Monday, November 30, 2020

#2412: Mark Wiley

Mark Wiley presents himself as a “doctor of both Oriental and Alternative medicine, best selling author, martial art master and international seminar instructor.” He is, in other words, not a doctor, even though he doesn’t hesitate to don a lab coat for his promotional materials, e.g. his book Arthritis Reversed (“pioneering doctor heals himself of crippling arthritis; find out why most doctors NEVER offer you these pain-reversing solutions”). Instead, Wiley does ostensibly have a Ph. D. in Alternative Medicine from something called the Indian Institute of Alternative Medicine, in association with the Open International University for Complementary Medicine, as well as an O.M.D. in Oriental Medicine from the Philippine-Chinese Association of Tui-Na, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. Which is just about as impressive as spam.


Wiley has, however, channeled his woo into something called the Wiley Method, an apparently not entirely unsuccessful business that combines Traditional Chinese Medicine and very medieval-European pseudoreligious vitalism. According to Wiley (who might just be JAQing off), one source of illness is something he calls “blood stagnation”. As evidence, Wiley points out that lots of Americans suffer from, among other things, heart disease and iron deficiency, which is, to put it mildly, not evidence that his diagnosis has any basis in reality whatsoever (it doesn’t). As Wiley sees it: “Blood is formed by the essence of the food and beverages we consume. This essence is extracted by the energetic function of the spleen and stomach, which also produce qi or life force. Once formed, blood circulates not only in the veins but throughout the body by way of the meridian complex. It is jointly controlled by the heart (which dominates blood and vessels and circulates it), the liver (which promotes the free-flow of qi, stores blood and regulates blood volume in circulation), and by the spleen (which controls the blood and prevents hemorrhaging).” Needless to say, this is not remotely how the human body, or nutrition, works. One is almost led to suspect that his degrees ain’t worth shit.


In any case, blood stagnation can ostensibly be caused by qi, or life force, deficiency, which may be caused by an excess of heat or cold or whatever in the blood itself and express itself as virtually any symptom you present to Wiley. It is surely an effective business model if targeted at a particular audience.


Diagnosis: Utter nonsense, of course. One can’t help but wonder whether Wiley himself believes in the bullshit he peddles, but he probably does. You really shouldn’t, though.


Hat-tip: respectful insolence

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