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Category Archives: Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine to treat pain and other ailments on the rise locally – Rockford Register Star

Posted: February 25, 2017 at 3:19 pm

Melissa Westphal

Maria Furgat wants people to know there are options when it comes to treating everything from pain to the common cold.

Furgat joined the team at Circles of Wellness, 3626 E. State St., Rockford,a few months back. She specializes in acupuncture, cupping and herbal remedies after earning her bachelors degree in nutritional counseling and masters degree in Chinese medicine from the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago.

Patients come to Furgat to be proactive about their health, or out of frustration that other treatments and medications arent working or are causing unwanted side effects. Shes one of a handful of providers in the region offering alternative health treatments and alternative medicine.

I always say try it, Furgat said. Im not saying its the best thing for everyone, but they need to know there are options out there. You dont have to stick to the same routines.

Use of complementary and alternative medicine has no doubt increased since the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health released research on the topic nearly a decade ago. At the time, about four in 10 adults and one in nine children used them in some form.

Their use was greater among women and those with higher levels of education and higher incomes. The most common therapies were deep breathing exercises, meditation, massage therapy and yoga. Insurance covers some treatments such as acupuncture, but for the most part, alternative health treatments are self-pay.

Read on to learn more about other popular health trends that you can access from Freeport to Rockford and beyond.


Furgat does a full history assessment when she sees a new patient. She wants to know if youre seeing other doctors, taking medications, she likes to look at lab work, shell ask you about your urine and bowel movements, and shell look at your tongue (appearance and qualities of which are used to diagnose ailments in Chinese medicine).

She doesnt necessarily promise cures, but she hopes to offer relief through a combination of treatment and often, herbal remedies. And she doesnt want you to stop seeing your primary doctor or taking prescribed medications.

Most people feel much better with herbs because some have such imbalance in their bodies, Furgat said. If you dont try to harmonize your body from the inside out, you never get to the root of the problem.

Fire cupping uses glass jars that are sanitized before and after use. Furgat wraps a cotton ball around a hemostat (a surgical tool with scissor-like handles and a clamp at the end), dips it in alcohol, lights it and moves it gently in a circular motion inside the jar to remove the inside air. The jar is then put onto the skin, creating a vacuum and pulling up the skin. Doing so lifts pain to the surface so Furgat can more easily manipulate the tissue and remove stubborn nodules.

Some people feel immediate relief of pain, others dont. There are different sizes of jars small, medium and large based on what type of pain shes trying to relieve. Fire cupping generally leaves circular bruises on the body think Michael Phelps during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Its tradition to put up with the marks, so to speak, but Furgat can use a technique called gua sha to scrape away, or reduce, some of the redness.

Furgat also does wet cupping, which incorporates the fire cupping with a tiny hammer equipped with acupuncture needles. The hammer is used lightly on the back to release blood within the cup. It can be painful, but Furgat has a patient with severe back and shoulder pain who said the treatment helped target the points where he feels the most pain.

Cupping ranges in price from $50 to $65 for about 30 to 45 minutes.


There have been extensive studies conducted on acupuncture, especially for back and neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, and headaches, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

With acupuncture, thin needles are inserted (or piped) at different points along the body just below the surface of the skin. Furgat wears gloves when she places and removes them, and the needles are used one time only.

The needles stay in between 15 to 30 minutes; patients report feeling a sensation of water dripping or moving around beneath the skin. Furgat said thats the body healing itself.

A potential ailment that could be soothed by acupuncture is recurrent urinary tract infections, she noted. In combination with antibiotics, there are points in the lower abdomen where acupuncture can open up channels to help alleviate pain and eliminate waste, Furgat explained.

If needles make you squeamish, Furgat also does acupressure, which uses finger pressure and/or magnets on the same acupuncture points. After treatments, she suggests drinking lukewarm water to help maintain a warmer body temperature.

What I want to do is help your body heal, balance you out so youre able to tolerate your medications better, Furgat said.

Acupuncture and acupressure are both $45 for about 20 minutes.

Essential oils and probiotics

Pat Leitzen Fye has long used patchouli essential oil as a fragrance and discovered other oils along the way for various purposes. She owns Your Core Being Wellness Collaborative, 107 W. Main St., Freeport, which opened in 2013 and focuses on yoga, massage, skin care and meditation. Shes a certified integrative health coach, and the business also has a wellness market that proudly stocks local and regional products, fair-trade items and gifts, and other natural, clean and healthy products.

Your Core Being sells several oils lavender is the top seller, while peppermint, patchouli, eucalyptus, jasmine and tea tree also are popular blends. Fye uses various oils in her yoga classes, either to energize and enliven at the beginning or to settle, calm and release at the end. She diffuses the oils into the air at the studio right now, using a blend of lavender and eucalyptus because the air gets so dry during the winter. Fye said eucalyptus is great for clearing the sinuses; lavender is a time-honored essential oil for its calming qualities, as is chamomile and sweet orange. Both of the Your Core Beings massage therapists use essential oils added to their massage oils and the esthetician uses them in some of her skin treatments or as a relaxing scent.

Essential oils have become so common that you can buy them at many grocery stores. A handful of local businesses carry them, including Choices Natural Market, 6718 Broadcast Parkway, Loves Park, and Nutrition Works, 4010 E. State St., Rockford.

Candle Crest, 1418 20th St., Rockford,started selling its oils this winter, co-owner Judy Bieck said. The local business had received several requests over the years to do so, but she and her husband, Dave, had to find a bottle distributor for the oils, create labels, make a display, and then find time to bottle and advertise them. So far, she said the response has been great, and during cold season, eucalyptus oil was the big seller.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a page on its website with consumer information about fragrance products such as essential oils and those marketed with aromatherapy claims. It notes that many plants are toxic, irritating or likely to cause allergic reactions when applied the skin. Cumin oil, for instance, is safe in food but can cause the skin to blister.

Some popular books to read on the topic are The Art of Aromatherapy by Robert Tisserand and Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathy Keville. Groups such as the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy also offer some good guidelines for use.

Similarly available in many health food and vitamin stores are probiotics, which are live microorganisms that are intended to have health benefits, according to the Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Products can include foods such as yogurt, dietary supplements and skin creams. Probiotics may help prevent diarrhea caused by infections or antibiotics and may help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

The 2012 National Health Interview Survey showed that about 4 million U.S. adults had used probiotics or prebiotics in the past 30 days. They were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals.

Popular brands include NOW Foods, Culturelle, Align, Natures Bounty and Hyperbiotics.


Your Core Being in Freeport also offers Reiki, a Japanese hands-on light massage technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also is said to promote healing. Its based on the idea that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch and stimulate the bodys natural healing process.

Vicki Johnson described it as a lighter massage that incorporates the flow of energy, but that Reiki is literally a laying-on of hands with no muscle manipulation. She said Reiki also can help individuals deal with emotional issues that block the flow of energy, helping restore balance in a persons mind, body and spirit.

Sharyn Gooder, founder of Stateline Reiki, was trained by William Lee Rand, who established the International Center for Reiki Training and is known as a Reiki guru. Gooder is a member of the international center, which means she abides by its code of ethics and standards of practice.

Stateline Reiki was established in 2003, and Gooder first started doing Reiki therapy sessions and then began teaching Reiki later. The organization offers basic, intermediate and more advanced levels of Reiki, as well as Master Level Reiki and Karuna Reiki. The group also offers Reiki drumming, animal Reiki and many other unique classes, which Gooder said are approved for continuing education hours for licensed massage therapists and body workers.

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Alternative medicine to treat pain and other ailments on the rise locally – Rockford Register Star

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Alternative Medicine Conferences | Traditional Medicine …

Posted: February 24, 2017 at 6:24 pm

About Conference

With the overwhelming success of previous Alternative Medicine Conferences, Conference Series LLC welcomes you to attend the 8th International Conference on Natural & Alternative Medicine to be held from September 25-27, 2017, Dubai, UAE. Alternative Medicine 2017 aims to gather leading educational scientists, researchers and research students to exchange & share their experiences and research results about all aspects of Natural andAlternative medicine.

Alternative Medicine 2017main slogan is to address the challenges in making a safer, sustainable and affordable system for medication, and health through consolidating the underpinning Alternative Medicine research platforms. Natural & Alternative Medicine 2017 conference prepares a ground for seeding new concepts and nurturing knowledge through discussions and analysis on Traditional and Alternative Medicine developments.

This conference is mainly will focus the latest and exciting innovations in every area of Alternative Medicine research, and it will offer a unique opportunity for investigators from all over the world to meet, network, and perceive new scientific interactions. around the theme:” Traversing the Future of Alternative medicine “.

Conference Series LLCis an international science conferences event organizer and union of Open Access publisher.Conference Series LLCcurrently has more than 700+ Open Access journals with fifty thousand Editorial team 3 million readers.Conference Series LLCalso organizes 1000+ International scientific events annually across the world, where knowledge transfer takes place through round table meetings, panel discussions,poster presentations, International workshops, International symposiums & world class exhibitions.Conference Series LLCconferences hosts presentations from eminent experts in the relevant fields.

