Angry Doctor

Saturday, December 16, 2006

How NOT to argue for Alternative Medicine 6

Another letter from someone who is not a stranger to readers of this blog in Today today:

Apologies to S'pore Science Centre
Letter from Dr David Tio Pee Jin

It has been brought to my attention that my letter, "A pain in the neck for audiences" (Nov 28), may have contained misleading information with regards to visitors, both past and future, to the Omni-Theatre at the Singapore Science Centre.

This was not my intention and I hereby unreservedly apologise to the Singapore Science Centre for causing any and all harm and/or damage to their reputation as a leading institution in Singapore.

I wish to clarify that there was and is absolutely no basis — medical or otherwise — for claiming that there was a possibility of suffering a stroke from sitting in the Omni-Theatre.

In fact, the seats at the Omni-Theatre provide ample space for audiences to shift about. Moreover, the vast expanse of the screen encourages the audience to constantly turn and move their heads in order to enjoy the show.

Actually, there have been case reports that suggested that the sitting posture adopted by Dr Tio when he was in the Omni Theatre - "buttocks pushed back all the way to where the seat joins the back rest... neck extended backwards... like having my hair washed at the hairdresser's" - may precipitate a stroke.

There is even a name for this: "beauty-parlour stroke".

In fact, quite a number of things have been associated with precipitating a spontaneous dissection of the carotid or vertebral artery, including 'practicing yoga, painting a ceiling, coughing, vomiting, sneezing, the receipt of anesthesia, and the act of resuscitation'(source), or even falling asleep on an economy class seat in a plane. Which, of course, is not to say that sitting in the Omni Theatre will give someone a stroke, especially since the seats 'provide ample space for audiences to shift about'.

Still, angry doc wonders why Dr Tio made his statement in his first letter if he thought there was 'absolutely no basis — medical or otherwise — for claiming that there was a possibility of suffering a stroke from sitting in the Omni-Theatre' to begin with, and having made that statement, why he did not cite the papers linked to above to support his statements.

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  • The original letter lists his status as an osteopath. Perhaps the alternative training did not include information on searching medical literature?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 17, 2006 10:10 am  

  • You forget Chiropractic induced vertebrobasilar dissection ?

    I suspect Dr Tio was simply following his lawyers instructions...

    All the best for the season, AngryDoc!

    Best wishes

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 17, 2006 3:25 pm  

  • 'Tis a real pity. I would have preferred to see the two sides engage in a scientific debate.

    By Blogger angry doc, At December 17, 2006 6:35 pm  

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