Pseudoscience to return at 2013 Marywood University wellness fair – Act!

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Marywood University’s Celebrate Your Body Wellness Fair — an event advertised as “an interactive program used to promote positive body image, fitness and personal health” — will be taking place once again on February 21, 2013.

This upcoming event, one would assume, should provide accurate science-based information about wellness to members of the campus community. Rather than including ‘alternative medicine’ and/or unsubstantiated health information in its program, Marywood University should only include evidence-based modalities in its campus health fairs.

As a current student at Marywood University, I am quite disturbed to see administrators continuing to include promoters of pseudoscience in campus health fairs.

November 2011’s Fall for Fitness Health Fair & Flu Clinic included persons promoting acupuncture, talking about ‘energy medicine,’ and distributing brochures making claims concerning “the body’s innate healing abilities” and “balancing the body’s energy channels using needles.” [Following the event, I reported on the event and included comments from Dr. Steve Novella – an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Yale University who writes for Science-Based Medicine.]

Febuary 2012’s Celebrate Your Body Wellness Fair included a chiropractor offering ‘back alignment assessments’ and distributing brochures discussing vertebral subluxations; the body’s ‘natural healing ability’ which can “heal nearly any disease or condition;” life energy; the body’s ‘true healing which is not done by doctors, stitches, gauze, drugs, or injections, but rather is “performed by the wisdom of our miraculous bodies.” The distributed information also claimed that “chiropractic care” can “completely correct” asthma, bed-wetting, vomiting, loss of energy, incontinence, urinary tract infections, vision problems, blindness, and hyperactivity in children.

2013’s wellness fair is once again including the chiropractor who attended 2012’s event according to an e-mail sent to Marywood University students.

It is a real shame and frankly embarrassing that Marywood University continues to include such nonsense at its health fairs. Why do promoters of pseudoscience continue to be included at an institute of higher learning with administrators and event organizers who should know better  and provide only science-based information at its campus health fairs?

Marywood University students deserve better than this. They deserve to receive accurate information at campus health fairs if such fairs are offered. Rather than providing a stage and a captive audience for promoters of pseudoscience to advertise their businesses and lure unsavory students to spend money on ineffective treatment modalities, Marywood University should exclude chiropractic, ‘alternative medicine,’ acupuncture, and other nonsense from its campus health fairs.

Are you a current student at Marywood University or someone who is concerned about this upcoming wellness fair and future campus health fairs?

Do you want your voice to be heard so that students are not exposed to pseudoscience at campus wellness fairs and swayed by promoters of pseudoscience?

Consider writing about this matter or calling attention to it in whichever way you desire.

Interact with Marywood University’s Twitter handle, @MarywoodU, and visit their Twitter page.

Contact Fauve Young-Morrison — the post-doctoral resident/clinical assistant from Marywood University’s Counseling Center who sent the wellness fair promotion to students — by emailing

Contact Barbara Decker — the associate director of the Counseling Center at Marywood University whose email is also associated with this event — by emailing

Following is a letter you can use as a template. Feel free to copy-paste, personalize, and include in emails or other communications.

Subject: Celebrate Your Body Wellness Fair

I am concerned about Marywood University’s campus health fairs which continue to invite promoters of pseudoscience. Marywood University, a respected institute of higher learning, should not be including nonsense in its campus health fairs or doing a disservice to its campus community by continuing to include pseudoscience at its wellness fairs.

November 2011’s health fair and flu clinic included promoters of acupuncture who believe that “balancing the body’s energy channels using needles” can improve health. This claim has no basis whatsoever in medical literature and may harm students who believe they are receiving sound scientific information at campus health fairs.

2013’s Celebrate Your Body Wellness Fair is scheduled to include a chiropractor who, in 2012, distributed pamphlets containing abject nonsense — based on the non-evidenced ideas of ‘vertebral subluxations’ and ‘life energy’ — which can be harmful for members of the Marywood University community who may be led away from sound science and toward pseudoscience.

Marywood University should exclude this chiropractor from its February health fair and take measures to exclude all forms of pseudoscience from future health fairs. The students and members of the Marywood University community deserve better. They deserve sound science and reliable medical information.

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