The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Brandon Raynor Blathers On...And On

Man, that's an hour of my life I'll never get back.

I've talked about Brandon Raynor before but now he's apparently broadcasting from his QuackCave on the top of an active volcano in Hawai'i. He's Dr. Evil in boardshorts and without a mini-me.

I watched Raynor's new video (which I won't embed here because, man, you can watch it if you want to, but be forewarned, it's rambling and brutal) and it's just as full of nonsense as his website. I'm going to comment on his content a little, but this won't be a full fisk because I just can't be bothered to go through his piffle in that kind of detail.

I will say, however, that he spends a great deal of time talking about the same four topics over and over ad nauseum. It really is an hour-long video that could have been about 15 minutes. Please, Brandon, write out some talking points first.

The four topics he hits are the insurance industry, his idea of "Western" medicine, Canadian RMTs being "over-educated", and the public's "freedom to choose" the health care they want. I'll try to briefly tackle these in order.

Raynor doesn't like that massage is covered by insurance because massage should be "preventative", like getting the oil changed in your car. He says it has a place, but for the most part, the industry is an unnecessary middleman. It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that Raynor doesn't like insurance because they ask that the treatments they cover show evidence of efficacy. Now, this falls apart with some companies that cover nonsense like homeopathy, but generally insurance companies want to know that they won't have to pay for a treatment indefinitely. If a health-care provider is honest, they want to get their patient/client better and back to their life without pain and within a reasonable time-frame. A treatment plan is provided to the insurance agent and it is approved or denied based on the client's needs. Once the client's insurance coverage is exhausted, they can choose to continue out-of-pocket if that is their wish.

I always tell people that if they feel good, they don't need to come unless they want to relax, and if they can't take an hour a month, then they're working too hard. Additionally, I tell them that it doesn't have to be a massage they get for that hour, it can be anything they enjoy; just take that hour at least. I get the feeling that Raynor would push a little harder...but again, I could be wrong.

The idea that there is such a thing as "Western" medicine is nonsense. This is one of those red-flag terms like medicine that is described as "allopathic", "complementary", or "alternative": these are only used by people who are trying to legitimize nonsense and gain a semblance of false-equivalence with medicine that actually has biological plausibility, peer-reviewed evidence, and replication.

There is only medicine that has been tested and proven to work, and everything else. Raynor goes on and on about ancient, traditional, and native healing that has been around for thousands of years, but he seems painfully unaware of the "argument from antiquity" fallacy aka, the appeal to tradition. As Tim Minchin says in, White Wine in the Sun, "I don't believe just 'cause ideas are tenacious it means they are worthy".

Raynor also does the standard "alt." med. thing of claiming preventative medicine as its own and stating repeatedly that doctors don't treat the "whole person". Pure hogwash. Doctors, physios, and other science-based health professionals (yes, good RMTs as well) recommend healthy diets and exercise as standard care. Nothing about this is "alternative". I can say that, yes, doctors are rushed and sometimes do not treat patients with the level of touchy-feeliness that the alties can, but this is a function of those bad insurance companies again and because Raynor et al aren't covered, they can give you all the warm fuzzies you want; they'll just "feel" where your "toxins" are built up and where your "chi" is "blocked", then they'll fix you up good as new, Cupcake.

I just hope you don't have a disease that they're keeping you from getting treated by a real doctor.

Which brings me to us "over-educated" RMTs here in Canada. Raynor goes to great lengths in his hour-long video to bemoan the "little doctor" syndrome we have going on here in Ontario and British Columbia (plus Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador). It seems we could have just taken his 10 or 15 day course and been out treating people and making money right away! We've wasted out time getting all that fancy-but-ultimately-useless training. Just start rubbing, people! You'll learn what you need to know by "feeling" and by old-fashioned on-the-job work. At about the 38 minute mark, Raynor actually says there is, "...too much mental activity and not enough heart activity...". I can't really add anything to that.

He is very passive/aggressive and condescending when talking about massage therapy colleges in Canada versus his courses. He says his courses are for "more mature people" and that if you want to go to a college to "meet the boys and girls", then good for you, and refers to "kindergarten massage". Resorting to this sort of attack only shows a lack of maturity in Raynor (and this coming from a guy who calls people names on the regular!).

The entire hour talk is like watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Raynor thinks he's the smartass kid who skips school and gets the girl, who everything works out for while the stupid, clueless parents and school officials blunder about. It's pretty amazing.

Lastly I want to address this "freedom to choose" point. Raynor suggests that people should have the right to go to whatever health care option they want. With this, I agree. He says multiple times that people are trying to shut him down, which does not seem to be entirely accurate. I said myself that:
The Brandon Raynor School must not be allowed to continue advertising in Toronto as it has been.
This statement is a far cry from not allowing them to exist at all. Just change your advertising.

Raynor says that the "free market" should decide what's best and suggests that RMTs in Canada and our colleges are scared of competition. This is nonsense and skirts the real issue of informed consumer consent to what they're getting. As I said in the same post linked above:
By lowering or eliminating standards, as Raynor advocates, we will only see unqualified individuals ultimately causing harm to the public either directly or, more likely, indirectly by changing their minds so clients believe that working with nonsense like “chi”, “meridians”, or “energy” will heal what ails them. It is then that laypersons will avoid actual proven therapies in times of need, causing pain, suffering and in worst case scenarios, death.
I heard recently (and I'll paraphrase) that if you get a contractor to build your house, you wouldn't expect that person to ask you if you'd like it built out of wood and concrete or jello and silly putty. Sure, it's a choice, but the latter is silly and would never work. This is the option that Raynor proposes we offer to health care patients, except many people will not be able to tell that all he's offering are the equivalent of jello and silly putty.

