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....