The only thing that makes a medical theory or practice ‘alternative’ is the fact that it hasn’t been accepted by the mainstream medical community – yet. And when the world is teeming with such ideas, there are bound to be some that are a bit strange, to say the least. These 12 bizarre modern-day alternative medical treatments and theories range from “offbeat but possibly effective” to “what they hell are they thinking?”
Cryogenic Chamber Therapy
(image via: the daily mail)
We’ve all heard about cryogenic freezing, the process of suspending bodies in liquid nitrogen just in case science is ever able to reawaken them for another shot at life. But could spending even just a few minutes in a cryogenic chamber improve the life you’re living now? Cryotherapy advocates say that three minutes of whole-body exposure to temperatures of minus 120 degrees Fahrenheit shocks your system, sending out a jolt of hormones that relieve pain, boost immune response and even improve sporting performance.
Urine Health Tonic
(image via: crimsong19)
Urine isn’t waste – it’s nourishment. In fact, one website touting urine therapy even says that “urine can be compared to the leftovers from a meal”. Yum. Drinking one’s own urine is said by some to cure a wide range of ills including cancer, heart disease, allergies, diabetes and athsma. While this practice has occurred for thousands of years, no medical benefit has ever been proven.
(image via: divineerror)
If you’re depressed, maybe it’s because inherited emotional imprints got passed down from your ancestors. So says the theory of DNA healing – the method of removing such handicaps. The exact process by which this is purportedly done is unclear (though DNA healers claim it can be done over the phone), but proponents even claim that it can release you from genetic tendencies like alcoholism and cancer.
(image via: fresh breath uk)
Being squeezed down a tight canal from a warm and cozy relaxation chamber into the bright, cold world can be traumatic, but proponents of “rebirthing therapy” believe that trauma can be undone through “conscious and connected breathing”. Rebirthing Breathwork supposedly allows one to let go of current psychological and physical problems by recalling aspects of birth, gestation and early childhood to release unwanted emotions that accompany those experiences.
Energy-Deflecting Golfer Pendant
(image via: emf news)
Have you noticed that many golfers tend to wear a strange pendant while out on the course? That little black or silver triangular pendant isn’t a fashion statement. Many golfers swear by the ‘QLink’ pendant, which is said to increase mental and physical performance and lower stress levels by recharging your ‘biofield’, an invisible energy force that extends beyond the body and can be affected by all sorts of daily disturbances like electromagnetism. Do biofields really exist? Surprisingly, some mainstream scientists say it’s possible.
Maggot Debridement Therapy
(image via: zimpenfish)
Maggots will forever be associated with death and decay because – well – that’s just how they roll. These little white squirming fly larvae thrive on all things disgusting, from rotting food to putrefying flesh, which is exactly why they work so well to clean out infected wounds. The age-old treatment called maggot debridement therapy, while just recently considered antiquated, is now enjoying a resurgence of popularity due to the advent of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Placed in a wound, the maggots actually dissolve infected tissue, kill the bacteria and promote healing. Once all the dead and infected tissue is gone, they seek to exit the wound and are removed.
Kill Cancer-Causing Parasites
(image via: wikimedia commons)
“All cancers are alike. They are all caused by a parasite. A single parasite! It is the human intestinal fluke. And if you kill this parasite, the cancer stops immediately. The tissue becomes normal again. In order to get cancer, you must have this parasite. . . .” So claimed Dr. Hulda Clark, naturopath and author of the books “Cure For All Cancers” and “Cure for All Diseases”. If only it were that easy. Ironically, Clark herself died of cancer in 2009.
(image via: oakley originals)
Like maggots, leeches seem like they should be avoided at all costs. But it turns out that letting these little suckers get fat on your blood really can have health benefits: they’re sometimes used to get a patient’s blood flowing in reattached limbs. Demi Moore admitted that she uses leech blood detoxification to keep herself looking preternaturally young, but the whole blood sucking thing isn’t the only weird part; you have to bathe in turpentine first.
(image via: czechtourism.com)
Aside from being a frat boy’s dream, bathing in beer has its pluses and thousands of people flock to ‘beer spas‘ in places like the Czech Republic to kick back in a vat of yeasty beverage. It’s supposed to soothe muscles and joints (like any other hot bath), improve the complexion (all those vitamins?) and induce relaxation (yes, the alcohol can be absorbed through your skin).
(image via: ozone therapy spas)
A constant subject of controversy between skeptics and believers, ozone therapy is hailed by the latter as a miraculous cure for cancer, AIDS and virtually all other ails. Ozone gas, produced from medical grade oxygen, is administered through injections, saunas and other methods. The USDA considers ozone toxic with no known medical benefits, but the results of peer-reviewed studies have been mixed.
Whole Body Transplant
(image via: wikimedia commons)
For many people, death comes after trauma to or failure of some part of the body that has nothing to do with the brain. So, why can’t we keep our consciousness intact and simply move the brain into a new, healthier body? As bizarre as it may sound, whole body transplants may not be technically impossible, though there are certainly rough moral seas to tread. Ethics aside, if current research into nerve regeneration is successful, this sci-fi sounding theory might be medically viable.
(image via: shadowplay)
If brain transplants could theoretically work, why not whole head transplants? You’d have to trust that the scientists decapitating you would be able to successfully graft your head onto someone else’s body, but given that the procedure has been performed with limited success on animals, it’s not unthinkable. Stem cell research may make such a task more realistic in the future.