We invite you to join us in Dubai to promote Natural & Alternative Medicine.!!!

Alternative medicines utilization started in the mid of nineteenth century. Amid this time, alternative medical practitioners picked up prevalence and started to contend with conventional medical experts. Alternative medicine provides great healing effects as scientific medicine. Alternative medicine may treated as complimentary methods that improve the efficacy of treatment. Due to its healing effects Alternative Medicine usage is increasing more frequently.

Herbals have been utilized for health and restorative purposes for a few a great many years, majority of people still using herbal medicine to meet their wellbeing needs. Therapeutic plants are critical hotspots for pharmaceutical manufacturing. Medicinal plants and herbal medicines having most elevated market in Asia since decade, therapeutic plants can be utilized as food to meet every day necessities of body.

Certain European and Oriental nations have been investigating the utilization of herbs and has been in practice since the hundreds of years. The fundamental herbs have no symptoms, cures are in a state of harmony with nature which is the greatest in addition to point where no other pharmaceutical can assert these facts.

Acupuncture is an alternative medicine practice that cures illness or provides local anaesthesia by the inserting needles at specified sites of the body. Acupuncture is mostly adopted for the treatment of low back, shoulder and knee pain. Millions of people use acupuncture each year for chronic pain. Acupuncture is a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical areas on or in the skin by a various techniques. Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique of balancing the flow of energy. Nowadays it is often combined with other interventions, like sending a small current of electricity via needles or burning herbs on the acupuncture points.

Chiropractic medicine is a type of alternative medicine involved in diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, especially spinal and joints. Osteopathic medicineis a branch of themedicalprofession, its treatment includes Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, Manual therapy.

Naturopathy is an Alternative treatment method it includes Herbal treatment, Diet therapy and Homeopathy. Natural treatments reestablish the body’s inborn capacity to heal itself without the Adverse impacts of conventional drug. Naturopathy is distinct primary health care system that mixes cutting edge logical information with customary and normal types of prescription. Naturopathic Medicine emphasizes all encompassing, preventive care by concentrating on prevention, optimal health and wellness.

Numerous pharmaceutical organizations have investigated the potential for making new medications from traditional remedies in Asian market. Health authorities and legislatures of different countries have taken an active interest in providing standardized botanical medicines, Alternative Medicine represents an important share of the pharmaceutical market, while China’s yearly home grown medication creation is worth US $48 billion. Alternative Medicine is quickly creating since later of 1990s. In 2010 its yield esteem expanded by 24%.

Certain European Countries have been investigating the utilization of herbs and has been by and by since the hundreds of years. The fundamental herbs have no side effects, cures are in a state of harmony with nature which is the greatest in addition to point where no other drug can claim these facts.

In Asia, utilization of herbal medicine is maybe more pervasive than western nations. A portion of the cases of Herbal medicines are Echinacea, Kava, Valerian, Gingko Biloba, Ginseng and St. John’s Wort.

Holistic nutrition is the current characteristic way to deal with building up a healthy balanced diet while considering the individual as entirety. All physical and emotional characteristics show a block in the flow of vital energy in the body. Holistic Health is an arrangement of medicinal services that emphasizes moral obligation and an agreeable relationship amongst professional practitioner and client.

Ayurveda is an ancient Alternative healthcare system, it is created from Vedas. All Ayurveda writings are composed in Sanskrit. Ayurveda analyse the disease by heartbeat, tongue, discourse, touch, appearance, vision, pee, stool

Homeopathy is a technique for treating disease by medications, given in moment dosages that would deliver in sound individual indications like those of the illness. Most basic infections treated by homeopaths are Allergic rhinitis, depression, asthma, Headache, neurotic disorders, non-specific allergy, non-particular sensitivity, arthritis, dermatitis and hypertension.

Traditional Chinese medicine has a past filled with a great many years, it has efficient hypotheses, as well as has rich safeguard and restorative strategies for sickness. It sees the key to health as the harmonious and balanced working of body, mind and soul.

TCM is extensive variety of pharmaceutical practices created in China. It is essentially utilized as a reciprocal treatment. Treatment incorporates Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Massage and different treatments. TCM is embraced, broadly utilized as a part of china; practitioners will examine things like tongue, heartbeat focuses, smell of breath and voice. Treatment will be done utilizing herbals, creature, human, and mineral items.

Physical remedies carried out by physiotherapists. Physical therapy practice includes in many settings, such as outpatient clinics, private-owned physical therapy clinics. Physical therapies include Orthopedic, Geriatric, Decongestive, Neurological, Cardiopulmonary and Pediatric

Physical therapy treatment mainly helps in the recovery of musculoskeletal disorders, physiotherapy teaches how to function within their limitation for patients who have permanent disabilities. Physical therapy is a type of treatment you may need when health problems make it hard to move around and do everyday tasks, it helps improve or restore your physical function and your fitness level.

Arabic Medicine is also known as Islamic medicine which refers science of medicine written in Arabic by Islamic physicians and scholars. It is popular since 7th century, Their concepts and ideas about medical ethics are still discussed today, all over the world. After establishment and development of hospitals, Islamic physicians were able to provide more inherent operations to cure patients using ancient Arabic techniques


The worldwide alternative medicine and therapies market size was over USD 30.0 billion in 2014. Striking drivers include lower side effects and developing patient awareness levels. Expanding geriatric populace base, developing mindfulness about general well-being and prosperity, and slant towards recreation and unwinding are additionally liable to support request.

As indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO) in October 2014, the total population of elderly individuals has multiplied since 1980 and is anticipated to achieve 2 billion by 2050. In addition, the quantity of individuals more than 80 years old will be quadrupled to 395 million somewhere around 2000 and 2050.

Athletic setbacks like ligament tears can be successfully treated utilizing alternative therapies. The upside of no side effects and long-lasting effect drive treatment request. Availability of different types of procedures like Homeopathy, Naturopathy and Ayurveda give a variety of treatment options to patients to choose the most reasonable method.

Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) are utilized along with conventional procedures to cure anxiety, diabetes, stress, post-menopausal disorders, and rush the recuperation time frame. The utilization of these medicines is broadly settled and is likewise recognized to be safe and effective.

Why Dubai ?

Asia Pacific is relied upon to develop at a quick pace because of the early adoption of therapies like Ayurveda, Acupuncture and Meditation for treating Arthritis, Toothache, Infertility and other Chronic Diseases.

Emirates population have also started adopting to Alternative Medicine treatments. Wellness tourism in Dubai is relied upon to be world class furthermore to produce over USD 2.60 billion by 2015. All Complementary and Alternative Medicine practices are observed by the Dubai Health Authority.

Increasing the utilization of Alternative Medicine by a substantial extent of all inclusive community has been shown by projects and overviews directed in European Union (EU) part states. Chronic diseases, Aging population and Anti-microbial resistance are some factors likely to drive the Asian alternative medicine and therapies market over the next seven years.

Major Alternative Medicine Associations in UAE:

Dubai Herbal & Treatment Center

Emirates Physiotherapy Society

Dubai Health Authority

Major Alternative Medicine Associations around the Globe:

World Association of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

The American Alternative Medical Association

Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine

Australian Natural Therapists Association

Alternative Medicine 2016

The 5th International Conference and Exhibition on Natural & Alternative Medicine (Alternative Medicine-2016) hosted byConference Series LLCtook place at Hilton Beijing, China during September 05-07, 2016. Active participation and generous response were received from the Organizing Committee Members, Editorial Board Members ofConference Series LLCJournals as well as from eminent scientists, talented researchers and young student community. Researchers and students who attended from different parts of the world has made the conference one of the most successful and productive events in 2016 fromConference Series LLC. The conference was marked with the presence of renowned scientists, talented young researchers, students and business delegates driving the three days event into the path of success with thought provoking keynote and plenary presentations highlighting the theme, Emerging the power of nature to indulge the cure by adopting alternative remedies.

The conference proceedings were carried out through various Scientific-sessions and plenary lectures, of which the following topics were highlighted as Keynote-presentations:

Research of natural compounds: The crossroads between promotion of health and prevention of agerelated neurodegeneration with polyphenols to avoid the catastrophic cliff of neuronal failure

-Giulio Maria Pasinetti, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA

Exploration of anti-mTOR activity from natural plants

-Kyeong Mee Park, Innno Oriental Clinic, South Korea

Insulin-resistance and the alcat food intolerance test: Evidence of a new approach

-Pierluigi Pompei, Camerino University, Italy

Phytochemicals modulating oxidative/inflammatory responses in microglial cells

-Grace Y Sun, University of Missouri, USA

Conference Series LLChas taken the privilege of felicitating Alternative Medicine 2016 Conference Organizing Committee, Editorial Board Members and Keynote Speakers who supported for the success of this event.Conference Series LLC, on behalf of the conference sponsor appreciates all the participants who put their efforts for this event and sincerely wishes them success in future endeavors.

