Alternathive 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? How do we sort out the evidence?
There are two main types of evidence.
The first is based on the perception of those receiving the therapy. Such evidence is based on how someone thinks they are doing, or how they feel. Such evidence is called subjective. Subjective evidence depends on what the person who has received the therapy tells you. Commonly, we hear from people about how a therapy made them, or someone they know, feel better. This kind of evidence is commonly seen with testimonials referred to in the posting Alternative Medicine – Testimonials, Natural History and Secondary Gain. The second type is evidence where the change affected by a therapy can be measured independent of what the person who received the therapy tells you. This is called objective evidence. While subjective evidence often presents a compelling story that may pull at our “heart strings,” objective evidence is considered stronger, especially if the measurements can be reproduced by others.