Alternative Medicine

Unproven treatments gain followers, draw warnings of quackery


It's not what the doctor ordered, but millions of Americans are exploring medical treatmentsthat have not been approved by mainstream authorities. Ranging from age-old acupuncture and chiropractic to strange new crystal therapies and psychic surgery, the treatments attract everyone from terminal cancer and AIDS patients to those left cold by the crisis-oriented, “impersonal” approach of conventional doctors. Organizations that work to expose health fraud warn against profiteers who prey on a gullible public. But that hasn't stopped enthusiasts of the alternative treatments from setting up networks to fight for respectability, which, in turn, might bring research funding, licensing and recognition from medical peers.

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