Joe and Terry,
This past weekend, I heard you read a comment from a listener who was critical of the reports you do on ‘unproven’ remedies. Included in the listener’s criticism was the use of soap under a mattress for restless legs.
I get the criticism, and have 2 observations. First, in this case, a lack of double-blind, double-dummy research into THIS treatment for restless legs is a reflection of funding to do the research. It also reflects the pattern of traditional funding sources to ignore ‘home remedies’ in favor of ‘new’ money-making drugs and procedures.
Second, I work as a dance host and dance instructors on cruise ships (yea, I know a tough job, but hey, someone has to do it). On several floats, I had the same cabin mate who had a severe case of restless legs. So severe were his cramps that previous cabin mates requested not be be reassigned to his cabin. It was so bad that it would wake me up at night, and I was across the aisle.
I repeatedly told him about soap, but his response was, “If you can’t tell me how it works, I don’t want to hear about it.” As hard as I tried, I could not get him to just try it for a night. On one float it was particularly bad due to the amount of hiking we were doing during shore excursions. So, I decided to put some soap under his mattress without his knowledge.
The next night, I removed it, and repeated this process for several nights. And each night the soap was there, he did not wake me up and reported no or SIGNIFICANTLY reduced problems from restless legs during the night and during the following day. When I asked him to comment on why he had so many ‘good’ nights on the float, he was at a loss to explain it. Eventually I revealed the truth, and he was flabbergasted. He now uses soap, and we joke about it every time we end up on the same schedule.
The lesson here is that we have been brainwashed to believe that SCIENCE, SCIENTIFIC REASON, and SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY is the only valid approach to problems. Intuition and ‘old fashioned’ reasoning and remedies are out like the baby with the bath water. In my opinion, this devotion to the scientific reasoning way of thinking comes out of a materialistic and marketing ‘snow job’ and was pitched by companies to get our money, minds and hearts.
Do you remember the slogan, “better living through chemistry”? Easy to believe, hard to prove!
I also want to suggest that if the ‘industry’ did do research into why soap works for restless legs, a new, innovative and as yet undiscovered class of drugs and delivery system would be uncovered. Think about it. This research could lead to a Nobel Prize, don’t you think? And, in my opinion, the same holds true for other ‘home remedies’.
We need to embrace the unconventional, and apply scientific inquiry to determine the effectiveness of the unconventional.
Joe and Terry,