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Complementary Medicine On NHS

Doctors attack 'bogus' therapies

I'm really not sure what I think about this. My experience of complimentry medicine is limited (never really had it - other than some arnica I was given for my knee, which didn't seem to do much really).

However, regardless of whether it works or not people should be entitled to undergo the treatments if they believe that is what they want. The issue is whether the taxpayer should fund it or not.

In some ways I can see that as long as their is a vague possibility that it works and it reassures people then NHS funding is a good thing as it then makes it available to all. The question is then what gives to allow for this

Anyway excuse for poll:

Poll #734385 Complementary Medicine

Should complementary medicines be available via the NHS?

Yes
4(44.4%)
No
5(55.6%)

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
thethirdvoice
23rd May, 2006 08:51 (UTC)
Don't think your link's right. typing it in works, but.
xxx
hmmm_tea
23rd May, 2006 18:15 (UTC)
No, I didn't get the URL and the page title the wrong way round, honest *grins convincingly*
edith_the_hutt
23rd May, 2006 10:07 (UTC)
If it works and it's cost effective then yes. If not then no.

I'm not sure what the argument is about other than the interpretation of statistics...
pinkmarshmallow
23rd May, 2006 10:13 (UTC)
arnica cream helps reduce bruises, so I'm not surprised it didn't help with your knee!
hmmm_tea
23rd May, 2006 18:17 (UTC)
There was quite a lot of bruising as well as swelling when I first did it, so the osteopath at sidmouth (who admittedly was free) sold me a very expensive pot of arnica.

Whether it helped the bruising and it just wasn't noticable because I was still dancing or it just didn't do anything will probably never be known...
cartesiandaemon
23rd May, 2006 10:42 (UTC)
"It's very frustrating that senior responsible people dismiss complementary medicine for the sole reason that it doesn't have the definitive scientific proof that other drugs have."

That seems to sum it up for me.
ex_robhu
23rd May, 2006 18:21 (UTC)
Damn right, and the fact that this isn't immediately what people think really scares me.
chess
23rd May, 2006 12:17 (UTC)
I can't really say yes or no, because my answer is 'if it has a proven benefit'. (I do, however, think that the NHS should take 'enhances the placebo effect' as a benefit which is worth prescribing things for, preferably trading off placebo effect enhancement for cheapness and lack of side effects.)
chainmailmaiden
23rd May, 2006 13:07 (UTC)
I'm a big advocate of Herbal Medicine, it's helped me out with several things my GP gave up on and given enough money, I would give up my current career and go back to university to train as a Medical Herbalist. Having said that, I don't think Herbal medicine, or other alternative therapies should be available on the NHS until they have the scientific research done to back them up. Conventional treatments aren't available until they've gone through several years of testing, why should alternative treatments be subject to different rules?

What we really need is more funding to investigate alternative methods of treatment.
thethirdvoice
23rd May, 2006 14:18 (UTC)
Should be only for tested things, but the problem with that is twofold. One is that some complementary medicines are hard to test for the effect of, if they are to enhance general wellbeing, or if they are only taken in conjunction with traditional medicine. The other is that, however a test goes, supporters of conventional medicine will say, but it can't work, and our test shows it doesn't or supporters of alternative medicine will say it's a problem with the test, you can't test it like that, it's worked for hundreds of people.

Perhaps a double-blind experiment where not only do they not know who has the treatment, but they don't know what it is, and preferably neither do the report writers...
coldclimate
23rd May, 2006 19:14 (UTC)
My experiences are really mixed. I get assaulted with stinky oils by the women with the oil burner in the office next to me who claims to virtually be on the edge of a panic attach if she isn't whofting "essecence of weasel" or some other such crap every 20 minutes, which would lead me to hate aromatheropy.

However, when I was truely crippled with my back, and physio was getting nowhere (and it turns out never was going to due to what I did), accupuncture gave me some impressive painrelief when I couldn't stnad the mindbendingly strong painkillers any more.

If there is genuine evidence something works (over and above the placebo effect), why not provide it, but when it is taking funding from things which are proven (such as physio) then there should definatly be some priorities.

"alternative" meds don't do themselves any favours by having their major supporters being airy-fairy-"alternative" wankers (sorry - but it's a very general observation). A good dose of science goes a long way.
yellowrocket
24th May, 2006 07:17 (UTC)
I am in favour of alternative medicines and while I think doctors and hospitals do a sterling job and help an awful lot of people, there are a significant number of patients who do not respond to their orthodox treatments.

However: One problem with alternative medicine is that there are a number of frauds out there and that not all practices have a recognised professional qualification. Added to that, a lot of doctors are not open to the idea that someone without an MD might be able to sort out something they can't fix. Also the scientific tests used on orthodox medicines are not always appropriate to alternative medicines (yes, I know what that sounds like, but it's still true).
A lot of practitioners don't do themselves any favours either by coming across as very hippy and airy-fairy when to be taken seriously by people like the NHS and government decision-makers you must look and sound sensible and scientific.

I think alternative medicine should be available on the NHS if it can be proved to help people get better, whether scientifically or otherwise. After all, isn't getting people better what the NHS is for?

(Anonymous)
24th May, 2006 15:25 (UTC)
Your comment "However, regardless of whether it works or not people should be entitled to undergo the treatments if they believe that is what they want." leads me to want to be cured of everything by a charming young lady at the State's expense.
yellowrocket
25th May, 2006 10:11 (UTC)
Who said that?
(Deleted comment)
hmmm_tea
25th May, 2006 22:00 (UTC)
oooo so we are...

Thanks for letting me know...
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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