They’re among the nation’s premier medical centers, at the leading edge of scientific research.

Yet hospitals affiliated with Yale, Duke, Johns Hopkins, and other top medical research centers also aggressively promote alternative therapies with little or no scientific backing. They offer “energy healing” to help treat multiple sclerosis, acupuncture for infertility, and homeopathic bee venom for fibromyalgia. A public forum hosted by the University of Florida’s hospital even promises to explain how herbal therapy can reverse Alzheimer’s. (It can’t.)

This embrace of alternative medicine has been building for years. But a STAT examination of 15 academic research centers across the US underscores just how deeply these therapies have become embedded in prestigious hospitals and medical schools.

Some hospitals have built luxurious, spa-like wellness centers to draw patients for spiritual healing, homeopathy, and more. And they’re promoting such treatments for a wide array of conditions, including depression, heart disease, cancer, and chronic pain. Duke even markets a pediatric program that suggests on its website that alternative medicine, including “detoxification programs” and “botanical medicines,” can help children with conditions ranging from autism to asthma to ADHD.

“We’ve become witch doctors,” said Dr. Steven Novella, a professor of neurology at the Yale School of Medicine and a longtime critic of alternative medicine.

STAT’s examination found a booming market for such therapies: The clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, is growing so fast, it’s bursting out of its space.

Just in the past year, the teaching hospital connected to the University of Florida began offering cancer patients consultations in homeopathy and traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia launched an institute whose offerings include intravenous vitamin and mineral therapies. And the University of Arizona, a pioneer in the field, received a $1 million gift to boost practitioner training in natural and spiritual healing techniques.

“[If a hospital is] offering treatment that’s based on fantasy, it undermines the credibility of the institution.”

Steven Salzberg, Johns Hopkins

Even as they count on these programs to bring in patients and revenue, several hospitals were reluctant to talk to STAT about why they’re lending their distinguished names to unproven therapies.

Duke Health declined repeated requests for interviews about its rapidly growing integrative medicine center, which charges patients $1,800 a year just for a basic membership, with acupuncture and other treatments billed separately.

MedStar Georgetown quietly edited its website, citing changes to its clinical offerings, after a reporter asked why it listed the energy healing practice of reiki as a therapy for blood cancer. Cleveland Clinic struggled to find anyone on its staff to defend the hospital’s energy medicine program, ultimately issuing a statement that it’s “responding to the needs of our patients and patient demand.”

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And the director of an alternative medicine program at another prestigious hospital declined to speak on the record — out of fear, he said, that his remarks would be construed as “fake news” and stir a backlash.

The rise of alternative therapies has sparked tension in some hospitals, with doctors openly accusing their peers of peddling snake oil and undermining the credibility of their institutions.

By promoting such therapies, Novella said, physicians are forfeiting “any claim that we had to being a science-based profession.”

As for patients? They’re “being snookered,” he said.

Online promotions with little room for nuance

The counterargument: Modern medicine clearly can’t cure everyone. It fails a great many patients. So why not encourage them to try an ancient Indian remedy or a spiritual healing technique that’s unlikely to cause harm — and may provide some relief, if only from the placebo effect?

“Yes, as scientists, we want to be rigid. But me, as a physician, I want to find what’s best for a patient. Who am I to say that’s hogwash?” said Dr. Linda Lee.

A gastroenterologist, Lee runs the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine and Digestive Center, which offers acupuncture, massage therapy, and reiki — a therapy that the center’s website describes as laying on hands “to transmit Universal Life Energy” to the patient.

Lee and others who promote alternative therapies are careful to say that they can supplement — but can’t replace — conventional treatments. And they make a point of coordinating care with other doctors so that, for instance, patients don’t get prescribed herbal supplements that might interact badly with their chemotherapy.

“Yes, as scientists, we want to be rigid. But me, as a physician, I want to find what’s best for a patient. Who am I to say that’s hogwash?”

