Talk:Craniosacral therapy

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Experts on craniosacral therapy[edit]

Hi folks,

I just noticed that IP user wrote in defense of their removal of sourced content that they are a physician that uses craniosacral therapy often, and has adequate expertise to vouch for its effectiveness and that it is therefore NOT pseudoscience. Unfortunately, a user's status as an expert in any field does not afford them any special privileges in editing on wikipedia. It still all comes down to reliable sources. See WP:EXPERT, the section on "warning to expert editors", specifically #4. Perhaps experts are better equipped to prove their statements and contributions, but it is still necessary for them to do so. Rytyho usa (talk) 20:43, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

An IP hacked away the critical section of the article, leaving a pile of dangling references, and adding an ill-formatted bit of what appears to be original research. I reverted to the last stable version for now, but before going back we should probably talk about what bits of the cut section may warrant cutting and if any of the new stuff doesn't qualify as synthesis and OR - David Gerard (talk) 09:15, 20 July 2014 (UTC)

Why does "craniopathy" redirect here?[edit]

Not used or explained in article. (talk) 06:08, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Good question...I have no idea. Out of sheer curiosity, what prompted you to search craniopathy in the first place? TylerDurden8823 (talk) 07:13, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I am trying to define a long list of words for Wiktionary, and find that many of them are inappropriate or mystery redirects on Wikipedia; see my edit history here for further cases! (talk) 14:43, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy should be mentioned in this article[edit]

Biodynamic seems to be a major thread within craniosacral therapy and deserves at least a mention, if not its own small section. This springs from Sutherland's late-life work, as well as Jim Jealous and Franklin Sills. This incarnation of CST seems to have an almost spiritual focus, rather than simply the biomechanics of subtle skull bone motion. Here are two websites that discuss the origins of the biodynamic approach. I am *not* suggesting these as sources; printed sources would always be my preference, but this is provided to give other editors a bit of background on the subject so we can discuss the inclusion of Biodynamic CST in this article. Also, let's discuss external links for this article. {} (The main page for this link is in the current EL section.) {} (This is Franklin Sills' training program.)--Karinpower (talk) 15:09, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

Quackwatch is not a valid source[edit]

Removed reference and inflammatory language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oakbranch8 (talkcontribs) 05:10, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 05:22, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Alexbrn, Wikipedia has this pillar:

Wikipedia is written from a neutral point of view: We strive for articles that document and explain the major points of view, giving due weight with respect to their prominence in an impartial tone. We avoid advocacy and we characterize information and issues rather than debate them. . . . All articles must strive for verifiable accuracy, citing reliable, AUTHORITATIVE sources, especially when the topic is controversial or is on living persons. Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong.

By reinserting the inflammatory phrase, the NON-scientifically-valid phrase, you are violating the terms of this site, and being an advocate. Oakbranch8 (talk) 16:08, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

When it comes to quackery, like CST, QuackWatch is a high-quality source. Our policy on fringe material requires us to be up-front in labelling it as such, to be neutral. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:11, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Did you read the links that you posted to me? It is not a "high-quality source" but rather a suspect one. To use terms like "pseudo science" and "quackery" on this page is highly prejudicial and violates the neutral tone goal. If you want to make sure that Cranial Sacral therapy is properly critiqued here, present peer-reviewed articles from scientific journals, not the words of one man, Barrett, with an ax to grind.

You write, "When it comes to quackery, like CST, QuackWatch is a high-quality source." It is your opinion that CST is "quackery." But Wikipedia clearly states, "Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong." You are trying to put forth your own point of view. Oakbranch8 (talk) 16:29, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

CST is silly, read the source. We don't indulge WP:LUNATICCHARLATANS here. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:40, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Alex, you are NOT abiding by the terms of editing this site! From Wikipedia: "Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong." If you have peer-reviewed articles from journals to cite, then do so. The term "quackery" is not even a scientifically valid, verifiable term. You are making Wikipedia in to your own advocacy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oakbranch8 (talkcontribs) 16:47, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Dunno why you're mentioning personal views. Here, we follow the appropriate sources, they give us the info we relay: CST is a load of bollocks practised by quacks. Without new sources this discussion is futile. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 16:51, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

