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Are Alternative Therapies A Reliable Alternative?

Director of public health for Sandwell Dr John Middleton has indicated that alternative or complimentary therapies need to be proved that they are as effective as they claim to be// , even though the NHS seems to second such treatment measures. Infact, he has said that all such therapies and medicines should be thoroughly tested for their benefits on patients and only then should they be prescribed to patients.

The complementary therapists have countered this opinion, that almost all complimentary treatment methods even, acupuncture, aromatherapy and reflexology have been proven for their efficiency.

To quote Dr Middleton, 'Given that we now have a rigorous standard for hi-tech medicine and a lot of equipment that we use we would wish to the see the same applied to alternative medicines or complementary therapies. Homeopathy is difficult to test in field trials and we would have more reservations about using homeopathy. There is evidence that acupuncture has a physiological effect, that it can work on back and muscle pains, but no evidence that it can help someone stop smoking or improve behavior.'

Mike Eyre of Smethwick's Homeopathic and Dietetic Health Clinic said 'We have evidence to the contrary. We have started patients with homeopathy and we have practical evidence that it works. We know 70 per cent of the population wants to make these treatments available. If patients want to use complementary therapies they have a right to do that.'

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