Dr. Linda Lee, Johns Hopkins gastroenterologist

“Here at UF, we do not have alternative medicine. We do not have complementary medicine. We have integrative medicine,” said Dr. Irene Estores, medical director of the integrative medicine program at the University of Florida Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla.

But while those cautions may come through in the clinic, the hospitals also promote alternative medicine online — often, without any nuance.

Duke’s Integrative Medicine store, for instance, sells “Po Chai Pills” that are touted on the hospital’s website as a cure for everything from belching to hangovers to headaches. The site explains that taking a pill “harmonizes the stomach, stems counterflow ascent of stomach qi, dispels damp, dispels pathogenic factors, subdues yang, relieves pain.” None of that makes sense in modern biomedical terms.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital’s website touts homeopathic bee venom as useful to relieve symptoms for arthritis, nerve pain, and other conditions. The site does tell patients that the biological mechanism for the treatment is “unexplained” but asserts that studies “have been published in medical journals showing homeopathic medicines may provide clinical benefit.”

Asked about the therapy, Dr. Daniel Monti, who directs the integrative health center, acknowledged that the data is “largely anecdotal,” and said the hospital offers the treatment only rarely, “when there are few other options.” But those caveats don’t come through on the website.

Novella gets alarmed when he sees top-tier hospitals backing therapies with scant evidence behind them. “Patients only want [alternative medicine] because they’re being told they should want it. They see a prestigious hospital is offering it, so they think it’s legitimate,” said Novella.

“The perpetuation of these practices is a victory of marketing over truth,” said Steven Salzberg, a biomedical engineer at Johns Hopkins who lectures in the medical school. If a hospital is “offering treatment that’s based on fantasy, it undermines the credibility of the institution.”

The debate burst into the public view earlier this year when the medical director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute — which markets a variety of alternative therapies — published an article raising discredited theories linking vaccines to autism.

Cleveland Clinic’s chief executive, Dr. Toby Cosgrove, disavowed the article. And the clinic told STAT last week that it will take down its online wellness store and stop selling homeopathy kits.

But Cosgrove has stood up for the general principle of offering alternative treatments.

“The old way of combating chronic disease hasn’t worked,” Cosgrove wrote in a column posted on the hospital’s website. “… We have heard from our patients that they want more than conventional medicine can offer.”

Aromatherapy

A booming market for ‘natural’ therapies

There’s no question that patients want alternative medicine. It’s a $37 billion-a-year business.

The typical American adult spent about $800 out of pocket in 2012 on dietary supplements and visits to alternative providers, such as naturopaths and acupuncturists, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hospitals have taken note. A national consortium to promote integrative health now counts more than 70 academic centers and health systems as members, up from eight in 1999. Each year, four or five new programs join, said Dr. Leslie Mendoza Temple, the chair of the consortium’s policy working group.

In most cases, insurers won’t cover alternative therapies — there’s simply not enough evidence that they actually work — so patients pay out of pocket: $85 for acupuncture, $100 for reiki, $38 for pills made from thyme and oregano oils that promise to “harmonize digestive and respiratory function.”

To be sure, not all such integrative medicine clinics are big profit centers. Many are funded by philanthropists, and some hospitals say their programs operate at a loss — but are nonetheless essential to woo patients in a highly competitive marketplace. If they failed to offer “natural” therapies, some hospital executives fear they would lose a chance to attract patients who need more lucrative care, such as orthopedic surgeries or cancer treatments.

The integrative medicine center at Thomas Jefferson, for instance, is part of an “enterprise strategy for growth and development,” Monti said.

“The people running the hospitals are doctors, but they also have MBAs. They talk of patients as customers. Customers have demands. Your job is to sell them what they want,” said Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at New York University’s medical school. Too often, he said, the attitude is, “We’re damn well going to do it if the guys down the street are doing it.”

“We’ve become witch doctors … [forfeiting] any claim that we had to be a science-based profession.”

