The Skeptic's Guide to Alternative Medicine

Narrated by: Steven Novella MD
Length: 4 hrs and 24 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Energy medicine. Acupuncture. Superfoods. Healing magnets. What does the scientific evidence really say about these and other "alternative medicine" treatments for personal wellness?

How can we know if a natural remedy is safe and effective? How can people become their own best skeptical consumer of health news in the media? Join neurologist and science educator Dr. Steven Novella for a fascinating exploration of these and other important questions about the truths—and myths—behind alternative medicine.

Perhaps the most important skill to have in this brave new world of ever-changing medical news is the ability to evaluate sources and information, and to think critically about how alternative medicine is marketed, regulated, and used. Dr. Novella takes a rigorous, science-based approach in exploring so-called "popular" and "cutting-edge" trends. Armed with this knowledge, listeners will be in a much better position to assess alternative pathways to physical health.

Dr. Novella’s 10 leading-edge lectures will answer such questions as:

  • Do magnetic fields really have useful biological properties?
  • Why is chiropractic treatment no more effective for pain management than simple physical therapy? 
  • Can brain games truly make one smarter or help in staving off dementia?
  • Can homeopathic remedies, such as those derived from plants and minerals, really cure ailments?
  • Does cupping therapy really help to reduce pain and inflammation, while increasing blood flow?

Dr. Novella provides insights on the ever-widening gap between alternative medicine and scientific medicine, giving listeners the confidence they need to become their own best health advocates.

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC.

Our favorite moments from The Skeptic's Guide to Alternative Medicine

Chapter Three – Lecture Two
  • Chapter Three – Lecture Two
Herbs and Supplements
Chapter Five – Lecture Four
  • Chapter Five – Lecture Four
Healing Magnets
Chapter Eight – Lecture Seven
  • Chapter Eight – Lecture Seven
Chiropractic Treatment

  • Chapter Three – Lecture Two
  • Herbs and Supplements
  • Chapter Five – Lecture Four
  • Healing Magnets
  • Chapter Eight – Lecture Seven
  • Chiropractic Treatment

"Dr. Novella offers principles on how non-experts can distinguish medical reality and avoid quackery. His presentation of what science shows is clear and to the point. Recommended!"

–Michael, Audible Listener
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About the Professor

Dr. Steven Novella is Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Yale School of Medicine. He earned his MD from Georgetown University and completed his residency training in neurology at Yale University. Dr. Novella is active in both clinical research and in medical education at every level, including patients, the public, medical students, and health professionals. An expert in neuroscience, Dr. Novella focuses his practice on headache medicine. His NeuroLogica blog is considered one of the top neuroscience blogs and covers issues in neuroscience as well as the intersection of science with the media and society. Dr. Novella is also the founder and senior editor of Science-Based Medicine, a medical blog dedicated to promoting the highest standards of basic and clinical science in medical practice. Dr. Novella is president and co-founder of the New England Skeptical Society, a nonprofit educational organization designed to further public understanding of science. As the host and producer of an award-winning science podcast,The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, Dr. Novella explores the latest scientific discoveries, the presentation of science in the mainstream media, and public understanding and attitudes toward science.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Alt treatments that do not work

Excellent review about what alternative medicine does not do. I have had so many patients who probably out of desperation and ended up actually worst off trying pseudo science which delayed needed treatment. I suppose we all want miracles but modern medicine has in many diseases done just that. Good audio book !

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Skepticism Distilled

Doctor Novella offers principles of how non-experts can distinguish medical reality and avoid quackery. His presentation of what science shows is clear and to the point. Recommended.