I've said it before, I have very little idea how my engine works so I depend on my mechanic to do a good job. Laypersons require the same when they go to a health professional and I should not be made to know the intricate workings of a transmission any more than they should be expected to know the methodologies of science. Raynor suggests that public approval should be the benchmark of quality and acceptance, but a hundred thousand Elvis fans can be wrong and popularity does not equal efficacy. I don't care how many people believe in acupuncture, the science shows that it's ineffective; same goes for chi, reiki, homeopathy and almost all of the "alt." med. canon.

Show me that it works with good, quality, controlled evidence that can be replicated and I'll look at it seriously and very likely even change my mind. Until then, you're just blathering on...and on....

2 Barbaric Yawps:

At 20/1/13 11:48 am, Blogger Brandon Raynor said...

Mike you claim to be a scientist yet you haven't properly evaluated any of the evidence about Raynor massage. A real scientist would actually investigate something and have observed something in reality. The reality is you are just a prejudiced and arrogant person. You believe that Oriental philosophies are wrong and your materialistic - there is nothing beyond what you can see with your eyes philosophy is right.
Even if you were to have a Raynor massage, which you obviously haven't, I think your pride would be to big to ever admit that you were wrong. But prove me wrong and actually get a treatment. Or are you going to come up with the old excuse that your too scared to get a treatment from anyone that doesn't believe your philosophy on life. In this way you can never be proven wrong. Very convenient.
A typical bigots argument.
Actually houses have been built in the orient of bamboo and many other materials for thousands of years just as massage involving the use of chi, prana or other terminology has been successfully used for thousands of years. But don't let facts stand in the way of prejudice.
Prejudice against other cultures and people seems to make you feel really good about yourself.
By the way the history of massage in Canada using only the techniques approved by your beloved College of massage therapists has a very short history compared to the use of massage in countries like India Thailand, China Japan and the old Kingdom of Hawaii.
You may not believe in life force or the soul or chi but there is a reason why the vast majority of people consider that when a person dies there body is no longer valuable and that the person has departed. The body deteriorates quickly once the soul has left.
You may discount the fact that 90% or more of the people in the world understand to some extent that there is such a thing as a soul or spirit which is us that leaves this body at the time of death but it doesn't make you right Mike.
And no just because you don't believe the same as I do I don't think it should give you the right to stop me advertising in Ontario for my courses. That's why I called you a fascist and a believer in censorship and restricting freedom of speech in my previous conversations with you. You believe that its ok for you to blab on with your rudeness about anyone you want but when someone merely advertises a course in something that you don't believe you think I should change it to fit into your belief systems.
Mate look at yourself.

At 20/1/13 9:54 pm, Blogger Heathen Mike said...


Are you still sore about this? Wow, I didn't know I opened such a wound.

I never claimed to be a scientist. I'm a science-minded person, but not a trained scientist. There is a difference and you can't, for some reason, understand that.

I don't "believe" that Oriental philosophies/treatments are wrong, they have been demonstrated to be wrong under testing conditions many many times. I go by evidence and what the evidence says is that there is no such thing as "chi" or any of its varient terms.

You say that my getting a treatment from a Raynor student might convince me that there just might be something to it. In suggesting this, you betray your ignorance again of the methodologies of science. It doesn't matter if *I* think it's a great massage, or if *I* change my mind. The evidence (not opinion) stays the same. If I suddenly get brain damage and think that homeopathy is the greatest treatment for cancer on the face of the Earth, it does not make homeopathy any less ludicrious. My opinion is just that - an opinion. It just happens to be based in reality and on solid evidence.

When you look at the actual, science, there's nothing there. I don't care how many houses are built of bamboo or how long people have been doing something; as Tim Minchin says, "just because an idea is tenacious doesn't mean that it's worthy."

And don't you dare suggest that I'm prejudice against other cultures. Ideas are wrong, people have misunderstandings, people are ignorant, and people are biased - that happens in all cultures. Don't you think that, perhaps, some of that "ancient knowledge" you praise so highly, just might be mistaken? Or is your ego actually as large as it seems?

Where are you getting this "soul" stuff? A person dies, their metabolism stops, the bacteria in them keep doing what they do, only to the host body instead of the food coming through, cells lyse, etc... I don't want to bore you with that booky stuff you abhor, but you might want to read one of those anatomy/physiology texts you slag so often.

Also, YOU should understand that just because "90%" (I doubt the figure you pulled out of your backside is actually that high) of people believe in something, that makes it correct. There was a time when most people thought slavery was just dandy. They were wrong then and just as wrong now.

Finally, listen "mate", don't misquote me. I never said that you shouldn't be allowed to advertise in Ontario. I said, "The Brandon Raynor School must not be allowed to continue advertising in Toronto as it has been." See that bolded part? That means that I think you should be allowed to advertise, just not making the claims you do. You step over the line, you know it, and you're trying to work the system. Period.
You're wrong, Brandon. Admit it.

Massage people how you like, I genuinely don't care, but don't call yourself a "registered massage therapist" while you're in Ontario because it's illegal. Bottom line.


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