Dr. Steven Novella, Yale School of Medicine

While most hospitals declined to give specific revenue figures, STAT found indications of rapid growth.

“We’re literally bursting. We have to convert office space to clinic exam rooms,” said Shelley Adler, who runs the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. It offers a wide range of services, including Chinese herbal medicine, massage therapy, and Ayurveda, an ancient healing system from India based on the belief that health results from a balance between the mind, body, and spirit.

The center is on pace to get more than 10,300 patient visits this fiscal year, up 37 percent from 2012. It’s expanding its clinical staff by a third.

Duke University’s integrative medicine clinic, a stunning space with arching wood ceilings and an indoor garden, has seen strong growth: Total visits jumped 50 percent in 2015, to more than 14,000, Dr. Adam Perlman, the executive director, told IntegrativePractitioner.com. (He declined to talk to STAT.)

The center’s membership count also jumped, up 25 percent to 885, Perlman said. If all members paid the list price, that would bring in more than $1 million a year just for primary care.

At the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Integrative Medicine, meanwhile, “our volume pretty much has increased steadily, even when we’ve had recessions and financial downturns,” said Dr. Ronald Glick, the medical director. The center now treats about 8,000 patients a year.

Many hospitals have also expanded into more general “wellness” offerings, with classes in healthy cooking, tai chi, meditation, and art therapy. UCSF offers a $375 class on “cultivating emotional balance” (and a free class on “laughter yoga”). Mayo Clinic sells a $2,900 “signature experience,” which includes consultations with a wellness coach.

And the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital offers specialized stress management services to help patients deal with conditions including cancer, infertility, and menopause. John Henry, the owner of STAT, has contributed funding to the Benson-Henry Institute.

Wellness programs — which are designed to ease stress and encourage healthy behaviors — are seen by many clinicians and hospitals as key to slowing America’s epidemic of chronic disease. They don’t tend to draw sharp criticism, except for their cost.

It’s the alternative therapies promoted as a way to treat disease that raise eyebrows.

Reiki

‘Energy healing’ takes root

Despite their deep wells of medical expertise, many top hospitals are offering to help treat serious medical problems with reiki — a practice based on the belief that lightly touching patients can unleash a cosmic energy flow that will heal them naturally.

STAT found that it is widely used by academic medical centers, including Johns Hopkins, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, part of Partners HealthCare in Boston.

So, where’s the evidence supporting it?

There is none, according to a division of the National Institutes of Health that funds research into alternative medicines. It says the practice has not been shown to be useful for “any health-related purpose” — and adds that there is no scientific evidence that the “natural healing energy” it’s based on even exists.

Asked about the Cleveland Clinic’s promotion of reiki, Dr. Richard Lang, the recently named interim director of the clinic’s Wellness Institute, said he hadn’t had a chance to think about it. “I don’t know that I could give you a plus or minus on that,” he said. Lang served as a vice chair of the wellness institute for nearly a decade before taking the top post.

“[Hospital executives] talk of patients as customers. Customers have demands. Your job is to sell them what they want.”

Arthur Caplan, bioethicist at New York University

Pressed for a more substantive answer, the clinic sent a statement saying it offers energy medicine as a complementary therapy, not as a replacement solution. But its website only briefly alludes to a patient’s broader “care team” in describing a “full range of emotional and physical issues” that can be treated with energy therapies, including autoimmune diseases, migraines, hormonal imbalances, and “cancer treatment support and recovery.”

Academic medical centers often boast that they’re more rigorous in evaluating alternative therapies  — and weeding out scams  — than a for-profit wellness center might be.

“The important thing about practicing in an academic center is that we must hold ourselves to certain standards,” said Estores, the medical director at the University of Florida’s integrative medicine clinic.

At the University of Pittsburgh, Glick echoed that sentiment: “We’re an academic institution … [so] we’re offering services that have greater evidence basis [and] scientific explanation.”

But that evidence isn’t always rigorous.

