In the field of medicine the expression “alternative therapy/healing” is used when a therapy has not been shown to produce benefits greater than that of a placebo effect. Once a therapy becomes “evidence based” it moves from the designation of alternative to scientific. Evidence based means there is an accepted body of peer reviewed, statistically significant evidence that raises probability of effectiveness to a scientifically convincing level.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of therapies that fit into this alternative definition, often referred to as “folk medicine.” In the past fifty years we have seen the rise and acceptance of a plethora of alternative therapeutic modalities that have covered the world. Billions have been spent on quality scientific studies of many of these healing practices, yet without evidence of value greater than placebo.
Many popular alternative therapies such as, Eastern style meditation, yoga, acupuncture, Reiki, etc., come from a spiritual/religious origin. Even though being formed out of an Eastern religious worldview it is commonly believed that these healing methods can be separated from their spiritual origin with no spiritual influence upon the user. But is that true? Do they rise to level of being scientific? These are the subjects considered through-out this web site.