- There is no scientific ‘evidence base’ behind these practices - ie it is difficult/impossible to demonstrate scientifically how these therapies work and that their efficacy is therefore questionable.
- Many of the therapies are unregulated (oesteopathy and chiropractic are self-regulated) and the titles are not protected. For example anyone can call themselves a naturopath or a nutritional therapist. Therapists do not necessarily have to follow the strict codes of professional conduct and standards which conventional medical practitioners have to follow.
- Lack of regulation puts the public at risk of a) inexperienced/unqualified practitioners giving ineffective/possibly dangerous treatments/advice b) being 'conned' into paying for these ineffective/possibly dangerous treatments/products c) seeking an alternative practitioner when they should really be seeing a doctor for an urgent medical issue.
- Just because we can’t scientifically explain how something works, does not necessary mean that it does not work.
- Big Pharma (the pharmaceutical companies) are out to make a fortune from selling medications to us that we either don’t really need/could actually harm us and making us all into pill popping dependent, unhealthy zombies!
(The Mediator case is often cited. It is currently ongoing here in France. Mediator was a diabetes drug which was banned last year due to links to heart valve damage.)
- That based on 'clinical practice' many of the alternative therapies can be effective and that these therapies provide support and comfort to many patients.
Conventional medicine is fantastic at addressing so many causes and symptoms. If I have a broken arm, I need to get to a surgeon rather than have my auras read. If I’ve got a raging bacterial infection, I need a doctor to prescribe antibiotics rather than relying on mega doses of vitamin C. Feeling blue, tired, weak or in pain, then possibly (and ideally after having been checked out by your doctor) you might be drawn to alternative therapies to see if they can help you feel better.
Guardian article link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/may/22/alternative-medicine-long-arm-law