Facilitated communication, supported typing or hand over hand, is a discredited technique that attempts to facilitate communication by people with severe educational and communication disabilities. The facilitator holds or touches the disabled person's arm or hand during this process and attempts to help them move to type on a special keyboard. In addition to providing physical support needed for typing or pointing, the facilitator provides verbal prompts and moral support. There is widespread agreement within the scientific community and multiple disability advocacy organizations that FC does not work, that the facilitator is in fact the source of most or all messages obtained through FC, by guiding the arm of the patient towards answers they expect to see or that form intelligible language. Alternatively, the facilitator may hold the alphabet board and move it to the disabled person's finger. Studies asking about things the facilitator cannot know have confirmed this, showing that a facilitator is unable to ‘help’ the patient sign out the answer to a question where they do not know what the answer should be.
In addition, numerous cases have been reported by investigators in which disabled persons were assumed by facilitators to be signing a coherent message while their eyes were closed, or they were looking away from or showing no particular interest in the letter board. Some promoters of the technique have countered that FC cannot be disproven by testing, since a testing environment might feel confrontational and alienating to the subject; because the scientific consensus is that FC is a pseudoscience which causes great risk and emotional distress to people with communication disabilities, their families, their caregivers, the technique is now rejected outside a few fringe groups and organizations, including Syracuse University in the United States. In 2015 Sweden banned the use of FC in special needs schools. Facilitated communication is promoted as a means to assist people with severe communication disabilities in pointing to letters on an alphabet board, keyboard or other device so that they can communicate independently.
It appears in the literature as "supported typing", "progressive kinesthetic feedback", "written output communication enhancement". It is somewhat related to the Rapid Prompting Method known as "informative pointing", which has no evidence of efficacy; the person with disabilities, not able to rely on speech to communicate, is referred to as the communication partner. The caregiver, educator or other provider offering physical support to the person with disabilities is called the facilitator; the facilitator holds or touches the communication partner's elbow, hand, sleeve or other parts of the body while the communication partner points to letters of the alphabet printed on a piece of paper or laminated cardboard, letters on an alphabet board, keyboard or mobile communication device such as an iPad. The Canon Communicator, a small, lightweight device that printed a tape of letters when activated, was popular with early FC users. However, two companies, Crestwood Co. of Glendale and Abovo Co. of Chicopee, would be charged by the Federal Trade Commission for making "false and unsubstantiated claims" that the device could enable people with autism and other disabilities to communicate using FC.
The companies stopped mentioning FC in their advertising campaigns. Proponents of FC claim. Although this claim is unsubstantiated, proponents argue that physical support and touch are necessary components of communicating through FC. Candidates for FC "lack confidence in their abilities" and physical support, helps them overcome this obstacle to communication; the role of the facilitator is depicted by proponents as integral to helping the person with disabilities point to letters, reducing or eliminating uncontrollable arm movements, avoiding mistakes in typing, controlling the initiation of movement, speaking words aloud. As well as physical support in typing, the facilitator provides moral support. Along with human touch, the facilitator's belief in their communication partner's ability to communicate is seen to be a key component of the technique. Former facilitator Janyce Boynton, who came to reject the technique after taking part in double-blind trials reported that she received training from University of Maine that took for granted that the process worked, that the complexity of facilitation made it hard to realise that messages were coming from her expectations and not from her patients: "When you're facilitating, you're so distracted by other things.
You're carrying on conversations, you're asking and answering questions, you're trying to look at the person to see if they're looking at the keyboard... Your brain is so engaged that you lose sight of what's happening with your hand...that's what makes it feel like it's working because the more you practice it, the more the movements feel fluid.”. The FC movement may be traced back to the 1960s in Denmark where it failed to take hold because of lack of scientific evidence. FC experienced a period of rapid growth and popularity in Australia in the 1970—1980s due to the efforts of special educator Rosemary Crossley. Arthur Schawlow, a Nobel laureate whose son was autistic, Douglas Biklen
Black salve known by the brand name Cansema, is a dangerous and controversial alternative cancer treatment. The product is classified as an escharotic—a topical paste which burns and destroys skin tissue and leaves behind a thick, black scar called an eschar. Escharotics were used to treat skin lesions in the early 1900s, but have since been replaced by safer and more effective treatments. Escharotics, such as black salves, are advertised by some alternative medicine marketers as treatments for skin cancer with unsubstantiated testimonials and unproven claims of effectiveness; the U. S. Food and Drug Administration has listed Cansema as a "fake cancer cure" and warns consumers to avoid it. Cancer salves were first documented as a form of quackery in a 1955 Time article: "A 37-year-old housewife had a skin condition that proved not to be a cancer. Convinced that it was, she had gone to a backwoods healer. Soon a quarter-sized hole disfigured her nose, opened up the nasal cavity. Duke's plastic surgeons had to build her a new nose."
