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Complementary medicine – does it work?

UK (The Telegraph): Many degree courses in aromatherapy and acupuncture are being scrapped. Bad news for those of us who benefit from alternative therapies, says Anna Tyzack.

“Quackish” degree courses, such as aromatherapy, reflexology and acupuncture, are being scrapped at many universities. Homoeopathy has been dropped altogether, due to declining student applications and campaigns by scientists against non-evidence based forms of medicine.

While many taxpayers will be pleased their money is no longer being spent teaching students the benefits of yin energy or any other subject for which there is no clinical evidence, the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) insists the course closures are “very disappointing”.

“A significant number of people find complementary health therapies to be very helpful; it would be a shame if there were no trained practitioners to treat them,” says Maggy Wallace, chair of the CNHC.

“It’s arrogant not to accept an individual’s opinion as evidence that a certain treatment has benefited them.”

In many respects I agree with her. Like almost all complementary health patients, I found my way to alternative therapies when prescription drugs had failed to work; in my case, several courses of antibiotics for a kidney infection.

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