What you need to know before trusting your health and well-being to an alternative medicine practitioner in Waxahachie, Texas.
Note: The following article expresses the views and opinions of the writer. Waxahachie 360 urges you to form your own conclusions based on the knowledge that you obtain from a medical doctor.
We all want to feel our best, and generally we can rely on a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle to keep our bodies in optimum condition. But right here in Waxahachie, Texas are people who sell allegedly useless shortcuts to health for a price or offer false hope for those who suffer from debilitating and life-threatening conditions. The services they offer are often questionable or fraudulent at best, or worse, they may be outright harmful if used in place of real medical intervention.
Here’s the Waxahachie 360 list of the Top 5 questionable alternative medicine practices in Waxahachie.
1. I.V. Infusion Therapy
Hand over $100 – $200 at an I.V. therapy clinic and a registered nurse will intravenously administer a cocktail of saline and vitamins that are promoted as helping with everything from anxiety and fatigue to sunburn and weight loss. The sessions can take place in the back of a van, at a hotel room booked for the day or in a chiropractic center.
Intravenous therapy is a wholly legitimate medical procedure that administers fluids, medication and nutrients directly into the circulatory system. For patients who are severely dehydrated, undergoing a medical procedure such as chemotherapy, suffering from infections or poisoning, or patients who are unconscious or are too mentally debilitated to drink or eat on their own, I.V. therapy can be a life-saving procedure.
For most healthy people, I.V. therapy is likely a useless, invasive procedure that carries risks of infection but yields no benefits that couldn’t be obtained by merely drinking a glass of water or eating a nutritious diet.
In September of 2018, the Federal Trade Commision initiated action against a North Texas I.V. therapy marketer for promoting I.V. therapy with unsupported claims that I.V. cocktails can treat serious diseases and produce fast, long-lasting results. The F.T.C. reached a settlement with the company, and as a result, those who offer I.V. therapy have adopted the practice of avoiding direct claims about what the procedure can do or what it can treat. Instead, they rely on the power of suggestion by naming their offerings with vague references to libido, energy, calmness and implications of other desired effects.
Talk to a doctor, and he or she will likely tell you that staying hydrated, eating healthy and routine medical checkups with a medical doctor are a better approach to addressing your daily well-being.
2. Ionic Foot Detox
Billed as a cure for headaches, low-energy, hangovers and whatever else ails you, Ionic foot detox services involve placing your feet into a foot bath with water and minerals. Two electrodes in the solution are then powered on, and within minutes, the water turns into an orange-brown bubbly mixture.
The person selling the service will then claim that the foul looking water is the result of toxins being pulled from within your body through the skin of your feet and then deposited into the water-mineral mix. Some will even go as far as to show you a chart that indicates what organs the toxins came from based on the color and darkness of the water in the bath.
What they won’t show you is that the water-mineral solution in the bath will turn the same color once the electrodes are powered on whether feet are in the water or not. The color change of the water is actually caused by the oxidation of the copper electrodes. In other words, the electrodes rust, and they do so quickly because that’s what copper does when exposed to saltwater and electricity. The chemical process involved in electrolysis is about as advanced as a junior high science experiment, and anyone who paid attention during science class at Coleman, Finley or Howard Junior High should be fully capable of explaining the process that has absolutely nothing to do with drawing poisons out from your body through your feet.
Watch this segment from Inside Edition to see ionic foot baths exposed.
3. Ear Candling
If you have impacted earwax or are suffering from pain in your ear, do yourself a favor and see a medical doctor rather than paying someone to stick a candle in your ear and light it on fire.
Those who perform ear candling place a hollow candle into your ear, light it on fire, let a little wax melt into the hollow center, blow out the flame and then remove the melted candle from your ear. They then open it up, show you the melted wax and claim that the wax came from inside your ear.
In fact, the claim is 100% bogus for several reasons: ear wax isn’t much like candle wax, and although warm water can loosen it, the secretion in your ears doesn’t exactly melt like beeswax or a paraffin does. Also, the warm air cooling off from a hollow candle that’s been lit and extinguished could never create enough of a vacuum to lift anything out of the ear, and if it could, it would risk injuring your eardrum. Also, sticking any foreign object into your ear carries the risk of perforating your eardrum.
