Thursday, July 16, 2020

#2361: Gina Tyler

Gina Tyler is a California-based healer and classical homeopath (a “DHom”, as if that should lend her some authority on matters related to reality). Now, many proponents of alternative medicine view their quackery as complementary – indeed, it’s a serious marketing ploy: add my bullshit to your reality-based medicine, it can’t hurt, and might even lead you to believe that my bullshit had any causative effect on your improvement. Tyler’s strategy is refreshingly different: her recommendations are intended as “an alternative to toxic prescription drugs used by allopathic medical doctors”. You see, as Tyler sees it, scientific evidence is really a tool of oppression used by Big Pharma to suppress people like here, who’d rather base her recommendations (explicitly) on anecdotes, intuition and incoherent, pseudo-metaphysical speculations; she does recommend, though, that those who have a genuine problem seek out a “professional homeopath” so that they and not she can be saddled with the responsibility for neglect and malpractice concerns when their bullshit fails to address and rather worsen any actual, real condition people may suffer from.
Hat-tip: I fucking hate pseudoscience
As Tyler sees it, causes of health problems include “stress, trauma (emotional as well as physical trauma), chemical toxins, suppressive allopathic medications and the over-use of pain-pills and other factors,” and the “problems can all be addressed by the use of herbs, homeopathy and a drastic change of eating/drinking habits.” As for real medicine, “excessive use of allopathic medication can cause major imbalances sometimes thought as a secondary illness” (one may or may not have liked to hear her explain how those “imbalances” are identified and measured – she consistently refers to “imbalances” when talking about medical conditions), which doctors will then go on to treat with more medications, and off you go: Real, science-based medicine is just a scam. Tyler’s recommendations, on the other hand, are all gloriously free from the oppressive constraints of evidence and accountability. Curiously, she refers to science-based medicine as “western” medicine, as if homeopathy was somehow less, well, German. She also alludes to the old, ridiculously nonsensical gambit, beloved by quacks everywhere, that real medicine only addresses the symptoms and not the underlying cause of an illness. And as opposed to real medical doctors in the clutches of Big Pharma, Tyler solemnly declares that she is free from conflicts of interest: “I do not advocate a particular product or product company. I have nothing to gain by your use of a certain brand of herb or homeopathic remedy.” Her consultation fees are $410 for chronic problems and $130 for a brief, acute consultation (without assuming responsibility and accountability for any consequences, of course).

Hat-tip: Dawkins foundation
We haven’t bothered (because the link on her webpage doesn’t take us to those writings but instead to another homeopathy webpage) to check out her writings on “miasms” – ostensibly “the roots of disease” in classical homeopathy, but really an escape hatch Hahnemann invented to explain why his remedies didn’t work; anyone entertaining the notion that medicine has made some progress since the 1300s might anyways see some red flags at the mention of “miasma”. Tyler is, of course, also hardcore antivaccine (what did you expect?), and has apparently written about how homeopathy can help treat vaccinosis. Apparently she also does reflexology and aromatherapy, since once you have embraced the silliest nonsense out there (homeopathy) there is little reason not to embrace the rest as well – practice drift is a well known feature of quackery. 

Diagnosis: Dangerous bullshit. And no: although most of the claims are so silly they could be great fun, Tyler is a genuine threat to the health and well-being of genuine people in difficult situations.

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