The University of Florida, for instance, is using Facebook to advertise an herbal medicine workshop for providers and the public that promises to answer questions including, “How can we stabilize or reverse Alzheimer’s disease?”

Asked about the evidence for that statement, Susan Marynowski, the herbalist presenting the workshop, cited several papers and a book chapter that she said showed herbs, in conjunction with lifestyle adjustments, could reverse Alzheimer’s-associated memory loss. However, at least two papers were small collections of case studies published in a journal with a reputation for less-than-rigorous review. (Marynowski said she knew the studies’ size and design limited the strength of their conclusions, but that she was not aware of the journal’s reputation.)

At Pittsburgh, the integrative medical center does take care to note on its website that alternative therapies “generally have not been subjected to the same level of research as standard medical approaches.”

But the site then goes on to promote dozens of treatments for everything from ADHD to whiplash, saying they have “appeared to be beneficial in this and other complementary medicine clinics.” (Glick noted that the body of research had grown since he wrote the caveat on the website in 2003.)

Acupuncture

‘It’s not black and white’

Perhaps the most prevalent alternative treatment STAT found on offer is acupuncture. It’s promoted for more than a dozen conditions, including high blood pressure, sinus problems, infertility, migraines, and digestive irregularities.

A 3,000-year-old Chinese therapy, acupuncture is based on the belief that by stimulating certain points on the body, most often with needles, practitioners can unlock a natural healing energy that flows through the body’s “meridians.” Research suggests it helps with certain pain conditions and might help prevent migraine headaches — but it also suggests that the placebo effect may play an important role.

Its value in treating other conditions is uncertain, according to the NIH’s center on integrative medicine.

Several major insurers, including Aetna, Anthem, and regional Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates, cover acupuncture as a treatment for chronic pain and nausea. But the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services won’t pay for acupuncture, dismissing the scientific evidence as insufficient.

Still, it’s important for physicians to keep an open mind, said Lang, the interim director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

He said, for example, that he used to avoid referring patients for acupuncture, until he saw the benefit it provided to some of them. “I have seen it work in some chronic pain situations,” said Lang. “It can be very helpful. If it doesn’t work, I don’t know that you’ve lost anything. If it does, you do get to a better place.”

“If it doesn’t work, I don’t know that you’ve lost anything. If it does, you do get to a better place.”

Dr. Richard Lang, Cleveland Clinic

And while the evidence of its efficacy is not ironclad, neither is the evidence for various pharmaceutical therapies that are routinely provided by hospitals and covered by insurance. Some of those solutions, such as opioids to treat pain, have resulted in addiction and harm to patients.

Advocates of alternative medicine say it’s difficult to test some alternative therapies through rigorous clinical trials, primarily because treatment techniques vary from patient to patient. (The federal government does, however, spend roughly $120 million a year to fund research through the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.)

They note, too, that traditional doctors sometimes stray from proven treatments, for instance when they prescribe medicines off-label for conditions the drugs have not been approved to treat.

“We do use things that aren’t necessarily 100 percent evidence-based, but I would argue that’s also true within all of medicine,” said Dr. Jill Schneiderhan, co-director of the University of Michigan’s integrative family medicine program. “I feel like it’s not black and white.”

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  • I just left St. Joseph’s Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, California after a cardiac ablation procedure performed by a highly trained electrophysiologist physician. I had excellent care and I appreciate living in a time of such great medical advances. But when I went to catch up on emails, I was surprised–and appalled–to receive an email from Mission Hospital’s “Wellness Corner” that was selling how to “fight flu naturally” with an acupuncture treatment that promised to boost your immune system and “counteract toxins” (as opposed to what I’d expect a hospital system to promote–the flu vaccine.) When I went to the website, http://www.wellnesscorner.org, I learned they were selling supposed “FDA-certified supplements” (the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements, of course) and other pseudo-science treatments, while using all the typical jargon you’d find on the worst kind of alternative medicine sites. I’m frankly shocked that a large hospital system would allow this–though I suppose profits trump all. If nothing else, how are these types of advertising claims allowed? Who is in charge of regulating false health claims? I’m completely disgusted by St. Joseph’s Health backing of this subsidiary; I greatly appreciate your investigation into these practices. To have the top names in medicine like Johns Hopkins involved in this BS is extremely disturbing. The government and medical boards need to get involved to stop the marketing of this type of pseudo-science that can claim the lives of a public who’s increasingly scientifically illiterate and gullible.

