Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique similar in principle to acupuncture. It is based on the concept of life energy. In treatment, physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points with the aim of clearing blockages in these meridians. Pressure may be applied by elbow, or with various devices; some medical studies have suggested that acupressure may be effective at helping manage nausea and vomiting, for helping lower back pain, tension headaches, stomach ache, among other things, although such studies have been found to have a high likelihood of bias. Like many alternative medicines, it may benefit from a placebo effect. According to Quackwatch, acupressure is a dubious practice and its practitioners use irrational methods. Acupoints used in treatment may not be in the same area of the body as the targeted symptom; the traditional Chinese medicine theory for the selection of such points and their effectiveness is that they work by stimulating the meridian system to bring about relief by rebalancing yin, yang and qi.
Many East Asian martial arts make extensive study and use of acupressure for self-defense and health purposes. The points or combinations of points are said to be used to incapacitate an opponent. Martial artists massage their own acupressure points in routines to remove supposed blockages from their own meridians, claiming to thereby enhance their circulation and flexibility and keeping the points "soft" or less vulnerable to an attack. A 2011 systematic review of acupressure's effectiveness at treating symptoms found that 35 out of 43 randomized controlled trials had concluded that acupressure was effective at treating certain symptoms; the authors of this systematic review concluded that this "review of clinical trials from the past decade did not provide rigorous support for the efficacy of acupressure for symptom management. Well-designed, randomized controlled studies are needed to determine the utility and efficacy of acupressure to manage a variety of symptoms in a number of patient populations."A 2011 Cochrane review of four trials using acupuncture and nine studies using acupressure to control pain in childbirth concluded that "acupuncture or acupressure may help relieve pain during labour, but more research is needed".
Another Cochrane Collaboration review found that massage provided some long-term benefit for low back pain, stated: It seems that acupressure or pressure point massage techniques provide more relief than classic massage, although more research is needed to confirm this. Quackwatch includes acupressure in a list of methods which have no "rational place" as massage therapy and states that practitioners "may use irrational diagnostic methods to reach diagnoses that do not correspond to scientific concepts of health and disease." An acupressure wristband, claimed to relieve the symptoms of motion sickness and other forms of nausea provides pressure to the P6 acupuncture point, a point, extensively investigated. The Cochrane Collaboration reviewed the use of P6 for nausea and vomiting, found it to be effective for reducing post-operative nausea, but not vomiting; the Cochrane review included various means of stimulating P6, including acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, transcutaneous nerve stimulation, laser stimulation, acustimulation device and acupressure.
EBM reviewer Bandolier said that P6 in two studies showed 52% of patients with control having a success, compared with 75% with P6. A variant system known as two point acupressure attempts to bypass a blockage of vital flow by using one acupoint to create a link with one of the collateral meridians, using one additional acupoint to stimulate or reduce the flow around the obstruction. Clinical use of acupressure relies on the conceptual framework of traditional Chinese medicine. There is no physically verifiable anatomical or histological basis for the existence of acupuncture points or meridians. Proponents reply. Acupuncturists tend to perceive TCM concepts in functional rather than structural terms. Any benefit from acupressure may derive from the placebo effect. There are several different instruments for applying nonspecific pressure by rubbing, rolling, or applying pressure on the reflex zones of the body; the acuball is a small ball made of rubber with protuberances, heatable. It is used to relieve muscle and joint pain.
The energy roller is a small cylinder with protuberances. It is rolled back and forth to apply acupressure; the foot roller is a cylindrical roller with protuberances. It is placed on the floor and the foot is rolled back and forth over it; the power mat is a mat with small pyramid-shaped bumps. The spine roller is a bumpy roller containing magnets, rolled up and down the spine; the Teishein is one of the original nine classical acupuncture needles described in the original texts of acupuncture. Though it is described as an acupuncture needle it did not pierce the skin, it is used to apply rapid percussion pressure to the points being treated. Shiatsu, a Japanese form of acupressure massage
Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual, but are incompatible with the scientific method. Pseudoscience is characterized by contradictory, exaggerated or unfalsifiable claims; the term pseudoscience is considered pejorative because it suggests something is being presented as science inaccurately or deceptively. Those described as practicing or advocating pseudoscience dispute the characterization; the demarcation between science and pseudoscience has scientific implications. Differentiating science from pseudoscience has practical implications in the case of health care, expert testimony, environmental policies, science education. Distinguishing scientific facts and theories from pseudoscientific beliefs, such as those found in astrology, alternative medicine, occult beliefs, religious beliefs, creation science, is part of science education and scientific literacy. Pseudoscience can cause negative consequences in the real world.
