The Posture Theory Homepage
in Time Magazine
Types of Hypochondria
Whiteley Index (14 questions)
The Gullibility Test (10 questions)
The Doctors Honesty Test (10 questions)
test can be used to explain why some patients read medical books
and try to cure their own ailments.
To be contrasted
with the Whiteley Index
Also relevant to
hypochondriacal neurosis, hypochondriasis, hysteria, somatoform,
somatization, and conversion disorders which should be more appropriately
called The Undetectable Disorders, as such terminology is more
honest, truthful, and accurate, and provides no corruption, prejudice,
or loading of meaning.
here to go straight to The Hypochondria Test (60 questions)
Joke number 335. Why do people read medical books?
a. Because they need the knowledge in order to pass their
b. Because they need the knowledge in order to deal with diseases
that doctors can't understand or cure.
c. Because they need the material for their doctor jokes;
Did you hear the one about a pesky bug called helicobacter
pylori; it ate a big hole in the stress theories.
(If the cause of disease is not correctly identified all treatment
will inevitably fail, as was the case with stomach ulcers i.e.
you can't kill bacteria with antacids or talk therapy, and attempting
to convince a patient that the ulcer is caused by stress, when
it is not, and then not providing a real cure, can be extremely
annoying. Doctors can also be intensely irritating when they
say that the treatment "should have worked" when it
didn't, and when they imply that it is the patients fault that
the treatment failed, or that the patient is just after sympathy,
or wants the treatment to fail". Some doctors actually give
the impression that they will continue with that type of insidious
harassment relentlessly because they want the patient to go away
and never come back, and the only way for the patient to achieve
peace of mind is to avoid doctors as much as possible and solve
the problem themselves using whatever skills and resources are
available. Some doctors then try to frustrate patients further
by telling them that reading medical books is a sign of insanity,
and in fact they twist everything around to suit their own view
of the world. If the doctor doesn't solve the problem and the
patient is deterred from doing so they are left in a situation
which is absolutely hopeless. In such cases the doctor isn't
part of the cure, he is part of the problem, and if you stop
consulting doctors you remove half of the problem immediately).
Joke number 336. Imagine this
At a recent medical conference about the cause of hypochondria
an eager young doctor stood up and said "I think it is caused
by a fear of disease", and another said "I think that
they are all timid and meally mouthed and are afraid of exercise,
people, the world, and everything". another sprouted "I
think it is due to depression", and then another said "I
think that they are turning deep seated sub conscious psychological
problems into physical symptoms", and yet another keen young
doctor said "I think it is due to an overactive imagination",
and yet another neophyte sprung to his feet and said "I
think that hypochondriacs have excessive introspection",
and another said "I think that they ruminate too much about
trivial health problems", and then came the suggestion "I
think that hypochondriacs have nothing better to do with themselves"
but then a bright spark with a real gift said "I think that
they take life and death too seriously and should lighten up
a bit and think more humorously".
Just then a hypochondriac stood up in the middle row and said
"Mr. Chairman, I am going to the cafe next door to have
a salad and a glass of apple juice, and when your illustrious
wizards eventually decide which is their best idea could you
please let me know and I'll tell you what is wrong with it".
Joke number 337. Leaping to conclusions
The young doctor said that hypochondriacs were ignorant people
who leapt to the conclusion that they were ill on the basis of
the flimsiest of evidence, and that they were all fools who were
irrationally obsessed with their trivial health problems every
hour of every day for years, sometimes even decades. A curious
and inquisitive hypochondriac then asked "and how long have
you been trying to understand the riddle of hypochondria which
has been baffling the entire medical profession for thousands
of years???" and the young doctor replied "about a
Click here for
more doctor jokes
What is hypochondria - These
60 questions will explain if a patients interest in medicine
is warranted or not.
Notes About The Author of These Tests
1965. I probably
injured my knee in 1965 when I somersaulted from a 10 foot high
unicycle. I can recall that I hyperflexed my knee on landing.
This produced an odd sensation but there was no pain at the time.