Ear discomfort is often the result of impacted earwax or even an infection, and only a medical doctor — someone with a Ph.D. in medicine — can determine what’s causing the discomfort and how to remedy it.
4. Nutritional Testing / Vitamins and Herbal Supplements
Like I.V. therapy, vitamins and nutritional supplements can be totally legitimate. In fact, it’s their legitimacy in certain circumstances that creates the opportunity for some people to profit from unsupported claims about what vitamins and supplements can do.
If a medical doctor orders a blood panel for you, and the results show that you are deficient in iron, vitamin B-12, or other nutrients, you may need to supplement your diet with an over-the-counter vitamin product.
On the other hand, if someone wearing the stereotypical white coat of a doctor but who has no medical training whatsoever sells you on the idea of taking a variety of products that he or she sells in order to detoxify your system, lose weight, improve your energy levels or any other health-sounding claim, you’re likely wasting your money.
Some alternative medical practitioners will evaluate your supposed needs just by asking you questions about your wellbeing; others may send a lock of your hair to a questionable testing facility; others may perform a sort of acupuncture technique on your skin. In any case, they are likely unqualified to offer any insights into your health, and the vitamins and herbal supplements they prescribe are little more than a total waste of money. The vitamin supplement industry has a history of making unsupported claims, and vitamin sellers tend to merely repeat what they read in vitamin sales brochures.
In one incident witnessed in Waxahachie, a well-intentioned but ignorant vitamin clerk tending a customer advised her that the floaters that she was seeing in her vision were possibly due to her body detoxifying from the product that she had recently begun to buy from the store.
In fact, floaters in your vision — black dots that appear in your line of sight and that you can notice especially when you look at the sky — can be a sign of retinal detachment that requires immediate surgery or else you will permanently lose your vision in the affected eye. Retinal detachment can happen to anyone, and usually happens at the rate of around 1 in 10,000 people annually, and slightly more often in men than women. By dismissing her real symptom with an ill-informed assessment, the clerk potentially dissuaded the woman from seeking the diagnosis of an ophthalmologist, which could have put her well-being at risk.
Vitamin and supplement clerks routinely advise people that one or another product can treat a child’s A.D.H.D, or prevent cancer, or reduce arthritis pain, or any number of other medical claims in an industry that has successfully lobbied itself free of F.D.A. oversight, just by placing the disclaimer on a product’s labels that reads: “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
5. Whole Body Cryotherapy
Do you suffer from arthritis, migraines, multiple sclerosis, fatigue or chronic pain? Sooner or later you might be tempted to sign up for an expensive monthly membership for whole body cryotherapy. The treatment involves super-cooling of the body with cold vapor at temperatures several hundred degrees below freezing while the person stands in a can-like container. Some service providers claim that the technique helps with anything from pain to asthma, alzheimer’s to depression, and even weight loss or insomnia.
With so many conditions apparently being improved by cryotherapy, you’d think that there’d be no need to sign a waiver that releases the cryotherapy facility from lawsuits if you’re injured. But, such a waiver is indeed what you may be required to sign, and a scientific reviewer with the F.D.A. may have the answer as to why.
“Potential hazards include asphyxiation, especially when liquid nitrogen is used for cooling,” says Dr. Anna Ghambaryan, M.D., Ph.D.
Moreover, the F.D.A. webpage that addresses whole body cryotherapy states that “subjects run the risk of frostbite, burns, and eye injury from the extreme temperatures.”
To date, the F.D.A. holds the position that there is no evidence that such a therapy has any benefits for one’s health, but the risks of injury are very well known.
Talk to a Doctor
Whether or not you opt for alternative medicine, you should always see a doctor first and discuss your options. You may find that your doctor accepts your alternative approach. You may also learn something about your condition that could become worse with such alternative offerings. For example, you can injure your liver with vitamins. A doctor can steer you clear of making ignorant mistakes.