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Alternative Med Evidence: An Introduction

This article discusses a few places to look for research on alternative medicine, holistic healing, and herbal remedies.

A lot of people–most of the consuming public, most doctors, most media researchers, and a surprising number of alternative practitioners–do not know that the US government has a whole division dedicated to researching alternative medicine.

The official designated title by which alt med and holistic healing is known is Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which is abbreviated as CAM. (All governmental thinking, agencies, topics, studies, and grants require nomenclature; the CAM classification preceded the government's interest, but the term was adopted as it was in common usage by practitioners and those studying the field.)

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has recently been renamed The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). This is where your tax dollars are being spent to study alternative medicine:

To understand how this Center, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) came to be, you can read a Wikipedia article here about National Center for Complementary and Integrative_Health.

One of our favorite web sites for accurate herbal information is the American Botanical Council.

Natural Medicines (formerly the National Standard) This is a membership site used mostly by professionals.

Therapeutic Touch is professional organization of energy healers, many of which are nurses. There web site has long lists of research devoted to Therapeutic Touch.

National Council for Osteopathy Research: in the United Kingdom and the American Academy of Osteopathy are sources of information on manual therapy in Osteopathy.

The American Chiropractic Association is a place to look for Chiropractic research as well as's research page (

Naturopathy has The Naturopathic Physicians Institute ( and the AANMC (

Massage Therapy Research Foundation and the AMTA have studies on massage.

Some acupuncture information at the NCCIH .

A broad-based platform for alternative medicine research (as well as regular medicine and science) is PubMed, a search engine located at the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

For those who need convincing that there is research to support the use of alternative medicine, the above sites are a good place to start. However, traditional studies that require large surveys and grant money are not the only or best way to determine the validity of natural therapies. Simple methods can also be used to understand the process of healing. Look for more on this subject in articles following this one on our web site.

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