The truth about the potions, lotions, pills and needles, pummelling and energizing that lie beyond the realms of conventional medicine.
Whether you are an ardent believer in alternative medicine, a skeptic, or are simply baffled by the range of services and opinions, this guide lays to rest doubts and contradictions with authority, integrity, and clarity. In this groundbreaking analysis, over thirty of the most popular treatments—acupuncture, homeopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology, chiropractic, and herbal medicines—are examined for their benefits and potential dangers. Questions answered include: What works and what doesn't? What are the secrets, and what are the lies? Who can you trust, and who is ripping you off? Can science decide what is best, or do the old wives' tales really tap into ancient, superior wisdom?In their scrutiny of alternative and complementary cures, authors Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst also strive to reassert the primacy of the scientific method as a means for determining public health practice and policy.
Noted science writer Singh and British professor of complementary medicine Ernst offer a reasoned examination of the research on acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic, herbal medicine and other alternative treatments. Singh (Fermat's Last Theorem) and Ernst work hard to be objective, but their conclusion is that these therapies are largely worthless. As they examine the research on various alternative therapies, the authors explore the principles of evidence-based medicine on which their conclusions are based, including clinical trials and the placebo effect; they also explore related ethical issues. The authors report that many patients will improve with any alternative remedy but no more than those given a placebo. Exceptions exist; some herbal remedies (e.g., St. John's wort, echinacea) can be helpful though not always advisable, and chiropractors can relieve low back pain under certain circumstances. This is a stimulating and informative account that will be indispensable to anyone considering an alternative treatment, though it may not dissuade true believers. 16 illus.
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Good Explanation of Clinical Medicine
Book largely views alternative medicine in a negative light. Conclusions make sense. Doesn’t take long to reach conclusions. Drags during moments in every chapter. Overall, it introduces really important concepts about what makes a treatment effective. That being said, it’s a bit slow if this is not something you are really into.
This book should be mandatory reading for everybody. It explains very clearly with humor and logic how old-fashioned sneke-oil treatments still abound in the world today. It’s to everybody’s advantage to understand the difference between conventional and alternative medicine, and so maybe save themselves a lot of money and time in their pursuits of effective medicine. A great read, entertaining and immensely informative.
Ernst thinks everything is garbage. Denies millions of people are the world finding results everyday. How can he explain that while medicine kills over 100,000 annually in the U.S. alone?