Alternative Medicine

By Michael Edmonds 24/09/2011

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

I’m an alternative practitioner,
With crystals, potions and pills
I promise to cure you
Of all of your ills

Don’t use proven treatments
It puts a dent in my sales
And to fully convince you
I have many scary tales

Of bad men in lab coats
And doctors on the take
Just don’t look at MY prices
Or ask how much I make

It takes so much effort
To wave my hands all about
To fill bottles with water
Which as cures, I then tout

Twenty bucks for ‘magic’ water
Which will do you no harm
Thirty bucks for reikki
And for free, I’ll read your palm

Don’t ask about evidence
For me that’s a dirty word
Instead just let me waffle
Making statements quite absurd

Talking about quantum vibrations
And healing energy flows
Using sciency sounding babble
Pretty much anything goes.

And if my cure doesn’t work,
Just give me a holler.
I’m happy to treat you,
until your last dollar.

And if at that stage you
Still feel a bit rough.
I’ll blame it on you for
Not believing hard enough.

This poem is written in response to the experiences Siouxsie Wiles has described over at Infectious Thoughts in her attempts to challenge pseudoscience being published in the Ponsonby News. Sometimes when scientists challenge the ill informed advice of “alternative” practitioners, the “alternative” practitioner will, knowing they have no evidence to support their claims, counterattack with ad hominem attacks, claims of conspiracy and misinformed criticisms on the process of science.

Such attacks hold no weight, and we need more people like Siouxsie to challenge the potentially dangerous advice that is peddled by the more unscrupulous and ill informed “alternative” practitioners.

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