  • Thanks for putting out there that medical institutions that previously relied on evidence-based medicine are now starting to peddle BS to patients. It’s absolutely deplorable that on top of having to navigate insurance, networks, and everything that goes along with a diagnosis of an acute or chronic illness patients now have to be wary and investigate what types of treatments they’re going to be recommended. Sure some people may find comfort in the placebo effect of this so called ‘alternative medicine’ but I think it’s doing them a great disservice by not just telling them that there’s very little conventional medicine can do. Giving them hope that some oils or rocks are going to cure them instead of making plans for managing symptoms or setting up end of life care to make sure they’re comfortable is incredibly unethical.

  • Reiki Jesse is right- I have never supported the concept of ‘evidence based’ treatments being the only ones that should be used. It is too rigid and has been used to discredit other treatments which may well work. I am pleased to see a move away from it as reported). I am a proponent of psychoanalysis and that uses fantasy extensively and ‘analysis of transference'(see Otto Fenichel 1946 The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis, for a thorough explanation).For years now it has been derided as ‘patriarchal’ and books on its subject matter together with other books ‘not approved’ by the current ethos have been thrown out of college and university libraries. This is notwithstanding that the authors have ‘traditional’ academic qualifications eg M.D.(psychiatry)or Ph.D. (psychology)and have often had lengthy careers in academia (eg. Jack Block-‘Lives through time’-longitudinal studies in personality).Of course there may be little use in subjecting a terminally ill (cancer) patient to the rigors of an analysis(unless they really want to try it). Everyday now there are reports of NEW drug treatments for cancer and some of these could give some hope to patients. As I previously said this matter is close to me at the moment as I had a close relative die of lung cancer. Treatments were withheld, no TPN given-patient starved, got weaker and died- in my opinion much earlier than they otherwise may have had some treatment been given. In fact the hospital approach to this patient hastened death. X Rays were not properly attended to-significant findings were ignored or overlooked-in fact the cancer was not recognized in spite of very significant signs.(elevated right hemidiaphragm-for those interested) The patient was discharged only to be back after going ‘downhill’ over a few months-this time biopsied and stage 4 lung cancer found-still no treatment given. Patient died. Lies were perpetrated that letters were sent to call back patient for more X Rays. No letters were received- a search of Post Office records showed no letters had been sent. The scenario was so disgusting it is now subject to litigation. Nothing can bring the patient back. Whilst not religious I quote the Bible ‘The son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners'(Mark 14:41). Never a truer word said.

    • ((( I have never supported the concept of ‘evidence based’ treatments being the only ones that should be used. It is too rigid)))

      And rigid they should be, because things that we have little knowledge of can be fatal and often have been.

      Non-physicians often bring up how synthetic drugs kill people, but what they don’t realize is that this doesn’t automatically make all other treatments safe. Discrediting the need for evidence is just utter nonsense and the reason (and thankfully so) that many of these “alternative therapies” will never be accepted into general practice.

      You may not give a damn about the people who trust you to be sure what you’re giving them has been tested, but I care about my patients and if you were a Doctor and said that in the presence of my practice you and I would have a tough discussion where you would be listening and I would be shouting at you the 100+ reasons why you should get the hell out of medicine before you kill someone and get arrested when the authorities find out you gave a patient some hokum that had no basis in science and no scientific testing behind it.

