Quackery

Quackery is the promotion of fraudulent or ignorant medical practices.

A “quack”, a “fraudulent or ignorant pretender to skill” or “a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, or qualifications he or she does not possess; a charlatan“. 

When someone states that they are healing someone this door opens.

What healing has become a popular word to use for just about everything as well as transformation, growth, and many others. Most people do not realize the amount of deception and lies being lived in this area of “profession”. Ayurveda is not standardized at all in the West. You can hang a sign up and just start talking and believe it or not most people will start listening. Most of the people who are of name and fame in this area are not of high education or high knowledge of Ayurveda. From anyone that does have a higher education than the western books written by these people, it is obvious. So what does this make the practitioners then?

 

This is a clip from someone elses site on Deepak Chopra. Chopra gives out certifications like candy and they have a high bill to them to validate them i guess. This is not to pick on Deepak but to maybe enliven some truth out there because as far as ayurveda goes in the West, there is not much.

 

The son of a New Delhi cardiologist, Deepak Chopra was born in 1947 and graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in 1968. After interning at a New Jersey hospital, he trained for several more years at the Lahey Clinic and the University of Virginia Hospital and became board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology. Although he developed a thriving practice and became chief of staff at New England Memorial Hospital, he became increasingly uneasy about his situation.

Chopra’s autobiography (Return of the Rishi) describes what impelled him toward ayurveda. One “pivotal” experience involved “pulse diagnosis” by Brihaspati Dev Triguna, “the preeminent living Ayurvedic physician,” who, in 1981, told Chopra that his life was “moving too fast” and he was in danger of developing heart disease. Triguna advised Chopra to sit silently each morning, spend more time with his wife and children, chew his food slowly, make sure his bowels move at the same time every day, and eat skinned almonds slowly in the morning.

Another factor in Chopra’s conversion was his experience with transcendental meditation (TM), which he credits for helping him stop “drinking black coffee by the hour and smoking at least a pack of cigarettes a day.” TM is a technique in which the meditator sits with eyes closed and mentally repeats a Sanskrit word or mantra for 15 to 20 minutes, twice a day. TM is alleged to help people think more clearly, improve their memory, recover immediately from stressful situations, reverse their aging process, and enjoy life more fully. Proponents also claim that “stress is the basis of all illness” and that TM is the “most effective thing you can do to improve all aspects of health and to increase inner happiness and learning ability.” Meditation may temporarily relieve stress—as would many types of relaxation techniques—but the rest of these claims have no scientific basis. Most diseases (including cancer) are not stress-related, and stress-reduction has no proven effect on the course of most illnesses.

In 1984, Chopra met the Maharishi, who encouraged him to learn about Ayurveda. Chopra did so, although where was that education and how deep it was is unknown, and in 1985 he became director of the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Center for Stress Management in Lancaster, Massachusetts. He also founded and became president of the American Association for Ayurvedic Medicine and Maharishi Ayur-Veda Products International (MAPI). The FDA inspected MAPI in 1991 and 1992 after an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association alleged that the company was distributing products for treating AIDS, cancer, and other diseases. An FDA report that summarized the inspection findings noted that Chopra had been MAPI’s sole stockholder until September 1987, when the stock was transferred to the tax-exempt Maharishi Ayurveda Foundation and that Chopra’s attorney said that Chopra was no longer associated in any way with MAPI. MAPI is now called Maharishi Ayurveda Products.

In 1993, Chopra abandoned these ties and moved to San Diego, where he became executive director of the Sharp Institute for Human Potential and Mind/Body Medicine (part of a large mainstream medical organization) and opened a treatment facility called the Center for Mind/Body Medicine, which charged $1,125 to $3,200 for its week-long “purification” program. He also marketed seminars, books and herbal products through Quantum Publications, which was owned by him and his family. Most of the products were marketed under the brand name “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind.”

Many other herbal preparations have been marketed through ayurvedic physicians who could purchase them at a 30% discount for resale to their patients. A catalog from the late 1980s refers to these products as “food supplements” but states which ones are useful (“as a dietary complement”) for cancer, epilepsy, poliomyelitis, schizophrenia, tuberculosis, and more than 80 other ailments. Another publication, marked “confidential,” lists “indications according to disease entities” for about seventy products identified by number. Practitioners could also select remedies with “Maharishi Ayurveda Treatment and Prevention Programs,” a computer program copyrighted in 1987 by Maharishi Ayurveda Corporation of America, that generated reports for both the doctor and the patient. The data entered included disease codes and body types. Federal law requires that products marketed with therapeutic claims be generally recognized by experts as effective for their intended use. I do not believe that these products met federal approval criteria, which would mean that such marketing was illegal. The documents to which I refer were collected between 1987 and 1991. I don’t know whether these distribution systems still exist or when they were set up.