The esteemed guests, Keynote speakers, well-known researchers and delegates shared their innovative research and vast experience through their fabulous presentations at the podium of grand AlternativeMedicine-2016 Conference. We are glad to inform that all accepted abstracts for the conference have been indexed inConference Series LLCJournal of Alternative & Integrative Medicine as a special issue.

We are also obliged to various delegate experts, company representatives and other eminent personalities who supported the conference by facilitating active discussion forums. We sincerely thank the Organizing Committee Members for their gracious presence, support and assistance towards the success of Alternative Medicine 2016. With the unique feedbacks from the conference,Conference Series LLCwould like to announce the commencement of the 8thInternational Conference on Natural & Alternative Medicine to be held during September 25-27, 2017, in Dubai, UAE.

Let us meet again @ Alternative Medicine 2017

Victor Oliver Program Manager Alternative Medicine 2017 Phone: 1-800-216-6499

Traditional Medicine 2016

The6thInternational Conference and Exhibition on Traditional & Alternative Medicineconference: (Traditional Medicine 2016) was held on September 14- 16, 2016 at the Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This conference brought together an interdisciplinary group of professionals working in the field of Traditional Medicine and Alternative Medicine. The tone of the main conference was set during the opening remarks by Philippe A Souvestre, NeuroKinetics Health Services, Inc., Canada&Phyllis L MacIntyre, Dickinson University, Canada. Throughout the conference, more than 30 experts in the field shared their knowledge with the 300 attendees of the conference.

Traditional Medicine 2015

The 3rdInternational Conference and Exhibition on Traditional & Alternative Medicine held during August 03-05, 2015 at Hilton Birmingham, UK had witnessed expertise from various traditional and alternative medicinal practices including Traditional Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy and Acupuncture

Traditional Medicine-2015 has been supported by:

Journal of Traditional Medicine & Clinical Naturopathy

Medicinal & Aromatic Plants

Alternative & Integrative Medicine

Along with these associations, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran and Medical University Graz, Austria were the Academic partner for the conference.

Traditional Medicine-2015 designed with the theme “Understanding the Wisdom of Nature cure, Encouraging New Innovations in Treatment and Rehabilitation” has been successful in terms of gathering renowned speakers, scientists from research institutes, expertise from academia who has shared knowledge with eminent people from other medicinal practice and guided budding and innovative researchers how to get traditional medicinal practices into main stream market and make them a choice instead of an option by improving the research methodology.

Traditional Medicine-2014

2ndInternational Conference and Exhibition on Traditional & Alternative Medicine held during August 25-26, 2014 at Double Tree by Hilton-Beijing, China had witnessed expertise from various traditional and alternative medicinal practices including Traditional Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy and Acupuncture

Traditional Medicine-2014 has been supported by:

World Homeopathy Awareness Organization

International Academy of Classical Homeopathy

International Society for Medical Laser Applications

Along with these associations, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran and Medical University Graz, Austria were the Academic partner for the conference.

Traditional Medicine-2014 designed with the themeTraditional Medicine : Promotion & Development has been successful in terms of gathering renowned speakers, scientists from research institutes, expertise from academia who has shared knowledge with eminent people from other medicinal practice and guided budding and innovative researchers how to get traditional medicinal practices into main stream market and make them a choice instead of an option by improving the research methodology.

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Alternative Medicine Conferences | Traditional Medicine …

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History of alternative medicine – Wikipedia

Posted: February 22, 2017 at 4:12 am

The history of alternative medicine refers to the history of a group of diverse medical practices that were collectively promoted as “alternative medicine” beginning in the 1970s, to the collection of individual histories of members of that group, or to the history of western medical practices that were labeled “irregular practices” by the western medical establishment.[1][2][3][4] It includes the histories of complementary medicine and of integrative medicine. “Alternative medicine” is a loosely defined and very diverse set of products, practices, and theories that are perceived by its users to have the healing effects of medicine, but do not originate from evidence gathered using the scientific method,[5]:Ch 14E, p. 1[6][7] are not part of biomedicine,[5][8][9][10] or are contradicted by scientific evidence or established science.[4][11][12] “Biomedicine” is that part of medical science that applies principles of anatomy, physics, chemistry, biology, physiology, and other natural sciences to clinical practice, using scientific methods to establish the effectiveness of that practice.

Much of what is now categorized as alternative medicine was developed as independent, complete medical systems, was developed long before biomedicine and use of scientific methods, and was developed in relatively isolated regions of the world where there was little or no medical contact with pre-scientific western medicine, or with each other’s systems. Examples are Traditional Chinese medicine and the Ayurvedic medicine of India. Other alternative medicine practices, such as homeopathy, were developed in western Europe and in opposition to western medicine, at a time when western medicine was based on unscientific theories that were dogmatically imposed by western religious authorities. Homeopathy was developed prior to discovery of the basic principles of chemistry, which proved homeopathic remedies contained nothing but water. But homeopathy, with its remedies made of water, was harmless compared to the unscientific and dangerous orthodox western medicine practiced at that time, which included use of toxins and draining of blood, often resulting in permanent disfigurement or death.[1] Other alternative practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic manipulative medicine, were developed in the United States at a time that western medicine was beginning to incorporate scientific methods and theories, but the biomedical model was not yet totally dominant. Practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic, each considered to be irregular by the medical establishment, also opposed each other, both rhetorically and politically with licensing legislation. Osteopathic practitioners added the courses and training of biomedicine to their licensing, and licensed Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine holders began diminishing use of the unscientific origins of the field, and without the original practices and theories, is now considered the same as biomedicine.

Until the 1970s, western practitioners that were not part of the medical establishment were referred to “irregular practitioners”, and were dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific or quackery.[1] Irregular practice became increasingly marginalized as quackery and fraud, as western medicine increasingly incorporated scientific methods and discoveries, and had a corresponding increase in success of its treatments. In the 1970s, irregular practices were grouped with traditional practices of nonwestern cultures and with other unproven or disproven practices that were not part of biomedicine, with the group promoted as being “alternative medicine”. Following the counterculture movement of the 1960s, misleading marketing campaigns promoting “alternative medicine” as being an effective “alternative” to biomedicine, and with changing social attitudes about not using chemicals, challenging the establishment and authority of any kind, sensitivity to giving equal measure to values and beliefs of other cultures and their practices through cultural relativism, adding postmodernism and deconstructivism to ways of thinking about science and its deficiencies, and with growing frustration and desperation by patients about limitations and side effects of science-based medicine, use of alternative medicine in the west began to rise, then had explosive growth beginning in the 1990s, when senior level political figures began promoting alternative medicine, and began diverting government medical research funds into research of alternative, complementary, and integrative medicine.[1][2][3][4][13][14][15]

The concept of alternative medicine is problematic as it cannot exist autonomously as an object of study in its own right but must always be defined in relation to a non-static and transient medical orthodoxy. It also divides medicine into two realms, a medical mainstream and fringe, which, in privileging orthodoxy, presents difficulties in constructing an historical analysis independent of the often biased and polemical views of regular medical practitioners.[17] The description of non-conventional medicine as alternative reinforces both its marginality and the centrality of official medicine. Although more neutral than either pejorative or promotional designations such as quackery or natural medicine, cognate terms like unconventional, heterodox, unofficial, irregular, “folk”, “popular”, “marginal”, complementary, integrative or unorthodox define their object against the standard of conventional biomedicine,[19] entail particular perspectives and judgements, often carry moral overtones, and can be inaccurate. Conventional medical practitioners in the West have, since the nineteenth century, used some of these and similar terms as a means of defining the boundary of “legitimate” medicine, marking the division between that which is scientific and that which is not. The definition of mainstream medicine, generally understood to refer to a system of licensed medicine which enjoys state and legal protection in a jurisdiction,[n 1] is also highly specific to time and place. In countries such as India and China traditional systems of medicine, in conjunction with Western biomedical science, may be considered conventional and mainstream. The shifting nature of these terms is underlined by recent efforts to demarcate between alternative treatments on the basis of efficacy and safety and to amalgamate those therapies with scientifically adjudged value into complementary medicine as a pluralistic adjunct to conventional practice.[n 2] This would introduce a new line of division based upon medical validity.

Prior to the nineteenth century European medical training and practice was ostensibly self-regulated through a variety of antique corporations, guilds or colleges.[25] Among regular practitioners, university trained physicians formed a medical elite while provincial surgeons and apothecaries, who learnt their art through apprenticeship, made up the lesser ranks. In Old Regime France, licenses for medical practitioners were granted by the medical faculties of the major universities, such as the Paris Faculty of Medicine. Access was restricted and successful candidates, amongst other requirements, had to pass examinations and pay regular fees. In the Austrian Empire medical licences were granted by the Universities of Prague and Vienna. Amongst the German states the top physicians were academically qualified and typically attached to medical colleges associated with the royal court. The theories and practices included the science of anatomy and that the blood circulated by a pumping heart, and contained some empirically gained information on progression of disease and about surgery, but were otherwise unscientific, and were almost entirely ineffective and dangerous.

