How You Know

The picture shows the window from a local “osteopathy” practice. One day I will go into the shop to ask them about their various practices. However, for now, I shall rely upon the scientific evidence for the following treatments.


This shop purveys:

  • Osteopathy
  • Homoeopathy
  • Allergy Testing
  • Chiropody
  • Beauty Therapy
  • Massage
  • Sports Injury
  • Ultra Sound Therapy

So, beauty therapy is fine. I don’t care what you slap on your face I’m pretty sure that, as long as they make no health claims, I couldn’t care what they do. Beauty advertising is beset with rubbish [the “n” signs of aging etc where “n” is a value between 3 and 11 and preferably an odd number]  so any claims should be substantiated but these are unlikely to be detrimental to the health of anyone, just their wallets.

Chiropody is a proper thing and I will not take issue with this.

Massage is ok as long as they make no claims to any health effects of massage apart from it making you feel nice. The potential benefits arise from being relaxed and calm, not from any particular aspect of the massage itself.

And now we head into more dangerous territory.

From looking around the web and critically assessing the evidence for therapeutic ultra sound I have to say I am extremely sceptical that it does anything. It is widely accepted as a form of therapy but there is remarkably little evidence that it works or does anything good. I think this is the first form of “woo” from this little shop. I doubt there are any good, documented benefits from this therapy.

Homoeopathy is rubbish. There is no good scientific evidence that it does anything or even contains anything. It is essentially water. I can’t reinforce just how much this stuff doesn’t work. If you have an establishment that is happy to dose people up with homoeopathy then you should be very wary of everything else that they do. It is utter and complete rubbish.

Finally, osteopathy. This mode of dealing with health problems is the most contentious here. The area I live in is blighted by the existence of the European School of Osteopathy nearby. My local doctors surgery even allows osteopathy to take place in its confines. I find this distressing. Osteopathy is an “alternative” medical treatment. This means it is not a treatment nor is it medical. It is based on a completely wrong understanding of how our bodies work. Scientifically osteopathy has been shown to be good for lower back pain and NOTHING else. The very best osteopaths practise what is more commonly known as physio-therapy. Much like chiropractic osteopathy has its roots in bullshit and has tried to change with a greater scientific understanding of medicine but can’t shoe horn itself in to the establishment. If you are suffering then you are best advised to see a physio-therapist, they at least have been taught the proper causes and effects of their work.

The problem with this shop frontage is that it has some [almost] legitimate services to offer and then it also offers utter bullshit.

You can tell osteopathy is rubbish by the company it keeps in these premises.