"Dunno why you're mentioning personal views . . .CST is a load of bollocks practised by quacks." Is that not a personal view, Alex? The article is supposed to have a neutral tone, and you want to add unscientific, inflammatory language to the mix to bolster your own opinion. That is not what Wikipedia is for. "Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong."Oakbranch8 (talk) 17:03, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Quackwatch is a perfectly valid source for quackery and related subjects such as this. What a joke it is. Stop wasting our time treebranch, and learn to use colons correctly. -Roxy the dog™ (resonate) 18:34, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
The tone of the article is supposed to be neutral. Do you know that means? A word like "quackery" is NOT neutral. It is not even scientfic. So do not tell me to leave. You and Alexbrn are the ones violating the policies of this site: "Editors' personal experiences, interpretations, or opinions do not belong." In other words, if you hate cranial sacral therapy (which you know nothing about), then that is not supposed to be part of your editing process. This is not a site for people to come on disparage things they hate. Either be commited to neutrality, or leave. Oakbranch8 (talk) 20:10, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Oakbranch8, it is you who misunderstands the policy on neutrality. We are specifically instructed not to attempt to provide "equal validity" - indeed, the policy requires us to identify pseudoscience as such. As noted at the top of this section, quackwatch has been extensively discussed and identified as a reliable source of information regarding what constitutes medical quackery. VQuakr (talk) 03:44, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Quackwatch is a valid self-published source that is reliable for presenting Barrett's opinion, which ought to be identified as such with WP:INTEXT attribution.

I wonder if the amount of attention given to this inflammatory criticism is really WP:DUE, however. Most CST is done by licensed physical therapists, for conditions like pain. I'd never heard that it was alleged to do anything for cancer, so it feels very weird to lead with a statement that it doesn't work for something that nobody uses it for. In fact, the ACS page goes on to say, "Promoters claim this therapy can be used to help relieve headaches; neck and back pain; problems with the temporomandibular joint (the hinge of the jaw, often called the TMJ); chronic fatigue; poor coordination; eye problems; depression; hyperactivity; attention deficit disorder; problems with the central nervous system, the immune system, and the endocrine system; and many other conditions", which doesn't mention cancer at all. So nobody seems to say that CST is used to treat cancer (other than as a relaxation technique, and I imagine that many cancer patients would thereby receive significant psychological benefit from that), and therefore saying that it doesn't kill cancer cells, or namechecking ACS at all, is probably UNDUE.

The quality of most of these sources is low. For "pseudoscience", we're citing:

That last one, by the way, does contain the word pseudoscientific, but never uses it to describe CST. In fact, it only mentions CST in a very narrow context: the psychologists surveyed, on average, said that CST was probably considered discredited for treatment of anxiety and depression. That's rather different from saying that it's pseudoscience, or even that it's discredited in general (e.g., for pain). What it says about pseudoscience is this: "Recently, several authors have attempted to identify pseudoscientific, unvalidated, or “quack” psychotherapies" and "Psychological science tends to be self-correcting in that its foundation lies in empirical evidence (more than most professions, anyway). As a field, we have made progress in differentiating science from pseudoscience in the prac- tice of psychology."

For "quackery", we're citing:

  • QuackWatch, where the label "quackery" comes from a highlighted reader comment(!), rather than from the authors, and
  • ISBN 0683301497 from 1999, which doesn't exactly say that. What it actually says is this:
    "Myofascial and somatoemotional release and craniosacral therapy are techniques that are founded on the notion that the fascia spans the entire body. A scar in the fascia can thus provoke pain elsewhere in the body. Craniosacral therapy is based on the idea that the cranial sutures are capable of movement and that spinal fluid has a rhythm of its own that can be felt by the experienced therapist when palpating the cranial sutures. Somatoemotional release is a technique that regresses patients to what is thought to be their initial trauma. Having the patient relive the trauma is considered therapeutic. We found only one study (39) in the peer-reviewed literature on these techniques. The study compared myofascial technique with a conventional technique and found the conventional technique to be superior. At best these techniques can be considered quackery that may provide a relaxation response; at worst they make the patient more dependent and disabled. Somatoemotional techniques in chronic pain patients should be avoided. Tinkering by a physical therapist with a patient's emotional past is dangerous unless the physical therapist is also a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist."
    I can see that the words craniosacral therapy and quackery are in the same paragraph, but I can also see reviews like PMID 10709302 and PMID 9243408 that are listed in PubMed and that ought to have been found by anyone who was asserting that this subject isn't mentioned anywhere in the peer-reviewed literature. I think this 16-year-old book is both too vague and too outdated to be useful.

