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Posts Tagged ‘ASA’

Bowen Therapy and the ASA

Posted by apgaylard on February 18, 2012

I have, for a little while, been taking a careful look at the claims made for a decidedly second-division CAM called variously ‘Bowen Therapy’, ‘Bowen Technique’ or ‘Bowenwork’.  It involves a potentially relaxing, gentle manipulation of soft tissue using fingers and thumbs; moving them over muscle, ligament, tendon and fascia.

Aside from the potential benefits of a sympathetic consultation, the psychological impact of physical contact with someone who wants to help you and simple relaxation, it would appear to have little to offer.

It’s certainly not at all a plausible treatment for serious conditions like asthma.

I had a look at the research literature a little while ago, and it provides decidedly slim pickings.  As far as I could tell the sum total of the published evidence for Bowen listed in PubMed amounts to:

  • one or is it two (?) small uncontrolled trials for frozen shoulder from a single author (Carter 2001, 2002),
  • an uncontrolled intervention to try and reduce staff absence (Dicker, 2005a),
  • a small uncontrolled study on a range of issues with strong psychological components (Dicker, 2005b),
  • an RCT* showing improved hamstring flexibility in people with no hamstring problems (Marr et al 2011) and
  • a tiny case series that doesn’t show that Bowen technique helps stroke rehabilitation (Duncan et al, 2011).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bowen | Tagged: , , , , , | 22 Comments »

The ASA change tack on ginkgo biloba

Posted by apgaylard on January 3, 2009

bigstockphoto_ginkgo_biloba_and_pills_planne_1859585It seems that the ASA has changed its position on Gingko Biloba.  This is a good thing and speaks well of the organisation. 

 In 2001 the ASA commissioned a, “report by an academic in the field of Pharmacognosy” which concluded that, “most research appeared to suggest that there was sufficient proof Ginkgo Biloba was likely to improve short-term memory and blood-flow in healthy individuals.” 

On the basis of this work the ASA told me that they had, “… accepted that this particular product can, in the short term, help with the maintenance of memory in healthy individuals.”   Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Science Journalism, Supplements | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Ginkgo biloba …what is it good for?

Posted by apgaylard on November 16, 2008

holland-and-barrett-ginkgo-bilboa-addHolland and Barrett have recently taken the opportunity to pitch me the idea, via an e-mail, that Ginkgo Bilobahelps the maintenance of good cognitive function.”   Their web page contains a more detailed and specific claim: 

“Today nutritionists are taking a closer look at this wonderful herb because it has been used for many years throughout Europe. Supports the maintenance of good cognitive function and healthy circulation which helps to maintain memory with age decline.”

Interestingly the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) tells me that they have, “… accepted that this particular product can, in the short term, help with the maintenance of memory in healthy individuals.”  This acceptance seems, to me to extend beyond the “age decline” claim of Holland and Barrett. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Supplements | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »