We have to talk about alternative healthcare treatments. I discovered a weird spot on my insurance policy. Because it is that time of the year again: the leafs are falling….. The days are shortening and next month the new health insurance policies will come out. So I was skipping through mine for this year… and discover that I’m also insured for alternative healthcare treatments. Which is not really my thing. So I had a look at what it really meant. So, for example, my insurer covers ‘craniosacral therapy’ Can someone explain to me what that is? I can explain it. It’s a long story. But I’ll be brief
– Please do Your craniosacral system has to do with…. the rhythm of your brain moisture. Imagine…. Okay, wait. I interrupt you briefly. Thanks. The rhythm… Let me just feel the rhythm of my brain moisture. Just a second. Yeah, yeah, hmm. That’s good. Oh, and at the back? So I did some checking, Craniosacral therapy has not been scientifically proven… but it is covered in supplementary policies of CZ,…. Delta Lloyd, Menzis, Ohra, Unive, VGZ and many other insurers. And so I thought, this is nothing for me. I’ll just switch to another insurer that doesn’t cover it. But with another insurer I chose … a plan with physiotherapy, and I saw this: They cover ‘reincarnation therapy’. Firstly, I assume they pay only once. Secondly, what the fuck is “reincarnation therapy”!? Reincarnation therapy is about reliving experiences from the current and previous life. Even periods between the different lives will be discussed. Yep, that’s really important; The periods in between your lives. I had a real in-between-life-crisis myself, man. I did a lot of cycling and reading… But I noticed: you read a lot less than you had thought initially. And before you know, you are born again and have to get back to work. Reincarnation-therapie is covered by CZ, Aevitae, FBTO, IK!… Czdirect, Avero Achmea, Zilveren Kruis, OZF and Delta Lloyd. They all have reincarnation therapy in their supplementary policies The worst-case scenario for me would be…. to do reincarnation therapy and then reincarnate as someone… with only minimum insurance and a crazy high deductible excess. Anyway, does it even work? I got the question “Reincarnation therapy” does that even work? “Is it real? Does it even work?” I only have one answer to that question: yes. Wow, wow, amazing, wow I was skeptical, but you have me on board now. Phew I share in the cost of this therapy, because I want physiotherapy in my plan And it’s not an exception. Almost all insurers pay for such things. Iris-copy, acupuncture, halo-therapy. Hello, therapy. We’re back. Can someone open the door? Hallo! Therapy! Homeopathy, osteopathy. The list is literally endless. Not literally, this is it. But it is a long one. None of these therapies have been proved scientifically. Which is why the are called alternative. When something has been proved, it is regular healthcare. Antibiotics, appendix operations, artificial hips and physiotherapy. That’s what I want. But I have to take the unproven stuff as well. I wanted clarification…. so I called a couple of insurers. Welcome.
-Hello, this is Arjen. I am looking around for a health insurance. With you, if I want physiotherapy….. I get reincarnation therapy as well. Is that an alternative cure?
-Yes. Do you want me to connect you to someone who knows more about it? Uh, yes. Beyond the telephone. Reincarnation therapy. It means that through reincarnation or regression therapy…. limitations you have within you that arose in your youth or in a previous life…. can be lifted, so you will be able to live more freely, as it were. Wow. Has that been proved?
-Eeeeehm. Alternative healthcare is all a little bit….. People benefit from it, but there is no scientific proof. We don’t cover what has been proved not to work at all. If there has been research…. and something turned out to work, we cover it. You have seen research on reincarnation therapy…. that showed that there are scientific grounds…. to assume it works?
-Yes. O.K. Do you believe in reincarnation therapy? Isn’t it strange that if I pay for something that has been proved… like glasses, I also pay for something that hasn’t been proved? No it can’t be without. We don’t have it separate.. No further questions at the moment? No, perhaps in the next life. According to one insurer, Delta Lloyd,… reincarnation therapy has been proved. Insures consider alternative healthcare a serious option. And alternative healthcare sounds like an equivalent option. ‘I take a Pepsi for once’. No It’s as if the waiter says: we don’t have coca cola…. so unfortunately it will have to be a newspaper. Do you want a straw? It would be better to call it UNPROVEN healthcare. Actually healthcare is also a funny word… if it doesn’t make you demonstrably better. Can we change it once more? Yes, better. ‘Unproven ideas’ In the Netherlands nearly one million people use unproven ideas. A whopping 83% of them are highly educated. Eighty three percent! For the lowly educated among our viewers: that’s a lot of people. Those unproven ideas are very popular…. and good business. Let’s see how it works in real life. There is an acupuncturist living here. She is called Yuk Chi. She used to be lawyer but she made a career switch. That’ right. I was fed up. I missed something in my life that allowed me to work with people. So I started looking for something else. Eventually I became an acupuncturist. Haha, an acupunctjurist! She wandered into it. It’s possible. But I am glad that you never hear a surgeon say,… while you are lying there: A month ago I was still renting out bicycles on Terschelling. Ed, can you pass me that green…what’s it called again…. the sharp one….looks like a tire lever. Thanks. What kind of treatment does the acupunctjurist provide? With what kind of ailments do people come to you? Oh, that varies a lot. Lots of people with pain, but also people who want to have children. Have children? Acupuncture can help?
-Yes. Perhaps I should tel you: this is NOT true. Needles in your body don’t make you more fertile. It has been widely investigated, all over the world. Those energy flows that acupuncture is based on have never been proved. If this lady can do what she says she can…. then she deserves the Nobel prize for medicine Of course you can get pregnant with acupuncture. When your wife says: fertilize me NOW or I stick a needle in your dick. O.K. I’m on my way.. That works. But it is just quackery. And it isn’t quackery. There are huge discussions about whether it has been proved… and whether it is a placebo-effect. What matters to me, is the effect on people. A patient who goes away happy, feeling better…. and healthier; that’s what matters to me. Yes, you hear that often. Perhaps it doesn’t really work, as long as it works for people. Many alternative care givers, sorry, practitioners of unproven ideas, say that. Like our friend from the previous life. When people come to you believing… that in a previous life, for that’s what it is about… that in a previous life something came about…. then it works all right. Yes, exactly. When the people believe in it, it works fine. The advantage is: they will pay. You see it all the time with the unproven ideas: The patient thinks it’s great. It has been a successful undertaking for you? It works very well for him. I have a very good feeling with it.
-It works for you? yes So it doesn’t work, but it works. How is that possible? That is the placebo-effect. When you believe that something works, it can really be effective. The effect is rather small. That’s why Echinaforce sometimes works for a vague feeling of fatigue… but very poorly for fractured bones. Yes, I fact-checked that. You may remove it. Another reason for the success of unproven ideas… is that 80% of all complaints that people see the doctor about, go away by themselves. So if EVERYBODY uses a non-effective drug… 80% will think they have been cured by that drug. No surprise that lots of people think: If it doesn’t help, it doesn’t harm. That’s not true. It does harm! Remember that craniosacral therapy, earlier? That could be deadly for babies. In 2007 a baby died because the quack…. excuse me, the craniosacral therapist folded the baby double during the treatment It’s true! Also in chiropraxis, osteopathy, and Chinese healthcare, things sometimes go terribly wrong. Last month pediatricians said they are worried about alternative treatments. Pediatricians are getting more and more worried about incidents in which children are involved. The counter stands at 16 serious incidents in the last two years. In the last couple of years it has gone terribly wrong with 16 children. For example there was a little boy with serious peanut allergy. To make him stronger he had to hold a peanut on his belly. He got sick, vomited. He had a serious allergic reaction. It was fear, according to the kinesiologist, and he had to weather it. She wanted to go further by putting peanuts under and in his mouth. My reaction was like, no, stop it. This doesn’t feel right. This can happen when you take serious ailments to an unproven-ideas-dealer. These are extreme cases, normally you don’t die… and if you die the reincarnation therapist usually has a come back garantee. That’s something. But this little boy was treated by a kinesiologist. What does a kinesiologist do? Actually by making the movement we get a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. Here we go. Do you feel it? Here it is. This is the force. And this is the imbalance. This is the force and this is the imbalance. That’s what I always say when I kick someone off his motorbike. An also to her the standard question. Isn’t it some sort of placebo-effect? Isn’t it just the attention and your personality and character… that make me feel being listened to and seen? Personally I wouldn’t mind so much if that were the case. So this lady, this kinesiologist, says she personally doesn’t mind…. if everything she says to her patients were total bullshit. She had more to say, but somehow I got distracted. I think it was the Brandpunt sound man. For….well, listen. We didn’t do this; this is how it came on TV. Personally I wouldn’t mind so much if that were the case. But I think that if I have such a busy practice…. Yes, yes, yes, uh, h, uh tu-tub tobbetato-boem. I wrote it down. Yes, yes, yes. Uh, uh, uh, tu-tub tobbetato-boem. It’s getting harder and harder for Brandpunt to go undercover. We are in a drug baron’s warehouse here. His people are still asleep, so we have to be real quiet. Yes, yes, yes. Uh, uh, uh, tu-tub tobbetato-boem. However, when you see all this, one thing after another, you wonder… why so many people keep going for unproven ideas. Well, it is because of 6 reasons. For the sake of time we will go through the 5 most important ones. One: as we already saw: The insurers cover proven and unproven care under the same policies. So the highly-educated think: Ooooo, it’s covered.! Everybody, get in the cargo bike, it must be something! But there is more. Doctors prescribe it. So you think: a doctor, it has to be o.k.. And where do you get those drugs? At the pharmacy. They have the unproven and proven medicines on the same shelf. It would be better if, like a bookshop, they had a fiction and a non-fiction department. But at the pharmacy it is all mixed. So the unproven ideas look more legitimate. And to make it more bizarre, nowadays alternative practitioners… are monitored by the Inspectorate for Healthcare, just as real doctors. A good idea in itself, for they check whether a treatment is safe and effective. But not alternative treatments. Those are only tested for safety, not effectiveness. Because they are not effective. And last year a judge decided that unproven ideas… should be exempt from VAT, just like real medicines. That’s the status of alternative treatment in the Netherlands. Everything that assured the laymen that they were in safe, scientific hands… it’s from the doctor, it has a pharmacy sticker… a rubber stamp of the Health Inspectorate, it is covered…. The alternative treatments get that as well. Without having to be able to do anything. And that’s how a gigantic industry of nonsense is kept going. So I have an idea: we are going to separate things. Unproven ideas out of the policy, out of the pharmacy, away from the doctor. They will be in separate shops, perfectly legitimate, VAT levied. And of course doctors are allowed to work there. Obviously not in their capacity as doctors. So: white coat off, turban on, incense, Persian carpet. No longer doctor Verhoeff, but Maestro Verhovio. Right. He’s a doctor and an illusionist. So time for a divorce. It will hurt, but the real medicine and the unproven ideas must separate. I am proven and you are not. So we go our separate ways. Never again side by side in the pharmacy. Oh no! Never again exempt from VAT Farewell to my homeopathy Don’t pay for it Good bye, placebo! The needle in your back will not come back. Because it just doesn’t help much….. I will no longer be reimbursed. Homeopathy neither. No longer under the policy. I say farewell For you are not a real drug. We can’t be together anymore, so good bye, .. placebo I loved you so much…. such an alternative. But now it is time to go,…. to go. Farewell, farewell. This was Zondag met Lubach! Thanks a lot for watching. Have a good week and see you next Sunday!