  • Patients and physicians turn to ‘alternative therapies”when they are failing with standard scientific treatments. Placebos do work-but these therapies are not always placebos. Herbal type remedies often do have some efficacy but like high priced vitamins and minerals are usually just ‘me too’ products-a new way to make money.’Fantasy’ should not be discounted altogether as ‘dream interpretation’ used in psychoanalysis can be quite helpful in the long term. Unfortunately it may be of little use to a patient with advanced stage of eg. lung cancer. ‘Laetrile’ seems to getting another run for cancer patients. Desperate people clutch at straws-they will try anything if it is available-including many things which would seem to have NO scientific validity at all. Recall coffee enemas used in Mexico years ago. Maybe the physicians who have turned to ‘witchcraft ‘in their treatments for cancer are mostly letting the patients have what they want-desperate in their knowledge that they have nothing to ‘cure’ them and the best they can do is to try to keep them happy. ‘Physician heal thyself’. ‘Miracle’ cures have been documented but the question remains as to whether the original diagnosis was correct to begin with. In the past, even popular ”over the counter’ products have been touted for cancer -including Vitamin C. A Bishop in a religious order once asked me about just that-Vitamin C- he had heard it used in cancer treatments. I too had heard this ‘scuttle -but’ and had given it no real credence. All I was able to do was give him some FREE of charge and hope it might have the effect he wanted. I never saw him again-or heard of him-so I guess the result was not what I would have hoped for him.I have lost a close relative recently to lung cancer so the matter is near to me at the moment. Failure to recognize early signs is medicines biggest problem in lung cancer eg.’Delays in the diagnosis of lung cancer'(Journal of Thoracic Disease 20011 Sep3(3)183-188) and I would suggest that patients with ANY form of abnormal bleeding be thoroughly investigated for cancer. X-Rays showing eg élevated right hemi-diaphragm should not be ignored or discounted. A radiology report is only of any use if it is thoroughly read. Too late finding signs after the event. Regards to all. KW.

  • A rough statistic of 22% of ANYTHING works, except in the case of psychiatric drugs and electric shock, which brings the odds down to Zero. Man is a spirit, and the spirit monitors function. I would choose natural healing over conventional cut-and-drug, any day – if I ever agreed to get sick. My mother was a nurse during World War II, and when ailing Zulu’s would come to her for help while I was growing up in South Africa, she would give them a shot of water from a syringe. They would instantly recover and go off perfectly happy.

    • Every medical treatment has a placebo and nocebo effect. The placebo effect for injection is greater than it is for pill of any colour. No doubt vaccination has a massive placebo effect, never studied.

      Around 20% of people do not respond to placebo effects and this is about the same percentage of people who do not respond, as assessed, to vaccination.

      Psychiatric drugs are ineffective and often dangerous because mental illness is not and cannot be treated, as if it were purely chemical. The individual will adjust to any psychiatric medication quite quickly and while levels can be increased,often destructively, the effect ongoing is more placebo than anything else.

      As to electric shock, or ECT, this is a clear example of Allopathic hypocrisy, because, while it can in some demonstrate effect in terms of alleviating depression, it is not understood how it works, nor why this effect sometimes manifests. In other words, as with Homeopathy, it cannot be explained but it is utilised because effects are observed.

      There is no doubt allopathy has some admirable skills in surgery and crisis/trauma, but where it is poor is in terms of real cure and real cure does not involve having body parts regularly removed, or medication for life, and in terms of creating and maintaining robust health.

      However, health is not the focus of allopathy as it is of other holistic medical modalities. Disease is the focus of allopathy and repressing or removing symptoms which is little different to snake oil systems of the past, and, like them, highly profitable.

      One problem now facing the pharmaceutical junkies is that placebo performs so well in studies that they are working to have it removed. No doubt it performs so well because allopathic drugs are toxic. As are their vaccines but from what I have read, placebos are often not used in studying vaccines, if and when they are studied. Well, not real placebos anyway because the vaccine still contains the neurotoxin, Aluminium, the Adjuvant, which means it is not a real placebo in the first place.

