Methods of validating research in complementary therapies
Edzard Ernst, a leading authority on scientific study of alternative treatments and diagnoses, and the first university professor of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Here in 2012, promoting his book Trick or Treatment co-written with Simon Singh. Ernst blames the providers, customers and the doctors whose neglect, he says, has created the opening into which alternative therapists have stepped. There are 40 million websites and 39.9 million tell lies, sometimes outrageous lies. It doesn't make me popular with the public, but it's the truth.
While it has extensively rebranded itself: from quackery to complementary or integrative medicine—it promotes essentially the same practices.
Newer proponents often suggest alternative medicine be used together with functional medical treatment, in a belief that it "complements" (improves the effect of, or mitigates the side effects of) the treatment.
Even low-risk medications such as antibiotics can have potential to cause life-threatening anaphylactic reactions in a very few individuals.
An analysis of the reasons why this is so points towards the therapeutic relationship as a key factor.
Promoting alternative medicine has been called dangerous and unethical.
Testing alternative medicine that has no scientific basis has been called a waste of scarce research resources.
Regulation and licensing of alternative medicine and health care providers varies between and within countries.
Alternative medicine is criticized for being based on misleading statements, quackery, pseudoscience, antiscience, fraud, or poor scientific methodology.
Alternative medicine consists of a wide variety of practices, products, and therapies—ranging from those that are biologically plausible but not well tested, to those with known harmful and toxic effects.