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The GPs who say wacky alternative cures like herbs, hypnotism and Indian massage AREN'T hokum

Opinion: Alternative healing or quackery?

A man receives a reiki treatment. While alternative therapies can be valuable, some cross the line, according to Dr. Paul Offit. But when we use the whole plant, instead of just a small part of it, we get other ingredients, and these help the patient suffer fewer side-effects than you might get from drugs, because the dose of the active ingredient is lower than in conventional medicine. Many doctors are sceptical about herbs, citing cases when something has gone wrong. But since 2011, regulations have been in place to ensure the safety of herbal medicines. The Traditional Herbal Remedy (THR) label, for instance, shows the product contains the herbs it claims to, and has been assessed for quality and safety.
Read full article here: The GPs who say wacky alternative cures like herbs, hypnotism and Indian massage AREN'T hokum

Alternative medicine is becoming mainstream

But many more of the therapies are unproven or untested. Echinacea, ginko biloba and shark cartilage all came up ineffective in recent studies. A June Associated Press article highlighted the fact that after 10 years and $2.5 billion in research, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has not found any alternative medicine that works, save patients taking ginger for chemotherapy -induced nausea and limited uses for acupuncture, yoga, massage and relaxation techniques such as meditation. Almost $3 billion is spent annually on homeopathic medicine, for example, but there is no hard evidence to show that it is effective. The treatment, which is based on the theory that "like cures like," offers patients highly diluted solutions of natural substances that create similar symptoms. (An insomniac , for example, would be given a solution with a small amount of caffeine.) A number of homeopathy 's key concepts "are not consistent with the current understanding of science, particularly chemistry and physics," the complementary medicine center notes on its website.
Read full article here: Alternative medicine is becoming mainstream

Alternative medicine a prickly subject

So how can you tell if your alternative healer is a quack? Here are a few red flags: The therapist offers medicines that don't work instead of those that do Steve Jobs, for example, suffered from a neuroendocrine tumor of the pancreas. With early surgery, Jobs had a 95% chance of recovery. But Jobs chose acupuncture, herbal remedies, and bowel cleansings instead , and died as a consequence.
Read full article here: Opinion: Alternative healing or quackery?

Studies show hypnosis can produce measurable physiological benefits and a better quality of life The company began offering chiropractic benefits about 25 years ago and has added coverage for other non-traditional services as demand has grown. "Customers have increasingly asked for alternative benefits," she said. "Being proactive about staying healthy is important in keeping costs down." Across the board, the alternative treatments insurers are most likely to cover are chiropractic, acupuncture and cure dysmenorrhea massage therapy, all of which have been validated by medical studies. "The common factor for chiropractic, massage and acupuncture is that there is evidence that these have therapeutic value for certain conditions," says Mark Slitt, a spokesman for Cigna Corp. in Bloomfield, Conn.
Read full article here: Alternative medicine a prickly subject

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