Soon after this incident I was diagnosed with a torn cartilage
which was surgically removed. Upon returning to my desk job 6
weeks later I had to stand for an hour each morning to open mail
at a bench. This aggravated and sustained pain following surgery
but my doctor was not confident enough to refer me to a specialist
to get a medical certificate which would give me the medical
authorisation to avoid that standing work. I was therefore crippled
for 6-9 months before I was coincidentally transferred to another
job which did not involve standing, and the pain cleared up and
I returned to gymnastics. Fourteen years later I injured my other
knee while playing volleyball as part of a fitness programme
to treat fatigue. I told my doctor that I seemed to have the
same sort of cartilage injury as before but he tested my knee
and said there was nothing wrong with it. I was therefore a cripple
for 18 months until a physiotherapist, and then a knee surgeon
confirmed the injury and operated on my cartilage. Post operative
complication set in and I was crippled for another 18 months
until further surgery repaired damaged synovial tissue. During
this time I read a medical book which gave information on how
to prevent that sort of complication. I have had minor problems
with that knee ever since.
1972. I was
experiencing an aching pain in my left and right kidney area
whenever I leaned toward a desk to count coins as part of my
work as an accounting clerk in approximately 1972. My doctor
told me that there was nothing wrong but 2 months later an x-ray
revealed a kidney stone in my left kidney. A few years later
I awoke at 2 a.m. in agony. X-rays confirmed that the pain was
caused by a kidney stone which was surgically removed about 10
days later. I continued to get aching in the left and right side
of my back whenever I leaned forward repeatedly or whenever my
back was exposed to cold breezes so I avoided bending activities
and wore a padded undershirt to protect my back from the cold.
About 15 years later an x-ray taken for another reason revealed
that I still had a cluster of stones in my left kidney. Several
years later a CAT scan revealed a 10 cm cancerous tumor which
was blocking my left kidney. This was treated with surgery and
chemotherapy. I still get occasional aches in both kidneys and
I still have stones in my left kidney.
1975. In 1975
I was having severe problems with my health but my doctor told
me that there was no evidence of illness. I attended a medical
research programme to improve my fitness as I thought it might
relieve the problems. Ergometric tests revealed a result of zero.
This compared with test results for athletes of 1200, and people
with an average fitness of 900, and recovering heart attack patients
of 600. I was told that the test was scientifically designed
and that the results were impossible to fake. Four years later
I wrote The Posture Theory, part of which proposes that postural
pressure on the chest impedes blood flow from the abdomen to
the brain causing a permanent alteration to haemodynamics which
results in chronic fatigue. About 10 years later I submitted
a sample of my urine to a chronic fatigue research programme
at Newcastle University. The results confirmed that I had metabolic
abnormalities at the maximum extreme, which were consistent with
the results of other patients who had severe chronic fatigue.
In the mid 1990's, for the first time, The Australian Medical
Association officially recognised the chronic fatigue syndrome
as a real illness.
these years I was getting the common cold several times a year
which seemed to be associated with cold weather and cold breezes,
but doctors advised me that this was not so. I started wearing
warm protective clothing and sealed all of the rooms in my home
to prevent breezes and I stopped getting colds.
this period I already had a lot of acquired medical knowledge
to deal with my own health problems and spent some time listening
to talk back radio shows and heard doctors frequently telling
outright lies to the public about ailments ranging from Whiplash
Injuries to Chernobyl fallout, and I had more than 120 letters
to the editor and articles published in newspapers and magazines
warning the public about such things.
1994. A blood
test revealed evidence of cancer in my blood early in 1994 (approximately)
and a follow up cat scan confirmed the presence of multiple tumours
between my neck and my groin. Some of these cancers were up to
2cm in diameter and were close to vital structures such as my
liver and kidneys, and the arteries near my heart. Shortly after
that a bone marrow biopsy showed evidence of cancer in my bone
marrow, and follow up surgery to remove a gland in my groin revealed
cancer in the gland. A cancer specialist then told me that a
cure might have been possible if I only had one small 2 cm cancer
in my neck, but as I had so many tumors of varying sizes, and
as the disease had spread throughout my body, blood, and bone
marrow, I would probably be dead within two months, and I was
advised to finalise my financial affairs (i.e. to write a will).
