Ladies and gentlemen, after a very useful Twitter discussion with some learned colleagues (and helpfully storified and blogged by my inestimable colleague @anarchicteapot), I introduce WCTB Therapy.
WCTB is intended to replace all forms of "alternative medicine" - it is indeed an invaluable alternative to the alternatives. WCTB has all the advantages claimed for alternative medicine, with none of the side effects. You don't have to interact with a bunch of New-Age crystal-hugging Earth drongoes; you don't have to sing silly chants or sell your soul to Zuul or believe stuff that your brain is screaming at you for even contemplating. You don't have to sacrifice your intelligence, you don't have to shell out loads of money for fake remedies. Yet this radical new programme of treatment holds enormous promise at a number of levels:
- Individual wellbeing
- Improved mental health
- Interaction with others
- Social cohesion
- Economic regeneration
- World Peace
What is this new miracle treatment? What portal to the fundamental life-force of the Universe has been opened to be accessible to mere mortals? How can these grandiose claims be made for a complementary medical therapy? And what IS WCTB? Let me explain.
Wee Cup of Tea and a Biscuit (WCTB):
It is our contention that many disease symptoms and psychological issues can be resolved by sitting the feck down with someone prepared to listen and to care, and to share a wee cup of tea and a biscuit. Our initial research suggests that the precise brand of tea and type of biscuit may not be terribly important (further research is needed). But after a programme of WCTB therapy, we feel (see the Twitter link above for my co-authors in this) that many patients will experience significant benefit in a wide range of acute and chronic disorders.
We do not propose WCTB as a cure for all ills, but there are very few conditions where WCTB is not likely to be a helpful adjunct, whether administered to the patient, or a worried relative. WCTB is cheap, requires minimal training to deliver, and, in fact, wonderful health practitioners and caring individuals in society have been delivering it for years with great effect.
Indeed, it is an indictment on our society that WCTB is not more widely available. If the government were to sink *half* the amount of money into WCTB that they flush down the drain in wasteful nonsense such as homeopathy, we predict that it would save the NHS vast sums of money - fewer complaints, more rapid recovery, greater community cohesion, improved mental health and general fitness - there is no downside.
So throw away those stupid homeopathy pills. Close down the various homeopathy hospitals and convert them into fully funded WCTB units where people can come in free for a regular dose of WCTB. Create WCTB Units in areas of social deprivation and unemployment, as well as major transport interchanges. Teach WCTB principles in schools and universities. Encourage people to offer their services as WCTB Therapists - all they need is a listening ear and a caring and compassionate nature. Stop wasting money on insane crap like homeopathy and Reiki and crystals etc.
And, you know what? We might just change the world.