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Alternative Medicine


There's an awful lot in the news and in society about "alternative medicines" these days. By some estimates, it's an industry doing between $15 and $20 billion annually - and growing! A report in New England Journal of Medicine back in January 1993 showed that about one-third of American adults had sought some sort of unorthodox therapy in the preceding year. With that kind of national influence, it's valid to wonder what it is, why it's so popular, and how effective it is.

Although there is a ton of available books, magazines and web sites supportive of just about every type of alternative treatment under the sun, there are only a few which take a more skeptical and critical approach. This site will try to help provide some sense of balance by offering critiques and skeptical information about various alternative medicine claims, treatments and philosophies.

What is Alternative Medicine
It helps to know what, exactly, alternative medicine is supposed to be before discussing it - unfortunately, it is a rather vague concept. It can mean a number of different things to different people.

Why do people use Alternative Medicine
If alternative medicine cannot be shown to be very effective at treating physical illnesses, why would people bother using it?

Is Alternative Medicine Ethical?
If alternative medicine cannot be shown to be very effective at treating physical illnesses, is it ethical to offer it or to suggest that people use it?

Concepts, Terminology and Treatments

This is an glossary of various concepts and terminology used within the alternative medicine movements. Below you will find various alternative medicine techniques and principles explained as part of the site's larger index on Religion and Philosophy.



Alexander Technique


alternative medicine

applied kinesiology


Attitudinal Therapy

bee venom therapy


blue-green algae

body work

Cayce, Edgar

chakra point

chelation therapy

chiropractic medicine

colloidal silver

color therapy

craniosacral balancing


dream work


faith healing




magnet therapy

Medical Intuitive


orgone therapy


placebo effect

polarity theory

psychic surgery



St. John's Wort

therapeutic touch

urine therapy

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