Antivaccine activists present pseudoscientific studies that falsely call into question the safety of vaccines. Homeopathic remedies with no active ingredients have been promoted as treatment for deadly diseases; the word pseudoscience is derived from the Greek root pseudo meaning false and the English word science, from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge". Although the term has been in use since at least the late 18th century the concept of pseudoscience as distinct from real or proper science seems to have become more widespread during the mid-19th century. Among the earliest uses of "pseudo-science" was in an 1844 article in the Northern Journal of Medicine, issue 387: That opposite kind of innovation which pronounces what has been recognized as a branch of science, to have been a pseudo-science, composed of so-called facts, connected together by misapprehensions under the disguise of principles. An earlier use of the term was in 1843 by the French physiologist François Magendie.
During the 20th century, the word was used pejoratively to describe explanations of phenomena which were claimed to be scientific, but which were not in fact supported by reliable experimental evidence. From time-to-time, the usage of the word occurred in a more formal, technical manner in response to a perceived threat to individual and institutional security in a social and cultural setting. Philosophers classify types of knowledge. In English, the word science is used to indicate the natural sciences and related fields, which are called the social sciences. Different philosophers of science may disagree on the exact limits – for example, is mathematics a formal science, closer to the empirical ones, or is pure mathematics closer to the philosophical study of logic and therefore not a science? – but all agree that all of the ideas that are not scientific are non-scientific. The large category of non-science includes all matters outside the natural and social sciences, such as the study of history, religion and the humanities.
Dividing the category again, unscientific claims are a subset of the large category of non-scientific claims. This category includes all matters that are directly opposed to good science. Un-science includes pseudoscience, thus pseudoscience is a subset of un-science, un-science, in turn, is subset of non-science. Pseudoscience is differentiated from science because – although it claims to be science – pseudoscience does not adhere to accepted scientific standards, such as the scientific method, falsifiability of claims, Mertonian norms. A number of basic principles are accepted by scientists as standards for determining whether a body of knowledge, method, or practice is scientific. Experimental results should be verified by other researchers; these principles are intended to ensure experiments can be reproduced measurably given the same conditions, allowing further investigation to determine whether a hypothesis or theory related to given phenomena is valid and reliable. Standards require the scientific method to be applied throughout, bias to be controlled for or eliminated through randomization, fair sampling procedures, blinding of studies, other methods.
All gathered data, including the experimental or environmental conditions, are expected to be documented for scrutiny and made available for peer review, allowing further experiments or studies to be conducted to confirm or falsify results. Statistical quantification of significance and error are important tools for the scientific method. During the mid-20th century, the philosopher Karl Popper emphasized the criterion of falsifiability to distinguish science from nonscience. Statements, hypotheses, or theories have falsifiability or refutability if there is the inherent possibility that they can be proven false; that is, if it is possible to conceive of an argument which negates them. Popper used astrology and psychoanalysis as examples of pseudoscience and Einstein's theory of relativity as an example of science, he subdivided nonscience into philosophical, mythological and metaphysical formulations on one hand, pseudoscientific formulations on the other, though he did not provide clear criteria for the differences.
Another example which shows the distinct need for a claim to be f
The skeptical movement is a modern social movement based on the idea of scientific skepticism. Scientific skepticism involves the application of skeptical philosophy, critical-thinking skills, knowledge of science and its methods to empirical claims, while remaining agnostic or neutral to non-empirical claims; the movement has the goal of investigating claims made on fringe topics and determining whether they are supported by empirical research and are reproducible, as part of a methodological norm pursuing "the extension of certified knowledge". The process followed is sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry. Roots of the movement date at least from the 19th century, when people started publicly raising questions regarding the unquestioned acceptance of claims about spiritism, of various widely-held superstitions, of pseudoscience. Publications such as those of the Dutch Vereniging tegen de Kwakzalverij targeted medical quackery. Using as a template the Belgian organization founded in 1949, Comité Para, Americans Paul Kurtz and Marcello Truzzi founded the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, in Amherst, New York in 1976.
