Alternative medicine refers to treatments that are promoted as actual cures e.g. cancer cures. They are unproven because they have not been scientifically tested and some may actually not be effective or even harmful.
Complimentary medicine is more useful at this time. Examples include meditation to reduce stress, peppermint tea for nausea, and acupuncture for chronic back pain. Complementary methods are not given to cure disease, rather they may prevent or help control symptoms. Some of the methods, such as massage therapy, yoga, and meditation, that are categorized as complementary medicine.
prayer, spiritual practices
Acupunture and efficacy by BMA http://web.bma.org.uk/public/science.nsf/sciencedocsvw/ReportAcupuncture
Spiritual health - Faith and Healing
Spirituality and Cancer
Herb and Other Food Supplement Sites
American Botanical Council: www.herbalgram.org
Medical Herbalism: A Journal for the Clinical Practitioner: www.medherb.comUS Pharmacopoeia Consumer Information (Botanicals): www.usp.org/infofor/patient1.htm
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): altmed.od.nih.gov
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/in_depth/health/2000/cancer/default.stm Cancer the facts – BBC site
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/medical_notes/newsid_101000/101526.stm Complementary medicine – Acupunture, Herbal, Homeopathy, Shiatsu, Reflexology etc