Four years later a cancer specialist told me that I did not have
any evidence of cancer on any of my tests or scans, and that
the previous specialists had misdiagnosed me. A year later I
noticed a 2 cm lump in my neck which grew to 5cm within 12 months.
It was diagnosed as an aggressive cancer which required immediate
surgery and 6 monthly doses of chemotherapy. I was told that
the chemicals would impair my immune system so I lived like a
hermit for those 6 months to avoid infectious illnesses. 18 months
later a cat scan revealed a 10 cm tumor blocking my left kidney.
This was removed by surgery and chemotherapy which left me nauseus
and ill for the best part of 11 months.
a surgical procedure in 1995 I was advised that the operation
had caused heart strain and heart enlargement and high blood
pressure which would require me to avoid strenuous physical activity
and to take blood pressure medication for the rest of my life,
and that there was no cure.
1998. I think
that it was in 1998 that I first felt a squeezing pain in my
chest while walking to my letter box. This pain became a regular
symptom occurring every 20 yards as I walked. I had to rest for
about a minute for the pain to ease before continuing for another
20 yards. After several months of worsening problems I consulted
a doctor who immediately diagnosed angina. A heart specialist
confirmed the diagnosis and said that I should have coronary
bypass surgery within two weeks or I could have a heart attack
and die. I read a book on the subject and treated the condition
with a vegetarian diet which relieved the problem within 6 months
so surgery was not required.
2005. I am still
alive in 2005 and at this point in time there is no evidence
of high blood pressure, heart disease, or cancer, and I am not
taking any medication, and I am not anxious, depressed, or mentally
disoriented, and nowadays I rarely read medical books. In fact
I have sold over half of my private collection, and the remaining
150 books have been collecting dust. However I still have problems
associated with numerous aspects of my health which I am able
to manage with my acquired medical knowledge. If you wish to
know how I have survived you will need to read what I have written
about the cause of disease on this website, and what I have written
about the political and economic factors which influence medical
ideas and practices which can be determined by doing the tests
on this webpage. More of this information is available in my
books which you can order and buy over the internet, or borrow
from various public and educational libraries. M.B. Click
here to order The Posture Theory 11th edition
for more details about the author
You Do The Maths
298. "How can you determine which diseases of the modern
world are 'all in the mind'?" said the pesky journalist
to the hypochondriac . . . and the hypochondriac replied
"Oh! that should be easy; you just need to add up
the number of diseases which were 'all in the mind' in the nineteenth
century, and then deduct the number of diseases which have been
detected in the twentieth century"
. . . and how were those diseases detected??" said the
pesky journalist . . . "Oh! you know, by those new fangled
things called microscopes, x-rays, CAT scans, MRI's, ultrasounds
. . . and . . . um, er . . .and . . . c-c-c- . . . cough, splutter
c-c-ca- . . . cough, splutter . . . c- c- camera pills etc."
said the hypochondriac, the one who was becoming exhausted, the
one with the chronic fatigue syndrome, the illness which was
'all in the mind' until recent ergometric and biochemical tests
revealed its real cause.
A test for doctors,
psychiatrists, medical students, research scientists, journalists,
media analysts, patients, the general public, and web surfers.
Is it sensible for people to read medical books
and surf the internet to get information about their health if
a series of doctors has failed to provide them with a satisfactory
explanation and a cure for their ailments???
This test will determine that.
Score '1' if you think that the answer is correct,
and score '0' if you think it is wrong, and then add up the total
and draw your own conclusions about the results.
Psychiatrists, Medical Scientists, and Government Officials said
about Health in their own esoteric journals, and or, via the
public broadcasting media.