Now known as the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, this organization has inspired others to form similar groups worldwide. Scientific skepticism or rational skepticism, sometimes referred to as skeptical inquiry, is an epistemological position in which one questions the veracity of claims lacking empirical evidence. In practice, the term is most applied to the examination of claims and theories that appear to be beyond mainstream science, rather than to the routine discussions and challenges among scientists. Scientific skepticism is different from philosophical skepticism, which questions humans' ability to claim any knowledge about the nature of the world and how they perceive it. Methodological skepticism, a systematic process of being skeptical about the truth of one's beliefs, is similar but distinct; the New Skepticism described by Paul Kurtz is scientific skepticism. For example, Robert K. Merton asserts that all ideas must be tested and are subject to rigorous, structured community scrutiny.
An important difference to classical skepticism, according to religious history professor Olav Hammer, is that it is not directly aligned with classical pyrrhonian scepticism, which would question all sort of orthodox wisdom, as well as the one established by modern science. According to Hammer, "the intellectual forebears of the modern skeptical movement are rather to be found among the many writers throughout history who have argued against beliefs they did not share."The following are quotations related to scientific skepticism: Briefly stated, a skeptic is one, willing to question any claim to truth, asking for clarity in definition, consistency in logic, adequacy of evidence. The use of skepticism is thus an essential part of objective scientific inquiry and the search for reliable knowledge. What skeptical thinking boils down to is the means to construct, to understand, a reasoned argument and important, to recognize a fallacious or fraudulent argument; the question is not whether we like the conclusion that emerges out of a train of reasoning, but whether the conclusion follows from the premises or starting point and whether that premise is true.
Science is a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan, political or religious, who comes ambling along. Scientific skepticism the practice or project of studying paranormal and pseudoscientific claims through the lens of science and critical scholarship, sharing the results with the public. A skeptic is one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient, therefore rigorously and applies the methods of science and reason to all empirical claims their own. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence, studies the pitfalls of human reason and the mechanisms of deception so as to avoid being deceived by others or themselves.
Skepticism values method over any particular conclusion. "Skepticism is a provisional approach to claims. It is the application of reason to any and all ideas—no sacred cows allowed. In other words, skepticism is a method, not a position." The true meaning of the word skepticism has nothing to do with disbelief, or negativity. Skepticism is the process of applying reason and critical thinking to determine validity. It's the process of finding a supported conclusion, not the justification of a preconceived conclusion. With regard to the skeptical social movement, Loxton refers to other movements promoting "humanism, rationalism, science education and critical thinking" before, he saw the demand for the new movement—a movement of people called "skeptics" — being based on a lack of interest by the scientific community to address paranormal and fringe science claims. In line with Kendrick Frazier, he describes the movement as a surrogate in that area for institutional science; the movement set up a distinct field of study, provided an organizational structure, while long-standing genre of individual skeptical activities lacked such a community and background.
Skeptical organizations tend to have science education and promotion among
Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine technique that uses semiprecious stones and crystals such as quartz, amethyst or opals. Adherents of the technique claim that these have healing powers, although there is no scientific basis for this claim. In one method, the practitioner places crystals on different parts of the body corresponding to chakras. Despite this, scientific investigations have not validated claims that chakras or energy grids exist, nor is there any evidence that crystal healing has any greater effect upon the body than any other placebo. Precious stones have been thought of as healing objects by a variety of cultures worldwide. Crystal healing is associated with the New Age spiritual movement: "the middle-class New Age healing activity par excellence". In contrast with other forms of complementary and alternative medicine, participants in crystal healing view the practice as "individuated", i.e. dependent on extreme personalization and creative expression.
Practitioners of crystal healing purport that certain physical properties—e.g. Shape and markings—determine the ailments that a stone can heal. Paradoxically, practitioners "hold the view that crystals have no intrinsic qualities but that, their quality changes according to both" participants. After selecting the stones by color or their believed metaphysical qualities, they place them on parts of the body. Color selection and placement of stones are done according to concepts of grounding, chakras, or energy grids. Many other cultures have developed traditions of crystal healing over time, including the Hopi Native Americans of Arizona and Hawaiian islanders, some of whom continued to use it as of 1997; the Chinese have traditionally attributed healing powers to microcrystalline jade. There is no peer-reviewed scientific evidence. Alleged successes of crystal healing can be attributed to the placebo effect. Furthermore, there is no scientific basis for the concepts of chakras, being "blocked", energy grids requiring grounding, or other such terms.
Energy, as a scientific term, is a well-defined concept, measurable and bears little resemblance to the esoteric concept of energy used by proponents of crystal healing. In 1999, researchers French and Williams conducted a study to investigate the power of crystals compared with a placebo. Eighty volunteers were asked to meditate with either a quartz crystal, or a placebo stone, indistinguishable from quartz. Many of the participants reported feeling typical "crystal effects". In 2001 Christopher French, head of the anomalistic psychology research unit at the University of London and colleagues from Goldsmiths College outlined their study of crystal healing at the British Psychological Society Centenary Annual Conference, concluding "There is no evidence that crystal healing works over and above a placebo effect.”Crystal healing effects could be attributed to cognitive bias. Crystal healing techniques are practiced on animals, although some veterinary organizations, such as the British Veterinary Association, have warned that these methods are not scientifically proven and state that people should seek the advice of a vet before using alternative techniques.
Color healing Energy medicine Magnet therapy List of topics characterized as pseudoscience Lawrence E. Jerome.. Crystal Power: The Ultimate Placebo Effect. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-0-87975-514-0 Crystal Healing: Stone-cold Facts About Gemstone Treatments - LiveScience James Randi debunks Crystal Power
Animal magnetism known as mesmerism, was the name given by German doctor Franz Mesmer in the 18th century to what he believed to be an invisible natural force possessed by all living things, including humans and vegetables. He believed that the force could have physical effects, including healing, he tried persistently but without success to achieve scientific recognition of his ideas; the vitalist theory attracted numerous followers in Europe and the United States and was popular into the 19th century. Practitioners were known as magnetizers rather than mesmerists, it was an important specialty in medicine for about 75 years from its beginnings in 1779, continued to have some influence for another 50 years. Hundreds of books were written on the subject between 1766 and 1925, but it is entirely forgotten today. Mesmerism is still practised as a form of alternative medicine in some countries, but magnetic practices are not recognized as part of medical science; the terms "magnetizer" and "mesmerizer" have been applied to people who study and practice animal magnetism.
These terms have been distinguished from "mesmerist" and "magnetist", which are regarded as denoting those who study animal magnetism without being practitioners. The etymology of the word magnetizer comes from the French "magnetiseur", which in turn is derived from the French verb magnetiser; the term refers to an individual who has the power to manipulate the "magnetic fluid" with effects upon other people present that were regarded as analogous to magnetic effects. This sense of the term is found, for example, in the expression of Antoine Joseph Gorsas: "The magnetizer is the imam of vital energy". A tendency emerged amongst British magnetizers to call their clinical techniques "mesmerism". At the time, some magnetizers attempted to channel what they thought was a magnetic "fluid", sometimes they attempted this with a "laying on of hands". Reported effects included various feelings: intense heat, trembling and seizures. Many practitioners took a scientific approach, such as Joseph Philippe François Deleuze, a French physician, anatomist and physicist.
One of his pupils was Théodore Léger, who wrote that the label "mesmerism" was "most improper".. Noting that, by 1846, the term "galvanism" had been replaced by "electricity", Léger wrote that year: Mesmerism, of all the names proposed, is decidedly the most improper, he is not the inventor of the practical part of the science, since we can trace the practice of it through the most remote ages. He proposed for it a theory, now exploded, which, on account of his errors, has been fatal to our progress, he never spoke of the phenomena. In 1784 a French Royal Commission appointed by Louis XVI studied Mesmer's magnetic fluid theory to try to establish it by scientific evidence; the commission included Majault, Benjamin Franklin, Jean Sylvain Bailly, Jean-Baptiste Le Roy, Jean Darcet, de Borey, Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, Antoine Lavoisier, Caille, Mauduyt de la Varenne, de Jussieu. Whilst the commission agreed that the cures claimed by Mesmer were indeed cures, it concluded there was no evidence of the existence of his "magnetic fluid", that its effects derived from either the imaginations of its subjects or charlatanry.
A second investigating committee, appointed by a majority vote in 1826 in The Royal Academy of Medicine in Paris, studied the effects and clinical potentials of the mesmeric procedure - without trying to establish the physical nature of any magnetic fluidum. The report says: what we have seen in the course of our experiments bears no sort of resemblance to what the Report of 1784 relates with regard to the magnetizers of that period. We neither reject the existence of the fluid, because we have not verified the fact. We do not speak of... the crisis Among the conclusions were: Magnetism has taken effect upon persons of different sexes and ages.... In general, magnetism does not act upon persons in a sound state of health.... Neither does it act upon all sick persons.... We may conclude with certainty that this state exists, when it gives rise to the development of new faculties, which have been designated by the names of clairvoyance. We can not only act upon the magnetized person, but place him in a complete state of somnambulism, bring him out of it without his knowledge, out of his sight, at a certain distance, with doors intervening....
