Chronic Lyme disease is (almost certainly) a non-existent condition, but the diagnosis remains popular in woo-minded and (largely overlapping) conspiracy-minded groups. There is, accordingly, a thriving market for people who “diagnose” and “treat” chronic lyme disease, and they are often termed LLMDs, or “Lyme Literate” doctors. Some of these are spineless or deluded MDs; many are not. Patricia Slusher is not. Slusher is an “ND” – a naturopath, or not a doctor – and a “CN”, i.e. “certified nutritionist”. That certification means nothing, of course: Ben Goldacre once got his cat, which had been dead for years, registered as a certified member of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants – Slusher presumably got her certification from something called the American Health Science University, which you can read about here. She is, however, treating patients for “chronic Lyme disease”.
According to one of her patients, “[f]or the first 3 weeks my Lyme protocol consist of taking 3 supplements from Percision [sic] Herbs, LLC; LYX, Spirex and Puricell and spending 30 minutes 2X a week getting a Quad Zapper treatment.” The Quad zapper is a Hulda Clark device, no less. So, Slusher treats her patients with Hulda Clark devices and worthless supplements, as well as with homeopathy. It’s fortunate that chronic lyme is not a real disease. That, however, doesn’t clear Slusher of wrongdoing – her patients are clearly suffering, and taking their money is not likely to make things better.
Consultations with Slusher start out with “Quantum Reflex Analysis”, which is applied kinesiology with “quantum” added on (Slusher likes quantum mumbo jumbo), and an examination of the patient’s tongue, nails, and face. Then you can sign up for:
- The Zyto Biocommunication Health Evaluation, a bogus electrodermal diagnostic process using a biofeedback machine hooked up to a computer.
- Avalon Photonic Light Therapy (equally nonsensical).
- Distance Consultation and Testing: you don’t actually need to come to her office; sending a photo or handwriting sample will do.
- Saliva Hormone Testing. Yeah; no.
- Chromatherapy Light Goggles, because “God designed people to be exposed to full spectrum sunlight several hours a day”, with color pairings for various organ systems.
- A chi modulator.
- Meridian therapy.
Slusher, who describes herself as an energy medicine “doctor”, obtained her naturopathic “degree” from the Trinity College of Natural Health; now, accreditations by the official naturopathic college organization, the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Colleges, really shouldn’t convey any sort of authority either, but it is worth pointing out that even they don’t recognize Trinity.
Diagnosis: You probably have to be stupid or desperate to fall for any of this, but those are precisely the characteristics of the victims Slusher targets. Complete and utter bollocks.
Hat-tip: Harriet Hall @ Sciencebased medicine