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Is alternative medicine effective? Show more Show less

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.

Yes, alternative medicine is effective Show more Show less

Alternative medicine has proven to be effective and reaches those who may not trust mainstream medicine.
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It is the therapeutic relationship that makes the difference

Alternative medicine works because people form a close relationship with the practitioner.
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Context

The Argument

People tend to value things they pay directly for. With almost all CAM treatments being user-paid, people want to feel they are getting their money’s worth, similar to the sunk cost effect. How a health care provider interacts with a patient brings about a positive response that’s independent of any specific treatment.[1] Alternative medicine appointments tend to be significantly longer than a conventional appointment with a doctor or nurse and usually there is a prolonged period of time with the therapist’s undivided attention, asking the client many caring questions about their welfare and listening intently to the replies. This time and attention from the provider of alternative therapy improves wellbeing.

Counter arguments

Framing

Premises

[P1] Alternative medicine generally incorporates a holistic approach where people become close to the practitioner. [P2] Alternative medicine works because of this approach.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/placebo-effect

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 08:15 UTC