Acupuncture CME

Mark Cirslip at Science-Based Medicine examines the curious fact that Harvard (through Brigham and Women’s Hospital) offers several types of quack training:

(…) So if Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School are offering continuing medical information (CME) for acupuncture, there must be something to it, right? A course called “Structural Acupuncture for Physicians” must have some validity.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, includes the Oscher Clinical Center for Complementary and Integrative Medical Therapies. The Oscher center offers acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic and a variety of other modalities including craniosacral therapy.

There are few things, in a world of alternative nonsense, as nonsensical as craniosacral therapy .

A craniosacral therapy session involves the therapist placing their hands on the patient, which they say allows them to tune into what they call the craniosacral system. The practitioner gently works with the spine and the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia. In this way, the restrictions of nerve passages are said to be eased, the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord is said to be optimized, and misaligned bones are said to be restored to their proper position.

(…) Let’s see, cost of the class: $6650. For that kind of cash, who needs ethics? That’s right, if you are a Harvard-affiliated hospital you can charge the cost of two loaded, top-of-the-line MacBook Pros to teach magic. I bet they get it. “Harvard-trained acupuncturist” would look great on a business card and provide instant credibility. A quick google finds practitioners whose websites mention the Harvard course for their training. Premium price for premium nonsense.

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