Wednesday, March 21, 2018

An Earful on EarSeeds

"Lend me your ears!"

Earseeds are very that is based on acupressure.  Acupressure is an offshoot of acupuncture, with the difference being non-invasive (no needles).  Both follow the wonky idea of vitalism or life energy flowing through meridians.  Meridians and acupuncture points have never been shown to actually exist and neither has this supposed “life energy” been measured.  I have had some people try to show me that some meridian lines and acupuncture points do line up with nerves in the body.  That is not surprising that some will happen to by chance because there are over 2000 claimed points.  I stress again, with that many points one is bound to have some hits that line up with nerves.  If one can’t measure the supposed life energy, then any random lining up is meaningless.  You can see more from the fine folks at Science Based Medicine here:

I hadn’t heard of EarSeeds until just two days before writing this post.  By the name I thought maybe people were putting things in their ear canal.  Thankfully this isn’t so.   EarSeeds are tiny seeds, metal pellets or crystals (some plated in 24 karat gold) that are placed on acupressure points on the ear, held there by tan adhesive tape.  The metal pellets are held in place with clear tape for some reason that is not explained except saying it “is less conspicuous.”  This is bizzare as I guess their customers only have tan coloured skin.  One would think that if their customer base had a variety of skin tones, the tan colour tape could be less conspicuous for those with darker skin.

At the bottom they of course have the standard disclaimer “All material on is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical treatment. The statements on have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, nor are they intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”   I’m not sure how it’s educational to learn about this stuff except in the context of learning about bunk and quackery.  This disclaimer also discredits their claims (including testimonials which they allow and thus I consider an endorsement of medical claims) on their website of helping with earaches, headaches, back pain, stress and to quit smoking.  One claim clearly states “They cured my neck pain.”

Another interesting statement they make shows that acupuncture/acupressure points are not points at all.  “Although you do want to get very close to the designated point, the location of the point shown in each condition-specific kit is indicative of that general area.”  This is such a red flag that it amazes me that anyone takes this idea seriously.

A key point in noting is that the EarSeeds are not reusable.  This makes it very expensive.  While the actual plant seeds not being reusable, I can understand.  You have to store them in a cool, dry place.  You don’t want them growing.  So once on your ear, they will come in contact with moisture and bacteria.  Yeah you don’t want to reuse those as they would be hard to clean.   The metal and crystal ones, I don’t see why you couldn’t clean them.   Especially the crystal, gold-plated ones because they are costly starting at $32 for a refill 40 pack.  That may seem like a good deal for gold plated crystals, but don’t forget these are small and you need tweezers to put them on.

In a bizarre statement they warn that one should consult a doctor before using if one is pregnant.   Is this just a statement to make it seem like that these have some actual medicinal properties?  That is just silly.

So if one choosesto wear these as fashion accessory, then I can see a point.  If doing it for a medical reason, that just doesn’t make sense.  It also begs the question about people with piercings. Do they have less stress aches and pains?   One would think that some would be near enough to the general area to do something (if acupressure was an actual thing).  Of course this is not the case.   Buyer beware.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Red Lobster Free Entrees Anniversary Scam

Be warned. This is a scam. The first thing that tipped me off that this was "fishy" was that giving away 2 entrees to everyone is a lot of lost money. Second was that it was redeemable for a whole month. Again, that's a lot of lost money for the company. On looking it up, Red Lobster is celebrating it's 50th this year ( . I didn't find anything at snopes, hoax-slayer and other sites that show scams so I contacted Red Lobster. They got back to me pretty quick and this is their response:
"This is not a legitimate Red Lobster offer. Our internal team is working on investigating this further. Sign up for our Fresh Catch Newsletter to have our coupons emailed directly to you, or join our Fresh Alerts by texting “JOIN” to 67766 from your smartphone or tablet."

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Multi-Level Marketing and Dental Products

Be wary of products saying they will whiten teeth. Most have little to no effect and some will even have the opposite effect.

Fruit,vinegar and baking soda
Fruits and vinegar are acidic. While fruit is a great part of a good diet, prolonged exposure can damage tooth enamel.

