Friday, January 08, 2010

Physiotherapy, "Foot reflexology" and Ayurveda: Lots of Juju but Mostly Chicanery

 Today New York Times published an interesting note on how increasing evidences argue that physical therapies do not work and more to it, it can actually aggravate injuries; such as "taping an ankle to immobilize it". Massages, including that uses ice and heat, ultrasound etc., are deemed utterly as waste of time and money by the evidence-based modern medicine. One of the largest study so far conducted for assessing efficacy of physiotherapy-as it also known as, researchers concluded that there are no convincing evidences that support this form of topical, alternative therapy relieves common heel pain.

Known as marma-therapy, physical therapy are an integral part of Ayurveda and that are, like any forms of massages in general and elsewhere, absurdly expensive. Here in India, Ayurveda is highly subsidized business with some 100 government ayurvedic medical colleges around India; every municipalities having one government Ayurvedic hospital. In the light of increasing evidences that rubbishes its very practice, what we need is a critical analysis, do we really need this kind of alternative therapy a.k.a., state-sponsored charlatans?

Instead of encouraging the practice of Ayurveda-something totally unfounded by modern science, Indian government should channel billions of dollars worth spending to something more worth spending, say on family planning or fighting child malnutrition. Sure, we will loose few millions earned from Ayurveda-oriented tourism, but given its big picture-a big white elephant in modern, economically aspiring India, banning Ayurveda, like any pseudoscience for that matter, makes perfect sense to me.

And on a related note, last time when I was at Indira Gandhi International Airport at New Delhi I find it real funny seeing these electric leg massage installations. They have a fancy name for those little machines, "foot reflexology". Right, these are free for passengers and definitely misconstrue them have an image of how an "ultra modern" country India is...oh come on, why fooling them? Everyone knows ours is a country with more than half a billion utterly destitute citizens, child mortality rates some of the highest in the world, poorer than around 150 countries in the word...why then shameless show-ff to conceal rotting, cancerous internal problems-for sure are fueled by corrupt politicians and illiteracy? And why would India burn carbon for this absolutely insane leg spa, and that too for the benefit of transit passengers-a major portion of them are foreigners whom we don't tax? Let me make this point clearer; not these fancy electric foot-massage machines or pseudoscience named Ayurveda we need, but development at grass-root; education and eradication of poverty has to be our priority number one; let's not imitate CDG (I haven't seen any free foot massage machines there anyway), but lets follow footsteps of Costa Rica, world's most content country!

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Jacoblrishly said...

Yes, it is alleged physiotherapy aswell referred to as concrete analysis - no medicine, alone application concrete abetment and bulletin of a patient's body. This is abnormally for disorders like affliction or injury.

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prabhas said...

Thanks for sharing information
Ayurveda therapies when applied with skill and care work on both the physical and psychological levels to invigorate, relax and ease pain or tension from stiff aching muscles, boost circulation and alleviate mental stress, soothing the soul and fostering balance and serenity.