I think it would be better for the lead to say something like this:

Old Proposed
According to the American Cancer Society, although CST may relieve the symptoms of stress or tension, "available scientific evidence does not support claims that craniosacral therapy helps in treating cancer or any other disease".[1] CST has been characterized as pseudoscience[3] and its practice has been called quackery.[4] Craniosacral therapy may be relaxing or relieve symptoms of stress or tension in some patients, but there is no scientific evidence that it is an effective treatment for any specific diseases. The original idea about its mechanism is biologically implausible and has been discarded even by its proponents.

I think we could reasonably cite PMID 16762070 (the opinion-ish paper) for this.

If we've got a truly NPOV paragraph, then all sides should be able to see their POV being fairly described. Does this sound like a plausible compromise to everyone? Do you think that one side is being unfairly described in this proposal? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:34, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

while i like you proposed language a lot (except for the word "patients" with should be "people") I reject your formulation that "If we've got a truly NPOV paragraph, then all sides should be able to see their POV being fairly described." NPOV does not mean that. Jytdog (talk) 02:21, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Jytdog. Also, NPOV does not mean neutral "language". This is a common misunderstanding. It means editors remain neutral and do not censor content. NPOV is aimed at editors. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:36, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
As a PT, I must ashamedly admit that some PTs do use quackish practices like CST, but the practice is primarily used by osteopaths. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:48, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, the proposed suggestions do seem reasonable enough to me. It's important that we do not overly promote self-published sources and only cite them when absolutely necessary. -A1candidate 21:38, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

Template:U:WhatamIdoing, that is a brilliant piece of writing. I like your proposed edit. While neither side is going to love that language, I think it gives a very fair nod to both perspectives.
I agree with comments that others have made, the term "quackery" is pejorative and inherently non-neutral. It implies an intent to deceive and defraud; there is little or no evidence of this in most modern alt-med professions, instead there is a lack of evidence which does not equal quackery. I believe that WP is exposed to legal risk if terms like quackery are used. We can be much more accurate and professional by specifically describing the facts. --Karinpower (talk) 04:54, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Karin, I'm just going to correct some misunderstandings:

There is no legal risk. Free speech allows for far more offensive terms. The courts have long since determined that issue. Also, quoting (even of online defamation) on the internet is protected speech. The original author of the defamation could be held liable, but not someone who quotes them online, and Wikipedia is online. As long as we quote properly, we can print anything (obviously taking into account our BLP guideline). See the groundbreaking decision in Barrett v. Rosenthal. Ironically, this happened to involve Barrett (!), who was being called a quack. (He didn't sue for that, but for other lies being told about him.)

Also, Wikipedia and its editors don't give a flying f@#$ whether content is pejorative, as long as it is properly sourced. Where it can get touchy is whether it is done with Wikipedia's voice or not, so when in doubt, attribute the wording. We are not allowed to censor content! The wording "its practice has been called quackery" is not in Wikipedia's voice, but points to an obvious source, which is provided.

Ergo, most of your and others' opposition here fails to honor our policies and guidelines. This allergic reaction to words like "quackery" and "pseudoscience" needs to stop. It only serves the purposes of those editors who misuse Wikipedia to advocate, promote, and defend such beliefs and practices. Even worse, it prevents Wikipedia from doing its job of documenting the sum total of human knowledge, which includes documenting very non-neutral and pejorative opinions (which are often well-deserved). The exact pejoratives, and the spirit with which they are used, must be preserved in our content. Editors are required by NPOV to remain neutral, and censorship and whitewashing violates that most sacred of all our policies. -- BullRangifer (talk) 19:30, 8 March 2015 (UTC)