Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Australian "Live Blood Screening Test" via ND Reed, and What Quackwatch and Wikipedia Reveal

here, I cite from a recent article about an Australian naturopath who uses dark field microscopy [see 001., below]; then from scientific criticism of the practice [see 002., below]; and finally from the ND's practice pages [see 003., below]: 

001. the Northern Star in Australia's New South Wales reports in "Blood Put Under Microscope at Expo" (2011-04-25)[saved 2011-04-24; my comments are in bold]:

"[caption] Byron Bay naturopath Rachael Reed performs a live blood screening test [LBST] at the Starlight Wellbeing Expo at the Bangalow A & I Hall [...main text] standing out from the many rainbow-colored stallholders at the Starlight Wellbeing Expo at Bangalow over the weekend, naturopath Rachael Reed’s tools of trade are a microscope and laptop computer [...she] pricked my finger, squeezed a tiny drop of blood on to a slide and as she peered through the microscope [...she said she] would 'read' me at a cellular level [...] an image of my blood cells appeared [...on her] laptop screen [...]";

sounds TECHNICAL, MEDICAL, DIAGNOSTIC.

"after studying naturopathy at Southern Cross University [SCU] and working at allergy clinics in Perth and Brisbane, Ms Reed returned to Byron Bay where she now offers live blood screening which visually shows what state of health a patient is in, complemented by naturopathic advice [...]";

SCU places naturopathy within a department of "Health and Human Sciences".  An 'of interest' SCIENCE claim upon the 'naturopathic context'.

"from the image on the screen, this reporter’s white blood cells are 'viable' and A-okay. There isn’t any sign of illness or infection, but my red blood cells are looking a tad small and 'fragile', which could indicate an iron deficiency and would explain the fatigue I’ve experienced recently [...]";

sounds like a specific diagnosis.

"'it can be hugely motivating for people to see exactly what their health issues are, right there on the screen,' Ms Reed said. 'It can help pinpoint issues at a cellular level.'"

sounds like this one drop of blood is being used as if it can provide specific physiological / pathological insight.

002. scientific criticism:

002.a. Quackwatch schwacks LBST, stating:

"dark-field microscopy is a valid scientific tool in which special lighting is used to examine specimens of cells and tissues. The objects being viewed stand out against a dark background—the opposite of what occurs during regular microscopy. This allows the observer to see things that might not be visible with standard lighting. Connecting a television monitor to a microscope for diagnostic purposes is also a legitimate practice. However, live cell analysis is not. Most of its users are chiropractors, naturopaths, or bogus 'nutrition consultants.'"

002.b. Wikipedia states:

"live blood analysis (LBA), live cell analysis, or nutritional blood analysis is the use of high-resolution dark field microscopy to observe live blood cells in vitro. It is promoted by some alternative medicine practitioners, who assert that it can diagnose a range of diseases. Live blood analysis is an 'unestablished diagnostic test': its methods are not generally accepted in laboratory practice [...] there is no scientific evidence for the validity of live blood analysis, and it has been described as a pseudoscientific, bogus and fraudulent medical test. Live blood testing has also been described as a fraudulent means of convincing a patient that they are ill and require treatment with dietary supplements."

Note: oh snap!

003. ND Reed states [also here]:

003.a. along with other practitioners in "Services" [vsc 2011-04-25]:

"live blood analysis: you may have had blood test before but nothing compares to seeing your own blood live on a screen in front of you. Only 1 or 2 drops of blood are needed to to see the size, shape and ratios of the red blood cells, white cells and platelets in the blood.  These can then be explained to you by your experienced practitioner, in terms of how they relate to your health."

003.b. in "Live Blood Screening" [vsc 2011-04-24]:

"fast, effective, accurate and reliable. Improve your clinical results with hemaview [...] a scientific screening tool that allows your practitioner to assess your health at a cellular level [...]";

that's quite a promise!

"with just one drop of your blood your practitioner will use Hemaview to investigate your health. Your blood is examined under a microscope before you. You view your blood on a live monitor while your practitioner describes your findings. Your practitioner will use your blood screen to asses your health and design a comprehensive treatment plan [...]';

here are her fees.  Sounds like treatment based on a test whose reliability and what-not are inaccurately portrayed.

"you will also receive a computer generated report of your findings including detailed interpretations for your records. Hemaview increases the success in treatment outcomes as it allows your practitioner to correct your health at a cellular level [...providing] pictures and interpretations; treatment recommendations; compare your reports before and after treatment; assess key health markers such as inflammation, liver stress, oxidative damage, leaky gut syndrome, immune deficiencies, nutritional deficiencies, bacterial infection, viral infection, parasite infection."

Note: sounds AMAZING!

004. just another example of naturopathic nonsense.

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