In increasing numbers, patients are looking to complementary medicine for answers to complex medical problems, strategies for improved wellness, or relief from acute medical symptoms. 1 Patients may seek advice or treatment from Ontario physicians, or from other health-care providers. None of this, he assures me, would ever have happened if he and Louise had continued to hope for an alternative cure. Although the prior regimen of supplements and dietary changes wasn't physically harmful, it still exacted a heavy toll in financial and mental resources. Had they continued to pursue it, Jim believes, there would have been no time, no money, and no willingness to believe long-term. And eventually, their son would be an adult, and they wouldn't have known how to proceed. But now there's a plan, plus they rest easier understanding that Ben won't have to reside in a state-run home or move in along with his brother. For the Laidlers, the real alternative was to avoid believing in miracles-and start planning for the future.In the skeptic's perspective alternative medicine is nothing more than a swamp of irrational belief, well-intentioned mistakes, and outrageous lies that lure in people who ought to know better. Those of us who care about the welfare of others should criticize and expose it at every opportunity. But here's a question many skeptics neglect to ask: Is alternative medicine a complete waste of time or can we learn something valuable from it? I think we can.Over the years Dr Ernst and his group have run clinical trials and published over 160 meta-analyses of other studies. (Meta-analysis is a statistical way of extracting information from lots of small trials that aren't, by themselves, statistically reliable.) His findings are stark. According to his Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine”, around 95% of the treatments he and his colleagues examined-in fields as diverse as acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy and reflexology-are statistically indistinguishable from placebo treatments. In mere 5% of cases was there either a clear benefit above and beyond a placebo (you can find, for instance, evidence suggesting that St John's Wort, a herbal remedy, can help with mild depression), or even only a hint that something interesting was happening to claim that further research might be warranted.Mind-body medicine runs on the variety of techniques designed to improve the mind's capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms. Some techniques that were considered CAM in the past have become mainstream (for example, patient support groups and cognitive-behavioral therapy). Other mind-body techniques remain considered CAM, including meditation, prayer, mental healing, and therapies that use creative outlets such as art, music, or dance.Acupuncture is an alternative medicine practice that cures illness or provides local anaesthesia by the inserting needles at specified sites of your body. Acupuncture is mainly adopted for the treatment of low back, shoulder and knee pain. Millions of people use acupuncture each year for chronic pain. Acupuncture is a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical areas on or in the skin by a various techniques. Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique of balancing the flow of energy. Nowadays it is often coupled with other interventions, like sending a small current of electricity via needles or burning herbs on the acupuncture points.