NEXT DOOR IN NEVADA…Neither LEGAL governing body DOES have that right pro Mblex crusaders. American laws deal with ‘inalienable rights.’ LOOK AT THAT “science based” MARKETING NOW.

The “premise” that any class system is subject to the economic system, which is presumably subject to the political system, which in turn is subject to the legal system, which then, and only then, is subject to a religious system…with an ethical framework, such as one that acknowledges and ensures ‘rights‘ which entail free will, are now on display.

Given that in 99% if not most instances, the defacto and default premise that an esthetics license is required, in addition to a Bachelor’s degree to work for a Professional Spa Product Line and that LMT’s with a Bachelor’s degree are overlooked if they have no outside B2B sales experience ought to give the Spa and Esthetics industry something to mull over when considering the SUBSTANCE of education.

Consider for instance this “new” education offering that is scarcely 20 years old: Disability Studies. It would seem “science” v. “management” rather than “pain” is the canker sore in the post-modern lotus?

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I will leave it to the “moral educators” with political axes to grind about bell jars, States right’s, healthcare and massage monopolies on entry level right to practice (that the FSMTB fails to call collusion but most certainly calls patriotism,) to pander to their fellow citizens about universal relativism and plan for the future conspiracy theories this trend will no doubt spawn.

Until Next Time Campers!

Announcing Fruits, Nuts and Flakes: Massage and Bodywork Edition

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Announcing Fruits, Nuts and Flakes: Massage and Bodywork Edition!!

I am fundraising to print, produce and ship a card set for Massage educators, massage aficionados and their nemesis!!

I would like to be able to print at least 2,000 decks or more. Please share any and all feedback and thank you. I will be adding an option to purchase 1 set immediately.

Open letter to DoTerra and Young Living: FDA reprimands are an opportunity and a challenge

Wisdom

 

Last year, the FDA issued a warning letter to both Do Terra and Young Living Essential Oils CEO’s about the activities of their distributor networks.

The letter to Young Living states in part: “You market your Young Living Essential Oil products through paid consultants; your compensation plan for your consultants is explained on your website http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/opportunity/compensation-plan. Your consultants promote many of your Young Living Essential Oil Products for conditions such as, but not limited to, viral infections (including ebola), Parkinson’s disease, autism, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, insomnia, heart disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dementia, and multiple sclerosis, that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners. Consumers interested in your Young Living Essential Oil products are then redirected by your consultants to your website, http://www.youngliving.com, to purchase your products and/or register as members (i.e., consultants)”.[1]

The letter to DoTerra states in part: “Your products are marketed through the website http://www.anytimeessentials.com/ and through paid “consultants,” http://www.anytimeessentials.com/work-home/, otherwise referred to as “wellness advocates,” http://www.mydoterra.com/. Your consultants promote your above mentioned dōTERRA Essential Oil products for conditions including, but not limited to, viral infections (including ebola), bacterial infections, cancer, brain injury, autism, endometriosis, Grave’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, tumor reduction, ADD/ADHD,  and other conditions that are not amenable to self-diagnosis and treatment by individuals who are not medical practitioners. Moreover, your consultants redirect consumers to your website, http://www.doterra.com, to register as a customer or member (i.e., consultant), and to purchase your dōTERRA Essential Oil products.”

Here’s a PART of the rub if it’s not already obvious: “Your products are prescription drugs as defined in section 503(b)(1)(A) of the Act [21 U.S.C. § 353(b)(1)(A)]) for some of the claims made for them because, in light of their toxicity or other potentiality for harmful effect, the method of their use, or the collateral measures necessary to their use, they are not safe for use except under the supervision of a practitioner licensed by law to administer them.”

When I come across responses or rebuttals to the information above I often find the same tropes repeated and an absence of detail and appropriate framing of the issues involved. Here are my suggestions for both DoTerra and Young Living corporate organizations on how to go about revamping their training and policy procedures to avoid such issues.

  • Show some respect for philosophy and history by acknowledging the value of diversity rather than avoiding the burden of education. i.e., Invest in your organizational longevity and your distributors long term patronage thru enhanced education offerings.
  • Create partnerships with Aromatherapy, Business and CAM educators that would offer perks for distributors who advance their education level with college degrees or appropriate certifications.
  • Redefine your branding strategy to clearly distinguish who your customers are and why.
  •  Be mindful of nepotism.

Ambivalence on Valentine’s Day: Is it par for the course or a solipistic excuse?

“To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering, one must not love. But then, one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy, one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.”

(Woody Allen, Love and Death)

If there is more nuanced argument in favor of BDSM and staying in an unhealthy relationship than the one illustrated above, I have not heard of it or heard tell of one. Woody Allen as most of the first world knows is a child molester and failing that, took advantage of a young woman on the cusp of adulthood who just so happened to be his step daughter.

