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Alternative Medicine

Nature, time and patience are the three great physicians - Bulgarian Proverb

Alternative Medicine

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No longer considered on the fringe of mainstream medicine, Alternative Medicine is one of the fastest growing industries in the world of health and medicine.

And "the future for the alternative-therapy industry looks particularly bright in America. NCCAM continues to pay for research. Josephine Briggs, its director, says she is neither for nor against alternative treatments; she just wants to test which ones work and which do not (she is also interested in the effect of medical rituals).

But Steven Novella, a vocal critic at Yale University, argues that the centre's very existence fuels the cause. “People say, ‘The government is researching that, so it has got to be legitimate',” he complains.

Supporters of alternative medicine have two additional forces in their favour. Conventional health care has some clear failings. As Dr Weil points out, America's health-care system excels at treating sick patients but is miserable at keeping them well. The pharmaceutical industry struggles to create good, long-term treatments for pain and other chronic conditions. Many doctors are hurried or come across as unsympathetic.

Alternative practitioners spend time with patients, asking about not just their medical histories but their lifestyles. They may emphasise nutrition and exercise. Many such treatments, especially the hands-on ones, are soothing. It is unsurprising if patients feel better."

Source: The Believers, The Economist, April 14, 2012.

From homeopathy and naturopathy to acupuncture and herbal medicine, they are all here.


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