Because our bodies are composed of chemical and physical reactions, holistic practitioners affirm that illness is not directly caused by pathogens such as viruses or bacterium; instead is the consequence of the body’s reaction (in an effort to shield and heal itself) to a pathogen. Integrative medicine advocates tell Healthline that while pills and procedures still help millions of patients, the evidence is mounting that diet and nutrition, natural therapeutics such as supplements, vitamins, herbs, and acupuncture, along with lifestyle behaviors such as exercise and smoking cessation also have a direct impact on disease.
In fact, during the seven year period between 1990 and 1997, the percent of people utilizing alternative medicine strategies in the United States rose from 33.8% to 42.1%. Furthermore, more and more universities are offering coursework and even degrees in alternative medicine practices.
Beyond that, complementary and alternative therapies are difficult to define , largely because the field is so diverse; it encompasses practices spanning diet and exercise changes, hypnosis, chiropractic adjustment, and poking needles into a person’s skin (aka acupuncture).
This goes without saying that an alternative medicine university may also extend comprehensive coursework in herbal medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, reflexology, reiki and a vast assortment of innumerable natural health and alternative medicine fields.
CAM and the Law, Part 1: Introduction to the issues When I write or talk about the scientific evidence against particular alternative medical approaches, I am frequently asked the question, So, if it doesn’t work, why is it legal?” Believers in CAM ask this to show that there must be something to what they are promoting or, presumably, the government wouldn’t let them sell it.