The quote above reminds me of why I chose not to purchase or physically buy a copy of Different Loving back in 2004-5.  I made a comment to my younger sister back in 2000 while she was visiting me in St. Pete Beach that her decision to remain in the relationship she was then involved in was the equivalent of such behavior. I asked her at the time, if she would be willing to let the young man she was then dating take her favorite childhood toy and drag it thru the mud or otherwise abuse and destroy it.

I recently took my own advice yet again when trying to wrench my heart out of the grasp of an old flame who is no longer the man he was when we dated 22 or so years ago. Nothing is more heartbreaking than seeing someone you care about expressing the kinds of sentiments such as those expressed in the quote from Woody Allen above.

When BDSM is attacked by the moral majority or by psychologists as a perversion, it is presumed to be akin to fringe psychological theories associated with the specter of Theocratic religion which equate child sexual molestation with homosexuality, projection and the acting out of abuse. Any real difficulties associated with the actual WORK of being a part of a healthy relationship are presumed to be more heinous and significant than they may actually be and open the door to attacks on natural philosophy as an excuse for justifications of a religious foundation for everything from government to the family. All invasions of one kind or another into the private sector from numerous angles for the most suspicious of reasons.

Poor models for psychological health and attacks on the discipline of psychology itself created such issues as those above and also gave rise to the Satanic Panics of the late 70’s and early 1980’s. I still am of the opinion that when such paradigms are advanced that nothing natural is the issue and that what is truly being advanced via a Trojan Horse is the presumption of utilitarianism as a panacea. While I don’t doubt that philosophers such a Jeremy Bentham might once have been able to promote his concept in a strictly economic vein, questions of polygamy, naturalism and prostitution all center around the solipsistic clouding of issues when economics and privacy meet.

Warren

While I did purchase a copy of Different Loving in the past three years, I still have not read it. It seems that yet again, I lack the stomach for it. After all, what does a single unmarried woman need with such a book, when there are so many unhappy married people clearly making good use of it without my assistance or help?

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! Remember, Massage Therapists are not only NOT prostitutes, we are not endless wells of natural philosophy to be raped for utilitarian reasons by the unscrupulous and the ill-informed seeker of pleasure, spirituality or religion.

Sacred Cows in the CAM Industry

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I recently had the misfortune to have a public argument over what academics call nit picking with a sacred cow of the Massage community.

This is a snippet from the middle of a discussion that began in a professional group for massage educators on Facebook, followed recommendations to contact industry authorities for more information and clarity, ricocheted back onto Facebook as if public slander and legal action were about to follow and all of this is documented both in email and on Facebook :

“Heidi – It is Judith, not Janet, and my last name is DeLany. You wrote your first email to our business email address on Sunday. We were closed Sunday and Monday so it was not handled until today. My two responses to your rather abstract emails have taken most of my day today. Before I got linked to this Facebook discussion, I spent several hours collecting and sending to you a number of supporting documents, peer reviewed articles, and a substantial chapter from one of my strongly referenced texts. Even though I do not know you, have never seen any historical document or any articles that you have written on this subject or any other, nor have you ever been in my class nor read my books or articles, I freely gave of my valuable time to support your efforts to obtain all of your information so that you did not have to purchase textbooks or subscribe to the peer-reviewed journals you so want to cite. You are collecting history on NMT, the very history that I have lived for 30 years. You do not have NMT textbooks or articles, not even the Travell books on trigger points, yet you have posted what I interpret as off-color remarks about my life work. Your comments above are disturbing, as you accuse flawed logic, yet do not disclose what you think is flawed and make broad sweeping statements that discredit me and cast my three decades of hard work, solid references, peer reviews, professional editing, and exemplary co-authors, as a comment on socialism. Your comments will not change the history of NMT, as it evolved on two continents under the hands of many, many people. You should not cite a simple website posting as an academic reference. There are many referenced sources, several of which I gave freely to you this morning. Read the books, read the articles, reframe your position. There are many historical and technique-based differences in NMT European vs NMT American version (my personal method) yet their foundations have some similarities. The textbooks and articles discuss these similarities and differences fully. Websites (which ARE opinions and marketing tools) do not contain the same content as a referenced source. There are also many other methods of NMT that are worth looking into. If you are writing about or teaching anything on this subject, I hope you spend the time to educate yourself on more than just internet websites and wiki. – Judith Delaney”
 
