Sunday, March 20, 2005

Does any of these ongoing trends worry you, because they really should

Countless millions alive today owe their lives and health to science-based therapies.

It’s taken centuries and a lot of work from doctors and researchers to get here.

Nowadays alternative medicine industries amongst others are assaulting the science-based medicine and mental healthcare. They want to tear this work down by challenging the need for standards for medical and mental health care research and healthcare products, practices and education.

Many people all over the world use one or more health promotion, illness prevention or healing practices that are considered as complementary and alternative medicine.

They should really worry about some of the ongoing trends, few of them is to be mentioned here:

Worthless and unsafe nostrums are being promoted as natural medicines

Many of these products don't have the ingredients as described in their labelling. And much worse, some are laced with dangerous prescription drugs or are adulterated with lead, mercury, or other toxic substances.

It is important to recognise that complementary medicines, like orthodox ones, are not without risk. There is the possibility that use of complementary treatments might lead to withdrawal from appropriate medical therapy or to delays in diagnosis or treatment of underlying conditions.

Alternative Medicine in Cancer Treatment

In addition, physical treatments can cause adverse effects, and herbal therapies can be either intrinsically toxic or contaminated with toxic substances.

Clinical effectiveness of most complementary treatments have been few

Complementary therapies in general, and traditional Chinese practices in particular, are in principle not susceptible to assessment using randomised-trial designs. That means few trials to provide evidence of the effectiveness, if any.

States are licensing quacks to practice medicine

Complementary and alternative medicine is increasingly being promoted by government and the healthcare industry – despite the absence of scientific evidence of its efficacy. An example is the NCCAM, that have permitted wide access to dietary supplements without confirmation of their composition, safety or efficacy, and a concomitant loosening of legal restraints on alternative practices such as chiropractic medicine and acupuncture. Another example is VIFAB, (maybe not familiar to my readers), the danish center of science dealing with complementary and alternative medicine.

Here's an example of naturapathic doctor being licensed in California:
California Issues First Licenses for Naturopathic Doctors

Vulnerable citizens are not protected from exploitation by practitioners holding uncertain qualifications

The training and right to practise of complementary therapists are largely unrestricted, they aren't a subject to a formal system of regulation. They can practice without reasonable evidence of effectiveness. There's no guarantee of safety. And people are exceptionally vulnerable to false claims where health is at stake.

There's several other trends to mention, what about new age workshops, seminars, and books blending techniques from psychotherapy with practices from mystical traditions into programs designed to heal the patient.

Successful therapy should not require one to believe in reincarnation, inner children or any other religious or pseudoscientific notion.

See who links to your web site.