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Is alternative medicine effective? Show more Show less
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Complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products for diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention which are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. Complementary means to improve the effect of something and suggests a treatment that complements mainstream, orthodox treatment, whilst alternative means instead of. However, the terms are often used interchangeably.

Alternative medicine can cause serious harm Show more Show less

Some argue that if alternative medicine makes people feel better, it can’t do any harm. However, alternative medicine can cause significant damage.
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Anyone can portray themselves as an alternative therapist

Unlike the years and years of intensive education, ongoing supervision and high levels of regulation that doctors, nurses and pharmacists undergo, anyone can set up shop as an alternative therapist or healer.
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The Argument

Although many alternative therapists have undergone training, the regulations are very loose and traditional and complementary and alternative medicines remain largely unregulated. Front page stories such as the when a diabetic seven-year-old Sydney boy, Aiden Fenton, died after attending one of self-proclaimed Chinese healer Hongchi Xiao's "slapping therapy" workshops. Patients are slapped, often to the point of bruising, to "unblock poisons." Online health gurus and influencers increase the risks of charlatans and quackery causing harm to vulnerable people.

Counter arguments

Many groups such as chiropractictioners and osteopaths study a recognised, degree level curriculum and have a professional regulatory body.


[P1] Anyone can claim to be an alternative therapist and start a business. [P2] Without a recognised curriculum and regulation this is very dangerous.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] Many practitioners are educated and regulated to some level.



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    This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 09:07 UTC

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