Although more recent reports document that some alternative medicine practitioners use the internet to market escharotics as purported "cures" for skin cancer, they are not recommended as treatments for skin lesions or skin cancer by medical authorities. The effectiveness of escharotics is unproven, while safer and more effective conventional treatments exist for skin cancers, such as: cryotherapy. Escharotics can cause serious damage to normal skin, their manufacture is unregulated, so the strength and purity of marketed products are unknown and unverified. Numerous reports in the medical literature describe serious consequences of using escharotics in place of standard treatments for skin cancer, ranging from disfigurement to preventable cancer recurrences; the website Quackwatch posted a warning against the use of escharotics in 2008, with a collection of sourced documents compiling issues of patient injury from their use. A more recent study revealed that many individuals who have used black salve were unaware of its potential dangers.
In a 2016 news release titled "Beware of black salve," the American Academy of Dermatology urged patients to consult a dermatologist before using home remedies for skin cancers. Furthermore, individuals increase their risk of further complications or death if they choose to delay conventional medical treatment to attempt treatment with black salve. In 2017, a patient with breast cancer posted photos and updates to a black salve research group as she progressed through her black salve applications. Despite her worsening condition, she believed that the black salve was going to cure her cancer. “And please no comments to see a doctor. I’ve been there; this is my path and I trust in it and my God, healing me”, she wrote. She sought conventional treatment, but died of a prolonged infection some months later, it was reported in 2018. In a similar black salve discussion group, people described the use of black salve on their cats and horses. Over the course of eight months, one member posted photos of the black salve's ongoing effects on her dog's nasal cancer, whilst another documented and questioned its use on her horse.
In 2018 in Australia black salve has been linked to the death of Helen Lawson who decided to use "natural remedies" under the direction of Dennis Wayne Jensen. Jensen advocated covering Lawson's abdomen in black salve claiming it would draw out the ovarian cancer, leaving Lawson with a mass of wounds on her abdomen: “You have never seen anything like what happened to Helen, it is so confronting,” she said. “Literally above her pubic bone, all across her abdomen up to her rib cage, she was raw, mutilated bubbling flesh.”Belinda said that within a few weeks of Helen applying the black salve the wound was so large that surgeons could not have operated if they had wanted to. Lawson died in April 2018. Subsequently, Jensen was issued an interim prohibition order, by the Health Complaints Commissioner, forbidding practicing any health services whilst the death of Lawson is being investigated; this was pursuant to section 90 of the Health Complaints Act 2016 Common ingredients of black salves include zinc chloride and bloodroot, a plant used in herbal medicine.
The extract of bloodroot is called sanguinarine, a quaternary alkaloid which attacks and destroys living tissue and is classified as an escharotic. Other formulations include the four ingredients: Red Clover, Sheep Sorrel, Blood Root, crushed into a paste using mortar and pestle; this is applied sparingly to the affected area, kept covered for 2-3 days. The Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia is advising consumers against purchasing or using black salve, red salve or cansema products; the TGA has found the Australian Vaccination-Skeptics Network in breach of advertising regulations, in a separate finding the AVN's former president Meryl Dorey together with Leon Pittard of Fair Dinkum Radio were found to be in breach. Cansema is listed by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration as one of 187 fake cancer cures. Cansema continues to be marketed by numerous individuals, as evidenced by recent FDA Warning Letters; the FDA has taken enforcement action against illegal marketing of Cansema as a cancer cure, as in the 2004 arrest and conviction of Greg Caton.