Outside of these formal medical structures there were myriad other medical practitioners, often termed irregulars, plying a range of services and goods. The eighteenth-century medical marketplace, a period often referred to as the “Golden Age of quackery”,[n 3] was a highly pluralistic one that lacked a well-defined and policed division between “conventional” and “unconventional” medical practitioners.[31] In much of continental Europe legal remedies served to control at least the most egregious forms of “irregular” medical practice but the medical market in both Britain and American was less restrained through regulation.[32] Quackery in the period prior to modern medical professionalisation should not be considered equivalent to alternative medicine as those commonly deemed quacks were not peripheral figures by default nor did they necessarily promote oppositional and alternative medical systems. Indeed, the charge of ‘quackery’, which might allege medical incompetence, avarice or fraud, was levelled quite indiscriminately across the varied classes of medical practitioners be they regular medics, such as the hierarchical, corporate classes of physicians, surgeons and apothecaries in England, or irregulars such as nostrum mongers, bonesetters and local wise-women. Commonly, however, quackery was associated with a growing medical entrepreneurship amongst both regular and irregular practitioners in the provision of goods and services along with associated techniques of advertisement and self-promotion in the medical marketplace. The constituent features of the medical marketplace during the eighteenth century were the development of medical consumerism and a high degree of patient power and choice in the selection of treatments, the limited efficacy of available medical therapies, and the absence of both medical professionalisation and enforced regulation of the market.

In the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries regular and irregular medical practitioners became more clearly differentiated throughout much of Europe.[36] In part, this was achieved through processes of state-sanctioned medical regulation. The different types of regulatory medical markets created across nineteenth-century Europe and America reflected differing historical patterns of state formation. Where states had traditionally enjoyed strong, centralised power, such as in the German states, government more easily assumed control of the medical regulation. In states that had exercised weaker central power and adopted a free-market model, such as in Britain, government gradually assumed greater control over medical regulation as part of increasing state focus on issues of public health. This process was significantly complicated in Britain by the enduring existence of the historical medical colleges. A similar process is observable in America from the 1870s but this was facilitated by the absence of medical corporations. Throughout the nineteenth century, however, most Western states converged in the creation of legally delimited and semi-protected medical markets. It is at this point that an “official” medicine, created in cooperation with the state and employing a scientific rhetoric of legitimacy, emerges as a recognisable entity and that the concept of alternative medicine as a historical category becomes tenable.

France provides perhaps one of the earliest examples of the emergence of a state-sanctioned medical orthodoxy and hence also of the conditions for the development of forms of alternative medicine the beginnings of which can be traced to the late eighteenth century. In addition to the traditional French medical faculties and the complex hierarchies of practitioners over which they presided, the state increasingly supported new institutions, such as the Socit Royale de Mdecine (Royal Society of Medicine) which received its royal charter in 1778, that played a role in policing medical practice and the sale of medical nostrums.[40] This system was radically transformed during the early phases of the French Revolution when both the traditional faculties and the new institutions under royal sponsorship were removed and an entirely unregulated medical market was created.[41] This anarchic situation was reformed under the exigencies of war when in 1793 the state established national control over medical education; under Napoleon in 1803 state-control was extended over the licensing of medical practitioners.[41] This latter reform introduced a new hierarchical division between practitioners in the creation of a medical lite of graduate physicians and surgeons, who were at liberty to practice throughout the state, and the lowly officiers de sant who received less training, could only offer their services to the poor, and were restricted in where they could practice.[42] This national system of medical regulation under state-control, exported to regions of Napoleonic conquest such as Italy, the Rhineland and the Netherlands, became paradigmatic in the West and in countries adopting western medical systems. While offering state protection to licensed doctors and establishing a medical monopoly in principal it did not, however, remove competition from irregular practitioners.

From the late eighteenth century and more robustly from the mid-nineteenth century a number of non-conventional medical systems developed in the West which proposed oppositional medical systems, criticised orthodox medical practitioners, emphasised patient-centredness, and offered substitutes for the treatments offered by the medical mainstream.[46] While neither the medical marketplace nor irregular practitioners disappeared during the nineteenth century, the proponents of alternative medical systems largely differed from the entrepreneurial quacks of the previous century in eschewing showy self-promotion and instead adopting a more sober and serious self-presentation. The relationship between medical orthodoxy and heterodoxy was complex, both categories contained considerably variety, were subject to substantial change throughout the period, and the divisions between the two were frequently blurred.

Many alternative notions grew out of the Lebensreform movement, which emphasized the goodness of nature, the harms to society, people, and to nature caused by industrialization, the importance of the whole person, body and mind, the power of the sun, and the goodness of “the old ways”.[49]:40[50][51][52]:3233[53]

The variety of alternative medical systems which developed during this period can be approximately categorised according to the form of treatment advocated. These were: those employing spiritual or psychological therapies, such as hypnosis (mesmerism); nutritional therapies based upon special diets, such as medical botanism; drug and biological therapies such as homeopathy and hydrotherapy; and, manipulative physical therapies such as osteopathy and chiropractic massage. Non-conventional medicine might define health in terms of concepts of balance and harmony or espouse vitalistic doctrines of the body. Illness could be understood as due to the accretion of bodily toxins and impurities, to result from magical, spiritual, or supernatural causes, or as arising from energy blockages in the body such that healing actions might constitute energy transfer from practitioner to patient.

Mesmerism is the medical system proposed in the late eighteenth century by the Viennese-trained physician, Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815), for whom it is named. The basis of this doctrine was Mesmer’s claimed discovery of a new aetherial fluid, animal magnetism, which, he contended, permeated the universe and the bodies of all animate beings and whose proper balance was fundamental to health and disease.[56] Animal magnetism was but one of series of postulated subtle fluids and substances, such as caloric, phlogiston, magnetism, and electricity, which then suffused the scientific literature.[57] It also reflected Mesmer’s doctoral thesis, De Planatarum Influxu (“On the Influence of the Planets”), which had investigated the impact of the gravitational effect of planetary movements on fluid-filled bodily tissues.[58] His focus on magnetism and the therapeutic potential of magnets was derived from his reading of Paracelsus, Athanasius Kircher and Johannes Baptista van Helmont. The immediate impetus for his medical speculation, however, derived from his treatment of a patient, Franzisca Oesterlin, who suffered from episodic seizures and convulsions which induced vomiting, fainting, temporary blindness and paralysis. His cure consisted of placing magnets upon her body which consistently produced convulsive episodes and a subsequent diminution of symptoms. According to Mesmer, the logic of this cure suggested that health was dependent upon the uninterrupted flow of a putative magnetic fluid and that ill health was consequent to its blockage. His treatment methods claimed to resolve this by either directly transferring his own superabundant and naturally occurring animal magnetism to his patients by touch or through the transmission of these energies from magnetic objects.[61]

By 1775 Mesmer’s Austrian practice was prospering and he published the text Schrieben ber die Magnetkur an einen auswrtigen Arzt which first outlined his thesis of animal magnetism. In 1778, however, he became embroiled in a scandal resulting from his treatment of a young, blind patient who was connected to the Viennese court and relocated to Paris where he established a medical salon, “The Society of Harmony”, for the treatment of patients.[63] Recruiting from a client-base drawn predominantly from society women of the middle- and upper-classes, Mesmer held group sances at his salubrious salon-clinic which was physically dominated by a large, lidded, wooden tank, known as the baquet, containing iron, glass and other material that Mesmer had magnetized and which was filled with “magnetized water”.[64] At these sessions patients were enjoined to take hold of the metal rods emanating from the tub which acted as a reservoir for the animal magnetism derived from Mesmer and his clients.[65] Mesmer, through the apparent force of his will not infrequently assisted by an intense gaze or the administration of his wand would then direct these energies into the afflicted bodies of his patients seeking to provoke either a “crisis” or a trance-like state; outcomes which he believed essential for healing to occur. Patient proclamations of cure ensured that Mesmer enjoyed considerable and fashionable success in late-eighteenth-century Paris where he occasioned something of a sensation and a scandal.

Popular caricature of mesmerism emphasised the eroticised nature of the treatment as spectacle: “Here the physician in a coat of lilac or purple, on which the most brilliant flowers have been painted in needlework, speaks most consolingly to his patients: his arms softly enfolding her sustain her in her spasms, and his tender burning eye expresses his desire to comfort her”.[67] Responding chiefly to the hint of sexual impropriety and political radicalism imbuing these sances, in 1784 mesmerism was subject to a commission of inquiry by a royal-appointed scientific panel of the prestigious French Acadmie de Mdicine.[n 4] Its findings were that animal magnetism had no basis in fact and that Mesmer’s cures had been achieved through the power of suggestion. The commission’s report, if damaging to the personal status of Mesmer and to the professional ambitions of those faculty physicians who had adopted mesmeric practices,[n 5] did little to hinder the diffusion of the doctrine of animal magnetism.

