Thursday, May 16, 2019

Ear Candling Ear Cones

Ear candling is procedure often used by alternative medicine practitioners for reasons they claim including:  removing toxins, relieving sinus pressure, curing ear infections, helping with vertigo, improving hearing, purifying blood and much more.  There is no scientific evidence to support any of those claims. Proponents often show some nasty discoloured gook in the candle after a session as proof.  This stuff actually is the residue from the candle itself. Just burning one without use on an ear has the same exact effect as with use on an ear. Tests have shown that there is not enough suction created from ear candling to cause ear wax to be pulled from the ear.

Health Canada considers ear candles to be Medical Devices and as such require licenses for the sale of them.  Since they are considered dangerous, Health Canada has not issued any licenses and therefore, the sale, and import of any ear candle is illegal.  They recommend if you do have compacted wax to seek a health care professional who will use proper equipment to remedy the problem.

A quick look recently in the Windsor/Essex County Ontario area revealed many places offering this illegal service.

My advice is to avoid this service completely and to also question the validity of the establishments that are offering and obvious scam.

Additional Info 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Plasma Pens

What are Plasma Pens (aka Plasma Life, Fibroblast)?

According to Health Canada : "Plasma pens are small handheld medical devices that generate electrical discharges on the surface of the skin, which causes a controlled burn and spreads heat throughout the targeted area. They are promoted for cosmetic skin treatments such as eyelid lifts, wrinkle reduction and the removal of moles, skin tags, scars and spots."

These devices can pose health risks (burning/scarring being the obvious  and most common complaints).  These devices are also not authorized to be sold in Canada as they are classified as medical devices.  They are often sold to "health spas" (which is laughable as most spas offer little to nothing that aids in health).  These devices should only be used in licensed medical and surgical settings and not for cosmetic purposes. 

Some spas claim that the plasma pens can help in one looking young, a kind of simple facelift.  A rule of thumb here is if you really want a facelift, seek a qualified plastic surgeon, not someone with little to no medical training. 

Other claims can be of getting rid of blemishes and scarring.  This is ironic as scarring can often be a side effect of this procedure.  Again seek qualified medical persons like a dermatologist and not someone with little to no medical training. 

The photos attached are from an acupuncture clinic.  Acupuncture is nonsense to begin with and they can often be seen utilizing other questionable and useless practices and so-called therapies to increase their income by fleecing a gullible public. 

Here you can see the outrageous cost

If you see any spa or business offering this type of service, do not use it.  Report it to Health Canada (other countries may or may not consider them problematic...check with your governments health sector)

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Citric Acid and Mold

This meme was posted by a person on Facebook.  It is supposed to instill fear of citric acid also known as ascorbic acid or Vitamin C.  Here's a surprise:  He's basically correct here with the information.

The majority of the manufactured citric acid (MCA) that is produce is manufactured with the use of black mold, specifically Aspergillus Niger (A. Niger).  In 1917 James Currie discovered that the strains of mold could efficiently produce citric acid. A. Niger are fed a sucrose or glucose-containing medium to produce citric acid. Afterwards, the mold is filtered out of the resulting solution. Citric acid is then isolated by precipitating it with calcium hydroxide to produce calcium citrate salt. From this it is treated with sulfuric acid to produce citric acid.   The use of calcium hydroxide and sulfuric acid is the same process used to extract citric acid from natural fruit juices.

It has been discovered by using gamma radiation to cause mutagenisis, A. Niger can increase its production of citric acid two fold.

Now is any of this a problem.  No.  The citric acid is chemically exactly the same as the citric acid found in oranges.   Where a substance comes from has no bearing on its safety.  Any properties of concern that one may have about A. Niger does not magically imprint (or whatever these people are thinking) onto the final product.  It almost seems these fear-mongerers are playing an adult game of "cooties". 

To stress the point, the person who posted this meme on Facebook considers himself a "truther" and spouts a lot of nonsense and conspiracy theories.  Paranoia and tinfoil hats may be an understatement when following this guy as can be seen in this post:

Yup.  He's one of those people.