The FDA has taken an active role in the banning of these chemicals for
Craniosacral therapy is a form of bodywork or alternative therapy using gentle touch to palpate the synarthrodial joints of the cranium. A practitioner of cranial-sacral therapy may apply light touches to a patient's spine and pelvic bones. Practitioners say that this palpation regulates the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and aids in "primary respiration". CST has been characterized as pseudoscience, its practice called quackery. According to the American Cancer Society, although CST may relieve the symptoms of stress or tension, "available scientific evidence does not support claims that craniosacral therapy helps in treating cancer or any other disease". Cranial osteopathy has no scientific basis for any claimed benefit. Craniosacral therapy was developed by John Upledger, D. O. in the 1970s, as an offshoot osteopathy in the cranial field, or cranial osteopathy, developed in the 1930s by William Garner Sutherland. According to the American Cancer Society, although CST may relieve the symptoms of stress or tension, "available scientific evidence does not support claims that craniosacral therapy helps in treating cancer or any other disease".
Cranial osteopathy has received a similar assessment, with one 1990 paper finding there was no scientific basis for any of the practitioners' claims the paper examined. In October 2012 Edzard Ernst conducted a systematic review of randomized clinical trials of craniosacral therapy, he concluded that "the notion that CST is associated with more than non-specific effects is not based on evidence from rigorous randomised clinical trials." Commenting on this conclusion, Ernst commented on his blog that he had chosen the wording as "a polite and scientific way of saying that CST is bogus." Ernst commented that the quality of five of the six trials he had reviewed was "deplorably poor", a sentiment that echoed an August 2012 review that noted the "moderate methodological quality of the included studies."Ernst criticized a 2011 systematic review performed by Jakel and von Hauenschild for inclusion of observational studies and including studies with healthy volunteers. This review concluded that the evidence base surrounding craniosacral therapy and its efficacy was sparse and composed of studies with heterogeneous design.
The authors of this review stated that available evidence was insufficient to draw conclusions. The evidence base for CST lacks a demonstrated biologically plausible mechanism. In the absence of rigorous, well-designed randomized controlled trials, it has been characterized as pseudoscience, its practice called quackery; the therapist palpates the patient's body, focuses intently on the communicated movements. A practitioner's feeling of being in tune with a patient is described as entrainment. Patients report feelings of deep relaxation during and after the treatment session, may feel light-headed. While sometimes thought to be caused by an increase in endorphins, research shows the effects may be brought about by the endocannabinoid system. There are few reports of adverse events from CST treatment. In one study of craniosacral manipulation in patients with traumatic brain syndrome, the incidence of adverse effects from treatment was 5%. Cranial osteopathy, a forerunner of CST, was originated by osteopath William Sutherland in 1898–1900.
While looking at a disarticulated skull, Sutherland was struck by the idea that the cranial sutures of the temporal bones where they meet the parietal bones were "beveled, like the gills of a fish, indicating articular mobility for a respiratory mechanism."John Upledger devised CST. Comparing it to cranial osteopathy he wrote: "Dr. Sutherland's discovery regarding the flexibility of skull sutures led to the early research behind CranioSacral Therapy – and both approaches affect the cranium and coccyx – the similarities end there." However, modern day cranial osteopaths consider the two practices to be the same, but that cranial osteopathy has "been taught to non-osteopaths under the name CranialSacro therapy."Practitioners of both cranial osteopathy and craniosacral therapy assert that there are small, rhythmic motions of the cranial bones attributed to cerebrospinal fluid pressure or arterial pressure. The premise of CST is that palpation of the cranium can be used to detect this rhythmic movement of the cranial bones and selective pressures may be used to manipulate the cranial bones to achieve a therapeutic result.