In England mesmerism was championed by John Elliotson, Professor of Practical Medicine at University College London and the founder and president of the London Phrenological Society.[72] A prominent and progressive orthodox physician, he was President of the Medico-Chirugical Society of London and an early adopter of the stethoscope in English medical practice. He had been introduced to mesmerism in the summer of 1837 by the French physician and former student of Mesmer, Dupotet, who is credited as the most significant cross-channel influence on the development of mesmerism in England. Elliotson believed that animal magnetism provided the basis for a consideration of the mind and will in material terms thus allowing for their study as medical objects. Initially supported by the Lancet, a reformist medical journal, he contrived to demonstrate the scientific properties of animal magnetism as a physiological process on the predominantly female charity patients under his care in the University College Hospital. Working-class patients were preferred as experimental subjects to exhibit the physical properties of mesmerism on the nervous system as, being purportedly more animalistic and machine-like than their social superiors, their personal characteristics were deemed less likely to interfere with the experimental process. He sought to reduce his subjects to the status of mechanical automata claiming that he could, through the properties of animal magnetism and the pacifying altered states of consciousness which it induced, “play” their brains as if they were musical instruments.

Two Irish-born charity patients, the adolescent O’Key sisters, emerged as particularly important to Elliotson’s increasingly popular and public demonstrations of mesmeric treatment. Initially, his magnetising practices were used to treat the sisters’ shared diagnosis of hysteria and epilepsy in controlling or curtailing their convulsive episodes. By the autumn of 1837 Elliotson had ceased to treat the O’Keys merely as suitable objects for cure and instead sought to mobilise them as diagnostic instruments. When in states of mesmeric entrancement the O’Key sisters, due to the apparent increased sensitization of their nervous system and sensory apparatus, behaved as if they had the ability to see through solid objects, including the human body, and thus aid in medical diagnosis. As their fame rivalled that of Elliotson, however, the O’Keys behaved less like human diagnostic machines and became increasingly intransigent to medical authority and appropriated to themselves the power to examine, diagnose, prescribe treatment and provide a prognosis.[80] The emergence of this threat to medical mastery in the form of a pair of working-class, teenage girls without medical training aroused general disquiet amongst the medical establishment and cost Elliotson one of his early and influential supporters, the leading proponent of medical reform, Thomas Wakley.[81] Wakley, the editor of the Lancet, had initially hoped that Elliotson’s scientific experiments with animal magnetism might further the agenda of medical reform in bolstering the authority of the profession through the production of scientific truth and, equally importantly in a period when the power-relations between doctors and patients were being redefined, quiescent patient bodies.[82] Perturbed by the O’Key’s provocative displays, Wakely convinced Elliotson to submit his mesmeric practice to a trial in August 1838 before a jury of ten gentlemen during which he accused the sisters of fraud and his colleague of gullibility.[83] Following a series of complaints issued to the Medical Committee of University College Hospital they elected to discharge the O’Keys along with other mesmeric subjects in the hospital and Elliotson resigned his post in protest.[84]

This set-back, while excluding Elliotson from the medical establishment, ended neither his mesmeric career nor the career of mesmerism in England. From 1842 he became an advocate of phreno-mesmerism an approach that amalgamated the tenets of phrenology with animal magnetism and that led to a split in the Phrenological Society.[85][86] The following year he founded, together with the physician and then President of the Phrenological Society, William Collins Engledue,[87] the principal journal on animal magnetism entitled the The Zoist: A Journal of Cerebral Physiology and Mesmerism and their Application to Human Welfare, a quarterly publication which remained in print until its fifty-second issue in January 1856.[85][88] Mesmeric societies, frequently patronised by those among the scientific and social elite were established in many major population centres in Britain from the 1840s onwards. Some sufficiently endowed societies, such as those in London, Bristol and Dublin, Ireland, supported mesmeric infirmaries with permanent mesmeric practitioners in their employ. Due to the competing rise of spiritualism and psychic research by the mid-1860s these mesmeric infirmaries had closed.

The 1840s in Britain also witnessed a deluge of travelling magnetisers who put on public shows for paying audiences to demonstrate their craft. These mesmeric theatres, intended in part as a means of soliciting profitable private clientele, functioned as public fora for debate between skeptics and believers as to whether the performances were genuine or constituted fraud. In order to establish that the loss of sensation under mesmeric trance was real, these itinerant mesmerists indulged in often quite violent methods including discharging firearms close to the ears of mesmerised subjects, pricking them with needles, putting acid on their skin and knives beneath their fingernails.

Such displays of the anaesthetic qualities of mesmerism inspired some medical practitioners to attempt surgery on subjects under the spell of magnetism. In France, the first major operation of this kind had been trialled, apparently successfully, as early as 1828 during a mastectomy procedure. In Britain the first significant surgical procedure undertaken on a patient while mesmerised occurred in 1842 when James Wombell, a labourer from Nottingham, had his leg amputated.[93] Having been mesmerised for several days prior to the operation by a barrister named William Topham, Wombell exhibited no signs of pain during the operation and reported afterwards that the surgery had been painless. This account was disputed by many in the medical establishment who held that Wombell had fraudulently concealed the pain of the amputation both during and after the procedure. Undeterred, in 1843 Elliotson continued to advocate for the use of animal magnetism in surgery publishing Numerous Cases of Surgical Operation without Pain in the Mesmeric State. This marked the beginning of a campaign by London mesmerists to gain a foothold for the practice within British hospitals by convincing both doctors and the general public of the value of surgical mesmerism. Mesmeric surgery enjoyed considerable success in the years from 1842 to 1846 and colonial India emerged as a particular stronghold of the practice; word of its success was propagated in Britain through the Zoist and the publication in 1846 of Mesmerism in India and its Practical Application in Surgery and Medicine by James Esdaile, a Scottish surgeon with the East India Company and the chief proponent of animal magnetism in the subcontinent.[98]

Although a few surgeons and dentists had undertaken fitful experiments with anaesthetic substances in the preceding years, it was only in 1846 that use of ether in surgery was popularised amongst orthodox medical practitioners. This was despite the fact that the desensitising effects of widely available chemicals like ether and nitrous oxide were commonly known and had formed part of public and scientific displays over the previous half-century.

A feature of the dissemination of magnetism in the New World was its increasing association with spiritualism. By the 1830s mesmerism was making headway in the United States amongst figures like the intellectual progenitor of the New Thought movement, Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, whose treatment combined verbal suggestion with touch. Quimby’s most celebrated “disciple”, Mary Baker Eddy, would go on to found the “medico-religious hybrid”, Christian Science, in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In the 1840s the American spiritualist Andrew Jackson Davis sought to combine animal magnetism with spiritual beliefs and postulated that bodily health was dependent upon the unobstructed movement of the “spirit”, conceived as a fluid substance, throughout the body. As with Quimby, Davis’s healing practice involved the use of touch.

Deriving from the tradition of bone-setting and a belief in the flow of supernatural energies in the body (vitalism), both osteopathy and chiropractic developed in the USA in the late 19th century. The British School of Osteopathy was established in 1917[103] but it was the 1960s before the first chiropractic college was established in the UK.[104] Chiropractic theories and methods (which are concerned with subluxations or small displacements of the spine and other joints) do not accord with orthodox medicines current knowledge of the biomechanics of the spine.[105] in addition to teaching osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and theory, osteopathic colleges in the US gradually came to have the same courses and requirements as biomedical schools, whereby osteopathic doctors (ODs) who did practice OMM were considered to be practicing conventional biomedicine in the USA. The passing of the Osteopaths Act (1993) and the Chiropractors Act (1994), however, created for the first time autonomous statutory regulation for two CAM therapies in the UK.[106]

Chiropractic began in the United States in 1895. when Daniel David Palmer performed the first chiropractic adjustment on a partially deaf janitor, who then claimed he could hear better as a result of the manipulation.[107] Palmer opened a school of chiropractic two years later. Chiropractic’s early philosophy was rooted in vitalism, naturalism, magnetism, spiritualism and other unscientific constructs. Palmer claimed to merge science and metaphysics.[108] Palmer’s first descriptions and underlying philosophy of chiropractic described the body as a “machine” whose parts could be manipulated to produce a drugless cure, that spinal manipulation could improve health, and that the effects of chiropractic spinal manipulation as being mediated primarily by the nervous system.[109]

Despite their similarities, osteopathic practitioners sought to differentiate themselves by seeking regulation of the practices.[110] In a 1907 test of the new law, a Wisconsin based chiropractor was charged with practicing osteopathic medicine without a license. Practicing medicine without a license led to many chiropractors, including D.D. Palmer, being jailed.[110] Chiropractors won their first test case, but prosecutions instigated by state medical boards became increasingly common and successful. Chiropractors responded with political campaigns for separate licensing statutes, from osteopaths, eventually succeeding in all fifty states, from Kansas in 1913 through Louisiana in 1974.

