Science

The pseudoscientific derivatives of Medoucine, the “Doctolib of alternative medicine”

Bioenergy, psychogenealogy, “quantum therapies”, biological decoding … Under its feng shui airs, its dusty pink interface and its hundreds of digital eulogies, the Médoucine site promotes fanciful, even potentially dangerous, pseudoscientific disciplines. Mathieu Repiquet of FakeMed, a collective that promotes evidence-based medicine, investigated the questionable methods of the complementary care directory. In its report that L’Express was able to obtain exclusively, it denounces a breach of ethics and, on occasions, even the law.

Médoucine was created in 2016 by the Solange Arnaud Polytechnic. Two years later, the site already had almost 200 practitioners, naturopaths, aromatherapists or masseurs. Today, the directory lists more than 1000 with different disciplines. The start-up proposes a code of ethics. Verification of diplomas, past experiences, recommendations from colleagues, anything goes, in theory. However, three complaints have been filed with the Interministerial Mission for Surveillance and Fight against Sectarian Abuses (Miviludes) since 2020. As for the Order of Physicians, it has also been reported “as well as other platforms that question, and continue to be particularly vigilant. ” Because it is not uncommon to find, in the information sheets of “certified” therapists, practices indicated by Miviludes, such as Reiki, biological decoding or psychogenealogy.

Some professionals report it transparently in their profile. This is the case of Sophie Lefevre-Authier, a hypnotherapist who practices Reiki, a method of which Miviludes testifies that “overwhelming testimonies have been collected by victims’ associations”. Others are more cautious and are content to provide keywords such as “biological decoding,” a trend that assimilates disease to psychological shocks that can be cured with thought. A dangerous method, because it causes delays or even suspensions of care. Its founder, the German Ryke Geerd Hamer, was sentenced to 19 months in prison in Germany in 1997 for the illegal practice of medicine, then three years in prison in France in 2004. In Médoucine, seven therapists are concerned, which raises questions in view of the multiple criminal convictions of certain professionals who are experts in biological decoding.

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Fake certificate

When asked by the Express, Solange Arnaud, who insists on the exclusion of anyone who does not comply with the rules, is prudent: “If Miviludes highlights a risk of sectarian drift linked to a practice, that does not mean that 100% of the practitioners be gurus. ” On this point, the president of the public health section of the National Council of the Order of Physicians (CNOM), Bruno Boyer, agrees: “it is not the method that is problematic but the use made by some individuals.”

The founder of Médoucine does not move: in-depth checks are carried out on the seriousness of the training of each practitioner and the method used. A claim undermined by Fantine’s experience. This contributor to the Fact and the Furious collective, an independent fact-checking site, pretended to be a practitioner about to sign up, with the help of a crude fake transcript, unverifiable references because he was invented from scratch, and a non-existent specialty. . The email inviting payment to validate the registration was immediate. It is enough to question the application verification process, which however the founder assures that it can last from “two to fifteen days”.

Links with Thierry Casasnovas

“Naturopathic iridologist”, Julien Allaire offers iridology sessions that cost € 90. The latter, according to him, “would determine the functioning of the organism, its strengths and weaknesses, its degree of physical, psychological and immunological resistance, to evaluate the state of the nervous and endocrine systems, the level of stress as well as energy and mineral deficiencies” . In his book “La santé par l’oeil”, Julien Allaire states that iridology would reveal “genetic and hereditary predispositions to certain diseases, mineral or vitamin deficiencies”. […], arthritis or rheumatic risks, a fragility of the immune system ”. On social media, he says that having blue eyes would predispose you to developing arthritic diseases. Browsing his Instagram profile, we can even see him posing on September 23, 2020 with Thierry Casasnovas. , champion of fasting and raw foods on YouTube The controversial influencer is the subject of a judicial investigation for acts of “abuse of weakness”, “illegal practice of medicine and pharmacy” and “deceptive commercial practices”.

In her Medoucine profile, psychopractic Gwen Saulnier is recommended by one Julien Drouin who claims to be a “doctor”. However, it was removed by the Order of Physicians in 2017. Lithotherapist geobiologist Julie Cachart says she specializes in “high potential,” providing “energetic care” and selling stones, crystals, and bracelets that supposedly “fight depression,” as well. how they “regenerate tissue” and “form red blood cells.” For Mathieu Repiquet, these statements “clearly violate article L5122-15 of the Public Health Code. Several judgments have already been handed down against sellers of lithotherapy stones and the DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Control: Nota del Editor) considers this practice a pseudoscience. ”

A significant number of professionals claim to use “quantum physics” to identify the root cause of disease and free up cellular memory. “This is a well-known ineptitude for observers of the FakeMed phenomenon, whose sole aim is to legitimize smoke practices by giving them a scientific and academic appearance,” says Mathieu Repiquet. It also identified twenty-six therapists who claim to practice needle acupuncture. However, exercising this activity without being a doctor exposes you to criminal prosecution. During the 2020 trial of an acupuncturist who practiced illegally, prosecutor Aurélie Raynaud stated that it is “important that state services seek out practitioners of unconventional medicine, because there are risks to public health.”

“A public health problem”

“Complementary care is the Wild West,” sums up Bruno Falissard, professor of public health at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Paris XI and director of research at INSERM. According to him, Médoucine is representative of the lack of supervision of complementary care, a “real public health problem”. For Bruno Falissard, it is necessary to base his treatment proposal on a proven theory, and above all “to know when the patient should go to the doctor”. Solange Arnaud guarantees that this would also be Médoucine’s main concern: “ensuring that the position of professionals in the system is clear to them: they offer support that must continue to be complementary”. But the president of FakeMed, Cyril Vidal, considers that the mere use of the expression “alternative medicine” and not “unconventional care” skews the gaze of potential patients, giving a medical sound to the proposed methods. As for Bruno Boyer, from the Ordre des médecins, he is more categorical: “commercial advertising for unconventional practices, without any regulatory body being able to look at it, that is not desirable.”

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A speech that recalls the multiple criticisms to which the online dating company Doctolib is routinely subjected. For Bruno Boyer, the issue requires “the attention of public authorities.” Because in terms of health, we speak of “patients” and not “clients”.

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