Alternative Therapies: Legalised Fraud?

This one will be short and I promise you all I will do my best to not make it sound like a rant, however this is a topic that utterly infuriates me. I’m sure many of you out there will swear by these alternative therapies and insist I’m wrong. Well, go ahead. Feel very free to disagree with me. Just know that every time you spend your good, hard earned money on this crap, you are being swindled.

In 2015, the Australian Government conducted a review of alternative therapies. These were Alexander Therapy, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Bowen Therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, Herbalism/Western Herbalism, Homeopathy, Iridology, Kinesiology,  Naturopathy, Pilates, Reflexology, Rolfing, Tai Chi and Yoga. They also looked at Massage Therapies, including; Deep Tissue, Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, Myotherapy, Remedial, Shiatsu, Sports Therapy, Swedish, Thai and Therapeutic.

In short, it was confirmed that all of the above are complete nonsense with no available evidence that they possess any health benefits whatsoever. For Alexander technique, Buteyko, massage therapy, tai chi and yoga, they did find that there may be some possible benefits for certain specific conditions however stressed that there was still insufficient evidence and more research was needed. 

And here lies my rant. If the Government themselves are concluding that these alternative therapies do not work, then why does the Government continue to let alternative medicine practitioners operate? Its true, that following this study (albeit two whole years after this study), Health Insurance companies stopped paying benefits for these treatments. While this is a small win, there is still a long way to go and there are still more questions. Why does every chemist in the country stock walls of alternative medications and not only sell, but recommend them to people? Why are these alternative medications allowed to be advertised? We are so fortunate to live in the age of science, particularly when it comes to our health. But if governments are going to spend millions conducting empirical studies and then doing absolutely nothing with the results to protect its citizens from this legalised fraud, then it is a dark time for science indeed. 

Of note, for reasons unknown the alternative therapies of Chiropractic, Acupuncture and Reiki, were not included in the Government’s review. Just for interest sake, I may do some independent research in the near future to see how these treatments measure up in terms of effectiveness. Results will be posted here when available.

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