Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Do Crystals Have Healing Powers?

Crystals are pretty, there's no doubt about that.  But can they do anything for your health and wellbeing? The belief that precious stones have healing powers has been around for centuries.  In current practice, it's most often associated with the New Age movement.  It draws on the Chinese concept of life energy (qi) and the… Continue reading Do Crystals Have Healing Powers?

Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy, What is... psychology series

What is… Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms.  This week's term is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) incorporates a number of different alternative healing approaches, including neuro-linguistic programming, acupuncture meridians, and energy medicine.  It's not generally accepted within mainstream psychology, and has been described as a… Continue reading What is… Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

diagram of internal abdominal organs including intestines
Health & health care, Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Are Colon Cleanses Useful?

Image by Elionas2 from Pixabay There are a lot of weird alternative health interventions out there, but colon cleanses, also known as colon hydrotherapy or colonics, have got to be among the weirder ones.  Apparently, this has been around since the time of the ancient Egyptians; however, it only appeared on my radar a few years back when… Continue reading Are Colon Cleanses Useful?

Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Can You Believe Statistics?

There are all kinds of statistics that get thrown around, some of which appear rather dubious.  As a result, there seems to be a lot of suspicion about statistics in general.  But is that warranted? Let's start with what statistics are.  According to Wikipedia, statistics is "the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, displaying, analysis,… Continue reading Can You Believe Statistics?

flower blossoms and essential oil vials
Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Are Essential Oils a Placebo or Something More?

I'm a big fan of aromatherapy.  I have a diffuser and use a number of different essential oil blends, and I'm perfectly happy if they're just a pleasant placebo.  Essential oils smell nice and they're a great way to practice self-care. But do they live up to the assorted health claims that are made about… Continue reading Are Essential Oils a Placebo or Something More?

Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Is Astrology Scientifically Accurate?

For thousands of years, people across multiple cultures throughout the world have looked to the stars to predict events on earth.  But is there actually any substance behind astrology? Western Astrology The current system used in Western countries is based on the work of the Greek scholar Ptolemy in the 2nd century CE.  The twelve… Continue reading Is Astrology Scientifically Accurate?

herd of sheep in a pasture
Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

The Science Corner: Herd Immunity

With the anti-vax movement picking up more steam than it ever deserved to have, kids are being put at risk from serious preventable illness.  Unfortunately, the anti-vaxxers aren't just putting their own kids at risk, they're increasing the risk for other kids as well. Herd immunity refers to the extra protection that comes from vaccinating… Continue reading The Science Corner: Herd Immunity

lightbulb surround by math and science symbols
Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

How to Spot Pseudoscience

One of my major pet peeves is pseudoscience. Google defines it as "a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method."  There's a lot of pseudoscience out there in the world that can spread easily and quickly via the internet, and it often astonishes me what people will believe.  There's also… Continue reading How to Spot Pseudoscience

influenza virus diagram
Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Will the Influenza Vaccine Make You Sick?

I'm trotting out a reworked version of a post I did last fall because flu session is coming, and it's time to decide whether or not to get the influenza vaccine. There are a lot of myths floating around the influenza vaccine, and it's always better to make choices related to your health that are… Continue reading Will the Influenza Vaccine Make You Sick?

woman having reiki administered
Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Reiki: Does it Work as Advertised?

A couple of people commented on my post on dopamine fasting that they'd be curious to see my take on reiki.  Well, here it is. What is it? First, what exactly is reiki?  The International Center for Reiki Training (ICRT) says that reiki "is based on the idea that an unseen 'life force energy' flows through… Continue reading Reiki: Does it Work as Advertised?