Alternative Medicine

alternative medicine, the treatment and prevention of disease by techniques that are regarded by modern Western medicine as scientifically unproven or unorthodox. The term alternative medicine can encompass a wide range of therapies, including chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, meditation, biofeedback, massage therapy, and various "new age" therapies such as guided imagery and naturopathy. Although many alternative therapies have long been widely employed in the treatment of disease, the scientifically oriented modern medical establishment has typically been skeptical about, and sometimes strongly opposed to, their use. Despite this, Americans spend billions of dollars on alternative treatments each year. In 1993 the U.S. National Institutes of Health established the Office of Alternative Medicine to examine the merits of such techniques. See also holistic medicine.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Nature Cures: The History of Alternative Medicine in America
James C. Whorton.
Oxford University Press, 2004
Manifesto for a New Medicine: Your Guide to Healing Partnerships and the Wise Use of Alternative Therapies
James S. Gordon.
Perseus Publishing, 1996
Private Medicine and Public Health: Profit, Politics, and Prejudice in the American Health Care Enterprise
Lawrence D. Weiss.
Westview Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Alternative Health Care Industry"
The Politics of Healing: Histories of Alternative Medicine in Twentieth-Century North America
Robert D. Johnston.
Routledge, 2004
Understanding the Placebo Effect in Complementary Medicine: Theory, Practice, and Research
David Peters.
Churchill Livingstone, 2001
Complementary Medicine and the Law
Julie Stone; Joan Matthews.
Oxford University Press, 1996
An Ethical Framework for Complementary and Alternative Therapists
Julie Stone.
Routledge, 2002
Acupuncture: A Viable Medical Alternative
Marie Cargill.
Praeger Publishers, 1994
Healing Powers and Modernity: Traditional Medicine, Shamanism, and Science in Asian Societies
Linda H. Connor; Geoffrey Samuel.
Bergin and Garvey, 2001
African American Alternative Medicine: Using Alternative Medicine to Prevent and Control Chronic Diseases
Eric J. Bailey.
Bergin & Garvey, 2002
An Introduction to Complementary Medicine
Terry Robson.
Allen & Unwin, 2003
Mosby's Complementary Alternative Medicine: A Research-Based Approach
Lyn W. Freeman; G. Frank Lawlis.
Mosby, 2001
Western Medicine: An Illustrated History
Irvine Loudon.
Oxford University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 17 "Unofficial and Unorthodox Medicine"
The Medicine Men: Oglala Sioux Ceremony and Healing
Thomas H. Lewis.
University of Nebraska Press, 1992
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator