There are many possible definitions of 'alternative medicine'. E.g.: or . However, these definitions are more context-dependent than direct. According to this definition, Aurelis is clearly no alternative medicine. It is, however, in many cases a rational 'alternative' for chronic medication. Through this rationality, Aurelis has a place in true medicine now and in the future.
There is a huge rush towards alternative medicines. A major cause of this is a sense of discomfort with mainstream medicine. For much chronic suffering, mainstream medicine provides no satisfactory solution in the eyes of many people (patients and physicians). Therefore, people look elsewhere for help and many alternative healers/medicines are ready to promise this help. Rationality is hereby not always top priority.
It often happens that people feel better after some ‘alternative treatment’. Part of this is a coincidence. Another part is due to placebo factors such as ‘belief in recovery’. This placebo phenomenon is a kind of suggestion. People feeling better is clearly not sufficient to assess the veracity of an alternative medicine. A mere I feel it work is totally inadequate. After all, you have no idea where the effect comes from. A pure placebo leads you completely astray. Consider for example the person who gets an asthma attack through contact with a plastic flower (as is repeatedly observed in scientific experiments). Is the flower the cause? No, but the person feels it this way. He feels the effect of the flower, no? Error. It is the effect of himself, an - in this case negative - suggestive effect.
It is often being presented as if some alternative therapy has been scientifically proven. That is incorrect. So far there is no valid proof for any alternative treatment, despite the fact that many attempts are made and any action is often relatively easily provable. Given the powerful influence of suggestion on illness and healing in general, this is a preferred explanatory model for the bulk of what is happening in the field of alternative medicine.
As a final point: if one puts a direct and rational use of autosuggestion in the place of an indirect use through alternative medicines, one sees that the potential market (the intrinsic human need) is huge. Following figures give an idea of the scope of alternative medicine in the US [D.M.Eisenberg et al., Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990-1997. JAMA. 1998(280) p. 1569-75]:
- Every year, there are 425 million consultations with alternative healers; 388 million with general practitioners.
- The increase in number of users of alternative medicine in the US, compared to the previous year, amounted to 33.8% in 1990. In 1997, this increase has risen to 42.1%.
- In total, in 1997 about 27 billion dollars have been paid by patients at their own expense to alternative medicine. This is more than what was paid at their own expense in the same year to the totality of mainstream medicine (GP and specialists' fees, hospitalization, medicines, etc.).