What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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"If the techniques of alternative medicine could be separated from the dubious theories that sometimes accompany them, the way would be open to a much more profound dialogue between orthodox and complementary practitioners, and a greater integration of conventional and complementary healthcare. There is always the possibility, of course, that doing away with the crackpot theories that provide alternative therapies with some of their appeal may actually rob them of their effectiveness, by destroying the vital belief that enables these therapies to mobilise the placebo response. In such cases, we face a choice of a clearly ethical nature: to preserve the effectiveness of these therapies by perpetuating crazy theories, or to seek the truth at the risk of robbing some patients of their favourite therapeutic resources. " A commentary by Dylan Evans, The Guardian (24th May 2006)