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chrismo

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Everything posted by chrismo

  1. Personally, benzodiazepine use on a PRN basis has not worked for me. I've had a lot of problems with clonazepam abuse. If it's there and I'm anxious, depressed or even just bored I will take some. A lot. It takes discipline that I don't have. Probably for the same reason CBT hasn't been effective for me either. It was helpful in the short-term but it's easy to fall back into old habits. But for the stronger willed a combination of the two could work wonders.
  2. chrismo

    Temporary visual snow treatment

    This is very reminiscent of the new treatment for tinnitus "said to disrupt the rhythmic firing patterns of tinnitus-creating auditory nerve cells." http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/new-hope-for-tinnitus-sufferers-7576977.html http://www.thetinnitusclinic.co.uk/tinnitus-treatment/acoustic-neuromodulation/treatment-process 6 hours a day of this?
  3. chrismo

    From an admin (Jay)

    Try not to speak your mind and debate freely or admins of this site will threaten you with actual physical violence. I am officiallly done. Nothing I have said warrants abuse like this: Senior Administrator Administrators 827 posts LocationPortugal / England Administration Role:Spaminator Sent Today, 02:58 PM Chris, you a becoming a real thorn in the side of this place. You just have to have the final word on everything and think you know the fucking lot. I'm done with you... You're a cunt, just a mean spirited pseudo intellectual prick that I would knock spark out if I ever met. Go fuck yourself.
  4. chrismo

    From an admin (Jay)

    For the record, jay did apologize. However, without wanting to go into my backstory, threats of violence really put me in a weird and uncomfortable place- and this is the last place I expected to receive them. This was exacerbated by another admin apparently making light of it and seeming to imply that it might have been in some way justified (?) I was uncomfortable at the time and I remain so. A final thank you to those from whom I've received messages. Your words were much appreciated. If I ever find a magic cure I'll be sure to let you know.
  5. chrismo

    From an admin (Jay)