What People who
read medical textbooks find in their attempt to understand and
cure their own ailments
| That patients
with the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were suffering from mere tiredness
caused by psychological problems according to psychological tests.
|| That patients
with the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were suffering from abnormally
low aerobic capacity and metabolic conditions which can be measured
by a variety of ergometric and biochemical tests.
| That patients
with the chronic fatigue syndrome were mollycoddled and protected
from the rigors of sport as children, and were afraid to exercise
when they were adults, and that the condition can be cured with
a graduated exercise training programme (GET).
|| That many
professional sportsmen, athletes, marathon runners, Olympians,
and world record holders develop the chronic fatigue syndrome
and have to cease their activities, and most of them regain some
health but never properly recover.
| That women
with menstrual pain were neurotic whingers who complained about
trivial pain that normal women ignored.
|| That menstrual
pain is caused by menstrual cramps which vary in severity from
woman to woman, and it has been possible to measure the severity
of those cramps for more than 100 years.
| That Repetitive
Strain Injury is a brand new condition and is a psychological
disorder which only affected typists in the Australian Public
Service who faked pain to get workers compenstion.
|| That Repetitive
Strain Injury has been the most common occupational illness in
the Western World since the Industrial Revolution affecting more
than 100 different types of occupation because of the increased
development of production line factory work and task specialisation
which requires more repetitive work. It also affects children
who use keyboards excessively to play computer games, and teenagers
who use the keypad excessively to send text messages on their
mobile phones, and it has crippled some professional sportsmen
and is the most common condition affecting musicians.
| That the
pain of Whiplash Injury is all in the mind as proveable by the
absence of evidence of an injury in x-ray studies.
|| That Whiplash
Injuries are real physical injuries which cannot be detected
by x-rays, but some are evident on more sophisticated diagnostic
| That the
epidemic of whiplash injuries in the 1970's and 1980's was an
example of mass hysteria which was effectively treated by psychotherapy.
|| That whiplash
injuries were common in rear end car crashes in the 1970's and
1980's because the driver in the front car had his head and neck
thrown violently forward and backwards like the lash of a whip.
Since then laws have been passed which make it compulsory for
car manufacturers to include shock absorbing crumple zones in
the front of the vehicle, and head rests at the top of the seats
to prevent the head from being thrown backwards, and seat belts
to prevent the body from being thrown forward.
| That according
to dental authorities the mercury in teething powders was not
the cause of Pink Disease.
||That teething powders
have been known to cause Pink Disease in babies for more than
50 years and that is now regarded as an accepted fact.
| That the
common cold is not caused by exposure to cold breezes so patients
who avoid cold draughts and wear warm clothing in winter are
wasting their time and are typical overcautious hypochondriacs.
|| That the
common cold is actually caused by an infectious virus but most
people have experienced the development of a sore throat and
a cold after being exposted to a cold draught. Epidemics of the
common cold occur more commonly in winter when the earth temperature
is lower than normal and cold breezes are more frequent, and
some hospitals routinely keep patients warm immediately after
surgery because the warmth improves the function of the immune
system and reduces the incidence of post-operative infections
of all types.
| That the
typical health problems suffered by nineteenth century women
of the Western world were not caused by their tight waisted corsets
but were one of histories most convincing examples of mass hysteria
where women could faint at will, and suffered from a large catalogue
of unexplainable illnesses. Nowadays women can safely wear corsets
without any known or any scientifically proven risk to their
|| That the
incidence of health problems in nineteenth century women were
directly related to the tightness of their wasp-waisted corsets.
Such corsets compressed the heart and lungs so that the women
often felt breathless and faint. They also crushed the stomach
and one of the most common illnesses was called "Nervous
Indigestion". In some women the corset pushed the spleen
from the chest down into the pelvis and split the liver in two.
Some women wore corsets to crush their wombs and induce abortions
but occasionally the womb developed gangrene and the mother and
baby died. The general longevity of women was also related to
the tightness of their corsets and the life expectancy of 13
inch corset wearers was 35 years. 13 inch corsets were mass produced
and could be purchased off the rack in most London dress shops.
