Come along to Whitehall today armed with your favourite quack remedies and you could be granted a diploma to practice Old Wives’ Traditional Medicine.
Do gurning faces really 'stay like that' if the wind changes? Do you automatically say 'bless you' if somebody sneezes? If you just got a shiver down your spine on reading those examples, it's either because someone just walked across your grave or because you don't believe in superstitions. If the latter, you might want to head down to Whitehall for 11.30 today.
A demonstration will take place outside the Department of Health in protest at new proposals for a professional registration scheme for practitioners of alternative medicine. Why's that so bad? Such a register would focus on traditional methods as the basis of its accreditation, not evidence. There is no check that the practitioner has medical training, nor that the remedies on offer actually work. Yet the 'professional' status of the register could easily confuse patients into believing that the treatment they are receiving has the same status as clinically proven, evidence-based medicine. Voice of Young Science, who are behind the demo, give specific examples of 'acupuncture, herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and other traditional medicine systems'.
VoYS have prepared a fact sheet (PDF) outlining the reasons for protesting. To illustrate the daftness of it all, anyone who turns up can attempt to gain a diploma in Old Wives' Traditional Medicine by answering a few simple questions. They'll be joined outside the DoH by former MP Evan Harris, supporters of evidence-based medicine and - unless repelled by too many daily apple eaters - some genuine doctors. If you can't make it down, you can follow proceedings on Twitter via #oldwivesmed.
Image by buckaroo kid in the Londonist Flickr pool.