Complementary medicine: Can we have faith in health alternatives?

Snake oil, quackery, hippie mumbo jumbo – for much of the 20th century, anything outside of the sterile confines of an operating room or doctor’s office was derided as complete nonsense. But acceptance of ‘alternative’ therapies has become increasingly widespread, and science now backs up some of the claims around faith and energy healing. In the brave new world of complementary medicine, where can the two disciplines meet, mix, and make people feel better? Is it time to stop extolling positive thinking as merely a placebo effect and delve into the world of alternative therapies?