Hey it pays the bills

It’s all very well to diss the very idea of alternative medicine (alternative to what? the kind that works?) but what you don’t seem to understand is that people will spend money on it, and not in small quantities, either.

Feeling a tad listless? Perhaps your DNA is insufficiently activated. You may want to consult the healers at Oughten House Foundation, specializing in “tools and techniques for self-empowerment . . . through DNA Activations.” Oughten House recommends regular therapy as part of its DNA Activation Healing Project, at $125 per hour-long session.

$125 for…waving your hands around gently, or turning the dials on a convincing-looking Machine of some sort, or handing out a banana milkshake, and calling that ‘DNA Activation.’ Not a bad haul.

[W]hat was once a ragtag assortment of New Age nostrums has metastasized into a multibillion-dollar industry championed by dozens of lobbyists and their congressional sympathizers. Among the most popular therapies are acupuncture, at $50 to $100 per session; reflexology, which involves massaging various parts of the hands and feet, starting at $35 an hour; and aromatherapy, which relies on the supposed healing properties of about 40 “essential oils,” with treatments at $30 to $90 an hour.

Well – look, at least those people probably won’t be needing a bailout or an emergency loan or an adjusted mortgage. At least the practitioners are making a living. Maybe we should all do it, and then there’d be no more Economic Disaster.

Major hospital systems, notably Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins and New York’s Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, incorporate CAM-based programs like aromatherapy and therapeutic touch, often bracketed as “integrative medicine.”… “We’re all channeling East Indian healers along with doing gall-bladder removal,” says Arthur Caplan, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics. Mr. Caplan harbors no illusions about what’s behind the trend: “It’s not as noble as, ‘I want to be respectful to Chinese healing arts.’ It’s more, ‘People are spending a fortune on this stuff! We could do this plus our regular stuff and bill ’em for all of it!'”

Well quite. I’m strongly tempted to hang out a shingle myself. I think I’d be really good at activating people’s DNA.

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