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Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine | [Paul A. Offit]

Do You Believe in Magic?: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine

Medical expert Paul A. Offit, MD, offers a scathing exposé of the alternative medicine industry, revealing how even though some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, many of them are ineffective, expensive, and even deadly. Dr. Offit reveals how alternative medicine - an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks - can actually be harmful to our health. Using dramatic real-life stories, Offit separates the sense from the nonsense.
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Publisher's Summary

In Do You Believe in Magic?, medical expert Paul A. Offit, MD, offers a scathing exposé of the alternative medicine industry, revealing how even though some popular therapies are remarkably helpful due to the placebo response, many of them are ineffective, expensive, and even deadly. Dr. Offit reveals how alternative medicine - an unregulated industry under no legal obligation to prove its claims or admit its risks - can actually be harmful to our health. Using dramatic real-life stories, Offit separates the sense from the nonsense, showing why any therapy - alternative or traditional - should be scrutinized. He also shows how some nontraditional methods can do a great deal of good, in some cases exceeding therapies offered by conventional practitioners.

An outspoken advocate for science-based health advocacy who is not afraid to take on media celebrities who promote alternative practices, Dr. Offit advises, "There's no such thing as alternative medicine. There's only medicine that works and medicine that doesn't."

©2013 Paul A. Offit, M.D. (P)2014 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"This excellent, easy-to-read look at the alternative-medicine industry is highly recommended." (Library Journal Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (47 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-25-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Should be required reading at every high school"

    Very informative book. Although he does come down hard on quacks and scammers, it really is a fairly balanced treatment by the end of the book.
    I can't help but feel we have all been lied to for many years by the alternative medicine industry.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anoop Agrawal 09-10-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Data driven insight, for every reader"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Do You Believe in Magic? to be better than the print version?

    Unsure since I don't own print version


    What did you like best about this story?

    Content, data driven conclusions


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Can't think of one particular scene


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    up to point, every minute worth listening

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer L.A. 05-13-15
    Amazon Customer L.A. 05-13-15 Member Since 2013
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    "A Must Listen!"

    Doctor Offit makes the topic of 'alternative' medicine accessible and in an understandable and fascinating manner explains its popularity and shortcomings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt S 02-05-15
    Matt S 02-05-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent overview of alternative medicine"

    The book takes a good hard look at what alternative medicine really offers and why magical thinking may sometimes cause real harm. The author presents a detailed overview of the dirty underside of an industry that can only exist because of powerful political and financial backing and the desire of its patrons to believe (and pay for) supposed medical interventions that have no basis in evidence. The narration is decently done and easy to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer PARIS, TX, United States 10-20-14
    Amazon Customer PARIS, TX, United States 10-20-14 Member Since 2008

    Lawyer, reader, writer, performer. Just love listening to books and talking about it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Title is All Wrong"

    I do wonder if I would feel differently if I had read this instead of listened to it. But overall, I think no.
    1. Don't title it Sense and Nonsense if you are just making a case against it. Trust your readers and be honest with them.
    2. If you are against it, especially so vehemently, give your credentials and back ground up front so I know where you are coming from instead of making me research you for the Aha! I get it now moment. You've made your living from your side. Be honest about that.
    3. You totally left out diet, which is a huge part of this. I have a hard time forgiving that. Saying that Steve Jobs killed himself before his time by drinking too much carrot juice, and not submitting to the knife more quickly - when the man lived almost a decade with pancreatic cancer, is just so wrong in so many ways. Be honest.
    4. Do more acknowledging the harm of the pharm and the knife and the desire for the humane. There is a real reason plus a mil that people seek the alternative. Be honest.
    5. It's not all placebo. Or, if it is then modern medicine is just as guilty if not more so. Be honest. And darn it, please be more humane. I mean, recognize that there is a flip side to why people are seeking the alternate. If you can just acknowledge that, I would be more likely to believe you. As it is, I'm possibly even more of a doubter.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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