Romanticizer and Geek-in-Residence

sneeringatscienceRecently I had a discussion on a Facebook group for moms. I had the bad idea of asking this group, made up mostly of semi-crunchy types, about an alternative therapy known as craniosacral massage.

I should’ve known better. This is a group of people who tend to gravitate towards alternative therapies. I am a person who doesn’t. I have a bachelors biology, and a Masters in science journalism. I’m a skeptic by nature.

The answer started rolling in. Lots of people have tried it and lots of people thought it worked really well. I was happy to get the responses but continued to ask more probing questions. Eventually I stated how I preferred to use therapies that had some scientific evidence of being actually, you know,  effective.

Uh-Oh. That was a mistake. The group administrator weighed in. She was polite, but there was a distinct air of frostiness to her tone. Science was not the be-all and end-all, she reminded me–and just because a modality did not have scientific evidence supporting its efficacy, that didn’t mean it was less of a valid therapy than other proven approaches.

Um. Okay…

I didn’t respond, I backed away… I felt like I had to apologize for questioning an unproven therapy (I didn’t–go me!).

Look. I’m all for keeping an open mind–heck, that’s why I was looking into craniosacral therapy in the first place! But please, for god’s sake, don’t make me feel embarrassed and bad because I just so happen to prefer a little bit of scientific evidence along with my hippie-dippy chakra balancing modality, okay? I don’t DEMAND water-tight scientific proof for every modality I try out, but I sure would like to see it if it’s out there.

Science is pretty cool. It’s given us all those nice things like solar panels, Prius engines, HIV tests, and malaria medicine. We need science. We need people to keep liking it so they will continue doing it and making cool useful things for us.

So… Stop judging, hippy Mammas. Don’t make me feel like an evil Big Pharma-loving zombie. And remember:

Q: What do you call an alternative medicine that’s been proven to work?

A: medicine.

((Mic drop)))