Divisions developed within the chiropractic profession, with “mixers” combining spinal adjustments with other treatments, and “straights” relying solely on spinal adjustments. A conference sponsored by the National Institutes of Health in 1975 spurred the development of chiropractic research. In 1987, the American Medical Association called chiropractic an “unscientific cult”[111] and boycotted it until losing a 1987 antitrust case.[112]

Ayurveda or ayurvedic medicine has more than 5,000 years of history, now re-emerging as texts become increasingly accessible in modern English translations. These texts attempt to translate the Sanskrit versions that have remained hidden in India since British occupation from 1755-1947.[113][114][115] As modern archaeological evidence from Harappa and Mohenja-daro is distributed, Ayurveda has now been accepted as the world’s oldest concept of health and disease discovered by man and the oldest continuously practiced system of medicine. Ayurveda is a world view that advocates mans allegiance and surrender to the forces of Nature that are increasingly revealed in modern physics, chemistry and biology. It is based on an interpretation of disease and health that parallels the forces of nature, observing the sun’s fire and making analogies to the fires of the body; observing the flows in Nature and describing flows in the body, terming the principle as Vata; observing the transformations in Nature and describing transformations in the body, terming the principle as Pitta; and observing the stability in Nature and describing stability in the body, terming the principle as Kapha.[116]

Ayurveda can be defined as the system of medicine described in the great medical encyclopedias associated with the names Caraka, Suruta, and Bhea, compiled and re-edited over several centuries from about 200 BCE to about 500 CE and written in Sanskrit.[citation needed] These discursive writings were gathered and systematized in about 600 CE by Vgbhaa, to produce the Agahdayasahit (‘Heart of Medicine Compendium’) that became the most popular and widely used textbook of ayurvedic medicine in history.[117] Vgbhaa’s work was translated into many other languages and became influential throughout Asia.[118]

Its prehistory goes back to Vedic culture and its proliferation in written form flourished in Buddhist times.[118] Although the hymns of the Atharvaveda and the gveda mention some herbal medicines, protective amulets, and healing prayers that recur in the ciphered slokas of later ayurvedic treatises, the earliest historical mention of the main structural and theoretical categories of ayurvedic medicine occurs in the Buddhist Pli Tripiaka, or Canon.[citation needed]

Ayurveda originally derived from the Vedas, as the name suggests, and was first organized and captured in Sanskrit in ciphered form by physicians teaching their students judicious practice of healing. These ciphers are termed slokas and are purposefully designed to include several meanings, to be interpreted appropriately, known as ‘tantra yukti’ by the knowledgeable practitioner. Ayu means longevity or healthy life, and veda means human-interpreted and observable truths and provable science. The principles of Ayurveda include systematic means for allowing evidence, including truth by observation and experimentation, pratyaksha; attention to teachers with sufficient experience, aptoupadesha; analogy to things seen in Nature, anumana; and logical argument, yukti.

It was founded on several principles, including yama (time) and niyama (self-regulation) and placed emphasis on routines and adherence to cycles, as seen in Nature. For example, it directs that habits should be regulated to coincide with the demands of the body rather than the whimsical mind or evolving and changing nature of human intelligence. Thus, for the follower of ayurvedic medicine, food should only be taken when they are instinctively hungry rather than at an arbitrarily set meal-time. Ayurveda also teaches that when a person is tired, it is not wise to eat food or drink, but to rest, as the body’s fire is low and must gather energy in order to alight the enzymes that are required to digest food. The same principles of regulated living, called Dinacharya, direct that work is the justification for rest and in order to get sufficient sleep, one should subject the body to rigorous exercise.[119] Periodic fasting, or abstaining from all food and drink for short durations of one or two days helps regulate the elimination process and prevents illness. It is only in later years that practitioners of this system saw that people were not paying for their services, and in order to get their clients to pay, they introduced herbal remedies to begin with and later even started using metals and inorganic chemical compositions in the form of pills or potions to deal with symptoms.

Emigration from the Indian sub-continent in the 1850s brought practitioners of Ayurveda (Science of Life).[120] a medical system dating back over 2,500 years,[114] its adoption outside the Asian communities was limited by its lack of specific exportable skills and English-language reference books until adapted and modernised forms, New Age Ayurveda and Maharishi Ayurveda, came under the umbrella of CAM in the 1970s to Europe.[citation needed] In Britain, Unani practitioners are known as hakims and Ayurvedic practitioners are known as vaidyas. Having its origins in the Ayurveda, Indian Naturopathy incorporates a variety of holistic practices and natural remedies and became increasingly popular after the arrival of the post-Second World War wave of Indian immigrants.[citation needed] The Persian work for Greek,Unani medicines uses some similar materials as Ayurveda but are based on philosophy closer to Greek and Arab sources than to Ayurveda.[121] Exiles fleeing the war between Yemen and Aden in the 1960s settled nearby the ports of Cardiff and Liverpool and today practitioners of this Middle Eastern medicine are known as vaids.[citation needed].

In the USA, Ayurveda has increased popularity since the 1990s, as Indian-Americans move into the mainstream media, and celebrities visit India more frequently. In addition, many Americans go to India for medical tourism to avail of reputed Ayurvedic medical centers that are licensed and credentialed by the Indian government and widely legitimate as a medical option for chronic medical conditions. AAPNA, the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America,,[122] has over 600 medical professional members, including trained vaidyas from accredited schools in India credentialed by the Indian government, who are now working as health counselors and holistic practitioners in the USA. There are over 40 schools of Ayurveda throughout the USA, providing registered post-secondary education and operating mostly as private ventures outside the legitimized medical system, as there is no approval system yet in the US Dept of Education. Practitioners graduating from these schools and arriving with credentials from India practice legally through the Health Freedom Act, legalized in 13 states. Credentialing and a uniform standard of education is being developed by the international CAC, Council of Ayurvedic Credentialing,,[123] in consideration of the licensed programs in Ayurveda operated under the Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dept of AYUSH. In India, there are over 600,000 practicing physicians of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a legal and legitimate medical system in many countries of South Asia.

Traditional Chinese medicine has more than 4,000 years of history as a system of medicine that is based on a philosophical concept of balance ( yin and yang, Qi, Blood, Jing, Bodily fluids, the Five Elements, the emotions, and the spirit) approach to health that is rooted in Taoist philosophy and Chinese culture. As such, the concept of it as an alternative form of therapeutic practise is only found in the Western world.

The arrival into Britain of thousands of Chinese in the 1970s introduced Traditional Chinese Medicine a system dating back to the Bronze Age or earlier that used acupuncture, herbs, diet and exercise.[124] Today there are more than 2,000 registered practitioners in the UK.

Until the 1970s, western practitioners that were not part of the medical establishment were referred to “irregular practitioners”, and were dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific or quackery.[1] Irregular practice became increasingly marginalized as quackery and fraud, as western medicine increasingly incorporated scientific methods and discoveries, and had a corresponding increase in success of its treatments. In the 1970s, irregular practices were grouped with traditional practices of nonwestern cultures, and with other unproven or disproven practices that were not part of biomedicine, and the entire group began to be marketed and promoted as “alternative medicine”.[1][4] Following the counterculture movement of the 1960s, misleading marketing campaigns promoting “alternative medicine” as an effective “alternative” to biomedicine, and with changing social attitudes about not using chemicals, challenging the establishment and authority of any kind, sensitivity to giving equal measure to values and beliefs of other cultures and their practices through cultural relativism, adding postmodernism and deconstructivism to ways of thinking about science and its deficiencies, and with growing frustration and desperation by patients about limitations and side effects of science-based medicine, use of alternative medicine in the west began to rise, then had explosive growth beginning in the 1990s, when senior level political figures began promoting alternative medicine, and began diverting government medical research funds into research of alternative, complementary, and integrative medicine.[1][2][3][4][13][14][15]

In 1991, after United States Senator Thomas Harkin became convinced his allergies were cured by taking bee pollen pills, he used $2 million of his discretionary funds to create the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM), to test the efficacy of alternative medicine and alert the public as the results of testing its efficacy.[125] The OAM mission statement was that it was dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science; training complementary and alternative medicine researchers; and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals. Joseph M. Jacobs was appointed the first director of the OAM in 1992. Jacobs’ insistence on rigorous scientific methodology caused friction with Senator Harkin. Harkin criticized the “unbendable rules of randomized clinical trials” and, citing his use of bee pollen to treat his allergies, stated: “It is not necessary for the scientific community to understand the process before the American public can benefit from these therapies.”[126] Increasing political resistance to the use of scientific methodology was publicly criticized by Dr. Jacobs and another OAM board member complained that nonsense has trickled down to every aspect of this office. In 1994, Senator Harkin responded by appearing on television with cancer patients who blamed Dr. Jacobs for blocking their access to untested cancer treatment, leading Jacobs to resign in frustration. The OAM drew increasing criticism from eminent members of the scientific community, from a Nobel laureate criticizing the degrading parts of the NIH to the level a cover for quackery, and the president of the American Physical Society criticizing spending on testing practices that violate basic laws of physics and more clearly resemble witchcraft. In 1998, the President of the North Carolina Medical Association publicly called for shutting down the OAM. The NIH Director placed the OAM under more strict scientific NIH control.