  • @Jane Herman

    You ever notice that every response they make is condescending? “You misunderstand again”, and so forth.

    Apparently, everyone is misunderstanding but them. It’s funny that she’s claiming not to have insulted me when anyone can plainly read that she did and very directly. I’m not saying I didn’t insult too, I did, but at least I’m admitting to it.

    As you said, my field had to prove itself. We went through a war that lasted decades. MD’s that were found studying Integrative Medicine were hunted, ridiculed, and ostracized. Many respected Doctors had their careers ruined just for presenting their findings through the studies they paid to have done. But eventually as the evidence rolled in, we had to hide less and less. Seeing the total win we’re having now is amazing. No longer having to hide. No longer having to explain ourselves as if we were some kind of criminals trespassing on closed land. Finally, respected.

    There are Doctors of Integrative Medicine who have been waiting for DECADES to finally legally practice the discipline they truly believe in, and the time is here now for them as every respected medical system from Harvard to Duke to Johns Hopkins is using our discipline to save lives and better lives more effectively than “traditional” medicine alone ever could.

    If Homeopaths want that, it’s there for them. You just have to take the road we took, get the funding, rally to have Homeopathy taught as a staple in medical programs the way IM is now taught as a staple. And most of all, proof proof proof through studies studies studies. If you want it bad enough, if you want that win for your patients badly enough, you can make it happen. It’s all up to YOU.

    • I suggest you do something radical, Max Sedenka, something most other opposers do not do, and take the time to research Homeopathic theory, methodology and history.

      When you do you will find that up into the middle of the early part of the 20th century, Homeopathy was taught as a stapled, Homeopathy was accepted and respected. Things changed, clearly because of its success, when the American medical association teamed up with the pharmaceutical industry to destroy, or try anyway, Homeopathy.

      And the proof, proof, proof, through studies, studies, studies, exists for more than two centuries. I suggest you take the time to read some of it.

      The approach is simple, muster as much rigorous objectivity as you can, and read all that you can find with an open mind.

      As to it all being up to Homeopathic medicine, having, as I said, once been there and had the big-money bullies enter the fray, I would say it is all up to the patients and they are talking with their feet in the millions, embracing non-allopathic medical modalities and Homeopathy more than most of them.

  • The healing modality coming from the ancient Indian – Ayurved and Yoga modality has been recently well
    recognized for its value as part of integrative medicine
    Healing the hurt takes place via mind body and spirit and many studies is proving that Ayurved and Yoga has great place as integrative medicine
    Chronic conditions and chronic pains being examples
    Hopefully further debate takes place thru your article and help others get involved in furthering knowledge
    Dinesh Patel MD

    • @Dinish Patel,

      You make an important point and one which differentiates most other medical modalities from allopathic medicine, the reality that disease is sourced in more than the physical and that emotional, mental, psychological, environmental, circumstantial and spiritual factors play a part.

      This is indeed the foundation of Homeopathic medicine and a core factor of Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and many other holistic modalities.

      As Pasteur finally admitted, ‘it is the terrain, not the pathogen.’

      Holistic medicine knows that it is the body which decrees whether or not a disease will manifest and the process of healing, should healing take place.

      Allopathic medicine works mechanically to remove or repress symptoms with no thought to the other factors which have created the disease or made the individual vulnerable to disease.

      The mindset and belief system of Allopathy are sourced in materialist-reductionist science which has no place, nor indeed any tolerance, for that which cannot be reduced to the material, i.e. physical.

      You can see the harm this does in the dismissal by conventional medicine of factors like good nutrition and good sleep – neither provided in modern hospitals.

      In recent times there has been more talk of ‘lifestyle’ factors but this is more a ‘blame the patient’ approach than anything serious. If the patient can be ‘blamed’ for their disease then modern science-medicine does not have to look too closely at the part it plays with toxic and physically manipulative vaccination, medication and the over-prescribing of antibiotics.

      But, conversations such as these indicate times may well be changing.

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