Quantum Publications’ 1995 catalog offered books, inspirational tapes, musical tapes (some for each dosha), skin-care products, massage oils, seasonings (for each dosha), and herbal formulas. The catalog stated:

Ancient Ayurvedic texts describe each herb as a packet of vibrations that specifically match a vibration in the quantum mechanical body. All bodily organs, for example, the liver, the stomach and the heart are built up from a specific sequence of vibrations at the quantum level. In the case of a malfunction, some disruption of the proper sequence in these vibrations is at fault. According to Ayurveda, a herb exists with this exact same sequence, and when applied, it can help restore the organ’s functioning.

The formulas included OptiEnergy (“for energizing and balancing the physiology”), OptiMind (to aid mental activity), OptiMan, and OptiWoman. Several products named after organs or diseases were identified as “supplements . . . to be taken only when recommended by a health professional trained in Ayurveda.” These included OptiHep, OptiNeph, OptiCardio and OptiRheum. In 1995, an “American Journal” producer had samples of nine products tested by two laboratories, which reported that all of them contained insect fragments.

In July 1995, Californian Jonie Flint filed suit against Chopra, Triguna, The Sharp Institute, and various other individuals and organizations. Flint’s husband David, who was suffering from leukemia, had consulted Triguna in April 1993. According to the complaint, Triguna was represented as a licensed health professional (which he is not) and concluded that David’s liver function was down and that he had “heat” in his spleen and bone marrow, “wind” in his stomach, and pressure on his nerves. Triguna recommended dietary changes, “purification” treatment, and various herbal products. David then underwent treatment at the Lancaster clinic and purchased and used Maharishi Amrit Kalash and several other products. He also consulted Chopra, who performed pulse diagnosis and provided a mantra for “quantum sound treatment.” (This is a technique—also called “primordial sound treatment”—described in one of Chopra’s books as “similar to meditation, but . . . prescribed for specific illnesses, including those we consider incurable in the West, such as cancer.”) In December 1993, Triguna retested David’s pulse and declared that his leukemia was gone. It was not, however, and David died four months later. The suit charged that the $10,000 he spent for ayurvedic services and products was obtained by fraud. Unfortunately, Flint lacked the resouces to pursue her suit, so the accuracy of her allegations could not be investigated under courtroom conditions.

Whether Chopra practiced medicine after leaving Massachusetts is not clear. In 1995, a reporter who investigated his activities for New York magazine noted that Chopra was not licensed to practice medicine in California. When she asked how he could see patients, a Sharp publicist replied, “He sees patients, but not as a doctor.”

As far as I know, Chopra has stopped seeing patients but devotes his time to writing, lecturing, and other promotional activities. In 1997, Newsweek reported that he charged $25,000 for most of his lecture programs [5]. He parted with Sharp in 1996 and became “educational director” of the Chopra Center in La Jolla, California. A press release describes the Center as “a 14,000-square-foot haven for relaxation and healing . . . featuring educational programs for the integration of mind, body, spirit, and environment.” Chopra’s web site has stated that that the treatments will:

  • Enliven the connection between body, mind, emotions and spirit
  • Reduce stress and increase creativity through meditation and creative visualization
  • Restore balance and vitality with nutrition and herbs
  • Enhance strength and flexibility through yoga and exercise
  • Consciously use the 5 senses to energize and purify the mind and body
  • Remove emotional roadblocks to improve communication skills and realize greater personal and career achievements.

Other goodies on Chopra’s site have included an an interactive Body Type Test, the Dosha Quiz, the Chopra Center Store of Infinite Possibilities, from which products could be ordered, and Testimonials from four people who were treated at the center. One, a golfer, reported that he had just shot the best 18-hole round of his life.

In December 2004, A Medline search was conducted to see whether Chopra had published any data in scientific journals. Nothing was found.

 

 

So who are you believing? What are you believing?

 

You got a rapist multi millionaire as the most popular “yoga” style across the world and you have quack top Ayurveda people as the most popular as well. What world do you live in?

 

 

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