Complementary & Alternative Medicine

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Complementary & Alternative Medicine

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The Evolution of Alternative Medicine

Back in the 1990s, the word “alternative” was a synonym for hip and forward-thinking. There was alternative music and alternative energy; there were even high-profile alternative presidential candidates like Ross Perot and Ralph Nader. That was the decade when doctors started to realize just how many Americans were using alternative medicine, starting with a 1993 paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The paper reported that one in three Americans were using some kind of “unconventional therapy.” Only 28 percent of them were telling their primary-care doctors about it.

I was in high school at the time, and I knew about alternative medicine from my father, a family…

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Last Updated : Saturday, April 4, 2020