The greater number of the somnambu
Christian Science is a set of beliefs and practices belonging to the metaphysical family of new religious movements. It was developed in 19th-century New England by Mary Baker Eddy, who argued in her 1875 book Science and Health that sickness is an illusion that can be corrected by prayer alone; the book became Christian Science's central text, along with the Bible, by 2001 had sold over nine million copies. Eddy and 26 followers were granted a charter in 1879 to found the Church of Christ, in 1894 the Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, was built in Boston, Massachusetts. Christian Science became the fastest growing religion in the United States, with nearly 270,000 members by 1936, a figure that had declined by 1990 to just over 100,000; the church is known for its newspaper, the Christian Science Monitor, which won seven Pulitzer Prizes between 1950 and 2002, for its public Reading Rooms around the world. Eddy described Christian Science as a return to "primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing".
There are key differences between Christian Science theology and that of other branches of Christianity. In particular, adherents subscribe to a radical form of philosophical idealism, believing that reality is purely spiritual and the material world an illusion; this includes the view that disease is a mental error rather than physical disorder, that the sick should be treated not by medicine, but by a form of prayer that seeks to correct the beliefs responsible for the illusion of ill health. The church does not require that Christian Scientists avoid all medical care—adherents use dentists, obstetricians, physicians for broken bones, vaccination when required by law—but maintains that Christian-Science prayer is most effective when not combined with medicine. Between the 1880s and 1990s, the avoidance of medical treatment led to the deaths of several adherents and their children. Parents and others were prosecuted for, in a few cases convicted of, manslaughter or neglect. Several periods of Protestant Christian revival nurtured a proliferation of new religious movements in the United States.
In the latter half of the 19th century these included what came to be known as the metaphysical family: groups such as Christian Science, Divine Science, the Unity School of Christianity and the United Church of Religious Science. From the 1890s the liberal section of the movement became known as New Thought, in part to distinguish it from the more authoritarian Christian Science; the term metaphysical referred to the movement's philosophical idealism, a belief in the primacy of the mental world. Adherents believed that material phenomena were the result of mental states, a view expressed as "life is consciousness" and "God is mind." The supreme cause was referred to as Divine Mind, God, Life, Principle or Father–Mother, reflecting elements of Plato, Berkeley, Hegel and transcendentalism. The metaphysical groups became known as the mind-cure movement because of their strong focus on healing. Medical practice was in its infancy, patients fared better without it; this provided fertile soil for the mind-cure groups, who argued that sickness was an absence of "right thinking" or failure to connect to Divine Mind.
The movement traced its roots in the United States to Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, a New England clockmaker turned mental healer, whose motto was "the truth is the cure." Mary Baker Eddy had been a patient of his, leading to debate about how much of Christian Science was based on his ideas. New Thought and Christian Science differed in that Eddy saw her views as a unique and final revelation. Eddy's idea of malicious animal magnetism marked another distinction, introducing an element of fear, absent from the New Thought literature. Most she dismissed the material world as an illusion, rather than as subordinate to Mind, leading her to reject the use of medicine, or materia medica, making Christian Science the most controversial of the metaphysical groups. Reality for Eddy was purely spiritual. Christian Science leaders place their religion within mainstream Christian teaching, according to J. Gordon Melton, reject any identification with the New Thought movement. Eddy was influenced by her Congregationalist upbringing.
According to the church's tenets, adherents accept "the inspired Word of the Bible as sufficient guide to eternal Life... acknowledge and adore one supreme and infinite God... acknowledge His Son, one Christ. When founding the Church of Christ, Scientist, in April 1879, Eddy wrote that she wanted to "reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing", she suggested that Christian Science was a kind of second coming and that Science and Health was an inspired text. In 1895, in the Manual of the Mother Church, she ordained the Bible and Science and Health as "Pastor over the Mother Church". Christian Science theology differs in several respects from that of traditional Christianity. Eddy's Science and Health reinterprets key Christian concepts, including the Trinity, divinity of Jesus and resurrection. At the core of Eddy's theology is the view that the spiritual world is the only reality and is good, that the material world, with its evil and death, is an illusion. Eddy saw humanity as an "idea of Mind", "perfect, eternal and reflects the divine", according to Bryan Wilson.
