Dr. Oz: Being On TV Doesn’t Make One A Wizard
I was up and watching Dr. Oz on June 3, in the morning, because I knew he was popular and wanted to see what he was doing. I only saw the end of the show. He was dancing (in scrubs) with some Brazilians who presented a form of self-defense camouflaged as dance. He was fairly lithe, not overly muscled, and moved well, to the great enjoyment of the audience.
Obviously he was beloved as a personality. But did he really have knowledge? He has the good looks required to get a shot at TV, but there are a lot of caring and skilled doctors who aren’t photogenic or charismatic enough for the ‘tube (and probably don’t dance well, either).
It seemed that people were cheering for him as a personality.
I could tell right away that despite the lovely slide he flashed on the monitor, this woman had been the victim of her Bell’s Palsy long enough that she would probably be stuck with it for life. He got a round a round of applause, presumably for hugging her and telling her that her smile was beautiful.
Alright, so the word “cure” is as unfashionable as it is illegal. But I just took care of a case of Bell’s Palsy using nothing more than Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). I think I can safely say that the minimal transient asymmetries the patient has left are not discernable except to the most observant.
Bell’s Palsy is a paralysis on one side of the face. It is differentiated from stroke and similar problems that affect the brain that are known as “central,” as it represents a disease of the “peripheral” nervous system.
Most hypotheses seem to have something to do with cold or a virus or a cold virus, even though some cases (about 8%) seem to be hereditary; at least they occur in families. If anyone actually takes the time to listed to WHEN a patient got the symptom, it seems (no, they do not say this in the books) to happen at times of great emotional stress.
So when I had a patient in his forties who had the symptoms for a couple of years, I got him to tell me his personal story. The paralysis had started within 3 days of a romantic rejection. Oh, the opposite sex.
He was in construction and sales; these things required facing a public, who sometimes winced or at least asked about the facial asymetry. He had been to experts who had measured his face in great detail. They had tried anti-inflammatories, the most dangerous of which was cortisone, which is very good at making people sick if they are not sick already.
So there is this paradigm to which I whole-heartedly subscribe — Bio-psycho-social. Prescribed by Engel (of the University of Rochester) in the fifties, it applies well to psychiatry and is a cherished gift from a sensitive and really not that stable preceptor I had once upon a residency.
All it means is that when you look at a problem — and this problem was very significant for my patient.
Biological: Sure, an anti-inflammatory is a good thing. So we recommended fish oil. Then we thought of other substances that could help rebuild nerves. B vitamins in particular. We gave a multivitamin complex. Something to on the immune process, things that help peripheral nerves regenerate and grow — Anti-oxidants (like alpha-lipoic acid) immuno stimulants (like a mixture of fruit extracts)
Psychological: Well, we isolated the internal issues and worked using the emotional freedom technique on the female rejection, which he got over pretty well.
Social: He knew perfectly well his dealing with the public in his work had something to do with making the symptoms worse. He could work more over the internet. We could “tap” on the stress of facing the public regularly, which we did. This part could go away if he kept working on it.
I know that he is now dating. I also know that the last time I saw him, he threw his arms around my neck and kissed me. I also know that no doctor before me had done anything that actually helped him, at all.
I am not saying I am any better than Dr. Oz, although I read a lot of reviews about how good he is on TV. I think that people come to him as a TV doctor because they are women and he is good-looking and fun. He might solve problems, but I did not see that on the little snippet of a show that I saw.
But one of my main peeves is a “healer” who tells somebody there is nothing to be done but sit back and wait — maybe the problem will go away on its own. That’s not just lazy — that’s borderline neglect.
Real medicine is medicine that solves problems, one at a time if that is what it takes. Television is more image and smoke and mirrors.