Issues in complementary and alternative medicine
Issues in complementary and alternative medicine

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Issues in complementary and alternative medicine

2.12.3 Scientific advances

Advances in science may have dramatic effects on future therapeutic relationships. As specific funding becomes available for testing CAM, and as CAM practitioners start accepting the idea that their future sustainability may depend on them citing scientific research to establish their claims, more information will become available about which aspects of the therapeutic relationship are more, or less, beneficial. This may include research testing the hypothesis that elements of the CAM therapeutic relationship evoke a particularly powerful placebo response in certain conditions. In this case, both CAM practitioners and orthodox practitioners could learn how to harness the placebo effect in addition to the specific effects of treatment. Similarly, developments in psychoneuroimmunology and quantum physics may begin to provide answers to questions which, until now, have been elusive. They could explain how energy-based practices work, or provide a basis for explanatory models for CAM that oppose conventional scientific thinking (for example, providing a theoretical basis for homoeopathy).


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