Homeopathy is a 200-year-old therapeutic system that uses small doses of various substances to stimulate autoregulatory and self-healing processes. Homeopathy selects substances by matching a patient's symptoms with symptoms produced by these substances in healthy individuals. Medicines are prepared by serial dilution and shaking, which proponents claim imprints information into water. Although many conventional physicians find such notions implausible, homeopathy had a prominent place in 19th-century health care and has recently undergone a worldwide revival.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety of homeopathic medicines by critically appraising reports of adverse effects published in English from 1970 to 1995. METHOD: Systematic review on information regarding adverse effects of homeopathic medicines identified using electronic databases, hand searching, searching reference lists, reviewing the bibliography of trials, and other relevant articles, contacting homeopathic pharmaceutical companies and drug regulatory agencies in UK and USA, and by communicating with experts in homeopathy.
Especially in the United States, homeopathy has not become integrated into mainstream medical practice; this is partly because of the historical paucity of quality published research studies or quality educational programs. More recently, there have been better-designed studies in reputable journals, although historically most studies have been inconclusive or of poor methodology. The confusion around homeopathy in the United States exists for several reasons: 1.
Significant evidence supports the effectiveness and safety of several complementary or integrative treatment approaches to common primary care problems. Acupuncture is effective in the management of chronic low back pain. Mind-body interventions such as cognitive behavior therapy, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and music therapy may be helpful for treating insomnia. Exercise can reduce anxiety symptoms. Herbal preparations and nutritional supplements can be useful as first-line therapy for certain conditions, such as fish oil for hypertriglyceridemia, St.
An estimated 1 of 3 Americans uses some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), such as acupuncture, homeopathy, or herbal medicine. In 1995, the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine convened an expert panel to examine the role of clinical practice guidelines in CAM. The panel concluded that CAM practices currently are unsuitable for the development of evidence-based practice guidelines, in part because of the lack of relevant outcomes data from well-designed clinical trials.
BACKGROUND: In 1983, the Southern Medical Journal advised its readers that a scientific basis might underlie the popular practice of ancient Chinese acupuncture. Recent studies have proven this to be correct, and a 1997 National Institutes of Health consensus panel recommended acupuncture as a useful clinical procedure. METHODS: Pertinent articles in the literature were reviewed, including our own research. Significantly, we had access to recent important studies from China.
The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of nurses toward the effectiveness and safety, as well as their recommendations for and personal use of complementary and alternative medical therapies. A, random sample of 1000 nurses throughout the United States were surveyed using a three-wave mailing. About half of the respondents perceived there was conclusive evidence or preponderance of evidence that five therapies were effective: biofeedback, chiropractic, meditation/relaxation, multi-vitamins, and massage therapy.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the status of managed care and insurance coverage of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and the integration of such services into managed care. DATA SOURCES: A literature review and information search were conducted to determine which new insurers had special policies for CAM from 1999 to 2000.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (New York, N.Y.)
Acupuncture, a component of the health care system of China that can be traced back at least 2500 years, describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical locations on the skin by a variety of techniques. In November 1997, the National Institutes of Health conducted a consensus conference during which a panel of experts convened to discuss the scientific evidence regarding acupuncture. The panel concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment for several medical conditions and described biochemical and physiologic mechanisms that begin to explain these effects.
Traditionally, acupuncture is embedded in naturalistic theories that are compatible with Confucianism and Taoism. Such ideas as yin-yang, qi, dampness, and wind represent East Asian conceptual frameworks that emphasize the reliability of ordinary, human sensory awareness. Many physicians who practice acupuncture reject such prescientific notions. Numerous randomized, controlled trials and more than 25 systematic reviews and meta-analyses have evaluated the clinical efficacy of acupuncture.