Alternative Medicine comes with many claims of great success. Some therapies offered are good, some do not do much and others are dangerous. How do we know if a therapy is good and really works? As we have learned, testimonials, often used to promote therapies, are really not proof of effectiveness. The fact that many problems naturally improve over time, even when no therapy is applied, and the fact that just doing something can lead to improvement even when the therapy physically has no way to improve things, can make it difficult to determine if a therapy actually brings about improvement. So, how can we know we are not being fooled by the appearance of a therapy’s effectiveness?
In my blog posting titled, Alternative Medicine – Placebo Effect, I pointed out that even if a therapy really has not physical way to cause improvement, the therapy, in the hands of a therapist and a patient who believe in what they are doing, will result in reported improvement in one third of people treated. Considering a therapy where this placebo effect is the only basis of helping, is there not something good about using such a therapy? Is it not good enough that people feel better?