In 1998, Sen. Harkin responded to the criticism and stricter scientific controls by the NIH, by raising the OAM to the level of an independent center, increasing its budget to $90 million annually, and renaming it to be the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). The United States Congress approved the appropriations without dissent. NCCAM had a mandate to promote a more rigorous and scientific approach to the study of alternative medicine, research training and career development, outreach, and integration. In 2014 the agency was renamed to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The NCCIH charter requires that 12 of the 18 council members shall be selected with a preference to selecting leading representatives of complementary and alternative medicine, 9 of the members must be licensed practitioners of alternative medicine, 6 members must be general public leaders in the fields of public policy, law, health policy, economics, and management, and 3 members must represent the interests of individual consumers of complementary and alternative medicine.

By 2009, the NCCIH budget had grown from annual spending of about $2 million at its inception, to $123 million annually. In 2009, after a history of 17 years of government testing produced almost no clearly proven efficacy of alternative therapies, Senator Harkin complained, One of the purposes of this center was to investigate and validate alternative approaches. Quite frankly, I must say publicly that it has fallen short. It think quite frankly that in this center and in the office previously before it, most of its focus has been on disproving things rather than seeking out and approving.[127] Members of the scientific and biomedical communities complained that after a history of 17 years of being tested, at a cost of over $2.5 Billion on testing scientifically and biologically implausible practices, almost no alternative therapy showed clear efficacy.[128]

From 1990 to 1997, use of alternative medicine in the US increased by 25%, with a corresponding 50% increase in expenditures.[129] By 2013, 50% of Americans were using alternative medicine, and annual spending on CAM in the US was $34 Billion.[130]

The terms alternative and complementary tend to be used interchangeably to describe a wide diversity of therapies that attempt to use the self-healing powers of the body by amplifying natural recuperative processes to restore health. In ancient Greece the Hippocratic movement, commonly regarded as the fathers of medicine, actually gave rise to modern naturopathy and indeed much of todays CAM.[131] They placed great emphasis on a good diet and healthy lifestyle to restore equilibrium; drugs were used more to support healing than to cure disease.

Complementary medicines have evolved through history and become formalised from primitive practices; although many were developed during the 19th century as alternatives to the sometimes harmful practices of the time, such as blood-lettings and purgation. In the UK, the medical divide between CAM and conventional medicine has been characterised by conflict, intolerance and prejudice on both sides and during the early 20th century CAM was virtually outlawed in Britain: healers were seen as freaks and hypnotherapists were subject to repeated attempts at legal restriction.[132] The alternative health movement is now accepted as part of modern life, having progressed from a grass-roots revival in the 1960s reacting against environmental degradation, unhealthy diets and rampant consumerism.

Until the arrival of the Romans in AD43, medical practices were limited to a basic use of plant materials, prayers and incantations. Having assimilated the corpus of Hippocrates, the Romans brought with them a vast reparatory of herbal treatments and introduced the concept of the hospital as a centralised treatment centre. In Britain, hydrotherapy (the use of water either internally or externally to maintain health and prevent disease) can be traced back to Roman spas.[133] This was augmented by practices from the Far East and China introduced by traders using the Silk Road.

During the Catholic and Protestant witch-hunts from the 14th to the 17th centuries, the activities of traditional folk-healers were severely curtailed and knowledge was often lost as it existed only as an oral tradition. The widespread emigration from Europe to North America in the 18th and 19th centuries included both the knowledge of herbalism and some of the plants themselves. This was combined with Native American medicine and then re-imported to the UK where it re-integrated with the surviving herbal traditions to evolve as todays medical herbalism movement.[134]

The natural law of similia similibus curantur, or like is cured by like, was recognised by Hippocrates but was only developed as a practical healing system in the early 19th century by a German, Dr Samuel Hahnemann.[135]Homeopathy was brought to the UK in the 1830s by a Dr Quinn who introduced it to the British aristocracy, whose patronage continues to this day. Despite arousing controversy in conventional medical circles, homeopathy is available under the National Health Service, and in Scotland approximately 25% of GPs hold qualifications in homeopathy or have undergone some homeopathic training.[136]

The impact on CAM of mass immigration into the UK is continuing into the 21st century. Originating in Japan, cryotherapy has been developed by Polish researchers into a system that claims to produce lasting relief from a variety of conditions such as rheumatism, psoriasis and muscle pain.[137] Patients spend a few minutes in a chamber cooled to 110C, during which skin temperature drops some 12C.

The use of CAM is widespread and increasing across the developed world. The British are presented with a wide choice of treatments from the traditional to the innovative and technological. Section 60 of the Health Act 1999 allows for new health professions to be created by Order rather than primary legislation.[138] This raises issues of public health policy which balance regulation, training, research, evidence-base and funding against freedom of choice in a culturally diverse society

The term alternative medicine refers to systems of medical thought and practice which function[citation needed] as alternatives to or subsist outside of conventional, mainstream medicine. Alternative medicine cannot exist absent an established, authoritative and stable medical orthodoxy to which it can function as an alternative. Such orthodoxy was only established in the West during the nineteenth century through processes of regulation, association, institution building and systematised medical education.

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History of alternative medicine – Wikipedia

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Happy Healthy YOU – Tillsonburg News

Posted: February 15, 2017 at 12:14 am

(A wellness column by Kelly Spencer: writer, life coach, yoga & meditation teacher, holistic healer and a mindful life enthusiast!)

Part 3

There seems to be a large body of evidence showing the lack of efficacy with conventional treatment options for cancer.

The data shows billions and billions of dollars are profited each year by the pharmaceutical companies. There also seems to conspiracy theories of alternative medicine being squashed, minimized and suppressed.

In the early 1970s, the War on Cancer was in full swing, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York was one of the worlds leading cancer research centers. Dr. Kanematsu Sugiura, a leading researcher, spent most of his career at Sloan Kettering, authoring more than 250 papers and receiving numerous awards, including the highest honors from the Japan Medical Association for outstanding contributions in cancer research.

While studying a drug called Laetrile, which was previously written off as quack medicine, Dr. Sugiura discovered Laetrile to have very positive effects in preventing the spread of malignant lung tumors in laboratory mice.

In control groups, which received only plain saline, the lung tumors spread in 80-90 per cent of the animals. But in those given Laetrile, the tumors spread in only 10-20 per cent.

In 1974, the findings were so positive that Sloan Kettering had signed off on clinical trials and praising its use. Then suddenly everything changed. The center began shifting their Laetrile experiments away from Dr. Sugiura to other scientists. But every time new experiments even hinted at a positive outcome, the research was scrapped.

But it appears that Sloan Ketterings Board of Directors may have knowingly hid positive findings about Laetrile, also known as Amygdalin or Vitamin B-17 (not a real vitamin).

In 1974, Ralph Moss, a science writer, had just acquired his first big time writing job at Sloan Ketterings public relations department. He soon found himself in the middle of the Amygdalin controversy and was not willing to hide the truth that his employer was veiling. He held a large and public press conference, then the next day he was fired and escorted to the door by armed personnel.

In 2013, Dr. Evengelos Michelakis, associate chair and medical researcher at the University of Albertas faculty of medicine and his team of researchers claimed to have discovered a cure for cancer, long after publishing his first findings on DCA in 2007 (results of a study about DCA (Dichloroacetate), stating that the agent showed promise in shrinking tumours in laboratory rats and human cell lines – human cells grown in a petri dish.) The University of Albertas research team did not receive any support from the medical industry.

It turns out that the rights to the DCA compound are not owned by any pharmaceutical company. This is a problem, as most of UAs research on this issue has been publicly funded. They are currently working to secure more funding to continue their research and ongoing DCA clinical trials. Without industry support, its almost impossible to do anything with this research and infiltrate the health industry. Drug companies are not interested in drugs that wont make them a profit and therefore this is not a prescribed option.

Even “The Canadian Cancer Society has concerns about Canadians with cancer seeking DCA because we dont know enough about its risks and benefits. ( – News National 2013)

But they are okay with the risks and statistics of chemotherapy? Doesnt really make sense to me.

There are ineffective conventional options and discouraged and seemingly inaccessible alternative options; so what is one to do?

Well there are ways to get holistic options if you look long enough and hard enough. The internet is a wonderful thing.

One example, Ontario Nurse Rene Caisse spent most of her career defending herself against the medical and government establishment. Essiac tea, given its name by Rene Caisse (“Caisse” spelt backwards), consists of four main herbs that grow in the wilderness of Ontario. The original formula is believed to have its roots from the native Canadian Ojibway Indians.

The four main herbs that make up Essiac are Burdock Root, Slippery Elm Inner Bark, Sheep Sorrel and Indian Rhubarb Root. Each herb, having powerful plant medicine such as Burdock Root (Arctium lappa), used traditionally to help reduce mucus, maintains a healthy gastrointestinal tract and stimulates a healthy immune response as a diuretic for water retention and to sweat out toxins through the skin. It has vitamin A and selenium to help reduce free radicals and its chromium content helps maintain normal blood sugar levels.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Nurse Caisse had the support of several doctors in both Canada and the USA and treated thousands with success, according to her notes. She was shut down by government several times over and believes the only reason she wasnt thrown in jail, was her popularity and notoriety.

