I was out of action for 2 weeks after injuring my knee in a serious tumble off the pole (yes, pole dancing is my latest challenge, don’t you snigger).

I consulted my local GP who told me to rest and prescribed me some painkillers. The problem is that the painkillers gave me gastric pain and only diminished the ache in my knee by a little transiently.

Then I came across Phiten while browsing the sports section of Takashimaya departmental store. For those of you who don’t know Phiten, it is one of those sports necklaces or bracelets that you see athletes wear. The core of Phiten technology is in their Aqua Metals – metals that are broken down into microscopic particles dispersed in water. They have been known to help athletes in their performance and reduce joint pain.

At first, I was skeptical, but I thought why not try it. I am sure Phiten, like mesotherapy and carboxytherapy would be labeled “snake oil” by the Singapore ministry of health. However, feeling adventurous, I purchased a thin black phiten necklace and wore it around my knee as I slept that night. I didn’t expect miracles so I was shocked when my knee miraculously improved the next morning.

I am not writing this to extol the virtues of Phiten. I believe that this technology may work for some but not others, but most importantly, it worked for me! But this gave me cause for thought. So many treatments now are labeled either FDA approved or not, separating them into clear cut categories. But can every thing be proven by science? Just because we don’t understand how some things work may not mean they won’t offer us a solution. How many treatments on the market have been branded “alternative” or “snake oil” by authorities who have no first hand experience but instead relies on the doctrine of evidence based medicine, leading to them being either banned or sidelined? I for one could never understand why Singapore MOH decided to “ban” non-invasive treatments like mesotherapy (till this day, I am blurry on whether it is banned or not as they issued conflicting statements in 2008), leaving only the more invasive liposuction surgery as an alternative for the aesthetically challenged. Weighing the pros and cons, isn’t there a greater risk for surgery, and aren’t you subjecting the people to greater risks if you reduce the non-invasive options? And like Phiten, even if mesotherapy worked for 4 out of 10 persons, isn’t it good enough as an alternative without the risks?

I think that it is sad when all consumers have left are medical options such as painkillers and surgery. I believe that there are many effective techniques for medical or even aesthetic purposes that may not fit the mould of traditional medicine; nonetheless they provide useful alternatives for the group of us who are not willing to take more medications or not willing to undergo surgery.

Who is to say which is a better option? I believe that medical authorities who don’t have first hand experience will never fully understand that not everything can be measured by science or evidence based medicine. It is time to broaden our minds and embrace some alternative medicine in our lives, not everything is black and white, and western medicine do not have the answer for everything.

Acupuncture for slimming, anyone?


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5 thoughts on “The Alternative Answer”

  1. Wow, that sure is a miracle. I suppose that there are lots of thing that sometime even science cannot tell you.

  2. Very true. I believe that those who want to separate all treatments into black and white categories don’t have first hand knowledge of the treatments themselves. MOH should review their processes and FAST!

  3. Totally agree. i tried power balance and it did work for me. But there was so much bad press about how it does not work. end of the day, consumers can judge for themselves, market forces should decide what’s helpful and what’s not.

  4. those who always push western medicine may not always be right. i have found that western pills sometimes only alleviate the symptoms without really solving my problems. Chinese medicine works for me but i don’t like how they are labelled “alternative”. its not true that they are any less effective. it is like using western standards to judge a chinese art.

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