    A final update before I depart the site for good (reasons should be obvious): Sent Today, 04:38 PM Don't act like the wounded little soul now.... You knew this was coming and kept prodding away. I've told David to take me off admin.... Tired of dealing with neurotic little attention seekers. Enjoy the bitter little forum you are trying to create.... Perhaps examples can be provided of why I deserved such an attack. Maybe I deserved rebuking, maybe I didn't- but not like that. And I can't stick around for more of the same (it took several clonazepam to deal with the shakes from this). Nor can I continue to comfortably contribute as a member. To those who have offered help and support these last couple of years, I thank you. To those with whom I have chatted and debated, it's been a pleasure.
  6. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    Good one. Although my response would have been slightly different to Jay's edited post. That's also a strange comment from someone who just wants supportive comments on this thread. It doesn't add to the debate, either. You're just try to goad me.
  7. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    Jay, I've stated my reasons for why it should be here and they shouldn't be hard to understand. I believe to not allow the debate to take place here would be irresponsible and I resent the way you have become dictatorial.
  8. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    I've already stated why I think what I've said needs to be said and why it needs to be said here. The debate has been quite constructive thus far I'd say and I'm sorry but you don't get to own threads and dictate content. None of this, of course, stops encouraging comments from being added.
  9. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    The University I went to had a strong emphasis on Continental Philosophy but there were in fact mandatory courses in Logic, Ethics and Ancient Philosophy (quite right, too). Funnily enough I rather enjoyed taking Philosophical Scepticism.
  10. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    "The first is post hoc ergo propter hoc, meaning that a genuine improvement or spontaneous remission may have been experienced coincidental with but independent from anything the healer or patient did or said. These patients would have improved just as well even had they done nothing. The second is the placebo effect, through which a person may experience genuine pain relief and other symptomatic alleviation. In this case, the patient genuinely has been helped by the healer, not through any mysterious or numinous function, but by the power of their own belief that they would be healed.[54][55] In both cases the patient may experience a real reduction in symptoms, though in neither case has anything miraculous or inexplicable occurred. Both cases, however, are strictly limited to the body's natural abilities." I'll be honest, I don't know a thing about HRV but surely this is a more plausible explanation for any improvement than any energy/spiritual healing. I'll read more on it, however. We really must have been reading very different sceptical writers (confirmation bias on both sides?) because I have not found a prevalence not to abide by the rules of critical thinking and logic. Rather, that seems to me to come from the proponents of things like energy healing. And I say this as philosophy graduate, for what that's worth.
  11. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    Is someone blogging about structured water the best you can do? Maybe their argument was or wasn't flawed but what does that prove? Same for the other studies. And if you are going to continue to search out bloggers to discredit rather than actual 'sceptical' scientific studies themselves can you at least try someone like Ben Goldacre and stick to energy healing for the time being? If you think the placebo effect can be the only problem with these studies then you can't have read the whole thing, or have chosen to ignore that which may be troubling. "Also, I can experience and quantify energy medicine in real time by tracking my heart rate variability. All I have to do is simply look at something, say a picture, and there is a distinct and lasting effect. I can think of something, then the same thing occurs." - Seriously? Is some kind of 'energy' the only explanation for this? I honestly don't know how you can offer up a subjective experience like that and expect it to prove anything. It's barely even an anecdote. And of course, I don't take any of this personally nor should anything I say be taken personally; I enjoy a spirited debate- even at one in the morning after several glasses of wine.
  12. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    I really don't what to do with any of that. And if all of the sceptics you've seen make bold claims and rarely provide ample evidence then I can only suggest confirmation bias at work.
  13. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    As stated "sceptic" is the UK spelling. The wiki page explains some of the problems of positive reults in energy studies rather well: " There are many, primarily psychological, explanations for positive outcomes after energy therapy such as the placebo effect or cognitive dissonance. A 2009 review found that the "small successes" reported for two therapies collectively marketed as "energy psychology" (Emotional Freedom Techniques and Tapas Acupressure Technique) "are potentially attributable to well-known cognitive and behavioral techniques that are included with the energy manipulation." The report concluded that "Psychologists and researchers should be wary of using such techniques, and make efforts to inform the public about the ill effects of therapies that advertise miraculous claims."[27] There are primarily two explanations for anecdotes of cures or improvements, relieving any need to appeal to the supernatural.[53] The first is post hoc ergo propter hoc, meaning that a genuine improvement or spontaneous remission may have been experienced coincidental with but independent from anything the healer or patient did or said. These patients would have improved just as well even had they done nothing. The second is the placebo effect, through which a person may experience genuine pain relief and other symptomatic alleviation. In this case, the patient genuinely has been helped by the healer, not through any mysterious or numinous function, but by the power of their own belief that they would be healed.[54][55] In both cases the patient may experience a real reduction in symptoms, though in neither case has anything miraculous or inexplicable occurred. Both cases, however, are strictly limited to the body's natural abilities. Positive findings from research studies may also be explained by such psychological mechanisms, or as a result of experimenter bias, "methodological flaws"[27] or publication bias, and positive reviews of the scientific literature may show selection bias, in that they omit key studies that do not agree with the author's position.