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Nov. 11 marked a milestone when you look at the uneasy relationship between mainstream and alternative treatment. Thereon day, the American healthcare Association, a citadel of Western medication, devoted a whole issue of JAMA, its leading log, to alternative medicine.
That ill-defined category - essentially whatever is seldom taught by health schools, reimbursed by insurance providers, or proven by standard experiments - includes these types of treatments as homeopathy, acupuncture, diet and self-help.
Although alternative medicine includes techniques that Western technology can not clarify and does not accept, patients are voting along with their legs. In 1997, patients in the us invested $21 billion during 627 million visits to alternative treatment professionals. Which was up 47 percent over 1990. Visits to primary treatment doctors dropped one percent throughout the same period (see "Trends in alternative treatment... " inside bibliography).
|Visits to primary-care physicians tend to be stagnant, but visits to alternative medicine practitioners tend to be soaring.
Data source: Trends in Alternative Medicine... .
This development cannot deliver much solace to JAMA's sponsor. Although JAMA reports had been the latest & most persuading research that traditional medicine, whether motivated by competitors or a need to heal, is needs to accept - or at the least test - option therapies.
From whatever motivation, there's valid reason to welcome scrutiny that may split up fact from fiction, remedy from curse, of good use therapy from quack treatment. The risks of alternative medicine feature untested drugs, not known medication interactions, and reliance on serpent oil when proven remedies could help.
So stand right back, surgeons. Go more than, medical institution. Make way for massage, megavitamins, energy healing and leisure.
Jammin' with JAMA
I can understand light