But lets get to the preventative part. With statistics of one in three getting some form of cancer, prevention is the absolutely key, in my opinion.

Since changing my life drastically over the last 15 years, I can say with complete transparency that I have no illness or disease, I take zero medication and I have not had to go to a doctor or hospital as long as I can remember.

Here are some of my tips for holistic disease prevention:

Reduce / eliminate chemicals and toxins from your diet, personal products and home.

Reduce / eliminate processed sugar / artificial sweeteners. Sweeten foods with natural sources ie. local honey, maple syrup, stevia, cane sugar, coconut sugar.

Reduce / eliminate stress, worry and F.O.G. (fear, obligation, guilt).

Reduce / eliminate processed and prepared foods. Eat closest to source, natural foods and raw when possible.

Eat only foods that will spoil and eat them before they do.

Reduce dairy and meat quantity. Eliminate processed meats.

Eat chemical free meat & free-range/wild from sustainable, compassionate sources.

Eat organic and NON-GMO (non-genetically modified) whenever possible.

Meditate, practice mindfulness and mindful breathing.

Move your body, get in nature, take a class.

Deal with old hurts, forgive and heal.

Pay attention to your body, there is great wisdom within it.

Make your food or get from source your trust.

Grow your own organic vegetable and herb garden.

Eat more plant based: organic herbs, grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit. Eat at least 8 – cups of produce a day and make sure one serving a day is cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, radish).

The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.- Ann Wigmore

Each and every one of us has pre-cancerous cells in our body. These cells are eliminated by the natural processes of our immune system and body. How we live our life and the lifestyle choices we make can play a leading role in what those pre-cancerous cells do, what diseases advance or diminish and how healthy and happy our lives are lived.

There will be a Cancer and Alternative Options seminar and discussion open to the public Saturday, February 18th 2-4 p.m. If you would like to hear a different perspective for you or someone you love and hear about alternative options for prevention and treatment, please feel free to attend. Guest speaker is John MacDonald, a man that said no thank you to conventional treatment and 18 months later, his cancer is gone. To book a seat at any of these seminars, please call 519-688-1188 or email

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Happy Healthy YOU – Tillsonburg News

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Cannabis providers feel tension between clinical and alternative medicine – The Cannabist

Posted: February 10, 2017 at 3:12 am

The Cannabist
Cannabis providers feel tension between clinical and alternative medicine
The Cannabist
Now, Charles, CEO of PA Cannabis LLC, hopes to bring medical marijuana to Main Street via a dispensary that offers patients a holistic approach to health, private off-street parking and a comfortable ski-lodge-like atmosphere, smack in the middle of


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Bill to rein in alternative medicine practitioners – Bangalore Mirror

Posted: February 7, 2017 at 10:19 pm

The state government has proposed amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Act 2007 and Karnataka Private Medical Establishment Rules 2009 to bring under its ambit practitioners of other systems of medicine which were hitherto outside the acts ambit.

The National Law School of India University (NLSIU) has been entrusted with the drafting of fresh rules. The draft will be ready by three-weeks, the state government said.

Observing deficiencies in the aforementioned act, the state government had appointed a high-level committee under the chairmanship of Justice Vikramjit Sen to submit recommendations.

Following the committees report, the government asked NLSIU to commence drafting the new rules, according to sources in the health department. A meeting of officials led by Justice Sen, officials and health experts resolved to hand over the task to NLSIU.

The draft is likely to change the existing name Private Medical Establishments Act by including services offered by government-run or controlled hospitals. Besides, it was also considered that except allopathy, other systems of medicine did not come under the ambit of the law.

The earlier act did not have any provision to share data between private and government establishments. Further, the act did not mention any definite penalty or punitive action under various clauses.

Detailed and standard treatment guidelines to impart quality treatment to the patients were not in it. All these deficiencies will be rectified in the new rule which will soon be drafted, said a senior officer of the health department.

Efforts have been underway to ensure mandatory treatment of trauma and accident victims and emergency cases and encourage participation of private hospitals in programmes of universal health coverage targeting marginalised sections of society. The draft which will be placed before the cabinet is likely to be tabled in the state legislature during the budget session.

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Marijuana tension between clinical, alternative medicine … – Washington Times

Posted: at 8:13 am

Marijuana tension between clinical, alternative medicine …
Washington Times
Now, Charles, CEO of PA Cannabis LLC, hopes to bring medical marijuana to Main Street via a dispensary that offers patients a holistic approach to health, …

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Peroxide ingestion, promoted by alternative medicine, can be … – Science Daily

Posted: February 6, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Peroxide ingestion, promoted by alternative medicine, can be …
Science Daily
High-concentration peroxide, sometimes promoted in alternative medicine circles for cleanses or as a so-called 'natural cure,' can lead to numerous …

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Alternative medicine becoming more popular – WSIL TV

Posted: at 3:18 pm

CARBONDALE — State lawmakers are considering a bill to require the regulation of naturopathic doctors in Illinois, the latest sign that alternative medicines are becoming more popular in Illinois.

The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians defines naturopathy as focusing “on holistic, proactive prevention and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment.”

State Sen. Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) introduced the bill to regulate naturopathic medicine. The bill, introduced on Monday, has not been assigned to a committee yet.

The Illinois Association of NaturopathicPhysicians has been pushing for the regulation of naturopathic medicine in the state.

On the group’s website it explains, “Licensure will allow NDs to practice as trained, namely to diagnose and treat disease using naturopathic principles. Additionally, licensing naturopathic doctors provides for regulation of the profession and increased public safety in accessing the services of naturopathic doctors.”

Regulation will also set education and training standards doctors will have to meet in order to obtain a license.

Naturopathy is part of the growing field of alternative medicine, which includes a broad range of practices, from acupuncture to yoga. Alternative medicine isalso sometimes referred to as “complementary” medicine.

17 years ago, Bonnie Juul felt like she just couldn’t go on.

“I was having anxiety attacks. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t exercise without a lot of pain,” said Juul.

When Juul’s concerns fell on deafear, she turned to alternative medicine and found the answer.

“What it came down to was that I wasn’t getting the right nutrition,” she said.

Juul, who is a licensed doctor of chiropractic, now runs her own alternative medicine practice, the Natural Health Improvement Center in Carbondale, with a growing list of patients.

“I think it’s because people are tired of not feeling well and they’re tired of taking medications,” said Juul. “Medications definitely have their place, but people also want to start taking control of their own health.”

Federal health officials say one in three Americans use some form of alternative medicine, spending $30 billiona year.

When her massage therapy job became too physically taxing, Lisa Dover turned to another form of alternative medicine: yoga.

Dover said it not only made her stronger, but feel better.

“It helps us calm that mind-chatter that tends to happen and helps us to relax,” said Dover, who is now a certified yoga instructor at one | o | one yoga.

But unlike yoga, some forms of alternative medicine are controversial, like medical marijuana.

Even so, alternative medicine’s popularity is not likely to decline any time soon, especially since so many people swear it works.

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Alternative Medicine | Duke University Press

Posted: January 23, 2017 at 8:02 am

In a style both precise and emotional, playful and earnest, Campo delivers a most extraordinary message: that in writing, in seeing, in remembering, and in being, we embody, simultaneously, the ache as well as the cure. Briana Shemroske, Booklist

Ive rarely heard someone describe his or her doctor as accessible. Rafael Campos poetry has always been unapologetically so, but his formal decorum (from dcor: beauty, grace) makes for poems that are both objects of deep contemplation and acts of open-hearted expression. In a word, art. Steven Cramer, The Arnold T. Gold Foundation blog

“These poems are thoughtful, grounded, elegant and free of B.S. If only more doctors, preachers and writers were willing to do this in the midst of teaching and healing: to listen, and to speak the truth even when that means admitting the truth is not fully to be had, at least not yet.” Seminary Ridge Review

Dr. Rafael Campo’s poems are precise and incisive. You measure their beats as if listening through a stethoscope. You feel the scalpel cut through to your soul–eschewing anesthesia because you want to be awake and alert for Campo’s kind of surgical intervention. He slices through the facade of your life to pull back layers of skin and mores to the core mystery of the purpose of your body. Tom Lombardo, Canadian Medical Association Journal

Rafael Campos Alternative Medicine is indeed what this doctor orders. And it is alternative: to the tunnel vision, where-did-the-day-go, mind numbing way I, and I daresay many of us, frequently pass time. Take a swig or a nibble, hold the poets hand, meet a new universe. Audrey Shafer, Journal of Medical Humanities

Alternative Medicine is a stunning and valuable tribute to humanitarian love as the one necessary constant in a chaotic world where suffering is all too real. These wise and humane poems are therapeutic and generous. As such, they are essential reading for anyone who feels not only compassion for those who suffer but also believes it is our duty to live a life in the service of humanity. Sonja James, The Journal (Martinsburg, WV)

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Alternative Medicine | Duke University Press

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