History of alternative medicine
The history of alternative medicine refers to the history of a group of diverse medical practices that were collectively promoted as "alternative medicine" beginning in the 1970s, to the collection of individual histories of members of that group, or to the history of western medical practices that were labeled "irregular practices" by the western medical establishment. It includes the histories of integrative medicine. "Alternative medicine" is a loosely defined and diverse set of products and theories that are perceived by its users to have the healing effects of medicine, but do not originate from evidence gathered using the scientific method, are not part of biomedicine, or are contradicted by scientific evidence or established science. "Biomedicine" is that part of medical science that applies principles of anatomy, chemistry, biology and other natural sciences to clinical practice, using scientific methods to establish the effectiveness of that practice. Much of what is now categorized as alternative medicine was developed as independent, complete medical systems, was developed long before biomedicine and use of scientific methods, was developed in isolated regions of the world where there was little or no medical contact with pre-scientific western medicine, or with each other's systems.
Examples are Traditional Chinese medicine, European humoral theory and the Ayurvedic medicine of India. Other alternative medicine practices, such as homeopathy, were developed in western Europe and in opposition to western medicine, at a time when western medicine was based on unscientific theories that were dogmatically imposed by western religious authorities. Homeopathy was developed prior to discovery of the basic principles of chemistry, which proved homeopathic remedies contained nothing but water, but homeopathy, with its remedies made of water, was harmless compared to the unscientific and dangerous orthodox western medicine practiced at that time, which included use of toxins and draining of blood resulting in permanent disfigurement or death. Other alternative practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic manipulative medicine, were developed in the United States at a time that western medicine was beginning to incorporate scientific methods and theories, but the biomedical model was not yet dominant.
Practices such as chiropractic and osteopathic, each considered to be irregular by the medical establishment opposed each other, both rhetorically and politically with licensing legislation. Osteopathic practitioners added the courses and training of biomedicine to their licensing, licensed Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine holders began diminishing use of the unscientific origins of the field, without the original practices and theories, is now considered the same as biomedicine; until the 1970s, western practitioners that were not part of the medical establishment were referred to "irregular practitioners", were dismissed by the medical establishment as unscientific or quackery. Irregular practice became marginalized as quackery and fraud, as western medicine incorporated scientific methods and discoveries, had a corresponding increase in success of its treatments. In the 1970s, irregular practices were grouped with traditional practices of nonwestern cultures and with other unproven or disproven practices that were not part of biomedicine, with the group promoted as being "alternative medicine".
Following the counterculture movement of the 1960s, misleading marketing campaigns promoting "alternative medicine" as being an effective "alternative" to biomedicine, with changing social attitudes about not using chemicals, challenging the establishment and authority of any kind, sensitivity to giving equal measure to values and beliefs of other cultures and their practices through cultural relativism, adding postmodernism and deconstructivism to ways of thinking about science and its deficiencies, with growing frustration and desperation by patients about limitations and side effects of science-based medicine, use of alternative medicine in the west began to rise had explosive growth beginning in the 1990s, when senior level political figures began promoting alternative medicine, began diverting government medical research funds into research of alternative and integrative medicine. The concept of alternative medicine is problematic as it cannot exist autonomously as an object of study in its own right but must always be defined in relation to a non-static and transient medical orthodoxy.
It divides medicine into two realms, a medical mainstream and fringe, which, in privileging orthodoxy, presents difficulties in constructing an historical analysis independent of the biased and polemical views of regular medical practitioners. The description of non-conventional medicine as alternative reinforces both its marginality and the centrality of official medicine. Although more neutral than either pejorative or promotional designations such as “quackery” or “natural medicine”, cognate terms like “unconventional”, “heterodox”, “unofficial”, “irregular”, "folk", "popular", "marginal", “complementary”, “integrative” or “unorthodox” define their object against the standard of conventional biomedicine, entail particular perspectives and judgements carry moral overtones, can be inaccurate. Conventional medical practitioners in the West have, since the nineteenth century, used some of these and similar terms as a means of defining the boundary of "legitimate" medicine, marking the division between that, scientific and that, not.
The definition of mainstream medicine understood to refer to a system of licensed medicine which enjoys state and legal protection in a jurisdiction, is al