Sunday, August 05, 2007

Talk presented at McGill University of Health Sciences (by a real medical physicist)

"Complementary and Alternative Cancer Therapies: How Quantum Mechanics and the Mind-Body Paradigm are Used to Explain Spontaneous Regression and Self-Healing."

Christian Janicki, Ph.D., Radiation Safety Manager, Quality Management, MUHC.

Talk Presented at the MUHC, Radiation Oncology Department, April 2nd 2007.


For many years, New Agers and spiritual gurus have claimed that all illnesses have a metaphysical origin and can be treated by a deep evaluation of long held negative emotional and spiritual attitudes. This modern age system of beliefs, although scientifically unproven, is adopted by a growing number of people in our modern society as it is being promoted relentlessly by self-help gurus, word of mouth, books, articles, news media and popular talk shows. For example, a New Age movie entitled "The Secret" (Law of Attraction) was featured recently as a "phenomenon that is sweeping the nation" on the popular TV show "Oprah". It featured a dream team of experts, self-help gurus and motivational speakers among which we find medical doctors, quantum physicists, psychologists, spiritual leaders and other psychics who support the claim, among other things, that cancer can be cured "without radiation or chemo" by the sheer application of will. Modern physics (quantum mechanics) and psychoneuroimmunology (mind-body paradigm) are some of the scientific disciplines that are being grossly distorted by pseudo-scientists and New Age gurus to support their health claims and to sell their technology, products or spiritual methods according to the critics. In this talk, we will explore the some of the origins of these claims (quantum mechanics and the mind-body connection) and try to explain the rational behind the NIH-NCCAM ongoing "Quantum Healing" cancer clinical trials. We will also discuss about the difficulties doctors may face with credulous patients who have been exposed to snake oil salesman's manipulative techniques and non falsifiable rhetoric, a powerful scam that may lead to self-selected medical neglect by well-intentioned True Believers.

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