However, the degree of mobility and compliance of the cranial bones is considered controversial and is a critically important concept in craniosacral therapy. From 1975 to 1983, Upledger and neurophysiologist and histologist Ernest W. Retzlaff worked at Michigan State University as clinical researchers and professors, they assembled a research team to investigate the purported pulse and further study Sutherland's theory of cranial bone movement. Upledger and Retzlaff went on to publish their results, which they interpreted as support for both the concept of cranial bone movement, the concept of a cranial rhythm. Reviews of these studies have concluded that their research did not meet enduring standards to offer conclusive proof for the effectiveness of craniosacral therapy and the existence of cranial bone movement
The Bates method is an alternative therapy aimed at improving eyesight. Eye-care physician William Horatio Bates, M. D. attributed nearly all sight problems to habitual strain of the eyes, felt that glasses were harmful and never necessary. Bates self-published a book, Perfect Sight Without Glasses, as well as a magazine, Better Eyesight Magazine, detailing his approach to helping people relax such "strain", thus, he claimed, improve their sight, his techniques centered on movement. He placed particular emphasis on imagining black letters and marks, the movement of such, he felt that exposing the eyes to sunlight would help alleviate the "strain". Despite continued anecdotal reports of successful results, including well-publicised support by Aldous Huxley, Bates' techniques have not been objectively shown to improve eyesight, his main physiological proposition—that the eyeball changes shape to maintain focus—has been contradicted by observation. In 1952, optometry professor Elwin Marg wrote of Bates, "Most of his claims and all of his theories have been considered false by all visual scientists."
Marg concluded that the Bates method owed its popularity to "flashes of clear vision" experienced by many who followed it. Such occurrences have since been explained as a contact lens-like effect of moisture on the eye, or a flattening of the lens by the ciliary muscles; the Bates method has been criticized not only because there is no good evidence it works, but because it can have negative consequences for those who attempt to follow it: they might damage their eyes through overexposure of their eyes to sunlight, put themselves and others at risk by not wearing their corrective lenses while driving, or neglect conventional eye care allowing serious conditions to develop. Accommodation is the process by which the eye increases optical power to maintain focus on the retina while shifting its gaze to a closer point; the long-standing medical consensus is that this is accomplished by action of the ciliary muscle, a muscle within the eye, which adjusts the curvature of the eye's crystalline lens.
This explanation is based in the observed effect of atropine temporarily preventing accommodation when applied to the ciliary muscle, as well as images reflected on the crystalline lens becoming smaller as the eye shifts focus to a closer point, indicating a change in the lens' shape. Bates rejected this explanation, in his 1920 book presented photographs that he said showed that the image remained the same size as the eye shifted focus, concluding from this that the lens was not a factor in accommodation. However, optometrist Philip Pollack in a 1956 work characterized these photographs as "so blurred that it is impossible to tell whether one image is larger than the other", in contrast to photographs that showed a change in the size of the reflected images, just as had been observed since the late nineteenth century. Bates adhered to a different explanation of accommodation, disregarded by the medical community of his time. Bates' model had the muscles surrounding the eyeball controlling its focus.
In addition to their known function of turning the eye, Bates maintained, they affect its shape, elongating the eyeball to focus at the near-point or shortening it to focus at a distance. Commenting on this hypothesis in an interview with WebMD, ophthalmologist Richard E. Bensinger stated "When we put drops in the eye to dilate the pupil, they paralyze the focusing muscles; the evidence of the anatomical fallacy is that you can't focus, but your eye can move up and down and right. The notion that external muscles affect focusing is wrong." Science author John Grant writes that many animals, such as fishes, accommodate by elongation of the eyeball, "it's just that humans aren't one of those animals."Laboratory tests have shown that the human eyeball is far too rigid to spontaneously change shape to a degree that would be necessary to accomplish what Bates described. Exceedingly small changes in axial length of the eyeball are caused by the action of the ciliary muscle during accommodation. However, these changes are far too small to account for the necessary changes in focus, producing changes of only −0.036 dioptres.
Medical professionals characterize refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and presbyopia as consequences of the eye's shape and other basic anatomy, which there is no evidence that any exercise can alter. Bates, believed that these conditions are caused by tension of the muscles surrounding the eyeball, which he believed prevents the eyeball from sufficiently changing shape when gaze is shifted nearer or farther. Bates characterized this supposed muscular tension as the consequence of a "mental strain" to see, the relief of which he claimed would improve sight, he linked disturbances in the circulation of blood, which he said is "very influenced by thought", not only to refractive errors but to double vision, crossed-eye, lazy eye, to more serious eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. His therapies were based on these assumptions. Bates felt that corrective lenses, which he characterized as "eye crutches", are an impediment to curing poor vision. In his view, "strain" would increase.
