Alternative Medicine?: A History

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A process is currently underway, following recommendations made by the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology in to organise statutory regulation of acupuncture and herbal medicine in England. Due to the increased popularity of complementary medicine in this country, the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology undertook a month study of CAM and their report was published in November The report concluded that most therapies are relatively safe, with the exception of acupuncture, chiropractic and herbal medicine which could cause harm in the wrong hands.

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The report divided CAM into three groups:. Group One: acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathy, herbal medicine and homeopathy — all of which had the best professional organisations and training standards. Chiropractic and osteopathy are now regulated which means it is illegal for anyone to practise without being registered with a professional body. Group Two: These included therapies that were harmless enough to complement conventional medicine even though supporting evidence was lacking.

Among these are Alexander techniques, aromatherapy, Bach flower remedies, massage therapy, hypnotherapy, meditation, reflexology, shiatsu, healing, nutritional medicine and yoga. Group Three: This group consists of those therapies that the Committee considered scientifically unproven and unregulated. These include: ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathy, crystal therapy, iridology, and kinesiology. Major steps towards regulation have been taken by the Foundation for Integrated Health which has been involved in helping many complementary healthcare professions move towards voluntary regulation.

It is widely accepted that CAM is still under-researched and there are also problems with funding and infrastructure. All of these elements lag behind the current popularity of CAM and this needs to be addressed. Commercial interests in CAM are scarce, so support has to rely heavily on government and charitable funding. Many feel that all good medicine is evidence-based and, therefore the CAM community needs to embrace the need for evidence-based work in order raise its acceptance, not only amongst clients but also medical practitioners.

It is a multi-disciplinary Register of Practitioners in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and countries outside the UK, who have provided evidence of their individual competence to practice. For further information, please visit the ICNM website. Sign in or Register a new account to join the discussion. You are here: Nurse managers. In Conrad, P. The Sociology of Health and Illness 8th ed.

Studies In The History Of Alternative Medicine

New York: Worth. Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Boston: D. Updike , Merrymount Press. April HowStuffWorks website. Stanford University website. Stanford University School of Medicine. Yale University website. Yale School of Medicine. University of Maryland website.

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