They were virtually banned after a decade of heated debates between
corset critics and corset manufacturers which ended in 1904,
and most women stopped wearing them by 1914, after which the
incidence of womens diseases began to drop dramatically.
| That some
leafy green vegetables contain rough fibres which irritate the
gut and cause constipation, and that the relief from constipation
which vegetarians claim to get by eating foods which contain
roughage is 'all in the mind'.
|| That roughage
consists of vegetable fibre which absorbs moisture and swells
up in the gut like a soft moist sponge and it is more easily
moved through the intestines than the hard compacted material
that results from eating non-fibrous foods. The fact that roughage
relieves constipation is now widely accepted and recommended
as a treatment by the mainstream medical profession.
| The Industrial
Dermatitis is due to a psychological disorder in workers which
can be cured by psychotherapy.
|| That Industrial
Dermatitis is also called Contact Dermatitis and is caused by
exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace, and the condition
is often incurable and can only be treated by avoiding exposure
to the chemical.
| That Agent
Orange was safe enough to drink and was not the cause of health
problems in Vietnam Veterans.
|| That Agent
Orange, as used in the Vietnam War, contained Dioxin which causes
at least 16 different types of cancer, birth defects in offspring,
and other health problems, and in 2004 Dioxin was mixed into
a bowl of soup in an attempt to assassinate Ukraine presidential
candidate Viktor Yushchenko.
| That Maralinga
Fallout is harmless
|| That Maralinga
Fallout causes cancer and some of the contaminated soil in the
Maralinga desert has been removed by the government at great
| That after
the Cheronoby nuclear accident the local citizens were suffering
from symptoms caused by a contagious stomach virus.
|| That after
the Chernobyl nuclear accident the local citizens were suffering
from radiation sickness which was caused by nuclear fallout.
| That the
Gulf War Syndrome was all in the mind, and not the result of
exposure to environmental contamination in Iraq, because scientific
tests on the hair of individual cases did not reveal any evidence
of uranium in Gulf War Veterans.
|| That uranium
is not found in human hair and that the correct way for testing
is to examine urine. Independent tests of the urine of Gulf War
Syndrome veterans recently revealed high levels of urnanium contamination.
| That the
symptoms of Shellshock are caused by cowardice.
|| That a world
war I soldier was granted a bravery medal at his bedside while
in a military hospital being treated for shellshock.
| That the
symptoms of Shellshock are caused by cowardice, and one of the
symptoms can be deafness in one ear.
|| That the
symptoms of Shellshock can involve deafness in one ear, where
the deafness occurs in the ear on the side of the exploding grenade
| That Shellshock
is caused by the fear of battle and involves nightmares and other
psychological symptoms which are due to a personality disorder
involving an inablility to cope with the responsibilities of
|| That some
bombs produce a type of shockwave which pass through the human
body to cause the symptoms of Shellshock which include deafness,
blindness, muteness, spasms, tics, paralysis, and nervouseness
and fatigue which are sometimes chronic. Army engineers have
designed a bomb to produce the type of shockwaves which cause
shellshock to cripple and disable enemy soldiers.
| That in the
opinion of plastic surgeons women who were complaining about
the side effects of leaking Silicon Breast Implants were neurotics
and hysterics whose problems were trivial.
|| That in the
opinion of a court the women who organised a class action law
suit were entitled to several billion dollars compensation for
the suffering caused by leaking Silicon Breast Implants, which
was well known to the manufacturing company but deliberately
concealed and denied for 30 years, and the sale of those implants
has since been discontinued.
| That chronic
peptic ulcers (stomach and duodenal ulcers) are due to psychological
stress and that 95% of cases can be cured by psychotherapy for
one hour each week for 10 years. According the the best medical
opinion available it was not possible for stomach ulcers to be
caused by bacteria because the stomach acid would kill any bacteria
which entered the stomach.
|| That psychotherapy
invariably failed in the treatment of peptic ulcers and in the
1990's the real cause was found to be an acid resistant bacteria,
and 90% of cases can now be cured within a week by antibiotics.