He thus recommended. In his writings, Bates discussed several techniques that he claimed helped patients to improve their sight, he wrote "The ways in which people strain to se
Cupping therapy is an ancient form of alternative medicine. Cupping is used in more than 60 countries, its usage dates back to as far as 1,550 B. C. There are different forms of cupping. Cups are applied onto the skin and a suction is created, pulling the skin up, it is meant to increase blood flow to certain areas to the body. Cupping has been characterized as a pseudoscience. There is no good evidence it has any health benefits, there are some risks of harm from fire and wet cupping. Cupping is poorly supported by scientific evidence, with a 2014 review of recent evidence finding that "because of the unreasonable design and poor research quality, the clinical evidence of cupping therapy is low." A 2011 review found that "the effectiveness of cupping is not well-documented for most conditions", that systematic reviews showing efficacy for the treatment of pain "were based on poor quality primary studies." The American Cancer Society notes that "available scientific evidence does not support claims that cupping has any health benefits" and that the treatment carries a small risk of burns.
In their 2008 book Trick or Treatment, Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst write that no evidence exists of any beneficial effects of cupping for any medical condition. Critics of alternative medicine such as Harriet Hall and Mark Crislip have characterized cupping as "pseudoscience nonsense", "a celebrity fad", "gibberish", observed that there is no evidence that cupping works any better than a placebo. Pharmacologist David Colquhoun writes that cupping is "laughable... and utterly implausible." Practicing surgeon David Gorski observes, "...it’s all risk for no benefit. It has no place in modern medicine, or at least shouldn’t." While ineffective, cupping is safe when applied by trained professionals on people who are otherwise healthy. Cupping may result in bruising, pain, and/or skin infection, is not recommended for people with health problems due to side effects. In 2016, the Cambodian Ministry of Health warned that cupping could be a health risk and dangerous for people with high blood pressure or heart problems.
Research suggests that cupping is harmful in people who are thin or obese: According to Jack Raso, cupping results in capillary expansion, excessive fluid accumulation in tissues, the rupture of blood vessels. Cupping therapy adverse events can be divided into local and systemic adverse events; the local adverse events were scar formation, skin infection, abscess formation, pain at the cupping site, systemic adverse events including: anemia, vasovagal attack, insomnia and nausea. Fire cupping can sometimes result in minor to severe burns at the cupping site, may lead to hospitalization and may require skin grafting to repair the injury. Other burns can occur due to carelessness with the flammable substances being used, such as spills and over application; some contraindications for cupping may include: pregnancy, dry or cracked skin, open wounds, or thin blood. While details vary between practitioners and cultures, the practice consists of drawing tissue into a cap placed on the targeted area by creating a partial vacuum – either by the heating and subsequent cooling of the air in the cup, or via a mechanical pump.
The cup is left in place for somewhere between five and fifteen minutes. Cupping therapy types can be classified using four distinct methods of categorisation; the first system of categorisation relates to "technical types" including: dry, wet and flash cupping therapy. The second categorisation relates to "the power of suction related types" including: light and strong cupping therapy; the third categorisation relates to "the method of suction related types" including: fire, manual suction, electrical suction cupping therapy. The fourth categorisation relates to "materials inside cups" including: herbal products, ozone, moxa and magnetic cupping therapy. Further categories of cupping were developed later; the fifth relates to area treated including: facial, female and orthopedic cupping therapy. The sixth relates to "other cupping types" that include aquatic cupping; the cupping procedure involves creating a small area of low air pressure next to the skin. However, there are varieties in the tools used, the methods of creating the low pressure, the procedures followed during the treatment.
The cups can be of various shapes including balls or bells, may range in size from 1 to 3 inches across the opening. Plastic and glass are the most common materials used today, replacing the horn, pottery and bamboo cups used in earlier times; the low air pressure required may be created by heating the cup or the air inside it with an open flame or a bath in hot scented oils placing it against the skin. As the air inside the cup cools, it contracts and draws the skin inside. More vacuum is created with a mechanical suction pump acting through a valve located at the top of the cup. Rubber cups are available that squeeze the air out and adapt to uneven or bony surfaces. In practice, cups are used only on softer tissue that can form a good seal with the edge of the cup, they may be used singly or with many to cover a larger area. They may be placed over an acupuncture needle. Skin may be lubricated. Cupping is not painful. There might be discomfort due to the tight suction created, pulling the skin up.