“Dear JUDITH –
 
  1. You are obviously not trained in Historiography and I am. Based on HISTORICAL methodology, your web sites definitions are REFLEXIVE. Based on that bit of LITERARY use of post modern discourse, it makes using your website problematic from a historiographical point of view
  2. You obviously did not note the date and time the conversation in this forum took place and failed to notice that I state I had emailed you for clarification. If you look at the sentence as I worded it, it’s obvious that I fully expect your published work to have detail that a website might very well lack. Therefore, your courtesy to me in providing me with more information is merely a professional courtesy and you have come to this forum late, misinterpreted the time line of events -again a history issues- and have accused me effectively of being ungrateful. Your moralizing will not shame me for any reason and is inappropriate.
  3. I don’t think issues about historiography revolve around you or your school alone. Consider Universal History and it’s implications and then have a second look at the upshot and rationale of the FSMTB’s MPA for starters. Again, they are codifying what in my opinion is a DISCOURSE in order to provide structure to the profession. As a trained historian, your on my home turf now and as a historian, I wont put my academic credentials onto a publication that utilizes websites with these kinds of errors and when authors such as yourself are graciously available to answer questions and willing to do so. You came to the conversation late and assumed I was attacking you. I state that I lacked information in that post and needed to contact you for clarification and yet, you call a public rant like the post above some kind of defense against me slandering you.
  • I stated up front that I did not have access to the information I needed and based on my training, I am NOT WRONG to say that your wording is reflexive. In the email I sent you, I also point this out and offer to explain why I would not be comfortable merely citing your website and if you had any questions to respond and ask me and I would be happy to explain.
  • I don’t recognize ‘sacred cows’. And no, this is not an apology. It’s my opinion about the difference between objectivity and subjectivity and if the massage profession were truly invested in creating infrastructure to support growth, there would be more discussion about the role of history to begin with. And I think we all have enough common sense to know why this NEVER gets discussed in public amongst massage professionals
  • TEACHING NMT is your home turf. What I am doing, is writing an introductory overview of the subject which is intended to provide BASIC information which therapists can use to determine if they want to pursue a more IN DEPTH study. If you note what I said, I said I did not want to read into any personal or subjective implication in your word choice and need to contact you for clarification.
  • I am not writing a full scope NMT history as you imply. Again, I am providing an overview of key terms and concepts. While I am fully capable of explaining in my brief that your website utilizes reflexivity and that for this reason, the terminology used to distinguish your views as expressed on your website are not at all common or accepted across the entire profession, I shouldn’t HAVE to make that comment in a publication to make massage industry professionals who are considered “Revered” or even more questionable, “lineage teachers” or commonly, “sacred cows”.
  • You should have enough education under your belt to know what reflexivity is in the first place, why from a research writing standpoint it’s problematic and while I am fully capable of going AROUND the issue, again, I shouldn’t have too.
 
While this is NOT an apology I most certainly had no intention of slandering you. I am sorry if you had that impression. However, honestly, I really should NOT have to point out what I have to someone of your stature in the professional massage community, who is a published author with research credits under your belt. Period.
 
Sincerely,
 

Ashley M Heidi Carter BS, LMT”

Despite whining to the contrary I do not see evidence of a Massage Therapy Industry. I see a community that likes certain terminology and labels and that wants the laurels that go along with those things but does not want to do the work.
 
The ‘professional’ HEALTH CARE Industry and NOT the Massage Industry, CAM INDUSTRY, Spa Industry or any other single discipline made a joint and unified effort over the past 15 years to introduce more use of evidence based practices involving research. As I pointed out to others who witnessed this hilarious whining diatribe about hair splitting between two professionals with different views of what academic and research literacy entail I had to remind at least one published author of a massage text book that is considered a classic, one author of noted research papers and news writer and more than a few writers of continuing education for massage therapists of a few details that amount to facts.
 
Sacred Cows Take Note:
 
  • Regardless of when the original push for greater research uptake and applied EVP began, CULTURE happens in waves – not history. Therefore, the CULTURAL return on the investment in human capital made by these efforts will also return in waves in it’s own time. Not every wave is a damn paradigm shift but that WAS PART the upshot people oh Utopian idealist engineers of fascist infrastructure………..
  • When the younger generation like myself, who are under 40 and who happen to be degree holders need to point out the obvious, be zen like before showing your asses and illustrating the reasons why massage has the stereotype of being a field of primadonnas when you reply.
  • And while your at it note, it’s A DAMN DISAPPOINTMENT to those of us who actually had some Utopian ideals when we entered this profession to find that the sacred cows are not as educated and organized as the Library of Alexandria, there is disagreement and identity politics rife in the vaunted halls of academy and when we get a bit grumpy about the equivalent of peeling paint, of crumbling dry wall and infestations of intellectual termites in the public facade that passes for “Massage Industry Infrastructure” – don’t get cocky. Get off your high horses and remember pluralism is fragile.
  • None of you know me, my background or why I might have a reason to be cocky or humble. Anyone who has met me in person knows I am cocky online and cautious in person. I am also damn honest, and fair. Don’t expect a free ride people. Period.
  • This is not the commentary I originally planned on but since you all set the stage why should I not tip my hat to the crowd ladies and gentlemen? I leave those of you with the intelligence to recognize your unique positions with this thought and these two videos below. “We don’t need to control him. We need to unleash him.” – Troy