Some FAQs about Alternative Medicine

Article excerpt

Last week, I gave a lecture at the Arlington Heights library on ways to improve oneAEs health. It was a well-attended lecture and afterward, one question from the audience really stood out. One person asked me why there are so many recent, negative news articles on alternative and complementary medicine.

Every year, there seems to be a number of news articles that focus on the flaws of alternative and complementary medicine. I agree with some of the conclusions, such as statements that alternative and complementary therapies have not cured any disease, that cancer patients should not depend on these therapies as their only treatment, that there are some manufacturing problems with some supplements and that all that is "natural" is not safe.

However, I do not agree with many of the implied "facts" in some of these news articles. For example, bioenergy fields are real and measurable. The study of bioenergy fields has been going on since at least the 1970s. It is not placebo nor is it "self hypnosis." I also feel that physicians with no training in alternative and complementary medicine are not reliable sources. No one in the news media would or should ask me about anesthesia. It is not my area of expertise.

Some news reporters do their readers a disservice by reporting facts out of context. Although herbs and dietary supplements have not cured any disease, outside of antibiotics, neither have most medications u but I still prescribe them. Some have reported that herbs and supplements have the potential for adverse reactions a and I strongly agree. But again, in context, they have fewer and less-serious adverse reactions than nonsteroidal medications. …