Alternative medicine, the fluffy sounding oxymoron that has more layers than an onion wrapped in paper mache, has amazingly wiggled its way into everyday conversation.
An umbrella term that includes "treatments"
such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Reiki, detoxing, Naturopathy and
essential oils (to name a few) – it seems not a day can go by without my ears
bleeding at having to listen to a co-worker, a family member or a friend
discuss the latest and greatest wallet-draining waste of time they have engaged
Alternative medicine is multi-billion dollar industry, one that is entirely comprised of severely underqualified people who missed out on medical school, acting the role of a healthcare provider, dispensing either untested or proven ineffective materials that act as medicine. It’s an industry that is unregulated and actively attempts to exempt itself from the same standard of rigorous scientific testing, its counterpart Medicine is mandated to adhere to. As the name cleverly implies, alternative medicine is the alternative to medicine – it's not medicine, it’s not based in science and lacks evidence to support even the fundamental ideas of many of its practices.
What's an industry to do when it has no science, no facts, and no clue?
Let’s take a look.
7. It Makes You Feel 'Special'
Here's a not-so-revelatory newsflash: While science has provided us with a vast knowledge of chemistry, biology, and anatomy and provided us with the medical technology to have doubled our lifespan - science doesn't have all the answers. If it did, it would stop. Science not having all the answers, means medicine doesn't have all the answers and the alternative medicine industry recognises this as a hole it can take advantage of.
It doesn't really matter what country you reside in, most hospitals and clinics are understaffed, overworked and lack the resources to cope with the ever increasing amount of patients. Physicians have 15-20 minutes to talk with a patient, diagnose the problem (or refer them for testing) and to get them out in time to finish their paperwork so they can be ready for the next appointment.
The wait is long and the time with the doctor is short, and for frustrated people with management-only illnesses, alternative medicine can hold a seductive appeal
On the flip-side: Alternative practitioners offer displays of empathy and understanding. They can offer longer appointments where they will talk to you and build a rapport so you feel calm and listened to. They promote a "holistic" system of treatment which takes into account everything about your life rather than just the symptoms and you may leave their office feeling like FINALLY someone is listening.
By the time you leave the office of an alternative practitioner - you don't care the treatment sounds magical or implausible. You don't think about scientific facts or chemistry or the laws of physics - you may not even know about them, all you know is that you feel good and unlike scientific facts, feeling good is an emotion most people understand.
Once you trust someone and that person makes you feel you've found a friend and not someone being paid to treat an illness, it's hard to acknowledge the glaring flaws.