What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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Written by R. Barker Bausell (Oxford 2007) For both the scientist and the non-scientist, this book has lots of examples and illustrations, and doesn't burden the reader with occult and arcane statistics. R. Barker Bausell, Ph.D., who served for five years as research director of the University of Maryland's NIH-funded Complementary Medicine Program (now called the Center for Integrated Medicine), bares the absurdities and lack of research support for "complementary and alternative" methods. After stating why "CAM" research should be regarded skeptically, he dissects the published evidence and concludes: "No CAM therapy has a scientifically plausible biochemical mechanism of action over and above those proposed for the placebo effect. Of course, just because there is no rational explanation for why something should benefit a medical condition or reduce a medical symptom doesn't mean that this something can't do so. Unfortunately, the results from high-quality, randomised, placebo-controlled trials and systematic reviews have demonstrated that CAM therapies don't do so, which regretfully leads me to conclude that CAM therapies are nothing more than cleverly packaged placebos. And that is almost all there is to say about the science of CAM."