The most common objection to alternative medicine from conventional physicians is that it is "not proven."
What doctors mean by this is that alternative medicine has not been rigorously tested the way pharmaceutical drugs have been.
A rigorous test according to a Western medical doctor means that the medicine must have gone through one or (preferrably) more randomized, double blind clinical trials. This is considered the gold standard of Western medicine.
Doing a clinical trial like this is expensive. You need highly qualified researchers, a good research methodology, a bunch of patients to test, and a long period of time to observe results.
But the doctors are wrong.
Alternative medicine has been rigorously tested in a multitude of ways.
That's right. Chiropractic adjustments have been tested. Massage has been tested. Acupuncture. Yoga. Reiki. Reflexology. Herbs. Vitamin therapy. You name the alternative therapy, it's been tested, probably many times.
Why haven't you heard about these results? Well, without going into some conspiracy theory, I can only say that there is no single corporation who benefits from having these studies published widely, so they are generally kept quiet and known only to people who read the medical journals where they were originally published.
Here are a couple of examples that are really amazing.
A study published in the medical journal Multiple Sclerosis - Clinical and Laboratory Research in August 2003, researchers evaluated the effects of reflexology on relieving the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
They found incredible results. Reflexology decreased the patients symptoms with paresthesias (burning, prickling, itching, tingling), urinary symptoms and spasticity (uncontrollable spasms). This was compared to a control group who received a kind of fake reflexology.
Another study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry in July 2002, aromatherapy helped patients suffering from severe dementia to be significantly less agitated and more interested in social interaction and participating in constructive activities.
Both of these studies were "gold standard" trials, that is, they were randomized double-blind controlled trials.
And in both cases, there were NO side effects of the treatments.
These two studies are two of hundreds that have been conducted around the world, many of them proving conclusively that alternative medicine works.
We have, on our hands, many types of alternative medicine, effective, proven treatments that can help people with a wide variety of illnesses, conditions and symptoms without causing the discomfort, side-effects and death that pharmaceutical drugs cause in so many cases.
I believe that the combination of alternative medicine usage and a better approach to health insurance will help all of us live healthier lives and pay much less for healthcare and insurance.