By definition, “alternative” is different than modern western medicine. generally any drug, herb, treatment, or procedure that stands up to rigorous scientific scrutiny is included in modern medicine.
The problem is that many alternative practices are never given sufficient scientific inquiry. For example, the cannabinoid sytem and medical cannabis are just now getting the scientific attention they deserve. Contrarywise, some truly “alternative” treatments do not stand up to scientific scrutiny and cannot be shown to work. They therefore remain “alternative”. Be careful and watch your wallet.
Licensed doctors rely on research and science to evaluate treatments and show they are “proven by evidence based” studies. These statements intend that therapeutic benefits will have been subjected to Random Controlled Trials, RCT, wherein the efficacy of an active treatment is measured in matched cohorts, and whereby one “arm” of the Study group receives a “placebo”. Statistics, properly massaged, prove the therapeutic winners. That is the myth perpetuated.
The grand secret is that the majority of individual medical therapies being purveyed “approved” today in the United States have never been subjected to an RTC (Random Controlled Trials). Therapeutic falsehoods multiply logarithmically as poly-pharmacy is introduced to medical cases. Forget doing an RTC on a single medicinal agent. The combinations and permutations of poly-medicinals is infinite, and an infinite number of RTCs would be needed; an impossibility and riddle that will never be solved.
Agenda based science and medicine can skew results for or against the efficacy of a treatment. This is why we need continued open inquiry and peer review to push medicine forward.
One example of an intricate therapy introduced without an RTC is the previous surgical practice of using thoracic wall arteries to revascularize heart tissue containing clogged coronary arteries. Over time the procedure proved to be worthless and fell by the wayside.
Not too many years ago it was theorized that injecting damaged spine disks with a medication to digest the disk would thereby diminished protrusion of errant disks painfully impinging contiguous nerves. Unfortunately, the chemical digestant leaked into living nerves, digesting and scaring them; generating permanent severe low back pain in unfortunate recipients. I personally knew one of them.
As a physician, I am interested in the Diagnosis and Natural Therapy treatments of a number of chronic diseases and conditions including: Chronic Lower Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, Migraine, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Temporal Mandibular Disorder (TMD), Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS), Sciatica, and other Chronic Pain Disorders.
Through research, I have realized plant based cannabinoids provide a spectrum of medicinals that modulate human physiology and mental functioning. I have worked with patients to treat their chronic pain conditions using medical cannabinoids. Though cannabis has been legal as medicine in California since 1996, many researchers and physicians continue to face arrest for studying cannabis as medicine. More research will result in more patients getting the help they need.
Study your doctor, your condition, and ask about the latest medical treatments and views. There are many treatments that are up and coming, and others that are on their way out, and not all of them are right for everyone.