Alternative medicine: putting an end to received ideas

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There are those who are a firm believer in alternative medicine and those who don’t want to hear about it. The point to get everyone to agree!

Alternative medicine is taught at the Faculty of Medicine

True and false. Some faculties offer training in complementary medicine. But to go further, practitioners must follow specializations. Since 2007, a state diploma has sanctioned the practice of acupuncture and six universities have integrated it into their training. But only the Faculty of Medicine of Bobigny offers theoretical training in Chinese medicine.

There are more than 400 different

True. They are called CAMs (alternative and complementary medicine). Some are well known such as homeopathy, osteopathy, hypnosis or acupuncture. Others, like Ayurvedic medicine, are closer to an art of living than to classical medicine. Their success is based on the global consideration of the individual and the fact that they prevent certain diseases by promoting natural resistance.

Chinese medicine is good for reducing the side effects of treatments

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True. It considers the individual as a whole, associating body and mind. She considers that the suffering of one produces effects on the other. This is how she will focus on the being who is suffering from an illness rather than on the diseased organ. By combining herbal medicine, acupuncture and massage, it effectively relieves the side effects of certain treatment protocols.

Soft, alternative, complementary medicine … it’s all the same!

True and false. Watch out for words. Alternative medicines cannot replace conventional treatments but they accompany care or relieve side effects. In full swing – more than one in two French people say they use them – these approaches bring together techniques and processes as numerous as they are diverse. But beware of charlatans.

Certain practices are recognized

True. The National Council of the Order of Physicians recognizes four MACs (acupuncture, homeopathy, mesotherapy and osteopathy). Some have also entered the hospital, in oncology departments in particular to relieve patients. Today, one in five doctors with a specialty in alternative or complementary medicine practices in hospitals.

There is no serious study on the subject

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True and false. These medicines are difficult to evaluate because they are generally the result of a personalized approach. Clinical studies are faced with methodological limitations (no “double-blind” treatments, subjective efficacy criteria, etc.). And when they exist, many find them only a placebo effect. However, the results of a study conducted in the hospital should be presented within the year.

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