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The woo treatment to end all woo treatments

Woo being, of course, all those strange claims that are made about the medical effects of coffee enemas, fruitarian diets, Freudian psychoanalysis and all the rest.

And one of them is of course that the merest hint of radiation will kill us all in our beds. Another is that natural stuff is better for us than any \”chemicals\”. You know, don\’t take a drug for a condition, go have a sauna and a \’nana sort of thing.

Then the two meet:

At the Gastein healing caves, in Radhausberg mountain, a controversial form of therapy with radioactive radon gas is used to treat a long list of medical conditions, including arthritis and other joint pain, chronic bronchitis and skin conditions such as my psoriasis.

Yup, now we\’ve got woo that positively revels in radioactivity:

But doctors at the clinic in Austria say the radon in the caves is completely safe. ‘Scientific studies have shown exposure to low-dosage radon stimulates DNA repair, antioxidant action and immune response. And no adverse effects have ever been reported,’ says Dr Liane Weber, who has worked at the clinic for a decade, alongside a team of physiotherapists and massage therapists.

The argument that low-level radon may be healing is based upon a scientific principle called hormesis. Small doses of a particular substance may be beneficial – even if high doses are harmful or lethal.

It\’s enough to make Helen Caldicott\’s head asplode.

6 thoughts on “The woo treatment to end all woo treatments”

  1. Has “head asplode” spread so far that people are no using it with no knowledge of where it came from? Or does Timmy watch HomestarRunner after all.

  2. It’s nice how we’re sliding so rapidly into the past. Back in the 1920s, radioactive health products were big business; not just that one famous radium drink that made a bloke’s head dissolve, but you could buy healthful radium products of all kinds, in particular super-healthy radium cigarettes. All the packaging and advertising showed the customers bathed in a healthful orange glow. Like Ready Brek, but instead of getting a full tummy to set you up for the school day, you got cancer.

  3. Helen Caldicott head asplode ? is that short for head up arse explode?

    When I first came across the deranged batshit bonkers old trout being worshipped by a bunch Glastonbury witches I must confess to being surprised that they were paying court to an actual medical doctor – needn’t have worried as it turned out – I left with prejudices entirely intact.

  4. Dammit, Ian B beat me to the 1920s woo. “A Cure For The Living Dead” is an excellent marketing slogan, and “The Radium Water Worked Fine Until His Jaw Came Off” has long been one of my favourite headlines.

  5. So Much for Subtlety

    Hey Tim is not being fair. There is little evidence that coffee enemas do much for your health (I will not speak for your sexual preferences, because if that is what you are into, that is fine by me). There is some evidence that low levels of radiation are good for you.

    There is a study of a Taiwanese apartment building that was built using recycled steel from a hospital radiation machine. Everyone got exposed over years. One rare type of cancer went up, but everything else went down.

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