Pseudoscience Dictionary: Alternative Medicine
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Pseudoscience: Consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method (unproven, not testable, or opposed to the consensus of traditional science).
Definition: Is a general term for any of a range of medical therapies that are not regarded as orthodox by the medical profession, such as herbalism, homeopathy, and acupuncture all of which are considered pseudoscience.
Reasoning: Alternative medicine is a term that describes medical treatments that are used instead of traditional (mainstream) therapies. Some people also refer to it as “integrative,” or “complementary” medicine.
More than half of adults in the United States say they use some form of alternative medicine. But exactly what types of therapies are considered alternative? The definition changes as doctors test and moves more of them into the mainstream.
When combined with traditional Medicine the combo is called Integrative health care. Integrative health care often brings conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way. It emphasizes a holistic, patient-focused approach to health care and wellness—often including mental, emotional, functional, spiritual, social, and community aspects—and treating the whole person rather than, for example, one organ system. It aims for well-coordinated care between different providers and institutions.
The use of integrative approaches to health and wellness has grown within care settings across the United States. Researchers are currently exploring the potential benefits of integrative health in a variety of situations, including pain management for military personnel and veterans, relief of symptoms in cancer patients and survivors, and programs to promote healthy behaviors.
According to the American Cancer Society Alternative Medicine can be dangerous when used as a substitute for traditional medicine such when “Delaying surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or other traditional treatment by using an alternative therapy that can allow cancer to grow and spread to other parts of the body.” They further state “Be suspicious of any treatment that says it can cure cancer or other difficult-to-treat diseases (such as chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, etc.). It’s important to remember that those claims have not been proven.”
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Conclusion: Alternative Medicine may have some benefit as a supplement to traditional medicine such as in minor symptom relief, however, there isn’t evidence that alternative medicine can cure any diseases. Anyone who makes these claims is promoting dangerous pseudoscience that is not backed by scientific evidence or consensus.