After a cupping session, the person might see red circle marks on their body. It is a misconception that these red circle
A biorhythm is an attempt to predict various aspects of a person's life through simple mathematical cycles. The theory was developed by Wilhelm Fliess in the late 19th century, was popularized in the United States in late 1970s. Most scientists believe. "The theory of biorhythms is a theory that claims our daily lives are affected by rhythmic cycles." According to the theory of biorhythms, a person's life is influenced by rhythmic biological cycles that affect his or her ability in various domains, such as mental and emotional activity. These cycles begin at birth and oscillate in a steady fashion throughout life, by modeling them mathematically, it is suggested that a person's level of ability in each of these domains can be predicted from day to day; the theory is built on the idea that the biofeedback chemical and hormonal secretion functions within the body could show a sinusoidal behavior over time. Most biorhythm models use three cycles: a 23-day physical cycle, a 28-day emotional cycle, a 33-day intellectual cycle.
Although the 28-day cycle is the same length as the average woman's menstrual cycle and was described as a "female" cycle, the two are not in synchronization. Each of these cycles varies between high and low extremes sinusoidally, with days where the cycle crosses the zero line described as "critical days" of greater risk or uncertainty; the numbers from +100 % to -100 % indicate. In general, a rhythm at 0% is crossing the midpoint and is thought to have no real impact on your life, whereas a rhythm at +100% would give you an edge in that area, a rhythm at -100% would make life more difficult in that area. There is no particular meaning to a day on which your rhythms are all high or all low, except the obvious benefits or hindrances that these rare extremes are thought to have on your life. In addition to the three popular cycles, various other cycles have been proposed, based on linear combination of the three, or on longer or shorter rhythms. Theories published state the equations for the cycles as: physical: sin , emotional: sin , intellectual: sin ,where t indicates the number of days since birth.
Basic arithmetic shows that the combination of the simpler 23- and 28-day cycles repeats every 644 days, while the triple combination of 23-, 28-, 33-day cycles repeats every 21,252 days. The notion of periodic cycles in human fortunes is ancient; the first studies surrounding certain “rhythms” and “life cycles” began in the 19th century, “were called Biorhythms.” The word biorhythm consists of two terms “bios” and “rhythmos” which are derived from Greek terms which translate to “life” and “rhythm". The 23- and 28-day rhythms used by biorhythmists, were first devised in the late 19th century by Wilhelm Fliess, a Berlin physician and patient of Sigmund Freud. Fliess believed that he observed regularities at 23- and 28-day intervals in a number of phenomena, including births and deaths, he labeled the 28-day rhythm "female", matching the menstrual cycle. In 1904, Viennese psychology professor Hermann Swoboda came to similar conclusions. Alfred Teltscher, professor of engineering at the University of Innsbruck, developed Swoboda's work and suggested that his students' good and bad days followed a rhythmic pattern.
One of the first academic researchers of biorhythms was Estonian-born Nikolai Pärna, who published a book in German called Rhythm and Creation in 1923. The practice of consulting biorhythms was popularized in the 1970s by a series of books by Bernard Gittelson, including Biorhythm — A Personal Science, Biorhythm Charts of the Famous and Infamous, Biorhythm Sports Forecasting. Gittelson's company, Biorhythm Computers, Inc. made a business selling personal biorhythm charts and calculators, but his ability to predict sporting events was not substantiated. Charting biorhythms for personal use was popular in the United States during the 1970s. Biorhythm programs were a common application on personal computers. Biorhythm charts appeared in the Chicago Tribune from 1977 to 1979, Gittelson wrote daily biorhythm charts for the Toronto Star from 1981 to 1985. Although biorhythms have declined in popularity, there are free and proprietary apps and computer programs which have charting and analysis capabilities, as well as numerous websites that offer free biorhythm readings.
There have been some three dozen studies supporting biorhythm theory, but according to a study by Terence Hines, all of those had methodological and statistical errors. Hines rejected 134 biorhythm studies and concluded th
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