Products with charcoal
There is no proof that charcoal is effective or safe for your teeth. Using abrasive materials can also have the effect of yellowing teeth by actually rubbing the enamel away (the party you are trying to whiten).

Oil Pulling and Turmeric
There simply isn't any evidence to support the idea that these can whiten teeth

If you are wanting to whiten your teeth, talk to your dentist first and use only ADA/CDA approved methods.

Also check out

I found out about a product this is not so good. AP24 sold by NuSkin. This MLM company has had multiple of its illegal selling and fraudulent practices fined over the years in various countries from China to the USA. It's been labelled a pyramid scheme by some. Here a dentist explains exactly what I said in my original post about mlm companies selling dental products. It is abrasive. I suggest not using this product.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Homeopathy and Autism in the Chronicle Herald

I came across this article via social media (a friend sent it to me as she saw it in the trending section).

Little did I know the rabbit hole I was going down...

I am really confused about it.  This is not even an article.  It seems to be some sort of endorsement for a book written by Amy Lansky.  This endorsement makes sure to add in PhD following the name, to of course add some credibility.  According to Wikipedia, Amy has a PhD (1983) in computer science from Stanford University.  I'm not sure how that applies to or makes her an expert in health concerns.  She apparently left the computer science field to study homeopathy.  Even though she took correspondence courses and some "clinical training" her biography does not claim that she is a homeopathic doctor (which is an oxymoron term if you ask me....more moron than anything else). Her timeline in her biography on her own website is confusing.   She started her studies in 1996. She didn't complete the advanced program.  She did clinical training for "several years."   She then edited a homeopathic journal for 2 years.  She then wrote about curing her son.  By her own admission the article she wrote about her son was in 1997.  I know I'm not good at math but even I can figure out that 1996 plus correspondence learning plus several years of clinical training and then 2 years of editing work equals more than 1 year later.

  Her book "Impossible Cure" is now used as a textbook for homeopaths.   Well that's kinda scary.  She didn't even complete the course but she is an expert enough to have a textbook?   Looking at her school's requirements are kinda scary as well.  No prerequisite is required as "Anyone can study homeopathy."  Their clinical training each year encompasses 2 day summer school in the UK or 20 hours in a program in Australia.  OK, so that makes her several years of clinical training suspect now.  Clearly, if one can so easily obtain a homeopathic degree, why would anyone trust them with their health?

Amy is also a proponent of other new-age quackery.  In her own words:  "1993. At that point, I became very interested in the possibility of higher-dimensions in space after watching an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine."  She uses these ideas to support the use of homeopathy and other pseudo-scientific practices.  She seems to think that these practices work because of unknown (and untestable) psychic/supernatural type phenomenon.

It is interesting to note that on her "Impossible Cure" website, it carries a lengthy disclaimer (as do many quack websites because they know their stuff is bunk and they could be sued over it) "This book is not intended to be a replacement for good medical diagnosis and treatment by a licensed physician..."  Here I have to agree but would go one step further and state that it is to be avoided at all costs.

This endorsement in the Chronicle Herald is written by Sarah Trask, who calls herself a "homeopathic doctor."  So this is why it doesn't read like a real article and is merely an ad for her practice.  The article doesn't give any real information.  That is because it is not there to inform but to mislead, give undue credibility to quackery and to promote her own self-interest.   Her own biography is ambiguous with unnamed illnesses she was supposedly cured of by homeopathy.  Of course you will never see real proof of these cures.  And you will often never hear of other proper medical treatment used by the cured (because who wants to admit that they also did several rounds of chemo when they can attribute being cured by homeopathy alone?).  Sarah even admits in her own way that homeopathy is a faith-based practice.

It really is sad that Sarah got away with writing a personal endorsement in a newspaper and trying to disguise it as an informative article. To claim that water (homepathy is diluted in water.  At 23C there is often not even a single molecule of the "active" ingredient present.  In the article it is claimed a silica 30C solution is used) can cure ASD (autism) is despicable.   Shame on the editor of CH.