What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you

 

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Ask for evidence

 

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Keep Libel out of Science

 

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The second episode of the 2005 BBC2 'Alternative Medicine: The Evidence' series highlighted a study in which an actor pretended to be a faith healer. The study was conducted by Dr Jennifer Cleland of the University of Aberdeen. It set out to discover how much of the healing effect came from the interaction with the healer rather than any 'subtle energy' the healer might be sending the patient. In order to imitate the healer the actor was of a similar age and appearance and for the purpose of the study both the actor and the healer wore similar clothes both were called 'Fred' both used the same music and both said and did the same things. Both men worked with chronic asthma sufferers who hadn't had much improvement with conventional treatments. All the patients improved and there was no statistical difference between the groups, although there was a slight tendency for the actor's patients to improve more.