The Australian doctors who discovered the real cause were awarded
the nobel prize for medicine in 2005, and said in news conferences
that they had a lot of difficulty convincing their colleagues
of their findings.
| That the
cause of most cases of chronic abdominal pain is not evident
on x-rays and therefore must be trivial and have an imaginary
or psychological basis.
|| That many
causes of chronic abdominal pain go undetected for 20 years or
more despite dozens of tests because there are still many undetectable
causes. One such cause is sliding hernias which are not evident
at the time of the test, or because the cause of pain is not
evident until the injury progresses. Also when sliding hernias
are found there is no relationship between the severity of the
hernia and the severity of pain, and there are examples of minor
injuries causing the worst pain which is sometimes completely
cured by corrective surgery. There are also other causes which
are not found until they are eventually detected by advances
in diagnostic technology.
| That chronic
back pain which is not evident on x-rays must be all in the mind
|| That many
cases of chronic back pain are called Postural Back Pain which
is not evident on x-rays except for, in many cases, clear signs
of abnormal spinal curvature, which often co-exist in persons
who have occupations which involve prolonged abnormal postural
positions, such as sitting at a desk, leaning over a bench, or
repeatedly bending to lift heavy objects.
| That people
can use the power of their mind to walk on a path of hot coals.
|| That some
con-men become very wealthy by charging thousands of dollars
per person to walk across a path of hot coals under the pretence
that it can be achieved by using the power of the mind, when
in fact, the cheap stunt is designed by using a variety of deceptions.
These include asking the person to dance up and down on dewy
grass to get their feet wet before the walk, walking fast so
that the feet do not stay on the coals long enough for the heat
to get through the tough skin of the foot, and choosing wood
which burns at low temperatures, and performing the stunt at
night so that the burning embers look much more dangerous than
they actually are.
| That there
is no scientific proof that tobacco smoke causes lung cancer.
|| That tobacco
companies deliberately concealed evidence that tobacco smoke
caused lung cancer, and that the vast majority of tobacco company
executives did not smoke, and that many famous radio, TV, and
movie stars did smoke and earned a lucrative income by doing
paid advertising commercials for tobacco companies, and have
since died of throat or lung cancer.
|That nicotine in
cigarettes is psychologically addictive and not chemically addictive.
|| That tobacco
companies deliberately increased the nicotine levels in cigarettes
in order to create chemical addiction in smokers for the purpose
of increasing their sales and profits.
| That valium
is prescribed to relieve pain by treating anxiety, and that valium
is psychologically addictive.
|| That valium
relieves symptoms such as back pain because it is a muscle relaxant,
and that one of its harmful side effects is chemical addiction.
deep vein thrombosis is not more prevalent in aircraft passengers
than it is in the general population.
|| That oxygen
concentration in passenger jets is significantly lower than it
is at sea level, and that low oxygen concentration tends to make
blood thick and sticky. Also the design of the airline seats
puts pressure on the passengers thighs and tends to trap that
thick blood in the lower legs. The stagnant blood then tends
to clot causing pain in the legs, or the clot can spread to the
lungs or brain and cause death. As at 6-4-2000 30,000 British
passengers developed flight induced blood clots each year. Also
the purity of air in first class cabins is 7 times better than
it is in economy. The aviation industry has concealed this information
from the public because of the risk of attracting compensation
claims and of discouraging air travel, both of which reduce industry
| That the
issues discussed in this colum are trivial, imaginary, and rare.
|| That the
health issues discussed in this test are real, serious, and common.
| That medical
opinion can be trusted because it is given by honest, academically
trained, highly qualified and respected people who apply the
strict principles of evidence, science, and statistics, and assess
information in a comprehensive, independent, and objective manner
which is subject to peer review.
|| That people
who believe everything which is said in the name of medicine,
science, or officialdom, are as gullible as those who believe
everything that they read in newspapers, hear on the radio, or
see on television. Also that doctors are often employed for their
respectable and trustworthy public image, and then promoted to
give them authority over their peers, and then paid to tell company
or government lies, usually sophisticated lies involving half
truths, prevarications, misleading statements, and rigged statistics
which are presented as media releases, and then edited by medically
unqualified journalists, and broadcast in the name of truth.
|That patients who
read medical books or who surf the internet to get information
about health in an attempt to cure their own illness are suffering
from trivial and imaginary ailments and have an unnecessary and
irrational interest in their health.
||That patients read
medical books and surf the internet in an attempt to cure their
own illnesses out of necessity because they have already been
to a variety of doctors for many years, all to no avail.
for doctors, psychiatrists, medical scientists, and government
for patients who read medical articles