Can we demonstrate

Can we demonstrate the effectiveness of alternative medicine?

Scandal of the Mediator, expeditious consultation, conventional drugs powerless to deal with recalcitrant pain

There are many reasons that push the French to turn to alternative medicine. More than a third according to estimates.

But even for the most well-known osteopathy to nurse a sore back, hypnosis or acupuncture to alleviate pain, herbal medicine for sleep better, doubts remain about their systematic efficiency. The feeling of the patientsSans scientific validation, the effectiveness of a product is always questionable.

How are the assessors? By clinical trials, we follow a strict procedure “randomized double-blind. This means that divided the patients into two groups who will receive either a pill (placebo), sugar is the active principle of the drug tested. Without that neither patients nor doctors conducting the study know what is the product that has been given.

But these clinical trials, which are generally in several hospitals, are difficult and often expensive to implement, or extremely expensive. Alternative medicine have not the means of the big pharmaceutical companies to launch reliable tests. Especially since they are far from bring as much as a “blockbuster”, star drug for high blood pressure or diabetes.. .. So, frequently, it is the feeling of patients who serves as evidence.

But this isn’t a problem for the supporters of these therapies. Because by defining itself as opposed to conventional medicine, these practices deviate themselves the most common scientific validation models. This medicine is founded on know-how specific to each practitioner, so escaping the usual rationality.

The share of the placeboAinsi effect, how to demonstrate the effectiveness of osteopathy when every patient is different and each practitioner has his own technique? Difficult to establish objective criteria.

Another example, hypnosis, which is supposed to reduce the pain, was evaluated during childbirth.

The threshold of pain with or without hypnosis was the same. However, the technique allowed women who had benefited from of a better souvenir of their delivery.

The pain is the same, but the negative emotion associated with suffering is less important.

Another unknown: the share of the placebo effect.

Many works on acupuncture showed it was effective in some patients. But therapeutic trials also showed that sting next to the Meridian or Meridian did not change much to the result. They show in the end that only manipulation is not the origin of the relief. Alternative medicine is often requested to deal with chronic pathologies (sore back, stress, digestive problems, migraines, etc.

.) for which the classic therapeutic response is limited, listening, time spent with the patient, interest in his problem would be equally in the improvement of symptoms. . .

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