Alternative medicine is any healing practice “that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine”. In some instances, it is based on historical or cultural traditions, rather than a scientific (i.e. evidence-based) basis. Critics assert that the terms “complementary” and “alternative medicine” are deceptive euphemisms meant to give an impression of medical authority.
It is frequently grouped with complementary medicine or integrative medicine, which, in general, refers to the same interventions when used in conjunction with mainstream techniques, under the umbrella term complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM. Some researchers in alternative medicine oppose this grouping, preferring to emphasize differences of approach, but nevertheless use the term CAM, which has become standard.”Although heterogeneous, the major CAM systems have many common characteristics, including a focus on individualizing treatments, treating the whole person, promoting self-care and self-healing, and recognizing the spiritual nature of each individual. In addition, many CAM systems have characteristics commonly found in mainstream healthcare, such as a focus on good nutrition and preventive practices. Unlike mainstream medicine, CAM often lacks or has only limited experimental and clinical study; however, scientific investigation of CAM is beginning to address this knowledge gap. Thus, boundaries between CAM and mainstream medicine, as well as among different CAM systems, are often blurred and are constantly changing.”
Alternative medicine practices are as diverse in their foundations as in their methodologies. Practices may incorporate or base themselves on traditional medicine, folk knowledge, spiritual beliefs, or newly conceived approaches to healing. Jurisdictions where alternative medical practices are sufficiently widespread may license and regulate them. The claims made by alternative medicine practitioners are generally not accepted by the medical community because evidence-based assessment of safety and efficacy is either not available or has not been performed for these practices. If scientific investigation establishes the safety and effectiveness of an alternative medical practice, it then becomes mainstream medicine and is no longer “alternative”, and may therefore become widely adopted by conventional practitioners.
Because alternative techniques tend to lack evidence, or may even have repeatedly failed to work in tests, some have advocated defining it as non-evidence based medicine, or not medicine at all. Some researchers state that the evidence-based approach to defining CAM is problematic because some CAM is tested, and research suggests that many mainstream medical techniques lack solid evidence.
A 1998 systematic review of studies assessing its prevalence in 13 countries concluded that about 31% of cancer patients use some form of complementary and alternative medicine. Alternative medicine varies from country to country. Edzard Ernst says that in Austria and Germany CAM is mainly in the hands of physicians, while some estimates suggest that at least half of American alternative practitioners are physicians. In Germany, herbs are tightly regulated, with half prescribed by doctors and covered by health insurance based on their Commission E legislation.
Make sure that you consult with your personal physician prior to using Alternative Medicine methods.
Your Super Natural Life with Beth Greer
Kenny Ausubel, Founder of Bioneers, filmmaker and author of “When Healing Becomes a Crime” talks about the war on unconventional/alternative cancer treatments and their practitioners by big pharma, the FDA and the National Cancer Institute. He shares information on the Hoxsey method of herbal remedies, prevention and other alternative healing modalities, as well as green chemistry and biomimicry. http://www.bioneers.org/
Duration : 0:10:33
You should consult a physician prior to using Alternative Medicine methods especially if you are taking prescription medications.