I’ve been attempting to communicate with various people and institutions recently and I’ve been having a little trouble. I don’t seem to be getting responses to my emails. Let’s see if we can figure out where I’ve been going wrong.
The University of Westminster have been less than forthcoming with answers to my questions regarding the research they conducted on the Universal Contour Wrap that was covered so enthusiastically by the Daily Mail (as I wrote here). I first emailed them on the 18th May to ask if they could help with details of the research (where it had been published, or who the authors were). Having waited since the 18th May to find out the name of either the journal or the authors and received neither piece of information, I found the contact details for the Research Director at the School of Biosciences. I have now asked if the study was published in a journal, how the Daily Mail came to hear of the study, any further details they could provide (study sponsor, technical details relating to the study), and whether they had any comment on the claim in the Daily Mail that:
“The idea behind this wrap is that the combination of detoxifying mineral-rich clay and specialist body-wrapping techniques will compress fatty tissue, leaving you tighter and more toned. The clay solution is absorbed by the skin, drawing out toxins that are expelled through the pores.”
I sent this email four days ago and I very much look forward to receiving a response from the School of Biosciences.
Then there is the strange case of the histadelia and pyrrole research… Back in September 2008, I wrote about histadelia (a condition referred to by Patrick Holford in his book Optimum Nutrition for the Mind) and noted that the term did not appear on Pubmed. I discussed the references Holford made to having been diagnosed with histadelia by Carl Pfeiffer and I ended this post by stating that “They have their own un-evidenced test – for an un-evidenced condition that requires un-evidenced treatment”. In the comments following this blog post, I had an incoherent jed inform me that I was “full of it” and “denying people natural products in return for poison” in April 2009, some time after I wrote the original post. I later had (in April and June) two further commenters leave rather more coherent and less angry messages for me – both praising the work of Carl Pfeiffer. One of them helpfully suggested I look at “William Walsh’s research at the Pfeiffer Research Institute”. I was unable to find this research via the internet (I was also unable to find contact details for the Pfeiffer Research Institute – or any indication that the Pfeiffer Research Institute exists, beyond a couple of references to it in alternative health forums) and therefore decided to try the Pfeiffer Treatment Centre. Their research pages do not even mention histamine or histadelia, so I contacted the Pfeiffer Treatment Centre to ask them about this research that I’m having such trouble tracking down:
I have been informed that the Pfeiffer Treatment Center has research pertaining to the treatment of pyrrole disorder and histapenia/histadelia. Please can you provide me with this research, as I am interested in finding out more.
Regards, James Cole.
I thought that perhaps they would inform me that they were unable to release this research to me – or that I would have to pay to see copies of their research papers containing extensive and robust evidence that histadelia (a) exists and (b) can be treated by vitamin pills. I was wrong. I haven’t had so much as an acknowledgement that they have received my email.
As for chiropractors… I emailed the BCA on 28th May (and again on 6th June to ask if they were planning on responding to my email. No response has been forthcoming. Not even an acknowledgement that they had received my email. Why didn’t they respond? I can only assume they didn’t like the questions I was asking – or perhaps didn’t know how to answer them: you can find my questions here.
At least the Bassett Chiropractic Clinics sent me an email to tell me they wouldn’t engage in correspondence with me. What had I done to elicit this response? Well, I asked a few questions. What proportion of their patients were treated with spinal manipulation; whether they considered it acceptable to make claims that were inconsistent with ASA guidance on the basis that this was done so on a website and the ASA were unable to challenge these claims; whether their interpretation of the GCC code differed from mine; whether they were going to provide full citations to the papers they referred to in a previous email; and whether they were going to comment on a systematic review I’d referred to. I found their decision to refuse to correspond with me disappointing, but at least they had the manners to tell me of their decision.
ETA: the mauve factor PDF I mentioned in the comments section is here: Mauve factor