[27][28] All of these factors must be considered when evaluating claims." I've personally seen a demonstration of energy healing that James Randi or Derren Brown couldn't debunk. In fact I believe there is a large cash prize for anyone who can prove claims such as these. "A previously reported study investigated this question by exposing samples of chocolate, a natural mood enhancer, to focused beneficial intentions, and then testing under double-blind conditions whether people eating the intentionally treated chocolate would report better mood as compared to people eating untreated chocolate from the same source." -What does this mean? What were the conditions of the experiment? It's all very vague. Do you have the actual study rather than just the abstract? And how do you debunk a sceptic? They're not making any positive assertions. Rather they are just making logical arguments and using scientific facts to disprove claims made by others. Their capacity to do this will vary from person to person and of course flawed arguments may be made. That doesn't prove the original assertion by default, though. And I'd like to know which sceptics were 'debunked'. Actual scientists or people who have a blog? And again do you have links?
  14. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    There's so much nonsense going on in one post it's difficult to know where to start. I don't what you mean by "a lot of those skeptic sites are actually as b.s. as they claim other things are". The last time I checked a sceptic (I don't know why the inverted commas either) was just someone who doubts a belief or claim until suitable evidence is provided. I'll happily change my mind on anything if there is good evidence to the contrary. I think pretty much everyone else who is generally sceptical is the same- unlike people of faith (belief without evidence) we don't have any vested interest in any particular belief. Just because someone of a sceptical nature set up a website and carried out some lazy, flawed reporting doesn't mean all sceptical arguments are flawed. I don't know what that statement is supposed to prove. You seem to to have pre-conceived notions about people of a sceptical disposition and have lumped them all into this malign group rather than tackle any actual arguments. Lazy, I say. I'm sure there are a lot of studies into energy healing etc. There should be if people are going to make the claims they do about it. But I have not seen one study that proves anything beyond a placebo effect at work. I'd be suprised if something like that breaks the laws of the universe could be proved and I won't hold my breath waiting for proof that praying to chocolate gives it magical health benefits. But hey, maybe these studies were genuine and properly conducted and you can provide the links. Fitting, though, given all that you'd said before that you end with an assertion for which you offer no proof.
  15. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    I hope you can too.
  16. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    Unfortunately not, no- see previous posts. Also, I don't think you worded that quite the way you intended; I actually agree with half of what you've said here.
  17. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    I'm not putting anything on your posts, I'm just contributing to this thread. Like I said, I don't want to see vulnerable people get duped. I'll address you directly only when you address me. Otherwise, all evidence suggests this guy is a dangerous charlatan and people should be warned that percieved benefits received from his "treatments" may not be what they seem.
  18. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    Ha, well yes. I wonder if we'll ever get such a study?
  19. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    And yes, it is a carnival trick. Known as the "blockhead trick".
  20. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    So shoving scissors up people's noses is completely redundant? I don't understand. Surely the proof that something was done would be that you'd be healed? Apparently he's making $400,000 a year from the herbs- seems a lot to grow and maintain them. Then again presumably he needs to cover the costs of the nose scissors and eye scalpels. As for the spirits...well, I won't go there.
  21. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    I know you're not trying to convince me, jess. I'm not trying to convince you, either- just other vulnerable people who may fall for this. Of course if you tell people they need to buy special herbs from you or they won't get better you are charging them, and apparently this has added up to quite a lot of income over the years for dear old John. The scissor thing is just a carnival trick that has been thoroughly debunked. And why would things as arbitrary as no sun, internet or reading affect healing? This just sounds like an easy way to blame the patient when the healing doesn't work. He can always find a way that you didn't follow his bizare and random rules, I'm sure.
  22. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    Ah, yes. The old "if it did not work, you did not follow the rules" line. Can be used every time. As for efficacy, Randi on faith healers again: "...when I investigated victims of the faith healers here, though EVERY ONE OF THEM claimed to have been healed, I found they fell into three classes: those who never had the illness in the first place, those who still had the illness, and those who had died of the illness before I got to interview them."
  23. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    It doesn't work though, does it. At least there's no real evidence that people leave this guy genuinely having their ailments cured. No, the placebo effect should not be dismissed. But it can only do so much and usually only in the short-term. After which point the patient is left with the realisation that they still in fact have cancer or epilepsy or whatever and have indeed been duped by a man using carnival tricks. I'd call that unethical, especially with him indirectly making money out of the whole thing too. I don't know if he's using these tricks (theatrical techniques seems a very generous spin for his "procedures") to genuinely try induce some kind of placebo healing or if he actually believes his own spiritual bullshit, but with a humble name like John of God I'm inclined to believe the latter. I don't know which is worse and I don't much care. But there is no evidence that it works- at the very least the majority of people will leave deeply disappointed having been given false hope. If that's not unethical I don't know what is. Randi puts it best: "In my professional opinion, I think I saw a first-class,heartless charlatan, with no respect for his paying victims. I believe that he should be in prison, not getting rich from the ailments of desperate, innocent, uninformed people."
  24. chrismo

    Brazil for treatment

    For balance, in case others are thinking of following suit: http://www.skepdic.com/johnofgod.html
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